Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Graduation fun!

I have lots of blogging to catch up on...but for now just a few quick updates so I don't get too far behind!

Over Memorial Day weekend my baby sister graduated from high school!  I can hardly believe it still!  I am 7 years older than Laura and I vividly remember overhearing my mom tell her sister on the phone she was pregnant and being so excited. My mom told me not to tell a soul and I of course kept that promise for a whole 20 minutes until I ran across the street and told my best friend Michael.  I did tell him not to tell anyone at least!  I remember feeling her kick inside my mom's tummy and the moment I finally got to hold her in the hospital.  I remember feeling so proud and wondering if this beautiful, perfect little baby was really MY baby sister!  

I have always been close to Laura which may be due to our age gap, or perhaps that she just might be my clone.  God has blessed me with amazing little sisters!  Laura, even though so much younger than myself, has always encouraged me with her faith and heart for the Lord.  She is mature beyond her years and I look forward to becoming closer over the years.  She will be at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in the fall studying graphic design and spanish.  I am glad she will only be an hour away!  It was wonderful to be here for her senior year and catch a glimpse of this beautiful young woman who has replaced the tiny baby sister I held almost 19 years ago!

Congrats Laura! I am so proud of you and can hardly wait to watch the Lord use you for His kingdom.  Don't let anyone change who you are and keep your eyes on his plan. 

(I will post more pics later of the weekend fun)

Friday, May 22, 2009

My love is like a red, red rose.

Today I received a gift that melted my heart and warmed my soul.  My husband gave me one of the most precious gifts he has ever given.  A dozen roses and a box of chocolate.  

I know many people find chocolate and flowers lame or generic.  To me it means the world.  In previous posts I have eluded to the fact that my wonderful husband does not like giving fresh cut flowers as gifts.  One because they are expensive, and two because they will die soon.  He is also not a frequent materialistic gift giver.  He prefers to demonstrate his love by serving and sharing his time.  This I love about him.  He is also what I like to call a "frugal realist" who very carefully decides what to spend his money on and this rarely includes frivolous purchases such as flowers.  This I love about him also. 

However, my love language is gifts.  I LOVE giving them and I love receiving them!  Due to the above mentioned facts, I appreciate any gifts from my husband so much more.

So, when I saw a delivery van pull up to my house and a large bouquet of beautiful roses and a bag leave the van I did experience a little bit of jealousy as I assumed they were for a neighbor.  Then the lady walked towards my house and I was in shock. As soon as she left I had tears running down my face as I read the message attached.  

They are beautiful and smell magnificent!  The chocolates are delicious also. Funny how I managed to select the most delicious one on my first pick (dark chocolate with dark chocolate filling).  

I am going to enjoy every second of this beautiful gift.  I am going to be smiling every time I pass by them.  I am going to thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful man who can see right into my soul and loves me unconditionally. 

Love is like a rose.  

So tender and beautiful needing to be cared for so it can grow.

Only then will it blossom and share it's beauty for all to see. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


These are my beautiful sisters. I love them. So glad to be close to them both.
I pray we will only become closer over the years.
"She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, somone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorny, your personal press agent, even your shrink. She is your sister"
-adapted from a quote by Barbara Alpert

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me! Monday

"It's just another Not Me! Monday..." Yahoo! Cheers to MckMama and her brilliant denial of truth blog carnival. I look forward to getting a few things of my chest every monday. Join in the fun and have a few laughs on my behalf while you are at it!
  • I did NOT cut 10 inches off my hair last week and donate it to locks of love! I did NOT blog about it either! I do NOT totally LOVE my new hair and have contemplated leaving it this short for awhile!

  • I did NOT have a nostalgic weekend and feel my mother hen instincts at full force while I watched my little sister graduate with her Masters, and many of my baby sister's farewells to high school (band concert, choir concert, soccer games, etc). I was NOT emotional at all and did NOT cry at any of these functions!
  • I did NOT send my kids out to check the weather before we got dressed this morning only to discover the following scene when they did not return...

  • I did NOT allow them to play outside in their pjs for another 30 minutes while I threw a load of laundry in, checked my email, cleaned up the kitchen, and dug out some shorts for them.
  • I did NOT find the following mess in my kitchen while the boys were supposed to be "getting dressed"...can you guess how this happened?
  • ...this did NOT scar my 4 year old who was being hit in the back by my 2 year old with a diaper full from the night before when it exploded all over. He is not still frightened from a flying poop episode previously mentioned in a Not Me! Monday post.
  • I did NOT mutter a few inappropriate words under my breath, spend 30 minutes cleaning up the above mess, and thank God there wasn't poop in that diaper!
  • I did NOT hear Jonah sternly tell Elijah "Watch where you are! I could have stepped on you" yesterday when Elijah was laying on the floor in front of the front door. I did NOT love this because I do NOT frequently have to tell Jonah "watch where you are going" when we are in public as he runs into people, things, and walls.
  • I did NOT vacuum sand out of Elijah's bunk bed (from frequent trips to the park over the past few days) last night rather than changing his sheets. Nope! What kind of mother would do such a thing!
  • I did NOT become teary eyed yesterday when my boys picked a LARGE hand full of dandelions for me outside at my sister's graduation party. This was NOT extra special because I LOVE flowers. Due to my husband's inability to see the purpose of purchasing cut flowers for me "because they will just die" soon after, I REALLY appreciate any flowers (even dandelions).
  • I did NOT sneakily throw them in the garbage when I got home last night feeling proud I was able to do this unnoticed.
  • I did NOT get caught today when Jonah asked me where the flowers where that they picked "expspecially" for me! After stomping and tears, I was not redeemed when I sent them out to pick the few dandelions in our yard! Whew! I did NOT snap this adorable picture to remember this sweet moment.

(I would never admit that 90% of this post happened today and motivated me to participate in this denial of truth, that I was otherwise going to skip because I was feeling lazy!)

What a weekend!

This weekend was a fun filled one with lots of picture taking and memories and nostalgia.

Friday night I was able to attend the Red River (my old high school) alumni choir concert. The is the last choir concert of the year, it is a laid back, and fun one and at the end of the concert any choir alumni can join the current choir for the final song, The Benediction. This is a song that is sung at the end of every choir concert. Laura's choi
r was beautiful and they had some fun songs, even some that I remember singing. They even sang one in the dark with flashlights. It was pretty sweet! Since graduating from high school, I have only attended this concert once and that was the year after I graduated. It was so fun to sing with Laura up there! I can't believe she is graduating from high school next weekend!

Saturday, my little sister Nikki graduated from UND with her masters in Occupational Therapy! She has worked so hard over the last 5 years and I am so proud of her. She always puts 150% into everything and her schooling was no different. She even graduated with a 4.0! (I am pretty sure that wasn't my GPA). She is still job searching, but I am confident God will lead her to a job he has hand selected. I am also praying he doesn't take them too far from us since we just moved back and will miss them so much! She will be a wonderful OT no matter where she ends up! I am so proud! It was so fun to watch her walk across the stage in her beautiful cap and gown with the fancy hood. It was also fun to attend a small ceremony Saturday morning that recognized her and her classmates for their masters proj
ects. Very impressive!

Sunday night we had a great time relaxing, eating, and celebrating her and her hubby Tom. Tom graduated from UND with a marketing degree in December (the day before their wedding) and missed out on a party due to the wedding festivities. So we had a combined party at The Blue Moose (my fav restaurant) and it was a blast!

Nikki and her hubby Tom at their graduation party at The Blue Moose.

My wonderful Dad and Elijah (who looks a lot like him)

Nikki and Elijah at the party

The boys got a little rowdy at the party so Richard graciously took them to a great park near by to burn off some energy. The boys had a blast and met up with a good friend of ours (Nate Fiala) and his son for some quality play time. We are
 going to be frequent visitors of this park I think. After the park we went over to the Fialas for some DQ ice cream and a quick chat (Thanks Amy). We are looking forward to the summer and being able to spend some more time with these guys!
Jonah at the Castle Park in East Grand Forks

Swinging is so fun!

Underdog please Daddy!

Elijah taking a little break at the park.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Impulsive decision

Today I made an impulsive decision. I NEVER make impulsive decisions. Okay, I RARELY make impulsive decisions (ask my husband). I usually think about things way to hard, for way to long, and go crazy doing it. Today I decided to do something out of the norm for myself. I had 10 inches cut off my hair!

I have been growing out my hair to donate to locks of love. I have done this before and feel it is definitely for a worthy cause!  You need 10 inches to do this. I have very thick, naturally curly hair and have a love/hate relationship with it (as most people do with their hair).  Lately I have been having headaches due to the weight of my hair when it is pulled back, which is often the case. 

So, I was in desperate need of a haircut, made an appointment, and told no one.  My lovely sisters are both graduating in the next two weeks. Nikki will graduate with her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy (she is a superstar) and my baby sister will graduate from high school (so proud of them both).  I figured I needed a new look for these festivities.  (I was also motivated for a change after I looked at the pictures from Mother's Day past and saw that I look exactly the same! 

I am not sure what I think of it, this is THE shortest my hair has ever been. My wonderful hairstylist Jodi, who has cut my hair since I was a little girl, did an excellent job! I told her my dilemma (cut it short or get a trim and wait until this fall to chop it off).  She reminded me that the last time I donated my hair was when my sister Nikki graduated from high school in 2004! I think it was time for a change.  I quickly agreed and she turned me away from the mirror and started cutting before I could change my mind.  She also angled my hair, which I have never done before either. (I have always adored my sweet friend Katy's hair and wished I was brave enough to try it).  

I called her for moral support after I had cut it and wondered if I should have thought it through a little more before doing it.  Like the great friend that she is, she assured me it is too late and it will grow back!  Since she lives 10 hours (soon to be 5) away and I can't just run over for a reassuring-show-your-girlfriend-before-your-husband-sees-because-she'll-tell-you-how-it-really-looks-preview, blogging will have to do. (Hopefully Richard likes it, he had no idea I was doing this and prefers my hair long). I guess it will grow back if he doesn't!


& After!

(Sorry for the not-so-great pics, I had to take them myself)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

I celebrated my first Mother's Day in 2005 compliments of this little man.

The next year I was pregnant and felt twice as blessed.

The next year I celebrated as a mother of TWO boys!

The next year I should have been preparing for the birth of my third child. God had another plan. These two boys helped me celebrate a beautiful day filled with love even though my heart was broken understanding why this day is bittersweet for so many.

5 Years of Motherhood.  
Three precious gifts from the Lord.
One incredibly wonderful husband.
So sweet.
So amazing.
So Blessed am I.

We started out Mother's Day with our traditional trip to Village Inn. (Richard and I started this tradition in Iowa City by celebrating our own mothers before we had kiddos. We decided we would go each year and do this) After church we picked up some Wendy's and headed to the park to enjoy a beautiful day and a picnic. Then we all took a nap. Ahhh. After naps we spent the evening with my family for a BBQ and Dairy Queen cake.  My grandparents were able to join us also.  It was a great day!

This year I was able to reflect on God's continual love, guidance, strength, and plan for me. Of course I wouldn't be a Mom without these three precious gifts from the Lord.  I certainly could not be a Mom without His help either.  I am so blessed to have an amazing mother and mother-in-law to look up to. I know this day isn't easy for many. I pray the Lord comforts those who are empty handed, broken hearted, and hopeful.  I pray those who do have arms full of precious gifts take time to realize just how rich they are. 

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted em what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the Lord.  For his whole life he will be given to the Lord.
- 1 Samuel 1:27-28"

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Today is my Blogiversary!  One year ago today I started this blog to keep our family and friends updated on our family's adventures as we moved from Iowa back home to North Dakota. Hard to believe a year has gone by! I am a little overwhelmed thinking about all that has happened in the past year. I am also blessed thinking about God's continual faithfulness providing for us and helping us make this transition. I am moved to tears thinking about how far God has lead me this past year.  He is so good and I am so grateful for his patience, grace, love, and plan for me and for us.  It hasn't been easy, but I know I am in good hands!

I want to say THANK YOU to all our wonderful family and friends who have supported us, prayed with us, laughed and cried with us, and loved us during this past year.  Your grace, love, strength, and encouragement has meant so much to us!  This blog has become a multitude of things for me and I LOVE hearing from YOU!  What started as a simple way to keep everyone up to date has turned into a very intimate look at what our lives are really like. 

Here's to more crazy adventures with the Dafoe Family!  May we continue to keep our eyes focused on him and in stillness patiently wait for his plan to unfold. 


P.S. What are the chances that I would have a picture of the boys from exactly a year ago?

(Richard says they are good since he thinks the camera is permanently fixed to me)

What a difference one year makes?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One man's junk is another man's treasure

It is clean up day this week in Grand Forks.  This means you can leave any extra junk/stuff you don't want on your berm and the city will get rid of it for you.  I have been chuckling at all the scavengers all week who have been driving by slowly searching for something to snatch up.  Mostly because I hadn't seen anything but garbage, but also because I enjoy a good find.  

The pick up day is today for our neighborhood.  Last night on the way home from my sister's soccer game (which they won), I saw this little basketball hoop in someone's junk pile down the street and around the corner from us.  Richard reluctantly grabbed it after much pleading on my part.

 The boys were so excited this morning when they saw it and have been playing basketball all morning.  Elijah has been a little frustrated that he can't get it in the hoop as easily as his big brother, but Jonah has been coaching him.  I guess when they are NBA superstars I can proudly reflect upon these pictures ;0)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What I love about that little man

I love being a mom.  I love each "stage or phase" my kids go through and am amazed at how different they are yet how similar. I am going to devote a post to each of my boys and what they are doing now so I can remember later.  Elijah is still the baby in my eyes and because there isn't another little one, I don't want him to grow up.  I want him to stay little and he is trying so hard to be a "big boy" and it breaks my heart. 

I have tried to write cute things the boys say or do down and would give myself about a C+ on this effort.  So, I am going to share some of the things that I love about Elijah.  Some of the things that make him so adorable and that I hope to remember when I am old and gray watching his kids run around. 

Dear Elijah,
  You are 2 1/2 years old and trying to grow up too fast. Please slow down!  You are so sweet and I am excited to watch you grow and see how God shapes you into the young man he has created you to be.  For now I am enjoying this stage and your Elijahness
  • You look more like me, well actually like Grandpa Rod, but I think share MANY personality traits with your daddy.
  • You are a magnet to dirt, messes, and when you try something you don't hold back.  You aren't afraid to get dirty.
  • You love your blankie (the one Grandma Irene made for you) and use it to snuggle with, cover up with, as a super cape, and for many other things.  The most recent use is as a cape and you go get a pony tail holder from the bathroom and have me use that to keep it on.
  • You prefer your pillow cold.  Just like your DAD. The best part is you would never have seen him do this, you just inherited this trait.  Before bed if you lay on your pillow long enough before falling asleep and it gets hot, you flip it over and sleep on the cooler side.
  • Your current favorite things to play with are anything spiderman, batman, robin, or superman. You love protecting me from the bad guys!
  • You LOVE playing with your brother.  I am not even being sarcastic. Sure you fight, but for the most part you play very well together. I pray your friendship grows stronger as you grow older.
  • If you catch me in the kitchen sneaking a treat and you want one, you always ask for one for yourself and one for your brother, and you give it to him. 
  • You are an angel when we run errands together (just the two of us).
  • You LOVE hot chocolate.  You prefer it with an ice cube (regardless of the temperature) and a few mini marshmallows.
  • You inherited my love for treats and sweets.  You eat them like me too: fast.  
  • You are very stubborn and strong willed.  I pray God uses these traits to benefit His kingdom.
  • You are a momma's boy to the extreme.  I am not complaining about this of course and cherish the days you are attached to me while they last. (I would like to go to the bathroom by myself though)
  • You are an excellent napper and often have to be woken up from your nap so you will go to bed at night.
  • You become extremely awake if you stay up too late. I am afraid you inherited this from me.
  • You have many adorable phrases right now: "us" instead of "we" (where are "us" going mom?), "I'm not likin' you right now" (when you are in trouble), "I'm going to kick him in the eye" (when talking about hurting a bad guy), "Robin the boy wonder", "don't give me a spankin' on my bare but mom" (when you did something wrong and you know it), and often I find you at my bedside in the middle of the night because you are "so scared, and need to snuggle" (I of course can't resist).
  • You also love fruit loops, fruit snacks, granola bars, and oreo cookies. 
  • I often catch you eating toothpaste in the bathroom (it is fluoride free don't worry)
  • You are extremely independent and insist on doing most things for yourself. 
  • You love being outside, reading books, coloring, and playing super heros.
  • You know how to push almost every button on your brother. 
  • You let me smother you in kisses and hugs daily. You also kiss other peoples "owies" and make them "all better"
  • Your daddy and I love you more than you'll ever know. We are so thankful for you and feel blessed to call you our son.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Not Me! Monday is back! MckMama is home, praise the Lord for Stellan's glorious SVT state and ability to return home. Praise the Lord for denial of truth and this great way to start a week! Join in and have a few good laughs on my behalf...
  • I did NOT get sent home from work last night due to a more nurses than patients ratio, stay up until 2am because I was loaded on caffeine and couldn't sleep, and wake up to crying children  at 0730 who were sad to find ME instead of our great babysitter Maria whom they love!  Love you too guys!
  • I did NOT allow my children to wear the same thing for 3 days in a row last week because they really wanted to and I didn't feel like arguing about it. That would be gross and I certainly would NOT allow that!
  • I did NOT go through an entire box of fruit snacks last week used as bribery while running errands. I would NEVER do that!
  • I did NOT find a freedom from cleaning unknown to man after utilizing a great friend's wonderful invention, Spring Clean Year Round, to keep my house in "tip top shape".  Who knew that scrubbing showers, cleaning windows, and scheduling bedding changes could be fun!
  • I did NOT discover my 2 year old eating toothpaste on more than one occasion and solve the mystery of the disappearing toothpaste problem in our house.
  • I did NOT buy a bag of Oreo cookies and eat them all (with the help of Jonah and Elijah) in just a few days!
  • I am NOT super excited to order some absolutely delicious almonds from my dear almond-farming-brother-in-law and get a free bag of my favorite flavor (butter toffee) due to a Mother's Day special (place any order by mother's day and get a free bag of butter toffee). I do NOT dare you to try some because you will NOT become addicted and want more!
  • The grande finale for the week: I was NOT extremely proud when my 4 year old son displayed a wonderful gene that was passed down from myself: a true appreciation and love for infomercials! He did NOT perfectly campaign to Richard why we needed the touch N brush because it is "easy to use and would keep our counter clean!"  That a boy!
  (***For the record I did NOT convince my father that I NEEDED a food dehydrator when I was in elementary school and told him I would religiously use it if he bought it for me. After only a few easy payments it was mine and needless to say it was found in our basement, in the package, after the Flood of '97.  My grandma used it for a few years and just returned it. I have yet to use it. But, you can make beef jerky, fruit roll ups and any dried fruit you want!  It's easy to use, easy to clean, and makes deliciously healthy snacks***)

That's all folks! Hope you had a few good laughs and were able to start your week off on the right foot thanks to moi! What didn't you do this week?