Saturday, July 26, 2008

Greta's 4th birthday video

Dustin did it again! He finished this video from Greta's birthday.

**Steph, the song is Breathing Air Again by the Robbie Seay Band (from my ipod.) You should think about getting it on yours! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

one more thing I 'don't get'

On Sunday morning, my brother and his wife and my sister-in-law went to Minneapolis to meet a friend and jog around Lake Calhoun. When they got back to their car they found the window smashed in and their purses stolen. They called the police to report it. When the police got there, they seemed annoyed that they were even called. There was a visible hand print on a different window that almost certainly belonged to the thief but the police told them that they wouldn't be taking any prints; that basically it was a waste of time. They were pretty much told that there would be no investigation.

Here's the deal. I realize that leaving your purse in your car is not the best idea, even if it's tucked under the seat like they did. But if the police don't do anything to the people who are doing this, isn't it like giving them the go ahead to keep doing it? I'm sure by now the thieves have figured out that, unless caught in the act, nothing will be done to stop them. Frustrating.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

big girl!

For Greta's birthday, aunt Sara and aunt Christie took her to get her ears pierced. They said that she didn't even make a peep while the ladies did it! Greta got to pick out her very own earrings (and a few other treasures that Sara couldn't say no to.) She is so excited to be a "big girl!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

the last 20 songs played on my ipod

I love the 'shuffle' feature... it's the only way to go!

1. Sacred Stones - The Samples
2. Say It Ain't So - Weezer
3. Waiting On the World to Change (live) - John Mayer
4. Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
5. Crazy (acoustic version) - Seal
6. Jesus Was an Only Son - Bruce Springsteen
7. Blind - Korn
8. Breathing Air Again - Robbie Seay Band
9. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
10. How to Save a Life - The Fray
11. Home - The Foo Fighters
12. The Broad Majestic Shannon - The Pogues
13. Praise the King (live) - Cindy Morgan
14. Cruisin' - Huey Lewis & Gwenyth Paltrow
15. Stickshifts and Safetybelts - Cake
16. Statue of Jesus - The Gear Daddies
17. Rita - Bebo Norman
18. Storm Windows - John Prine
19. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes
20. Holiday - Green Day

birthday pics

Here are a few pictures from Greta's birthday. It was a fun party... Greta was very excited to open all of her presents. Dustin and I got her a Barbie bike and she looks so stinkin' cute on it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


My baby turns 4 today! I can't believe how fast the years fly by... especially when some days seem to go by so slow! :) Greta loves Barbies and babies but also loves to play Spiderman and baseball. She is such a spitfire and to say that she challenges me is putting it nicely... but I'm guessing that her strong will will be put to good use some day! I remember when Dustin and I found out we were having a girl. We were both so excited! She has turned out to be everything I hoped for (and more!) We get to play girlie things together and she LOVES pretty dresses.

We are having a Dora birthday party tonight. I will post some pictures as soon as our desktop is hooked up again.

hope is never lost

This is a great story of redemption. An amazing story.

Too funny

Check this out... Chad made a fitting tribute to our chair.

Monday, July 14, 2008

RIP Big Blue

The best seat in our house, the cozy big blue chair, has finally bit the dust. It started to sag about 6 months ago and in the last couple of weeks it started to fall apart...literally. Yesterday Dustin started to take it apart (after pulling me away, kicking and screaming (: ) so we can dispose of it properly.

We've had that chair the entire time that we've been in our house. It has served us in so many ways... I've rocked babies and kids to sleep, comforted them when they were sick, recovered from surgery in that chair. It was Dustin and Greta's special spot to sit together, side by side. It has been a makeshift table for the kids to do puzzles, color and set up their action figures.

Big Blue will be missed. She has been replaced spacially by a smaller, brown cousin (courtesy of the Welch family) but will never be far from our hearts. She is survived by her larger, equally attractive twin, Big Blue Couch.

tribute to Big Blue

If I had any kind of computer savvy I would have the song I've Had the Time of My Life (from Dirty Dancing) playing for you as you look at the pictures...

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Becky's service was today. Here is a poem that she loved that Nicole read.

The Dash
by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between the years.
For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars...the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard...
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(You could be at "dash midrange.")
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
So, when your euolgy's being read
with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spent your dash?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

at a loss

It's after 2 a.m. and instead of crawling into bed I find myself at the computer writing this post. I just got home from spending a few hours with Nicole, Kelly and their family.

Becky died tonight. The words seem unreal.

In the past weeks I have watched cancer literally steal her life. Just 2 weeks ago I was at her place watching her get ready for a birthday party... we were talking and laughing. A week ago I was holding her hand when she told me she wasn't sure how much more she could take. The pain was much worse and the cancer had started to effect her brain function. Yesterday I kissed her head and said goodbye as she blankly stared forward. I don't know how much she took in; what she could still understand. Tonight I watched the man from the funeral home take her out of her house for the last time.

I am exhausted tonight. Time for some sleep.

Monday, July 07, 2008

the 4th

We spent the 4th of July helping the Freiwalds re-shingle their roof. There were more kids there than adults... the younger kids had fun splashing in an inflatable pool while the older kids helped on clean up duty. The highlight for them was the magnet on a pole that you run across the ground to pick up stray nails. It was like a treasure hunt! As the sun went down we headed over to Annandale to watch the fireworks. Even with bug spray on we were hassled by many pesky mosquitos. Still, it was fun... after all, we only get to see a show like that once a year!

Friday, July 04, 2008

no thanks

clown + ventriloquist doll = sheer horror

This may be the creepiest thing I've ever laid eyes on.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

bad blogger

I started this blog as a way to keep track of our life for the kids and for my scrapbooks. Now we have friends that have moved to different locations and it also serves as a way to stay in touch.

I have been a bad blogger as of late. It's summer, we've been busy, blah, blah, blah. I'm going to try to stay on track now... and I've just finished several posts to prove my good intentions!

dress up

A shout-out to my aunt Judy who brought a bag of "treasures" for Greta when they came up from Texas for grandma's funeral. Greta has poured over everything in the bag several times... and snips at us if we try to touch any of her things!

5 and counting

Friends, I have been a knitting fool lately. It's only been a couple of weeks since I learned how and I'm on my 6th scarf! These are all for the missions trip to the Ukraine... I don't know what I'm going to do with the stuff I knit after they leave for that trip. I'm going to end up being that relative at Christmas... you know the one... "Oh great, Margaret's here.... I wonder what she's giving this year..."

baby Brianna

It's been awhile since I've had the pleasure of watching a baby this small... 6 weeks old to be exact. The kids and I snuggled this little cutie for a few hours today. She belongs to some old friends of ours, Brad and Jen. I love everything that comes with one this small; feeding, burping, cuddling. But I have to say that I'm happy to send her home for the night... I don't know if I could handle the sleep schedule of a newborn again!

when it rains, it pours

In the past couple of weeks it seems like death is everywhere I turn. It has taken me out of the comfort zone of the 'not in my backyard' mentality that feels safe.

Last Saturday we buried my grandma (and grandpa.) Although it was sad, she passed away in February so the initial sting was gone and her death had already been processed in my mind. We had a short graveside service and a luncheon at a local church. One nice thing about waiting to have a funeral is that people have more time to rearrange schedules... I was able to see and visit with relatives that I don't see very often.

On Monday, my good friend Steph went to the funeral of her friend Julie. Julie died in a tragic accident while trying to save a girl from being swept down a river. It turns out that Julie was also the sister-in-law of a girl from my parent's neighboorhood that I grew up with.

This week a friend of mine (the mom of Miles' friend... the ones moving to Wisconsin) called to tell me that her mom had died. Her mom had surgery about a month ago but was recovering well. She died suddenly and her death threw everyone for a loop. One of their reasons for moving back to Wisconsin was to be closer to family, my friend's mom in particular.

Becky got the results from her latest scans and did not get the news their family was hoping for. There is just too much cancer in her body for the chemo to treat. Her symptoms have been growing stronger every day... so fast... I have never witnessed anything like this. Right now they are in the process of looking into hospice care. Kelly, Nicole and the whole clan rented a motorhome to take Becky down to Iowa for a family reunion tomorrow. This is a very special trip for them because the reunion is what has kept Becky going throughout this whole ordeal. My prayers are that she can make it through the whole reunion and enjoy every person there.

Weeks like these remind me... actually, slap me... with the idea of just how mortal we all are. So cliche, yet so true. Hold on to those you love and hold tighter to the One who holds us.

a beautiful day...

We were lucky enough to spend a beautiful, sunny day at my mom and dad's beach with the Balvin crew and Jesse & Aiden. The kids had a blast swimming and fishing while Steph, Jesse and I sat on the beach and soaked it all in. It was fun to have an adult conversation that lasted more than 3 minutes! My mom absolutely loved it because having all of the kids around reminded her of what the beach was like when my brothers and I were young.

Hey batter, batter!

Baseball season is in full swing (no pun intended!) The boys have had several games and are getting really good! We are lucky to have a good and patient coach (a volunteer, I might add) who enjoys taking the time to teach the kids rules and skills along the way.