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:
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


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 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 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.

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!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lessons from my sons

So yesterday I had a wonderful day with my boys...if only I could just be home every day and soak up their love for life, the excitment they get when they discover something they can do, and how proud they are to show me. We spent the morning at home just playing, then went and ran a few errands. They were both ANGELS! I was quite shocked, but prayed a quick "thanks Jesus" each time we successfully left another store without a broken item, tantrum, escape, or just a discipline session. Our last stop was Target (surprise, surprise) and on our way out the parking lot we saw a couple standing on the side of the road with a "hungry, will work for..." sign.

***Let me take a time out and explain that a few weeks ago we encountered the same senario and Jonah was of course full of questions about this. He wondered why the man didn't just go to Target and get a snack like fruit snacks or cookies. I tried to explain that this man probably didn't have any money, which Jonah followed with "maybe he doesn't know where the bank is? Should we show him the way mom?". We had a very in depth discussion about why a person may not have food, money, a place to live, why mom and dad have to work, etc. He wanted to give the man something, and at the time I did not have anything to give***

So back to my story, Jonah saw the sign and said, "Hey mom, that man is hungry can we give him some food?" I had already turned the corner and thought for a minute about just going home, but Jonah persisted that we could give him our bananas we had just bought. So we made a full circle and I got out and gave the very thankful couple our bananas. Once back in the car, Jonah said "Good job mom! Hey, know what else we can do?" (this kind of a question always makes me a little nervous as I am never sure what he thinks of) "We could pray to Jesus so that man has a house and food!"

Wow! So, we pulled over and my 3 1/2 year old son prayed for the "banana man" and we had another discussion about being like Jesus. Jonah followed it up with "Jesus is happy right now isn't he mom? 'Cause we gave that man our bananas?" ***When the boys make a poor decision (disobeying, hurting each other, etc.. we talk about if the choice was one that would make Jesus happy or sad).

Thanks Jonah for helping me remember that loving Jesus is rarely comfortable. It means getting out of the car and stopping traffic to spread His love. Even if you are late for lunch/naps because you spent too much time looking at things you can't buy! I know we will encounter this situation again and maybe next time I can JUMP out of my comfort zone and pray with the poor souls who are standing, waiting for handouts. I encourage you all to look for the uncomfortable situations to love and share the love of Jesus!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Questions from a toddler

So Jonah has been asking me some very interesting questions and I wanted to share them with you. (if anyone knows the answers please let me know so I can share them with him)

(while I was putting helping him get dressed putting a t-shirt then a long sleeved shirt on) Jonah: Mom, why do I need two shirts?

Me: It is cold right now, honey, and it will warm up later so when you get hot we can take it off.

Jonah: Why don't we wear two pair of pants? Or I could wear shorts under and if I get hot I could take the pants off.

Me: Good question, I guess it might not be as comfortable and I think it is easier to just wear a tshirt and long sleeve and pants

Jonah: But it is easier to pull of your pants than take of a shirt.

Me: True. That is just how life is I guess. We wear two shirts and one pair of pants.

Jonah: (while putting a hand on my shoulder) Sometimes you just need one mom, and have to trust that its enough.

I guess I hadn't thought of this before and decided it was not worth arguing over so that was the end of the two shirt, on pair of pants conversation.


This next one occurred right before we went to our new Pediatrician for Elijah's 2 year check up.

Me: Jonah and Elijah we are going to the doctor today for Elijah to make sure he is healthy.

Jonah: Do I get a turn? ( our previous pediatrician would "check" Jonah over when we were there for Elijah so he would feel included. Will I get an owie? (shot)

Me: No, you won't have a turn and no you shouldn't get an owie.

Jonah: Did Dr. Miller move to this town too?

Me: No, we are going to have a new doctor in our new town. His name is Dr. Lunn.

Jonah: He is a boy! Boys can be doctors too??? (our previous MD was a female and I guess it never occurred to me that Jonah had not seen very many male physicians before)

Me: Yes, boys can be doctors too! (never thought I would have this conversation with my son)

Jonah: (to Elijah) I never knew....that doctors could be boys too. Did you know Elijah?

Elijah: uh-huh


The following conversation occurred between the boys before falling asleep last night.

Jonah: I am scared, I want to sleep in your bed, I want the light on.

Elijah: Jonah go to sleep. God is so Big. He will keep you safe. God is so big.

Jonah: Oh, thanks little buddy. Good night.

***Lately for songs before bed we have been singing twinkle little rock star (the air guitar version) and God is so big (a song Jonah loved when Grandma Irene sang it to him once and now Elijah is hooked)*****

Here it is if you want to hear it: My God is so Big

Not Me! Monday (on thursday???)

One of the blogs that I love reading (a mother of 3 soon to be 4 children who loves the Lord) and encourages me to be a better mom, wife and follower. She started a blog carnival of denial-truth. She calls it "being brutally honest and living to tell about it." You can hopefully follow a link on my blog to MckMamas. It is surprisingly therapeutic and fun so I wanted to join in. Just read the rest and you will get the picture! I hope you join in the fun as well...

  1. No I did NOT write this on Thursday because I did not want to admit my inept computer skills and it has taken me a few days to figure out how to do it.
  2. No I did NOTlet my children watch a movie on monday morning while I dozed in and out on the couch because we had a blast in MN all weekend with our great friends Will and Kate and I did not stay up late every night and get up early and brought upon myself this sleep deprived state.
  3. No I did NOT have on of the worst days in my history as a mother last Friday upon which I spent the morning yelling, spanking and sending my kids to timeout. And my 3 1/2 year old did Not tell me tha the hated me and wanted a new family that was nicer to him and a new mommy. Nope, not my sweet 3 1/2 year old who always obeys me and never does anything wrong!
  4. No I did NOT make my husband feel worse when he lost his wallet by asking him more than once why he put his wallet on top of the car after getting gas on our trip home from MN. Of course he did not already feel bad about it! (He found it the next day on the on ramp to the interstate just feet from the gas station. Everything was present, a little bent, but present. God is soooo Good!)
  5. No I did NOT spend the other evening reading tons of blogs and surfing the internet while my husband was out for his daily hour plus run instead of doing things more productive like cleaning or super fun things like folding clothes.
  6. No I did NOT spend the WHOLE day in my pajamas on monday
  7. No I did NOT want to sell my 3 1/2 year old on sunday when we were at the Mall of America and he was having a world record breaking tantrum because we only went on one ride and he wanted to go on another one and meet sponge bob. He was Not doing this because his father and I kept him up past his naptime so we could go to IKEA and have a few more hours with our friends Will and Kate before heading back to ND. Nope, I am sure that had nothing to do with it.
  8. No I did NOT order the last Karen Kinsbury book "Sunset" instead of waiting an incredibly long time for our library to get it in. Nope, because this is the 14th book of the series and I don't own any of the other books, so it would be silly to own only the last one right?
  9. No I did NOT take a nap in the car on the way to Minneapolis and the way back while my amazingly wonderful husband drove because I wasn't tired and neither was he!

Wow! That feels good! I hope you can find time for this therapeutic blogging adventure also. If I am able to figure this out, I will hopefully be able to do this on monday next week!