Monday, December 29, 2008

2 week countdown

2 weeks from now I will have already worked a 9 hour day as an engineer. That's right, I am headed back to work in just 2 short weeks. Uh oh, what was all that stuff I learned so long ago? I finished college 7 years ago and my masters 4 years ago. Where did all that knowledge go? I am hoping that the stuff that I forgot is the useless stuff and that the useful stuff remains but we will see. I am sure I have a lot of learning to do.

I am going back to work for ATK as an aerospace systems engineer in Plymouth, MN. I will be working 3 days a week. Nine hours a day for a total of 27 hours a week. I really think I will love part-time work there. I am going to try my best to stick to working Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays but the job is very flexible so if we end up going out of town for vacation then my days may change. I also have great benefits through my job which is amazing for just being part-time. Some of the benefits are scaled back but I am just happy to have any benefits at all.

I will have to fill you in on the work once I start. For now, I know that I will be working on an artillery project in the early design stages.

We signed the kids up for Sunrise International Montessori School in Minnetonka, MN. It is about halfway between our house and my work. We are really looking forward to having both boys in preschool together. We are hoping that the montessori education stimulates their minds, gives them a love for learning, makes them more independent kids, helps them sustain a peaceful environment (not yelling and running all the time) and helps them get along well with other kids too. I know that we have high hopes for this school but I am sure that it will improve them in some noticeable ways. We were very impressed at the kids we observed and how the whole school functioned. We can't wait for it to rub off on our boys. It helps that Jaden and Clay are very much looking forward to this new preschool too.

Jaden has had a lot of questions lately about the transition. The conversation has been entertaining for me.
"Mom, why do you work?"
"Who will watch me?"
"What will I do?"
"What will you do?"
"Why do you work on satellites?"
and somehow this line of questioning led to, "Why is the sky blue?"
I knew that question would come someday so it was fun to talk about with Jaden.

Friday, December 26, 2008

christmas extravaganza

Our house is quiet now and everyone should be asleep but I am up wanting to blog and Bryan is working overnight.

My family all left our place by Tuesday and Bryan's mom got out of the hospital in Fargo on Tuesday also.

We have had a quiet holiday the last two days. Lots of time relaxing around the house.

Here are a few highlights from the last week.

Jaden (top left) singing one of many songs at his preschool Christmas program (9 Little Reindeer). There were lots of hand motions that got him to see at least part of the time. This was his last day at this preschool, so sad. A new school will come soon.
The kids playing in the snow. Clay did not enjoy the sled rides when the snow got kicked up in his face or when any snow got on his mittens.
Jaden and Kira loved the sled rides. Kira just loved eating snow.
The 5 cousins actually sat still for this photo shoot. No one left the couch for a good minute. Amazing! Left to right: nephew Gregory (my sister, Roxanne's son here from Colorado Springs), Clay, Jaden, niece Kira, and niece Brinley.
The gifts. Here is a rare picture of me getting my boys ready to see the big present.
The tool/workbench made by my dad, Grandpa Oscar. The boys love it and will get lots of play time out of it.
Our big meal together on Saturday. All my favorites: ham, mashed potatoes, ham gravy, fresh bread (forgot frozen rolls till later), pomegranate salad, strawberry pretzel salad/dessert, green bean casserole, Paula Dean's corn casserole and Paula Dean's pumpkin gooey butter cake.
Our own family Christmas. The boys chose the dessert for Jesus' birthday, a big chocolate chip cookie. It sure was yummy fresh out of the oven and a little gooey, topped with vanilla ice cream. They blew out the candle and we had fun singing Happy Birthday Jesus.
We spent 45 minutes reading numerous renditions of the Christmas story while everyone took turns acting out the scenes with the Little People Nativity. Love those Little People. They actually kept the boys attention and I think Jaden could retell the Christmas story, well, maybe part of it. I was surprised that Jaden knew Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

Heading to bed now. I am hoping to get in some shopping on Friday. Gotta pick up ornaments for my boys at Hallmark. I am addicted to their ornaments.

Friday, December 19, 2008

change of plans

Monday we decided that we needed to make a trip up to Fargo, ND to see Bryan's mom in the hospital. She had a hysterectomy last Thursday (over a week ago) and was having complications from surgery. Bryan was off work and we decided to rearrange our plans to go. We knew we had to be back by Thursday to get my sister from the airport so we had some rearranging of planned events to do before leaving and I was sick on top of it. On top of that Bryan had just worked an all night shift Sunday night.

Well, the last few days have been very crazy with lots of time spent at the hospital. Lots of meals eaten at restaurants and very little sleep. My mother-in-law, Vicki, had another surgery. My sister-in-law's car broke down with only me available to help her.

Vicki is now recovering. We are back in Bloomington and now have a house full of people, 11 to be exact; 4 more when my brother's family is here. It is fun. I had no time to prepare but then there was no time to stress either.

There is so much that has happened and is happening that it is hard to process it all and it is too much to write. I am just happy to have great family. Such a blessing during the holiday season.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

fun weekend

So far, we have had a great weekend.

Friday night I surprised Bryan with tickets to the Guthrie Theater to see Shadowlands. It was a great, broadway quality play about author C. S. Lewis and the woman that he fell in love with, Joy. It is a romantic tragedy based on his real life. It deals with lots of thought-provoking questions about death and suffering. We left with lots to talk about and wanting to read more written by Lewis.

Saturday we hung around the house most of the day but then in the late afternoon we met my brother (Kirk) and his family at the Light Rail at the Mall of America. We rode it downtown to see the Hollidazzle Parade and see the Christmas Elves display at Macy's. We also grabbed some dinner in the state fair themed food court downtown. We had a blast and the best part was watching how excited the kids got looking at the lit up floats and watching the moving figurines/elves at Macy's.

I am falling more in love with Minneapolis all the time. There is so much to do here. I am so happy to be in a city again.

Friday, December 12, 2008

cute kids

Yesterday the kids spent some time playing with their cousins, Kira and Brinley, at my brother's house. Bryan and I had some time away to volunteer at our church and at Feed my Starving Children. We all had dinner together and my sister-in-law, Chrystine, made some yummy lasagna for us.

While we were hanging out together, Kira kept repeating loudly, "We need shepherds."

She was walking around the living room repeating it while no one was really paying any attention and the dads were busy talking about golf.

Eventually Kira made her way into the kitchen where Chrystine asked ,"Kira, why do you need shepherds?"

Kira replied, "Because I am Mary and Jaden is Joseph. And....Clay is baby Jesus (he was crawling on the floor). We need shepherds."

Too cute. I love my niece's big imagination. I hope more of that carries over into my boys. This memory will have to be shared with Kira, Jaden and Clay when they are older.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

losing streak

Lately, Bryan and I have been going through a losing streak.

It started at Thanksgiving when Bryan lost his keys somewhere in a field when he was hunting. That was a very expensive mistake considering he had two programmable keys, one for each of our vehicles on there. We are still in the process of replacing them and getting a new key to work in our doorknobs to our house. This would cost around $400 to replace the keys but Bryan did some research online and bought his own keys to save us $150. Still an expensive thing to lose.

Then a few days later Bryan lost the only key to his car. We searched around the house for a half hour and found it in the garbage, oops. Bryan accidentally through it out with some garbage from his car.

Then yesterday, I lost our cell phone, that we share. It fell off my lap while getting out of the van at the Minnesota Zoo. A very nice lady found the phone later that day in the snow of the parking lot. Very lucky break! She called me and turned it in to the zoo. There still are nice people out there.

Hopefully our losing streak is over.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

hurting body

I have lots of aches and pains right now. Tonight I shoveled the 4 inches of snow that we got last night. It would have been smarter to shovel while the snow was falling and just do it twice but I wasn't that on top of things. Anyway, now I am paying for it in the strain I placed on my body. This was the third time I shoveled snow so far this winter/fall. I keep telling myself and Bryan that it is a good workout and I enjoy it but this time may have pushed me a little too far.

It doesn't help that last night I fell climbing up our wooden basement stairs and hurt almost every part of me that I could hurt. I had bloody knuckles. I now have bruised ribs and two bruised thighs.

On top of that my right ankle is still recovering from rolling it as I missed a step 2 weeks ago. I fell to the floor hard. I have never injured an ankle that bad. The swelling is just about gone.

Those three combined sets of injuries put me in the mood to workout. I am already sore and stiff so why not keep it going and get on the elliptical in my basement or stick in one of my pilates DVDs? Well, I might just do that. I have been wanting to get back into working out and it has been awhile. I last worked out on the elliptical about 3 years ago, when I was pregnant with Clay. Wow, that seems like a long time ago. I don't plan on getting up early tomorrow to workout but maybe one day soon. For now I will continue to look for practical ways to stay active during my day, like shoveling snow. Any other active ideas out there for a mom with two young boys to get more excercise throughout the day?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

wonderful Christmas suprise


My loving husband planned a surprise for me last night. He got a babysitter and arranged the evening for us. Once the babysitter arrived we were off to dinner and I found out that we were going to the Michael W Smith Christmas concert in St. Paul. We first had dinner at Snuffy's Malt Shop which is a local favorite. I had never been there before and the burgers were really good but the best part of the meal was the brownie shake that we shared, mmmmm good. Wish I had some more now.

The concert was fun and the music was great. There was a full orchestra which was probably the best part of the concert. They sounded so amazing. Some binoculars would have been helpful from our seats but the sound was still good. MWS also had two american idol singers with him, George Huff sang back-up and Melinda Doolittle sang a few amazing songs on her own. She has a powerful voice.

We enjoyed the evening and even got some hot chocolate together. The night was very worth it just to get some time together without the kids. The conversation was great and reminded us more of why we love each other. It is just too easy to get distracted by all of the kid stuff in our lives and then we lose touch with each other as a couple.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

snowy bloomington

Here is Bryan with two of the many pheasants that he shot over Thanksgiving weekend. He is hoping to get some yummy pepper sticks or jerky made of the meat. Bryan's uncle is in charge of the meat processing. Jaden was afraid to touch the pheasants and I don't blame him. I don't like touching dead animals either.Here is our beautiful snow-covered house before the boys and I shoveled the driveway.
We had a blast playing in the snow. We even built this snow castle. Who says you need to put away sand toys for the winter? The boys were very eager to destroy the castle. That is much better than showing their masterpiece to their dad.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

happy thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving in Wolsey, SD with Bryan's family. We hungout for 4 days in small town America. There isn't much to do so we did a lot of sitting around, just kidding, really we were constantly busy chasing and catching our misbehaving kids. Not sure where all of the whining came from the last few days but it wore Bryan and me out. Bryan's mom, Vicki, usually does a great job of entertaining the boys but this time, she was in a lot of pain due to a kidney stone so that left a lot more work for me. We are hoping she feels better soon. This was probably not her favorite Thanksgiving to remember.

Bryan got to go pheasant hunting again and I got to scrapbook some too. Bryan's family played lots of cards and I got to do some cooking for the family to help chef Eileen (Bryan's grandma) out. We watched lots of movies too. We also got Bryan's sister, Kim, to take some family pictures of us. Hopefully one of them will be used for our Christmas letter/card.

I need to get some sleep now but hopefully I will get some pictures up tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

inspirational prayer

This is a great prayer. Take a minute to read it. It makes you think about what a follower of Jesus looks like in our world.

A Prayer for a New President and a New America

by Shane Claiborne 11-07-2008

God of Abraham, Miriam, Hannah, Rizpah, and David…
God of Elijah, Amos, Ruth, Isaiah, Deborah…
God of Mary, John the Baptizer, Peter, Paul, Philemon and Onesimus…
God of Anthony, Ambrose, Dirk Willems, Teresa of Avila, and Francis of
Assisi,
God of Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, William
Wilberforce, and Oscar Romero
and God of love, grace, and hope…

Thank you for creating a perfect world.
Forgive us for the mess we have made of it.
Thank you for creating Jubilee, gleaning, and Sabbath as patterns to
ensure that the poor are cared for, the earth rests, and inequality is
dismantled.
Forgive us for choosing the patterns of empire.
Thank you for using the weak things to shame the strong and the
foolish things to confound the wise.
Protect us from becoming too strong or too wise.
Protect us from ourselves.

Forgive us…
for the groaning of creation
for the millions who die of hunger and curable diseases
for warehousing people in prisons and using them for labor
for the scandal of billions wasted in war
for worrying about tomorrow and storing up more than this day our
daily bread
for an economy that mirrors the seven deadly sins
for our Caesars and our Herods
for the violence and greed in our own hearts
Save us from ourselves.

Deliver us…
from the arrogance of power
from the myth of redemptive violence
from the tyranny of greed
from the ugliness of racism
from false hope and counterfeit change
from the cancer of hatred
from the seduction of wealth
from the idolatry of nationalism
from the paralysis of cynicism
from the ghettoes of poverty
from the ghettoes of wealth
from the blood-stained pages of history
and from the legacy of slavery.
Deliver us oh God.

Give us the courage…
to bless the poor in a world that blesses the middle class.
to bless the meek in a world that admires aggression.
to bless the hungry in a world that feeds the already fed.
to bless the merciful in a world that shows no mercy on evildoers.
to bless the pure in heart in a world of clutter and noise.
to bless the peacemakers in a world that baptizes bombs.

Give us imagination…
that we might not conform to the patterns of this world.
that we might shatter indifference and interrupt injustice with grace
that we might choose the cross over the sword
that we might be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves
that we might consider the lillies and sparrows as they shame Wall
Street’s splendor
that we might choose the dream of God over the dreams of nations
that we might cling to the God that so loved the world, not just America
that we might allow our Jesus to change America rather than America to
change our Jesus.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Shane Claiborne is a Red Letter Christian and a founding partner of The Simple Way community, a radical faith community that lives among and serves the homeless in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. He is the co-author, with Chris Haw, of Jesus for President.

discipline payoff

I have had a realization lately about disciplining my boys. I think that Bryan and I have chosen to be on the heavier end of discipline and I probably didn't realize it. I have thought that disciplining my kids has been the hardest part about raising them so far and now I think part of that reason is because we have chosen to teach our kids more lessons than the average parent. Not sure why that is but it just seems like we discipline on issues where other parents tend to shrug it off. Anyway, I have thought in the past that we could either be more relaxed about the discipline or we can keep it up and hope that it pays off.

I think I am just starting to see that it is paying off. It is so nice to see my kids behaving so kindly to each other and other kids. Lately I have observed Jaden letting other friends go first on the slide. I have seen Jaden helping Clay when he couldn't climb up the ladder by himself. I have seen my boys take turns at putting their arm around each other in love (not wrestling). I have seen Jaden and Clay giving up a toy that they are playing with to let another kid have a turn. I have seen Jaden asking Clay to play with him because he enjoys doing things with him, especially playing computer games together. And the list goes on...

Those things just melt my heart and thank God more for my 2 boys.

Don't get me wrong, they still have lots of moments of fighting, yelling, pushing and being mine-o-saurs (one of our favorite books--Mine-o-saur) but I am seeing the qualities and character that I have hoped for in my kids. I have God, Bryan and lots of family and friends to thank for encouraging me to keep up with the discipline even when it is tough. I know that tough days will still come so I am happy to have this memory to encourage me in the future.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jaden's 4th birthday




We had a blast on Friday night throwing a dinosaur party for Jaden. I have really come to love planning special parties for my boys. We had 5 families over to our house. There were 11 kids in all. It was a high energy blast. I made dinner for everyone and let my corny, creative side out. I made stegasaurus hot dogs and quesadillas in the shape of tyranasaurus rex heads and a fruit plate in the shape of triceratops head. There are pictures on my picasa webiste (see lower right). I also made a triceratops head ring toss. The kids searched for "dinosaur" bones with candy in them and smashed hard sand to get the dinosaur out. We got an awesome cake from Target with roaring dinosaurs that light up on top of the cake. Bryan also did an awesome job of decorating our house as a jungle. Jaden had a great time and has thoroughly been enjoyed his presents from everyone.

Jaden officially turned 4 today (11/23/04). This morning I tried explaining to him that he came out of my belly 4 years ago today. I don't think he grasped that yet. We did start a new tradition today. Well, I am hoping it will be a tradition. Jaden got to have ice cream for breakfast on his birthday. I am hoping to continue this tradition when I turn 30 on January 6th, 2009. I attempted to make him anything he wanted for breakfast but he was not into that idea, instead asked for ice cream. I said ok and a new tradition was born.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

offer accepted

I am officially signed on to be an employee of ATK, Alliant Techsystems. I'm still not sure what the 'K' stands for in Alliant Techsystems but I will have to find that out.

I know that I will start working on missiles and ammunition. Specifically, I will be developing a guidance system for new aritllary. The guidance technology has some cross applications for space technology but this is not what I am passionate about.









I am hoping that I will soon be working on the Ares project for NASA. I have lots of passion for this work. I just hope that God will help me work it out to happen in the Minneapolis area.
I am really excited to start working. I will be working 27 hours per week with benefits. The job is incredibly flexible, which I love. I will be able to work 3 or 4 days a week, however I want to split it up.

I am looking forward to using this part of my brain again and getting a break from my kids. I think this will also be good for my kids to be in a more structured learning environment. I am looking forward to meeting new people and making friends with people that I have some different things in common.

I know that this is what God wants for me right now. I am just hoping that He helps make the space work happen sooner rather than later.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Upper Room experiences

Our church, the Upper Room Community, always has an experiential component to the worship meetings. That is probably the thing that we love most about this church. There are a lot of things we enjoy about this Christian community but the experiences at the services are what sets them apart from other churches.

Last night they talked about the purpose of the church body gathering together. The experiential component of the service was to have audience members blog about their most memorable experience at a service. People actually got up out of their seats to go and journal on one of the computers setup at the back of the sanctuary/auditorium during the sermon. It was a little odd that the pastor was encouraging people to get up and move around while he was speaking but people did it. Then at the end of the service, we were able to read excerpts from people's writings up on the projector screens in the room. It was moving to read some of the stories and neat to see how this community is impacting people's lives for the better, influenced by Jesus.

I have already been impacted numerous times by the experiential elements during the services. The thing I love most about the experiences is that they get you to commit to yourself that you will do something different in your life. It has motivated me to have conversations with people that I may have delayed. It has motivated me to pray for someone whom I might have forgotten. It has motivated me to do an action in my life to reflect love to someone.

When we first tried out this church, we thought that only a few people would participate in the experiential elements because it requires you to get up out of your seat. And usually you have to go up on stage to do something, like write a note on a big board, or take some element asking you for action. Instead of only a few getting involved, it is a large portion of the audience participating. Sometimes only a few participate but usually it is around half of the audience or more doing something about what they believe. So inspiring to see others motivated by their faith in Christ. Others motivate me and so does the Upper Room.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

walk in the cold

My family had a nice walk this morning despite the 30 degree weather. We walked on a pathway near our house that goes along the Minnesota River. It was chilly but we kept warm by racing each other. We also had fun climbing over all of the down trees and branches near the path. The fun culminated in a game of tag to get the kids to move faster on our way back. I got tagged and was after Bryan. I guess my body started moving faster than my feet and I slid down the asphalt path at least a foot. It didn't hurt too bad thanks to my gloves, jeans and coat that protected me. I got up laughing and all ready have bruises to show for my physical game of tag.

It is nice to have Sunday mornings just to hangout and then go to church Sunday night. We are enjoying this groove.

I should have my official job offer from ATK on Monday and I plan on accepting the position to work 3, 9 hour days a week. The job comes with benefits so there are still some details to be worked out. There are lots of things to figure out now. The biggest decision for me now is where to leave my kids during that time. I am checking into Montessori schools as my first choice for both boys.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

new ATK development

So, I had almost counted the ATK job out but promised myself to call the lady that I interviewed with one more time. I talked with her yesterday and think she would make one amazing boss. She was so open and honest and flexible with me about what I want. She knows I am not crazy about ammunition, missiles and artillery (I don't even know the difference but I might soon). She knows that I want to do space stuff and there is potential for me to do that at ATK.

Anyway, there is a job for me that is part-time starting on a guidance project for some artillery with potential to work on the Ares rockets (which will be used to launch the space shuttle replacement, Orion, and other payload to the Moon and beyond) in the future. The most amazing thing is that they are willing to hire me part-time to start! I am not sure I will love the work but I love the potential work. My possible, future boss is ok that I may not love the work but we both agree that some more experience in anything aerospace related would be great for me. And who knows, I may like the work more than I expect. The experience will translate well to anything space related so that is worth working now.

We are working together on the offer, negotiating hours, salary and benefits currently. I will keep you updated as it develops. Our family continues to talk about mommy working and both kids going to "school" and we are praying lots about all of the decisions to be made.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

hunting weekend


Bryan got to go pheasant hunting with his dad, brother, uncle and grandpa this weekend around Wolsey, SD. It is a very small town (400 people) with lots of farms around that they got permission to hunt for pheasants. They did get quite a few pheasants but didn't reach their limits of 3/person/day. Not sure what we are going to do with the pheasant meat but it is frozen at Bryan's grandparents.

I still have issues with hunting in general. I am not a lover of guns and thinks they cause a lot of unnecessary accidents. Bryan really enjoyed hunting and will probably do it again in a few weeks when we are back there for Thanksgiving with his family.

Bryan is hopefully going to get back to me about the number of hunting accidents and how it compares to car accidents. In my mind it happens a lot more frequently when you own a gun and use it and have it in your house. For now, we don't have a gun in our house but that may change someday if the hunting keeps up.

We did have a good, fun weekend with family. I got some great time alone to scrapbook in the basement. I have officially finished the 2006 events in our family's life. Now onto 2007. I would love to be within a year of things actually happening in our lives. Scrapbooking is great therapy for me and it really helps me remember what all we have done over the years.

Monday, November 3, 2008

ATK interview day

The good news is that the interview with ATK went very well and I enjoyed talking intelligently with other engineers. The interview was in Plymouth, MN which is about 25 minutes north of my house in Bloomington.

The bad news is that the ATK office here does pretty much all ammunition and missile development, essentially nothing space-related. There are about 5 people devoting at least part of their time to working on the Ares rocket for the Constellation program for travel to the Moon and beyond. They are not hiring for that and it sounds like there is no chance of me working on that. Once I hear back from ATK I am going to ask again about the possibility of me doing anything with Ares.

I don't really want my job to be about blowing stuff up. I might consider that if there was potential for space work in the future but it doesn't look good.

I will write more about this once I hear back from ATK.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sesame Street Halloween

My Elmo Clay. He gave us a big grin any time we called him Elmo.
My Cookie Monster Jaden. I am not sure how I managed to get this smiling picture because he should have been Oscar the Grouch at this point in the evening. Once we got some sugar into him, his mood picked up.

My boys were so cute on Halloween! I love these pictures I got of them.

They didn't love their tight costumes at first but once they realized that they could get candy by wearing them, they warmed up to the idea.

We attempted to trick-or-treat around our neighborhood with my brother and family but only found one house to give us some candy.

We headed to the Mall of America and ate some yummy, greasy fast food and then trick-or-treated all over the mall.

Then we went home and Bryan and the boys went back around our neighborhood. I stayed at home in the hopes of trick-or-treaters coming to our house but no luck. Between the mall and our neighbors, the boys got quite a stash!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

this one's for Bryan

This morning while I was in the shower, my boys were playing with horses in their little castle in the bathroom with me. I overheard them talking between Jaden's knight's horse and Clay's smaller farm horse. Jaden's horse was the daddy and Clay's horse was the baby.

They frequently play together with various creatures and inevitably one of them is the baby and the other is the mom.

So, this time I was curious, why was there a dad and no mom.

I asked Jaden, "How do you know that your horse is the dad and not the mom?"

Without pausing, Jaden responded, "That's because the dad saves the baby, not the mom. Moms can't save babies."

It was so sweet to hear him say that. So great to know that Jaden loves and respects his dad.

My boys are momma's boys and always have been. I have tried hard to get them to be daddy's boys but it hasn't worked. That could be because Bryan has had to work so much over the last 3 years we were in Rochester, MN for his internal medicine residency. Now Bryan is home so much more. He works on average 32 hours per week and we love it. We love having Bryan/Dad around and it is nice to see that the kids love it too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

nervous excitement.....job interview

I have my first in-person job interview in the Minneapolis area!!!

I will be interviewing with ATK for a position using my aerospace engineering degree. The interview is this coming Monday! That is very soon for me to brush up on everything I learned in school and work! It has been almost 4 years since I have used that part of my brain and it frightens me to think how much I have lost.

I do believe that it will come back once I use it again but I just don't want to look like an idiot at the interview and I would really like to get the job.

It is good that I have Bryan to remind me that I have had 5 interviews in my life for aerospace jobs and every one of them offered me a job. Hopefully I will be 6 for 6 come next week.

You can pray for whatever you want for me. Pray for knowledge to return. Pray for calmness. Pray that I would continue to know clearly what God wants me to do with my time. Just pray cause I know I will be praying a lot over the next week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Feed My Starving Children

On Saturday night, we volunteered with our meal group (from church) at Feed My Starving Children. We had a great time assembling meals with imitation chicken flavoring with vitamins, dried veggies, soy and rice to be sent to starving kids all around the world. We really felt like we were contributing to help others. The organization is amazing! It is well organized and focused on getting people involved. And 94% of their donations goes directly to the food. If you live in the Minneapolis or Chicago area, I highly recommend volunteering with them for a couple of hours just to see what they are doing. They also have a traveling volunteer service that allows churches, youth groups, schools, etc. assemble meals in any city.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

astronaut Jaden

I can't possibly leave the blog with such a negative picture of me because there is still joy in my life (see previous post if you are lost).

Yesterday, on Friday, I got a nice break from the boys while my sister-in-law, Chrystine, took care of my boys for the afternoon. I hungout at Caribou Coffee for 3 hours working on job stuff.

On the way to Chrystine's, Jaden says to me (unprompted), "Mom, when.....I.....grow....up.....I want to be.....a astronaut." (Jaden talks nice and slowly when he has thought about what he wants to say. He also knew that I was leaving the boys to go and do work stuff and try to find a job.)

Me, "Oh, really. That is nice."

Jaden, "Ya, because I want to go in space with you. You, me, dad and Clay can all go in a spaceship together."

Me, "That would be great. I would love that. Who is going to build the spaceship? Will you build it?"

Jaden, "No."

Me, "Who will build the spaceship for us then?"

Clay, "Me! Me!"

Jaden, "Mom, what is a satellite? Can I see one?"............

These are moments I don't want to forget. I love my boys. We had a great conversation. I love that my kids want to be with me. I know that they get lots of time with me and it is nice to know they like it. I know someday they may not want to be with me, especially not in a spaceship together. I love that my interest in space is transferring to them. I don't need them to be astronauts or work for NASA but I do like that they will care about space exploration no matter what they do in life.

On another note, Jaden has wanted to be a teacher until now because his cousin, Kira, said she wants to be a teacher.

frustrated mom

Kids will wear you out. Well, they wear me out. My boys can bring me so much laughter and joy but also so much frustration and endless struggle.

My frustration comes today after numerous timeouts with both boys for doing repeated things that they know are wrong. Then Clay pooped in his underwear. That was all I could take. I just had to yell in disgust in the air. The boys laugh at their crazy mom.

I made the boys go play in the toy room now so mommy can get a break. I told them to pray for me to not yell and be nice to them.

I am having problems with my own selfishness. I am dealing with letting go of all my own desires. My desires of leaving the house to do something fun. My desires of getting somewhere on time and maybe even early for once. I know I am a selfish person and I need to let go of those things that are really just for me, or mostly for me.

Today I wanted to get out of the house to take the boys to a Halloween Big Tent party in front of a local grocery store. Jaden clearly let me know that he didn't want to go but I think I should be able to change his mind. Maybe him and Clay acting out is how they are trying to get me not to take them.

Maybe we will still go but just an hour later than I wanted to leave. We'll see what happens when I get off the computer.

I am struggling with selfishness. I know that kids will try to beat every selfish desire out of you until there is nothing left of you. How do I continue to know who I am but let go of the selfishness? It seems like I am losing the knowledge of what I like, what I enjoy, my character, my personality, my strengths, my weaknesses and who I thought I was.

This is not a new battle for me. I have had this battle going on since I had kids. Almost 4 years now. The battle for loss of selfishness and knowing myself is a tough one for me. I know it is impossible to get rid of all selfishness but I wish I didn't have to feel like it was such a struggle. I may never feel that so maybe I just need to get ok with my struggle. I need to learn to let go of my own will more, especially when it comes to my kids. I will still discipline them but I am talking about all the other areas. What I want them to wear. When I want them to do something. When I want to leave. When I want to go. What I want them to learn. Let it go...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

new pictures

I finally updated my picasa pictures. I added 21 albums of pictures from June, July, August, September and October.

The link is always down on the right of the blog.

Here is another link.

There are even some messy pictures of our Bloomington house under the 'peas and house' album.

Monday, October 20, 2008

great neighbors

Today the boys and I had a blast playing outside for 2 1/2 hours with our neighbors in our cul-de-sac. I love my new neighbor friend, Karen. She may not know that she is my friend but she is. She is such a laid back mom that it is refreshing to be around her. She is a mom to an 8 year old boy, Keegan, and an almost 4 year old boy, Aiden. Jaden just loves Aiden, or more appropriately, loves his toys.

We spent time raking leaves, jumping in them (yes, me too but it ended quickly after I got grass and mud stains), riding bikes, playing with balls, writing with chalk, shooting air rockets, watering plants, washing bikes and anything else with wheels and bagging leaves. I love our beautiful old trees with colorful leaves but they sure are increasing our outdoor workload. The time outside ended with Jaden racing me to his bike. He sure is getting fast! We had to come inside and eat the boys favorite, macaroni and cheese, to warm up from the 50 degree weather outside.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kira is 4

My niece, Kira, turned four on Saturday and had one awesome party! Kira's mom, Chrystine, is the ultimate birthday party-thrower! She has the knack for party throwing! The kids had a blast even though Kira was a little overwhelmed with it all. My boys thoroughly enjoyed the princess party and Jaden loved all the pink. I think he is just getting me back because I have had to tell him repeatedly that pink is a girl color. The boys each picked out a princess gift for Kira and we gave her some blocks too. Jaden picked out reusable juice bottles with princesses on top and Clay picked out a princess phone to give Kira. The kids all got out their phones for a little group shot of the cousins.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

neglected kids

Yesterday my boys got neglected. I think they watched about 3 or 4 hours of PBS. To be truthful, they did play intermittently throughout the TV watching.

My parents are here this weekend and that gave me motivation to clean and organize some more stuff since moving in. I know my parents don't care how clean my house is, which is nice. They just want to hangout and play with their grandkids. I just enjoy the pressure to get some stuff done because people are coming to my house.

I spent most of my day organizing stuff that just got shoved into drawers and cupboards in our bathrooms and picking up items around our house that were not put away. I love organizing. I spent some time cleaning but not much. I like to leave that till the end. I am a true procrastinator at heart and then ran out of time to do all the cleaning I wanted. Oh well, I like feeling organized.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

fishing weekend

We had a great weekend with Bryan's family in Yankton, SD. We stayed at his Uncle Dave and Aunt Linda's house and had a great time with his cousins and their families. We went there so that Bryan could go fishing. He enjoyed the fishing and wishes that he could go more often.

The boys and I had fun going to a bridge opening celebration on Saturday. Then on Sunday everyone went to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch. It rained off and on throughout the weekend but lots of fish were still caught. We ate some yummy fried fish prepared by Uncle Dave.

The best thing about the weekend (in Bryan's estimation) is that I had fun and am willing to do this again. I did not go fishing and do not enjoy it but want to help my husband do the things that he enjoys. Bryan's family below from left to right: Bryan, Uncle Dave (mom's sister), brother Eric, and dad Cal.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

don't want to go to preschool

I was so excited earlier this school year when Jaden wanted to go to preschool. I figured it was short-lived but I didn't know how long it would last. It ended today.

Last Friday Jaden got very scared by the expectation of firefighters coming to his classroom. Then he was even more terrified when they came into the room. He was not comforted sitting next to the teacher so the teacher's aide had to take a crying Jaden out of the room.

The teachers and preschool director reassured me that Jaden was just fine when they went outside to see the firetruck. He recovered quickly and was happy to play again in the classroom.

We thought everything was fine but I figured it would resurface. It did today. He hasn't been back to preschool until today because he only goes Wednesday and Friday mornings.

So this morning Jaden told me repeatedly, "I don't want to go to preschool." I was understanding of his feelings and talked with him endlessly about it for the first hour but the last half hour before we left for preschool, I lost it. I couldn't take it any more. This kid never quits. I told him he had to go and it didn't matter.

Thankfully Bryan rescued me at the right time when I was yelling that we would be late if Jaden didn't get dressed now. Bryan calmed Jaden down and I got to talk reasonably with Jaden on the way to preschool.

I am sure the anxiety will resurface. Once Jaden returned home, he said did have fun at preschool. We'll see what happens on Friday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

feelings in Rochester

Today I took a spur of the moment trip to Rochester, MN with my boys (Bryan had to work). Jaden was invited to a birthday party for his favorite girl, Jenna, who just turned 4. Jaden has been asking to play with Jenna ever since we left Rochester so I felt like we should make the drive just for the party. The party was a blast and gave Jaden a much needed Jenna fix. We'll see how long it lasts. Clay had fun playing with all the big kids. I wish I had pictures but I forgot my camera.

The cutest, unprompted line of the day from Jaden: "Mom, I will share my toys with Kira (my cousin) and Jenna."

Driving back into Rochester without Bryan brought back a flood of feelings. We have already visited Rochester once since we moved but that was only a week after we left and it was as a family of 4. This time I was flooded with memories of life without Bryan when he was so busy with residency.

We have visited Washington DC a few times since we moved from there. I have only fond memories of that place. We have so many loved friends that will be friends forever in the DC area. I didn't think I had such negative feelings of Rochester because we have great friends there too and have lots of enjoyable memories there too.

I think today brought back feelings of loneliness and the sad feeling of doing life without Bryan. Life was really rough during residency and I don't want to relive those years for anything. I wouldn't wish that kind of life on anyone and have much better insight into the lives of doctors and their families.

Life was hard during residency and at times I felt like a single parent. But I do know that I was not and still am not a single parent. I was happily reminded of that today by meeting a single mom to two kids at the birthday party. My life was hard then but it could have been harder.

Today also reminded me of how good life is now. Bryan may still have to work some nights and weekends but he is around so much more. He can be the dad he has always wanted to be and he is even more of the husband I already knew he was.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

good times

The last few days have been quite enjoyable.

I keep saying that Bryan and I don't have friends because we just moved to a new place and don't yet have people to call. We are grateful to have my brother, Kirk, and his family nearby but they can't be our only friends. This week I was contacted by two old friends that live in the Minneapolis area because they want to hangout. That makes me so happy! This was especially great to me because I am usually the one calling all my friends to do things. It was so nice to be wanted and contacted. I can't wait to get together with friends.

Then on Tuesday night, Bryan and I got a babysitter so that we could go to the Art Music Justice Tour with Sara Groves and 4 other great musicians. The concert was inspiring and encouraging and such a treat to go and listen to great music. It made Bryan and I want to be more active in our Christian faith. It was reassuring to me that what we did in Honduras this summer will happen again and it is what God wants for our family. I recommend Sara Goves music for everyone who enjoys a song with thoughtful, challenging lyrics, not just fluff. I also enjoyed Brandon Heath and didn't know that I had heard some of his songs before. His songs are upbeat and have a good rhythm to them.

Love things that inspire me like old and new friends and great music!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Honduras update letter

Here is the letter that we sent out to friends and family updating them about our adventures in Honduras. If you want to read it, you can click on the image and it will open larger, hopefully readable for you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

advancements for Clay


Clay (my 2 year old) has had a big couple of days. Yesterday he decided that he liked peas and ate about 2 cups of them. I was very excited because he is not a big veggie eater and up until this point, he will only occasionally eat a couple carrots and cucumbers.

Then today he did not want to wear his diaper. I hesitated for a moment and thought I could easily force him to wear it but instead thought I would give potty training a try today since I didn't have anything planned until church at 5pm and Bryan was working. Clay wore underwear all morning and loved it. He did have two accidents but one was on the linoleum and the other was only a tiny bit. The most exciting news is that he actually peed in the toilet two times!!! He has sat on the toilet many times before and even pooped a couple of times in the toilet back in May but never has he peed in the toilet. This is big news and gives me motivation to try to train him to use the toilet more.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

thought provoking comment

Tuesday night was a blast meeting our meal group (see previous post) that we will get to know very well over the next few months. We are going through a study guide and DVD by John Ortberg, The Life You've Always Wanted. We started discussing some questions Tuesday night related to the first DVD clip.

One question we answered was...Describe a person or a time when you felt completely accepted for who you are.

One lady at our table said that besides her husband (which had already been said), her kids unconditionally accepted her. That thought has stayed in my head for the last couple of days. At first the thought struck me because I have never thought of my boys that way. They definitely take me with all my flaws and don't really care about them. Kids may ask when something looks out of the ordinary or they have never seen that before but other than asking, they move on and don't care. They don't care if you have more or less hair than someone else, have a pimple, are big or little, have wrinkles, have different colored skin or other unusual features. They just expect you do be like themselves and when you are not, they question it and move on but don't separate from people that are different than themselves. I can definitely learn something from my kids in this area.

I think another reason why this lady's comment struck me so much is because I know that my kids don't like me sometimes. They don't like when they get punished or told that they can't have something or can't do something. I think I interpret that as them not accepting me when really it isn't that at all. Dislike is not the same as unacceptable. I have seen my kids be very accepting of me and just not accepting of punishment.

Overall, I am loving and enjoying my kids more all the time. They are getting to be so much fun and are taking a lot less energy to discipline them. If they stay this way the rest of the time they live in my house, I could be one very happy mom. They still get timeouts, sent to their room occasionally and get things taken away but they are learning quicker and it is more rewarding.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

living through the coughing

I am still coughing and sick but at least Bryan is not working nights and my kids are doing better. Bryan tells me that I have viral bronchitis and just need to wait it out, so that is what I am doing. Last week was rough with little sleep due to sick Jaden not sleeping well and Bryan working nights while we had to keep quiet during the day so he could sleep. I am glad that week is over and won't come again for another 12 weeks or so.

Yesterday my sister-in-law, Chrystine, gave me a little break from my boys and I actually started looking for a job in Minneapolis again. I have my resume updated again and found some jobs with ATK to apply for in the aerospace field. I didn't have time to apply for them yet but will soon. I still feel like going back to work, hopefully part-time, is the best thing for me to do. I really think that is where God wants me to be for part of my life right now in addition to investing in my kids.

We are very excited about our new church, Upper Room Community. They are now in the process of completely separating from the church that helped them start, Christ Presbyterian Church, and are starting the process of looking for their own location. They are not separating because anything bad happened but instead because they can expand their influence by separating. We love being apart of a church that is helping people's lives be changed by Jesus and that is getting Christians to live out their faith in active ways. Tonight we are going to meet our small group that we will be joining for the next few months. Their groups are called meal groups and they meet twice a month to discuss a Christian book and once a month to volunteer somewhere as a service activity. We can't wait for tonight!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

all sick

We are all sick and I am getting sick of it. I have had a bad cold/cough/viral bronchitis for the last week and a half. Bryan and the boys have it too. Jaden's turned into a fever and ear infection/pain in the last day and half. We are all miserable and sleep deprived because Jaden isn't sleeping well and Bryan is working overnights. He has been working 10pm to 6 am since Monday night and he has one more shift tonight.

We have had my dad's cousin Renee and her mom, Olga (my great aunt) staying with us the last two nights. I am sure that Jaden woke them up last night. They are here because Val, Olga's husband of 60 years, is in the hospital for heart surgery Friday morning. He could defintely use prayer to get through the surgery and for God's presence to be with the family during this difficult time. A lot more family is coming into town tonight but they are all staying near the hospital downtown tonight.

We were just at Val and Olga's 60th wedding anniversary party over Labor Day weekend. Their actual anniversary is in October and we are praying that they get to celebrate it together. They have great faith in God and have a great marriage. We are just happy that we can help them out in any way possible while they are nearby.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

the Bison lost


We had a fun trip driving from Bloomington (our home) to Fargo and then to Laramie, Wyoming and back again. We spent lots of time in a minivan but it was enjoyable and relaxing. We enjoyed all of the family time and the long and heated conversations with the Jarabeks. It was nice to get a break from the boys and they had a blast with the Jarabek grandparents and Dracy great grandparents.

The NDSU Bison lost to the UWyo Cowboys but it was still a fun to be a fan.

We are back to getting settled in Bloomington. Life continues to be interesting and now we have some of my extended family staying with us for medical treatment in Minneapolis.

I am trying very hard to put the finishing touches on our Honduras update letter to be sent out to all of our friends and family but things just keep coming up to delay it. I am really hoping to have all of them in the mail by the end of the week.

On a side note, our 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan hit 100,000 miles on the way to Fargo last Thursday.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

missing my boys

We are in Cheyenne, WY and have been away from our kids for almost 2 days. I miss them. They are now with their Grandpa Cal and Grandma Vicki and Great Grandparents, Victor and Eileen. Grandpa Cal has taken care of them during the day for the last day and a half. He made this trip possible without kids and it has been a nice break. I miss my boys and all the fun we could be having.

We are having lots of fun with Bryan's sister, Kim, and his brother and his wife, Eric and Laura.
We are all looking forward to going to the NDSU Bison game against the U of Wyoming. For now it is nice to not be driving but the driving has went well and we have had fun in the van too.

Being away from the boys is good for me. I am looking forward to being with them again and making them laugh. I love watching them play and make each other smile and have fun. I am sure they are having lots of fun with all of Grandma's toys while we are away.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

my captivating Jaden


Jaden has been entertaining me and making me smile more and more the older he gets. His sweet and more obedient side is coming out as he ages and I am enjoying it.

He has been saying so many cute things lately. I just love listening to him talk to Clay and try to explain things to him.

He frequently asks me if I am happy. "Mom, are you happy?" I guess he has figured out that life is more miserable if I am not happy. I am not sure how he came up with that question but I frequently tell him when I am not happy so his questioning helps me tell him more when I am happy too.

We talk a lot about spiritual things because he has a lot of questions. Now whenever I don't feel well or let him know I have a headache, he replies, "Mom, God is with you. He can heal you." His sweet, innocent faith and trust in God is inspiring. I love hearing his perspective.

Today was Jaden's first official day of preschool for this year. It is his 2nd year of preschool and he won't be able to enter kindergarten for 2 years from now. He will have lots of preparation but I think he needed it from where he started. It was so fun taking him to preschool today. It was a family affair since Bryan is working evenings right now, I managed to get him out of bed this morning even though he wanted to sleep.

Last year was not fun the first day and many days throughout the year were difficult. He never really got to the point of enjoying preschool last year but today was different. He was excited to go! He had already been there for a tour and orientation and was excited to go back. That just made my day. He came home happy and I got more description about preschool today than I did all of last school year. I thoroughly enjoyed his joy.

We chose a Lutheran preschool, St. Luke's. Almost all of the preschools here are Lutheran so we went with the one that had the best time options which still are not our preference. The teachers for his class are amazing and very overqualified but I still wish the curriculum was a little more academic but maybe they will surprise me. Jaden will be there on Wednesday and Friday mornings for 2 1/5 hours from 9:15 to 11:45. Not sure what all I will be doing with Clay while Jaden is away but right now we have a lot of clothes shopping to do. My boys need shoes and Jaden has outgrown most of his wardrobe again. I have lots of holey pants and stained shirts from time spent with my boys. I really don't enjoy clothes shopping but I have a feeling I will be doing lots of it in the near future.

I know that I have not been as consistent blogging as previously but it seems all I can manage now. There just seems to be so much to do still with all of the moving in and fixing up our house. I still don't have ahold on any routine yet. Bryan's schedule still seems quite variable and it may always be but I have really been enjoying having him around so much.

We are off on a road trip this weekend so you probably won't read anything from me until Monday or later. We are heading up to Bryan's parents in Fargo to leave this kids there for the weekend. Then we are driving to Wyoming for a football game. North Dakota State (Bryan's alma mater from undergrad and I went there one year). We will be driving there with Bryan's brother (Eric) and his wife and their son and Bryan's sister. Eric is a huge NDSU fan and still works on campus in nanoscience. We enjoy roadtrips so it should be quite fun and it will be nice to have some time without the boys too. I think we will be in a van for about 36-38 hours over the next 5 days.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

church community

This weekend our family went to 3 churches. We are still trying out new churches in the Minneapolis area. Saturday night we went to Bluer (a Vineyard church) in south Minneapolis. Sunday morning we went to 3 Degrees Church in downtown Minneapolis. Then tonight the boys and I went to the Upper Room Community in Edina. Bryan had to work tonight.

We don't usually go to church 3 times per weekend but we are enjoying all of the different service times that new churches have started. Bryan has known for awhile that we should go to the Upper Room but I haven't been as sure. About 2 weeks ago I realized that the Upper Room was the community for us to "be the church." The more churches we go to, the more sure I am of our decision. So, the Upper Room Community is our new Christian community and we will keep on being the church in a new location.

We may still visit other church communities because we enjoy it. It is so fascinating to see how other Christians worship. But it is also comforting to know we have a Christian community to belong now.

Friday, September 5, 2008

mother of four?

No, I am not planning on getting pregnant and I am not currently pregnant but I sure had fun taking care of my 2 nieces yesterday for the afternoon. I only got the younger 2 to take naps but 2 out of 4 is not bad for my first time. I am going to be taking care of Kira and Brinley while their mom, Chrystine (my sister-in-law), works at Gap Kids to make some extra money in preparation for paying for grad school next year. It will probably only be one day a week that I am needed but I am looking forward to the kid time and having Chrystine take my boys for an afternoon too. Here are a couple pictures I snapped of them. Kira is just 5 weeks older than Jaden and Brinley is 6 months old.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

60 amazing years

I have an incredible family and it was made clear last Saturday. We celebrated my great-uncle and aunt's 60th wedding anniversary in Jamestown, ND. Valentine and Olga (my paternal grandmother's sister) Rueb have been happily married for 60 years. Friends and family had such wonderful things to say about them and I could not agree more. The words faithful and gentle were used to describe Val and I think they acurately describe Olga too. They are committed followers of Christ and great examples of love and kindness. They have a loving marriage that has survived through difficult times and increasing physical illness as they age. They are great family heroes and I treasure them and their influence in my life.

Friday, August 29, 2008

quick update

We had another wonderful birthday celebration last night for Bryan turning 32. We went to the state fair and went to the Lincoln Bruster/Big Daddy Weave/Mark Shultz concert and we had a lot of fun there. It was a great night especially because Kirk (my brother) & Chrystine took care of our boys for the evening and they even had a sleepover with their cousins, Kira and Brinley.

We are off to Jamestown, ND to see my family and for a family anniversary celebration. I will update things on Monday or Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Honduras pictures

I finally have some pictures online from our 4 weeks in Honduras. There is one combined folder of pictures from our vacation in Roatan and our 3 1/2 weeks at the Loma de Luz Hospital in Bafate. There are 268 pictures that I uploaded. It was hard to sort through the 1200 pictures we took and select out the best ones to tell the story. I added captions to the pictures to explain things along the way since we won't be able to do that in person for most of you.

Here is a link to the pictures.
http://picasaweb.google.com/astromom/2008_08_06HondurasSummary

Here are a few of my favorites.

The Loma de Luz Hospital

One of the thousands of geckos we lived with and heard. They are small but put out an amazingly loud clicking noise. We liked them because they ate the bugs.
This was our last day in Honduras and we spent it at the city dump in La Ceiba. It was my favorite day because it just broke my heart. I can't believe that people live at the dump and survive on so little. They are uneducated and don't take advantage of the education they could get as kids. I think this leads to lives without ambition and the cycle continues for their kids and grandkids. This day embodies the worst of Honduras and how much help is needed there. This place made my heart grow for Honduras and want to help them more.
My wonderful, sweet Honduran friend, Argentina. She knew very little English and I knew very little Spanish but we still managed to develop a friendship. She is the housekeeper for staff housing and is a hard worker. She taught me how to make flour tortillas and pastalitos (fried sandwich pockets).
Bryan's favorite day was on our 10th anniversary, August 1, 2008. We had a babysitter and took off for the afternoon and evening by ourselves. We went to a waterfall and swimming hole area with hot springs. It was so beautiful to be out in the jungle together.
Bryan in his doctor's office where he saw many clinic patients. He also admitted some patients to the hospital and would do their medical care in the hospital as long as they were there.
Bryan's interpreter, Guildy, who lives at the Children's Center. It is an amazing facility for foster care for kids whose families can't take care of them. Guildy became a great friend and was an incredible blessing to have an interpreter around. She is very gifted at 15 years old.
The guarded gate to the grounds of Hospital Loma de Luz.
Joshua became a friend to my boys at staff housing and the boys still pray for him and Marsela.
Marsela is 3 years old and Joshua will be 2 soon. It was so cute to see my kids try to get them to understand English and them try to get us to understand Spanish.
Family picture at another scenic area with big rocks and waterfalls.