Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I love this picture

I was going through some archives tonight and came across this picture. It is Roman and I when he was around 4 months and I guess I was around 25. It is the month we joined the Y.
I love soft, squishy babies.
And I love sleeping with my hands over my head.
So do my boys.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Some Helpful Hints

1. If you are camping with four kids, and one of them gets diarrhea, it may be in everyone's best interest to go home. Quickly.

2. If your 3 year old desperately needs to pee and you stop by the side of the road so that he can pee in the cornfield, make sure that you face him with his BACK to the wind.

3. During the "peeing by the side of the road" times, make sure to be charming to the police officer who pulls up behind you. You really want to avoid getting a ticket for a 3 year old's "public urination".

4. Undercooked hotdogs will not kill anyone. Neither will burned marshmallows. At least not right away.

5. Husbands who are left alone for a couple days can be very productive.

6. When you ask your husband to order you some books on Amazon (because he handles all internet purchases), you may get some raised eyebrows and worried looks when you tell him that the name of one of the books is "How to Get a New Husband By Friday".

7. If you order said book, husband may read it and suddenly become increasingly charming, kind and helpful.

8. It is an excellent idea to give your husband (or roomates) (or kids) specific job titles. This increases productivity and ownership of certain tasks. For example, my husband is "Chief Security Officer" (responsible for bringing my purse in from the car, locking up at night and protecting everyone from any evil). He is also "Fly Bounty Hunter" (responsible for the demise of any flies that venture into any space that our family occupies). "Internet Safety Expert" and "Pay Pal Purchasing Specialist" are 2 of his other titles.

9. Do not put a motivated baby (even a non-mobile baby) within 7.5 feet of a stack of newspapers. Suddenly you will have a mobile baby.

10. When one of your children is getting dedicated in the front of church, be glad that your husband remembers the fiasco from 2 years ago called "wouldn't it be great if all of our children came up front to participate in the baby's dedication"? Because if he remembers, you will be able to avoid duplicating said fiasco.

Hope those hints help someone today!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

6 days?!

Wow, Friends, it has been 6 days since I posted.

I really don't like that.
I have been writing blog posts in my head...

during our camping trip...
while mowing the lawn...
while at work...
while admiring zucchini boats...
about Berean's baby dedication...
while trying to create a fall schedule that encompasses:

*time for me
*time for them (my children)
*time for him (my husband)
*time for HIM (my God)
*time for these (volunteer needs and responsibilities)
*time for those (in need)
*time for we (our families and friends)

Each of those have so many levels,
and each of them work toward my bigger goals.

Blogging is high on my list this week, however, so I hope I will get some done!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Side By Side (Sorry Dekes)

Roman right between 5-6 months
Lincoln (plus giant hand) between 5-6 months)

Berean between 5-6 months
Deacon came before we had a digital camera and our scanner is not working. It actually hasn't been working for 5 years. I am not holding my breath. But maybe someday I will get a picture of Deacon as a baby scanned at my parents house and post it.
I don't think that these three look anything alike.

Friday, August 20, 2010

5 1/2 months!

I can't believe how much we love this girl! I told Noah yesterday, "how am I ever going to be able to stop having children when they are so all around wonderful?"
I put her on the rug and watch her go. She gets up on knees and hands. Then she gets up on hands and feet. Then she rolls. Then she digs in her heels and scoots.
Highly entertaining.
(and yes, that is spit up on my rug, and no, I don't particularly care.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Santa, are you for real?

Berean was in her seat today and I noticed Lincoln go over and pretend to sit on her. I opened my mouth to ask him to stop- and then heard the cackle.

Yep, you guessed right- she thought it was the funniest thing ever. She laughed and laughed.

So of course he kept doing it. And she kept laughing.


That little girl likes to be where the action is, and the boys like her to be right near them while they play. Deacon hauls her around and sets her nearby the current play area as they move about their business. We are still working on appropriate places to put her, though, so I keep a close eye out for shenanigans.


On the way to soccer camp this evening the neighbor kid mentioned that his older sister doesn't think that Santa is real. Deacon said, "Santa is not real." The debate was on. I stayed out of it. The kid doesn't think that there is any possible way that Santa could be his mom because he knows she was sleeping all of Christmas Eve night last year.


Noah took the boys camping for 1 night this weekend. It sounds like they had a good time with Grandpa, Grandma, James and Genna. They sure were dirty! Berean and I had a nice time at home. Too bad that I had to work a 12 hour shift during the 30 hours that they were gone- sleep and work ate up most of my potential free time.


I am getting really tired of dealing with large corporations on the phone. I spend so much time just managing the paperwork that is required for our families day-to-day activities. Last month the bank mistakenly withdrew our mortgage payment from our bank twice. There were extended phone conversations trying to get this worked out. They told us that to get our money back we would have to fax this whole official appeal thing to some office (because even though it was their mistake they say they have no other way to return our money to us). Our other option was just to let it be the next month's payment. We chose that option. Only now, guess what? They withdrew another payment this month! Why am I surprised? I have no idea. I should have known that something so complicated would not get corrected properly.

And then we got a letter from our insurance company stating that they received our appeal about Lincoln's speech therapy. Only problem? They had the dates all wrong. Even though we had been over it. And over it. And over it.

Did I mention that I am tired of dealing with large corporations?

Noah will have to call tomorrow. I am flat out of nice.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tall Ships and Flips

We went up to Duluth a couple of weeks ago to the Tall Ship Festival.
We waited in line a lot, but it was fun to tour the ships.
It was also fun for some members of the clan...

to perfect...

their swing flip.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What is Hard (But First, a Housekeeping Note)

Housekeeping Note:

I did the tri. I finished it. It wasn't pretty but I managed to swim the whole swim, bike the whole bike and slowly run the whole run.

Then I drove home and made it in time to nurse Berean pre-nap.

She was glad to see me.

And I was glad to see her.

Then we took the kids to the beach. Which was lovely. And to Target. Which was mildly amusing. And Noah bought me a burrito.

2 things about the Burrito experience

1 "no beans" is different from "both beans". But we cleared it up and got "no beans."

2. I didn't finish mine. I always finish my Chipotle Chicken Fajita Burrito. But I couldn't finish it. I just couldn't. I was just too full. WHAT IS GOING ON?


You know how people are always talking about how hard marriage is?

I will tell you a secret.

I don't find it that hard.

I think Noah would tell you the same thing.

Yes, we have things we could work on.

Yes, there are times that our communication is lacking.

Yes, there are times we irritate each other.

But for the most part? Not that hard.

We get along well. We have fun together. We see eye to eye on most things.

We have had some ups and downs in the 10 years we have been married, but I just can't think of a really hard time.

But maybe that is just not our "hard" thing.

We think that parenting is hard (and exhausting).

We think that keeping up a yard, and a house is hard (and exhausting).

We think that consistently exercising and eating well is hard (and exhausting).

But marriage?

Not so much.

So we are trying to figure out how to work on our "hard" areas. Trying to come up with some sort of plan to fit in the things that are important.

We will see how it goes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not The Day I Planned

Tomorrow I have a tri to compete in.

1k swim

33k bike

8k run

I haven't trained physically as well as I wanted to.

And mentally I am not prepared at all.

And if you race, than you know that the mental game is really more important than the physical game. But if you have neither, you are really in trouble.

But today was supposed to help with that.

The boys were supposed to go to my in laws for an overnight. Noah and I and Berean were going to go get my packet, get my stuff lined up and have dinner out. And mentally prepare for the race.

But Roman was throwing up today.

So no overnight.

No dinner.

No mental preparedness.

Instead, all day my mind has been filled with:

Why is he throwing up? Is this related to the strep? Or is it the flu? Or is the medicine bothering him? Does he have diabetes? Is the vomiting related to his headache? How about appendicitis? Ohh..rhematic fever. That would be bad.

Is everyone else going to start throwing up? If I have to bring everyone in I will have to deal with insurance again. I despise insurance. I wonder if they will cover the speech therapy? How many days until we find out about that? I feel nausous. Is it nerves or am I getting sick?

Why is my house so messy? Why can't I keep it in order? Why do I even care? I hate it when people are obsessed with their houses. But I just want to be able to find stuff. I need to finish filling out all the homeschool paperwork, and plan the schedule. And order books. And when in the world am I going to fit in shifts at the hospital while homeschooling. Speaking of work, I wonder what we can do about...

Snacks for soccer camp. I need to get on that. And Noah and I haven't talked about how we are going to carpool that. And..OH NO...what if the water is too warm and the race is not wet suit legal!? And what am I even thinking racing? I am a mother of 4. I am still nursing. My kids are sick. My house is a mess. Why did I even think I could do a tri? If I do this race I am going to have to get up and feed the baby and make sure there is adequate milk supply for while I am gone.

If I get a flat tire I am just done. I am not going to sit there in the 90 degree heat changing a flat when I stink at it. Maybe I won't even race. When am I going to do something about my counter full of tomatoes and zucchini. And grocery shopping may end up trumping going to the beach this weekend. And OH NO! I don't have a computer on my new bike yet...

*Noah got home.
*Roman appears fine.
*Noah is now working on my bike.
*I got my race packet.
*It is not wet suit "legal" but we are in range that I can wear it if I want to, my times just won't be counted for prizes.
*I have a plan for my tomatoes
*I have no plans for the rest of my problems (homeschool stuff, papers, house cleaning etc) but I will figure it out.
*If I get a flat I will just call it a day.

I feel a little better.
Good night!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Deacon said, "Berean looks diappointed. Kinda like she lost her purse down the drain."
Or maybe he is the one who lost his lego gun down the drain and basically wanted to drag the city's water supply to find it.
Or maybe she did lose her purse.
Who can say?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teen Vampire Movies

We bribed the boys to get some good photos of them. I'll let Julie comment more on that. But I was shooting Roman, and it wasn't going well.

So I told him, "Roman, this is not an angsty-teen shoot! If you want your popsicle you have to SMILE!"

The pictures did get better.

Mostly. :)


a couple of things have come out of writing this post. First of all, Noah's aunt wrote me a lovely email that made me feel better about not being traditionally organized. It was a very encouraging note and the fact that it came from her, a woman that I consider to be smart, independent and creative, made it all the better. Because I like smart, independent and creative women and I like to be like them :)

Secondly it led to a conversation with my sister regarding organization. Not that my sister reads my blog. I read her book though and it was really long, so maybe she will read my blog someday. Anyway, last week I called her up and asked if I could tag along on one of her 10 mile runs. I considered it to be a more tolerable affair if I had company, and Noah was decidedly not interested. So we ran 10 miles and as we ran, we talked.

She told me that she had also tried traditional methods of organization and none of them worked well for her. She said that she now has a notebook. She carries this notebook in her purse and writes down everything in it. Recipes, passwords, reminders, directions - everything she needs to keep or remember. She writes in different colors and styles, different pages and different directions. And when one notebook is full, she puts it away and starts another. She may not remember exactly where something is written, but because of the variety of colors etc she can usually find it. The items are not color coded, however, mind you. Some things just happen to be a different color. Wow, I am rambling.

I got home from my run and announced to Noah that I needed a notebook to carry around with me. His eyes lit up (because he loves to buy me things) and told me to "never fear" that he was "on it" and would "get me a notebook." I was slightly concerned.

I love the boy, but the fact that he was so excited about the purchase of a notebook made me wonder what kind of notebook I would be getting.

The other day he presented this to me:

Yes, my friends, it is an all-weather military memo book. He showed it to me on the same day that I had purchased a cute but simple 50 cent notebook at Target. It had a flower on it, and I felt like I had splurged because I bought the 50cent one instead of the 15cent number.

"It's very nice." I stated.

"Do you like it?" he asked.

"Well, it is fine I guess, but it is not very cute." I managed to reply.

"You might think it is cuter when you read what I wrote inside" he countered, "and besides it is small so you can carry it with you."

I opened it up.

This is what he wrote inside:

"Roses are red, Violets are blue.

I am not well organized, neither are you

So along with my love, and a corny verse

here's a notebook for your diaper bag/purse

Roses are still red, violets blue

the notebook is green, and I love you!"

Then he reminded me to use a ball point pen.

And do you know what? He is right. The notebook is much cuter now.


I was planning to end the post there, but I must go on. The last couple days have been interesting. I decided to see if my sister wants to run a 1/2 marathon with me in a couple of months. Before I called her, she called me to tell me she is injured. Hopefully she will heal quickly so we can still do it, because I was getting kind of excited about it.

My triathlon is coming up this weekend. I am not prepared in the least. My workouts keep getting cut short or cut out all together as other things come up. Things like sick kids, kids with poopy diapers, whiny kids, work, etc. I am just hoping to finish and not much else.

Deacon got stung 5 times yesterday. He managed to fall onto an underground wasp/hornet/yellow jacket nest.

We had a nice Sunday. All of a sudden last night, however, Noah started getting chills. We were concerned that he had heat exhaustion or something. It has been in the 90s here and our A/C is still on the fritz. You may wonder why we haven't purchased a new one. Well, I will tell you why- it is simply because we stink at making decisions so we have been waffling on brands, companies, sales people and overthinking everything. But we did decide and the install will start tomorrow. Anyway, Sunday evening we were thinking it was something with the heat so he was drinking a lot of water and taking in electrolytes. This morning he had a bad sore throat and his temp was still around 102 even after tylenol and ibuprofen as often as allowed. He was in rough shape.

Still is, in fact.

He is the best sick person to take care of, though. He just lays in bed quietly. When I bring him a drink or check on him, he always thanks me and apologizes for being sick. I know he he has got to be miserable with a fever that high (it was 102.9 at the doctors, 1 hour after tylenol!) and a bad headache and sorethroat, but he just suffers in silence.

Anyway, I took him to the Doctor and he has strep throat.

Roman does too. And I think he has had it and has been the carrier.

So now Noah, Roman and I are all on antibiodics. Deacon just finished up a course for his ear infection, so he should be good. I suspect he had strep as well.

Noah is still pretty sick. I am a little worried about him and I hope the antibiodics kick in soon. I think he is a little worried too.

Well, I suppose I should go check on him and see if he needs anything. At least he has a compassionate nurse for a wife :)

this post

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Controversial Monday: Holding a Phone in Your Hand

We've all been there, haven't we?

You are at a party or a get-together.

Maybe you know the people well, maybe you don't.

But you look around the circle (or line. It could be a line. Some families sit in lines, you know. I've seen them.)

And 3/4's of the people are conversing with those in the circle while holding their phone in their hand.

Yes, they are conversing.

Sort of.

But they are also reading the news, texting, updating twitter.

Mostly though? They are just holding their phones because their phones seem to be an extention of their hands. They just can't seem to leave those sneaky little devices in their pockets.

Now even though I am slightly addicted to social media, I don't text. Never have. People are always texting however. In church. In line. In school. During parties.

And I don't have a smart phone either.

Maybe If I did, I would let it become an extention of my hand too. Just because it is cool to have so much at your fingertips. Or maybe I wouldn't.

But despite how convenient it is to have someone be able to give you the exact date that Johnny Appleseed set our across the country at a second's notice, it is also somewhat annoying.

Annoying to look around a circle and see most people only paying 1/2 attention to what is actually going on around them.

Annoying to be sharing time with a device.

Annoying to not have your own?


What do you think?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I am on the edge of my seat

*Dear sweet Roman always wears pajamas. 2 days ago he scraped his finger. This was very upsetting to him. We put a bandaid on it and soon he came back wearing a Batman glove on that hand. He has been wearing that glove ever since. Well, until he got it wet tonight and Noah made him take it off. I am very curious to find out if tomorrow morning all will be forgotten, or if he will put it back on and continue to wear it. Will it take the place of his pajamas? Will it just be added? What will happen?!

*Berean will be 5 months tomorrow. She can sit up for very brief periods of time, but not nearly as well as the boys did at her age. But guess what she can do? She scoots. She puts her butt in the air, digs her toes in and then uses a combination of forehead and arms to move foreward. Great. She isn't very quick and it easily frusterated, but she is improving everyday. I am very curious to see how this situation develops as well.

*Berean also has shown signs of waving. When we wave at her she will sometimes open and shut one of her hands. This is being overanalyzed by all of us, as is our nature, and will keep you informed about this development as it progresses.

*Deacon is convinced that he needs a $100 bill and a credit card. I asked him if he knows what money really is and he answered "hard work". He learned that from "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I am proud and hope that he always remembers that. I have often kept myself from buying something by thinking of it in terms of "how many hours of keeping a withdrawing patient in bed will I have to work to buy that".

*By the way, we told him "no deal" on the credit card and that he will have to work for it if he wants a $100 bill.

*Lincoln said "Roman" yesterday VERY clearly. This is big news and was kind of funny. I walked into my room to find Roman and Lincoln and an overturned basket of my stuff. I said, "who did this?" Lincoln stood up, pointed a finger at Roman's chest and said "ROMAN" for the first time in his life. In retrospect I realize that no one got in trouble because I was too excited! I am also waiting expectantly to see what will happen in this situation. I have decided to pray fervently that we will see an explosion of language from Lincoln this month as we wait to hear on the insurance debacle. We know that God can do miraculous things, but Noah and I in our pragmatic natures have a hard time "praying with expectation". This will be a learning experience for all of us.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One of Those Days

I worked last night. When I got home this morning my sister and I went to the Y to work out and take the kids to swimming lessons. I got home, slept for about an hour and took Lincoln to speech. By the time that was over I was ready to crash.

The plan was to sleep in the afternoon for awhile and then get up and be productive- clean my trashed house, go buy the boys shoes etc. Oh, and write a funny blog post.

But I got home to find a message on the answering machine. It was a message from our insurance company.

To make a long story short, they were calling to tell us that all of Lincoln's speech therapy session claims (twice a week for the last 2 months) were being denied.

It is now 8:40 and I still haven't slept.

The problem is that the insurance company verbally told me (4 different people, 4 different times) that it should be covered by our plan. And they told the speech clinic the same thing.

The situation is much more complicated, but I won't bore you with the details.

We only know 2 things:

1. We were assured it would be covered
2. and now it is not

So I spent the afternoon on the phone getting an appeal together and documenting things, calling the clinic etc.

On one hour of sleep.

Not fun.

Needless to say, I have been a disaster of emotionalism today.

It is so aggravating to fight for things that your kids need. And incredibly frusterating to be told that even though your three year old can't talk, therapy for him is not medically necessary.

Whatever, dude.

Pretty sure that if your 3 year old had 10 words, you would think it medically necessary to get him treatment.

I feel better now. I am hopeful that our appeal will work, and feel thankful that even if it doesn't, we aren't going to go bankrupt.

But, it will be a long month of waiting for me. And a long month of not taking him to therapy and trying to do it myself at home. We do plan to continue therapy regardless of insurance coverage- at least at some level- but we are taking a short break while we work all of this out.

Will you pray with us that:
1. the sessions he has had will be covered
2. We can work something out for future sessions
3. that the appeal process will be quicker than the projected 30 days
4. that he will be motivated to work at his speech even when on a break from therapy


Monday, August 2, 2010


We went up to Duluth for the weekend...
Lincoln loved the little pool where he could touch and just swim around on his own.

He was nice enough to decide to be compliant for awhile so that we could get some pictures.

He is talking a lot more, and his goofy behavior keeps his speech teachers giggling.

His blue crocs are in terrible shape. He wants red ones, so we have been looking.
Red is his favorite color.

Sunday, August 1, 2010