Turns out my kids are just kids

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I love love love when I’m talking to a mom or grandma and she mentions that her child/grandchild did something similar to what one of my kids have done.  I breathe a sigh of relief and think to myself, “Oh thank you Jesus, my kid is just a kid.”

Here’s what my kids, who are just kids, have been up to lately.

The strong wills. It’s almost enough to make me eat two bowls of ice cream after they go to bed. Lately they question everything we say. And I do mean everything. I appreciate the fact that they have a strong opinion and are not afraid to express it. But I would also appreciate it if they believed at least a few things I say. I thought the “you don’t know anything Mom” attitude didn’t start until middle school!

The fighting. I know this goes hand in hand with their strong wills. And it’s probably made worse by the fact that I freak out every time there’s any sort of conflict. Why can’t we all just be happy and get along? Again, I have to remind myself that they are learning how to communicate and it’s our job to help them learn. Forbidding them to talk for the rest of their lives probably isn’t teaching them much, huh? Thankfully I don’t say that to them too often. I don’t think.

The messes. Oh my word. If I have to pick up another piece of anything off the floor, I’m going to go get a third bowl of ice cream. I’ve tried everything I can think of. Any good ideas out there? That don’t involve ice cream?

Well, I thought my list would be a lot longer. I think over time I’m learning that my kids are just kids. There’s no “normal.” There’s just these precious miracles that God created uniquely and beautifully. Different personalities. Different strengths. Different weaknesses. I want to spend less time worrying about if my kids are “normal” and more time loving on them and guiding them to Jesus.

The cool thing is that even though the strong wills, the fighting and the messes tend to send me into major overwhelmtion, those things are really only a small portion of our days. The larger portion of our days are spent enjoying time together, playing games, watching movies, reading, doing really messy art projects, and every once in a while, even cleaning the house together.

If you have been blessed with children, no matter what your days may or may not look like, I hope you’ll join me in remembering that you have been given a very special gift. Cherish those little buggers. On good days and bad days. And never forget that your kid is really just a kid, yet unique from all others. And that’s a good thing.




A picture is worth a thousand words. And smiles.

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(Disclaimer – these pictures are only a very small representation of our life. I have chosen to omit the pictures of my dining room table filled with papers and books and Lego pieces and crumbs and half empty glasses of milk from two days ago, pictures of my bedroom with a bed that is nicely made covered in clothes, both dirty and clean, and a kitchen with dirty dishes in places where dirty dishes shouldn’t be.)

~This girl.


Seriously, can she get any cuter? Two days and counting until we get to kiss those chubby cheeks!

~The other night I was walking down the hallway past Angel’s room and saw this:


Hahaha. I don’t have many words for this one – just smiles. Love my girl!

~I’ve posted lots of notes around the house – God’s word and positive affirmations… “I am loved,” “In this moment I am ok,” “I will never leave you or forsake you.” The kids wanted to write their own cards and this is what they wrote:


This one is Angel’s – I am never alone.


And Caleb’s – God is loved with our heart.

~Every year we pick out an ornament for the kids, an ornament for Grama and Papa and an ornament for our family.

The year our family ornament was actually three – peace, joy and hope. Three things that we have renewed in our hearts this year.



(Ooops. No yoj around here, just joy!)


This is Caleb’s – he’s all about the turtles this year.


Angel picked out one with two kitties – to represent Flower and Cheetah who now live with their aunt Nellie. When we got home we realized that she had picked out a kitty one last year too. Which is ok but she loves her kitties!


~One of the best things about Thanksgiving weekend was vegging out with my kiddos.


Good picture.


Creepy picture.

~Please be in prayer for these two, especially on Saturday.


Actually you should have been praying for them on the day this picture was taken. I think they were watching a Bears game. Hahaha, sorry Jim!

Jim and his baby girl are flying to South Dakota! I’m so proud of Jim. Granted Cleo is especially cute and a pretty good baby, but still as a new parent I would have been pretty stressed. And pray for Leana too as she sends them off. Thankfully Leana’s brother and sister-in-law are flying to Florida from South Africa on Saturday and so she will have a good week with them!

~This guy.


The kids call him Elf on the Shelf, which is really what he is. But we call him Jesus’ helper. We’ve been trying to do things that will give us an opportunity to talk about God and Jesus and the reason we celebrate Christmas. However after three days of spiritual lessons, I think the kids were getting a little annoyed with the Elf on the Shelf. Last night I asked Pat to take care of the elf and he came up with this pose on the Kleenex box. Kinda creepy, right.

This morning when the kids saw him, Angel said, “What’s so special about the Kleenex box?” Hahaha. I guess what we’ve been talking about the past few days has been sinking in!

~I was so excited to come across this the other day:


That’s right! It’s a color by number coloring book! Color by number is one of my most favorite things in the entire world. I’m not very good at figuring out what colors to use on a regular coloring sheet, but it’s hard to find color by number that is a little more difficult than what a 4-year old could do.

~One of my worksheets from treatment:


Notice number 14 – I wish I could move to Florida! Some day, right Patrick!?

~Ok, if you must, here’s one more picture of Cleo baby:


If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will!


13 on Thursday

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See those spots ? That’s blood. And the entire bathroom was covered. Because our dog Max had to go and get in a fight with the neighbor dog and got his ear bit.

Poor guy.


Poor me. I was the one who had to clean the bathroom!

2. I realized I take a lot of pictures of Caleb sleeping.






I can’t help it, he’s too cute!

5. A dear friend gifted us with a new (gently used) refrigerator. Ours is very old and ready to completely die any day. Pat picked the new one up tonight and we were all so excited!



6. Angel loves her chickies…



She is such a good helper … Both kids are , they love to come help us clean out the coop. Which comes in handy especially as our chicken flock continues to rise!

7. Speaking of chickens…



8. I was in need of some jeans and so I went to the store and almost bought ONE pair that was on sale for $25. I decided to check Goodwill and I got 3 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of dress pants, 2 shirts and 2 pairs of shoes .

Wait for it…

For $25!! How amazing is that!?

Yes I realize I could have saved $20 and just got the one pair of jeans, but come on, celebrate with me.

9. You gotta love the boy!





10. And how sassy is my girl!?


11. Our last roadtrip to Aberdeen. We had an awesome room with bunk beds! And got to spend lots of time with our buds Oli and Sully!




12. Some recent notes I’ve sent Patrick.




13. Caleb for President!


Catch up and baby news

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I’ve been on an unintentional blog hiatus lately, as I mentioned recently. Time just seems to get away from me and then it’s 9:30 and the kids are asleep and I can’t help but crawl under the covers myself. It’s probably not the best time to post an update today, as hopefully most folks are taking a break from the computer to enjoy time with kiddos. I am taking a quick break from my kiddos to enjoy some time on the computer. : )

In my last post I talked about my brother Jim being in town for a visit. It was such a blessing to have him visit, although we were bummed that Leana couldn’t come too. She is going to visit her family in South Africa after the first of the year, and so it was hard for her to take off more time from work.

Thursday night, December 12th, we had a little family Christmas.

As great as it is to be together, it’s still weird and sad to be together. December 12th happened to be exactly a year and 1/2 since we found Mom and Dad. A year and 1/2 of great sorrow and grief. A year and 1/2 of great blessing.

One of those blessings is a new baby.

Caleb has been asking Pat lately for a baby brother or sister. He’s tired of being the littlest in the family.

Unfortunately we are not going to adding to our family.

But my brother Jim is. He shared with us on Thursday night that he and Leana are expecting! We are SO excited, and most excited of all (well besides Jim and Leana of course) are Caleb and Angel. They are beyond excited to be getting a baby cousin. Please keep them in your prayers during the next months. Leana has experienced severe morning sickness and so please pray for a relief from that.

Here’s a picture of us Thursday night. That thing Danelle is holding is a rooster… a present “from” Mom and Dad to put in the memorial garden.


I will hopefully eventually post a separate update about Caleb’s 5th birthday. It was a whirlwind weekend of celebrating as we had his party a little early since Jim and Danelle were in town.

We let Caleb pick and it was his first party where we let him invite friends. He of course picked the Pizza Ranch and after we stuffed ourselves we let the kids run crazy in the playland.


Last night the kids had their Christmas program for their school. We love our school so much! Lord willing, the kids will continue to go there as they are adding a grade level every year. In two years when Angel is in 2nd and Caleb is in 1st, they would be in the same class together. Just one of the many amazing things about Train Up a Child!

Aunt Nellie bought the kids Christmas outfits but Angel was adamant that her outfit was for Christmas. My word, that girl is such a girl. And I say that with all love. So after a great battle I decided to go shopping (ok it really wasn’t that much of a battle), but I was able to find a cute outfit for her on clearance. And then she’ll get to wear her “real” Christmas outfit on Christmas.

They are so precious.


Precious in an exhausting sort of way. : )

We had an amazing surprise last night at the program in that Holly and Timothy came! They are home for about a week and it’s always so great to see them. We are looking forward to a somewhat relaxing next few days. I’m off work from After School and I’ll be picking up a few hours at Vacation Care but Angel and Caleb get to come along. They’ve enjoyed making new friends there. I’ll put in some hours at my HR job but do some of that from home which is such a blessing. We’ll have some time with Pat’s family and just our immediate family and possibly a road trip to Aberdeen to see Nellie.

Lord willing, I might even get Christmas cards out. We aren’t receiving many this year, as not many have our new address. It’s not that we moved three times in the past year or anything. Ha! So I’m hoping to get cards out so that I can share our new address with everyone!

I pray you have a blessed Christmas. Cherish each moment you have. And remember the great love our Heavenly Father has for you.