Our Family

Our Family
Fall 2015 - These are my people

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Prayers Answered :)

Thank you to all who have been praying for my Uncle Ron. His recovery is slow but coming along. He is still in the hospital and will probably be there for some time yet, but we're not sure how long.

On Christmas Day, I had all the family members who were present participate in creating a box of notes, letters, pictures, stories, verses and more for Uncle Ron. I brought my scrapbooking stuff and set it out on my parents' kitchen table and people got to work writing out their thoughts and memories. My niece especially got into it and made several items for the box. I think she's hooked now on scrapbooking, so hopefully she and I can do that together in the future. The box was one that I found at a discount store, but it was big and blue with silver designs on it, and I think it said "joy" as well. I wanted Uncle to have some joy brought into his world, and I think he did. Later that night, I went with my Auntie Dar to the hospital to visit Uncle and bring him the box. He was very touched. My brother and his wife were there as well, and they were crying as well as me and Auntie Dar.

Another little guy that I'd like for you to pray for is baby Stellan. His mama has a blog, and I don't know how to make a link to it through a highlighted word...can anyone help me with that? Her blog is mycharmingkids.net if you want to check it out. We've prayed for Stellan before, but he is in the hospital now at a few months old, and has RSV. He seems to be responding well to the treatment and help he is getting, but he is not out of the woods. Please pray for Baby Stellan. He is the youngest of four kids, and I went to college with his mama.

Thank you!

Dream Feeding Victory!!!

Our Little Buzzy Bear has been sleeping in his crib at night now for a few weeks, which is a HUGE deal! He had been previously sleeping in his bassinet next to our bed as well as with us in our bed. Now mind you, he still comes into our bed at some point during the night...usually somewhere around 4-5 AM, but the fact that he is going to bed regularly at 7PM and sleeping until 4-5 AM with only a "dream feed" around 11pm-12am is FANTASTIC! I have been giving him a bottle of my mama milk for that dream feed, usually, and that is working so well. I was telling Erik the other night that I feel like a better mommy now that I'm getting some more time to myself in evenings. Buzzy is also taking his morning nap in his crib, unless we're out and about and then he sleeps in his car seat. Altogether, he is getting much better about sleeping on his own and we're so glad. Perhaps it is because he is now six months old and getting three solid food meals a day, but I don't know for sure. So far he has had rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, homemade pureed cooked sweet potatoes and prunes. The latter item was much needed after too much rice cereal!

That is the update from Lake Wobegon.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Organizing!

Tonight, we finally got to dig into our basement junk collection after the kids went to sleep. I'm SO excited and proud of myself for starting to get some more organization done. There is still a whole lot of stuff that just hasn't found a home since we moved in. Amazing too all the treasures I came across as we were digging...like a lovely pitcher that was a wedding gift, my wedding crinolin underskirt thing, the decorative shoe collection that I inherited from my Auntie Dar who inherited it from our Great Aunt Olive, lots of picture frames that we received as wedding gifts that have never had pictures put in them (gotta remedy that soon!), and a whole lot of dust and small, dead critters as well as many many other goodies. Fun. I also worked on organizing our pantry shelves. I like to keep a small stock of extra canned goods, zipper storage bags and containers, and paper goods. It has come in very handy. We are enjoying our crawl space storage area in the basement. It is so helpful to have a place to stash the items that won't get looked at very often.

We have TONS of snow right now! It will most definitely be a white Christmas after all, and that is great. Today the snow was blowing a lot, and after debating if we should try to head out for a bit, we decided it wouldn't be a good idea.

Blessings.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pictures!!!








The pictures here are of our Little Buzz and Big Bug as well as me and hubby on Thanksgiving Day...and then the one with Little Buzz in his cow outfit was one of his 5 month shots that I did.


Vaccinations

The latest thing on my mind is vaccinations. We have been vaccinating our children according to schedule, but recently I'm learning more and more about it...and questioning if we should continue vaccinating, if we should just spread out the vaccinations more, or if we should eliminate some but not all of them...anyway, a lot on my mind. I sent out an email paneling approximately 150 different friends because I want their thoughts. If you are reading this and you didn't get that email and you'd like to weigh in with your thoughts, please feel free. I'm trying, along with my hubby, to be an educated parent in this matter.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is one of my very favorite holidays - THANKSGIVING!!! As a child, and even a college and grad. school student, and now too, I have grown up watching the big Macy's parade every year! When I lived at home, I would watch it with my dad while we peeled the potatoes for mashed goodness. Dad is the one who got me into the parade, as he is still a little wide-eyed boy inside who loves seeing parades. I have such good memories of watching the parade with Dad. And now that I have my own family, Dad and I usually touch base on the morning of Thanksgiving and he asks me if I'm watching the parade, and usually I am! Now I can get my Little Bug into the parade this year, and hopefully she'll enjoy watching the big balloons and floats and hearing the musicians just as much as I do! My dear Erik gets to watch it too, because of us, but he might think I go overboard in my excitement over it! :) Last night I happened to catch a glimpse of the Peanuts Thanksgiving special and that too brought back good memories.

Tonight I will begin my preparation for Thanksgiving. We will spend tomorrow with Erik's family and Friday with my family. On Friday I will be bringing the stuffing that my Auntie D makes, and also the cranberry cherry relish that I make every year. It is a recipe that I found one year and then it has kind of morphed into my own, with a few slight changes. I'll try to share it later if I get a chance.

May you and yours have a very blessed Thanksgiving holiday this year. And may God's richest blessings be upon you in the coming year!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Prayers Please

Hello there! I feel like most of my blog posts lately have been in the form of prayer requests, but you know what? We SHOULD be praying! Prayer is so worthwhile and so beneficial...I know from my own life experiences. God has answered many many prayers that I have brought to Him through the years, and He hasn't always answered in the way I had hoped, but yet He has answered.

I wrote a few times ago about my Uncle Ron. He is still in the hospital and has now been sick for over a month. He has had several surgeries that have been successful, and hopefully is now on the mend...however, his condition is quite critical. Please continue to pray for him. I really truly appreciate those prayers, and I know that Uncle Ron and Auntie Dar do as well.

Sarah is another person for whom I've been praying - a former voice student of mine. She is still in a coma after about a month and a half, and has had some issues related to that. Her family is so amazing and they have stayed by her side through all of her ordeal. Please be praying for Sarah and for her family.

There is a woman from church who is in our Sunday School class named Ruth who has cancer and needs our prayers for healing. Please also pray for Ruth's husband Mark and for their two daughters. My mom was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma eight years ago and has been cancer free for almost eight years, so I know just a bit of the road that Ruth and her family are traveling now. It is a hard road. But when the body of Christ comes around families in crisis, there is such a difference...so I'm praying for that also for Ruth and for the other requests in my entry.

Thanks for your prayers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Musician's Prayer

My mom gave me this prayer many years ago in the form of a wall hanging, written by B.J. Hoff...I just came across it while going through some office boxes that have gone unpacked for almost a whole year since we moved into our house! I hope it blesses you today.

You've given me the words,
Lord, and the music,
a song of life that's new and unrehearsed...
You've given me the joy
that makes my heart sing,
even though at times the tears come first...
You've taken all my yesterdays of discord,
a clash of cymbals,
meaningless and vain,
transposing all the noise into a love song,
that floods my very soul with its refrain...
You've taken all the gifts
I once thought mine, Lord,
and changed the composition of their worth;
reclaiming what was Yours
from the beginning,
returning them, transfigured by rebirth...
You've given me the theme for my existence,
and I will sing Your glory all my days;
For now, Lord...and forever...
be my Music,
and make my life a symphony of praise.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Prayers for Uncle Ron

If you are reading this, please pray for my dear Uncle Ron. He has been hospitalized now for a week and a half with a really bad infection. He has already had two surgeries and will be having another tomorrow. I visited him last night, and he seemed really glad to see me. He asked me to pray with him before I left, and that was so sweet...so I did. I'm really glad that we could have a few minutes to visit. The doctor said that the infection is Gangreen, so that is very serious and life-threatening. They are keeping close tabs on him and doing a great job at his hospital.

Thanks for your prayers for Uncle Ron. I know he appreciates all the prayer he can get.

Crying it out!

Well, my Little Buzz is now four and a half months old. I can hardly believe it! He weighed in at 15 lbs. 12 oz. for his four month appointment, and I think that put him a 67% for weight. He was around 30 inches for height, so at 78% or so for that, and then his head was in the 95%, just like Mama! Maybe he'll be a singer and then he can resonate all day in his head...

So, a few days ago I decided that my child needs to learn how to take naps regularly. It has been much harder to institute that with an older child around, so he just doesn't get a nap regularly. Today I'm letting him cry, and then every five minutes I go and pick him up and comfort him and then put him back in his crib. It's awful. I hate hate hate hearing him cry like that. He's wailing right now as I type and it stinks. BUT, I know that he needs to sleep, and I have to help him figure that out. I hope that he can learn to sleep on his own soon. He just hasn't been a super good sleeper yet, and maybe he never will be. A night owl, perhaps, like me.

And Big Bug woke up with a cold this morning, so I wasn't able to go to my MOPS group. I really try to abide by the rules to not bring children with colds, although I think my kiddo must have picked up something at church this past weekend when we were there. There's just always bugs going around, and as one friend told me, "kids are like petri dishes." So, in the midst of not going to MOPS, I'm trying to accomplish other things like dishes and laundry. And that is a good thing!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tears...

My friend Korissa wrote an incredible true story about sharing Christ's love with her neighbors...read it here...

http://www.crispycross.com/

MckMuffin was born!

My bloggy friend and former college classmate, MckMama, has had her fourth baby boy - Stellan! He was born today and is just adorable. All children are such miracles from God, but this little guy was really having a hard time in the womb and there was talk of him not making it...but God had OTHER GLORIOUS PLANS!!! PRAISE TO HIM ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you want to read more about MckMama and her sweet family, her blog is http://www.mycharmingkids.net/

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tonight's Dinner on the Cheap!

Hey there! I'm excited to share with you what we're having for dinner tonight, and it was quite reasonable to put together! Baked chicken and rice with onions and peppers! A few weeks ago I used some coupons from our local grocer for the "buy one get one" whole chickens cut up. SO, I bought 4 of them total, each then costing me only $3.50. Isn't that great? I put them in the freezer and today thawed one out. Now it is cooking in my electric skillet along with some onions & green peppers chopped up, and seasoned with some salt-free Greek seasoning that I like. Then after it is browned, I'm going to combine it with some fast-cooking brown rice that I'm pre-cooking right now, and I'll also put in some "healthy" cream of chicken soup. Mix it all up and bake it probably for an hour or so...YUM!!!!!!! And so reasonable! I think that along with it I'm going to make some carrot-orange juice, and maybe another side vegetable...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nap time, sweet nap time...

Ah, this time is SO great! Both kiddos are down sleeping and I finally have enough energy to be up while they're asleep, which means that I can do whatever I want or need to do! HALLELUIAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today, I realized that Little Bug has consistently been calling her baby brother "Little Buzz" for quite awhile. I think that it is sticking, and I think it is adorable. She's got me into calling him that now too! So, I have a Bug and a Buzz - too cute. I'm so grateful for these two kids.

After finally getting out the door at 11:15 am this morning, we headed off to Target for a bit of shopping. Bug got a free kids cookie from the bakery (love that!) and enjoyed most of it thoroughly as she sat in the multiple child seat attached to the shopping cart. (I finally get to claim one of those fun carts now since I have my multiple kids.) That cart is really helpful, by the way. I can pile all kinds of things in and around the extra muliple kid spot on the front, and Bug helps them to stay put. Then, Buzz can sit in his carseat inside the main cart and get lulled to sleep by the rattling of the cart on the sticky store floor. About halfway through our grocery shopping there was great panic - "Mommy, my cookie!" Oh oh, the cookie had fallen to it's great demise, right there on the store floor...and Bug's face was so saddened! I explained, "It's okay honey, that's just what happens when we drop food on the floor. We can't eat it anymore because the floor is dirty, so we'll have to throw it away." Oh well! Such is life, right?

I'm really getting into blogging again, and it's fun. :)

Gday, ya'all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Organizing Movies

Well, tonight I finally hit the wall and decided that it was HIGH time to organize our movie collection! The movies were somewhat organized before in some nice white boxes that I bought from IKEA, but they were sort of scattered...and the shelves that they were on were really really dusty from MONTHS of neglect. These shelves are ones that I stare at every day when I'm sitting in our family room nursing the baby, and every day I have thought about how much I wanted to get things organized and cleaned in there. See, I really do like to be organized and I always am plotting out ways to organize and things I could organize...it's just that I often have a hard time following through on doing the projects or else I just plain don't have time with a two year old and a four month old. Tonight when we went for a walk in the lovely fall air, I made a resolution that I will try to attack one room or area each day that needs help and work to get it taken care of. So, I feel I succeeded tonight! Also, it was really fun looking through the videos we have to see things that I had forgotten about. Now I'm looking forward to going through my nice and neat boxes next time I want to watch a video, or I'm looking for one for my Little Bug.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Juicing and Leaf Preservation!

Well, tonight we finally tried out our juicer and it was SO wonderful! The juice is delicious and it was simple to make it. We made a carrot and orange juice for our first go round and the votes came in very positive. Little Bug loved it and so did Mama & Daddy! Of course it was kind of a mess to clean up, but really, I think it is so worth the health benefits.

We all have the crud. Daddy was gone today helping some friends to move, so Mama and the kiddos hung out at home. We were able to go for a walk this afternoon, and it was lovely! Little Bug and I chose a bunch of gorgeous leaves to bring home. Then I remembered a fun project from my YMCA day camp counselor days, and I found the directions for it in a kids craft book that I have...and we preserved the leaves by placing them in between wax paper and ironing them. If you do this, you have to first put a layer of newspaper on the ironing board, then a layer of wax paper, then the leaves, another layer of wax paper, and another layer of newspaper. Iron away for 30 seconds on each leaf, and then when you're all done you just pull the wax paper away from the leaves, and voila - you have preserved leaves! I have no idea how long they are preserved for, but I'm excited to find out!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Invasion of the...

BOX ELDER BUGS!!!!!!! People, they're back, and they're getting in our home through every possible crevice. I remember last fall when we found this home and we visited several times before we bought it, I saw GIZILLIONS of box elder bugs everywhere. Needless to say, they kind of creep me out and I have this tendency to want to squish them and get rid of them. They're perfectly harmless, and just happen to enjoy hanging out with us, but I don't like their presence one bit. We have four box elder trees in our backyard, so I think that is one huge reason why there are so many bugs. The trees look kind of pretty though, so perhaps we'll keep them around...even though my original plan was to cut them down and replant with something else.

On another note, we're hanging in there in our house, except that three of us are sick. Yup, me and the kiddos are sick. My illness just crept in today, so I'm trying to get rid of it using my SinuCleanse pot, taking vitamins, and not eating so much sugar! I gotta stop the sugar. It just doesn't help things in general. Also, I'm really excited to try my new Jack LaLanne Power Juicer! I've actually had it sitting in our kitchen for the last several weeks. It was a fun purchase while hubby man was gone in Asia, and now I am looking forward to using it and seeing if it might help me overcome this yucky buggy inside of me!

Despite being ill, two kiddos are surprisingly happy much of the time. Green snot runs down their faces and they keep smiling at me - precious. And to top it off, we had a chance to take some outdoor photos today when Daddy came home from work. We were jumping in the leaves and it was fun and colorful!

That's all for now! Gotta go feed the littlest bug...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pray for Sarah

I know I haven't posted in a long time, but life has been so busy here. Erik was gone on a 3 week business trip to Asia, and I just didn't have time!

Please pray for a former voice student of mine who was in a terrible car accident two days ago...her name is Sarah. Her Caring Bridge site is http://caringbridge.org/cb/viewHome.do and if that doesn't work, then go to caringbridge.org and type in Sarah Lee. There were four teenagers in the car, and Sarah sustained the worst of the injuries, and is currently in a coma which is partially drug induced. They are trying to keep the swelling down on her brain. Sarah is an incredibly sweet girl, and I had her in my home on a regular basis for a few years. She even babysat for my Kristi a few times. I'm very stunned by all of this, and I'm asking God for healing.

Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Pictures :)






If I had a hammer...

I'd bonk brudder's head with it! This is what I found the other day when I had turned my back for just a minute...big sister had bonked baby brudder with a toy hammer that she has. Geepers! Where do kids get these ideas thinking that bonking other people is okay? She's two - I just have to remember that she's two and she's learning what is right and what is wrong. And that it is good and okay for me to remind her of what is right and what is wrong! I have always said that I wanted to be the parent who keeps her kids in line...but it is REEEEEEEEEEEALLLYYYYYY hard some times! I'm learning the delicate balance in this area. I want her to still enjoy being a child and I NEVER want to crush her spirit.

Well, I must go now...kids to tend to!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Johnny's funeral

It was really special to sing for Johnny's funeral last Friday. I'm so thankful that I could be a part of what was really one of the most beautiful funeral services I've ever seen. Johnny's mommy & daddy really poured their hearts into his service, and it was incredibly honoring to him. Thank you to everyone who was praying for the family and for me. I barely made it through without crying while I sang. But God allowed me to cry in between all the music, and to then get back up and sing and have enough strength to make it through. One of the neatest elements of the service was that there were over one hundred candles up on the stage, representing each day of little Johnny's life. The candles were on a table, in different votive holders, and they were interspersed with flowers and greens...it was breathtaking. It was also really precious to hear Johnny's daddy speak. He really poured out his heart and it helped me to feel like I knew little Johnny even more. And one of the most heart wrenching and beautiful things that happened at the end of the service was that Johnny's mommy and daddy went out and brought his big sister (who is two) back into the sanctuary, and she placed a lovely white rose on top of Johnny's little casket...and then the rose was covered partially with a sweet blue baby blanket. It was so symbolic. Big sister saying goodbye to her baby brother and covering him with a blankie. I lost it then, and I'm crying again as I type this. Having children with similar ages and genders as these two little ones, I am feeling that much more with Johnny's mommy and daddy.

Oh Lord, please continue to comfort Johnny's mommy, daddy & big sister. Give them your strength and your peace and surround them with your amazing presence.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Singing...

I'm singing this Friday for a funeral at our church. It is the funeral of this sweet little four month old boy, Johnny. I know it will probably be some of the most difficult singing I've ever had to do, but I also know that God will get me through it. I will be singing some lullabies that Johnny's mommy sang to him, and also helping to lead congregational singing. If you read this and you think of it, please pray for this family...and please pray that I can make it through without crying during the funeral, or at least while I'm singing. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2 months old

I can hardly believe that our Anders is already two months old. He had his two month appointment today, and already weighs in at 12.8 pounds. This seems so remarkable to me because our little Kristiana was such a tiny squirt and didn't weigh that much for probably another month or two. We're thankful for the health that Anders has experienced after his rough start with a hospital stay, and we thank God and attribute it solely to Him. Praise be to our God who heals. I'll try to put up a picture soon...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Baby Johnny...

Dear Friends,

Please be in prayer for a family from our church who has just lost their four month old baby boy, Johnny. My heart aches for this dear family.

http://dandlkids.blogspot.com/

Thanks for your prayers...

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Challenges

Wow, it has been two weeks since I last posted. Needless to say, life with these two kiddos is definitely keeping us busy here! And it is a good kind of busy. We're slowly learning how to juggle things and trying to keep our patience all at the same time. That has certainly been one of my challenges this past week - having patience. Erik was out of town for work this week and I faced for the first time nights without my helper man! For all of you single parents or parents whose spouses are gone a lot, I am so amazed at what you do on a day to day basis. Kudos, and may God give you strength.

Out of the blue, our sweet Kristi girl started to stutter this week. And it is getting more frustrating for her every day. Now she knows that something is wrong and it is hitting her hard. Tonight, we were driving in the car and she was trying to tell me something as I was sitting near her in the backseat. She kept saying, "I I I I I I..." and then said, "Mommy, can you talk to me?" I think she was trying to say, "Mommy, can you speak for me?" It absolutely broke my heart and I started crying. Her big, beautiful, steely-blue eyes were pleading with me to understand what was going on in her world. I did a bit of reading this week, and also have heard from a few other people, but have learned that stuttering is very common for small children. There is so much information in their minds and they cannot process all of it quick enough for their tongues to speak. Our Kristi has such a strong linguistic ability, that I think she is just having a hard time keeping up with that. And it makes sense that it is hitting right now because she is dealing with the transition of being a big sister, and also was having a difficult time with Daddy being gone this week and Mommy not having enough time to devote to her like I used to be able to do.

We're praying that God will help Kristi through this time. Maybe this is her thorn in the flesh...and hopefully, it will go away and just be a phase.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pray for Stellan...

Please pray for my friend MCKMama and her baby, Stellan. He is inside of her womb and too early to be born, but having heart problems.

http://www.mycharmingkids.net/

Thank you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Two Lovelies



TGIF

I always love and appreciate Fridays because Fridays mean that Erik is home for the weekend! And with two children now, I REALLY look forward to Fridays and knowing that I have my honey here to not only help out but just to be with. One thing we love to do as a family is to take walks. Tonight we took a walk to our neighborhood park and let me tell ya, it was a much needed walk for me. A relief walk, really. When I don't exercise, I kind of start to go crazy. Today was just a busy day, and even though I'm really exhausted and even though I had a mini-meltdown after supper, I knew that I had to get a walk. Once we got Kristi situated at the playground, I spent a little time with her playing and Erik walked Anders around the perimeter of the park. Then we switched off and I walked Anders while Erik played with our big Buggy Girl. While I was walking, I could feel my endorphins kicking in and allowing my tension to release. I prayed and thanked God for the lovely surroundings that I get to see when I'm walking...green grass & trees & flowers, the sounds of the birds singing and children playing, and I thanked Him for being Lord of all the Earth, omnitient, omnipotent, and omnipresent...I usually feel His presence more it seems when I'm outside enjoying nature, and tonight was one of those nights. So, THANK YOU GOD for giving us the outdoors.

Anders seems to be healing up well from his circumcision. We're so glad for that.

Blessings...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Circumcision Day

Today Anders was circumcised. I think it was more painful for me than for him. Anders is such a trooper, and he loved the sugar water that they gave him during the procedure. Thankfully Erik was able to be there, so I didn't have to stay in the room.

Now, hopefully that is the last we'll have to be in the dr's office until the 2 month checkup!

Today, Anders is one month old! I can't believe it! This month has gone by so quickly. Kristiana is really trying to be such a good helper, and I'm proud of her.

We're slowly figuring out how to balance two kids...they're such blessings.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hooray!!!!!

Two wonderful things were found out today...

1. The results of Anders' ultrasound were completely normal! Ergo, he does not have Spina Bifida! We are SO thankful and praising God for this answer! THANK YOU LORD!!!!!!!!!!

2. I weighed our Little Buddy at the clinic tonight, and he weighed in at 8 lbs! That means that he has gained a pound in just over a week! We are so happy about this positive weight gain. I knew he was gaining, but I didn't know how much. Yeah!

Thank you for praying for our Anders and for us. We so appreciate it. Hopefully we are on the right track now and can avoid going to the hospital for a long while!

**Tonight we went to Erik's parents home on the lake, and Kristi had fun playing in the water with Daddy! I had fun watching them through the window while I took care of Anders. We're trying to help Kristi get over her fear of being in the water. I have no idea where that came from, as we've always encouraged her to enjoy it...must just be an innate fear.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Had an ultrasound

Anders had his ultrasound today on his spine and he was such a trouper! As I thought might happen, the rad. tech. person didn't let on any information at all both verbally and facially, so we won't know anything until we hear from the dr. hopefully tomorrow. I'll write more then. In the meantime, I'm glad that the test is done. Erik & I were able to have lunch together at the hospital after the test, and that was a nice treat.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ultrasound

Wowsers! I just saw that I haven't written a post in a week, and I cannot believe how quickly that time has flown! Thank you for the encouraging comments and for your prayers. Anders is doing pretty well it seems, and he likes to eat a lot. We've worked out a system of giving him bottles during the nighttime feedings, and then I try to nurse him more during the day. Erik is then able to help me out with one of those feedings, bless his sweet heart! He seems to be enjoying the daddy & son time when he gets to help feed his boy.

Tomorrow morning Anders has an ultrasound on his spine at 10:30 am. I truly have such peace and know that God is in control. I really haven't been worrying about things, and I know it is because people are praying and that God has alleviated this worry from me. I'll try to let you know as soon as I know any results. I'm not sure how that will work, if I will get results right away or if it will have to be read by a dr. and then we won't know for a few days or a week or something to that effect.

Gotta go feed my little monkey man before big sister wakes up...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Good Appointments!

We had two good appointments today...the first with a lactation consultant at the hospital. She helped me a LOT to get some feeding issues straightened out for Anders. I'm so thankful and hopeful! And another good thing was that the nurse weighed Anders at the start of the appointment and he weighed 6 lbs 13 oz, so he gained 11 oz. since I weighed him last Thursday! I was SO excited about that! Hooray for formula supplementation. Our little guy has had so much more energy the last few days and when he is alert his eyes are so beautiful! They're really a lovely shade of blue grey, just like his big sister.

This afternoon, we had our 2 week pediatrician appointment. Our dr. cracks me up and likes to refer to our kids as "cute (& or skinny) little rat(s)" and "cute monkey(s)." We had been concerned that Anders might perhaps have Spina Bifida, and I was so curious to see what his dr. would say. The dr. confirmed the little dimple in Anders' back, but said that it didn't really look like the kind that could be problematic. However, he assured me that we could schedule a spinal ultrasound to determine more accurately if there is anything wrong with the spine. I am relieved that we can do the ultrasound, and I think it will give me a lot more peace of mind to know one way or the other if there is something wrong.

I'm very tired today as I think I only have had about 2 hours of sleep in the last day, so I'm looking forward to having a relaxing evening at home and perhaps more sleep tonight??? Ha, we'll see. :) But ah, these are the joys of the early days of parenting a newborn. And I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I treasure the moments I have cradling my new son, and I thank God for his precious life. He is such a sweet baby and a true gift.

Off to happy feeding land...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

more pictures






Pictures...






Thursday, July 3, 2008

Losing weight...

Today I was noticing that once again Anders wasn't having enough wet diapers, even though I've been trying to nurse him a lot. So, I called the clinic and was able to talk with my dear long time family doctor who happened to be on call. He suggested that I take my little guy in to the clinic to weigh him and then think about giving him some formula if need be in addition to nursing. I weighed Anders and he had lost nearly 9 oz. since his Monday appt. NOT GOOD!!!!!!! I just started sobbing because I felt so bad that he was not thriving yet again. I went out to Target and picked up some formula and we did our first formula feeding tonight after I tried to nurse Anders. We're going to supplement with the formula as much as we need to and I'm going to try to keep nursing and see how it goes. I'm hoping to go to a lactation consultant this coming week to get some help and tips.

Gotta run...baby crying...please pray that our little guy can gain weight...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Anders Per!

**I just sent this as an email and thought I'd put it into the blog...***

Dear Friends & Family,

I'm sorry that we haven't been able to give you this news sooner, but if you read on you'll understand why. We had our baby boy Anders Per on Sunday, June 22nd at 1:18 AM. He weighed 7 lbs. 1 3/4 oz, and was 19.5 inches long. Labor and delivery went fairly well and quite quick. We stayed in the hospital for less than 48 hours and went home. Anders (on-durrs) means Andrew in Swedish, but originally the name Andrew is Greek and it means "manly." Per (like "pear") means Peter in Swedish, and in Greek it is "rock". We were excited to be able to combine our Scandinavian heritage with Biblical names as well.

A few days after coming home, I was noticing that Anders just wasn't as lively as he should be and he was not eating and going to the bathroom enough. His temperature reached a low of 95.6 on Thursday, the day that we took him into the ER at Childrens Hospital in St. Paul. Immediately, Anders was wrapped in very warm blankets and began a bunch of tests, including three spinal taps. Because of the dehydration, it was very hard to get enough spinal fluid on the first try, so that's why it took three tries. The same thing was true for taking blood and inserting iv's. It took several tries for that as well. Even though he was so sick, our little man put up quite a fight and cried really hard during all of these experiences, which was difficult for us to see and hear but also reassuring.

All the tests that have been done on Anders have come back negative, which is good news. The conclusion is that he probably had a really bad virus that caused him to be so sleepy and not able to eat and thus become dehydrated. We stayed in the hospital with him for three nights while he was getting re-hydrated with saline and also receiving antibiotics and anti-viral drugs intravenously. After one night of fluids, our Anders started to be himself again and had enough energy to eat.

We're home again, as of Sunday afternoon. It feels so good to be here, instead of at the hospital listening to beeps and having our sleep interrupted. We're grateful that Anders seems to be feeling better. Because of his infection, we're going to have to be more careful with him these first few months as far as not exposing him to illness and large groups. So, please do not be offended if we need to say no to having you all hold him and touch him, or if we ask for you to wash your hands. I already was a germ freak, and I'm even more of one now after this experience.

Another thing that we're going to have to investigate more is that I noticed a small dimple/divit on Anders' lower back, along his spinal column. I asked the Dr. about it the other day at a follow up appointment and she said that it might actually be an indication of Spina Bifida, a condition in which the neural tube does not close completely during pregnancy. I'm baffled by this possibility as I have faithfully taken my prenatal vitamins, containing folic acid which is supposed to help prevent neural tube defects. However, after reading some information on Spina Bifida, I learned that not only is it an environmentally caused condition but also a hereditary one...another thing that we're not sure of as there isn't anyone we can think of who has had something like this in our families. There are several varying degrees of Spina Bifida, and the mildest form is sometimes completely undetected and people can live completely normal lives. The more serious forms usually cause paralysis and muscle and joint problems, among other things. My mind has been wandering off worrying about whether or not Anders may have this condition, but the fact is, nothing has been formally diagnosed yet. We are going back for another follow up appointment with Anders' regular pediatrician who has been out of town and hasn't met our little guy yet, and that appt. will be on Monday. If you think of it, we would greatly appreciate your prayers for Anders. He might be completely fine and the little dimple might just be something unique on his body and not harmful at all. From what I know, he will have to have an ultrasound to detect any mishaps in his spinal column. I'm also hoping that we can take a closer look at the x-rays that were taken on his entire body when we were at the hospital. Maybe that will give us some more clarity.

In the meantime, Anders seems to be doing okay. I'm just trying to be very careful to watch him and feed him as much as he wants to eat and then some.

Thank you to all who have been praying for us and encouraging us. We so appreciate your thoughts and prayers. This has been a really dramatic week here and I know that it is God who is upholding us.

If you are in the area, we would love to see you for a short visit or chat with you on the phone.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggety jig...

To the hospital, to the hospital to have a sweet babe, only home again home again jiggety jag.

Yup, we went into the hospital last night around 3 am because my contractions were continuous all night long and became very strong around 2 am. I was monitored and checked all day and after two hour long walks around the hospital to try and get things moving and the dr. actually trying to rupture my water and it not working, we came home early this afternoon. At first I was so discouraged that our baby didn't get to come, but now I truly have a remarkable sense of peace. God greatly changed my perspective during our hospital stay, and most of that took place at the end when I was eating a meal in the cafeteria. While in there, I saw a few cancer patients with no hair...one of whom was only probably 10 or 11 years old. My heart sank for that young boy, and God reminded me that I am healthy and that the fact that I'm having this baby is remarkable in itself...that He would allow me even to experience this pregnancy is such a gift...and that I need to be thankful. When my mom was going through her chemo. treatments for her cancer seven and a half years ago, I saw a lot of children in the oncology clinic, and I always cried when I saw them because I felt sad that the were having to go through such a struggle in their young life. It just didn't make sense, and still doesn't make sense, and probably never will make sense to me. Lord, please comfort those two people that I saw today in the cafeteria...give them your peace and your strength.

So, all of that to say, thank you God for giving me good health. Thank you for keeping this baby safe. (he did really well on the monitoring today) Thank you for helping me to avoid Preeclampsia thus far in this pregnancy. Thank you for showing me some grace today and for reminding me that you are in control...that I need to trust you...that I need to have patience...and that you know the plan for me and for this sweet boy that is very active inside of me. Thank you God for my dear husband who has been so encouraging and helpful and kind through all of this - bless him! Thank you God for dear friends and family who are upholding us in prayer.

Thank you God.

P.S. My contractions continue on, FYI! I still feel pretty strongly that this child will be coming within the next few days, but we'll see!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More & More...

So, all day long I've had contractions...this is probably the most contractions in a day that I've had so far. Tonight, quite consistently for the last 5 hours or so I have had at least 4 if not 5 contractions in an hour...but they're not that close together and they're not exceedingly all strong. Who knows...God does, that's for sure! He is all over this child and his birth, and I'm trying to find peace in that...although tonight once again I'm feeling so impatient. It really felt good to get out and go for a walk to the park with Erik & Kristi. I'm glad that we could do that together, and I'm glad that at least I'm in good enough condition to be able to walk. That is a blessing.

Gotta go finish getting a stain out of a shirt before throwing in another load of laundry!

Night night!

Not here yet :)

Hey Friends & Family :)

We're still waiting for our boy. My body continues to feel really weird and contractions are more present throughout the entire day, but not yet super close together. At least I know that something is going on and obviously it is inevitable that our kid will come sometime! Today I have had a much more positive outlook than I did yesterday when I was just bummed that this child hadn't made his debut yet. My dear mom has come over the last few days to help me out with things around the house, and that has meant so much to me. I whipped up a great chicken & pasta salad with oranges and dried cherries in it, and we had that for our lunch. Yum! I really have a thing for pasta salads, especially in the summer.

I must remember that God is in control. One verse I was reminded of today was, "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice." I think that is in one of Kristi's little Bible song books that we've been reading and singing lately, so I guess it is in my head. A good one indeed.

Hope you have a nice day!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On the way?

Hey Ya'all!

I think that Baby Boy is on the way as things seem to be progressing a lot in the last 20 hours or so...we'll see what happens in the next day or two! I thought for sure last night was the night as I had TWO HOURS of strong contractions, but then they stopped and they weren't super close together...I really wanted to go to the hospital, but somehow I felt like it wasn't right and I should just lay down again. Sure enough, the contractions stopped and I was able to go back to sleep for a few hours. Poor Erik! He's so tired too, with all the disruptions in his sleep. What a good sport!

Well, must go as my Little Bug is sitting on my lap...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tired today...

I woke up feeling so exhausted this morning, so I'm glad to have a little time to myself right now. Erik took Kristi over to his parents home so that they could go out in the rowboat on the lake! She absolutely loves going in the boat, even though she is a little afraid of it. She asks about it all the time! I have yet to see her in the boat. It kind of freaks me out to have my little two year old in a boat already, but she wears her lifejacket and her daddy is a trained lifeguard and expert sailer...so I'm sure she'll be okay. They always stick close to the shore of the lake anyway, so that's good.

Last night we watched a very gruesome movie and I had a hard time falling asleep. It was "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Bleeker Street," which in case you don't know about is a Broadway musical that was set to film just recently. Johnny Depp stars and he is such a talented actor and also has a great voice! The music, written by Steven Sondheim, is brilliant and I enjoyed some of the lovely melodies. In fact, I have sung a few pieces from the show for fun, but really never understood their context prior to seeing the film. The story itself is really violent and there is a lot of blood shed. Erik and I had to look away during all the bloody scenes. After viewing this movie, I am shocked in retrospect to know of a local high school where one of my voice students attends that just this spring performed this production. My student was involved in the pit orchestra and had a good experience playing, but it just shocks me that a high school would even venture into this kind of territory with such a bloody tale. Honestly, I feel that it would be extremely inappropriate material for high schoolers. Then again, my high school also has also done some shows which I felt were very inappropriate for high schoolers and their family audiences. It's all up to the director usually. Whatever the director wants, the director often gets to do. I wish that some directors had more discretion when choosing pieces for their high school (or junior high or college age) students. There are so many good, classy plays and musicals out there that are much more appropriate for high schoolers & college aged & junior highers. I'm glad that I had a chance to be involved in some such shows..."You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "South Pacific," "Godspell," "Meet Me In St. Louis," "The Pirates of Penzance," "Cinderella..." Those are the ones that I did during high school and college and had GREAT experiences with each show!

Well, today is a fresh start. I'm glad to have some time at home to rest and relax. Last night I also had a hard time falling asleep because I was again having cramps and contractions. I've been wondering just how much of that will happen before I have true labor. Some of my friends have experienced a lot of those types of cramps and contractions before true labor and it has taken weeks for them to deliver. I'm learning that I must must must learn to have some patience. It is a virtue, after all!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Carousel, Como, Careening Butterflies and Big 80's Hair

This morning I knew that I just had to get out of the house when I saw how lovely of a day it was going to be! The sun was shining brightly and the weather was looking to be just perfect for an outing, so Kristi and I made our way to our wonderful little Como Zoo. We have been there a few other times in the last couple of months, and every time we go it is a lot of fun. Kristi seems to notice different things each time and absolutely loves to take in not just the animals but all the different people! I think that the zoo and the state fair offer some of the best people watching experiences in town. :)

One of the coolest things about today at the zoo was that there is a new exhibit on butterflies and we were able to go through it! There were butterflies zooming around us and occasionally they would land on me. Strict instructions from the zoo people were to not touch the butterflies, so I just got to enjoy their tickling on my toes and neck when they would land there. In the exhibit were many beautiful flowers and butterflies of many varieties, some of which I had never seen...giant blue butterflies, red, orange, yellow, black, brown, white, and of course the traditional Monarch butterflies that we see a lot of here in Minnesota. If you are in the area this summer, I would HIGHLY recommend going to the butterfly exhibit. I imagine it will be a much visited exhibit during its time, so perhaps it would be best to arrive earlier in the day to avoid the daycamp and daycare crowds. We were there around 10:15 am, and it wasn't too crowded yet.

The lions were crazy today! I think that they might be mating or something, because the female lion was hiding behind a tree and then creeping up on the male and pouncing on him! It was the funniest thing I think I've ever seen those lions do. They were tackling each other and roaring quite a bit. Many children were scared by the loud roars of the lions, including my little one! But it was nonetheless a very fun experience to witness. Usually when I have seen the lions they are just sleeping.

As we were leaving the zoo, I decided that we should go ahead and ride the old fashioned carousel. Kristi was thrilled with that choice, and we had a ton of fun. Perhaps it wasn't the smartest option for a 37 week preggie lady to do, but at this point I'm all about helping this child to come out! A nice volunteer at the carousel ride helped to hoist Kristi up to the horse so that we could ride the horse together. He stood nearby during the ride as if trying to help protect me in case something should happen! It was so sweet.

We walked up to the park tonight. It has been so neat to have Kristi walk by herself instead of pushing her in the stroller. She is loving the freedom! While we were at the park, there was a lady there who couldn't have been all that much older than me and she was sporting this really huge puffy hairdo that reminded me so much of an 80's girl rock band look! I got a good giggle out of that. It just isn't that often that I see hair like that anymore, unless I'm down in Texas visiting. It seems that a lot of women in Texas still like big hair. No offense ya'all! I love you dearly! :) Everything in Texas is bigger, right?

Must go help put the kiddo to bed...and I'm kind of giggling at myself for saying that I wouldn't be writing much since our computer is sick. I've been more diligent about writing this week than I have been for awhile! I'm just enjoying it I guess.

Blessings.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ramen Noodle Craving!!!

I am currently in the process of nuking some ramen noodles for myself! I can hardly wait to stir in the chicken flavor and eat me up some good 'ol sodium laden, bad preservative filled ramen! :) (there's the southern talk sneaking in) What a goofy craving. I have had this craving only a few times in my pregnancy, and it just happened to hit again tonight. I think I shall pair the ramen up with some chunks of watermelon which are shouting out to me from the frig. I LOVE watermelon, and that is another of my cravings in the last several weeks. Every time I go to the grocery store I have to buy some watermelon. Ahhh...the microwave just beeped and my noodles are ready for consumption!

Oh, and I thought I was going into labor a few minutes ago...but now I think it is done for the time being. :) Good times. 37 weeks today!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nothing New

I went in for my dr. appt. today fulling thinking that perhaps my body might be progressing for the arrival of this baby, but nope, nothing new there! I was kind of disappointed, but the more I think about it, it is better for this baby to stay inside as long as he needs to. The dr. did seem to think that Baby is staying on the small side which is GREAT with me! She thought that perhaps Baby is still shy of 6 lbs, and for 37 weeks tomorrow, that's great. I am hoping that we'll still have this child a little bit early. Now I don't have to worry about him coming early as we're past the danger zone, and I can go about my daily life as much as I'm able to. I am excited to be able to go for more walks as I've been missing that lately!

We went out to dinner tonight near where we used to live, and it was such a fun time. One of Erik's colleagues from Asia joined us, and we had fun visiting with her. Kristi was very chatty and goofy at dinner time. At the restaurant where we went, they had an ice cream sunday bar where you could add all kinds of goodies to your ice cream! I'm talking gummy worms (how fun is that???), crushed oreo cookies, crushed heath bar, crushed m & m's, and a whole bunch of other things. It was so much fun. We hardly ever give Kristi anything candy-like, but she was able to experience her first gummy worm tonight and LOVED it! She kept reaching over to my plate trying to steal more gummy worms, as I had taken three or four.

Well, off to help Little Bug get to sleep finally. I know, it is after 9PM and she's still up. We've been in a bad habit with that lately! I think the summer sunlight staying out later is partly to blame. :)

Blessings to ya'all.

Monday, June 9, 2008

36 & 5

Today marks the day of gestation on which I gave birth to our dear Kristiana Joy...36 weeks and 5 days! So, naturally I keep thinking, "come on little buddy! You can come out now! It's time!" But of course, it is obviously NOT time and that's alright, and I must accept that and move on!

As you can probably tell by reading this, I am at times anxious and agitated to be waiting for la bebe still, but then I also have peace and I must rest in the knowledge that God is completely in charge of this baby and his arrival timing!!! And, I'm so thankful to not be puffed up like a balloon during this pregnancy like I was with Kristi. At this point with her, I was weighing 20 lbs. more and feeling extremely uncomfortable and in pain...THANK YOU GOD for sparing me Preeclampsia to this point in my pregnancy with our little boy! AMEN!!!

Blessings...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Quick Note...

Hey friends & family :)

Just wanted to say that our computer is "sick" and will be sent in for service tomorrow...SO, I don't know how much I'll be able to blog in the next several weeks as we wait for the return of the computer. Thankfully we'll have Erik's computer at home in the evenings, and I'll try to use it for updates and blogging when I can!

Still waiting for this Scandinavian baby to pop out...I keep waking up every morning thinking that today is the day, and then of course it hasn't been the day yet! And that's alright. Wednesday of this new week will be 37 weeks, so if our little one can make it to that point, then that will be even better for his development. Meanwhile, I still have crazy contractions sometimes. At least I know things are getting all set to go and it is very inevitable that this child has to be born sometime soon!!!

Blessings to you all,
Melody

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kristi's Birthday!





May 19 was Kristiana Joy's birthday, and she turned 2 years old! We had a big party with both of our families two days before the birthday, and Kristi had tons of fun eating her ladybug cupcakes. I went gonzo with a ladybug theme and it was a blast putting everything together!


Enjoy some pics...


36 weeks and 1 day...

SO, I'm now at 36 weeks and 1 day. I wasn't sure that Baby & I would get this far, but we have, and that's a good thing! However, now I'm getting antsy and wanting him to come soon. Today I was doing some major nesting activity...folding clothes, washing out his dresser and organizing things, etc...and then I started cramping again and decided I better lay down. So, I guess I still need to not push myself too hard but I just see so many things to take care of before our little guy joins us in this home!

This past Monday was my birthday and yesterday was Erik's birthday. It was fun to go out for lunch with my mom and Kristi on Monday, and then out for dinner with Erik that night. Although, we ate WAY too much food for our birthday dinner and we felt like we were going to explode for an entire day! It was an amazing meal!

Now onto more nesting...I think this kid is coming soon...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Still Home & Okay

I went to the Dr. yesterday for my regular checkup and had a good report. Things are still looking the way they should at this point in the pregnancy. I'm now 35 weeks along, as of today! Only 5 more weeks to go...or less, if this little guy starts acting up again! :) I haven't had as many contractions as the two earlier episodes, but there is still definitely something going on. My Dr. said that if I can just get to 36 weeks then she will be fine with the baby coming anytime after that...so, hear this little buddy, you better stay in there a tiny bit longer, okay? Actually, when our boy didn't come onto the scene this past week like I thought he might, I was almost disappointed because I'm really looking forward to meeting him! But then of course my common sense kicked in and I realized that every day he can stay in there is good for him. There's a reason that God made the entire gestational period to be forty weeks! He has it so perfectly planned.

In the meantime, we had a great weekend with a visit from our dear friends Kim & James! It was so much fun to have them here with us for two nights. Thanks for coming you two! Erik was even able to take them out sailing on Monday so that was neat.

And if you have heard about crazy tornadoes coming through our area, they were just about 15-20 minutes north of where we live. We didn't have any peripheral hail damage here at our home, but we know some people who did have some severe hail damage...don't know anyone who lost a home, but there were many of those. Please pray for these families who have been impacted by the storm.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Waiting Game

Hey friends. Two nights ago, I had another crazy night of contractions...but ended up falling asleep for a couple of hours eventually and decided not to go in to the hospital to be checked. Since then, I've been fairly okay and have so far had two somewhat "normal" days, which has been nice. Little Man is moving around still quite a bit inside of me and that is reassuring. If some more crazy things happen with preterm labor prior to my Tuesday regular OB appointment, I think I will most likely go and get checked.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. We so appreciate them!

We have company coming for a few days and I'm SOOOOO excited! I must go and get some final picking up and cleaning done before our dear friends arrive!!!!!!

Blessings to you all...

And if you feel led, I encourage you to go and read the most recent post on this incredible blog that has been blessing my life recently...the post is about being broken before our Lord and how He pieces us back together...Amen for that.

http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pray for the Chapmans

I just found out yesterday that Steven Curtis Chapman (a famous contemporary Christian musician, in case you don't know of him) and his family are mourning the tragic loss of their precious little five year old girl, Maria. She was in the driveway of their home and was accidentally hit with an SUV driven by her brother who was coming home for a party with the family. Little Maria was one of three girls adopted from China by the Chapmans.

Please pray for this family during their time of loss...

Preterm Labor on Break...

Hey everyone. In case you didn't already know this, I was experiencing some preterm labor yesterday and almost went into the hospital to be monitored. I had contractions all day long off and on, and some were more intense than others...but alas, I'm still at home and today haven't had contractions much at all! I feel more normal and that's good. Since I'm at 34 weeks gestation, I'm so glad that our little man would probably be alright if he needed to come early.

All that said, I have a zillion and one things to try to accomplish on my nesting list, and I don't think I'll get all of it done before our boy comes. And now I'm really coming to terms with that, and realizing that life will most likely go on, even if I don't get all this stuff done.

I would appreciate your prayers for our little boy and for me as we await his arrival!

Thank you!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Playlist help!

Hi! I just installed a playlist of songs and I don't think it is working...anyone know how to make it work? I installed it under the "install html/code" section in "page elements." If you know how to help will you respond? Thanks!!!!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Very Inspired...

For many months now, off and on, I have been reading an excellent book by Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church. It is called "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire." (I didn't know how to underline the title...) Usually after I finish reading a segment in the book, I don't know what to do! The book has spurred something in my soul and has made me realize the importance of living boldly for my faith in Jesus Christ. It has made me see the importance of our churches (and us in our own lives) being so much more open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Cymbala talks about not being so tied down to a timed schedule for a service, and not that the service should then be completely without schedule or chaotic, but just that we ought to be more sensitive to the Spirit's leading in our services. That really got to me. There are SO many churches that are so rigid in planning, and I think that EVERY church should read this book and let it be a starting point for conversations and changes in how to lead a service, how to worship, how to follow the Spirit more than following what WE think ought to take place. This type of thinking could seriously revolutionize our churches...the "dead" and "alive" churches could potentially have more life if they would stop what they're doing, pray, and seek the leading of the Holy Spirit.

That's my thought for the day. I don't quite know where to take it, but I thought that blogging about it might be a good start.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

ZOO!!!






This morning we got up kind of late, but I saw how lovely it was outside and realized that it would be the perfect day to take Kristi to our local Como Zoo! We went and we saw LOTS of neat animals. I think Kristi's favorites were the monkeys, gorillas, orangutans, sea lions and the fish. Oh, and she also seemed enthralled with the very tall giraffes, as she craned her little neck upwards to look at them. The animals seemed a little goofy today. I don't know if it was the nice weather or what, but they all were being a little strange. It made for more entertainment, that's for sure.

The pictures are:
*at the church Easter Egg Hunt
*with Grammie by the pool at Auntie's place
*swimming in her "boat"
*Easter dress
*at a birthday party for a little friend
I don't know why she is so goofy about not smiling for the camera, but I guess that's the phase we're in. She used to smile all the time for the camera! My kid is a happy kid! I guess there are just deep thoughts going on inside her head or something!


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tubes & Tummies!!!

So, I've learned something...NEVER go down a long, claustrophobic, winding tube tunnel slide with your almost two year old when you're UBER pregnant! (I'm now 31 weeks - I can't believe how quickly it is going!) Last night Kristi Bug and I had an adventure to our nearby park, and yes, I took her to the tallest slide and had her on my lap while I tried to lay down and go down that silly thing. When we got to the bottom, it was VERY hard to get up and out of the slide, and I had to sort of shimmy Kristi out of the slide and use my legs to get her down from the drop of a few feet so that she wouldn't crash. I was laughing as I tried to get up and knew that I'd have a good story to tell later on. Erik cracked up when I told him, and I guess he had the joy of sharing the slide story with his coworkers today, who got a chuckle out of it as well. After going down with Kristi, then she proceeded to (and I guess I let her) go up the playground equipment all by herself to the TOP slide again, two more times, and come down by herself. She had this kind of devious little grin on her face and kept checking with me, almost like she was thinking, "Mommy? I can't believe you're letting me do this!" The first time down was fine, and she laughed and laughed...but the second time down by herself, she must have gotten her footing off, and she kind of tumbled down the slide. Oops! I felt like a real dufus of a mama at that point, as my Bug seemed a little discombobulated from tumbling down the slide. Needless to say, that was the end of our night at the park, but Bug handled it very well and there were no tears shed. I now call her, "my independent one."

Must go get some sleep...blessings to all...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Must Read This Story...

I was directed to this blog through another blog that I read, and I am amazed by this story of a family whose fourth baby was found to have some serious health problems while in the womb...and her mama is so inspiring in what she writes here...when you get to the blog you can go back and start at the beginning of the story. This entry link below happens to have a slideshow of the baby Audrey after she was born.

http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html

incredible article...

Hey Friends,

I just happened to read this article about choosing life over abortion and thought it was very inspiring!

http://www.christianitytoday.com/tcw/2008/marapr/9.28.html

I remember when Kristiana was just several weeks old and a young girl came to our door working for Planned Parenthood. She was of course looking for donations and asked me if I was pro-choice. I promptly replied with great conviction and joy, "No, I'm very much pro-life, especially now with my new daughter." She quietly watched Kristi & I and said, "Okay, I can understand why you would feel that way. I hope things go well with your new daughter." I really hope that she does understand. I have often thought of that girl and have asked God to help her to see why life is such a gift from HIM!!!

Thank you Lord, for giving us life. Life is such a vapor. Please help us to respect life and to cherish life. Amen.

Hi!

Well, I haven't posted in a bit so I figured it was time! Here's the update on life from our home:

Last weekend we had our first ER adventure with Little Bug. She had Croup and was barking like a seal at 1:15 AM on Saturday morning, then threw up and was just generally having a hard time breathing. I called the Dr. and he said that if she was in a lot of distress to take her in to the ER, so we did that. On the way there, Bug started to feel better because of breathing in the cold air. We went in and they gave her a steroid to help relieve the inflammation in her larynx and then offered her a Popsicle, which she proclaimed after one lick was "too cold!" She's going through a phase where things are always too hot or too cold. Anyway, I'm glad that we went. Children's Hospital in St. Paul is wonderful. They really had so many neat tricks to help our little one stay calm. The whole time we were there, I kept thinking about all the people we know who make many many trips to the ER with their children on a regular basis...and I can't imagine how difficult it must be for those families.

Bug has had an icky cold all week, but I think she's starting to feel a little better. Our weather has been changing a lot too, so that might be part of it. In fact, as I type this, we're having more SNOW!!!!!! I thought for sure it was done a few weekends ago, but I should've known better!

Also, I had a fun little weekend trip to Houston a few weeks ago to visit friends. One dear friend is getting married, so I went for her bridal shower. I also had the privilege of staying with my voice teacher, his lovely wife, and their teenage son for a few days and it was great to catch up with them. Then I spent one night with my girls from grad. school and we had a really nice time together as well! It was fun to take one last trip before baby comes in July.

I'm starting to get a little swollen and hoping that Preeclampsia isn't setting in. If you think of it, I would appreciate your prayers over this matter. I'm a bit nervous about getting the illness again, but at least this time I'm much better prepared to understand what is going on if something should happen.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Charleston Pics






Here are some photos from our vacation in Charleston, which was a month and a half ago now!!! Geepers - I'm slow at getting pictures onto the computer. But that's because I can never remember how to do it. Erik has to help me! Thanks Honey!

Picture #1: At Fort Sumter, which is on a little tiny island, holding only the Fort.
Picture #2: Cherry Blossoms at the Magnolia Plantation & Gardens.
Picture #3: An alligator and his turtle friends, resting in the sun on the lovely 65 degree day at the plantation gardens.
Picture #4: Preggy Melody at the Gardens.
Picture #5: Melody & Erik in the swampy part of the Gardens...VERY cool.

If you have never been to Charleston, South Carolina, we would highly recommend it as a lovely place to visit! It was rejuvenating for our marriage to take a little vacation, just the two us. I'm so thankful that we could do that. Frequent flyer miles are SO helpful!!!!!!! I guess that is one benefit of Erik having to travel sometimes.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

one more try...

I'm not sure why it isn't working, so I'm going to try to paste the link in here a different way...

http://www.olivekids.com/toddlerbedding.html

Toddler Bedding

For some reason, the link I included for the toddler bedding didn't work. I'm going to try again.

Organizing Frenzy!!!

Nesting season in my pregnancy has hit! I'm going nuts trying to get many things accomplished before our baby arrives in a few months. Today I was cleaning the back closet by our garage and putting all kinds of things in order. One thing I'm really excited about is that I took an over the door pocket shoe holder and placed it on the door to our laundry room, which is right by our garage door entry, and now it houses some of our shoes as well as hats & mittens & other random things. I love it and it has cleared a LOT of clutter from the closet & the floor! And the other great thing is that I already had the shoe holder from my grad. school days. I'm glad I hung onto it! Something which I'm slightly embarassed to say is that I still had several boxes with 3 ring binders full of notes and papers from college and grad. school, and I have been going through and keeping only the few things which might be of use to me in my teaching now. That has eliminated a LOT of paper clutter, for which I'm thankful! It was a lot of fun going back and reading some of my papers from college, because they sort of give a glimpse into that stage of my life and what I was thinking about, dreaming about and living. I loved college and grad. school and I'm thankful that I had such wonderful teachers and opportunities to learn and grow.

Another fun thing is that we're getting ready to decorate a "big girl room" for Kristi, and I'm so excited about it. I have spent many hours looking for just the right toddler bedding and bed, and contemplating whether or not to keep her in the crib and get another crib for the next baby...or put her in the toddler bed...or just put her on a twin size mattress on the floor...but I really feel like we're doing the right thing to try the toddler bed. She'll be two in May, and I want to get her transitioned before Baby Boy comes into our world in July. So, we're hoping to get all painted and decorated in her room in the next few weeks and start the transition. The toddler bedding that I found for Kristi is just adorable, and it has a tea party theme. We're planning on putting polka dots and tea pots painted on the wall here and there to make it more whimsical and inviting in her room! And I'm hoping to sew some curtains too. Here's the link for bedding, and this company has so many awesome things to choose from that are not "character" related... which I think is really cool.

Erik is busily scraping wallpaper goop from our kitchen and we're hoping to paint the kitchen soon too! Exciting times for decorating are here. He is such an amazingly resourceful, talented and helpful man, and I'm very thankful for him!!!

Oh, and Baby Boy seems to be doing fine in my tummy. Kristiana has been saying "Baby Brudder in Mama's tummy" and then she comes up and kisses me and pats my belly. It is very cute.

Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Raspberry Lip and Other Adventures...

Wowsers, I haven't posted in a very long time, but there are a lot of great reasons for that! Life has been so full and busy and I'm thankful for the things that have happened. Erik & I had the wonderful opportunity to take a long weekend vacation to Charleston, South Carolina the last few days of February and first few days of March. It was just great to be together and to see a lovely old city with so much history! The weather was AMAZING for us...sunny every day and it got up to 65 degrees, which felt so nice! When we left Minnesota, it had been only about 13 degrees, so it was a huge shock to our systems to be in the warmth. We saw Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, we walked along the beach on the little coastal islands where we saw two washed up jellyfish & some dolphins swimming in the wake of a huge freight ship, we went for a carriage ride in old Charleston and learned a bunch of historical and fun trivia and saw gorgeous old homes and other establishments, we walked through the famous Charleston market and saw ladies weaving sweet grass baskets, we went to the beautiful Magnolia Plantation & Gardens where we toured the plantation house and then also saw the gardens and swamp area that are now maintained the by Audubon Society...and I think we saw probably 5 alligators, which was great! I had never seen alligators and really really wanted to, so that was a fun highlight for me. While we were at the plantation garden place we met the wife of Kevin Costner's photo stand in, and they are a really neat Christian family. There were some connections that Erik was able to make with them from his past, and that was cool. Didn't get to meet the photo stand-in guy though because he was off working on a new Kevin film in the Charleston area. I'll have to see it now! We also ate at a bunch of amazing restaurants and each probably gained 5 pounds over the weekend. I felt like a beached whale when we were flying home that Sunday! The food was AMAZING! We had some good southern favorites like fried green tomatoes & crab cakes, and I also had some fresh North Carolina stream trout - that was incredible. One of the restaurants we ate at was called "High Cotton" and it was really fancy. Good thing we went there for lunch and not dinner, because I don't think we would've had the appropriate attire for dinner. If you have seen the film "The Notebook" there is a dining room restaurant scene that was filmed in that restaurant. Now I'll have to watch that again too. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. We felt so footloose and fancy free, and decided that it would be fun to have this "babymoon" before our little baby boy comes in July. Thanks to my parents for watching Little Bug while we were gone. She had such a great time over there and we felt so content knowing that she was being well cared for.

About the raspberry lip, that was today's adventure! Kristi & I were downstairs and as we were getting ready to come back up, she fell and landed her cute little mouth on the hard cement floor, causing her to bite her lip pretty hard. There was blood everywhere, and I didn't know what to do! We've never had an incident like that. So, I called calm & collected Daddy & asked him, and he said (while daughter is screaming in the background), "just put a cool washcloth in her mouth & maybe have her suck on an ice cube, or put the ice cube inside the washcloth." So, I did that, and it really helped. I tried giving her a popsicle but she didn't want it because it was "too cold." Anyway, her teeth are still intact, and her raspberry lip is puffy and there, but she's doing okay. A little Tylenol & some teething gel spread on her lip did the trick and she's outside playing in the snow right now with Daddy.

Well, enough of my adventures for one day. I'll try to post some pictures soon. Blessings to all of you.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hubby is Home!

Erik got home last Saturday from a 3.5 week work trip in Asia. He goes usualy twice a year to many many countries in the Asia Pacific region, and I hear lots of cool stories about the people he meets and works with, as well as foods and places that he gets to see. Of course, he is doing work almost the entire time he is gone, so there really isn't much time for sight seeing. One really great thing from this trip was that Erik got to spend some time with our friend in India who was an exchange student of sorts here at the University of Minnesota. Thanks to our friend for showing him around the big city and taking him to lots of fun places, as well as a good traditional Indian lunch!

I'm so glad to have my man back home! We missed him a lot.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cravings...

Pregnancy makes a person crave really bizarre things...like the traditional pickles & ice cream. Of those two, I have more often craved the pickles, probably because of the salt. And then there is my craving for grapefruit! I had that in my first pregnancy and I have it again this time. The iron craving happens to me at least once a week, if not twice, and I have to restrain myself from going through the Wendy's drive-thru lurking for a juicy cheeseburger. But I do give into that craving probably once every few weeks, the Wendy's burger craving that is. :) TONIGHT, I was craving chicken flavored ramen noodles! The bad for you, full of MSG, yummy tasting nooddles that I simply cannot get enough of lately. Once again, I think it is the salt that I'm craving. And it is precisely the salt which I should probably be monitering. My blood pressure is really great right now, but in my first pregnancy when I started to have some complications due to Preeclampsia, I had to virtually eliminate salt from my diet. It was SO hard! But I learned how to use really great herbs and spices in my cooking, and that helped. Seriously though, our nation is terrible with the salt consumption, and I'm one of those consumers! One of my friends who has to watch salt intake told me that we eat several times more salt, as a nation, than most of the rest of the world. No wonder we have so many health problems. Anyway, I need to make it my goal to make myself eat a healthier snack than chicken ramen noodles next time that craving calls! Apple, anyone?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

English Muffin Pizzas!

YUM! I just made English Muffin Pizzas for lunch today and Kristi and I both gobbled them up! If you've never made these little wonders, I encourage you to try them sometime. They're a really easy and quick meal and can be quite nutritious if you choose for them to be that way.

I cut the muffins in half, spread them with pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce with herbs & spices sprinkled on it, then put your toppings on. Mine usually include turkey pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and any variety of vegetables...some fun ideas are fresh spinach chopped up, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, chopped green peppers...whatever you like. Other toppings could be grilled or baked leftover chicken pieces, pineapple, mushrooms, olives...you get the idea.

Bake the pizza muffins at 350 degrees for approx. 15 minutes.

ENJOY!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cleaning!

Today I really have felt the urge to clean and clean some more! I haven't been diligent about vacuuming and scrubbing floors since we've moved to this new house, but the time has come...dun dun dun (hear the music)...and I HAVE to clean or I'll go crazy!!!!! I get into these spurts sometimes and then I cannot stop cleaning. It was really funny tonight because Kristi said to me, "Thanks for vacuuming, Mama!" I had to giggle about that. She is normally terrified of the vacuum, but tonight she seemed to enjoy following me around and seeing the vacuum do job.

I hope to stay more on track with cleaning...now back to scrubbing floors, doing laundry & dishes!

Old House






Some days I really miss our old house, but I'm thankful for the new house too. We haven't taken pics of the new house, but here are some of the old house...


Saturday, January 26, 2008

More Apple Pictures...





Scrapping & Apples






I'm thrilled because I got to scrapbook today with a friend from the crop club I'm in, and we had a great time! It was just nice to focus on a project other than a home task or a child task for several hours. I'm working on a book for my daddy, in honor of his 70th birthday, which was last year...I know, I know...last year you say, but you see, life has been so busy (I don't think it will ever be not busy) and I had to set the project aside. For the last few weeks I have been able to take some time to work on Dad's book and it has been lot of fun. I asked a bunch of friends & family to send me letters & photos of Dad for the book and now I'm compiling all of those things plus pictures that my mom helped me dig out. It has been a blast!


I leave you with photos from a day picking apples at our nearby apple orchard this November...the last day of the season. My mom is friends with the lady who owns the orchard and that sweet lady let us come and pick apples for FREE...as many as we wanted! We were so blessed to walk away with many bushels of beautiful Haralson apples! It was a glorious, beautiful day and we all had fun! The apple pickers were me and my dad, and Erik helped to watch Kristiana.