Tuesday, April 29, 2008

best of paris

update after paris

We had an amazing time in Paris! It was so great to have a week alone with my husband. We saw all the major sites in Paris and took a road trip out to the Normandy beaches of WWII and saw some amazing castles in the Loire Valley on the way back. My favorite part of the trip really was just being with Bryan. I never get that much of his attention any more and the boys make it hard for me to give him my attention. My other favorite parts were walking around the Eiffel Tower and visiting amazing castles.

I didn't yet post pictures from San Diego and I wanted to show off a few favorites. My wonderful husband took a lot of time to go through all of our SD pics and Paris pics while I was driving back from ND on Sunday with the boys.

Friday, April 18, 2008

update before paris

I should be finishing my packing and leaving for North Dakota but I needed to update my blog.

I am taking my boys up there to be with family while we are in Paris for 8 days. I leave tomorrow from Fargo and will meet Bryan in the Minneapolis airport hopefully.

Our offer on the Bloomington house was not accepted and they counter offered at too high of a price for what the house is worth. The current owners paid way to much with the house and the longer it sits on the market the more money they lose in mortgage payments and from the housing prices dropping. Our offer of 245k was actually what the comparable houses suggested as a price for this house but they would like 260k. We would rather keep looking for that price. We think the house will stay on the market for awhile and if we don't find something else that we like by then, we will try our offer again.

We have gotten more info about Honduras that I am excited to share with all of you but it is going to have to wait until after Paris. We are going to La Ceiba and the hospital is in Balfate and if you google those things you can probably find their website but I don't have it right now, as I am hurrying. They have lots of nice pictures which we will share with you later.

I probably won't be blogging until after Paris. We return from there on Saturday, April 26th but I won't get back from ND until the 27th.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

bid on a house

We have decided to put a bid on a house in Bloomington. We still think it is over-priced so our offer will be low but we are hoping that they counter-offer--we'll see. Their realtor was discouraging to us and our low offer. Here is a link to the house. We really like the floor plan with both the living room and family room on the same level. The kitchen and bathrooms need updating and some wallpaper needs to be taken down. It will also need lots of painting. The pictures of the house are nice but there is no furniture in it now. It has been on the market for 5 months and the price has dropped twice already. We really like the neighborhood and it is the closest we will possibly live to my brother and his family in Rosemount. On the other hand, it is the farthest we are considering for Bryan's commute. Bryan has gotten a little too attached to this house, in his opinion, but I am not 100% about this house because I wanted to be closer to Edina. We are both happy to have found something we agree on enough to put an offer on the house.

Monday, April 14, 2008

15 shots, 8 more to go

This is only the beginning of our preparation to go to Honduras on a medical mission trip in July and August!!! Yep, that's right, it is going to happen! We will be going on a trip with World Medical Mission (of Samaritan's Purse) where Bryan can work in a hospital. They are helping us with all the details which are still to be worked out. They will get us housing and are very supportive of us taking our kids with us. This was our first choice for a medical mission trip this summer but originally they told us no because all of their Spanish speaking locations needed a fluent doctor. Bryan is not fluent but we checked back them after trying everything else and being inspired by an article I read--they are now allowing us to hire an interpreter for $10/day!!! We were not finding any other trip or organization that we were as excited about. I talked with lots of organizations that advised us not to take our young children with us. We want to make this apart of our family life now and in the future so we want to include them and we didn't want to leave them for 4 weeks.

We will most likely be going from July 13th to August 5th (about 3 1/2 weeks). So in preparation for all the disease potential, we had a lot of vaccines to prepare us. I got three shots, two of which were painful. Bryan got 3 shots also. Clay got 4 shots and Jaden got the worst of it with 5 shots. The kids were in really bad shape because they needed a nap and we were in the travel clinic office for 3 hours! Clay made up for his 1 less shot because he threw-up twice before we left the clinic. We all still have more shots to go but it will be just 1 or 2 in the next 2 visits.

You can all start praying for us now in preparation for this trip. We will find out more details about this trip tomorrow and I am sure I will blog about that too. We are super excited about this opportunity and this dream come true. We hope to be involved in part-time medical missions work for the rest of our lives.

Friday, April 11, 2008

off to Minneapolis

It was so nice to have Bryan's brother, Eric, and his wife, Laura, and baby, Eli, with us from Tuesday through Thursday. They stayed with us while away from Fargo on a business trip. Eric and Laura had lots of fun entertaining my boys. Jaden and Clay got spoiled by all of the block cities that were built and all of the games that were played. Everyone had lots of fun playing.

Last night, our Thursday night small group babysitter, Christen, went above and beyond her job. She built an awesome fort with the kids downstairs and took pictures of it to show us and remind the kids. She comforted Jaden many times during the thunder and lightening and told him that the storm was bringing spring which made him much less scared. He got up this morning and told me that, "The thunder and lightening mean spring is coming." Christen stayed up late dealing with a scared Jaden who wouldn't sleep. She rubbed his back till he fell asleep. Then a little while later she had to hold Clay because he woke up not feeling well. She also washed our dishes and unloaded the dishwasher. She was amazing last night! I am truly of the opinion that it is good to get help raising your kids. She makes my kids happier and makes me a better mom by giving me a break and letting me return to happy kids.

We are off to Minneapolis as the title says. We are heading up to Apple Valley to stay in Bryan's aunt and uncle's empty, but furnished townhouse for the weekend. Bryan will work overnight Friday and Saturday for some extra money and we will look at houses on Sunday afternoon. I am sure we will see some of Kirk (my brother), Chrystine, Kira & Brinley too since they live about 5 minutes from the townhouse.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

music inspires

Tuesday morning I was reminded again that music inspires me. It motivates me to think of others and how I can help them. Music inspires me to do more than I can do on my own because it points me to God. It points me to God if the lyrics are about him but also when the lyrics are about people because I know God wants me to care for and love people.

I was at a leaders appreciation brunch for my Side By Side medical wives Bible study and they had a half hour concert by a talented Rochester mom, Jill Pearson, who is similar to Sara Groves in lyrical talent. Her lyrics are thoughtful and funny and inspiring. I also got a gift of a worship CD and I had just been hoping for some new inspiring music to listen too. What a treat!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

don't need a vacation from the vacation

I don't want to be someone who takes a vacation and then needs a vacation after the vacation. Anyway, all that is to say that I enjoyed our trip to San Diego. We did have some minor sun burns--my scalp, Jaden's raccoon eyes, and Bryan's forehead. We have a very full first couple of days while going to the San Diego Zoo (Thursday) and Sea World (Friday). We had a blast at both places. We also spent some time off and on at the hotel where Bryan had his conference and he presented his poster on Thursday night there while we hungout at our hotel. On Saturday, we took it easy and drove around some and took naps in the afternoon at the hotel (much needed even though it was short). We were at the hotel Saturday night for a professional football player autograph signing that they had for free. Bryan was excited about this and even got a football for his boys. We also went to Coronado Island a couple of times to walk on the beach and look at hotel Del. We left Sunday morning and drove along a lot of beaches on our way to the Orange County airport. We got out and walked a couple of places. It was a beautiful, relaxing day. We got home lat Saturday night and are still unpacking and putting things away and sorting through the mail and email.

Here are Jaden's highlights:
1. The splashing dolphins and whales at Sea World. "The dolphins jump in the water and they splash (giggle, giggle)," Jaden has repeated this many times.
2. Sitting by his favorite girl, Jenna, on the airplane ride from Minneapolis to Rochester. Friends of ours from church just happened to be on the same flight back into town and these two kids got to sit in their own half aisle of 2 seats, so cute!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

to work or not to work

One more thing...

I wanted to link to an article I read on the Washington Post about moms working part-time or full-time or not at all. They didn't spend much time writing at all about the benefits of staying at home which is sad but the article was a good commentary about several women and how they made their choices about work and kids. This is an issue I have thought and prayed about a lot and I am always ready to read more about how others made their decisions.

I thought about working part-time after I had Jaden in DC and decided to stay at home. I continued on that path in Rochester, MN because it was best for my family since Bryan has worked so much through residency. I am now looking to change my hours at home and go back to work part-time in Minneapolis. I have spent many hours thinking about this change and really, truly think it is the best decision not only for me, but for my kids and husband. I know I am a better mom and wife when I get some time away from my kids. God gave me such a passion for the space industry that I know He has a purpose for me there. I am just waiting to see if I should go back to work now or in the next couple years sometime. I am working on the job search like it depends on my efforts but I know that it is all in God's hands if He decides to bless me with a space job in Minneapolis.

things are looking up

I have to say that God answers prayer and I am feeling a lot less stressed about life. Talking with Bryan helped ease my worries and he helped me get a few things done but more than that, it was God calming my nerves.

Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law, we were able to look at 3 more houses on Sunday afternoon. We have pretty much eliminated all of the nice, new townhouses unless we find an end unit that we love. We are not crazy about the layout in the 3 level townhouses that we have seen so far. So, we are mostly looking at older houses now. I can't get this house we saw on Sunday out of my head. It was a nice house, built in the early 80's and needs some updating and wallpaper removal. I don't know why it is staying in my head because it might not be the best investment option for us. Anyway, we are still looking and I am still praying that God will make it clear to us which house we should buy and when to put in an offer.

We are very excited about leaving for San Diego on Wednesday. We return on Sunday so I probably won't be blogging again till I return. My boys are very excited about riding on an airplane right now. Jaden is happy that we are going to the zoo there but not sure what to think about the ocean and what the fish will do to him. He has a lot of fear in life right now and most of it comes from fear of the unknown because he hasn't experienced much of life yet. We spend a lot of time talking about things we are going to experience and trying to calm his fears. It is a good challenge for me but I do wish he had less fear.

I am looking forward to some warmer weather after the few inches of snow we got yesterday. It seems to never end...snow...more snow...