Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Winter Fun!!

Hattie, Katie and Sam

Molly Lou

Dani Jo, Hattie Rose, "Icicle", Dan and Sam

Sweet Dani Jo, 3 yrs, out on ski's for the first time

Hey everyone! I thought I'd do a quick post, but it's already taken me an hour just to put the pictures on. I have to get high speed! I needed a campaign that would work with my husband, but couldn't think of one...until dear Dan got a GPS for Christmas! The download he needs takes 3 1/2 hours without high speed. It won't even work because it takes so long that the server resets right in the middle of it. Maybe now I have a chance! Let's hope so!

Any way, now that the pictures took an hour to upload, my time is about up. I hope all of your Christmas's were blessed with joy in Jesus and His GIFT, as well as the gift of family and love. Our was, but it was also cursed with the stomach flu. Dan and Sam spent Christmas day sleeping. But, we feel so blessed any way! God is so good!! Enjoy the winter! For those of you who don't get a white Christmas, maybe seeing my pictures will help you feel better. Rest assured, in my opinion sometimes it's better to watch other people having fun in the snow than to do it yourself! IT'S COLD!! But I have to admit, beautiful as well.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pride? Who, me?! Nooo....

Okay, so I know what I wrote last post. But... PLEASE someone, tell me how to kill pride!! What is it in us that makes us want to fight back so much? Even if I succeed in biting my tongue, (which really HURTS, by the way) on the inside the pressure is mounting. I'm getting ready to blow. Maybe I seem like I'm being nice and sweet, but... if my man knew what was good for him he'd run because the top's gonna blow, baby!!
That's where I was at yesterday. Fortunately I found a way to make a post office run that really takes 5 minutes maximum last 25 minutes. I took some time to feel sorry for myself, and then to pray. Guess which one works better! When I got home, the kids came running and screaming, "MOMMY'S HOME!!". I guess I was gone long enough for them.
Today, I feel ready to keep trying to do this marriage and family thing God's way. I sweetly asked my hubby what one thing would mean the most to him if I got it done today. You know what he wanted? NO, not THAT... he wanted me to get the hot pink area rug out of the front yard! Yeah, that's it!! WOW!! Easy one, yeah! But it was the one thing that would make home a better place to come home to at the end of the day!!

Now, why was there a hot pink area rug in the front yard, anyway? Well, about 3 nights ago, I woke up to my 5 year old crying out, "Mommy, the cat's gonna throw up!" to which I responded, "Push her off your bed!" So, the cat puked all over the hot pink area rug at 1:00 in the morning. I threw it outside and went back to bed. Then it rained, and rained and... and I didn't want to deal with it so we all stepped over and around it for about 3 days. Now, I would have been glad to step around it indefinitely, that's just how I am. If a thing sits in one place for a while, I just stop noticing it at all. I know, I'm really observant that way. But, it only took about 2 minutes to shake it off and throw it in the washer! Yay! There's one battle won!

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Love suffers long and is kind
love does not envy
love does not parade itself, is not puffed up
does not behave rudely
does not seek its own
is not provoked
thinks no evil
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth
bears all things
believes all things
hopes all things
endures all things

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pride and the Downfall of a Marriage!

Hi Dear Ones,
I thought I'd attempt to share my heavy heart with all of you on a serious topic here. I'm just really shocked and dismayed at the marriage problems I've been encountering lately. The enemy is at work in a big way here. I would say I see the number one problem as pride. What is it that makes us feel the best way to go about this life is holding grudges, distrusting/mistrusting, and pridefully "protecting" our own interests? We're working against ourselves here! When God directs us to forgive, He's telling us this for our good.
When He tells us that we wives are to respect our husbands, he's telling us this for our good as well. As a wife, we each have a huge amount of control over the climate of our home. We can, through our attitudes and respect of our man, make our home a refuge and haven for him. It can be the place he runs to for peace and understanding, or ...
It can be the place he finds the most criticism, the most stress, and the least freedom.
Believe me, if you make it the place he feels comfortable and respected, he will be so grateful!! He will treat you like his Queen, because that's what you will be to him. Try it!! You'll see. Ask God how you can do this today. He will show you some little ways you can start with. Here are some ideas that have helped in my home.

- Leave little love notes in his pockets when you fold the laundry. This will only take a few minutes, but it will make him feel loved and special for a week or more. Tell him the things he does that you appreciate. Thank him for things he's done. Tell him he has nice _____ . Fill the blank with whatever features you love about him. Eyes, butt, lips, sexy voice, whatever you like!
- Get up with him and pack his lunch. This goes a LONG way with my man, as I don't usually do it. He knows I've gone through some extra effort out of love for him.
- Look at him with LOVE, instead of accusation, criticism, or exasperation.
- Sit next to him.
- Hold his hand.
- Invite him to take a walk with you.
- Make his favorite meal.
- Ask how his day was...and LISTEN to his reply.
- Meet him at the door when he gets home from work.
- Give him the good news first, then if it must be done, later you can tell him the washing machine is broken, your son broke the garage window with his base ball, or your brother ran over his golf clubs (or some days, it may be all three).
- Whatever needs communicating, make sure you're on his team. Use statements such as, "Could you help me figure out what to do about..." "Ive been having trouble with..."
- If you aren't looking for "constructive criticism" or someone to "fix it" call a girlfriend.
Your man is built for fixing. It will drive him crazy trying to figure out what it is you want if you start talking about all the minor irritations of the day. He's going to walk away with the idea that you're miserable and you think he should "do something" about it. But when he tries, you'll resent it and then he'll be just plain aggravated and confused, and it will chip away at his self worth, since he can't fix it. If you must complain to him, make sure he knows you're just blowing steam. Let him off the hook. Explain that you just need a listening ear, not a "Mr. Fix It".
- Take you frustrations to the Savior. He can (and is waiting to) meet all your needs. No man ever can or will.

If we can let Jesus soften our hearts, and without pride, in the interest of service, begin to do some of these things, it will make a difference. You'll see your man begin to begin to feel special. He will see you putting him first. He'll feel so loved, and begin to show that love to you in ways you never thought possible. It works. Try it and see! Let me know how it goes!
God's best to you in your marriage!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Okay, so yeah, we went on a vacation, whatever that really means. It took us about 2 weeks to recover. There were some really high points to our time with Dan's family. We all had some really nice talks. We played some, w0rked some and rested some.
For me one of the high points was a drive through the Amish neighborhood. Saw an old fashioned barn raising. Desperately wanted to take a picture of the 30 or so Amish men up in the rafters working away. Didn't want to offend, so that will be one picture that will stay in my mind, and only there, for a LONG time.
I never have enough time to do this blog justice, but wanted to at least attempt to add something new. Really hope to add more soon.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Demonstration

I was just demonstrating for a friend who wants to find out how this works. Another 4th of July shot. Next time I'll have new material to write about, I hope. We're going on a much needed vacation to see Dan's (my husband) family in Wisconsin. It will begin on a sad note, as we'll be attending Dan's father's memorial service on the 1st day, but it should improve after that. I always enjoy spending time with his family. There should be another sisters photo when I come back. I want to get one of all of us sisters and sisters in law. Will be back after August 18th!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sister Love

As I've mentioned, we had a terrific 4th of July w/ my sisters and sisters in law. One of us (Hannah) is missing from this picture, but not from our hearts! Here are the rest of us; Stef, Nellie, myself and Jamie. It is one of God's great blessings to have sisters.
After the weekend of the 4th, Stef came to stay with us for about 3 weeks. She's going home this week, and we're all going to miss her! She's a blessing, and adds some teenage "sparkle" to our lives. Blessings in Jesus to all you sisters! Enjoy each other today!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Fun!!

Mmm! Fresh laundry! I love the sight of laundry on the line. There's something so satisfying about it.

The kids have been painting, gluing, playing play dough and flarp, ( It's like noise putty only home made with liquid starch and Elmer's glue. Amazing stuff!) eating, and just basically living outside lately. Hope to post more pictures like this soon.

Okay, so spring is over already, and summer is in full swing. Gotta grab it quick, because it doesn't last long up here in the north land. What we get is the best there is though, so I'm not complaining! We've been living out doors lately. The picnic table is getting a lot of use. The bugs are nearly gone now, and the days are pleasant. Some of them are even warm enough for shorts. Today actually reached the upper 70's!

We had a wonderful 4th of July at my sister Jamie and her husband Pete's house. The kids had the best time visiting each other, as did the adults. 5 out of 6 of us brothers and sisters and our spouses and children were together for the weekend. The 10 children (ages 1 through 11) played hard all weekend. We had great food and fellowship together. God has done some mighty things for and in us all, and it is such a joy to get together and celebrate our lives in Christ together. GOD IS VERY GOOD!!!!

Happy summer to all of you! Hopefully it won't take me so long to post again!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Spring in the Northland!

This is our side yard, and the hills in the distance (It was much more beautiful in real life!)

Spring has finally truly sprung here in Norther MN. This year it seemed it would never get here, and there were many times I wondered, "Why do I live here?" In April we had one of the biggest snows of the winter, and it continued to flurry into May. However, these pictures can't begin to do justice to the beauty of spring here. The greens are so astonishingly "green". The children are outside morning to night building forts (and fighting over them), biking, hiking our trails, shooting their BB guns, taking care of their parts of the garden (pulling weeds and watering the lettuce and spinach). They don't mind the black flies nearly as much and I do. For those unfamiliar with Northern MN, black flies are very similar to sand flies. Hattie did ask me the other day, "Why did God make black flies any way?" Thankfully, I was able to tell her they pollinate the blue berries. I guess that makes up for it somewhat. I guess. This year the daffodils are just blooming here. The apple tree finally began leafing out today. That's encouraging! June berry (also called Saskatoon Berries and Service Berries) bushes are loaded with blossoms.

Most exciting of all to my 3 and 5 yr. olds is the fact that the dandelions are blooming like mad. This year that was actually a slight relief for me too, since I'd been receiving bouquets of dried flowers from last fall for weeks already! Now I have cups, jars and vases of both last years left overs and dandelions all over the house. Trying to continue acting excited over these bouquets after the 5th or 6th one in a day is not as easy as one would think. However, I'm trying to enjoy it since one of these days it will all be over.

Marsh Marigolds

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Welcome, Jollene Lynn!!

On May 25 and 26, I got to play "doula" for my cousin while she had an absolutely beautiful, natural birth. It was such an amazing experience. There are hardly words to convey what it meant to me, and the ways it changed me. It felt so "right" for me. I think I've found the one thing I'd want to do in all the world besides being a wife and mother!

My cousin did an excellent job giving birth. She was amazingly strong!! Little Jollene Lynn is so beautiful! I'm just as proud of her as can be!

I prayed a lot during the birth, and could really sense God was present and at work. I know that He was truly made strong in my weakness! I really didn't feel like I knew what I was doing at all in trying to be there for my cousin, but I know that God certainly knew what He was doing. Truly an exciting and fulfilling experience!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All Time Favorite Photos

Molly when she was 2, kissing her Papa
Hattie, about 5 mo. with Happy the kitten
Samuel when he was 5 looking for "agates" in Lake Superior
Danielle, 3 mo.
Hattie, 2 yrs.
I thought today I'd post a "few" of my all time favorite photos. The problem is they're all my favorites!! I'm going to have to post a "few" more!! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Man's Best Friend

Most of you know that I was finally able to convince my husband that dog ownership wouldn't be the nightmare he thought. We've had our Katie for a little over a year now, and we all think she's a wonderful dog! Dan really does enjoy her now that we have her. Usually, she's just wonderful. However, there are moments. For instance...

It's raining and one of the kids lets the dog out...(me) "You kids let YOUR dog in and dry her off."

We're debating going out of town for the weekend...(me) "What'll we do with Katie?" (Dan) "That's not my issue. It's up to you. You wanted her."

It's time to scoop poop...(Molly) "Sam wanted a dog. This should be his job."

But on the other hand...

Someone comments on our well trained dog, and suddenly everyone wants to declare the lion's share of responsibility...

"Yeah, I picked a winner!"

"I taught her to do that!"

"Yeah, I told Patty to pray about it first. She thought I was over the top, but she did it! I'm sure glad she listened to me!"

It's certainly true that she's a winner, and I did pray, so GOD gets all the credit in the end. Molly and I hit the humane society last March, after checking out the adoptable puppies on the web. We specifically went to look at Katie and her litter mates. It was love at first sight. She was the only pup not jumping up and down with a staccato bark! She was calmly watching us, with her tail wag being the only energetic thing about her. No barking, no jumping...just waiting...for us...because God already picked her out. In fact, he know her from the beginning. He not only chose her, but created her! Just like us! (Psalm 139)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hello Friends!

Well, here I am, entering the blogger world! I'm really not sure what to think of this yet. I'm excited to be able to share and communicate with all of you, though. That is, if I get time to do it. I'll try to put a few photos on in the near future. For now, I've spent enough time just figuring this much out!
Love you all!