Friday, March 30, 2007

My Angel Girl

This morning I was thinking about how precious little Alathia is to me. I often portray the tough side of raising a toddler and don't convey how incredible it is to have a little one who's learning so much and is so cute, fun, and smart. I love her so much when I watch her sleeping and I have trouble remembering why she frustrates me so much when she's awake. When she comes and greets me in the morning she gives me a hug and says, "My Momma." She's always chattering and says the sweetest things. She truly is independent and strong-willed but lately she's been a lot more obedient and she's a lot less work than some of the toddlers I've seen around town. She is mostly a very fun little girl who loves to play and loves people. However, 15 minutes after these lovely thoughts, I was howling in pain as she dropped a full conditioner bottle 3 feet down onto my middle toe in the shower, breaking it and causing it to bleed too. There's no denying that even sweet toddlers cause endless messes, can cause you a lot of physical pain (my toe is swollen and on ice and I've been bitten, pinched, had my feet stepped on repeatedly, toys thrown at my face, etc.) and take boundless energy to keep up with. But my girl isn't only a terror. She kissed my toe a few times and said everything was going to be okay. She told me she loved me and then wanted me to reassure her that I still love her. I sure do love my wild little gal!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tons of SNOW

After having 70s weather for a couple of weeks, it was strange to get tons of heavy, wet snow in the last couple of days. According to my dad, Mr. Native Minnesotan who always knows the forecast, we've received 50 inches in 48 hours and their predicting another 10. However, most of the snow on pavement is gone and it's melting fairly quickly. We desperately need the moisture here! Ali has enjoyed playing in the snow. Since a lot of stores and places are closed or things are being cancelled due to the weather, I let the kids take a "bath" in our little blow-up tub in our shower and we've done lots of play-dough and coloring too. I'm so glad that both of my kids love each other and being together (at least at this stage of their life!)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Golden Birthday!

Today is my Golden Birthday! I had a great day thanks to the lovingkindness of many friends and family. However, the coolest thing about my Golden Day is that we picked today to dedicate our children in our church before the Lord and our congregation. We hadn't had it done yet for Ali since we had moved soon after she was born and then when we found out we were pregnant with Jer, we waited to do it once our baby was born. I can see why people have their kids dedicated before they become mobile. Ali threw her fancy little hat off and sent it sailing off the church stage, declaring she didn't like to wear it (in front of our whole church). She also whined to get down when I held her and then was fidgeting at our feet, munching a graham cracker and eventually she laid right down on the stage! As we were exiting and going to our seats I headed for the nursery with Ali and she yelled, "Come On Daddy!" so the whole church chuckled. What an experience! Josiah talked briefly about how today is a day where we want to publicly commit ourselves to raising our kids in godliness and how we want our church to hold us accountable in this. Jeremiah, in his little suit and tie, sat contentedly in Josiah's arms and stared at Pastor Richard, his usual happy self!

Burnt Down Barn on Birthday

My dad told me a story yesterday that I hadn't heard before. Apparently 25 years ago when I was born, he went to pick my mom up from the hospital the next day and he was in the middle of helping a neighbor (where they lived out of town) do a controlled burn on the neighbor's field. Because he was helping watch the fire, he was 30 minutes late picking me up for my first trip home! Then when they arrived back at home, all the fire trucks and crews were out at the neighbor's because while my dad went into town to the hospital the fire got out of control (like most controlled burns in WY) and burnt down another neighbor's barn! Kinda funny! Here are some pics of me and my boy!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Life Lessons Learned

Some lessons just have to be learned. Whether or not anyone tried to tell me some of these things, I didn't really understand or grasp them until going through them. When my daughter is in high school, I want to try to convey these things as best I can but she'll probably need to figure them out on her own:

*God is faithful, no matter where you go. I could list hundreds of stories...but I'll just leave it at that.
*Life is hard. Life is unfair. There are always trials to overcome and things to learn and ways to grow. I remember a pastor telling me when I graduated that life is HELL, but yet he encouraged me that God was going to be with me through it.
*Money is important. I didn't save enough of it back when I was single and had more to throw around. It would have been so wise to invest or buy land back when I was living at home! Yet, I'm glad I had the attitude of trusting God and not seeking after money in High School like most kids my age. Lots of little children came to know Christ because I committed my summers to missions. God has always taken care of my every need and provided more than I could ask for. People tried to tell me to go for a degree of some kind like nursing that I could use in missions or in America. Nursing is definitely not my thing. I was hungry for God's Word and a Bible degree. I'm so thankful to have gone to a Bible college but I think now I realize now how good it would be to have a degree or specialty on top of that (whether in massage therapy, beautician work, as a chef or author, etc.) in the event that my husband died or became disabled or for working when my kids are grown. I know God will always take care of us so I don't need to trust in a degree, but to those of you young women reading this, it does help in today's world. One perk to me not having a degree is less pressure to work. If I could make $20 or more an hour as a nurse, it'd be very tempting not to stay home with my kids or to try to juggle working nights or working part time, etc. I also have come to realize that a big part of me wishes I had a fancy degree only for my own pride and status when talking with other women who have fancy degrees and that I can be a wonderful, hard-working mother without one. So, whether or not my daughter chooses to get a degree, I'll support her in her decision.
*Family is for life. My parents always gave us the impression that at 18 we were on our own and they were done parenting. We were to leave home or pay rent! I had notions of being an overseas missionary and/or getting out of my prairie existence to see the world. I never realized until I was in college how hard the separation from family can be. I never realized how heartbreaking it would be to say good-bye and how much I would miss them even though I was "technically" an adult. I never realized that family should be treasured and time with them is fleeting. I saw them as people to escape from to get out on my own and experience independence, but never realized that my heart strings will be forever tied to them, no matter what their faults.
*No matter how old you are, it absolutely KILLS you to see your parent's marriage falling apart. That sometimes parents can act like kids and you have to be the "parent." Praise the Lord that God is great and mighty and saved and restored my parent's marriage before it ended in divorce!
*How difficult it is to marry someone far from your family in distance. I don't regret for one milisecond marrying King Jo and he's worth everything! But the reality is that one set or both sets of our parents are always going to be heartbroken that we don't live nearby and our kids won't know their grandparents as well and we ourselves will miss out on a lot of quality family time due to the distance. Another aspect is that we spend all of our vacation time going to MN, or if we live in MN, going to WY to visit family. I didn't have a clue how hard it would be to be so far from loved ones and have to go back and forth all the time. It's going to mean a LIFETIME of travel!!!
*That marrying young isn't bad like people make it out to be! My brother told us that we would be destitute, my parents thought is was risky and that we were throwing our lives down the tubes, and everyone told us constantly we should wait and enjoy life before marriage and that young marriages usually end in divorce. I LOVED getting married young! I have no regrets! I loved having kids soon after marriage too because I feel like being a wife and a mom is what I was created to be! Everyone says to wait and enjoy your freedom and build a strong marriage for a few years before having kids, but I think nothing makes a marriage stronger like going through the stages of pregnancy together and watching the miracle of a child enter the world together and raising her/him together. I'm so thankful that King Jo and I can enjoy each other in our youth and that we got hitched before either one of us dated other people or gave our hearts away!
*That being a parent is wonderful, amazing, confusing, and HARD! I never appreciated my parents for what they did when I was a kid as much as I do now when I'm in the trenches of raising young ones. I never understood how much they loved me. I never realized that the reason dad was gone so much was because he was working to put food on our table. I thought mom was mean or cranky when she got stressed or weary raising us 3 mostly by herself. I now know just how many thousands of poopy diapers she must have changed and how hard she worked to give me a wonderful childhood. Now, I understand. I understand what it is to cry over my baby because I love him so much and the weight a parent carries to try to do everything right and keep their child safe and healthy in an uncertain world.
*Purity is a treasure worth fighting for! At any moment you can give it away to the many men who will gladly take it from you. But once given, you can never get it back. I want to encourage my daughter, and other young women, to go above and beyond in staying pure for their husbands because it will save them the pain that comes from disobeying God in this area (and wrestling with guilt, single parenthood, STDs, etc.) There is so much peace and trust in a marriage where both are virgins when they wed.

These are just a few of the things I want to pass on. I'll add more to this list as they come to mind.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Still the Same

Alathia Joy is definitely a girl with attitude. Notice that her newborn mad face hasn't changed a whole lot in two years!

Ali's New Friend

Ali has a new friend named Lindsay that we do play dates wtih. Here are the goofy 2-year olds trying to look cool in sunglasses!


Our little boy smiles all the time! I think I have him trained to smile when I pull out the camera!

More Shoes

These are so fun to make! Not including the pattern I bought online for $6.50 these cost me about 80 cents or less to make!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

You Must Have a Toddler If:

*You have ever had to clean tortilla chips out of your electrical outlet with a toothpick!
*You have ever had to scrub crayon off of your sewing machine
*Magic Eraser is your best friend.
*You rake leaves and your toddler runs through them and un-rakes them. You sweep the kitchen and your toddler runs through your pile and scatters the dirt. You fold the clothes and your toddler unfolds them. Everything you do throughout the day seems to get UN-DONE.
*You have walked into your toddlers' bedroom and found poo all over everything! The only thing that was poo-free was the diaper she was wearing! (I've experienced this at least 15 times in the last 6 months.)
*You have ever begged God to take you home to heaven immediately!
*Your spouse frequently sings annoying ditties off of Children's movies. For instance, King Jo repeats over and over, "River, Rock, Crocodile Lake" like Dora on one of Ali's Dora movies.
*You end each day looking like you've been beaten by a mob.
*You've watched your child sit on the potty chair, spread her legs, and STILL manage to pee all over the floor and miss the potty! You've seen this happen at least once or twice a day.
*You've watched your child push a whole row of library books off the shelf at the library.
*Your child gets a new injury every single day (this one's for you Shiloh!)
*You and your spouse spend each evening laughing over the hysterical and corny things your child has said throughout the day!
These are all true. I'll add more as I experience them.

I Was That BIG!

I wasn't blogging when I was pregnant, so some of you missed those numerous pregnancy photos I sent many of my friends. I looked about 7 months pregnant the day I went into labor with Ali. With Jeremiah, people started asking me when I was due when I was 6 months along! Funny thing is, he was 2 ounces smaller than Ali! Here's me looking pretty elephant-like during my second pregnancy (obviously my second because Ali is in both pics!) I'm so glad to have my normal shape back!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Designer Shoes

I'm sure many of you have heard of Robeez shoes, these adorable little leather shoes that sell for close to $30 and are great for kids learning to walk. All the "cool" babies at Babies N' Books wear them. I'm so thankful that my friend Heather gave me a link where I could buy a pattern to make my own. The woman that sells these patterns is a stay-at-home mom with a home business. She encourages you to get your leather at thrift shops. I got a leather jacket and two colored leather purses at the local thrift shop and made this cute pair of car shoes for Jer and puppy shoes for my nephew. Jer's are a litttle big so he'll be wearing them around the time he starts walking. They look just like the designer ones and I estimate that I spent $3 at the very most on materials making them! Go to to buy a pattern (it's $6.50 to get a pattern with shipping).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

When in the West

I'm so glad my family didn't have nintendo/X-box or lots of TV growing up. We made our own fun! In fifth grade, my best friend Kristen and I sewed our first skirts ever with her Grandma's help (out of old neon green sheets) and we would proudly wear them to school as if we were so cool! We also were fascinated with a book our class was reading called Naya Nuki about an Indian girl in captivity who escapes. We wanted to plan our own Naya Nuki trip that summer so we camped out in the pasture for a few days, swimming in the creek, building fires, and just having a grand time pretending we were in the wilds. We even tasted roasted grasshoppers! My friends and I formed a club for riding horses called Rebel's Girls (Rebel was my horse.) We also thought it was a hoot to hitch up old Randy, our billy goat, and be pulled around the pasture (or drug on our stomachs). Good times!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mother Woes

I adore being a mom and I am delighted to have the priviledge to stay-home full-time with my sweet kids. However, I won't hide the hardships, as some people do on their blogs, and make life sound perfect and wonderful without a bump in the road. Being a mom is TOUGH. Taking care of our little Ali is the biggest challenge of my life. I have moments where I love her beyond words and moments where I absolutely want to throttle her when she's running through the library hollering and pushing shelve-loads of books onto the floor or shoving other kids. Until you have experienced life with a toddler, you just have no idea how it really is to take care of them day in and day-out with no days off. I used to hear people constantly telling me that once Ali got mobile then I'd REALLY be busy and I didn't have a clue what they were talking about! Ali was a pleasant baby (although we discovered Jeremiah is much easier) and I thought the first year of motherhood was a breeze. I was so bored, I was dying to have another baby when Ali was under a year old. Let me tell you, we got pregnant when she was just starting to walk, at a year, and my life has never been boring since! I often wish I could just snap my fingers and skip the 1-3 year stage and all the tantrums, accidents, and public embarrassment it brings! It's definitely not my favorite age stage! There are a few blessed mamas out there who have wonderful toddlers who are quiet, obedient, and easy, but that's most definitely NOT our daughter. We love our daughter and laugh continually at the funny things she says and does, but our particular little 2 year old is a handful in the BIGGEST sense of the word!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

3 Tods

Today I babysat some adorable 18 month old twins for our really good friends. They are so cute! They had fun playing in the sandbox with Ali. Carsen (boy) and Kennedy (girl).

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Little Man

It's hard to believe our Little Man is 4 months old already! He is smiley, a nd very easygoing and enjoys being held or having mommy smile at him! He's recently started squeaking and screeching a lot in a high little voice as he practices "talking."

Beaded Sockies

These are some lovely little socks I made! A friend in MN, Heather, taught me how to do them via e-mail and they make wonderful gifts for little girls! I love doing crafts, especially crafts for my kids!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Worst Days as a Mom

So far, the worst days I've experienced as a mom have involved sickness. I realize there are much worse things some moms deal with like having a kid kidnapped or have cancer or be killed or die of SIDS. I'm thankful I haven't experienced those things. I still find it incredibly rough to have sick kids when I myself am feeling miserable. We've had yucky colds going around our house the last couple of days and two of the 3 days I was alone with the kids ALL DAY LONG. My toddler was incredibly whiny and demanding, and had an awful diarrhea mess all over the carpet. My baby wants to nurse ALL DAY LONG and more frequently at night and has screaming jags that make my throbbing headache all the worse. I wish I had a nanny on days like these. I'm so glad my husband is home helping me with them today. It's impossible to rest and recover when the demands are endless. I'm not even as bad off as my sis-in-law Kandi who has been sick for a week with a cold PLUS a flu. I can deal with sick kids when I'm not sick, but when I'm sick, YIKES! The most miserable time of our entire lives was the few days after Jeremiah's birth when I had the worst cold, Josiah was throwing up uncontrollably for 24 hours, and Ali was sick and our baby was a couple of days old and I was supposed to be on bed rest, but was having to take care of everyone in the family, even though I was anemic and totally exhausted from childbirth. It seems like ever since Ali started going to play groups/nursery, etc. she's picked up more colds than ever before. It makes me want to run away and hide and become a hermit since getting sick is so awful.................................

Ali's New Skirt

Here's the Peasant Skirt I made Ali last week. It turned out longer than I thought so I'll either hem it or save it until she has a growth spurt.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Please don't Share!

There are times when a parent discourages sharing. Like today, when I caught Ali holding her sippy cup of water up to Jer's mouth when he was in the exersaucer. I also saw him gnawing on something and fished a cheerio out of his mouth. Then Ali got a lecture on how our baby only drinks milk. No sharing cheerios!
Please don't share toys with him that scare the tar out of him and are loud or set toys on top of him that are as big as he is. Please don't share your cold germs with him and stick your grimy fingers in his mouth.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Blessing of a Brother

I'm so thankful to have a good relationship with my brother Colter. I love Grant too, my other brother, but we are 7 years apart and have less in common. Colter's a really easy-going guy and he has a heart to serve the Lord and reach lost children through evangelism. I hope Ali and Jer can have the kind of friendship that I have with Colt.

Did I mention he babysits on a moment's notice too?

Little Mama

It's interesting how much little girls want to be like their moms. Ali imitates me in EVERYTHING! One of the way she imitates me is in taking care of her dolls and pretending to be a mom. She's recently been into sharing toys with Jeremiah too, so she tries to give him a doll to play with. He's just thrilled with Ali and always smiles at her. He doesn't mind playing girly things like tea party and dolls as long as Ali's paying attention to least for now!
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