Monday, November 23, 2009

A Life Of Thanksgiving

A blog that I follow had the most incredible post this morning. The blogger is challenging himself to live an entire week full of thanksgiving! What a neat idea - to be grateful for everything that we have rather than disappointed or upset about what we don't have! I've always found that when I'm thankful, I'm happy, and my happiness multiplies!

So, I'm going to do the same, and challenge myself! Starting right now, through Sunday, I'm going to be thankful for everything that I have - even if it's not something that I would usually be thankful for! (Like dirty dishes or muddy dog feet!)

You can read Nate's post here: And I challenge you, too, to be thankful this week! It's contagious! :-)

Here is what I am MOST thankful for:

Have a great week!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Labor Day Weekend 2009 pictures

We had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Our neighbors invited us to stay with them on Potato Lake! The accomodations were incredible, the weather awesome, and we all had a blast!

Sam with one of many fish he caught off the dock.

Benjamin driving the boat!

Sam and Collin on the inner tube.

I put the camera over the side of the pontoon and snapped a picture. This is the first one I got.
This is the second picture that I got!
Emily and Holly on the inner tube.

Sam skiing! Got up on his second try!


It's that time of the year again! Sam is selling Cub Scout popcorn to earn money for scouting trips. Emily is selling Butter Braids to earn money to go to either Chicago or Denver for dance. These are both great money makers as there is low overhead.

If you're interested in either, let me know!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thoughts and prayers are needed...

A classmate of my daughter's died last night.

Please pray for his family.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Random pictures from the last couple of months

I wish that one of these days Blogger would make it easier for us to upload pictures and then rearrange them. (Maybe there is a way and I don't know it - if so, please enlighten me!)

Here are pictures from May, when I was in Ohio with my mom. Rob and his parents went to Alexandria, MN to celebrate Aunt Kathy's birthday. All of her kids were there - with Rob being an only child, these cousins are like his sisters! And their kids are all around the same ages as our kids!

There are also pictures of us in Ft. Pierre, SD, over the 4th of July holiday. I'll comment after each picture since they're not in chronological order!

Emily riding an old-fashioned bike at the resort in Alexandria.

Emily on a boat with friends in Ft. Pierre.

Sam and Benjamin at Lindenwood park with our favorite neighbor girl.

Sam with the kayak in Ft. Pierre.

Sam resting in the kayak after paddling for awhile!

Sam looking at the Declaration of Independence with Thomas Jefferson.

Sam and Benjamin at the Ft. Pierre parade. (Wearing their flag shirts!)

Grandma Mary Ellen helping Benjamin ride a bike at Alexandria.

Benjamin looking at the fire dog and a clown.

Benjamin playing in the sand at the Lake Oahe beach.

Benjamin pictures (June 2009)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My trip to Ohio

I have been away from home for 5 days now. I flew to Ohio last Tuesday to take care of my mom after she had surgery. Amazingly enough, she had the surgery on Monday, and was discharged at 9:30 PM Tuesday evening! She's been doing great! We spend some time each day walking and moving around so that she can continue to heal. In doing so, we've been able to squeeze in some fun!

Wednesday we went to Vermillion, Ohio, which is right on Lake Erie. It was a beautiful day and Vermillion is a beautiful town. We wandered around their business district (all 2 blocks of it), and stopped at an old-time restaurant. (No kidding - hot dogs were $1.45!) Unfortunately, we overdid it a bit and needed to rest on Thursday. Friday we spent time in Milan at the square. We visited the antique shops and enjoyed the weather.

Saturday, Mom and I got pedicures, and then we went to an Indian event at Lyme Village and watched some dancers. Today we drove 45 miles to an outlet mall and got some great deals. My kids will be happy to help me unpack when I get home!

I'm going to do some projects around the house for Mom tomorrow, and maybe some yardwork, too. The weather has been very nice here - hopefully it will stay that way until I fly out Tuesday evening for ND.

Happy Memorial Day!

Easter 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

Some additional flood information

FLOOD UPDATE: Second Red River crest could top historic mark

Here is some cool perspectives on how many sandbags the fargo area filled to help fight the flood

The Frei family fought a great fight, but water still entered their home. Emily attends school with the younger daughter

And to keep your sense of humor about the whole thing:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This is so funny!

CNN - Stop the Press The Daily Show Comedy Central
CNN's Susan Roesgen makes a difference while covering the floods in Fargo, ND.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Main Event

Mayor Walaker said this morning that it's just the preparation that is over. What we're in now is the main event. Hope we prepared well!

The Red River crested a couple feet below the expected height. Unfotunately, we're still going to be around 38 feet next weekend. We crested a little above 40 feet. Flood stage is 18 feet. And major flood stage is 30 feet and above.

It's been exhausting - physically and emotionally - to get to this point. While our home has been spared from the water, our lives haven't been. We know many people who have lost their homes and just this morning, Oak Grove Lutheran school lost at least a couple of buildings. Emily's school, Shanley, and Oak Grove often combine students for sports. Emily's been on the swim team and softball team with many of those students. It's heartbreaking.

One of her classmates lost her home - the same home her mother grew up in. Her father, brother, and brother's friend had to be evacuated via helicpoter from the roof of their house. Thank goodness that there have been no deaths.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fargo Flood Update

We're holding our own here in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Some of the rural areas are experiencing much water and evacuations. The evacuations that have happened in both Fargo and Moorhead are more for safety - no water is in the homes yet. To follow along, here are some web sites to watch:

Rob and I live in an area that is not planned for evacuation at all - we're high enough that we don't need an evacuation plan. Please pray for all of those affected by the floods. We have a handful of friends and co-workers that live outside of town that have been evacuated and are concerned that their homes will flood.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

So thankful

Good news #1 - After not feeling well on and off for at least a month, Sam was finally diagnosed with mycoplasma, along with strep throat. It's a bacteria that causes walking pneumonia. He never complains and only occassionally said he had a headache or a stomachache. I finally took him to the adult walk-in after being told a few times at the children's walk-in that he had a virus. Thank goodness for a pro-active doctor! 5 days on Zithromax and Sam's back to his usual self!

Good news #2 - Benjamin was discharged from speech therapy 3 sessions early! We originally thought he'd have 9 sessions and he ended up only having 4 because he was sick one time and we had a snow day another time. The speech therapist says a "language explosion" will happen at any time!

Good news #3 - We live in an AWESOME community and work for a great employer. A flood is expected to hit the Fargo-Moorhead area this coming week. Rob and I went over to Moorhead to make sandbags yesterday and were filled with happiness at all of the great neighbors we have. There was a 73-year old man hauling sand bags - not even for himself! And the Moorhead police officer who was spending his supper break filling sand bags - in full uniform with his revolver, too! Thank goodness that we don't need to sandbag our house, although we did spend a decent amount on a new sump pump as well as a new battery backup sump pump with a battery and all the fixings!

Today Emily and I went to help one of her classmates who lives south of town right on the river. They have a pretty cool setup with existing holes for flood wall posts, but still need quite a few sand bags. Then I went to help a co-worker even further south of Emily's classmate! Now I'm home helping Rob get our battery backup sump pump installed. Then we'll need to move all the stuff from the floor of the basement up, just in case!

Beginning on Monday, our company has offered us up to 16 hours of PTO to fight the flood! I'm so grateful! I know we'll be needed. Please pray for all of our neighbors that will be affected by this flood. God bless!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Emily fasted for 24 hours!!!

We didn't realize at the time, but she was supposed to solicit donations (sort of like a fast-a-thon). The donations are going to be split between 3 charities that provide food for the hungry.

She and about 10 other teenagers from her youth group made it the full time (ended up being almost 25 hours) without anything to eat and only water and Powerade to drink. During that time, they helped out around the church, volunteered at the St. Vincent DePaul thrift store, and eventually broke their fast on the body of Jesus Christ during 5 PM mass.

Afterwards, there was a spaghetti feed for the kids - you should have seen them shovel the food in! I'm so proud of her and all of the other teens. If anyone is willing and able to send a donation, please let me know. You can send me an e-mail ( with the amount as the donation card needs to be turned in on Wednesday, and I will send you the address to send the donation to. Checks are tax deductible, can be made out to St. Anthony's, and will then be distributed to the charties.

Thanks, bunches, for your help!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Benjamin's first hair cut

We finally got Benjamin his first hair cut. Because Aunt Kathy cut Sam's hair for the first time, we thought we'd have her cut Benjamin's hair for the first time, too! We just didn't realize it would take so long to get to Minneapolis to do it!

Before back:

Before front:


He looks SOOO old! We think that he'll be moving to the PreTod (Pre-Toddler) room next week. (He's in the Older Infant room now.) We're supposed to get a week's notice, but haven't heard officially yet. We do know that 3 infants are moving up on Monday and that means that the 3 oldest in his room will also move up - that includes him!

Benjamin started speech therapy last week. He's scheduled to attend Mondays and Wednesdays through March, when he will be reevaluated. He only attended one day last week because he was diagnosed with strep throat on Tuesday. (The Rapid strep test came back negative, it was the 24-hour culture that turned positive!) I worked a whole 16 hours last week! :-)

So far he can say mama, daddy, pup (for puppy), mo (with the hand sign for "more"), and ba (with the hand sign for "ball"). I'm told that today he learned baa (for the sound a sheep makes), ccck (for cookie), and mmm (for the sound a cow makes). He can hear and comprehend fine, so we're not sure why he's not talking yet, but decided to start therapy now and work through it as early as we could.

We left on Friday for Minneapolis as the kids didn't have school on Friday due to parent-teacher conferences. Emily had a dance workshop all weekend long, so we dropped her off at the hotel in downtown Minneapolis and went to Kathy & Jerry's house. Sam and Benjamin got to play with 6 of their cousins and had a blast!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kids update

Emily is in her second semester of ninth grade and really enjoying the socializing that comes with High School! She does outstanding in Religion (usually over 100%), but struggles a bit with the other subjects. She is in charge of statistics for the JV and Varsity boys basketball teams, so spends many evenings with them - both at home and on the road. Her latest broken bone has healed nicely and we're eagerly anticipaing her Spring dance recital in May. She's planning to be a CIT (Counselor in Training) at the camp she attends every summer, for at least 5-6 weeks!

Sam continues to amaze us with his reading and math skills. He gets bored quite easily with his second grade school work because it comes so easy to him. His favorite pastimes include Playing XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and the Nintendo DS. He also loves art and has quite the collection of Pokemon cards that he's designed and drawn himself, including names, types (fire, water, etc.), and evolutions. It truly is beyond my comprehension! His school's Ice Skating Classic was in January and he got a first place ribbon. (He got fifth last year, so he was pleased.) Now he's taking swimming lessons, and I just signed him up for a week-long Wilderness camp in Minnesota with a friend from church.

Benjamin will be 18 months old on Valentine's day and has finally started walking. At his 17-month checkup, he wasn't walking or talking, so his pediatrician referred us to a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and a pediatric Physical Therapist. Two days later (before either appointment) Benjamin started walking. He's now running all over the place. His speech is following - he says "Mamamama", "Dadada", "eye" (for Hi), and "bu bu" (for Bye Bye). We know he means Hi and Bye Bye because he does the baby wave when he says them (fingers in and out, in and out!)

Rob and I stay busy with work, chauffering kids, cub scouts, dogs, and the house. Rob's additional entertainment includes Facebook and mine is scrapbooking. So there you have it - the family in a nutshell.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sign this petition!!!

The So-Called Freedom of Choice Act

1. Partial-birth abortion will now be legal.

2. Parental consent laws for minors will no longer be in effect. Although a seventeen-year-old girl has to have her parents present in order to get acne medicine, a thirteen-year-old can get an abortion without her parents knowing. Think of the injury done to these young women, as well as to their children!

3. Laws prohibiting public funding of abortion will be struck down. The American taxpayer will now have to fund something many of us know to be murder.

4. Laws requiring women to be shown information about (including being shown ultrasounds) and alternatives to abortion will be struck down. Think about any other surgery that's performed: you are bombarded with information. And yet, in one of the most invasive medical procedures, women would be kept ignorant of the facts.

5. Laws allowing medical staff and hospitals to refuse to perform abortion on grounds of conscience will be struck down. (Where's the freedom of choice here?)

6. Laws prohibiting medical personnel other than licensed physicians from performing abortions would be invalidated because they may "interfere with" access to abortion. (Talk about protection for women!)

7. Government agencies and officials are prohibited from taking any action that would "discriminate against the exercise of" the FOCA-created legal rights, with respect to any "benefits, facilities, services, or information," would leave government officials open to lawsuits for anything that anybody thought "discriminate(s)" against abortion.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our new president is busy at work.

In one breath he talks stimulus package, in the other breath, he's spending taxpayers money on things that have no business being funded by the population as a whole. I was hoping I'd be wrong about this president and things weren't as bad as they seemed to be, but I'm afraid we're in for a whopper of a term.

As I type this, my 15-year old daughter is in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of other teenagers praying for a reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision. Murder of a baby is illegal, but not if the baby is an unborn baby. I challenge everyone who belives in a woman's "right to choose" to watch pictures or videos of abortion. IT IS MURDER.

Obama to reverse foreign abortion rule
Existing policy bans U.S. funds for groups that promote or perform abortion
The Associated Press
updated 10:42 a.m. CT, Fri., Jan. 23, 2009

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order ending the ban on federal funds for international groups that promote or perform abortions, officials told The Associated Press on Friday.

The move, long expected in the Democratic president's first week in office, will be welcomed by liberals and criticized by abortion rights foes.

The policy bans U.S. taxpayer money, usually in the form of U.S. Agency for International Development funds, from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion. It is also known as the "global gag rule," because it prohibits taxpayer funding for groups that even talk about abortion if there is an unplanned pregnancy.

Also known as the "Mexico City policy," it has been reinstated and then reversed by Republican and Democratic presidents since GOP President Ronald Reagan established it in 1984. President Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but President George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.

The Democratic official and senior U.S. official who disclosed the plans to The AP did so on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to pre-empt Obama's announcement.
Obama was expected to sign the executive order at a low-key event, one day after the 36th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.
The move was not a surprise as both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will oversee foreign aid, had promised to do away with the gag rule during the presidential campaign. Clinton is to visit the U.S. Agency for International Development, through which much U.S. foreign aid is disbursed, later Friday.

Reversing Bush policiesObama has spent his first days in office systematically signing executive orders reversing Bush administration policies on issues ranging from foreign policy to government operations. But, save for ending the ban, Obama has largely refrained from wading into ideological issues, perhaps to avoid being tagged a traditional partisan from the outset after his campaign promises to change "business as usual" in the often partisan-gridlocked capital.
Rather, Obama has chosen to focus initially on issues in which there is consensus across the political spectrum and support from the public, such as closing the prison camp for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to making government documents more accessible.
Organizations that had pressed Obama to make the abortion-ban change were jubilant.

"Women's health has been severely impacted by the cutoff of assistance. President Obama's actions will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, abortions and women dying from high-risk pregnancies because they don't have access to family planning," said Tod Preston, a spokesman for Population Action International, an advocacy group.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

I've been slow posting because I just never seem to have the time to get on the computer and do "personal" stuff these days! We have had a wonderful "holiday" so far. Rob and I took off from December 24th to January 5th, so we're hanging out with the kids and doing house projects. All of our parents were here from the 24th through the 29th, with staggering arrival and departure dates. The kids love it when all their grandparents are here!

We've all been working at cleaning and organizing the house in anticipation for my best Christmas gift ever - a cleaning lady! She starts in a couple of weeks, so we're tring to get everything presentable for her. Of course, it's never that easy. The AstroStart that Rob bought me for my birthday wasn't working 100%, so we had to take it back in for some additional tweeking, and we've been researching tires for my car. The latest problem is the garbage disposal breaking. My handy husband was able to replace it tonight in just a few short hours, including another trip to Menards to get a P trap as the old one was rusted through.

For those of you that usually receive a Christmas card from us, you don't need to keep waiting - it will be a New Year's card this year. They should be arriving shortly and i will have them out in a week. I'll also be posting some of our Christmas pictures soon.