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.