Our Family

Our Family
Fall 2015 - These are my people

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bird Treats

The other day, Bug and I stirred up some bird seed treats for our bird friends in our yard! I wanted to post the recipe on here for ya'all...very easy and fun...just some ingredients that we don't normally have at home that I had to go out and get, and you could probably substitute a few things but I didn't think of it at the time. My dad gave me a few suet feeders for our birds, ones that he didn't need anymore! So that was very sweet and I'm excited to see the birds gobble up their new fun food! THANKS DAD!!!

Here's the recipe, taken from a neat book that I received as a gift awhile back, "Company's Coming: Gifts From The Kitchen" by Jean Pare. (I don't know how to underline book titles or add accents on letters in this format yet!) It's a great book that has many homemade food and other gifts. I am always inspired to create something when I look at it!

Bird Feed Treats

(*Note at top of recipe says "save the mesh bags from onions, lemons, limes, [oranges], or tomatoes-on-the-vine to fill with this bird treat).

dry bread crumbs 2 cups
commercial birdseed 1 cup
chopped unsalted peanuts 1 cup (I couldn't find unsalted, so I had to use "lightly salted")
chopped raisins 1 cup
whole wheat flour 1/2 cup
yellow cornmeal 1/4 cup
cream of wheat cereal (not instant) 1/4 cup

chunky peanut butter (no salt, no sugar) 1 cup
suet (or vegetable shortening) 1 cup
bacon drippings 2 tbsp.

mesh bags (or a suet feeder!)
butchers string or jute twine

Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl.

Heat peanut butter, suet and bacon drippings in small saucepan on medium, stirring occasionally until melted. Gradually stir into birdseed mixture until moistened. Pack mixture into ice cube trays. Chill well or freeze.

Fill mesh bags (or suet feeder) with up to 10 cubes. Close. Tie with string. Hang from sturdy branch or shepherds hook. Makes about 4 dozen cubes.

Note: You could also just place a few cubes on your deck, fence rail or a bird feeder platform.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Cookie Exchange!!!

Well, yesterday for our MO_PS group at church, we had our annual Christmas cookie exchange! I love this day and look forward to it with great anticipation...and have been planning for WEEKS now, trying to find the right recipe, the right cookie boxes...way too much detail, I know, but sometimes I obsess about things like that. That's the perfectionist in me.

SO, all that to say, I found a great recipe in an old cookie magazine from La_nd O' La_kes that I purchased many years ago. I tried it out on my family and they liked it, so I made some more! Here it is - ENJOY! Oh, and this is a basic chocolate cookie recipe, but there are many variations that I listed below...and I chose to do the chips & mint one, retitling the cookies, "Hint of Mint White Chocolate Chip Cookies."

Chocolate Drop Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour (or, you could do a blend of white flour and whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


Chips & Mac Nuts
1 cup semi-sweet real chocolate chips or vanilla milk chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Fruit & Cinnamon
2 cups chopped dried fruit mix (or whatever dried fruit you like...cranberries, anyone?)
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Chips & Mint (***This is the one I made!)
2 cups vanilla milk chips (aka, white chocolate chips)
1/2 teaspoon mint extract

Toffee & Chips
1 cup toffee pieces
1 cup semi-sweet real chocolate chips

Peanut Butter
1 (10 oz.) package (2 cups) peanut-butter flavored chips

1 cup chopped maraschino cherries, well drained

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixer bowl combine butter, sugar & brown sugar. Beat at medium peed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add eggs & vanilla; continue beating until well mixed (1 minute). Reduce speed to low; add flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt. Beat until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes).

2. Stir in ingredients from one of the variations.

3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until set. Let stand 2 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet. Enjoy!

It says it makes approx. 3 dozen cookies.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Pictures

These pics are from the recital that I performed at North_western Coll_ege on October 12th this year. Our program had works by Sib_elius, St_raus, Sch_ubert, Mil_haud, Ba_ch and perhaps one more that I'm forgetting...and included a few chamber works that were a blast to perform.
Here I am with Matt Wilson on horn and Jan Scovill on piano.

Left to right: Jan Scholl, clarinet; Melody, soprano; Matt Wilson, horn; Jan Scovill, piano

Me & my honey, Erik.

It was so much fun to do a recital again as I hadn't done one since my 2nd masters recital at Ri_ce, Fall of 2004. Recitals are SO much work, but so rewarding and enjoyable to perform. I just wish we could perform our program again sometime! I'm hoping to continue taking lessons from my friend and colleague here in town, Doreen. Then perhaps I could gear up for some more music making!

Almost Christmas!

WOW, I cannot believe that it has been several months since I last posted anything. Of course, life will always be busy with small adorable children under foot, but seriously, I think it has gotten BUSIER than I could've imagined! :) I'm so glad to have these wee ones under foot though. Buzz is now 17 months - where has the time gone? He started walking at 15. 5 months and running about 3 weeks later. Little Man is VERY busy and has a hard time sitting still for long - kind of like his sweet Daddy! And Big Bug is my very chatty, busy and mostly happy three and a half year old. She has been singing a LOT lately, which is really sweet. In fact, about a month ago, Bug sang a little duet with me at church when we joined my parents in their program for the senior citizens. It was so sweet that I could barely sing with her - the tears were massively hanging out in my eyes as my little girl was singing "into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in today, come in to stay, come into my heart Lord Jesus." I have fallen in love with that piece since I heard it on the new Se_lah album, which in case I haven't mentioned before is one of my favorite groups. I love their renditions of hymns and new songs as well.

In other news, I'm busily getting ready to make gingerbread houses with my kids and my dear friend C and her kids this week. That will be so much fun, I can hardly wait! My grandiose plans of creating the gingerbread myself went to pot last night as I realized that I really don't have the time to make gingerbread this week...and that's okay. SO, we're going to do the easier route of using graham crackers, and they'll be really cute and work well!

This past week was Thanksgiving, and I must say I'm very thankful for my family and friends. I'm especially thankful that my brother Joel could be with us for the holiday along with his darling family. Joel was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, had surgery to remove a large mass, has a colostomy now and has begun his chemotherapy treatment at a sister hospital to a very major medical center here in MN. The whole ordeal has completely shaken me and I'm still trying to process it. It was nine years ago that my mom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and in the same year was HEALED of that wild cancer that had ravaged her body. We are so grateful to have her here. And we are praying for healing for my brother Joel. I'm learning once again to trust in the Lord through this time and to ask for His peace upon my brother and his family. Lord, be near to them.

May you have a lovely few weeks leading up to Christmas. I'll hopefully write more soon and add some pics of my family. Blessings be upon you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Busy Summer

Hey all!

I cannot believe that it has been almost TWO months since I last posted on my blog. But I can tell you that life has been very busy since I last wrote. :) Why is it that at the beginning of every single summer I have such grandiose plans of relaxation, projects, and get-togethers and that every single summer I come to about this point in August and realize that I haven't gotten through many of my plans? Perhaps others face this same issue. And really, if that's my biggest worry of the day, I'm doing okay. I love summer! I love being outside with my family, enjoying fresh air and sunshine while trying to avoid the bees who seem to seek me out since I'm allergic to them. (Note: I finally got an E_pi- P_en this past year after knowing for 13 years that I was allergic to bees...so at least I have it on my person at all times in case of emergency!) We enjoy taking walks every night after supper in our neighborhood where we have nice trails and parks. It is really a blessing to have green grass and playgrounds to play on. There are so many places in the world that do not have this luxury, and we are grateful. I also love grilling in the summer. Now, this summer we haven't done very much grilling...not sure why, but it just hasn't happened a whole lot. So, intend to change that up this weekend with grilling some chicken and having salad along with it! Sounds yummy to me. And in our house, every day after lunch is a HUGE event for Bug who likes to go out and meet "Miss Mary," our mail delivery lady. We just met Miss Mary a few months ago when we happened to be outside one day as she brought our mail to the box. As we started visiting with her, she offered Bug a sucker from a little box she keeps in the mail truck. So of course, now Bug has to go out and meet Miss Mary every day to get her sucker. There are many days that we don't connect out there, but when we do, it's fun. I told Bug that we need to be nice to Miss Mary and just be her friend too, and that we shouldn't always expect to receive a sucker from her.

(This post is really random...just lots on my mind today...)

We took a LOVELY one week vacation in Do_or Cou_nty, W_is_consin at the end of July, and it was such a nice reprieve. I was sick for most of our vacation, but still was able to enjoy a good time with my family! We stayed in the town of Si_ster B_ay, and loved the condo that we rented. Some of our highlights included going swimming at the Nic_olet B_ay B_each in Pen-insula St_ate Pa_rk, hearing live concerts in the local towns at night (including one by a girl I grew up with), eating cherry pie, walking through a cherry orchard, attending the fish boil at the Vi_king G_rill, playing at different playgrounds and going for walks with the kids around the little towns, and watching the skunks roaming about underneath and around the deck at our condo. Yes, that's right, we had SKUNKS living under our deck!!!!! Crazy! There was a family of nine skunks and thankfully, a man brought some live traps and captured the skunks. This went on for several days, so the guy had to keep coming back to get the captured skunks and set up the trap for the next victim...yes, he had to euth_anize them because of state law, in case they were rabid. It was kind of sad, but apparently skunks are the highest carriers of rabies. Ew. Poor, cute skunkies. They really were cute. Bug and Buzz really loved seeing the skunks roaming about, through the window. Truly, it was a nice vacation, and we had such a good time together as a family. I'm so grateful that we could go away for awhile. It was refreshing for my soul. Erik and I had a good time visiting at night when the kids would go to sleep, and catching up on cable tv since we don't have that at home! We played cards one night too, and watched movies, and read books. It was great.

I'll try to post some pics soon...and tell more summer stories...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More pics...

Feel the Love!

Come on Buzz, let's tackle!

I LOVE my new hobby of climbing stairs!

Betcha can't catch me!

New Pictures of Kids!

Hey Ya'all! Here's some more recent pics of my two little darlins...Bug Girl has turned THREE!!! Her birthday was May 19. I'm hoping to post some pics of her fun Do_ra the Ex_plorer birthday parties. Buzz turns ONE next week, June 22nd! I can't believe how quickly they're growing. We're really enjoying being outside more lately. Buzz likes to ride in his little push car and Bug likes to draw on the sidewalk with chalk, as well as blow bubbles. And if I let him, Buzz will eat ANYTHING he finds on the ground. GROSS! The other night he was so sick from eating leaves and such that he threw up right before I put him to sleep. Poor kid! I hope he learns soon not to eat extraneous junk. Bug is really patient for the most part, and today she sat in the office with me while I was working on paper work and making appointments. She was working with stickers and pom poms and gluing them all to paper. Fun times!
I'm off to go make some dinner and wake up my kids...well, Bug never did nap today. Little stinker! But Buzz is sound asleep. He's such a good napper for me! Knock on wood, right? I hope he stays that way!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

April Rose

Well, I was following a story about a little baby named April Rose and her mommy "B," only to find out a few days ago that the story was fake. Disappointing. Here's the news article about the girl who wrote the story on her blog. It's so sad, really. I'm praying for B and hoping that the Lord will heal her spirit and help her to move forward.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Singermama is back!

Blogging has not been a priority for me lately - did ya notice? Honestly I haven't missed it all that much. I've been much more into Face_book, reading other people's blogs, and just life itself to take the time to blog on my own blog. But ya'all, I'm back! :) Here are my random thoughts...

I'm practicing voice again as I'm preparing to do a recital in October with a colleague of mine who plays French horn. I think it will be a ton of fun! Recitals are such incredible experiences...they take TONS of work and dedication to prepare for, but they are so rewarding to do! My plan is to resurrect some music that I've done in the past so that I don't have to learn everything from scratch. And the fact that I get to share the program with my friend will help a LOT! Much less work for me.

Recently, I reopened my Be_th Mo_ore online Bible study through Life_way.com. They have online Bible studies!!! SO fun! And they're great for busy mamas, because let's face it, we rarely have moments to ourselves. So the fact that I can do my study in segments that only last about 10 minutes at a time is VERY convenient! Hooray! The one I'm doing is titled "Liv_ing Beyond Your_self." I'm very inspired so far. When I was in grad. school in Texas, I had the privilege of attending Be_th Mo_ore's Sunday school class at Ho_uston's Fi_rst Ba_ptist Ch_urch. That was an incredible year and a half of my life, being at that church and in that class. The Lord used that time to help me grow and learn much about Him. When I moved back to MN, I greatly missed being at that church and in Beth's class, but I also felt like it was a good season in my life that I would always be grateful for. And since then, I've been able to listen to some cd's from the class and read some of her books, and that has been nice to. And I've been reminded that it is good to learn from other teachers too! The Lord has blessed MANY teachers of His Word out there, and I'm thankful that we can learn from them. Every now and then though, it is nice to have me some Beth time. :) She not only makes me laugh hysterically with her southern ways, but she also has incredible insights into the Lord's Word, and I feel like God has gifted her immensely.

On another note, we've been very busy around this house lately. Three of the four of us have had our birthdays in the last few weeks - Erik turned 40, I turned 32, Bug Girl turned 3, and then in two weeks my Buzzy Boy will turn 1! And Erik and I had our five year wedding anniversary. Hallelujah! We made it through five years! I'm looking forward to so many more with my love.

Bug's birthday was fun. She had two parties - one with family and one with little friends, but both had the D_ora the Ex_plorer theme. VERY fun! Bug loves D_ora, and often requests D_ora videos. We had Enchilada Casserole as our main dish and everyone loved it. There were two pinatas - one for each day, and the kids went nuts and had so much fun!

Erik was supposed to have a surprise party for his birthday, but due to a few different reasons, it ended up not being a surprise. In the end, that was okay though, because I really needed his help getting ready for the party. There were approximately 80 people there and it was a ton of tun! We held the party up at the park near our home, and people from all areas of Erik's life were there - family, college, and of course, BSF. He spent MANY years in BSF, both as an attendee and as a leader, so it was much fun for him to reconnect with his "peops."

We've had a lot of illness in our home the last several months...colds, pneumonia, flu...and I think we're finally over it. At least I hope so! I'm really glad that we can have a reprieve from the illness. People who deal with chronic illness or disease of any sort must have a hard time without reprieve...I cannot imagine.

I must go and rest while kiddos are napping...chicken, wild rice, carrots, cream of mushroom soup and homemade chicken broth are brewing away in the cr_ock pot for dinner. I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I've been praying for a family with a sweet baby girl named Kayleigh. Baby Kayleigh went to be with Jesus today, and my heart aches for her family. Here's the link to her blog.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Postpartum Depression

Incredible blog that I JUST now learned about! I have struggled with postpartum depression, and I just wish that I had known about this blog when I was going through some very dark days. It was especially difficult for me following the birth of my daughter three years ago. I definitely went through it again with the second birth, ten months ago when my son was born, but I feel that I got better much more quickly. For me, exercise and having enough help were KEY KEY KEY aspects of getting well again quickly. If you or someone you know is struggling with PPD, PLEASE get help...and know that you're not alone!

Here's the link to the awesome blog about PPD.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Newer Pictures

This was one of our last snowy days in April. I bundled up the kids and got them outside when we were having "cabin fever."

My Buzz Bear loves his swing in the back yard!

Bug thinks making snowballs is tons of fun! And Buzz loved being pulled around in the sled.

Bug was trying to pat Buzzy's head...not quite sure why...

This hat was made by my friend Amy, and I think it looks very cute on Buzzy's head. Also, I found the bib that says, "Drool if You're Norwegian" at Engebretson's store in Minneapolis. Love that place!

Potty Training Today!!!

Well folks, today was our big potty training party day! And I have to say that I think it went fairly well. Honey and I were up until 1AM decorating our house in a Tin_kerbell theme and getting everything all ready - the drinks, the miniature snack cups, the big girl underwear, the dolly who wets and pees (and who also happens to look like that scary horror movie doll "Chu_ckie" - didn't think of that until AFTER I bought the doll), and other presents to entertain and reward throughout the day. We followed the model in the book about potty training your child in one day and it worked great. All morning we worked on potty training "Dolly." Every time Dolly would pee or poop in her potty chair, then we'd race to the bathroom and empty out her potty chair receptacle and put stickers up on the progress chart for telling us that she had to go, then sitting on the chair, and then actually going. My dear Bug who LOVES stickers thought this was fabulous. Then after putting stickers on the chart, Bug got to choose a yummy snack that I had placed in miniature snack cups - those little candy cups from the baking section in the craft store. Very fun! And true to form, my girl most often chose the dried fruit over the cookies or chocolates or cheese puffs. I love that she loves her fruit! Then in the afternoon, we presented her with her new underwear and she proudly donned them and promptly went pee on the potty without much prodding at all! We did this a lot during the day, and only had a couple of accidents. Tonight we had a special homeade pizza dinner with Grammie & Grump, my parents, and then some special key lime pie cupcakes for dessert! YUM! All in all, it was a great day of celebrating the success that our little girl is now a BIG girl, and that she peed in the potty! No poop yet...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Obeying Jesus...

Bug Girl : "Mommy, sometimes it's not a good idea to obey Jesus when people are laughing at you."

Mama: "Bug, there will always be people who will laugh at us and make fun of us for obeying Jesus, but when we choose to obey Him, He will bless us and reward us."

Wow, I couldn't believe my girl who will be three in a few weeks just came up with that one. I think that she must have been trying to relate to Jesus, as we've been reading the Easter story qutie a bit in the last many weeks before and after Easter. There's so much going on in the minds of babes.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Hey everyone,

My Bug girl has pneumonia. Yuck. We found out the official diagnosis yesterday after about a week of intermittent fevers and cold symptoms, including a pretty "chesty" cough. I'm so thankful that the dr. had her get a lung x-ray, although Bug hated that part. She screamed while the x-ray was being taken. Poor kiddo. But alas, the dr. showed me on the x-ray how part of her right lung had some fluid in it, and he could tell by the pattern that it was bacterial pnuemonia. Amazing all the things that dr's have to learn and know. Then he gave Bug an RX for ammox_icillin, so hopefully that along with some good 'ol TLC from Mama & Daddy will help rid my darling of her illness. She was at her worst yesterday, with a fever of 104 late last night...and then, PRAISE THE LORD, the fever BROKE and my dear girl was a completely sweaty mess. I was so grateful and kind of in shock that it had finally broken. I hate to think how high that fever could've gotten if it weren't for some Ty_lenol helping to keep it at bay. I've never seen my daughter so ill. The only other time that she had something so serious was when she had croup last winter and we took her to the er.

Now, I have to get Bug to drink! She's not doing so well with that part of her healing plan, but today was slightly better for fluids than yesterday. And I'm doing my part to try to pester her to take sips all the time. I remember that when I was sick, my mom was always trying to get me to drink. And it works, people! The body needs that fluid to rid itself of the illness.

If you think of it, I'd appreciate your prayers for complete healing for Bug. And I have my seasonal allergy/sinus gunk kicking in. Good times! But, I'm really happy to say that with the help of my sinus rinsing pot and some Ty_lenol to reduce swelling, I'm able to keep the symtoms under control and hopefully won't have to take any other meds. I haven't taken antibiotics for a sinus infection in quite some time due to this lovely method! It's some awe, I tell you. ("some awe" is something I learned from pastor/speaker/writer/teacher Louie Gi_glio. He says that nothing is awesome except for God, and that we should really think of everything else as "some awe" instead of the much overused "awesome." Great thought, really. I have a lot of respect for that guy.)

On another note, check out this very cool website with cards made by a darling girl named Reese whose daddy died just a few weeks ago from ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). If you purchase a pack of cards, your proceeds go to helping this family in their time of need.



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stellan made it through!

Praise the Lord - little Stellan made it through his surgery today. There will be a piece about him on our local KSTP news tonight at 10PM.


Friends, please please be praying for dear baby Stellan as he is currently either still in heart ablation surgery or perhaps has already completed it. You can follow his mommy's blog if you wish. She was a classmate of mine from college.


Time Bandits

A few months ago at my MOPS group, we watched a video by Andy_Stanley of North_Point_Church in Georgia. The message was all about how we need to be really careful with our time. The main points were:

#1 - "There is a cumulative value in investing small amounts of time in certain activities over a long period."
#2 - "Neglect has a cumulative effect as well."
#3 - "There are rarely immediate consequences for neglecting single installments of time in any particular arena of life."
#4 - "There is no cumulative value in the urgent things we allow to interfere with what's most important."
#5 - "In the critical arenas of life you cannot make up for lost time."

Much of what Pastor Andy was referring to in regard to time was how we relate or choose to not relate to our families, and specifically husbands and wives. It was such a good reminder to me of the importance of focusing much of my time and energy towards my family during, especially during this phase of life. Small children require much time and attention, but I feel that they along with my dear husband need to be some of my top priorities right now.

Pastor Andy listed four areas of our lives and made the challenge to us to find something within those four areas that we could try to change. Mine were:

1. Physical - workout more often
2. Relational - be kind daily
3. Professional - practice my singing more often
4. Spiritual - read my Bible with more regularity

The reason I'm posting all of this is that I'm working on cleaning off our office desk which is currently HIDEOUS and in much need of attention after I have NEGLECTED it for way too long. I'm such a procrastinator, and trying to get better at taking care of things as I see them rather than waiting for them to mysteriously take care of themselves. Anyone else relate to that?

SO, back to cleaning my desk...and be challenged to not neglect the small things in life. It is those that will pile up and become large things if you don't tend to them.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring has Sprung

Hello! Alas, I write a blog entry after such a hiatus...but you know, it has been a good hiatus. I have taken some time away from writing on this blog because this along with other things like face_book and even reading other people's blogs have ended up taking TOO much of my time away from doing things that I need to do around my home. I am such a procrastinator and sometimes find myself spending too much time online. But lately, I haven't been online much at all! And I feel like I'm not missing much, to be completely honest with you.

I'm SO happy that it is now spring time in these northern hinter lands! I love looking outside to see the new formed buds on the tree branches, the grass beginning to perk up into its greenish state, and the birds and bunnies roaming about in the yard and making their sweet sounds. A lovely time it is, indeed. Spring is one of my favorite times of year, second only to fall.

Well, my little Buzz boy is crying for me, so I must go for now...but I hope to be blogging a bit more again!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Keep Praying for Stellan

Friends, please please please keep in prayer for baby Stellan. He is still having such a hard time with his heart rate all over the map. And please pray for his family as well. Remember, you can click on the "praying for Stellan" box on the side of my blog if you want to read more.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A day of rest

We've been going and going a lot lately, and I'm really grateful to just have a day at home to rest with the kids. There are things to be done, like laundry and throwing away papers from my paper piles, cutting coupons, and just playing with my two darling children.

Last night after reading as many updates as I could on baby Stellan, I felt the urge to go and hug my kids and to hold them close. The reality that I am faced with many days is that we have NO idea when we could go to meet Jesus. It really could be any moment. Therefore, I need to make the most of every moment that I have here on this earth. And believe me, I'm not always the best at doing that. Sometimes I am very determined and I accomplish a whole lot of tasks/projects in a day, but some days I do NOT get much of anything done! Of course, I'm also trying to balance the need to accomplish those tasks with the need to spend time with my children, to cherish them and embrace them and to remind them that they are indeed loved. I have often told my Bug that I and her daddy love her SO much, but that God loves her more than we could ever possibly love her. She has now begun repeating that when Erik and I tell her that we love her, and can be heard saying, "but you know what Mama? God loves me more than you!" To which I reply, "Yes Honey, He does! That's right!" Amen to that my friends. Amen. I'm so glad that we serve a God who loves us more than we deserve...more than we could ever fully understand. What a gift.

Keep Praying For Stellan

Little Stellan is still struggling in the hospital. I just added the button for him on the right side of my page. If you click on it, it should take you directly to his mama's page. I really wish that there was something that I could do to help this baby. Of course, the best thing to do is to pray. Sometimes in such dire circumstances, I feel like saying to God, "really Lord? Is prayer really one of the best things to do for this situation?" And He usually calms my spirit and reassures me that it is indeed one of the only things that we can humanly do. There is also a care calendar that just started for Stellan's family. I'm going to have to check that out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pray for Stellan

I'm asking you, dear friends, to please pray for baby Stellan. He is in the hospital again with some heart problems. I ache for my friend from college who is Stellan's mama, and for this darling boy...so sorry that they are going through such trials with this little one. Lord, please heal sweet Stellan.

Click here read more about it. Thanks for your prayers for Stellan.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

$15 meal...or two or three or four!!!

I just threw together a good old-fashioned Sunday beef pot roast in the slow cooker, and am SO excited to turn it on in the morning and come home to YUMMY DELICIOUSNESS!!!!!!!! The roast that I bought was a nicer cut, and cost around $11.50. But you see, it has MUCH less fat on it. I know that the marble fat is what makes the meat taste delicious, but I'm trying to be healthy here people! So, I browned the hunk o' meat in some evoo (that's extra-virgin olive oil, in case you haven't ever heard a famous cook with the initials RR throw that term around) and also some yellow onions. I much prefer yellow onions to white, and hardly ever buy white unless it is the only thing there. I seasoned the meat with garlic powder, low sodium salt and pepper on all the sides, and made sure that each side was browned before setting the meat in an olive oil covered crock. Then I washed up some little red potatoes, carrots and mushrooms and placed them on and around the meat. Note: I don't really like mushrooms, but my sweet Erik LOVES them, so every now and again I have to incorporate them into a meal so that his tummy is happy! Not much I love more than to make my man happy with a good meal! SO, in the morgen, I will add a few inches of water in the crock and set it on low and hopefully it will be done when we come home from church! When it is all done, I will make some gravy out of the juices. My mom taught me how to do gravy...just take the juices from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil in another pan, or the original pan if you have removed the meat and veggies from that original pan...and then, you take some flour and cold water and mix up in the blender - I think it is about a half to one ratio...so, 1/2 cup flour to 1 cup cold water...I usually end up with several cups of water and a few cups of flour to make sure I have PLENTY of gravy. I like to have leftover gravy so that I can make pot pies and freeze them for later! The gravy really is a season to taste adventure. Once you mix in the flour and water mixture, making sure to only use as much as you need to for a good gravy consistency (I love thick gravy, so I have to add more of the flour), then you bring that to a boil. And then season with more garlic powder, salt and pepper. It's YUMMY!!! And I'm sure it's NOT healthy.

Onto the pot pies...cut up the leftover beef and mix with your favorite frozen veggies, or fresh veggies that you have chopped and cooked until tender - for example, I sometimes do a mixture of carrots, peas and potatoes...but you could do broccoli if you like that I suppose! Mix meat and veggies with leftover gravy, making sure that there isn't TOO much gravy, but just enough to keep things really moist. Place in glass or porcelain baking dishes, and cover with a pre-made store-bought pastry, such as a pie shell. That's what I usually use and I make it fit the pan by stretching and prodding it, and it works! If you want a real pie, you can put a pastry on the bottom of the pan as well...but if you're trying to cut a couple of calories out of an already calorie laden dish, then just use the pastry on the top. If you're lucky, you may have enough meat and gravy left over for several pies! I usually end up with two or three! And they freeze wonderfully, so you can pull them out for dinner some night when you don't want to cook. Bake at 350 degrees for around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Make SURE that you keep the crust edges covered with pieces of foil if you don't want burned crust! And you can even start the pie out for the first 30-45 minutes with foil covering the entire thing if you want to. I often do that, and then it helps to ensure that it doesn't burn.


Erik is home from Asia!!!

Erik just returned home today from a two week Asia trip for work. I'm SO glad to have him home! I miss him a ton when he is gone, and the kids do too. It was just precious to see them interacting with their daddy today. And I always find it amazing that our Little Buzz, even at 8 months old, is VERY able to recognize and know his daddy, even after two weeks apart. So cool. Big Sister got to go with me to the airport, and she said something about how we were going to go and "catch" Daddy at the airport, which I thought was funny!

Just now, Erik told me that when reading the story of David and Jonathan in the Bible, Big Sister said that Little Buzz was her best friend, just like David and Jonathan were best friends. Awww - that warms my heart like NOTHING else! Children are precious, that's for sure.

I'm looking forward to singing at church in two weeks! I haven't sung in church for MONTHS now, and I really miss it. I need to figure out what I'll be singing within the next few days for the blended service...blended means more traditional than contemporary at our church. The emphasis for the Sunday I'm singing is prayer. Anyone have suggestions? I'm going to sit down and start to work through it all either tonight or tomorrow. The scripture that will be used that Sunday is Matthew 6:5-8.

Hope ya'all are doing well!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Yesterday, my sweet Bug girl said something quite funny as she observed the neighbor dog, a golden retriever, standing on her deck...

Bug: "I think Berkeley should climb up a tree or something like that."

Mama: "But dogs can't climb trees, usually."

Bug: "Yes they can, it's important!"

So folks, there you have it....from the mouth of a 33 month old girl...dogs climb trees! We learn things every day, don't we?

Just thought this might make you smile and laugh! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Style!!!

I have been SO impressed by how adorable the backgrounds are from thecutestblogontheblock.com, and I just had to check it out. If you are looking for some fun new duds for your block, go to this site! It's FREE and it is really cool, I think. Hope you like this new look. I love the colors, except I'm wondering if the green background is sort of distracting and makes it harder to read...let me know your thoughts if you want to!

Amazing story of life


I just watched this clip of a_bortion survivor G_ianna J_essen, whom I remember reading about when I was a girl. (by the way, all the underscores are so that people cannot find my blog with an online search by typing in this topic) She is the same age as me, and survived a s_aline a_bortion! Apparently the a_bortion dr. wasn't in the room when she was delivered at just 2 lbs, 7.5 months gestation...otherwise he would've had to strangle her or suffocate her so that she wouldn't be alive. TERRIBLE!!!!!!!! BUT, praise the LORD...the nurse was able to SAVE HER LIFE by sending her in an ambulance to a hospital where they took care of her in an incubator, and some precious believers adopted her. And NOW she has an AMAZING story to share and a ministry. I don't like how one of the news anchors in this interview is so short and attacking with her, but she stands up for the truth. AMEN GIRL!

When my Bug was just several weeks old, a girl came to my door who was pro-ch_oice and she was raising funds for some group in our city. She was very nice, but I remember her looking at my little girl after she told me why she was there, and then looking at me and asking me if I was pro-c_hoice, and I said, "no, in fact now I'm VERY pro-l_ife, especially after having this baby." I could tell that she was somewhat taken aback, but very respectful of my stance. She actually seemed to be touched by it. Ever since then, I've wondered about that girl and what happened to her. I have prayed for her several times and for the pro-l_ife movement, that God would be glorified, and that He would help people to see how awful a_bortion is. I know SOOOO many people who would be very happy to adopt the many babies whose lives are being taken from them.

Also, I remember in college having a pro-l_ife week where we had special speakers in chapel. One of the speakers was a woman who had two a_bortions herself and later realized her terrible mistake. She ended up getting married to a neat pastor after she became a C_hristian, and then she and her husband had four children together. She said that every year, her family has a special commemoration for those two babies that she lost. They light candles and remember them, and they talk about reuniting with them in Heaven one day. I remember her saying that one time they were on a beach vacation, and she looked out to see her four children playing in the sand and water, and realized that there should've been two more...that really struck me.

Another speaker that week in chapel was a former a_bortion dr. She shared how cold hearted she had been and how insensitive she had been to the lives that she had taken. God changed her heart, and she became a C_hristian. Now she is very pro-l_ife, and goes around telling people about her story...about what really happens in an a_bortion clinic...

All this to say, I believe that the Lord blesses those who preserve the lives of babies...and that all children are blessings, regardless of how they were conceived. However, honestly, I have no idea how I would react if I was raped or the victim of incest and then became pregnant with a child. No idea. But I believe that those babies are blessings too, and that God can make good come out of evil. And again, there are just so many people who are ready to adopt babies - so many many loving homes available.

If you're reading this, and you've had an a_bortion, please know that I am not condemning you. We all have our stories, don't we? Believe me, I am far far far from being perfect...learning things every day about how imperfect I really am. But I am saved by the blood of Jesus, and He has given me a mind to think and to learn, and I'm trying to be wise. I want to live by His grace alone.

If you are needing help or someone to pray with about this matter or any other, please let me know and I would be glad to pray for you.

May God bless your week.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentines Day

We had our Valentines Day celebration tonight at our house! I set the table with a new heart patterned vinyl tablecloth that I found at my favorite huge store that starts with a giant T, and we lit some candles, and put out the red "you are special today" plates, along with cloth napkins and our fancier silverware. I spent some time today preparing for this big meal, and made homemade lasagna! It was so delicious. We had yummy spinach salad, garlic french bread and then for dessert...dun dun dun...presenting CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES!!!!!!! YUM! I have wanted to make those things for a very long time, so it was fun to have them tonight! We all enjoyed them, along with strawberries and whipped cream. All day, my Bug was talking about our fancy dinner coming up, and she waited and waited for her Daddy to come home from work! It was a special time. I just wanted my family to know how much I love them and care for them, and every ounce of effort to create a special meal was WELL worth it! :)

Bug and I have been creating LOTS of valentines lately, and she has enjoyed it so much. I am a sucker for the valentine stickers, lacy heart doilies, valentine papers...you name it, I want to get it to create the coolest valentines around. I think we'll still have several more days of making valentines. It's just too much fun to put away! Also, I'm hoping to still have a cookie making/decorating time for my Bug. She really loves to make cookies.

Also, the Lord led me to look up many verses on love today, as I prepared a bunch of valentines for my sweetheart. It was such a good reminder to me that HE is love...and HIS love is much stronger than any human love. Amen to that!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pray for Kari...

Please pray for my fellow MOPS mom, Kari. She has cancer. If you click on her name, it should link you to her website. I just found out at our MOPS meeting the other day about Kari. She's my age...it really hits home when someone you know who is your age is dealing with something so serious...

and whenever I hear of someone who has cancer, I immediately have a radar that goes off and my attention is drawn to that person because my mom had cancer 8 years ago. She had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Large B Cell Type. And God miraculously healed her body! It truly was a miracle, and we do not take it for granted. She was immediately diagnosed stage four and the cancer had spread throughout her body, with tumors in various places and with her lymphoma it was throughout her lymphatic system...so the prognosis for her was not good. She had chemotherapy, and after just a few sessions she had some tests done to see if the cancer was still in her body or if it was gone...and it was GONE!!! The Dr. said that he still wanted to treat her as though the cancer was there, just in case it was still there...and in a few more months when they checked again it was STILL GONE! And every time she has been checked since then, it has remained absent from her body. PRAISE THE LORD! My mom has had many opportunities to share her faith with people through this experience, and so have I been able to share my faith with people I don't even know...on airplanes, buses, random other places...

Thank you Lord for sparing my mom of her cancer. We praise you that she is here with us still. And now we bring before you Kari, and we ask for you to heal her body Lord! Please please heal this dear, young mama of three. Please remove her cancer from her body. And please encourage her and her husband and children through this time. May they know your peace and your presence in such an incredible way...as that is something that no human can ever provide on their own. Thank you Lord, Amen.

I need a vacation!

Whenever it gets cold in Minnesota, we Minnesotans get a little antsy in our pantsy and we feel the need to take vacations to WARMER PLACES!!! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Minnesota...it is a wonderful place to live. And I actually really enjoy winter, most of the time. Erik and I really like to get out and enjoy winter sports - broomball, hockey, ice skating, sledding, skiing, etc...but with two little kids in the house, we don't always get to do all that stuff. I think that next winter will be a little bit better when my Little Buzz is walking around and probably interested in going outside. Then Big Sister Bug and Little Buzz can both be out there. That will be great fun! We did find a really nice plastic rain/snow cover for our double jogging stroller, and we tried that out on a "warmer" kind of day. (25 degrees or so) Our kids loved being out in the stroller even though it was cold. Oh, so back to the vacation idea...I would love to take a warm weather vacation, but I don't know that we'll be doing that this year. With the economy being the way it is, we're really trying to scrimp and save. So, we're trying to come up with fun things to do around the area that are either free or cheap! Tonight Erik has Big Bug at an indoor water park! I'm SO excited and also jealous. :) I look forward to being there with both kids sometime. I'm hoping to go to some of the art museums and childrens museum in the area sometime too. Do you have any fun ideas? Feel free to share! One more thing that I've been trying to do is to keep a bunch of fun activities around for my little girl. I have a whole bunch of craft items for doing projects, and coloring books, and STICKERS!!!!! My daughter loves loves loves her stickers, so I'm always getting those for her. She's not lacking for fun things to do, that's for sure. And one other thing that she loves to do is to help me cook and bake! She likes to put in the spices and stir things. And she always tells me, "garlic is my favorite spice!" Crazy girl! I like garlic too, but I'm surprised that a two year old would think it so fine.

This is my random collection of thoughts for the day...hope your day is blessed!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Going Green

One way that I have just decided to go "green" is to "opt out" of receiving the yellow and white pages here in our home. I just read about this through a really neat organizing newsletter that I receive. Here's the link if you want to opt out...


Note: After I told my honey that we were not going to be receiving phone books at home, he told me that he really wanted to still have them as they are handy to have at times. :) So, I guess we'll probably still get them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Unbelievable - the CPSC!!!!!!

**Okay, I just re-read the information that I have linked here, and saw that the CPSC has actually said that resale shops and thrift stores will still be able to sell used childrens things...but there is still a problem - no garage sales, no online used product sales...***

I think that I have heard quite possibly the most UNBELIEVABLE thing ever...that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has come out with a ridiculous law that will ban anyone from selling used children's clothing and gear. I can hardly believe what I'm writing. Socialism, here we come. I mean, come on, this is just crazy!!!!! Yes, we all know that there are high amounts of lead in many children's toys, but if parents are really worried about it, then it is THEIR responsibility to not let their kids play with those toys. Our landfills are going to get even more full if this new law continues. And it is supposed to go into effect on February 10th of this year! I can't believe it. I'm furious. Probably at LEAST half of the clothing and gear that we have is used - some of it given to us, and some of it purchased through a resale shop. And it is perfectly fine and good! How on earth is everyone going to be able to afford brand new things for their children? I know people who exclusively shop at resale stores or through an online used source, and this will now not be an option if our government continues to push their way through with this ridiculous law. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help this law to not go through!!!!! Please call your representatives and write letters and sign this petition! Here are some links for you:



Monday, January 12, 2009

Classic Two Year Old Moment...

He fell for it...Daddy fell for the classic two year old line..."Daddy, I'm SO hungry!" Mind you, this is being said at 10:50 PM!!!!!!!!! And, please note that we fed her a GOOD bedtime snack at 7:50 PM - yogurt, crackers and orange. I put her to bed at 8:50 PM. At 9:15 PM she came and sat on the stairs. When asked what she was doing, she says in a whisper, "I'm sitting very quietly! I just can't sleep." Then I put her back to bed. At 9:45 PM I go in to nurse Baby Brudder and I hear her talking in the next room. I figure she'll fall asleep for SURE by the time I'm done nursing...NOT SO! At 10:15 PM when I'm done nursing, she is jabbering away...so I go in and cover her up again, and kiss her goodnight for the THIRD time. Then, just a few minutes later, her daddy comes home from his broomball game...and surely, she heard him coming...and you have to understand when I say that they are TIGHT! :) The girl and her daddy are so close. And as the saying goes, she has him wrapped around her finger. So, she knows that she can get just about anything to come true if she asks daddy...and sure enough, she pleads the hunger cry and WINS!!!!!!! For crying out loud people! I say to him, "Honey, she's totally pulling the two year old hunger card. You can't fall for it. You just have to put her to bed!" He says, "Haven't you ever had night hunger? Come on, let's just give her a snack. " (giggling as I type...) Oh, he's just so nice ya'all...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's January!!!

"Mommy, it's January! How exciting!" This was just stated by my 2.5 year old girl. :) I'm glad that somebody likes January and it's way below freezing MN cold temperatures! We had been talking about how Christmas was over and then I told her that it was January now. Well, soon it will be Valentines Day, so I guess that is something fun to look forward to!