Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kadie Lost Her Tooth

Finally lost the first tooth. She has been waiting for a long time as everyone else in her class has lost a tooth. It is amazing how little those baby teeth look when they fall out and how huge their big teeth look. She is a happy girl.

Hard to see but she lost the bottom right center tooth. Growing up!

Miny Miracles

Kadie actually let me teach her something this morning! She was doing her Math Minute (in the morning at the breakfast table because I cannot keep up with 1st grade homework) and she was basically just guessing. Math minute is to help kids speed up their addition facts, however you first need to know your facts which she does not. Anyway, she was guessing wrong so I taught her some simple addition tricks. The mini miracle is that she listened and then..... music to my mommy ears....said "Hey Mom, you actually know how to do this!" Yep. The sayings is true, what goes around comes around. I am sure my mom will read this later today and reminisce over the years of me and my sister treating her like she was a total idiot- good times.

Why is it when we are 6 (and older too) do we think our parents know nothing but our teachers are God?

I have often lovingly said that Kadie has an unteachable spirit. The polite way to say she was a "know it all". Not really in the typical obnoxious way but in the creative imaginative denial way. For instance when she was 4 she asked me how the lines got on the road. When I told her how they did that, she simply said in all seriousness, "Nope, that is not how they do it mom. These fairies fly down with paintbrushes while we are sleeping and paint dandelion dust on the road." She would tell me that I spelled things wrong when she could not even read. She would tell me that letters made different sounds than they actually did. She was serious, and I clearly did not know what I was talking about.

I was delighted when she went to preschool and actually listened and learned from her teacher. It gave me hope. But now we have this issue....full out battles over what the teacher said verses what I know to be fact. For instance there have been words that she is mispronouncing when reading. I will correct her occasionally and she will say "No, Mrs Hansel told me to pronounce it this way." I talking simple words that make no sense to pronounce differently. Are you kidding me? Then we have to go thru the whole "lying" talk which leads to defensiveness and denial. Again... good times.

But this morning there may have been a breakthrough. Not holding my breath but hopeful.

I do have to say, I cannot believe how fast she has learned to read. It is shocking. Jack was an early strong reader (before Kindergarten) so Kadie was more on the normal track. But all of a sudden she brought home a chapter book and started reading it! She sounded out the word "actually" last night. Wow. We were fighting over sight words 2 weeks ago, it is amazing how it just clicks all of a sudden. I forget that.

Yay! It is so fun when they can read.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our Baby Turns 3!

Isabella turns 3 today. We did her party on Saturday so to avoid the continuous obsession we have not even told her today was her actual birthday. It is hard to believe that she is already 3.

Our baby is growing up. She is in panties and a big girl bed. She is talking and playing with little toys alone. Her little voice is so sweet when she playing little imaginary games with her stuffed animals. She adores Lucy and they are like two little peas in a pod. At night when we try to find Lucy to put her out she is almost always snuggled up on Issies bed. And she is smart. Freakishly smart at times. With numbers and letters but also with the things she says and how she can figure things out. She is still pretty bossy. She is tiny but it like a rudder on a big ship. She steers the entire family. But we love her so much.

About two weeks ago, she broke my heart. Brad was out of town and she was getting ready for bed (she has a wild burst of energy at bedtime). The out of the blue, she stopped and said "I lub you Mommy" then went on her way. I think this is the first time she said I love you first. It was precious.

Saturday was her first Birthday party (we have just done simple family stuff on the other years). I think it was the first time she really understood what a Birthday was. She went to her friends party a few weeks ago and I think it clicked and she has been obsessed about her Birthday ever since. We do simple for the birthday "like a playdate with a cake". So she had 3 friends come and we had fun. Jack and Kadie rearranged the living room and got out all the tents and tunnels for a bit fort. The little kids loved it.

Birthday Girl

So silly.
Daddy was a big hit when he walked in with the balloons. Issie LOVES balloons.

Issie and Hope (these two were cut from the same mold, so much a like in so many ways)

Blowing out the candle. I made her a slug cake. (tried to make it look like a catapillar for the other kids but she loves slugs so to her it was a slug cake) When it rains here we have soooo many slugs so every morning she likes to count how many slugs are on the sidewalk from the door to the car- her record is 17!

"Bows" from Kadie. Issie gets very attached to stuffed animals so the kids got her several new ones including this one. So sweet.

I think this might be the first real time Issie has opened presents. Up til now she has not shown any interest so we have down played it all. Not now. She is totally into it. We got her Beauty and the Beast and I forgot what a great movie that is. Our whole family has watched a few times since then. Even Jack loves it.
It was a fun day. Issie we love you so much crazy girl.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It is early Saturday morning. I was just lying in bed, trying to fall back to sleep with 2 little girls playing puppy and mommy on Daddy's side of the bed. My mind started to quickly go to all the things I should do today. Send this email, order that thing, exercise, clean, make pancakes, and a bunch of other ridiculous expectations that I put on myself. It is like, I forgot all the peace I found last night when I allowed myself to take delight in my blessings and avoid being caught up in all the other stuff that needs to happen. (That word need is pretty subjective these days).

Then the phone rang.

7:15am on Saturday morning and the phone rang. It was our neighbour. A wonderful God loving family moved in to the house right up our hill on Labor Day and was an answer to 5 years of prayers that Jack would find a great friend within walking distance to our home. Connor has been that. He has been an amazing and fun new friend given to us by an awesome God. Well, the phone rings and it is the dad of this family. He tells me their older son has been in the hospital since Wednesday. "Things have been bad" as they thought it was an absess on his spine but now they realized it is a Staph infection in the blood. This does not seem better to me but he said this is better. Anyways, the 2 youngest kids Connor and his sister are coming to spend the day with us so the mom and dad can be at the hospital.

It was like a punch in the stomach. Satan tries (and sadly often succeeds) at keeping me all worked up, moving and doing and thinking ahead. I refuse to let him win. I see everyday how tenuous life is. How we are all here for such a short time. I just do not want to miss anything. I know God has a calling on my life, and I am so excited to be in that with Him. But I can twist it all and lose sight of the beauty around me at any given moment.

Thank you Lord for my family. Our health and all we take for granted every day. Thank you that we can love on and bless this family that has blessed us. I pray for healing for Mason. I pray you use this to shower him with your love, grace and power. I know he needs to feel you in his life right now, I know he has been pulling away. I pray that you pour out all your love and wrap him in your arms. Lord, do this or something better.

We are so blessed.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Today has been one of those days, actually it has been a week of yuck. But on my way home tonight from what was supposed to be a massage (my massage therapist forgot...ugh), I felt reminded of all that I have instead of all that has gone wrong this week. It was one of those days when I got home after the girls were in bed and Jack is at his dad's and all I wanted to do is gather everyone up for a big family hug. Those hugs where you don't let go for a really long time. I feel like those moments are always better in my imagination, since waking everyone up is a really good way to ruin and evening and then I would quickly forget what I was so grateful for. Just kidding.

I am blessed. I have a husband who loves me and SEES me and is my best counselor and usually the sound voice of reason when I feel crazy. I have my boy (trying to be a man) who is so sweet and handsome and has the most tender heart. I have my crazy girl, who makes me laugh and is so loving and forgiving. I have my baby, who is almost not a baby anymore but still says "Mommy I nEEEEED you" and melts my heart with her "tank you mama's". I have my home. I have a God who loves me and is fighting for me and has a plan for me. I have the cute little dog at my feet. I have friends who are so loyal and stand by me like my best cheerleaders and devoted prayer warriors. I am blessed.

All has been crazy. I want to blog but I put this pressure on myself to catch up everything that I have missed before I can start. What a lie. I will put things in, out of order and I will still know what happened. I love you family. I have a hot shower waiting so I must write more later.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Crazy Summer!

It is hard to believe that it was Mother's Day when I last updated this blog... ugh! All I can say is that it has been a crazy summer. We have had tons of soccer and mini vacations, a trip to Canada and we started a new business. Run run run. I have been keeping track of what I want to post, what I want to share and what I absolutely want to remember of Summer 2010 but it has not made it hear yet. (Oh well)

Here is a glimpse of our summer days and our sweet family. I will try my best to update the entire summer in the next few weeks- or at least when the kids get back in school.
If you remember, last summer, Issie hated the sand. Well now she absolutely loves it. She calls it her big sand box. When we see a river, a construction site or a picture of waves, she starts yelling "Beach, Beach, I want to go to the Beach". She is entertained for hours with sand.

Kadie girl. Always a beach lover but mostly to chase the waves with daddy. One of her "most favorite things to do". She loves to run in the waves then bury herself with sand to warm up. It is quite the mess.

We took a trip to the Newport Aquarium with Trudy and Rod. The kids loved it. It was a wonderful day. That is Kadie's best shark face.

After dinner and ice cream in Newport. We watched the sea lions and walked along the water.

My blue-eyed girls. Fourth of July with my sweet girls. It was a quiet fun day with friends.
Ok, I feel a bit better. I will post more later, promise!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend

Brad is out of town this weekend, actually visiting his mom. It just happens to be Mother's Day weekend. I have had a nice weekend with the kids, doing just normal stuff. The weather finally decided to change and it is amazing what 2 days of sunshine can do to all of us. You just do not realize how beautiful and green everything is when it is pouring and freezing everyday. Well the past few days have been lovely. We have taken every opportunity to do stuff outside.

Issie and Mommy at the park on Friday while the big kids were still in school. She is so funny. Really does not want to share the park with others but we are looking at it as opportunities to be nice to others. The sooner she realizes the world does not revolve around her, the better.
We took a trip to Costco, Friday night for my kids favorite dinner. Why do they love to eat at Costco so much? I will never know but it makes life simple when Daddy is gone. Kadie helped me pick out some Mother's Day flowers. Nice to have a reason to fill the house with something pretty.

Saturday, the girls and I went to get our hair done. My girls love to go to Toni's as her little girl apparently has the "best toys ever". Seriously you would think I was telling them we were going to Disney Land when I say they get to go with me to get my hair done. It is a blessing as it always takes awhile to keep this hair blond so it is fun that they love coming. Then we went to Jack's soccer practice, where he was finally invited to be an official member of the team! Hallelujah! Long story, that is sad and thankfully over. Jack brought a buddy home. They all played for a few hours. Then after the girls went to bed, Jack and I stayed up late watching Avatar (bad language but otherwise so cool).

Then we spent today, the actual Mother's Day, going to a lovely church service. Issie looking so cute in her summer dress, trying to do her own shoes. The sunshine was so inviting that we loaded up the wagon for a hike to the mail box. It is a hike.

We came home and had our first of many lunches on the back deck in the sunshine. Made smoothies and the kids sang me mother's day songs. Issie took a nap, the big kids played the wii and I spent several hours updating this blog (a month overdue!). A nice day. Now I am off to make some dinner. I miss you honey, but we are enjoying our time together. Happy Mother's Day to me.

The Tummy Team

Well, it is surprising that I have not posted anything about this until now. My stomach is not something that I would willingly bring up in conversation until the last 6 months. But now it seems to be consuming some of my time and now amazingly has even brought me into a whole new direction in my career. I, like most moms of many, now have a tummy that does not resemble my pre baby tummy in anyway! My stomach seemed to be even more of an issue after I lost Caleb last spring. As most of you know, I show almost the second I conceive. I was very big with Caleb and we only made it to 5 months. Well when we knew we were done having anymore kiddo's I really started to focus on getting back into shape. I started running and working out pretty regularly. I lost some of my preggo body but my tummy still looked pregnant.

Well, I realized why at Thanksgiving of last year. I was diagnosed with Diastasis Recti. What? Well that is the medical term for when the connective tissue in the front of your tummy is stretched so much the your outer abdominal wall separates. Essentially you have nothing holding your organs in and nothing supporting your back when this happens. It makes you look pregnant when you are not. It is the cause of that all too common and very much despised "mommy tummy".

I was then told by many doctors and therapists that my only real fix was plastic surgery and that all my exercise was actually making things worse. The surgery is rarely covered by insurance and is not even very successful in the long run. This was super depressing.

Well, I complained to my girlfriends (because that is what we do). As I complained, I realized that some of my girlfriends had this same issue. They had not been diagnosed either. Long story short. One girlfriend shared with another and another until someone shared that there was a lady named Julie Tupler that does a program for Diastasis Recti. My one friend said she was going to try it, I was skeptical. I am a physical therapist and I had several other physical therapists tell me surgery was the only answer. But I reluctantly looked at her website and I figured I had to give it a try. I could not afford the surgery yet anyway so what did I have to lose?

Well, it was amazing. I lost 2 inches off my waist in the first 4 days and in the first week my back pain was totally gone! I did the 6 week program and lost 5.5 inches total! I feel strong and cannot believe the difference. The best part was, I did it without exercise consuming my life. It is all about rehabilitating your abdominals! Right up my alley with my rehab background. I started talking to everyone about it. I realized this was something that could help so many women!

Then my friend Michelle (thanks again) told me I should go get trained to teach this here in Clark County. I prayed about it and had Brad pray about it and God has said yes, over and over again. So I just got back from NYC where I was personally trained by Julie Tupler, and I have started The Tummy Team! I teach individual classes and group workshops on abdominal rehab to get your body back. It is so fun, so rewarding and such a blessing to be able to help people as I personally know how much this can negatively affect your life.

Look at my new site to get some more information. I am setting up community classes that hopefully will start the first week of June! It is funny to think how God can use anything. My stomach was such a sensitive and discouraging issue for me and I can see how clearly God is using that experience for me to reach out and help women with total compassion and encouragement. It is so much more than having a flat tummy, it helps get your life back, your energy, intimacy, confidence and health is all restored. I will keep you all posted on how God uses it.

8 years

On April 26, 2010 Brad and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary. We did nothing special this year, but it was perfect. We have been busy and it was so nice to be able to to just stay home, put the kids to bed early and spend a quiet evening with my honey. We feel blessed. We have had some rough years, especially those first few, but God has been faithful and merciful. I count my blessings every day. So good to have a man who seeks after the heart of God and still can love me in all my moments. I love you honey.

New York City

A few weeks ago, I went to NYC for 5 days for a class (more on this to come). I was in the Big Apple all alone, a bit of an adventure for this suburban mamma. I have to say, it is totally amazing and I would never want to live there. The history and culture is so interesting. But it is so loud, everything echoes off the buildings and pavement. People are super helpful and friendly if you need help, but otherwise everyone walks with their own personal space bubble around them. I guess you have to when you live in a city of several million. It was cold the first few days and I went dressed for spring. On my first day, I walked from Lower Manhattan to Central Park. Over 3 miles, but I knew I would pass all kinds of things on the way. It was amazing. I realize how saturated I am in my Christian, country world. Living on a quiet mountain, carting kids here and there. The city seemed cold and so far from God. I was very prayerful on this trip as I was seeking the Lord's leading regarding the class I was there for. So I felt very close to God but was having a hard time seeing Him in the City. But then on my walk, out of the blue, He would show is face. Like this cross, in the middle of buildings, it was like Him telling me, I am hear, you just have to keep your eyes open.

Once I really kept my eyes and heart open, I was able to see amazing things. So much of the City was built long ago when our country was firmly based on our Christian roots, there would be scripture carved into the sides of buildings. And angels on the corners of the architecture. I stayed at an inexpensive place that was run by a urban mission church that ministered to seaman when they were in town. They had prayers posted in the elevator, as the elevator was incredibly slow and they thought this would be a great time to pray in a peaceful moment (and it was).
On my walk to Central Park, I passed the Empire State Building, I did it as a kid and did not want to spend my one full free day waiting in line to go up a rickety elevator and freak myself out over how high up I was, so I just took a snapshot and kept on walking.

I then passed Grand Central Station- so cool! It is amazing how much amazing sites are packed into this city.

Another shot of a "random", and amazing church planted right on Park Avenue. Lots of reminders of that I was not alone in this big cement city, it was such a beautiful time with God. I cannot remember the last time I was off by myself without at least one of my kids or Brad to talk to. It was so different. I really took Jesus with me doing everything, I realize how weird and "Jesus Freak" that might sound but it was really an amazing time, like a 5 day quiet time, so needed in my life.
I finally made it to Central Park. I actually had to stop and buy a jacket as it was raining and cold and I was not going to walk back to my hotel. But I made it. It was a bit ironic. Here I was in this big amazing famous city, with tons of city stuff to do, and I spend my day walking to the one place that reminds me of home. It was so beautiful to see this huge green peaceful park in the middle of all that noise and pavement. These tulips brought tears to my eyes, or maybe it was just how cold I was.... no they were amazing and they were every where. I cannot believe how beautifully kept and manicured this park is. It was by far my favorite place in New York. This would be the reason, I would bring my kids back. So many things to do here.

Looks like a scene right out of a movie, right? You could walk forever and here and there you would have a musician or artist performing. Or you would see a wedding or someone getting pictures done.
This would have been one of my kids favorites, you can rent these little sail boats and remote control them all over this pond. Families were having such a good time, it really made me miss mine. If I had my family, I would have taken the horse drawn carriage through the park, it was just so majestic.
I spent the rest of my day at the Met. I am not a museum girl but this place was incredible! I was tired and cold and it was peaceful and breathtaking. I only spend about 2 hours there and I only saw a small fraction of it all but I was so tired and decided to hail my first cab and get back to the hotel for a hot shower and a long nap.

The next few days were spent in my class. But I got to ride the subway (with my instructor, who so lovingly helped me around the city). And one day of my class was right on Wall Street across from the New York Stock Exchange(below) and the Trinity Church (above). Pretty cool. I had some great Pizza, great bagels and really got a taste of this crazy place.

On my last day, after I took all my tests and passed my demonstration exam, I treated myself to this super yummy Love Martini, it was made with passion fruit and blood orange and had toasted coconut on the rim, oh so good!

At this point, not because of the martini, I was feeling pretty gutsy. I was done studying, done class and had 4 hours until I needed to head for the airport. I took the subway by myself! I first went down to Ground Zero- I really wanted to see it and pray for those families and our country. It was weird, different, I don't really know what I expected. But it was filled with construction workers and it happened to be lunch time so they were everywhere. They are building some sort of memorial, but it was unclear. It was amazing to see and to see how our country was not destroyed by such a horrible act. I had lunch, then being so gutsy, I took another subway up to Time Square, because my crazy friend Melissa told me I had to see it. Well, I saw it. And that was enough. Right out of the subway was this sign for Mary Poppins (my kids love this movie) so I got a picture. Bought a t shirt for Jack and took a quick look around and realized that I now felt done with New York. If you have been there, you know what I mean. I am sure for some people this is fun, but for this small town girl, it was not.

I know I did not get to do all the stuff, like see a show or visit Broadway, or go to the Statue of Liberty. I was short on time, my class was my priority and funds were not over flowing. But I totally felt like I had a great experience. It would be fun to go with my family, but I think Issie would need to be at least 6 and that would make Jack 15, who knows where life will lead us by then? So good to be home, to my mountain and only hearing coyotes at night:)

Family Fun

While Trudy was here visiting we went back to Great Wolf to celebrate Brad's 40th Birthday a little late. It is one of Brad's favorite places to go. The kids had so much fun, as always. I totally need to find out where to buy those awesome life jackets, Issie learned how to swim all over the place in them this time! Kadie is so brave now. And Jack is a pro. It was fun to have another adult with us so Brad and I could go on some slides together. Great family memories.

Exhausted from the pool, snuggled up watching The Chipmunk's sequel. So sweet.

And of course there is always the concert that we get when family comes. This year it was with the electric guitar. We have moments of real rocking coming out of this boy. He does have a sweet voice. So fun to watch him perform for his family.
The kiddo's (Jack and his Stage Crew) You guys are a blessing to me.
Little Issie is so funny right in the mix.


Easter is my favorite holiday, at least I think so. It is all about redemption and the greatest love we could ever imagine. It is the reason we believe, the Resurrection, the ultimate hope. There is much less consumerism involved and seems to be less expectations to counter act in the culture. We often have a beautiful service, then fun with the family and one of my favorite holiday meals. It is simple and wonderful. This year Trudy, Brad's mom, came to stay with us so that was extra special. We had Brad's cousins for dinner and the kids had their traditional string hunt for their baskets. They love the hunt as much if not more than the baskets. It is fun making it a challenge to get to it, they complain and laugh and complain and laugh. We know they love it when we make it hard.

Jack pot, Kadie was so happy with the new set of Magic Tree House Audio books and Issie has her new leap frog video. (so she can start blending her sounds for reading- she is a nut at 2 1/2)

Jack was happy with the new Cold Play CD and a new soccer ball. Very little candy this year and no one even noticed, yipee!

Kadie's Easter Sunday Dress, she has tears in her eyes because she needed to take it off as we were headed outside. Such a girlie girl.
Issie in her Easter Dress. I have 7 pictures of her screaming and only one with here not so this is the best I can do. She looked so sweet, just did not want me to take a picture!

Egg masterpieces- just before we made them into Angel Eggs.
Our precious family. So much to be grateful for. Jack almost 11, Kadie 6 1/2, and Issie 2 1/2.
Somehow, we have no pictures of Trudy! She has a habit of dodging the camera, we need to be more diligent next time :).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma Mary!!

My mom turns 60 today, a milestone! When I thought about what to do for you mom, I wanted to do something special. Something I knew you would love, and not just something in the mail. We live too far away and I know your heart aches for your grandbabies. So me and the kids put together a little video show to share with you. Each one picked what they wanted to share. Jack wanted to play and sing, which is totally his thing. He did want me to tell you that "happy birthday" was not his first choice of songs to play but it was appropriate. And to be honest, I think he is a bit too nervous to belt out Tom Petty or U2 to be posted on the blog. But he did great. Kadie wanted to share her gymnastics moves, which is her thing. She was too scared to talk so that is why she is just blindly staring at the camera. Pretty cute. I am sure that will remind you of me at that age. I remember doing handstands on the couch and cartwheels through the dining room constantly. Then there is Issie. She was a stinker and really was like torture getting her to participate at all. She is so independent. She has taught herself her letter sounds now and is constantly practicing. She is going to give Kadie a run for her money on reading. Anyway, if she sees me with the camera she wants to watch the screen so that is why I was a bit sneaky and you cannot see her face straight on. I did need to do many many takes but I finally got the whole alphabet. It is funny we practiced her saying "Happy Birthday Grandma Mary" all night last night and she was hilarious, happy, jumping around with her sweet little sing song voice (of course I was without the camera). Then this morning, every time we said it she yelled "no", "no happy birthday to YOU!" So you get what you get and don't throw a fit. (a motto of our family- from the preschool years). I love you mom. I hope you have a great birthday and enjoy being 60 years YOUNG!