Saturday, March 28, 2009


This week I have been able to enjoy a longer quiet time than I usually am allowed.  As a result of this, I have spent more time on my knees, with a quiet heart, and open ears.  My heart has been burdened for Stellan (whose little heart has been in SVT for days), for the flooding victims up here who are evacuating their homes and have no where to go, and other prayer requests that have been brought to me. As I have been on my knees praying for these things and more, Satan has tried to fill my body with anxiety.  The Lord is good, however, and quickly calms my nerves and fills me with an indescribable peace. I have also been praying fervently for desires of my own heart. Desires for more children.  

I have shared before how the Lord often uses things in my daily life to speak to me.  He has done so this week so loudly that it has knocked me flat on my face at His feet.  I have felt my control over everything being pulled away from me as I have slowly allowed the Lord to carry my hearts desires.  I have felt peace, as more is given.  

As I was doing a devotional from my wonderful book, 10-Minute Time Outs for Moms by Grace Fox, this week I was humbled.  I had just prayed for God to help me give Him the desires of my heart and praying for peace and understanding as I wait for His plan to unfold, rather than trying to take control. The devotion that day was titled the Script Writer. (On a side note, I do not always take time for this daily so some days I do more than one, there is no rhyme or reason to when I do one from this book).  Grace pointed out that God writes our life's script. Although we don't always agree and wonder if He has taken a break and picked up Starbucks and a good book and forgotten us. That is NOT the case.  I will just share what she wrote next, as I can not do it justice:

"Some days we feel like grabbing the pen from His almighty hand and editing out the parts we don't like. But as we relinquish control, we find peace and joy in Him rather than in circumstances.  We discover His wisdom, patience, love, faithfulness, and strength.  As we grow in our knowledge of God and obey His word, our faith blossoms. Our negative or critical thought patterns change to thanksgiving and praise.  We begin to see our life's script in light of eternity, from God's perspective."

Wow!  God is so sneaky!  He has been teaching me these things for some time now and right when I am at my breaking point, He gently reminds me of these tools and pushes me forward.  

If that wasn't enough, while I was reaching this point of enlightenment, the song Surrender by Barlow Girl came on.  I had changed/added music to my playlist on my blog (at the bottom) just a few days earlier.  I had never heard the song before and listened to only a few lines before adding it and reminding myself to really listen to it later.  It also came on while I was writing this post.  Coincidence? I think NOT!  The music is set to random so that each time my blog is opened it will start at a new song. If you aren't familiar with this song, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select it.  I truly listened to this beautiful song with tear stained cheeks and blurry vision. Here are the lyrics if you are interested. 

I have so much to learn and am trying, as hard as I can, to patiently wait on the Lord.  I know He is the great author of my life.  I know He has a plan for me that is greater than anything I can imagine.  Is it what I would have written for myself? Probably not. Is that ok. Yes!  Will my days of waiting be filled with days of tears and days of smiles. Probably. I feel so blessed to know the Lord and have Him by my side. I will Praise Him for my trials and Praise Him for this time, and wait as I surrender to Him. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it March?

If I wasn't here I wouldn't believe it either!  Not that having snow in March is unusual for North Dakota, but that just 3 days ago the snow had completely melted and now we have feet of it again!  Our yard was completely visible, although it wasn't very pretty and was a mother's worst nightmare. Mud, slush, wet grass, puddles, and some magnetic force that drew my children to it.  We spent days splashing in the puddles, wearing only a fleece and hat, and enjoying the 40 degree + weather. It was beautiful!  

If you aren't aware the massive melting has caused a slight problem with the already swollen river. It is rising and there is fear of a flood like the one in 1997 that destroyed our city but not our souls and hearts.  On a side note, Iowa City/Cedar Rapids experienced the worst flood they had in years last June right before we moved away.  It was heart wrenching to watch and Richard and I both experienced Deja Vu as we sat helplessly watching homes, businesses, and the city be destroyed. 

Honestly, I am a little nervous. The city has prepared, but God is bigger than any flood wall and pile of sandbags. Only He knows what is in store for our community.  I do feel partly responsible for the massive amounts of snow that we have received over the past two days.  When everything had melted I was missing the beautiful white snow.  Don't get me wrong, Spring is great, but until the flowers and green grass, it isn't so fun to look at. Tuesday evening it began snowing so lightly and beautifully. When we went to bed the ground was barely covered and it stopped.  I thanked the Lord for the snow, since I had prayed for just one more snow. Was I surprised to wake up on Wednesday morning to schools cancelled and FEET of snow!  

Here are some fun pictures of our recent snow adventures.  I am sure those of you who live in warmer climates (Travis) are probably laughing.  Jonah, was in fact ecstatic to see the snow and get out his snow gear and play. Enjoy the pics and a good laugh on our behalf! 

Elijah sampling the fresh snow, Jonah relaxing a little. 

Richard almost done shoveling!  The boys trying to catch snowflakes on their tongue
Our front yard that was snowless a few days prior. This second one is hard to see due to the blizzardlike conditions!

More pics of the feet of snow in the front and back yard. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snow Day and Green Eggs and Ham

Today was a snow day for us. Well, the boys and I were home anyway, but we got to spend it with Richard because school was cancelled due to the snow!  We had a great day shoveling, relaxing, making cookies, and marveling at the snow. I will put up some fun snow pics later, but here are a few pics from our day together. 

Richard and Elijah watching Batman.  Elijah "reading" in the bathroom while he was supposed to be trying to go potty. 

**I made the boys green eggs for supper and they had some ham with it. We were originally going to do this for "Patrick's Day" but had chicken instead. Jonah read the story to Elijah while I cooked it up and it was adorable!  It looked pretty gross to me, but they gobbled it right up!***

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stellan Name Gallery Part II

Praying for God to "Drive" away the SVT! (From ND)
God is in control. God has a plan for Stellan. Millions are on their knees in prayer for little Stellan and MckMama. Last August when doctor's did not think this precious boy would survive, people from all over the world began sending pictures of his name in food, nature, and many other things. Stellan's Gallery was created and became a testimony of many who were praying for this little man. A fellow MckMama blog follower, Lauren, has created Stellan's Gallery: PART II

It is easy to do and a great way to encourage their family. Simply take a picture of his name, in your own creation, post it to your blog, link your blog back to hers, and there you have it. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pray for Stellan!

If you are reading this than please drop to you knees in prayer for Stellan.  If you are a frequent visitor of my blog, you know that usually I participate in Not Me Mondays created by MckMama. Her sweet baby boy had SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) in utero and wasn't expected to survive. God performed a miracle and "healed" him against medical odds!  However, Stellan has had one other run in with SVT since birth when he had RSV this winter. Now it is raging it's ugly head again and they are in the hospital trying to stop his racing heart. It is beating 300 bmp at times.  This condition is not safe for a baby and their could be grave consequences if this does not stop. 

She has not updated her blog for quite sometime so I am not sure of what is happening. I know they have tried numerous procedures and medications to try to stop it and they have not worked. 

Lord, we come to you now and fall to our knees for baby Stellan. We know that you are powerfull and ultimately in control. This is a part of your plan for Stellan and although we can not understand we trust you. Please wrap your arms around Stellan and slow his racing heart Lord. Give his family peace and hold them up as the unknown continues. We love you Lord and thank you for being a God we can come to anytime. In your precious name,

Friday, March 20, 2009

So Sweet

Jonah, Elijah and I were just eating a delicious lunch of mac & cheese and hot dogs when Jonah said something that made me tear up.  He was babbling about randomness and Elijah and I were just listening when all of the sudden he said he wished he was a grown up so he could get married to Elijah.  I explained that we aren't allowed to marry our immediate relatives and he thought about this for awhile and then with a huge smile on his face asked if I would help him do something when he was all grown up. I said sure, but what is it?

He said, "Mom, will you help me find a girl to marry who is just like you?" I was too choked up to speak and he continued with, "'cause I can't marry you, but I hope someday the girl I will marry will be just like you."  I told him I would be more than happy to do that, but God has already picked out someone special for him. He said it would be ok if I still helped him find his wife, 'cause maybe God doesn't know he wants one just like me.  (Isn't that sweet? I am sure he will feel differently when he gets older and is actually searching for a future spouse, but I will gently remind him of his desires as a 4 year old).

Just had to post this so I wouldn't forget later!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Making Cookies and Memories

Some of my favorite memories of my childhood revolve around making cookies with my mom.  She used to let us help from the beginning to the end.  We made all kinds of cookies, but my favorite was when we made sugar cookies and decorated them. We would do this almost every Christmas and some holidays in between.  My mom would make frosting and divide it up, color it, and let us go to town.  For Christmas a few years ago, I found a box of 100 cookie cutters for $10 and gave it to Jonah.  We have used the cookies cutters for play-doh and cookies.  There are letter, numbers, shapes, and all sorts of other cookie cutters.  

I have started making cookies with the boys for different holidays/occasions.  They love it!  It is such a fun time and extra special to me since it is one of my favorite memories of growing up. 

Yesterday we made some cookies for friends who watched the boys last week while Richard and I went to my sister Laura's choir concert.  Jonah helped me while Elijah was still napping and he woke up just in time to frost them.  Jonah and I had some fun conversations while it was just the two of us and he told me this was one of his favorite things to do with me! 

I took some pictures and Jonah and Elijah took turns wearing our little apron we found at the farmers market last summer. We'll have to keep our eyes peeled for another one!

The Chefs. (I think Elijah is "winking" in his picture)

The Thank You cookies for the Fetch's and a few of our beautiful Shamrock/flower/musical note cookies.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy "Patrick's Day"

Jonah has been counting down the day to "Patrick's Day" as he calls it!  I am not sure why though. I have had some adorable shamrock decorations (yep, the ones from TJ Maxx) up for awhile.

 After he inquired about them I picked up a book at the library explaining St. Patrick's Day.  Ever since he has been pumped for the green holiday.  

We started out the day by heading to a water park in town at a newer hotel, the Canada Inn.  I dragged my sister Nikki along, who had lots of fun by the way, and we met up with some of my friends from work and their kiddos.  They had a special and it was only $10 for all 4 of us to swim instead of almost $30!  The picture below is only a small part of the park, but where we spent most of our time. (I took it form the hotel's website)

After swimming, we grabbed some lunch and had a picnic at Nikki's apartment. Then I raced home and got the boys down for their naps. After naps we were able to visit with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins who were passing through town.  Then, we had our some good friends (The Fialas) over for chicken on the grill. We had a great time visiting and eating, although it did get a little late. For dessert I made the boys green ice cream, which impressed Jonah.  Don't tell him it was just vanilla with food coloring.  He thinks I have super powers! It was a fun filled day, but he was pretty disappointed to wake up the next morning and discover "Patrick's Day" is just once a year!  Hopefully next year will be just as exciting for him!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not me! Monday

It is NOT monday and I am NOT excited to share in MckMama's denial of truth, as I have missed a few weeks due to my crazy schedule.  Please join in the carnival of fun and remember all the things you did NOT do last week.
  1. I did NOT hold off writing this post because it is NOT my 100th post!  I did not decide it would be appropriate to use this post to celebrate that.
  2. I did NOT go for a walk with the boys and my sister today, since it is NOT 40 degrees!  We (my sister and I) did NOT have just as much fun wearing our puddle boots as Jonah and Elijah did splashing in the puddles while we chatted.
  3. I did NOT take the boys to walmart last week after MOPS at 1130, even though this was against my better judgement, and bribe them to remain in the cart with lifesavers that our table had won that day! 
  4. I did NOT spend 3 solid days watching batman on the couch with boys when Elijah had the flu. Nope, because I certainly couldn't have been getting anything done instead.
  5. I did NOT lie to my son when he caught me throwing away piles of his "artwork" which I had already spent at least 20 minutes sorting through. I did NOT tell him that I spilt a drink all over them and that is why I was throwing them away and he did NOT want to see them anyway. I did NOT feel extremely  guilty for not just telling the truth, but was relieved when the garbage can stench made him gag and prevented him from discovering the truth!
  6. I did NOT force my 2 1/2 year old to sit on the toilet on more than one occasion this week when I was sure he was trying to poop.  He did NOT, both times, manage to get more poop all over himself and the floor than in the toilet. I did NOT wonder if God was laughing at me since I was trying to force him to potty train because he seems so ready but is just too stubborn!
  7. I did NOT read 5 books last week because I could hardly put them down, and would stay up very late doing so. (I love Karen Kingsbury). I did NOT agree to stop doing this because my sleep deprivation was getting the best of me, and manage to read another one last night and today. Bummer!
  8. I did NOT use my new cleaning organizing system, Spring Clean Year 'Round, and absolutely love it (Thank you Cindy)!  It was NOT totally freeing, like the product claims to be and easy to use. My kids did NOT love helping me too!
  9. I did NOT buy a bag of dark chocolate M&Ms and eat them almost by myself in the span of 2 weeks! 
  10. I did NOT have to drag my sons kicking and screaming from the daycare at the gym I workout at because they did not want to leave! I was NOT the only mom whose children cried when she came to get them instead of leave them!
  11. I am NOT going to take a nap now instead of doing other things that are more important.  I am also probably NOT tired from staying up late reading my book!
Here is to a new week and hopefully Spring around the corner!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flashback Friday

I know Friday is almost over, but here is a little flashback...

  Wednesday somehow the topic of eating dog food came up with the boys, Richard and myself, and my grandpa Tony.  We were getting ready to eat supper and I believe my Grandpa was teasing the boys about what they were eating and if it was dog food.  Jonah was disgusted by this thought and was repulsed that some people have eaten dog food.  Apparently Richard was frequently found at the dog dish as a child munching on some kibbles 'n bits if he needed a little snack. (For those of you who know Richard this probably won't be a surprise because he does eat ANYTHING).  The picture above is actually Elijah, at my parents house, getting into their dog's food.  I don't think he had eaten very much of it when we found him, but I did have to take the picture of course.  Jonah was still disgusted by the thought of eating dog food and Elijah seemed to find slight pleasure in the thought. That isn't surprising either I guess.  

Too bad I don't have the picture of Richard snacking away to post on here. Now that would be fun!  I guess I better be careful if we ever get a dog, although it can't be that bad for you...can it?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Where is Spring?

I had wanted to post these pictures last week, but due to my poor little Elijah getting so sick and puking for 4 days I am a little behind. 

It was unusually warm last week (30-40s) and I sent the boys out to play one day before lunch while I cleaned up a bit and got lunch ready.  They were in the backyard playing and I could easily keep an eye on them from the kitchen.  (One of the features of our house we loved, plus the fenced in backyard). 

Jonah came in and told me had a great idea and that we could have a picnic, because it was so nice out. I told him that despite the balmy temps (34 degrees) we would have to post pone our picnic until later. He was a little disappointed, but ran back outside to play. 

At one point after that, I looked outside and saw this...

It made me smile as they pulled their chairs all over the yard and tipped their heads back to catch some rays on their face. Only instead of being able to bask in the sunshine they would tip over into the snow! They were laughing so hard I thought they were going to have a seizure!

I didn't pay attention to the weather forecast for this week since I was tending to a patient at home all weekend.  I was hopeful for weather similar to last week so we could enjoy it outside instead of from the couch with puke buckets, but when I looked outside this morning this is what I saw...

Definitely NOT spring weather, in fact we are at the beginning of a blizzard warning for the next few days!  However, the snowflakes falling this morning were some of the largest  I have seen in a long time!  How beautiful it was and I found myself marveling in the beauty of the Lord.  Like the fresh snow, making everything pretty and white when we least expect it. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Puke patrol

So last night I got a call at work from Richard (who never calls unless there is an emergency) and he told me Elijah was puking! Sunday he called to tell me Jonah had swallowed a penny! Good thing I don't work more ;0)  

My wonderful husband called in sick to work and stayed up all night (literally) to be on puke patrol with Elijah while I stayed at work. I came home slept for a few hours and got up for an appointment leaving him on puke patrol still.  He did an excellent job taking care of my baby while I couldn't and now I am taking over while he returns to work tomorrow. 

Thanks Richard for being such a great daddy, husband and puke policeman!  I love watching you care for our boys, even when it isn't so fun.  

Tomorrow I have a feeling I will be washing a lot of laundry and watching a lot of batman!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Train your Brain to Praise His Name

I have shared often how much I enjoy hearing God speak to me when I am struggling with something and He goes to great lengths to get my attention.  He usually uses people, books, music, phone calls, etc throughout a matter of days/weeks to help me understand something He is trying to teach me.  

For awhile now I have been working on Praising the Lord not just when things are good, or when he answers a prayer, or for blessings, but to do this when it is the last thing I want to do.  It isn't easy.  A few months ago I found myself coming to Him in prayer more and feeling my relationship blossom, but realizing that I need to Praise the Lord for the tough stuff too. 

I think this change of heart and new way of thinking has been fruit of losing Grace and the inability to get pregnant since.  I have been really focusing on training my brain to do what is least natural for me when I am frustrated, depressed, sad, angry, or just having a bad day.  When all I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs, cry, run away, or hide from whatever isn't desirable at the time instead I Praise His Name.  

Like I said before, it isn't easy.  It has been a struggle to say the least, but God is good.  I have fallen to my knees in my darkest hours and instead of  questioning my Savior or my situation, I thank Him.  This has transformed from major issues I struggle with to daily struggles.  So as I Praise His Name for my child in heaven and empty womb I am also Praising Him for rough days with toddlers, road rage, burnt dinner, being late because I had to change a poopy diaper as we were walking out the door, sleepless nights, and much more.  

As I train my brain to do what is so hard, I find my first reaction is often Praising the Lord in these situations instead of cursing under my breath or clenching my jaw.  I haven't perfected this yet and I am sure I never will, but every day is a new day and every day is another chance to try this new way of thinking.  Each day the Lord is making this easier for me. Of course there are times where it just feels good to let out a scream, have a good cry, or vent to a great friend too.

How has God been letting me know I am on the right track?  He has used Jonah, who I did briefly discuss this with awhile ago.  I told him I was working on saying thank you to Jesus for days that are hard or things that make me sad because He is always there and will help me feel better.  Jonah has reminded me a time or two when my first reaction isn't to Praise. I also bought a devotional for mom's a few weeks ago and guess what yesterday's devotional was about? Yep, praising the Lord when it's the last thing you want to do. I also heard Him in the car the other day when I had initially turned the radio off for my ride home from work and turned it on just minutes before pulling into the driveway.  I was feeling sorry for myself and frustrated, but decided to praise the Lord for the situation rather than be angry at it.  After some praising I turned the radio on and heard Casting Crowns' Praise You In this Storm. (I listened to this song a lot after my miscarriage and found comfort from it.  It also came on the radio the day we found out the Kochan family had lost Avery tragically last May.) 

Not until that moment did I truly realize what the Lord had been trying to teach me since.  (If you aren't familiar with that song it is in my playlist at the bottom of this blog.)  The chorus is what hits home and causes me to tear up every time:

And I'll praise you in this storm
        and I will lift my hands
        for You are who You are
        no matter where I am
        and every tear I've cried
        You hold in your hand
        You never left my side
        and though my heart is torn
        I will praise You in this storm

Will you join me and Train Your Brain to Praise His Name? Let me know if you're up for the challenge so I can pray for you too!