Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We're having a great time today just hanging out at home. Dustin and I decided a few years ago that we were going to make Christmas all our own with just our family. So we run around to many different places before and after Christmas to celebrate with family, but today it's just us. Sweet.



It came without ribbons! It came without tags!It came without packages boxes, or bags!
And he puzzled and puzzled, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more."



Charlie Brown: (shouting in desperation) Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?
Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you. Lights, please. [a spotlight shines on Linus] Linus Van Pelt: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the lord shone round about them, and they were so afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men'". That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie brown.

For Santa

Our kids, especially Miles and Linus, take great pride in the spread that we leave for Santa on Christmas Eve. This year we left Linus' decorated sugar cookies (note the excess of sprinkles... Santa LOVES these!), some apple juice (because everyone else leaves milk), a present and 2 cards. Santa answered our letter with a thank you and a promise to share the drawings with Mrs. Claus!

Rockin'



Our big splurge this year was the game Rock Band for the Xbox 360. Dustin and I were so excited for the kids to see it! They all tried it but it was a little tougher than what we had expected. Our "band" was actually booed off of the stage... and I am certain it had NOTHING to do with my singing skills! The kids slowly strayed from the game and left just Dustin and I playing. It is so much fun! I have to admit, I was rockin' on guitar playing an old Bon Jovi song. Linus said to us "You guys need to turn this music down because it's too loud." I just had to come back with "If it's too loud, you're too old!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Move over Jack Handy

A conversation in my house this morning:

Linus: Mom, do you know what I would do if I was walking and I saw a baby bear that was lost? I would take it home and take care of it.

Miles: Isn't that illegal because it's a wild animal?

Linus: Oh, I mean if I was walking and I saw a baby bear that was lost and I had a bowl and it was full of bear food I would put it down in front of it and watch it eat.

The fun part of Christmas

Yesterday I got to do one of my favorite things in the whole world: give the "perfect" gift. I got a bunch of the parents from Linus' class to go in on a gift certificate for his teacher. I have scrapbooked with her for a long time and absolutely love her. She loves to go to the scrap weekends but it's hard, partly because of money and partly because her husband has a busy work schudule. So, together, we collected a nice hunk of money that will pay for her weekend to scrap and then some. The awesome thing is that nobody pitched in more than $10... combining resources is definitely the way to go. When she opened it up she started to cry... she was so grateful. It was so much fun to do this because I knew how much it would mean to her. There are times that I wish that I could win the lottery just to be able to give like this to everyone I know.

Cookies!

We decorated Christmas cookies with our small group on Thursday night. Cooper and Linus were definitely the most captivated! Those two stayed at the table long after the adults and other kids had given up. Greta only finished 2 cookies... probably becase she was putting the sprinkles on one at a time! My favorite part of the night? Watching Lincoln shake the sprinkle container onto an empty plate and seeing Aiden try to snitch some frosting off of the table when no one was looking.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

another first

Today I had both Miles and Linus into the doctor... they BOTH have an ear infection. Neither one of them has ever had one so this was a first for me. This means that within the last ten days all 3 of my kids have had an ear infection! Maybe there's something in the water here..... :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

a remarkable journey

I read a book this weekend that I would never have given a second glance at if had not been for the need to fulfill a book club membership. I had to order one more book so I looked for the cheapest book possible (that would be remotely interesting) and I found that in Between Heaven and Ground Zero by Leslie Haskin. The book turned out to be an excellent choice. The author is a woman who was born into a large Baptist family and as she got older, strayed from God. She left her family and her faith behind and focused on money and success. She was working in the World Trade Center on September 11th when the terrorist attacks happened. In the book she recounts her story of survival and her setbacks with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder since, but more importantly she tells her story of how that day brought her back to her faith in God. Here are a few exerpts:

I believe that God allowed me to choose my life and then He molded the consequences of those choicesto bring me closer to Him. I chose a path that led me to the World Trade Center. He chose the road that led me out. God knew all that it would take to bring me to my knees before Him...in repentance AND in love. He knew exactly what would send me running into His open arms, and it did. I suggest to you that sometimes a quiet voice wakes us, and sometimes it takes suffering. Sometimes tragedy of unparalled proportions will turn our faces toward God and sometimes a simple song will do it. Sometimes only the enormity of falling giants can shrink our ever-growing egos enough to wake us that we might shake the world... for Him.


Our war is not with an enemy who lays wait in the mountains of Afghanistan or the deserts of Iraq. It is with an eternal enemy that knows our motivations sometimes better than we do. It is a relentless and merciless spirit, that when allowed to, controls how we make decisions, what we believe, how we live, and ultimately, how we die. It is destructive, and it comes to enslave the soul and inspire it with the love of the world, to inflame its lusts, to incite anger, to obscure the path of righteousness, and to keep us in the darkness of chaos and confusion... without hope.

But take heart, my friends-there is good news! There is Christ, our redeemer, who gives us hope. Hope that brings with it a break from old habits and a new life in Christ. Hope that delivers faith beyond stumbling and joy beyond sleepless nights and tearstained pillows. Hope that sets its sights on heavenly places, removing the sting of death, giving peace beyond terror and peace beyond fear!

It's a great story about faith and forgiveness.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

At the movies

Dustin and I went out to a movie last night to celebrate our anniversary. We decided to try the theater in St. Michael because it has the IMAX screen. Dustin wanted to see I Am Legend with Will Smith and because that was playing on the IMAX screen, we saw it. I am not normally a Will Smith fan but I have to say, he was pretty good in this movie. The movie itself was good... not great... but it had some great suspenseful spots where I almost peed my pants! The imagery was awesome... I think it was a great movie to see on such a large screen. One side note... the tickets for this movie were $12 each...EACH!... and we were at the 4:00 showing! I'm either getting too old or too cheap...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

To the one I love...

Happy anniversary babe! Thanks for loving me, making me laugh like no other, and for being such a strong husband and father. I love you!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cheap date



In school, Linus was asked what he wanted for Christmas. The teacher then types up the response and cuts the sentence apart for him to put back together. You can imagine what most kids say: "A puppy, a Gameboy, a cell phone..." Well, not my kid. At the Brown household we live large... Linus asked for "a bunch of Dr. Thunder." When he came home today I found a can of Dr. Thunder with a note attached in his backpack (from his teacher.) I've known his teacher for years so I really got a kick out of it. Aparently so did she!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ElfYourself

Click here for a Brown family Christmas greeting!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sign of the apocalypse?

The end of the world? Maybe not, but if you see people wearing these you may wish it was.

Monday, December 10, 2007

not again!

I had to bring Greta into Urgent Care on Saturday night because of an ear infection. She had a fever all day and in the early evening she told me her ear was "wet." I looked at her ear to find goo coming out of it. The doctor said there was too much drainage to see the ear drum so he wasn't sure if it was perferated. She's on Amoxicillin now... let's just hope that her ear clears up so that we don't have to even think about the possibility of tubes again!

on stage virgin

Well, I made it through my first "on stage" apperance at church. Thank goodness it was a short skit, my memory is not as good as it once was. Surprisingly, I wasn't very nervous... just had a few butterflies right before we went on!

Friday, December 07, 2007

December 7, 1991

Today is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, but it's also the anniversary of one of the oddest days in my life. In 1991, when I was still in high school, the house next door to my parents' exploded. Thankfully there was no one there because the family had moved and was in the process of trying to sell the home (I'm pretty sure there was a long investigation into that.)

I was inside our house when I heard an unbelieveably loud noise and the whole house shook. I ran outside and saw flames next door taller than the fully grown trees. It took the firefighters hours to get the blaze under control. The next morning, when we could see everything in daylight, we couldn't believe our eyes. Part of the neighbor's roof had landed on my brother's car. There were curtains up in the trees. There was a shard of wood that had been thrown so forcibly from the explosion that it was wedged into the telephone pole. There was broken glass EVERYWHERE. My parent's garage was blown off of it's foundation. It was just unbelievable.

I've got to dig through my old photos and see if I can find any of the aftermath.

Greta's 1st haircut


Greta had her first haircut today... at 3 1/2 years old! It was hard to say goodbye to that long hair but it was getting pretty scraggly. She was such a good girl!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Alive and kicking

Dustin's grandma is still in critical condition but is improving every day. The surgeon told Dustin's mom that someone else was "guiding his hand" during surgery... he couldn't believe that she made it through and is doing as well as she is considering a week ago they had all but written her off. Thanks again for all of the prayers!

In other news, Dustin's grandpa (his mom's dad... but grandma and grandpa are divorced) is struggling with his health. He had a stroke several years ago and his health has been slowly declining ever since. Early this week he had a fall and ended up in the ER. The doctor told him that he can't live at home anymore because he needs too much help to function. Grandpa and his wife, Marlys, had known this was coming. Marlys is in good shape for her age but she just can't take care of grandpa anymore. So, Grandpa is in the process of moving into an assisted living center. He is very sad about this... he just wants to be home. Marlys is also very lonely at home by herself. Dustin and I are planning to take the kids to visit them sometime in the next week or two. Please keep them in your prayers.

Meals on Wheels

I braved the snow on Tuesday and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. Other than the weather it was a pretty cool experience. I would have liked to have been able to stay and chat a little with a few of the recipiants but time does not allow for that. I was a bit behind schedule because of the weather (and because the maps were not altogether clear and had old routes highlighted) but most of the people were very understanding... and very happy to have a hot meal. Jesse signed our small group up to do it later this month so I hope I get to see a few of the familiar faces again!

the game of memory

Memory is a crazy thing. I have to strain to think of what we ate for supper last night or what clothes my boys put on this morning for school. I can, however, still name the 50 states in alphabetical order from a grade school song I learned in music class. I started thinking about this because of another song (from a grade school concert) I started singing today as I was cleaning in the kitchen...

Santa Claus, Santa Claus
You are much too fat
I was sleeping peacefully
But now my bed is flat

Santa Claus, Santa Claus
How much do you weigh?
I'm glad I'm not a reindeer
That has to pull your sleigh

Can you imagine if a teacher tried to have kids sing that at a "holiday" concert today?

Friday, November 30, 2007

update

We got word last night that Dustin's grandma made it through surgery but was in pretty rough shape. They gave her a 50% chance of making it through the night. So Dustin's sister Rashelle and Dustin's mom, along with 2 of her sisters, packed up and headed down to Kansas to the hospital. They got there at 1 this afternoon. Grandma's vitals are a bit better and she's responding a little when people talk to her. She's not out of the woods but the staff are happy with her progress. Thanks for the prayers, keep them coming!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

sweetness

From the mouth of Greta: "Mom, you're my best day ever."

The right words at the right time.

prayer request

Dustin's grandma went in for hernia surgery a couple of months ago. Typically, hernia surgery is not a big deal but her story is different than most. First off, the doctor accidentaly nicked her lung and she had to recover from that. Then she was readmitted into the hospital because she couldn't eat and her belly was filling with fluid. She has been in and out of the hospital since, with no one being able to figure out what was wrong. They kept draining the fluid from her belly, did tests, but couldn't figure out where the fluid was coming from.

Yesterday they drained 7 liters of fluid from her and realized that during the original surgery the doctor had cut her bile duct. They also found that a nerve to the stomach had been cut. So today at 3 p.m. she will be having surgery (in a different hospital with a different surgeon) to fix these problems.

She is pretty weak from not eating for the past 6 weeks and her body is worn down. They didn't want to do the surgery until she had more strength but the doctor feels that it needs to be done NOW. Please keep her in your prayers. Also pray for Dustin's mom... this is her mom that is having the surgery and it had been pretty hard on her.

Trusting God

I read about a couple from Minnesota who had premature sextuplets in June. Only one has survived. Click here to read an amazing story of faith.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Deck the Halls

We decorated our tree and our house for Christmas on Sunday. This year was much better than in the past; the kids used to beg to do it, put 3 ornaments on the tree and then Dustin and I would end up finishing it all. All 3 kids really got into it this year! My favorite thing was watching Greta (and Linus) hang ornament after ornament in the same spot... we've got lots of drooping branches from all of the weight!

After decorating we had a "Christmas party" and turned the lights off and plugged the tree in. We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and had hot chocolate.

Miles told us "My favorite part about Christmas isn't presents. It's decorating for Christmas. But I like to get presents too."




Monday, November 19, 2007

feelin' sassy

I was in both Target and WalMart last week and both stores were completely decked out for Christmas. Thanksgiving has not even passed yet! What is it with retail... as soon as one holiday passes, the next one begins even if it's premature. On December 26th we will be bombarded with hearts for Valentine's Day... and it's not even a real holiday (but I won't complain about the old-school candy hearts...delicious!).

Last January, Miles needed a new pair of snowpants (because his were lost at school) and I couldn't find them at any store. I asked a salesperson if they had any and she told me that they had already sold out and wouldn't be getting more because they were seasonal. SEASONAL. Yeah, as in the season we're still in! I'm not sure if anyone that runs that store checked, but winter in MN is usually just getting started in January.

O.k. I'm done ranting now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What the????

If only I had snapped a picture before he took off the headset he was wearing. At least the towel matches the hat, right dude?

Girls night out




Tuesday, November 06, 2007

YES!!!

I just got word from the superintendant of Maple Lake school... both referendum questions passed! Finally the hard work has paid off!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

must see you tube

Click here to see some amazing art from 'phil in the circle' off of You Tube. This guy lives in the Twin Cities and has a bunch of videos of cool art that he's made from things like Oreo cookies, grease from french fries, and matches. You will not be disappointed!

with tears in my eyes...

I learned today that a dear friend is moving. I knew it was coming, sooner or later, I guess I just hoped it would be later. Immediately I thought of the Michael W. Smith song, Friends:

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can't believe the hopes He's granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say "never"
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.

With the faith and love God's given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you'll live in
Is the strength that now you show



It's a little cheesy, but so am I. I will miss the impromptu get togethers with my friend. I will miss her husband and her kids. They are only moving a couple hours away but it seems so far.

I guess it just means out meetings will have to be more deliberate. We have the phone and email and blogging to keep us together. Even though I'm (selfishly) sad, I'm happy and excited for them to have this new beginning.

Birthday Pics

My crazy art skills!
An Xbox 360?!!!
At Dustin's mom's.

Halloween pic

That's Linus as a Ninja Turtle, Greta as Dora and Miles as the "scary guy skeleton."

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Youngs clan

2 weeks ago my whole family got together to have a family picture taken. Mass chaos!... My mom and dad, my 4 brothers and myself and our spouses and children. There were about 100 pictures taken with only a handful without eyes closed and goofy faces!

scrapcamp aftermath

I had a great time scrapbooking this past weekend. I got a lot done... Aiden and Andrew's presents and almost our whole California trip! I was seriously sleep deprived which has (partially) led me to where I am today. I went to Urgent Care last night because my cold and sore throat had progressed to breathing problems. They gave me a nebulizer and prescribed antibiodics, and inhaler and some cough syrup that smells like feet. That's what I get for not taking good care of myself...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

weekend away

I'm leaving this afternoon for a scrapbooking retreat (a.k.a. scrapcamp) and I am so pumped! I am so far behind on my kids' scrapbooks... I think about 2 years for each (that's 6 years of time to catch up on!) I won't even be touching the kids' books this weekend though... I'm going to do our trip to California and, thanks to Welch, I can include photos from The Price Is Right! I'm also going to be putting together a little present for Aiden and Andrew... it was supposed to be for their first birthdays but, of course, I'm a little late with that. At least they're young enough not to know how tardy their presents are!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm a big girl now!



The kids had their dentist appointments today. All 3 were cavity free! It was Greta's first trip there and she did great. I give the credit to Dr. Dennis and his crew of amazing assistants... they are so good to my kids. The kids even got a free movie rental each for the Movie Gallery so we picked up a few kid movies... bonus!
All 3 kids wore thier Twins shirts to tease Dr. Dennis a little. He is a huge Yankees fan so we always have to compare baseball teams when we see him!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

it's a start

In a comment on my post WWJD, someone left a comment with the web address www.christiansconfess.com Check it out...good stuff.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

can it be done?

I've got a question for any of you computer nerds, er, I mean wonders out there. I'm going to start scrapbooking our California trip next week and I really would like to include a picture of Dustin and I from The Price Is Right. The only problem is that we weren't allowed to bring cameras in. I'm wondering if there's any way to get a picture printed from a still shot from a DVD of the show. I think that Jesse and Andrea still have the show we were on TiVo'd... so if we get a DVD burned, can we get a picture from it? It doesn't have to be super clear or anything, I'd just like to be able to tell that it's us in the audience.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

field trip pix



October = postseason baseball

Dustin and I have been seriously enjoying postseason baseball. We've been watching games for the past week and can't wait for Thursday when the next round begins. So far, the only disappointment was seeing the Cubs lose in the first round. I was rooting for them but they just couldn't pull it off.

WWJD

Because Dustin and I didn't become Christians until we were adults, most of our old friends are unsaved. We don't get to see them very often anymore because of work, kids and sometimes location. When we do get together we hang out like we used to but we also try to show them (in subtle ways) the difference that Christ has made in our lives. The problem is that most of them have an unsavory view of Christians (judgemental, overbearing and just plain scary.)

A couple of months ago we got a copy of the new CD from the band Dustin used to play in. Here is an exerpt from one of the songs:

I saw a bumpersticker the other day
said Jesus was comin'
I thought there was something I missed
I'm guessin' when he gets back
and sees what happened
Man is he gonna be pissed

You say if I don't turn from my evil ways and repent
I'm gonna burn in hell
If heaven's eternity with guys like you
Burn in hell I might as well

Your bracelet reads "What would Jesus do?"
Aparently he's good friends with you
Which scares the hell out of me
'Cause I think you're a dick

This song made me sad. The 2 main guys from this band are good friends of ours and I know that they don't feel this way about us but obviously someone left a bad taste in their mouth. I hope and pray that I never make anyone feel like I think I'm superior because I'm a Christian. I would never want to lead someone further from, rather than closer to Jesus.

committees and meetings

When I was younger I always thought that people that were on committees and went to meetings were knowledgable and important. Now I've realized that, mostly, they're just suckers like me who can't say "no." On Monday night I went to my first meeting for the Maple Lake Early Childhood Advisory Council which the preschool teacher asked me to join. I really don't know anything about Early Childhood Education except that I have 3 kids. Tonight I have "Vote Yes" meeting for the school referendum that we're trying to get passed for the 3rd time. I'm actually the head of the referendum committee (which is kind of scary!) It's weird because at the meetings people look to me for answers and direction and I really don't know any more than they do. I do a lot of calling and emailing and am working with a few people to get flyers made up but I don't really feel like I'm qualified to be leading this group. I guess it goes back around to the fact that I always assumed that people in charge knew what they were doing. Obviously that is not always the case.

Kindergarten field trip

I went with Linus' class to the Maple Lake Fire Station this morning. We only had to walk a few blocks to get there but it was pretty chilly! I love to watch and listen to kids in kindergarten. They crack me up! They all had a great time... they got to climb inside a firetruck and an ambulance, look and touch the firefighter's gear, and received a smoke detector and a plastic "fire chief" hat. I'll probably post some pictures when I get them unloaded from the camera.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

busy week

It's been busy this past week. On Friday I packed up the kids (and Grandma Judie + her 2 dogs), picked up Dustin at work and headed to Hastings for the weekend. We all stayed with Dustin's sister. The kids had a great time despite the rainy weather. We made home-made apple juice with an old fashioned apple press/juicer, watched movies, played games, and the kids had their own "band" with Rashelle (Dustin's sister.)

On Monday and Tuesday Greta and I spent our days at my friend Shelley's daycare. Shelley got a 2nd degree burn on her right hand over the weekend and wasn't able to function properly so I was there to help out. In her daycare there are three 4 year olds, one 3 year old, two 2 year olds, three 1 year olds and a 6 month old. Talk about being busy.

Yesterday I went down to St. Paul for the funeral of a friend's mom. My friend Chris lost her dad to cancer 3 years ago and her mom died of cancer on Saturday.

So today Greta and I are just chillin' out... until after school, that is. Two of my nephews are going to be dropped off here and we have to pick another one up from Kidville (an after school daycare.) Then we'll head out to my mom and dad's to drop them off... and maybe we'll score some free supper!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

5 minutes with Linus

"...Mom, there are 2 Bens in my class. One is my friend and the other one is kind of weird; he always has black marker on his head... Don't you wish that God made us so that we didn't have to poop or pee?... Why do I have to get up so early to go to school?... Can kids skip school because they're tired?... My finger kind of hurts... Can we go out to the bus stop yet?... Why do people have gas?... Do you have to get married when you grow up?... How does Santa get into our house if the door is locked and we don't have a chimney?... Can I have a king cobra for a pet?... Why did God make it so that we can get slivers from wood?..."

must see tv

I am totally pumped for the new season of The Office to start. Dustin and I are only about halfway through the 3rd season on dvd so we've got to power through so we're ready.

pop culture

The votes are in: Barry Bonds' record setting ball will be branded with an astrisk and then sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The astrisk is to point out the alleged steriod abuse by Bonds that many feel gave him the chance to break Hank Aaron's record. Marc Ecko won the ball in an online auction and decided to let the people vote on it's fate. Bonds is quoted as saying (about Ecko) "He's stupid. He's an idiot." Marc Ecko said that he's willing to make Bonds a t-shirt that states "Marc Ecko paid $752,467 for my ball, and all I got was this stupid t-shirt." Although I can think of many other ways to spend that kind of money, I still think it's funny.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

remembering

6 years ago today. Dustin and I were living with my parents and I had walked my nephew up to the bus stop. The neighbor lady was up there too and she said "Did you hear that a plane hit the World Trade Center?" When I got back into the house, we turned the radio on and listened as the days events unfolded. Miles was just over a year, I was pregnant with Linus, and I remember thinking what kind of world am I bringing my children into?

Praise God that even in times of horror and sadness we always have the hope of Jesus to fall on.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jeremiah 17:7-8

We picked Bible verses randomly out of a garbage can yesterday at church (sounds goofy but it went along with the sermon). Here's what I got:

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out it's roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.


It's funny how God works, touching us at just the right time with just the right words.

welcome back kidstuf

Yesterday brought back KidStuf to our church. My kids absolutely LOVE KidStuf! Greta favors the music and dancing and Miles and Linus love the skits. They always talk about how funny Brandt, Nico's dad (Joel) and Chad (otherwise known as Cooper's dad) are... Miles still talks about the Christmas KidStuf from last year when they played the Grinch music when Chad was talking to Michael. It really tickled his funnybone! It's funny to listen to the boys talk about the show afterward. Yesterday, the big hit was when Brandt spit out part of a banana on stage. I thought Miles was going to wet his pants!

Thanks to all who put so much time into putting these shows on. There's lots of practice, set up, take down. Just know that the kids love it! We appreciate the time you take out of your schedules to get this right!

Friday, September 07, 2007

so it begins...

Well, it's only the first week of school and I already have a sick kid at home. Linus developed a high fever Wed. night/ Thurs. morning and has been home from school for the past 2 days. I actually brought him to the clinic today just to make sure it wasn't something that could be treated and you guessed it, it's a virus. Hopefully this will pass soon!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I should be doing laundry

If you have about 15 minutes to kill, try out the game Strike a Match at www.boxerjam.com . It's my new guilty pleasure.

quote of the day

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." -David Jeremiah

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

first day of school


We made it through another "first day of school." Miles started 2nd grade and Linus began kindergarten. Both boys did well, hardly any nerves this year. Every kid in elementary school got a Maple Lake Irish t-shirt at open house and they all wore them today. I followed the bus to school to snap a few pictures and it was pretty cool to see the sea of t-shirts. It was strange to have only Greta home with me all day, though I will say she keeps me on my toes!

welcome to 2007

Dustin finally caved and purchased a laptop computer... and this is my first post from it. He's been thinking about getting one for a long time now but always found a hard time justifing spending the money. He will use it like crazy for work and it will make things quite a bit easier for him. Plus, he got a really good deal on it. It's a challenge to get used to using it but I'm sure that in a few days time I'll wonder how we ever lived without it!

Friday, August 31, 2007

musically inclined



A few weeks ago Dustin broke down and bought an electric guitar for the kids. Linus and Greta still like to rock out on the drums but Miles has always been much more interested in the guitar. Now we're considering lessons...

a little of this, a little of that...

It's that time of year again... school starts Tuesday. We had Open House on Wednesday night for the boys. It went really well. Linus is feeling a bit more confident about starting kindergarten after seeing his classroom and talking with his teacher again (their first meeting was a couple of weeks ago.) We are blessed to have great teachers again this year. Miles' teacher from last year is "looping" up to second grade with her class so he'll start the year with the same kids and teacher from last year. Linus' teacher is a lady that I have scrapbooked with for a few years... when I found out she was going to be Linus' teacher I almost cried tears of joy! She is so patient with kids and is one of the nicest people I know.

We got an alarm system for our house... something we would probably never have done... except that we got it for free. American Alarms gave us the alarm, installed and activated it for free... all we have to do is keep their sign in our yard. Advertising for them, free security for us. Sweet.

Linus lost another tooth. This is his second tooth that has come out and the second one that was actually lost before I ever saw it!

I need to send a shout out to Brenton... a congrats! on getting the job at Target. I guess perserverence really does pay off. Or maybe it was just the new suit! :)

Dustin has one fantasy football draft tonight and another on Monday. He's in 2 leagues this year... for the past few years he's been in a league with 2 of my brothers and some other friends. This year he's also going to be in a league with some people from work. His work people take it pretty seriously... hopefully he gets some good players tonight!

Friday, August 24, 2007

in between naps

Not much to say... I've been sleeping more than I thought was humanly possible! Today Dustin is at Valleyfair with the boys and Greta is with my nieces. I'm still quite sore and am taking meds to try to stay comfortable. Narcotics make me have really vivid nightmares so I can't wait for this stage to be over. Thanks to everyone for prayers, thoughts, flowers, and Dr. Pepper! A few have asked what they can do to help... I think more than anything, Dustin would appreciate meals. He is doing everything right now and I know it would lighten his load. Please do not feel obligated to make one if you read this... I'm just throwing it out there for people who have expressed interest in helping. Again, thanks for all of the support!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Home

I'm back at home and am doing pretty good. Still really tired (and a little loopy from the drugs!) Everything went well. Nap time...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the end of an era

WARNING: this post contains words such as uterus, OB/GYN, and ovaries. If you are sensitive to these topics (or just don't want to hear about it) stop reading here.


total abdominal hysterectomy: the surgical removal of the uterus and cervix through an incision in the abdomen

After more than a year of trial (and error) trying to fix some "feminine issues" it is official... I'm having a hysterectomy. My OB/GYN and I have tried several alternatives and nothing has worked. So, I will head into the hospital on Tuesday the 21st to remove the organ that my 3 kids called home for 9 months.

It's kind of a weird feeling. I'm hopeful that this will finally take care of my "issues" and Dustin and I are done having kids so it's not like I need to worry about that...yet it's so weird to think of that part of my life as completely over.

The good news is that my ovaries (the hormone producers) will stay right where they are so I will not have to worry about any hormone therapy. After a couple of days in the hospital I should be able to come home. I'll have to take it easy for awhile but should be back to normal within 4-6weeks. I had a c-section with Greta and the recovery from that went very well. I'm assuming that my recovery from the hysterectomy will follow suit. Plus, this time I won't have a newborn at home to worry about.

Praise God for a supportive husband, great family and friends, and a doctor that I trust. I know they will make the next month or so go smoothly. If you think of it next Tuesday, say a little prayer for me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

756

Barry Bonds has finally passed Hank Aaron's home run record. Now baseball can get back to the game I love so much. In a couple of days things will die down and I won't have to hear about Bonds every time I watch a game. (I can't believe that I'm going to say this about a Yankee) but I hope A Rod gets his stuff together and passes Bonds soon!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Chillin'



We had a blast at my mom and dad's earlier this week with some great friends. Here are some pictures...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A whole new world



Today we are beginning a new journey. Greta is wearing "big girl undies." Whoever said that potty training a girl is easier than potty training a boy has never tried with my daughter! Miles and Linus were a piece of cake compared to her. She is VERY strong willed and doesn't seem to care if she wets her pants. We have been putting her on the toilet every 20 minutes or so and so far she has gone once. She is on her third set of clothes but we're not giving up... we will be a diaper-free household for the first time in 7 years soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

the flu in July?

After 2 days with our internet down, we're back on!

Saturday, Dustin and I went to the wedding of 2 of his co-workers. We had an excellent time but when we got home my niece was up with Greta who had just thrown up. I was up with Greta until she finally stopped vomiting around 4:30 a.m. Within hours, Dustin began vomitting. On Monday, I had to bring Greta in to the doctor for her ears. The doctor couldn't even see the eardrum in her left ear because there was so much junk in there. So now she's on an oral antibiodic as well as ear drops. Then yesterday, in the midst of this nasty hot weather we're having, Linus threw up all over the living room floor. He had a fever last night but is doing better today. Will it ever end?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chad Welch strikes again

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I'm rich!!!!

My baby is 3!





Greta turns 3 today! I can't believe that it's been that long since I've been pregnant... it seems like just yesterday. She certainly has been coming into her own . Her independence and sass have definitely spiked lately! But she also has such a soft and sweet side; like when she's playing with her dolls or loving on babies and animals. Our family has been blessed beyond words because of this little princess.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Recent reads

Here's a run down of the books I've read in the last 1 1/2 months.

the five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom... I read this on the plane on the way to California. It's a quick, easy read and was enjoyable. I wouldn't re-read it but would reccommend it as light reading.

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs... I started this on the plane on the way home from California. I finished it in the days after our return but only because I can't start a book and then quit. It's a memoir and a weird one at that. Some of the context was disturbing. I didn't really care for it and would not reccommend it.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold... This was a good book that I had a hard time putting down. I liked the characters and it had a good storyline. The author's portrayal of heaven is off but this is fiction, right? I'd definitely reccommend it.

Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris... This was a pretty good book but not as good as The Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs. If you've seen the movies you should read the books; Silence of the Lambs was pretty close to the book but The Red Dragon and Hannibal were not nearly as good as the books.

Right now I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (book 6) because book 7 (the final book) comes out next week. I had never been into books like this before but 2 years ago when I was laid up for a month with a kidney stone, I started them. I was hooked immediately. They are fun books with great characters in a classic good vs. evil plot. If you read these, you will not be dissappointed!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happy 4th (just a little late...)





We had a great 4th of July. We started the day at my parents' house with family, friends and a new water trampoline (playing in the water stopped when it began pouring!) Then in the evening we grilled, the kids swam, and watched some fireworks all at the Friewald's house. Good times.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Family Feud Reruns

I love game shows. Even old reruns of game shows long gone. My brother Bill has been known to tape episodes from The Game Show Network and pass them on to me. Last week he gave me a tape with a Family Feud marathon (Richard Dawson era - the only good ones!) These were all episodes where people gave ridiculous answers during the fast money round. Some of my favorites (so far):

Name an animal with 3 letters in it's name... frog and alligator were both given as answers

Name something that comes in a summer storm... snow

Name a food that comes in "instant" form... asparagus

And my favorite,
Name the month of pregnancy when most women begin to show... September

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Family Campout





The kids and I packed up the van on Friday, picked up Dustin at work and headed to Hastings. Dustin's sister lives there and hosts the annual 4th of July celebration for his mom's side of the family. Dustin and his sisters are the oldest of the cousins so in the past few years the only small children there were ours. The other cousins have been getting married and having kids so now we get to enjoy lots of new faces!
We spent Friday night and all day Saturday relaxing and eating way too much! We swam in the pool, played a game of baseball, enjoyed a campfire and some fireworks. The boys and Dustin slept in a tent in the yard and Greta and I enjoyed sleeping in the house. We left Saturday night to get Dustin home in time to play drums at church Sunday morning but the festivities in Hastings continue!
We are heading back there next weekend to celebrate Greta's 3rd birthday a week early. The kids are really excited to get back into the pool (and Dustin and I are looking forward to a little R & R!)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Busy summer days

The kids and I have been spending most of our weekdays out at my mom and dad's on the lake. Summer vacation means that there are lots of cousins and uncles out there to play with (3 of my brothers live on the same street as my parents and all 3 of them are teachers!) The kids have been swimming, fishing, playing catch, running around... it's been so good to be able to spend most of our hours outside! Here are some of the other things we've been up to:

Miles started his summer baseball league last week. He plays on Monday and Wednesday nights and is loving it. Several of his friends play too, so that is a big bonus. It's fun to watch him... he is all business when he's out there playing.

I brought my niece Amber to take her driver's test this week. She failed by a few points and will have to take it again in a few weeks. Just being with her before she took the test brought me back to the anxieties of being a teenager. Thank goodness I passed the first time I took my driver's test... I don't think I would've made it through a second try!

Amber's sister, Kelsey, came home from Peru yesterday. She was there for a little over a week with her high school. She had a great time but has a severe sunburn on her neck/shoulders that has started to blister. Kelsey brought home a very cute poncho home for Greta that she's been wearing around the house. In the past few years Kelsey has traveled to Belize, Costa Rica, Spain, and now Peru. I told her that when I was 17 the farthest I had been away from home was Wisconsin Dells... that gave her a good laugh!

Our family had a great Father's Day... and I forgot to post a "shout out" to all of you dads out there. I think that in today's society there isn't enough stress put on the importance of fathers and their roles in their kids' lives. So thanks to all of you dads... keep teaching your boys how to be good men and your girls how a good man treats a lady.

I've ordered and received my California pictures from Shutterfly. I'm hoping to start on our CA scrapbook soon. I want to get it all in a book before I start to forget the details. My memory is not as good as it used to be!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Caleb



Dustin and I went to the Twins game on Friday night. For once, we got there a little early. They were setting up the "homerun derby" where a few people try to hit home runs from mid field and TC (the bear mascot) tries to hit more than them. Dustin told me that the last time he saw the derby, the guys that were going to bat were from th MN Wild. I guess they use the derby as a way to reach the public; like advertising. So anyway, they were announcing the guys that were going to hit and showing their pictures on the giant screen. I couldn't believe that my cousin Caleb was one of them! He has just turned pro in boxing and they were there to promote his fight on June 15th. They call him "Golden" Caleb Truax.


My kids love Caleb. They want to wrestle him any chance they get. The last time we were visiting at my Grandma's he let them try on his boxing gloves and practice a few punches.


I haven't seen Caleb box yet but I think that I'd like to. Boxing has always kind of freaked me out because you're just watching 2 guys pound on each other. His sister told me that he's pretty good and that he doesn't get hit too much so maybe it won't be too hard to watch. I just know that I'd like to support him by going to one of his fights. Who knows, maybe I'll turn into a huge boxing fan!