Saturday, May 31, 2008

hail storm

Friday afternoon we got a bad hail storm. The hail was only up to quarter size but it lasted about 15 minutes which is a long time when you are dealing with a very upset, disturbed and extremely scared little boy. Jaden is terrified of storms and has no clue what hail is. Because Bryan was home I was able to get a few pictures. The hail actually piled up to 4 inches deep right by our doorway to the deck. I had to go and push the ice off like it had snowed because it was melting into the house for some strange reason. There are leaves down everywhere like it is autumn.

bloomington house

We don't have a house yet. The owners came down to 255k but we are at 248k. Not sure that we want this house that bad. We will keep looking but not until next weekend.

We have a great realtor, Kent Stoa, with Edina Realty. He has been so helpful in previewing homes and doing lots of searches through the MLS for us.

Bryan and I were both getting hopeful about having a house before we go to Honduras but not sure that will happen now.

We move out of our current house in less than 3 weeks. We have movers coming on June 18th to pack our stuff. June 19th they put it in the truck. We close on our house and transfer ownership to the new owners on June 20th. It is all happening very soon.

Friday, May 30, 2008

one step closer

We are one step closer to going to Honduras because now we have all 4 passports for our family. Clay's passport just arrived in the mail today. I enjoyed looking through it because it is nicer than the other 3 that we have. It has beautiful pictures of different landscapes across the US in blue, green and pink hues. They also put great quotes on each page. Well done, US State Department!

We are one step closer to having a house in Minneapolis; Bloomington, to be exact. We are putting in another offer on the same house that we already offered awhile ago. The selling agent and owners seem willing to take something close to our original offer so we will find out in the next day or two. Our offer will get submitted in the morning.

We are one step closer to raising funds and getting the prayer support that we want to have before we go to Honduras. Our letters about our trip will be sent out to a lot of friends and family on Friday so be watching your mail for yours to come in the next few days. I will post it later with more updates.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Honduras supplies

This morning the boys and I went to a big warehouse that the Mayo Clinic uses to donate medical supplies to hospitals and clinics around the world. Anyone can go and pick up free supplies but only on Wednesday mornings and you never know what they will have. They have a ton of stuff but it might not be the right stuff for the right place. We had fun there this morning and there are a great group of people who sort through everything to package it to send around the world in trucks/crates.

Bryan went last week when he had the morning off. Today we went again without Bryan and it was a blast! We came home with 5 boxes of goods. We have repacked and narrowed them down to 3 boxes. It is so great to be collecting stuff for free that others can use in Honduras. We will keep collecting more stuff in the weeks to come but now we can be more selective in just the items that remain needed.

Another Honduras update is that we finally got our plane tickets last Friday! We had to get 4 tickets because Clay will officially be 2 years old on June 12th. We fly out of Minneapolis and into La Ceiba, Honduras on Tuesday, July 8th. We return from Honduras on August 6th. The tickets were pretty pricey--$3500! It is more than we wish they cost but less than the max that they could be!

The hospital we are going to is in Balfate so someone from the hospital will pick us up and all of our stuff in La Ceiba and drive us about an hour south.

We are very excited about all of the details that are coming together!!!

Here is a picture of Bryan sorting through some of the medical supplies.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

last overnight call

Today and tomorrow will be Bryan's last 30 hour shift at the hospital. He has been working from about 7am this morning and should get off by 1pm Wednesday. When he is on call overnight, the kids and I try to go and meet him for dinner between 5 and 6pm. Tonight was our last time to do that before Bryan finishes residency. He is very excited to be almost done with call. I am a little bit sad because these times have been very memorable and fun and because out time in Rochester is almost done. I am extremely happy about seeing Bryan more and looking forward to his part-time work schedule.

Here is our adventure every 4th night during the bad call months. This is where we always park unless it is 20 below zero or raining--then we pay for the garage. Below is St. Mary's Hospital. There were some months he was at the other Mayo hospital, Methodist Hospital, but that was more rare. "Mom, can we please ride the car?"

We are paging Bryan and waiting for him to call us back to meet us in the cafeteria.

The boys' favorite place to run!

"I want to push the button."
"No, I get to push the button."
"No, it's my turn."
"No, me first."
"I already pushed it."
and so the fight goes...

My two cuties in a rare loving moment.
We have eaten lots of cafeteria food which isn't all that bad because I didn't have to cook it and it is paid for by Mayo.

We have done lots of laughing, running, chasing and falling in this courtyard.

Any man in a white coat and blue scrubs was thought to be daddy at one time or another. Probably the best part of being in the hospital on call is that he gets to where scrubs instead of a suit and tie--Bryan's preference, not necessarily mine, but both are nice.
Our last night, and we finally got the fire engine! They got extra spoiled with chocolate milk and ice cream too.

The famous "rainbow window."

Clay's 2nd Birthday Party

Clay will be 2 on June 12th but we celebrated a little early because family was nearby (in the Minneapolis area). We stayed in Apple Valley with Bryan's parents and my parents were at my brother's house in Rosemount. Kirk and Chrystine were wonderful hosts for Clay's Curious George party. Clay had a blast and loved all the attention and presents for him. I think he fell more in love with George too! It was so cute to watch him be very excited for a few hours. We colored a George picture, made George flip books, ate pizza and pasta, celebrated with a Curious George Dairy Queen ice cream cake (yummy!) and watched Curious George, The Movie! It was a fun time. Everyone loved watching Clay be so expressive!

I forgot to order Clay's cake until the morning of the part on Saturday and God came through to help me on the 3rd DQ I called. I also found out that ice cream cake is not the best thing for Clay's sensitive teeth. He doesn't enjoy very cold things, like ice cream, and says it is 'hot.' He ate about 2 bites but everyone else enjoyed his cake for him. At his first birthday, he wasn't too into the cake we had for him either, maybe next year we will try a big cookie.

Here are the best of pictures, more to come later.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Side By Side no longer

I have been a part of a great Bible study and a great group of women for the last 3 years that we have been in Rochester. That community is known as Side By Side (SBS-Rochester), a ministry for medical spouses (really just wives). I have thoroughly enjoyed this group and they have challenged me to become more of the person God wants me to be.

I already miss this group.

Our last meeting was one week ago today. My Friday mornings won't be the same.

Last Friday was the Farewell Brunch and end of the year slideshow of pictures. It was a sad time to say goodbye to many women who's husbands are finishing their medical training at the Mayo Clinic and its hospitals in Rochester, MN. I am one of those women. My husband is finishing his residency in internal medicine and he is just about done.

I have done many things in this Bible study group including leading a small group for two years, managing the website, assembling slideshows, and managing the sound equipment whenever available. I have officially passed off all of my responsibilities and the year is done.

There were many goodbyes last Friday and I am sure the goodbyes will continue till we move in less than a month.

If you are a medical wife, Side By Side is a great organization that is nationwide and associated with the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA). There are many groups in cities across the US. Click on the picture below to find out more info.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

lots of uncertainty

Things are getting less stressful in our house. My to do list is getting shorter, which is good and it is calming. There is still a lot of uncertainty like what is happening for Memorial Day weekend and when we will find a house to buy and lots of unknowns about Honduras but all of those things will come together.

My thoughtful friend, Rhiannon, asked me recently about if I have been getting migraines during this stressful time. I used to get really bad migraine headaches during my undergrad and graduate school years but I no longer suffer with them as badly. I still get a bad migraine every once in awhile but they are still not as bad as they used to be. I think my stress level now is still nothing compared to what I felt in grad school.

This morning Bryan went to a free medical supply facility associated with Mayo Clinic and its hospitals and picked up lots of stuff to take with us to Honduras. We are still waiting to get our tickets but we will most likely be going from July 9th to August 5/6th. We are in the process of writing a letter for support-both prayer and money-that will get sent out to everyone we know shortly. We are going to Hospital La Loma de La Luz in Balfate, Honduras right along the Caribbean coast. Here is a picture of the hospital. They have a guesthouse where we will be staying. We are very excited that Bryan gets to do mission work in a hospital that is openly sharing Jesus Christ's life and love with the local people. There are lots of opportunities for me while I am there but we probably won't be sure what I will do until we get there. We now have all of our vaccinations to go (all 25 of them + 1 more for Clay in June) and Clay's passport is in process. There are lots of pictures on the hospital's website which was established by the Cornerstone Foundation. We are going on our trip through World Medical Mission, which is part of Samaritan's Purse (Operation Christmas Child).

Monday, May 19, 2008

breakfast date

This morning I had a breakfast date with Jaden. It is very rare right now that I get time alone with Jaden so I have to take advantage of it when I can.

I have both Clay and Jaden in daycare today so that I can get some stuff done without their distraction. That stuff includes running to stores and other places I need to get things done and it also includes my job search and it includes personal time for scrapbooking or watching a movie. Today I am hoping to include some of each of those categories.

Usually I have them in daycare on Tuesdays but this week the only day I could fit them in was Monday but I usually try to avoid that because Jaden has preschool on Mondays. So today we dropped Clay off at daycare at 8am and Jaden and I went out for breakfast together before preschool. Jaden let me choose to go to Panera (one of my favorite fast food places). I wanted him to choose whatever breakfast item he wanted, but all he wanted was a brownie. I did let him have one after eating some fruit and trying the bagel and mini cheese quiche I got. It was a fun time to spend alone with him, even though he didn't admit he was having fun. I am hoping this stage of saying he is not having fun passes soon.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

sleep deprived family

Jaden remained sick through Friday even though I thought he was getting better on Thursday. Thursday night he was pretty much up the whole night screaming, "My ear hurts!" Friday I took him to the the doctor and he has an ear infection and may have strep throat too. He is on antibiotics now but still not sleeping well. After a bad week of sleep, it is going to take him a few days to get back into a good groove. He was still up 4 times last time and that is just exhausting for Bryan and I. I am sure Jaden is tired too and it makes him cranky.

He woke up this morning saying he is not sick any more and I really hope that is true.

We have a rare Sunday where Bryan is off and we have nothing scheduled. We are off to Autumn Ridge Church this morning.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

things went downhill

After my wonderful Mother's Day, it had to be spoiled...

Jaden woke up early Monday morning, a little after midnight, with a fever and feeling pretty sick. I was up with him off and on the whole night and Bryan tried to help out too. Since then, Jaden has thrown up more times than I can count and has had a fever and headache and overall crankiness. He has spent many hours crying and being held. I feel really bad for him. It has been three days now and I think he is starting to feel better. This morning he started to get back to his old antics of fighting with his brother.

We have prayed for Jesus to heal Jaden and make him feel better many times. About halfway through the day on Monday Jaden started asking when Jesus would heal him and how long it would take. I can't answer that and tried to reassure him that he would get better but sometimes it just takes awhile. Now he has taken to saying, "Sometimes it takes a long time for Jesus to make me better." I think he is just reminding himself that he will get better but it might take a long time, in his mind. It is so cute to hear him say it.

I am incredibly sleep deprived from him not sleeping well and throwing up in the middle of the night, every night. Bryan is now gone for 2 days to Washington DC for a conference and I am left to deal with sick Jaden and I hope it doesn't turn into sick Clay. I really think that Clay has a stronger immune system than Jaden because he never throws up when he gets sick and frequently Jaden gets a GI virus like this and Clay never gets it. I am really hoping that stays true.

mother's day couldn't have been nicer

Bryan planned a great Mother's Day for us in Minneapolis.

We went to church Saturday night before Mother's Day and that freed up Sunday morning to look at a few houses in Minneapolis. We did this with the kids and it might be the last time that happens because Jaden came close to breaking some stuff and damaging furniture. It was nice to look at 4 houses anyway.

Then we went and grabbed a quick lunch at Subway in downtown St. Paul and headed over to a concert. Bryan found a special free Mother's Day concert put on by the St. Paul Symphony which they do every year. I love that is was free because who knows how our kids would do. It was at the Landmark Center and we had awesome seats in the balcony overlooking the orchestra. The kids were quite entertained by the people playing all of the different instruments. I am not musical at all but truly hope that I can get my kids to be appreciative of music. I have always wished that I could play an instrument and maybe someday I will still learn. It is on my life goal list. The kids did ok during the concert and Clay sat longer than Jaden which is to be expected. We did spill some soda and cheesy crackers flew everywhere and almost on people's heads below during the last song. We had to escape a little early but we got to be there for most of it which is better than I expected. The music was beautiful and relaxing and it was so nice to share it with my boys and husband.

After that we drove around looking at a bunch of houses for sale from the exterior while the boys napped in the van. We stopped and got some delicious cookies from a French cafe in Edina for a snack and kept driving to look at some more houses.

By the time we were completely famished, the only restaurant around with quick food was Burger King. We made the best of it and got some food to go, along with some yummy donuts from a Southwest Minneapolis bakery and took our food to a park. We ate at Minnehaha Falls on a picnic table which was nice to be outside with the kids. We walked around some by the falls and the river and then wrapped things up by putting the boys in their pajamas before driving back to Rochester. What a wonderful day!!!
Here the kids are paying attention to the music. I think Jaden only lasted about 5 minutes but Clay sat/stood for almost a half hour.
My boys being cute with the waterfall in the background. I love that this is in the city. What a great place to getaway and relax.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

makes me laugh

This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. My wonderful sister-in-law, Laura, took it while taking care of the boys for a few days while we were in Paris. The boys got into grandma and grandpa's magnifying glasses. Clay is so cute with his crooked glasses on the side of his ear!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

mom moments

Today I did not leave the house with my kids. That is very rare and at most happens one day a week. I enjoy getting out of the house with them. It keeps me more sane and keeps the boys more entertained. I have been feeling bad about not giving my kids my full attention that much lately because I have had so much to get done. So, today I thought I would do something this morning that I never do with them. They got to watch Sesame Street which they both love but rarely get to watch because we usually aren't home then. The special something though, was me playing with play-doh with them. First, I dislike play-doh because it is so messy and bright and colorful that it sticks out anywhere that it gets stuck in my house and it is very crumbly. We only play with play-doh outside unless it is with a babysitter or grandma who lets them play with it inside when I am not home to freak about all the crumbs everywhere. The boys and I played outside on the deck on our kid-size picnic table with play-doh for 45 minutes! Not one timeout was given and lots of laughs and smiles were had by all. We came inside to eat lunch and after Jaden had gotten some food in his tummy, I asked him if he had fun with me outside playing with play-doh and he said "no." I should have known not to ask but then he proceeded to tell me that he didn't have fun with the play-doh and did not have fun with me and did not have fun outside. Well, thanks a lot. I will sure try that again. Bryan reassured me that he didn't mean it and eventually we got him to say he did have fun. Sometimes I just want a thank you when I try extra hard. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is too much to ask for from my almost 2 year old and my 3 1/2 year old.

On the flip side, Jaden prayed his first unprompted and unscripted prayer today and to top it off it wasn't for himself--it was for his brother, Clay! I realized later today that Clay had been bitten on his arm, most likely from Jaden but I don't know when it happened, but maybe this morning when Clay was screaming during my shower. They both admitted to hitting at that time but Jaden currently has a lying problem and Clay isn't the most reliable. They both got timeouts. Once I discovered the bite marks, I showed Jaden and he apologized to Clay and said we should pray for Clay's arm--that has never happened before unless I asked him to do that for someone. So then I thought I could get Jaden to repeat a prayer after me because we have done that a few times and it worked well. But before I could say, "God," Jaden already had started praying to "Jesus,..." It was the most precious moment to hear Jaden pray to Jesus for him to heal Clay's arm. This is a memory I don't want to forget. It is good for me to have a place to write it down. I am happy to have this moment to remember after the unappreciative play-doh time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

aorora borealis?

I saw a very beautiful sky tonight. I think it was the northern lights, aurora borealis, but I cannot be sure. It was too late to be the sun and it was in the western sky which I read is possible to be the northern lights. The sky was brilliantly blue streaked across the sky after a bad storm today. Here is my best attempt at a picture while I was admiring the skies alone with Bryan at men's medical Bible study and the boys asleep. This is from my backyard.

I posted lots of pictures on picasa (see link to lower right). There are now pictures of San Diego and our France adventure there for your viewing.

Friday, May 2, 2008


I am once again asking for prayer. I know that my life is full of blessing but right now I have way too much to do and my list is way too long. My worries include all the stuff that goes with moving, finding a new house, figuring out details for our Honduras trip, transferring over everything we do with various ministries to new people and making time to play with my kids. Please pray that I will not feel overwhelmed and that God would help me accomplish things little by little.

I know that my kids are feeling the stress too which is clear by them misbehaving. Jaden has thrown a couple tantrums lately, kicking and screaming, which he has never done. This week has been rough for many reasons. Coming back from a wonderful vacation to my naughtier than usual kids and dealing with the stresses of moving and sleep deprivation. Jaden has decided that it is ok to kick, hit, bite, runaway, yell and just be all around naughty. It is rubbing off on Clay so there have actually been kicking and hitting fights in our house, which is a first. I know that the kids missed us while we were in Paris and I know that they didn't get much discipline with the grandparents while we were gone. That just makes for a really tough week for me. It is made even worse because I am trying to accomplish a lot of things right now with misbehaving kids and all I really need is a nap. I haven't taken naps all week because of trying to get things done but today is different, a nap is definitely needed.

Just keep me in your prayers.

There have been moments of happiness that I want to include and fall asleep thinking about. My kids have gotten to play outside a lot this week. I love our deck and they do to. It has been fun watching them play out there. We also had a very fun play date with Jaden's favorite girl, Jenna, at her house with a very big yard and huge trampoline. We all had a blast. I also officially handed off the website management for my Bible study to another lady. Best of all, I get to scrapbook tonight while Bryan takes care of the boys and I head to the new store in Rochester. My old neighborhood scrapbook store got bought out and moved down the road so I am excited to go there and check it out and get some pages done.

Off to take a nap.