Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Jonah

Today is a special day in the Dafoe household...it is Jonah's 4th Birthday!  It is hard to believe that 4 years ago Richard and I were waiting anxiously to meet this little man.

(Here is one of my favorite pics of him on his "birthday."
  It has been so wonderful to watch this little man grow, learn, discover, and become who God created him to be!  He was an extremely colicky baby and very high maintenance. He slept very little and was extremely unpredictable.  He has always been a social little man and has always enjoyed being around others and outgoing.  He has hit many of the "milestones" early setting the bar pretty high for any other siblings to follow.  He has always been a snuggler and I do have many, many, many fond memories of the naps we did share together.  There is nothing more precious than a sleeping baby on your chest while you sleep!  

Although he looks just like his daddy, Jonah does have many of my personality traits and qualities.  This is fun to see!  I absolutely love this age where he is so intrigued by the world around him and so determined to figure out the why?s how come?s and other important questions that most people don't know the answers to.  He is a great big brother and although he and Elijah fight, he definitely watches out for him and I love that. 

I feel all nostalgic as I sit and allow the wonderful memories of motherhood and our oldest son flood my thoughts.  All the firsts, special time together, the mommy and me dates, snuggling in the mornings, trips to starbucks and the park, playing together, and learning together. The tears, smiles, hugs and kisses make it extra special. 

Today I do have to sleep a little (I worked last night) but I will get up early so we can celebrate this special day tonight with spaghetti, cake, and ice cream.  I will post pics of course!  


Happy Birthday Jonah! We love you so much!


Here is the Birthday Boy each year on his special day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Superhero Mail

We had a wonderful day today relaxing and watching the boys play with their gifts. We went to the "Tale of Despereaux" this afternoon and were pleasantly surprised to see a package in the mail from Florida! From a wonderful family, The Prachars, who we met at the church we attended when living in Iowa City. They are now in Florida serving the Lord through Agape Ministries. Check out their site for more details. The package included a batman costume and superman costume! The boys were exstatic (as was I since I know these costumes will be loved to death). THANK YOU PRACHARS!!!!! If you have followed my blog for even just a little while you would already know what a special gift this is. My boys love imaginative play and Elijah has been LIVING, I mean day, night, day, night, etc in costumes since before Halloween. (*I do try to wash them as often as possible, and encourage him to wear clothes daily, but sometimes it just isn't a battle I choose to fight with him*).






Thank you again, and we will have to send you some more pictures when I get around to sending out a New Year card instead of a Christmas card. Hope you are nice and warm down there!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holy Car Starter Batman!

It is Christmas day, we are celebrating the birth of Christ and trying to keep the chaos under control.  The boys actually slept in until 8am and crawled in with us for a little Christmas morning snuggling.  Then we all headed out to the living room to open a few presents and peek in our stockings.  It was so fun to watch the boys squeal with delight and their little faces a lit up as they unwrapped their presents.  Jonah struggled a little bit with being patient and sharing, while Elijah actually did better with this concept.  

Richard made some delicious egg bake and we had OJ and ginger ale and pineapple.  Then my sister Laura and dad came over for a while.  We are just relaxing and enjoying the boys playing with their gifts and listening to their imaginations soar.  

I was pleasantly surprised to discover a small bag at the bottom of my stocking that previously had cherry chocolates in, but was hiding the remote to a car starter in my car! I did think it was a joke at first, but after Richard instructed me to push the button and see for myself I was just as excited as the boys when I saw my van start in the driveway!  Hurray! Now, if you are thinking to yourself "what a silly gift" you must not understand the arctic temperatures we experience up here in good old North Dakota.  It was -21 degrees F yesterday morning.  The beautiful minus sign in front of the number does not designate a party either! This normally wouldn't be such a problem if I did not have to dress to small boys from head to toe each time we even think of leaving our house, even if only for a few minutes.  

Richard opened his present early so he could test it out (wireless speakers for his laptop) and has been enjoying them I believe.  Jonah got the imaginext batcave he had been hoping for and Elijah was excited to open a spiderman car complete with spiderman himself.

The past week has been quite chaotic due to my sister's wedding last saturday, Jonah's Christmas program, family in town for Christmas, and the holidays.  I am hoping to catch up on a little blogging next week.  However, I will be distracted by my son turning 4! I can't believe it!  How time flies!  

Merry Christmas to all and we pray you are able to celebrate this precious day that our Savior was born on so many years ago.  The perfect, best, present ever!  Even better than my car starter!  

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy!  

The boys in their new robe, pjs, and slippers and opening a gift from each other


Checking out Jonah's new gift and playing with their gifts

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Cold Stone Thank You

We have been crazy busy with all the wedding planning, but Richard and I were so pleasantly surprised when the boys inhaled their supper the other night, we decided to head to Cold Stone for a nice cold treat.  It was an extra special time laughing, singing, and just being together while we enjoyed the delicious ice cream.  Thank you again to the Hutton/Amundson/Doan's for the wonderful gift!  You are too sweet ;0)  Since I know some of you happen to cruise on by this site once and awhile I captured our "double date" to share with you...


The boys picked cotton candy ice cream with peanut butter cups (yuck) and since I usually get to pick the ice cream I let Richard have a turn and he made an excellent choice with the Coffee Lovers.  It also happened to be Wednesday when we went and you get a free waffle bowl or cone with your Love it Creation on Wed. God is sooooo good! 

And, Yes Elijah is STILL wearing his Robin costume religiously.  Probably the best $ I have ever spent!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Doot do, la la la, this is my Monday song, that it is finally here! ***This was not actually posted until Tuesday and written on Sunday, but you get the idea***  I have to lift my hat to MckMama, yet again, for this wonderful denial of truth that I look forward to each week!
  • I did NOT have tons of fun with Richard and the boys decorating our tree this week.  It was NOT the first time we had little "helpers" to make the process go so smoothly ;0) Actually, it was really just Jonah because Elijah did NOT drink everyone's egg nog while we were doing it!
  • I did NOT have a blast throwing a personal shower for my sister nikki on Friday night. I also did NOT embarrass her just a little!
  • I did NOT have a great time on Saturday night bowling and heading down town for nikki's bachelorette party! I was the DD and I did NOT still have a blast watching everyone and being the bodyguard for my sister. 
  • I can NOT believe she is getting married on saturday! AHHHH!
  • We did NOT take jonah and elijah ice skating on Saturday in the freezing cold and I did NOT just ran back in forth from the van to the rink taking pictures and video while trying to keep from freezing to death. 
  • My heart did NOT melt ten times watching Richard teaching our boys to skate and helping them. Nope. I didn't cry either!
  • I did NOT get just a little sad on Sunday when Jonah's christmas program was postponed because he was sooooo excited to go and had done an excellent job working on his songs and memory verse!
  • Speaking of Sunday....I did NOT LOVE having a snow day and spend the entire day relaxing at my parents house while we were shut in! 
  • I did NOT spend almost all my free time helping my sister with wedding planning, hence the reason I have NOT neglected my blog this past week ;0)
  • I did NOT hold my breath while trying on my bridesmaid dress and breathe a big sigh of relief when it did fit just like I remembered. 
  • It did NOT take two people to strip Elijah down and try on multiple outfits for the wedding and dress rehearsal until we found the right match.  My mom did NOT help me and we did NOT bribe him with cartoons and candy.
  • I did NOT spend Friday cleaning my house from top to bottom (scrubbing floors, cupboards, vacuuming, dusting, etc) for my sister's shower.
  • I will NOT be MIA for the next week due to my sister's upcoming wedding!
So, despite being a day late...this is NOT still therapeutic for me! 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dear Jonah and Elijah

Dear Elijah
    Today I was busy multi tasking and you came flying around the corner, looked right at me, and scared me.  Not because you aren't the cutest thing ever, but because you don't look like my baby anymore.  You are getting so big!  You often have some of the same facial expressions and body language that your brother had at your age. (this is a little scary as there is this is obviously genetic since you had no idea he did these things).  You are still a momma's boy and I am thankful for that.  You want to snuggle every morning (and every night this week at 4am) but it's ok because this won't last forever.  You hadn't snuggling as a baby and did not want to be held. You preferred to drift off to sleep in your own crib. This was very different from your colicky older brother's baby desires. He could have been held and snuggled with all day and all night.  Slowly you have become a snuggler and I love it!  Although this morning you held my face and told me you did not want to get out of bed and we should snuggle a little longer.  I am afraid I have ruined you!  I love your curiosity, and your sweet side.  I also LOVE hearing you (and your brother) pray before we eat.  Slowly the "gank foo's (thank you's)' are progressing from spider man to maccaroni and cheese, your brother, and mom and dad. I also will hear your little voice saying "Holy Smokes, there is spiderman on my milk glass" for quite some time. This is a bittersweet time for me as I struggle to keep you as my baby, but let you become the little man God has desired you to be. I love you Elijah!

Dear Jonah,
  You are also changing before my eyes!  I am enjoying your transformation from the whining, hair pulling three year old to your soon to be more mature 4-year-old self.  I also enjoy "here's the deal mom...." as you try to barter your way through our days.  You are becoming so interested in how things work, and the questions don't stop until you are satisfied.  I love this!  I also love that you are learning to be a big brother, looking out for Elijah, showing him the ropes, and loving him up.  You are so excited in this role and that makes my heart leap for joy.  Speaking of hearts leaping, you made me cry the other night when you recited your memory verse for the Christmas program "A savior has been born unto you" Luke 2:11 and your eyes have never been brighter as you realized what you had done!  You called everyone to tell them and kept repeating it over and over and over again for Elijah and I.  Then you whispered to me that Jesus helped you learn that.  

I am not sure where you learn some things, like tonight when you took your hat off to pray and told us that is just what you are 'posed to do.  You are getting so big and I am also mourning the loss of my little guy.  I pray you continue to challenge me to become a better mother as I challenge you to become the young man God desires.  I love you Jonah. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Well blog readers...(drum roll please)...it is MONDAY!  You all know that means it is my favorite new day of the week as I get to begin the week with this wonderful denial of truth started by MckMama.  Head over to her website and check out many more people who are diving into this incredibly addicting blog carnival. 

  • I did NOT just have my computer freeze up and erase my entire Not Me post after I had linked it to MckMama's and have to retype the entire thing!
  • I did NOT finally join a gym in town after months of denying the need and I did NOT almost pass out multiple times as I went to aerobic classes with my new personal trainer (my sister Nikki)
  • I did NOT use my shirt to wipe my child's nose when we were at WalMart this week, only to be caught by an innocent bystander and get extremely embarrassed
  • I did NOT stalk MckMama's website while writing this post. Nope!
  • I did NOT work Friday night (7pm to 7am) at the hospital (I am a nurse in the NICU) and go home and sleep for 2 1/2 hours, drive an hour with my sisters and mother for my sister Nikki's final wedding dress fitting, and return back to town shortly before my shift started on Saturday night and go back to work again from 7pm to 7am. Nope! Because that would be silly and I might get sick. 
  • I was NOT my sister's wedding slave all week. (Enjoying every minute of course) Helping her make a slideshow for the wedding and do all the last minute super fun and NOt at all stressful stuff!
  • I did NOT wish and pray that my children could stay little forever at least a thousand times this week when they were fighting over who loved me more!
  • I did NOT spend 3 hours trying to figure out where to hang a couple of pictures in our living room with my husband and we took turns akwardly leaning over furniture and holding them up for each other only to hang them up in the very first spot we discussed!
  • I did NOT have 2 Frappacinnos on Saturday to help me survive my sleep deprived day after I told myself I was going to give them up because they are definitely NOT helping me become healthier!
  • I did NOT cry when my two year old threw up his breakfast all over himself because he had pooped and gagged himself from the smell.  This did NOT occur while we were trying to get going for the day and all over the bathroom rugs that had NOt just been washed and laid down only 15 minutes before.
  • I did NOT almost throw up myself when my two year old hugged me with puke all over and we both climbed into the tub to clean up
  • I did NOT become so excited that I could hardly sleep when my husband said we could go get a Christmas tree this past weekend
  • I did NOT become just a little disappointed when the tree farm to cut down your own was closed so we had to just buy one from the lot.
  • I did NOT just get the #1 spot for the week on MckMama's page!  I am NOT a dork for being excited about that either.
  • I did NOT wish I had written down all the other things I did NOT do this week. 
Hope you all have a spectacular week and have a good laugh on my behalf!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beautiful Snow and a Tree

I left work this morning and was in awe of God's beauty and gift of snow as I drove home.  It was dark still, quiet, and there was beautiful fluffy white flakes falling everywhere.  The snow was still pure white and there were hardly any tracks.  It was mesmerizing as I drove and almost looked fake it was so beautiful. We have had hardly any snow yet this year and I have been laughing as I hear from friends down in Iowa who have been shoveling for a few weeks now. How ironic, we move up North and don't get snow until December! 

I dropped my stuff off and quickly grabbed the camera to catch our home with the Christmas lights and beautiful snow!  

This evening we went to get a Christmas tree.  We were hoping to go to a tree farm and cut our own down (which is a fun tradition in our home), but they closed at 4pm and we were expecting them open until 5pm so we settled for a real one inside the nursery at All Seasons.  It is beautiful and smells wonderful.  Hopefully we can decorate it tomorrow night before I head to work!  For now it is warming up and adjusting to life inside.  We name our tree every year and I am thinking of a good one for this year.  Our first tree was "Evie" the Evergreen and this one is a Scotch...hmm....maybe Sophie?  Elijah wanted it to be a girl tree. Not sure why, but oh well. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rebel for A Cause

I know I frequently reference my blogging friend MckMama on this blog, but wanted to throw in another plug for her site. She is teaming up with a friend and doing a raffle for a Canon camera and lots of other photo goodies.  The tickets are $10 and ALL the proceeds are going to three wonderful organizations: String of Pearls, The Elison Project, and No Hands but Ours

These organizations are very meaningful to MckMama and her friend Amie as they deal with helping couples facing a fatal diagnosis for their baby as well as for couples wanting to adopt a special needs child. 

The giveaway is the 14th of December!  Check out her site for more details. Plus there are other wonderful ways you can win!!!! 

Good luck to all and Happy raffling!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Well fellow blog readers...it is time for the wonderful denial of truth thanks to MckMama!  I have had some of you tell me you read this and some comment, but send me an email with your not me's if you are not up for playing!  Please bear with me...this was a big week!

  • I did Not get to sleep in today until 9am! Thank you Jonah and Elijah. They ended up in our bed last night at some point and I did not have the energy to put them back so I left them hoping that would happen. Thank you Jesus.
  • I also did NOT get to sleep in until almost 10am on saturday. Thanks to my wonderful mother who took the boys friday night for a sleepover.  (if you have any children you appreciate this one above all else because we all know that the laws of children = no sleeping at all let alone in on a sat am)
  • I did NOT bear my heart and soul in the previous post, which took A LOT of encouraging on God's part and my own, but was blessed by many wonderful comments and emails from family and friends. Thank you!
  • I did NOT take the boys (on Thanksgiving day) in search of a MacDonalds or Wendys or any fast food for that matter to feed them dinner.  Richard and Colby ( a great friend from Iowa who came to help us celebrate the holiday) made a gourmet meal which was not quite ready when they wanted supper. Since everything was closed we ended up renting Wall-e from the video store, spending who knows how much on gummi bears there (cause those are NOT expensive) and eating fruit loops for supper. 
  • I was NOT the closest one to 2 million hits on MckMama's website and she certainly did NOT mention me and post one of the pictures I took and sent to her to document this!
  • I did NOT go shopping on Black Friday and I did NOT find a ton of great deals and get super excited for Christmas gifts to be exchanged.
  • I did NOT get to spend Friday evening with my family for our quasi Thanksgiving since my sister Nikki got home from Idaho late thurs night, and have a wonderful time. I did NOT overeat at all!
  • I did NOT get to go to a Sioux hockey game after our quasi dinner where the Sioux did NOT win 7-3 against Cornell! Yahoo!
  • I did NOT persuade my husband I needed dip-n-dots at the game either! I never looked at him with a pouty lip and puppu dog eyes and he never gave in of course!
  • I did NOT take Elijah to Walmart in his Robin costume turning heads down almost every isle as he declared "Me Robin, the boy wonder" every 10 seconds while shooting imaginary monsters who happened to also be shopping at Walmart!
  • I did NOT take the gum that fell out of his mouth and onto the floor give it back to him and then after it fell out a second time take it away and give him a new piece. It obviously gets dirtier after two times and is gross to put back.
  • I did NOT go to Target when the opened at noon on Sunday and hunt for a particular present for Jonah for his birthday like a maniac. Which was on sale in the circular for $28 (and is selling for $100 on ebay) and upon not finding it hunt down a sales clerk and ask him to check in out it for me. I also did not utter these exact words while waiting "Lord, I know this is silly, but is it ok if I pray that they will have this toy?" and when he returned with one I did not have to try really hard to contain my extreme joy and excitement. 
  • I did NOT almost hate the world while trying on just about every dress in the Fargo mall to find one for my sister's rehearsal dinner. I also did not spend the entire day there looking. Thanks mom for coming with me! You are the best! 
  • I did NOT ignore my children as they ran around the kitchen screaming at the top of their lungs and chasing after each other with their cereal spoons while writing this post. Nope.
  • My WONDERFUL hubby did NOT just call to see how our morning was and say he loved us because we were sleeping when he left. That did NOT just melt my heart and make my day!
Wow! I might have to add more later as they come to me, but for the most part I think I covered the week pretty well. Hope you all have a wonderful week and jot down your Not Me!'s to laugh about at the beginning of next week. 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank you for Grace

Ephesians 5:20 says "give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (ESV)

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (ESV).

"Saying thank you to God in the midst of our circumstances is definitely different than saying thank you for them. And yet, scripture tells us to do both"  

This is a quote from Angie Smith (an amazing woman of Christ, with a beautiful story, and a strong Love for the Lord).  

All day I have been thinking of things I am Thankful for and praising God for these things.  I am sure many of you have done the same.  My list was quite long and it was quite fun to come up with even more. However, not until this evening (wed night) did I realize that Thanksgiving was also the one year anniversary of the death of our baby. 11/27 Who I have called Grace.  I have been dreading this day for awhile and sick to my stomach as it has hung over me like a black cloud.  I was hoping it would pass and I would forget, but God had another plan.  

I again avoided these thoughts for a few more hours until I was heading to bed.  I grabbed my bible, a poem I have been writing, and Richard's computer.  I dropped my bible and the pile of papers inside fell out and I shoved them back in randomly to get to the bedroom.   And then I saw my hope chest in our bedroom.  I wouldn't be able to give you a full inventory of its contents, but I do know a few special things that are kept safe inside.  

The memories of these things flooded me and filled me with pain and sadness. As I allowed myself to return to these places in my mind, the Lord filled me with peace and wrapped His arms around me. I opened it up and found what I was looking for. A sleeper and two blankets I had bought for our sweet baby when I was still pregnant last year and hopefull for a daughter. (Just so you know we did not find out the sex of our boys until they were born so I purchased one boy and girl sleeper and blanket to get them home from the hospital in).  And a onesie from the Children's Hospital of Iowa that was a gift from Richard and the boys for mother's day last year in memory of our baby. 

How do I say thank you for this?  How can this be added to my list Lord?

Next I climbed onto the bed and pulled out my bible to search for a specific verse. As I did these things I prayed for the Lord to speak to me, and quieted my soul so I would hear Him.  I am not sure if He was afraid of my short attention span, or what, but the papers that were randomly shoved into my bible pointed me to a few verses on trusting the Lord that I had underlined. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" -Proverbs 3:5  jumped out at me as I pulled one piece of paper out.  Immediately tears began to flow and I began to realize how I am Thankful for losing Grace.  My relationship with Christ has strengthened tenfold, I have a new perspective on life and find myself praising the Lord for the good and bad days, I have been able to cultivate relationships with other women because of our common bond in losing a child, and I can see now (a year later) all the other wonderful things that God has done as a result of this loss. 

I have been able to Trust His plan (most of the time) and if you read my blog you know this is my biggest struggle.  It has been a long year and I have walked through some dark days, weeks, months and somehow come out at His feet thankful.  Thankful for all the wonderful friends and family who have lent their shoulder for me to cry on, ear to talk off, and comforted me.  Thankful for my husband who has been there every step of the way holding me up too.  Thankful for my two beautiful boys who the Lord has already given me and for their continual reminder of God's love. 

During this intimate soul searching (which I am sharing with you all in hopes to bring God glory) I was brought to Angie's blog, where the Lord brought me when I was coming out of my darkest time last year, and read her challenge.  I can't give her words justice so you will just have to go and read it for yourself to fully grasp the wonder I am feeling as I frantically type at 230am.  

She has challenged her fellow readers to write down something you are thankful for. The catch being, something you don't feel thankful for, like losing a baby. 

It is not easy, but the freedom is amazing.  I am also humbled by a Savior who is Soverign and has a plan for me.  

These words came to me on nights when I could not sleep and prayed for peace and comfort.  I prayed for something tangible since we have no footprints, baby bands, pictures, etc.  One year later, because I trusted the Lord, He has given me this... 

Dear Grace,

I'll never kiss your baby cheeks
or smell your soft, clean hair

I'll never walk right by your room
and see you playing there

I'll never feed you late at night
and watch you as you eat

I'll never sing you lullabies 
to help you fall asleep

I'll never get to watch you grow
and teach you along the way

About a man named Jesus
who died and washed your sins away

I'll never kiss your scraped up knee
after a super-man attempt

I'll never get to hold you tight 
just because I can

I'll never do these things with you
but that's okay because

I know you're in the arms of Christ
safe,
 whole, 
and surrounded by His love

I'll always have my dreams of you
and await that wondrous day

When I get to hold you in my arms
and thank the One who kept you safe
and helped me find the way

The way to the cross
The way to say Thanks
Thanks
for taking Grace.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2 millionth hit....almost

If you have been to my blog before, you are full aware of my reference to MckMama, her son Stellan's miraculously healed heart, her infamous Not me! Monday blog carnival, and her adorable kids

****Tangent Alert****So today I was woken up a little earlier than I had hoped by the boys (I worked last night and will again tonight) as they were not behaving for our wonderful babysitter Maria.  I sent her home and was feeling a little overwhelmed by having to discipline them already when all I wanted to do was snuggle them close.  I took a deep breath, said a little prayer and contemplated just letting them sleep with me some more instead of giving them the spankings they deserved and sending them to their own room.  All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with peace and felt the strength of an army of fellow mothers encouraging me to follow through with my threats and as hard as it is...discipline so they may learn and become respectful, loving young men.  With this new found strength, I did just that. Sent them to their own beds, spanked them and kissed them goodnight.  Since my adrenaline was a little two high to return to sleep I did what seemed logical...checking my blog as well as those that I follow.


Back to the purpose of this post. MckMama has just posted that she was close to having 2 million hits on her blog, so I became curious and the competitive nature that drives me wondered how close it was to that landmark.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was not far from the coveted number and after a little BS (blog surfing people!) I thought what the heck, one more peek and then I better get back to sleep. I was delighted, ok I was actually ecstatic to discover this...
So I took a picture.
Ok, so I took a few pictures.  Then I emailed them to MckMama! 

Now, instead of sleeping more, I am writing this post and praising the Lord for not just 2 million hits, but 2 million chances for someone to hear a beautiful story about following the Lord. Walking the path least desirable, TRUSTING the Lord, and sharing it with complete strangers on the internet!!!!!!  I love my job as a NICU nurse but hate the moral/ethical delimmas that surround that place.  I can only imagine how hard it was for MckMama and her hubby (prince charming -how great is that? Maybe Richard needs a name like that- any suggestions) to continue the pregnancy knowing that all that was ahead was unknown.  If you want to hear her story...click on the numerous links above and check it out!  God is good. And, now I am tired ;0) 

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not me! Monday

MckMama has given me a reason to look forward to the beginning of the week and not just the end....Check out her blog and enjoy my denial of truths while you are at it!
  • I did NOT Love having our home filled with family and friends this past week during Richard's Uncle's funeral.  
  • I did NOT convert some of the Huttons to eat popcorn with hot tomales (a concoction my mother passed on to me and I can't eat it any other way)!
  • I did NOT put the boys to bed one night before family came over to visit and tell Jonah he most certainly did not hear the voices of these visitors while I was trying to put him to sleep! Nope, cause you should never lie to your kids! Eeek!
  • I did NOT shriek with excitement when I saw a Cold Stone gift card that had been left by our wonderful house guests and make Jonah and Elijah think there really was a monster in our house trying to get me.  Don't worry, they came to my rescue! 
  • I did NOT go to a jewelry party on Saturday, buy something and decide to host one in January (if you want to come let me know ;0) 
  • I did NOT pray on Friday that my husband and I would get some quality time together this weekend and have my mother, a few hours later, invite our boys over for a sleepover making this a total reality!
  • I did NOT have soooooo much fun with him on Friday night eating at the Blue Moose (where I did NOT get an appetizer, meal and share a mud pie with him). We did not go to the truck stop and race each other (a favorite date from high school) in the arcade where I most certainly did NOT beat him 3 out of 4 times! Yahooo! I mean sorry Richard, good try, maybe next time!  He beat me playing scrabble later so don't feel too bad for him!
  • I did NOT announce the names of people's wireless internet as we drove around town (we were listening to some songs off his computer wired through the stereo system in his pick up) because that would be a super geeky thing to do.
  • I did NOT get free tickets to the Neil Diamond concert on Saturday night and go on a date with my hubby and our good friends Nate and Amy and have a blast! Even though I only knew two songs, couldn't have picked him out of a line up, and was maybe the 3rd youngest person there.
  • I did NOT spend Saturday night and Sunday sick and be taken care of my wonderful husband, and two children.  I did NOT pray relentlessly that my family would not catch this nasty stomach bug. 
  • I did NOT wake up after a long nap Sunday to my again amazing husband starting to put up some Christmas lights....Hurray!

  • I did NOT have "help" from Spiderman and Buzzlightyear while I was vacuuming and cleaning this morning

Here's to Monday's and denial of truth!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It feels like home...

 We have had a crazy couple of weeks in the Dafoe household.  I was going to try and break up this post, but I am afraid it will turn into an extremely long one!

It all started a few weeks ago when Richard's uncle Dick, who has been suffering from cancer for a few years, ended up in the hospital and we weren't sure how much longer he would be with us.  Richard's mom (Irene) flew in from California for a visit/to be here for her brother and we spent most of the week in and out of the hospital visiting.  It was a bittersweet time with everyone.  Most of the family headed back home after Dick was moved home with hospice.  Irene was able to stay until just yesterday and was fortunate enough to help care for her brother during his last few days and watch him "go home" to be with the Lord.  Richard was also able to spend some quality time at his Uncle's bedside and also witness the beautiful departure from this world.  How hard it is to watch a loved one suffer though praying God would grant you just a little longer with them but also that He would take them home.  Irene was able to stay for the funeral and we were able to see the Hutton (Irene's family) a little more.  We were also privileged to have some of the Hutton's stay in our home and others come for visits in between the events.  It was such a pleasure to open our home to this loving family and be able to reciprocate as many of them have graciously opened their homes for us on numerous occasions as we passed through MN.  We always look forward to their visits and cherish the time together. Through all this we took advantage of some precious time with Grandma Irene and sure enjoyed her visit!  She was such a blessing and it was such a treat to see her for a few weeks.  We hope it won't be too long before she is able to come back for a visit. 

During all this craziness we were also privy to a visit from our dear friends in Iowa City who feel more like family than "friends" after all we have experienced with them.  Clint, Katy, baby Isaiah Hawthorne and Paul Asjes were able to make a quick, but cherished trip to our house in Grand Forks.  Clint, Katy and Isaiah were in MN for a month while Clint did a rotation for medical school and Paul is in Des Moines, IA for law school.  It was surreal to have them in our home visiting and having some wonderful time of fellowship.  This visit made our "house" feel more like home.  It made me miss Iowa City and all the great times we had together.  Katy and I were able to sneak away for a little one-on-one girl time (thanks boys), then the guys took a turn taking in a Sioux hockey game while us girls held down the fort while the little boys slept. 

Richard and I have felt as though we are feeling more settled in Grand Forks and it is feeling more like home as the days pass.  However, after watching so many loved ones coming and going through our house we (or at least I) feel like this is home.  One of our favorite things is to have food, fellowship, and fun with friends in our home. It filled my heart with joy to see our couches filled with family and friends throughout the past few weeks. 

Thanks to all who helped fill our hearts and home with memories, laughter, and love.  Our door is always open! 

Small Fryday contest!

Hello my fellow blog readers... many of you have commented on my therapeutic "Not me! Monday posts" and I am not sure if you have ever taken the time to check out MckMama's blog (the creator of the blog carnival) and read her story.  I encourage you to check out her site when you have a chance!  She also is an incredible photographer and has adorable children to practice on.  

She is having a contest for an opportunity to give back to her fellow blog followers (like myself) who have been praying with their family as they experienced the trials during their last pregnancy with their son being diagnosed with a heart condition and not expected to live. God is good and He healed their little MckMuffin.  Back to the contest....if you talk about this contest and link back to hers you have the opportunity to win a customized blog and some photography gifts.  

I never win things like this, so if I do it would be quite miraculous! But, it is worth a try!  
Praise the Lord for healed hearts, cute kids, and contests.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Me Monday

It is monday! Hurray! Here is the beautiful denial of truth that MckMama started: 
  • I did NOT make macaroni and cheese for lunch this week and totally ruin it somehow, resulting in some of the most disgusting lunch I have ever made, and then proceed to feed it to my children because they couldn't wait for anything else.  Only to be pleasantly surprised when they thought it was delicious and ate it all!
  • I did NOT get frustrated when my two year old came to me this past week quite frequently to tell me that he needed a new diaper because he had pooped or peed but would not let me put him on the potty. 
  • I did NOT laugh at my 3 year old (who has an extremely sensitive gag reflex) when he gagged and almost lost his snack over the lovely aroma from his little brother's diaper!
  • I did NOT go crazy waiting for the weekend to come because I was NOT excited to see our dear friends from Iowa who came for a super sweet, but just too short visit.
  • I did NOT totally look out the window a million times on Friday night waiting for them to get here like a little kid!
  • I did NOT have a blast with Clint, Katy, Paul and little Isaiah this weekend and cherish every little moment of our time together dreading sunday morning when they had to leave, but trying to enjoy it while it lasted
  • I did NOT love going downtown with Katy and having some extremely precious time together while we window shopped, laughed, talked and just enjoyed each other while our WONDERFUL husbands watched the little ones.
  • I did NOT wonder how great it would be to still be in Iowa City with those guys hanging out like old times.
  • I did NOT just write this post super fast just so I wouldn't be at the end of MckMama's list while waiting for my two year old to finish pooping in his diaper so we could go to Target!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

7 things I hate to admit

So Travis tagged me FOREVER ago and I hadn't taken the time to actually admit to myself what I hate admitting to others.  So, after some careful consideration I have come up with a few things:
  1. I am ridiculously addicted to frappuccinos from Starbucks. Particularly java chip.  I know that this is silly and how do I justify spending $5 each time on the cold, refreshing, energizing, stress-releasing, keep-me-awake-all night at work, chocolaty, quasi-coffee treat?  Not sure.  
  2. I hate cleaning and cooking.  My house will never be in a magazine or be the envy of the neighboorhood as far as it's cleanliness goes (unless my husband has attacked it because he can't stand it anymore, which often is the case).  I know it is a necessary evil, but I find little motivation or reason to clean so frequently only to see it destroyed by two adorable toddlers right away.  I am getting better about this.  Upon trying to decide which 7 things to admit about myself to the world I realized this may be in part due to the fact that we now have hardwood floors that show EVERYTHING which is good and bad.  I also have a little more "free time" since I am not working full time and want to serve my husband in this way because I know he appreciates it.  Cooking is something I also am learning to enjoy a little more.  Why do I hate cooking? I hate the mess, that it might not be edible, that it takes so long, that I am scared to try new things, that I would rather play with my boys, that my husband is an AMAZING cook so why try when you are second fiddle?
  3. Contrary to the previous post...I have some OCD tendencies that involve things being picked up, put away, and organized.  The boys' toys are mostly organized into bins (cars in one, balls in one, little figurines in another, weapons in one, etc) and I am slightly, ok largely annoyed when they are not organized.  I also like my house looking neat and picked up (just don't look to close at the dust bunnies and finger prints)
  4. I wish I was a better photographer.  I love taking pictures, but they aren't anything to write home about.  I suppose I could take a class or put it on my list of things to do when the kids are grown and gone.
  5. I have control issues.  Control over the unknown, my family, life, mostly over anything and everything that I don't have control over.  God has used many wonderful people, events, and my wonderful husband to help me learn to trust and let go of this control.  I know I will be challenged even more as my children grow since I essentially have most control over what the wear, eat, do, read, watch, etc for now.  However, every time I am confronted with my control issues and I finally give them over to the Lord, again, He blesses me and showers me with His love!
  6. I love my boys to death and if that is all I have it will be fine, but I do pray for a daughter often.  Having only sisters Richard thinks I wouldn't be happy with just one and "if you give Becky a little girl, she'll ask for another so she can have a sister", which I am sure would be true, but I would be happy with just one.  I feel honored that God has chosen me to raise these two amazingly, energy filled, healthy, loving, and beautiful little guys.  I have learned a lot about boys and have a LONG way to go.  Plus, Jonah wants a little sister so why not?
  7. I have the most wonderful husband. Wait, why am I writing this on a blog dedicated to things I hate to admit?  I try to keep it on the down low so no one steals him from me!  I have known him for almost half my life and he is my best friend, lover, and soul mate.  He is an incredible father and has taught me way more about parenting than I him.  He loves the Lord and is dedicated to serving our Father and leading our family.  He loves me unconditionally and does an excellent job displaying this love for 4 little eyes to see and absorb.  He is one of the best cooks I know and delights in spending an entire day making an incredibly delicious meal for friends and family.  He hates the tv and thus insists we do not have cable and therefore, does not sit in front of the tv like a bum all the time.  He loves to be outside and spends more quality time with the boys than I probably do.  He encourages me daily to be a light, a better wife, mom and friend.  He has sacrificed so much and worked so hard to be who he is today and for our family.  He finds me irresistible and attractive despite what I think when I look in the mirror. He manages to put up with me daily (which is an accomplishment in itself). He is also very attractive and hilarious.  He loves fixing things around the house and doing it himself (which he does an excellent job on).  He makes sure I use proper grammar when speaking (he'd probably die at my improper use of English on this website though). He never makes a promise he can't or won't keep! I hope to enjoy many more years together and grow even closer. 

Whew!  I feel a little naked now ;0) I would tag some others, but I am not sure who would do this. So, instead I will leave it at that and let me know if you are up for participating. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trust

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" -Proverbs 3:5

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" -Romans 8:28

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised" -Job 1:21

This past week I have watched a beautiful man of God suffer from cancer while surrounded by his family wondering if they will be close for his last breath.  I have also seen a family lose their husband/father/friend to a heart attack. 

I have always struggled the most with trusting the Lord completely.  Fear is my biggest enemy and Satan knows it.  I have stopped trying to understand the pain and ugliness of this world and have comfort in knowing our God is a Sovereign one!

Please pray for a family as they watch their loved one die.  Please pray for another who had no time for goodbye's and lost their loved one so suddenly.

Hold your loved ones a little closer. Call and tell them how you feel. Forgive. Praise the Lord that He is in control and loves us despite our human brokenness and that he is their to hold us up when we can't do it anymore. 

Love. Trust. Praise. Pray. Live

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Here we go again...cheers to Monday and to MckMama.

I did NOT restrain my two year old this morning for an extra 20 minutes of snuggle time in bed before starting the day.

I did NOT take my toddlers to Target late at night last week knowing I had to get lots of groceries and such and act as if they were not my children when they ran screaming and being silly down a few isles as people gave them dirty looks.  I also did NOT rush to catch up with them a few isles over and divert them the other way to avoid being caught by these un-impressed fellow shoppers.

I did NOT let my boys stay up late and reward them with watching a Night at the Museum with me when I probably should have put them to bed instead, but they had been EXCELLENT at the hospital visiting Richard's uncle who was very sick.

I did NOT stop at Wendy's on the way home from an attempt to eat out with relatives in town visiting Richard's uncle that didn't work because it was getting late and get a frosty with cookie dough and wait until the boys were sleeping to eat it instead of sharing.  Hey, I did make them popcorn!

I did NOT comment on how disgusting my kitchen floor was, and how it desperately needed to be washed, drop a scoop of ice cream onto it, pick it up, and then proceed to eat it. (5 second rule)

I did NOT check MckMama's blog more than a few times this morning to see if she had posted yet so I could participate in this unbelievable denial of truth

I did NOT spend a few hours during nap time last week, instead of being productive, checking friends' blogs, searching the internet for things I don't really need, and blogging.

I did NOT pout for a little while (to myself) when our plans to visit some of our bestest friends from Iowa (who are in Minneapolis for a month) last weekend were destroyed!

I did NOT take my husband's vocab quiz he was giving his 7-9th graders today and get a C! I am definitely an A student! (That'll teach him to use me as a guinea pig again)

I did NOT let my son continue wearing costumes during the day, to sleep in, and out in public this week as he rotates through the "costume box" because he is just too darn cute!

I did NOT spend at least 20 minutes scavenging through the left over costumes at Target (on sale for $5) to find two for the boys and almost buy 3 more, but realize two was probably enough as they through a tantrum because it was well past lunch time

I did NOT go through the baby isle at least 2o times during this same trip to Target trying to decide what to get for Richard's cousin who is expecting a little girl in January and see the same person at least half of the time who saw me change my mind a million times and probably thought I was crazy! 

I did NOT curse under my breath as I ran into the pouring ran last week to make sure all the downspouts were up, and once I was completely soaked, not find it very funny when the rain stopped suddenly after I had finished.  Not funny God!  

I did NOT invite Richard's relatives over for lunch on sunday (12 or more people) and then realize I had to shower and pick up the house leaving my, yet again, AMAZING husband to brown 4 pounds of hamburger for sloppy joes, make a pan of brownies, and run to the grocery store!!!  Thanks Richard!

Until next week...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Go Vote...Get FREE Starbucks!

Go Vote today and get a FREE starbucks! You just have to go there after you voted and let them know! How sweet is that! Anyone who knows me even just a little bit already knows my secret addiction to their delicious coffee.  

Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself!   

                     


A Jonah and Elijah Sandwich

What could be better on a cool fall day than being the center of a Jonah and Elijah sandwich?  I accidentally got up to make a quick bathroom run while the boys where headed down for their nap (I worked last night and work again tonight).  They saw me and it was over!  I sent Maria (our wonderful babysitter home) and they ran and jumped in my bed.  On my days off, if I take a nap (which often is the case) we all snuggle together for nap time and I am often in the middle per their request.  Jonah has to sleep on Richard's side so he can be "just like daddy" and Elijah by default sleeps on the other side.  I hope when they are taller than me someday I can remember how sweet it was to be a Jonah and Elijah sandwich with two amazingly sweet and peaceful toddlers sleeping on each shoulder.  Too bad I couldn't sleep any longer and snuck away to get some things done. Love you boys!

I am learning to stress less about wether or not I get my list of things done (which I love making and checking off) and stress more about how much quality time I spent with those two little men during our days together. I have also realized how non-spontaneous I am and how much our boys have come to depend on the predictability of our days together.  I am stretching myself and them by throwing a curve ball every now and then.  Since we all know life is anything but predictable.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Here we are again, on Monday (my new favorite day of the week) and this wonderful denial of truth.  First, I need so praise the Lord for the birth of the beautiful and completely healthy Stellan (MckMama's little man). Go to her website and read about it, but bring some kleenex! 

I did not shriek last night (while going to the bathroom) that tomorrow is monday and scare my husband with the late night screaming!

I did not LOVE watching my boys trick-or-treating and sprinting from house to house because they were excited for the treats and because they WERE batman and robin (not Jonah and Elijah)

I did not LOVE hearing Elijah say "Robin, the boy wonder" as he ran from house to house (apparently this is a phrase from the old school batman cartoons that the boys saw when I checked it out from the library)

I did not put off putting my boys down for a nap in order to write this post.

I did not just break 3 plates reaching over the dishwasher to put them away because instead of closing the dishwasher and then doing it I pushed them and they flew through the back of the cabinet (you can open it on the other side by the table) and landed on the floor

I did not also proceed to pick the largest broken piece and throw it on the floor because I have not always wanted to do that and decided why not since I have to clean it up anyway

I did not eat at least 4 little chocolate bars from the Halloween stash while writing this post

I did not cry, again, when Jonah saw a little outfit I had bought for our friends new baby girl and asked excitedly if that was for the baby sister that Jesus was going to bring him.

I did not let my boys eat candy corn, peanuts, and fruit snacks for breakfast once this week

I did not spend 3 hours cleaning like a mad woman on Friday because 1) my husband had requested it and 2) I realized people would see it when they were trick-or-treating!

I did not let the boys stay up until 1030 on Halloween because when we came home from my parents house I decided it would be more fun to have a glowstick light show in the dark living room instead of going to bed.

Lovin' this weather in NOVEMBER!

Do you know that it is 66 degrees F in Grand Forks right now?????  The boys and I spent the morning inside playing, doing chores, etc and I was completely shocked when we headed out the door for a quick trip to the library to discover this beautiful weather.  It is pretty windy so I just guessed it was chilly.  We made the trip to the library quick (we needed to return and check out new books) so we could enjoy the beautiful day. 

***Warning: Tangent:  Here is a little part of a conversation between Jonah and I at the library. I warned them this was going to be a very little trip (usually we spend a good couple of hours there) and told them when I say it is time to go they need to say yes mom and come right away without whining. We practiced in the car and this is how it went...

Me: "Ok boys, when I say it's time to go what do you say?"
Elijah: "Yes mom, me coming"  (love this little man)
Jonah: "Okay, here's the deal mom, I will say in a minute..
Me: "Jonah, no! When I say it's time to go you need to say yes mom."
Jonah: "Mom, don't you know that in a minute is Spanish for Yes mom, I am coming right now, and I am going to obey you the first time?"
Me: "I don't think so Jonah."
Jonah: "Ok, maybe it isn't Spanish. But, that is what it means!

***End of tangent****

So when we got home Jonah wanted to have a picnic in the backyard. So, while I was making lunch he and Elijah pulled their little camping chairs outside and one for me. Needless to say, nap will be a little late today because it may very well be snowing tomorrow and we won't see this weather again until may!

If our lovely internet lets me I will post some pics later of our super picnic and this fantabulous weather. 

Friday, October 31, 2008

I love my house


At least once a day I have declared that I "love my house." It is not "finished" in the sense that we need to finish the trim, hang things on the walls, and finish unpacking boxes that are hiding in closed closets (that haunt me when I walk by but that I choose to ignore) and organize the office (which has turned into a pseudo storage room.  However, last night Richard and I were looking at some old photos/videos (making us miss Iowa and our last home) and I realized of all the rooms in our house, the living room has received the largest "makeover" I think.  I am sure the previous owners would feel more has changed, but it was kind of fun to see what we have done. 

It is slightly overwhelming to think about all we have left to do, but fun at the same time to think about getting more boxes unpacked and things organized and put away.  I would love to have things done by December but I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Here are some before and after pics. The first ones are just of the boys' room after. Then the before pic is on the left and the after on the right. 



The boys' room right after Richard put the bunkbeds together!

Looking from the kitchen to the living room (front door) before and after

Before...                                     and After!



Love my console table and mirror! Thanks honey!

Before...                                     and After!


Another after view of the living room

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caramel Apples



At MOPS last week we got to make Caramel Apples! I was so excited! What a fun treat for the season and I had wanted to do this for awhile but no one else did so I had given up on the idea. We dipped our apples in the caramel and then in chocolate chips, sprinkles, toffee pieces, or nuts. It was lots of fun and I enjoyed it so much that I made about 30 more to give to family and friends the next day! Hopefully they were good! It was truly a blessing to get to make this fun treat and give it away! The best part was it was so easy.

Not me! Monday

I LOVE MONDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a big week for MckMama (the creator of this fantabulous carnival) as her little man will make his debut this week. Pray for them if you get a chance and check out their website for details! Because I had to work the weekend and monday night I am late writing this and unfortunately won't be able to link it back. Oh well! maybe next week!


-I did not stay up late watching Iron Man with Richard when I should have been going to bed because I was sick. Nope. I did not even like the movie, nope why would I like that kind of movie!!!

- I did not get angry when I washed some super cute rugs that were in our kitchen and entry way when they bled together in the wash and came out pink instead of the reds, oranges, and greens that they were before. I did not get angry because I know I washed them with cold water and they came out steaming hot! I did not also thank him for reminding me that a ruined rug is not the end of the world!

-I certainly didn't tell my husband 1 million times that "my throat hurts soooo bad" for 3 days straight.

-I did not laugh at my children when they screamed bloody murder from the bathtub (of course I was scared someone got very hurt) when I discovered it was because Elijah had pooped in the tub again and Jonah was so grossed out he was crying hysterically and Elijah was crying like that only because Jonah was! Nope cause that would be immature and insensitive.

-I did not make my husband swear to make me join a fitness center next week and hide ice cream from me while eating an extra large bowl of ice cream

-I did not start writing this blog earlier in the week for fear I would forget all these wonderful tings I didn't do
-I was not a control freak about my child wearing his Halloween costume everywhere and then later realize how silly this was and give in
-I did not sleep all day yesterday (after working twelve hour nights) planning on getting up early to get some stuff done and then decide sleep sounded like more fun!
-I did not let my children eat left over popcorn for breakfast twice last week after Richard and I had made it the night before for a movie
-I did not get just a little jealous when one of my wonderful friends had a beautiful baby girl last week! Nope!
-I did not wish numerous times this week that I also posessed super powers like the boys thought they had while running around the house in their costumes. Like super cleaning powers, super cooking powers, super put-everything-away-that-is-still-in-boxes super powers, and super decorating powers! 'Cause that will happen!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A great race, superheroes at bedtime and the first snow


Yesterday we headed to Jamestown to watch Laura run at the state Cross Country race and she did amazing! She had her best race this season and her best finish. It was so fun to be there for this and watch her run. We have enjoyed traveling to her different races and cheering on Red River. Jonah and Elijah were running around after the race and having me and Grandma yell "Go Jonah, Go Elijah and Go Riders!" (Laura's school is the Red River Roughriders). She did her best and enjoyed her last high school race. We are so proud of you Laura! I feel bad I have missed out on so many years being down in Iowa so I am hoping to make up some lost time this year and maybe next year if she goes to UND ;0)
**************************************************************************************

If you are scared at night you may want to come sleep at our house. Elijah has been literally living in his costume (robin from batman) since it arrived and then Grandma discovered some power ranger costumes from when we were little and that has been a saving grace. I fought to let him wear it so much at first (as it is already tearing) but realized this wasn't a battle worth fighting. I have definitely gotten my money's worth out of it already and it is not even Halloween! The only exception is he has to take it off to eat and go out in public (mostly because it is too short and it is so cold out). We were able to compromise and he was ok with just wearing the belt of the costume on top of his clothes. I have to admit, I love hearing the two of them running around the house saving me from the Joker and other bad guys from batman. I am so thankful that God has given them such vivid imaginations! I think I will keep my eyes out for discounted costumes after Halloween to add to our "costume box." I am cherishing the days of hearing "robin to the rescue" and "nananana nananana batman" throughout the house. I already can't believe I will have a four year old soon! I don't even want to think about them getting much older. How great would it be if you could just put a costume on and make all your worries go away? If anyone ever finds a super mom costume let me know. I might have to invest in it for days when I am dragging and dreading my housework and other adult responsibilities. Anyone want to take bets as to how long after Halloween the costumes will be worn????



*************************************************************************************

Today we had our first snow of the year! We woke up to beautiful white fluffy flakes falling (or more like blowing) to the ground. I got a picture of it and by the time we were heading to church it was quite a bit. However, when we left church the sun had made its appearance and melted it all away. We had one pretty disappointed little man on our hands (Jonah) who was ready to dig out his winter boots, snow pants, and sled this morning when the grass was lightly dusted with snow! I explained to him that there would be plenty of snow up here in North Dakota for him to play in and he just had to be patient. Iowa City did see quite a bit of snow last winter, but I am sure we will beat that up here in the arctic! Until then I am cherishing every day that I can go outside with just my sweatshirt or fleece and be comfortable!



Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Nikki


Today is my sister's golden birthday! We had a wonderful time this past weekend when she flew in and surprised Tom for his birthday. It went fast, but it was great to see her. She is in Idaho for 12 weeks for OT school. We can't wait to have her back. I did get to call and wish her a happy birthday. Too bad we wasted so much time when we were younger fighting instead of growing closer. She is one of my best friends and I don't know what I would do without her. I love watching her with my boys and spending time together. Happy Birthday Nikki and we love you! (I was hoping to post some fun pictures, but our super speedy internet is preventing that!). Maybe later!

***Here are some fun pics from their combo bday celebration!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not me! Monday!

I have never been so excited for mondays!!!!! Here goes another dose of denial of truth thanks to Mckmama!



I did not spend at least 15 minutes complaining and saying "for the love" over and over last night at the grocery store as I stood in horror of the price for fruit in Grand Forks! I can't believe it is that much more expensive than Iowa and I can't believe that I have no control over this.



I did not let laundry sit in my washer and dryer for more than two days and I did not look think about how I should be folding/doing more laundry every time I walked by the laundry room.



I did not keep my husband up late every night this week watching movies, reading books, and just hanging out with him because he does not have to get up at 6am in the morning and go to work monday through friday. Nope.



I did not get to sleep in until 9am this week and then spend another 30 wonderful minutes laying in bed with a kid on either side of me "shooting the monsters" on the ceiling and singing songs just so we could stay in bed a little longer.



I did not neglect a long list of "to do's" this week including organizing, cleaning, and other super fun necessary evils



I did not throw a mini tantrum after my husband hung the mirror inthe living room and decided it was best to wait to hang some other things since it was lunch time, almost nap time for the boys, and we weren't 100% sure of what we wanted where. Nope I did immaturely raise my voice at him because I wanted to hang more things just to have something on the walls.



I did not have an amazing week during my quiet time upon which I have realized many areas in my life that need improvement and I did not hear God speak to me in numerous ways about these different situations.



I did not leave my husband home sunday night with a puking child and go to work and although I did feel truly sorry for him and Elijah because I wanted to be the one to take care of Elijah and feel sorry for him that he has to clean up puke, but also feel slightly relieved that I might miss out on puke patrol.



I did not wish a million times last week that I could spend time searching blogs of friends and strangers instead of doing other things.



I did not also curse our internet for being EXTREMELY slow thus preventing me from checking my email and blogging.



I did not tell myself all week that I need to go buy a pass to the gym and start working out only to put it off again, and again, and again, and again



I did not cry this week on numerous occasions thinking of how old our baby would be we lost last fall.



I did not make my children EXTREMELy late for naps this week because we spent the morning at my cousins house making halloween cookies with her kids and they were all playing so nicely and I LOVED the adult conversation, and company so much that I did not want to bring them home and put them down.



I also was not a control freak about the cookie decorating with my kids.



I did not make my husband and children drive to a pumpkin patch out of town, just an hour before it closes, after making my children have short naps because of cookie baking. Nope, that would not be wise. I also did not make the boys "pose" for a million pictures at the pumpkin patch instead of letting them just enjoy it.

Ahhh! Until next week...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remembering on October 15th

Today is the National Day of remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss. This is a loss at any stage (miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other infant death). It amazes me how many people have been affected by infant loss. Death is not something people often feel comfortably talking about as a result people who suffer an infant loss often suffer quietly.

Richard and I loss our third child last November through miscarriage. It was devastating for me and I spent many months in the darkness of depression as a result. Few people are aware of this mainly because we had kept the pregnancy a secret to surprise everyone at Richard's graduation in December. I often turn to everyone but the Lord when I am hurting and I found this an awesome opportunity to trust completely in the Lord.

This is a big step for me...even talking about this on here. God continues to heal my heart a little more every day. He is sovereign and I trust His plan. He has also walked with me during this time and wrapped His arms around me so that I may get through another day. Shortly after loosing our baby, I struggled with not knowing the sex and not having any tangible evidence our baby existed. In a series of dreams God showed me the beautiful face of a daughter who was perfect in His eyes, just not well enough to survive on this Earth. This brought peace to my soul. God also worked in amazing ways to provide wonderful friends, books, stories froth other mothers, and phone calls every time I questioned or was broken to a point where I wasn't sure I could get off my knees or stop crying. I have learned so much and I am hoping to share some of that in time.

I find comfort in knowing our precious child was a part of God's plan, I will see that little angel some day in heaven, and she did not have to suffer on this Earth at all. Selfishly I have wished for just one second to hold her, see her, and touch her. I know though, she is safe and sound in heaven perfect and whole.

Please pray with me for the families who have lost like we have. There are so many.
If you want to pray for more families please visit this website: www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com
Angie Smith has created a blog about her struggles with the loss of her daughter Audrey last April. It is an amazing story about a mother who loves the Lord.
Angie had this verse on her website which I found perfect:

…and provide for those who grieve in Zion-
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair…

Isaiah 61:2-3

Remebering.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not me! Monday

    Cheers to MckMama and another therapeutic dose of denial of truth!  

  • I certainly did not go in and work extra last Wednesday night, but only for four hours so I could get some sleep since I had to be up all day on Thursday with the boys and then come back to work Thursday night. I definitely did not stay up until 330am because I couldn't sleep and have to get up at 0630 that morning.

  • I did not spend the morning screaming at my children, only to apologize and ask for forgiveness before heading over to MOPS where God did not then speak to me about anger management at the meeting.

  • I got to watch Laura race in her regional Cross Country race on Friday and did not spend the time running around in the pouring rain pushing the boys in a stroller. Since I am not out of shape I did not almost pass out sprinting from one point to the next with them. I also did not pee my pants just a little when I was cheering her on as she sprinted to the finish. Nope, not me because as I have told Jonah many times, big girls like mommy do not pee their pants!

  • I did not take a nap with the boys every day off that I had because I certainly don't have any other responsibilities.

  • Sunday I did not spend the afternoon shopping with my mom while my wonderful husband did not clean our house. Nope!

  • I also did not allow my two toddlers to stay up past 9pm or even 10pm some nights last week because that would not be wise!
  • I did not spend the morning running errands with the boys today and have a small snack in my purse that I did not give them after each store because they were yet again angels!  I also did not let them have a snack in the car on the way home from WalMart because it was not almost 1  1/2 hours after their "normal" lunch/nap time just in case they fell asleep on the way home!
  • I did not spend the morning laying on the couch with the boys while they climbed all over me and fought over who got to snuggle with mommy and I did not love every minute of it. It would not have been smarter to get up and get ready so we could get out the door sooner.
  • I did not tell my 3 1/2 year old to pick his gum off the floor at a store today and when he put it back in his mouth I did not just let him do it and keep walking because I did not want the other mothers to know I had allowed this.  That would not be disgusting or anything and there are definitely not any germs on the floor!
  • I did not cry while my two boys talked about how they want Jesus to bring them a baby sister to play with and how they would push her in the swing at the park, feed her a bottle with milk, and sing her to sleep.  I also did not pray with Jonah when he asked me to pray for a sister after I had already told him only Jesus gets to decide if/when/and who the next little Dafoe will be. 
  • I did not pray that, if at all possibly, God could just let our boys be little forever, because that would be silly and obviously not possible!

Feels so good!  I now view mondays in a new light. A new week, a new day, and a new way to share my shortcomings from the previous week, encouraging myself to be a better mother, wife, and friend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Anger Management and A Sneaky God

I write this with tears streaming down my face because I have been humbled (yet again) by the love and sneakiness (is this a word?) of the Lord. Today was the first day I was able to attend MOPS. For those of you who don't know what this is, it stands for Mothers Of Preschoolers, and is an international organization and basically a place where moms can get together and encourage one another and learn together. Check it out at http://www.mops.org/ In Grand Forks, they meet twice a month for about 2 hours and daycare is provided, while we moms get to have a wonderful breakfast, some well deserved fellowship time, and a lesson pertinent to surviving motherhood.

I have to admit I was a little nervous to go. For those of you who know me well enough you are probably thinking huh? like I was when I first felt this. A) I am a very outgoing person who is rarely scared of a "group" setting and B) I love fellowship and an opportunity to make new friends. So why was I nervous? After a little QT with JC (quiet time with Jesus Christ) I realized I wasn't scared to go because I thought I wouldn't be accepted. Who else would be more welcoming than a group of moms who know firsthand the struggles of motherhood: keeping sane while responsibly raising your full-of-energy children to become respectful, loving, followers of Christ, while loving your husband, caring for your home, and working? I think this group is the most accepting because we all know how this job (motherhood) is by far the hardest, most time consuming, important thing we will ever do. When you become a mother you learn things about yourself you probably didn't want to know. This is why I was scared. I have felt led to be a part of MOPS for a few years now and my wonderful work schedule had never allowed for it. I now know God was calling me here because he knew I needed it. I was scared to face my faults, flaws and failures as a mother.

Back to the story...so the morning was spent with raised voices, crying children and timeouts. The boys woke up well and started out playing nicely (which led hurricane Jonahelijah coming through) and had a mental breakdown when I told them they needed to pick up all their toys. I have started rotating toys so the boys think their old toys are more fun cause they are in storage for a bit before being played with again. I have been reinforcing a new rule where they need to put things away before taking out something else. If they don't follow through the toys end up in timeout and are taken away until they are willing to pick them up. Fortunately we have never reached this point...until this morning. So, I had to follow through and take them away. Yikes! Then, I would normally allow them to watch a bit of a movie while I get ready, but this is not allowed when you have two boys who have disobeyed. To make a long story short, I was frustrated because we were late, the morning started off poor and I was angry with myself for loosing my cool. I have been praying a lot for help with my anger and temper with the boys lately. I feel often it stems from my lack of sleep due to my odd hours and their desire for my attention. Once in the car, ready to go, I asked for the boys forgiveness and prayed we would have a better day.

Here comes the part about God being sneaky. What do you think MOPS was about today? Yep. Anger Management Baby! I was welcomed by many warm smiles and felt a lot easier once I got there. I was also nervous about leaving Elijah because he is very clingy when I am home and just misses me. He wanted to be a "big boy" and go with Jonah, but survived in the room with his fellow two year olds. Then, when the speaker came up to share about Anger Management I almost burst into tears because God is soooooo good!

The speaker did a great job helping us moms recognize our own anger and troubleshoot how to prevent situations form occuring. She offered multiple alternatives to things I often do which do not help the situation when my children and/or myself are angry. She helped us all think about our children and helping them recognize the anger and how to handle it. Then, one of the best parts was afterwards moms asking questions and sharing their own discipline/anger struggles related to their children and what has worked for them. If their is one thing I have learned about motherhood is that you can read a million books and think you are ready for that little one, but the truth is you aren't. God has given me the priviledge of being a mother to Jonah, Elijah and hopefully other children someday. I get paid in hugs and kisses and the joy of watching my children grow and expeirience the world.

I am going to try to implement my new techniques and will let you know how it goes. One thing I have done is encourage Jonah to remind me to pray when I get angry and upset. It's one thing to remember it yourself, but when your 3 year old tells you to take a deep breath and pray to Jesus to help you through your frustrations it is totally different.

One of the books that was recommended by one mom (which I am curious to check out) was called "creative correction" and is supposed to be creative alternatives for your children during discipline/anger issues and bible verses to accompany it. http://www.creativecorrection.com/

I am turning over a new leaf, and I am sure this will take time, but I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!