Our 7 Qtpies

May 30, 2009

Iron Warrior 2009!

My husband started a man's man competition last year and today was the second annual Iron Warrior competition. They do things like basketball, volleyball, archery, darts, computer games, axe throwing and boccie ball competitions. Guy stuff.
There was a lack of volunteers willing to referee this year so Hope-Anne volunteered to help and take pictures. She was the ONLY female there all day.

So tonight she comes up to me and says:
You wouldn't believe how many times those guys farted and walked away like they didn't do anything! I lost track at 59 times and that was at 12 o'clock! (they started at 9am)

I so WOULD believe it! Donnie said that he didn't even notice anyone farting. Hope-Anne said that he was having a conversation with a guy about New York and the guy ripped one out and kept on talking. Donnie didn't even notice, lol.

They guys had fun and the Axe Throwing was a huge hit, I think everyone except Donnie did that competition. Donnie had to do a lot of refereeing.

Parade pics

Kaytlin is running for royalty for our town and all the candidates were in a parade in a neighboring town over Memorial Day weekend. Here are some fun pics I got. I have more I will share another post to make fun of some things, of course! These are just nice ones or interesting ones.
This is Sam in the glasses, he ate candy the WHOLE parade. But he was not screaming, so I was happy. And he stayed dry! Hope-Anne is sitting next to him and behind her is Sassyfrazz's daughter, Maddie in sunglasses with a sucker.This is a horse-drawn hearse, and I want that for my funeral! That rocks!
Here is Trinity and her super smile.
For Sam, superheros are the best, and when this unknown superhero shook his hand, he was in awe! Also in the pic is my friend Jody and her two boys.Here is the candidate float. Nine girls are running for 3 spots. Samantha, the one who filled out the paperwork and signed Kaytlin up against her wishes is the one who is all excited to see our group, Kaytlin is on the far right waving to us. She really enjoyed the parade. She said the kids just lit up when the "princesses" would look right at them and wave, and she just loved making them happy.

Sassyfrazz's daughter Maddie was a riot to watch! She was watching the princesses like a hawk and taught herself how to wave like them. She would watch her hand to make sure she was doing it right, lol.
It was a perfect day for a parade, the sun was shining, but a cool breeze was blowing. Good friends and perfect weather.

May 29, 2009

We had a little visitor recently

A couple of weeks ago we woke up to a visitor in our yard.
Our youth group does a flamingo fundraiser and it is so fun! They go out at night and put flamingos in people's yards and then they charge you to have it removed. You can buy flamingo insurance so it is free to have it removed. They are so funny when they come remove it they are all dressed for it and the guys surround it and one of them does a cartwheel in and tackles it, lol.
The whole thing is fun.

May 27, 2009

Minnesota bans BPA in children's products

Minnesota recently became the first state to ban BPA, bisphenol-A, from all products gear for children age 3 and under becoming effective January 1, 2010. A couple of cities have banned BPA, and Minnesota's decision has paved the way for other states to ban the dangerous chemical that mimics estrogen and can harm young children.

Many manufacturers of children's' products and retailers have stopped selling products with BPA in them, including Walmart. My favorite place to learn about BPA and harmful chemicals in children's products is The Soft Landing blog and The Soft Landing store. Alicia Voorhies does all the research for concerned parents. In an attempt to have safe products for her children and nephews, The Soft Landing turned into a family business finding and selling PBA, phalate and lead-free products for children.
To learn more, read my article at the Examiner, Minnesota bans BPA in children's products.


Couldn't these boys be brothers? The first kid is Cody, the other kid is his friend Brian, who almost lives here. I think they look a lot alike. Pretty much, we all think Brian could be one of our kids, except that he is really, really tall, lol.

I know I've been busy but wow!

I can't believe how badly I am neglecting my blog. I have been busy, it's true. But that isn't why I am neglecting my blog.
I think I've lost my writing love. Since I lost the baby I haven't felt up to writing anything anywhere and I don't know why. I don't feel sad or guilty or depressed about it, I just can't think of anything to write. And it is worse for the newspaper! I just don't want to write anymore.

There are things I would like to write about but won't. Those are probably more the things that are blocking me from writing, they just happened around the same time as finding out I was pregnant and losing the baby. There are two women that I am having issues with. One is a long time issue, and I have tried everything to get along with her, but I think she has a mental illness that is undiagnosed and we can't seem to get anywhere for long. I'm beyond done with it. The years of pain she causes me and people that I love are making me feel icky about church. Part of me wants to just leave, like other families have done, but part of me refuses to leave and let her keep destroying people.

The other issue will get taken care of, but I am dreading it. Not because it can't be resolved, but because the other person won't LISTEN. I tell her something and she blows it off, blames it on other things, and on and on it goes. It is going to be long and frustrating. Or I just let her laugh off the concerns and just move on.

In the middle of all that, I have had to deal with the loss of my baby and tube, get ready for graduation and the Miss Qtpies7town pageant, deal with my boys and their need for summer school, lost tennis shoes, tons of field trips.........

I just want a mental break!!!!! When is Ladies Night Out? LOL

May 23, 2009

Sam did it!

All of a sudden last night Sam got it! He started removing his undies to go potty! And we went to a parade today and afterwards went out to eat, he took off a dry diaper and peed in the potty! And then he had me take him over and over and over and over because it is a novelty to pee in a public potty. That got old. Fast.

But he did it!!!!

May 22, 2009

Hero, Becoming the man she desires

One of the biggest regrets that Donnie and I had when we became Christians was that we had sexual sins in our lives and family that pass on through the generations. We didn't want our children to live like we did or our families have. It has been a big focus in our parenting, breaking the generational sins of sexual impurity.

I was so excited to see another book on purity by Fred Stoeker, Hero Becoming the Man She Desires, and the fact that his son co-wrote the book AND managed to be the first generation to make it to his wedding having never kissed was thrilling! That is what I hope for with my kids.

I love this book and it is going to be required reading for my boys, and I am having Kaytlin's beau read it, too. (he already plans to have his first kiss on their wedding day, but still....... lol)

The main point in this book isn't focused on having the first kiss on the wedding day, it is more focused on leaving every girl better off for having known you, rather than leaving a trail of heartache. And purity and kindness are key to that. This book will teach our boys how to treat women as God would have them be treated.

You already know it’s not easy being a single man in this culture today. But it is easy to be overwhelmed, to feel helpless and hopeless about living by God’s high standards for singles. It’s easy to cave in to the pressures of this sex-soaked world and accept defeat—blaming the media, the culture, even girlfriends who don’t know how tough it can be.

But many men have read books like Every Young Man’s Battle and Tactics and have committed themselves to stand strong and pure in the power of God, and to go on the offensive against the onslaught of negative stereotypes. Some have suffered. Some have fallen. But many have experienced victory—and you can be among them.

What makes those committed men so desirable to women? Be Her Hero is their motto. From best-selling author Fred Stoeker, along with his son Jasen, come the straightforward insight and real-life examples you’re looking for to help you take personal purity to its logical conclusion. Here’s straight truth with irrefutable evidence of what makes an ultimate hero to women who long for men of faith—men who stand by their convictions and make their world a safer and better place.

Are you ready to accept the challenge?

Author Bios:
Fred Stoeker is a best-selling author of several books, including Every Young Man’s Battle and Tactics, the president of Living True Ministries, and a popular conference speaker who challenges men to become sexually pure, to reconnect in true intimate relationship with their wives, and to train their sons to become godly men. A graduate of Stanford University, Fred lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, Brenda, and their children.

Mike Yorkey, a writer living in Encinitas, California, has collaborated with Fred Stoeker in all his books for the Every Man’s series.

Jasen Stoeker is a popular conference speaker who challenges young men to be heroic in their relationships with women and to be a Christian, rather than just seem like one. Jasen is a graduate of Iowa State University with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science and now lives in Minneapolis, MN, with his wife Rose.

So, how's the potty training coming along?

I know that is the big question you all have for me.

Well, Sam is working on it. He is mostly doing well when he is naked, which he prefers, and pees in his undies and diapers most of the time.

The other day I took him to Walmart and on the way home he started screaming and holding his arms out to me and wailing "Whhhhyyyyy????" over and over. I kept asking him is this or that hurt and he'd scream "no" at me. Finally, after a 15 minute drive with him screaming I asked if he needed his diaper changed and he nodded. Hmmm. Weird.

I got home and his diaper was dry. He was still screaming at me and arching himself. So he got down and ran to the hallway screaming at me, gives me a dirty look and starts peeing on the floor! I told him to do that in the toilet, and by the time I got to him I thought it was probably a lost cause because there was a huge amount of pee on the floor. But he peed and peed and peed and peed and peed in the toilet, too! Oh my goodness, he peed a TON! His poor bladder! He never holds it in wearing a diaper.

This morning I took his diaper off after he woke up so he would go in the toilet. After awhile he walked to the middle of the living room and was "aiming" and I told him not to pee in the living room, he needs to go in the bathroom. He said some gibberish and pointed at his slide. Then I again said he needed to pee in the potty chair and he said "Nah" and started peeing!

He did stop when I started screaming and finished up on the potty then cleaned up his pee. Hopefully that won't happen again!

May 21, 2009

Only at my house? Of course.

Ok, so everyone knows I am an arachnophopic person. Noone in my house really gets that, though. Yes, they know I am afraid of spiders, but they don't understand phobia or something. But last night we found someone else in the house who has a phobia. Kaytlin. She thinks her phobia is more understandable than my phobia, though. Except we see my phobia way more than we see hers.

Peter always texts Kaytlin after she leaves his town to be sure she got home alright. Last night he texted her and asked if she got home safely and she replied that she got home but wouldn't say she was safer at home. He called her RIGHT THEN. What was the problem? We had a centipede in our house! Peter was much relieved and blew off her fears.

Kaytlin was sitting in the dining room and the dog was acting weird and she looked and saw that he was casing something. She was up on a chair yelling "Help! OH, oh, someone get a cup! Quick!" We were asking her what it was, a mouse, a spider? "It's worse than a spider! It's worse than a mouse!"What is it??? A centipede!
Devon caught it for us thinking it was kind of cool. He lifted the cup for a minute and it came running toward us, so Kaytlin and I both were on chairs screaming, lol. I am not terrified of them, but I don't want one to run into my foot.

Sam came running to see what was going on and Kaytlin yelled at him to "stay back, icky bug!" And he got all excited! He wanted to see that "eee-eee buuuuh?"

The debate on whether or not they are poisonous ensued, which led to search engine wars on the dueling laptops. They are, indeed, poisonous, but pretty much harmless to us. But it then got disturbing. So disturbing that Devon even became freaked out by centipedes. Thankfully he had already caught it.

Donnie found a youtube video of a centipede EATING A MOUSE. You can go watch it if you want, but I warn you , it freaked out Devon. But Samuel, he LOVED it. His eyes were lit up like a Christmas tree. That boy is seriously warped.

Hip Hop stars flop at being original

Apparently bling in the mouth is not a new fad, it has been around for 2500 years or so. Look what I found on National Geographic. Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History has found evidence of advanced early dentistry. From dentures to bling bling, they seemed to have it. The bling was found in mostly men, and in all walks of life except the royalty. It appeared to be a decoration.

Apparently there is nothing new for people to try. Tattoos, piercing, bling in teeth........ OK, I take that back, there are disturbed people who split their tongues to look like a snake tongue or put horns i their heads to look like some weird creature. Not sure how new that is, but ewww.

May 20, 2009

The whirlwind has begun!

The end of the senior year brings a huge whirlwind to family life. Ceremonies, college visits, scholarship essays and ceremonies, baccalaureate, graduation, parties, parties, parties, and on and on the list goes.

I can't wait until this whirlwind dies down! I am a home-body at heart.

Kaytlin got a car today, so her running should stop interfering with us, however, the Miss Princeton pageant stuff forbids her from driving herself or from riding with a boyfriend, or anyone under 21. So, we have to go to EVERYTHING. Parades wherever they may be, whatever she does. So, while I want her to win and get a scholarship, I am not looking forward to all that running.

Off to shower and head out to a scholarship presentation tonight!

May 17, 2009

Weird flashbacks

I guess my kids all got their brain back the other day because they all apologized to each other without being forced to. LOL

Last night Donnie and I went on a double date with Kaytlin and her boyfriend, Peter. We all like movies, and Peter works at a theater (doing construction) and they give him free passes, we likey!

So we went and watched Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. I hadn't seen previews but it sounds funny. The guys went because they wanted to be with us, awwww! Well, lets just say that just because Matthew McConaughey is in it, doesn't make it a great movie. In fact, his character annoyed me to no end!

We almost walked out of the movie in the first 5 minutes. The first 5 that Donnie and Peter spent looking at the floor. Half naked women, almost sex scenes. We gave it a chance because we assumed that once the girlfriends past started in on him there would be no more sex, and there wasn't.

The movie had a ton of 80's flashbacks for us, though, lol. Great music, and at one point Matthew McConaughey was wearing a blue jacket almost identical to one that Donnie had in high school, lol. Totally funny! The 80's hair, so fun! Good times! In the end, the movie was pretty good. But it's a rental, don't waste your money going to theaters.

Then we went out to eat at a Chinese place. I was starting to feel a little sick, and I thought it was not eating good yesterday. (but no, I now have the flu)
As we were sitting there eating and talking, Kaytlin said something about learning more languages than just French and Peter said something about her not needing to do that or something, and she said "You are crushing my dreams!" I had a total flashback to Donnie and I, I always crushed Donnie's dreams. Peter and I realised that we are realists and they are dreamers. I've learned to (most of the time) just let Donnie dream.

Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think?

May 15, 2009

Just so someone can have a laugh today

For the last 3 nights Sam has been back at his screaming and fussing all night behavior. So I am worn out! Last night it was 4am when Sam finally settled down for good. I am tired.

So you can imagine how I felt when the yelling started at 7:30AM. Devon was in the shower and Kaytlin was beating on the door wanting to get her make-up. We have two bathrooms, but everyone always wants to use the main one and there is a fight almost daily. But Devon told her to wait and he'd be as quick as he can, but she needed to go, and all he needed to do was give her the make-up so she could get ready somewhere else. She decided she couldn't wait and just barged in, and got a view she probably regrets.

Devon was furious, and screaming and door slamming ensued. Have I mentioned that the bathroom is connected to my bedroom? He was furious and she took off before I could get after her about that.

Me: Devon, calm down! She didn't see anything. (I thought he was IN the shower)
Devon: She saw EVERYTHING!!!

Apparently that started his day off on the wrong foot. He came out and saw Hope-Anne cooking herself breakfast and told her that sliced cheese does not taste right on top of eggs. She didn't care what he thought, it was her breakfast, not his. And he got mad that she was such a brat and didn't care what he thought.

So, he dumped his milk over her head.

I have NO idea what to do about all this. I took his ipod away, but other than that? He seriously thinks it was her being a brat and she deserved that.

Then we found out Cody had to have all his missing homework from being sick last week in to the teachers by today, and we told him to do his work last night. But found his backpack outside, so he obviously was not doing it in his room like we thought. So, he is grounded from everything electronic. And going to summer school, along with Devon.

Wouldn't you like to have my morning?

How about my afternoon with Sam? LOL The frosting fight continues, and I am pretty sure the stairs are wet from toilet water. OH, and my dryer stopped having heat to dry the clothes.

I need a nap. And a shower.

Thomas the Train LIVE!

I recently got an amazing opportunity to take my kids to Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes To Town at the Target Center in Minneapolis. They are touring all over the United States, check here to see if they are coming near you.
I was fortunate to get to go with my good friend Sarah from Sassyfrazz, as we both got tickets from MomSelect. We also managed to get AMAZING seats! We were in the third row!

The show was so much fun! Sam and Trinity and Sarah's son, Caleb, all sat right at the end of the aisle and I kept having to pull Sam back in, he wanted to get right up to the stage! The show kept their attention with their fast moving, rousing music, and interaction with the audience.

I loved the trains, they not only moved around the stage with drivers, their faces were animated and moved when they spoke! The kids were just amazed.

I think my favorite part was the strong man from the circus. He would turn his head to the side and wink at the audience and a little bell would tink when he would wink, lol. It was just adorable!

Trinity loved the acrobat the best. It was so fun when she did some actual stunts in a ring in the air, it really was almost like being in the circus. The songs were fun, and they had the kids dancing and clapping along with things to keep them involved in the story.

Sam loved the clown and the trains and he watched every bit of the show, and that is saying a lot for a 2 1/2 year old!

I highly recommend Thomas and Friends Live for a great family time activity. Even my husband said it was a great show, and he really did not want to go along, I forced him because I am not comfortable driving or walking around in the cities by myself.

Hey dog lovers! A giveaway!

I have got the cutest book for all you dog lovers! It is called Dirty Bow Wow: A Tribute to Dogs and the Objects of Their Affection by Cheryl and Jeffery Katz. I was given the opportunity to review this fun book by Family Review Network.
Dirty Bow Wow is a collection of photos of super cute dogs with their favorite chew toys with a little anecdote about each one. It is adorable! My toddler especially loved looking at all the photos with me. It makes a great conversational book for sitting on your coffee table. Each picture is wonderfully done, very vibrant, and the anecdotes are sweet and heart warming. If you have a heart for dogs, you will LOVE this book!
Your help is needed! Dogs in shelters need toys, they help them become more social, and therefore, more adoptable. The Dirty Bow Wow Dog Toy Drive starts this month, and you can click here to find a participating bookstore near you so can help brighten a dog’s day!

I get to give away one of these adorable books!
Just leave me a comment about something dog related by May 20 and I will draw a lucky winner!

May 14, 2009

Raising 2 year olds is for the birds, too.

Tuesday was Kaytlin's boyfriend's birthday and we made a cake for him. Sam would NOT leave it alone. He took a hunk out of it before it was even frosted, so we had to fill it in with frosting. Then he wouldn't leave it alone after it was frosted and left nice finger prints in it before Peter even got to eat it. In fact, he didn't eat it, probably too grossed out, he is the baby of the family.
I kept trying to hide the cake but Sam kept getting into it. Even in the fridge, which we have locked with giant velcro strips. Everyone kept forgetting to latch it, or so I thought.........

I have a wedding cake to make this summer, so I am working on testing some fillings and flavors today. I set out a bowl of frosting left over from Peter's cake while the cake was baking.

Sam found the frosting. He came into the living room with the bowl and a big spoon. Um, NO. So I took it and put it in the fridge and he had a conniption fit! He started to open the fridge, even pushing the trash out of the way to get to the velcro strap. Then he saw me watching and pushed me out of the kitchen. (all the while he is screaming) I'm standing in the dining room watching because I don't think he can reach the strap to open the fridge.
He sees me watching him and comes running in screaming and pushes me further into the living room so I can't see him. (like I can't HEAR him?)
I peek around the corner and sure enough he CAN reach the strap if he moves the trash can. I said something and he ran over, screaming, and pushes me back into the living room.

It is so funny! But I still have to discipline him for his fit and pushing mom around.

I took him down for a nap. He didn't fall asleep, but I had to get up to get the cake out of the oven, so we got up.

I took care of the cake and sat down at the computer and Donnie comes in to tell me to come look at Sam. I was so worried he was into the cake. I stomp into the kitchen and the cake is safe on top of the stove, but where was Sam?

He popped out from under the table cloth on the kitchen table and says "Ta-da!" with a giant spoonful of frosting. He had snagged the bowl and hide under the table with it.

Push....... "ahhhhhhhh!" Plunk!
Right out of the nest!

Potty training is for the birds

OK, I don't know what the birds would do with it, but it is easier for them to train their babies. Just push them out of the nest.
Seriously, if Sam is naked all day, he will be potty trained ALL day. Put on a pair of undies, and he pees in them every time. When is he going to get it? You'd think I hadn't successfully potty trained 6 other kids, because I have no idea how to solve this dilemma. If I lived out in the country, I'd just let him run naked all the time. But I live in town. And people frown on streakers in town.

Anyone have an idea that may click a light on in Sam's head? If it works, I may even send a reward to you. That is how tired I am of Sam running around with his thing hanging out. Believe me, his sisters are ready for that boy to put on some clothes, too.

While we're at it, it would be nice to get him out of the terrible 2's.


Why do I open my mouth?
I took Sam's diaper off and then had to chase him down to put undies on him. I played the game, chasing him from room to room in circles. Then I pulled the switcheroo on him and went the other way to cut him off at the pass. Then I spotted it. As he was running from me he dropped a turd on my living room floor. That fast.
Seriously, if I were a bird "You crapped on my floor!" "ahhhhhhh!!!! plunk!" I'd push him out of the nest.
But no. I had to clean it up, put undies on him, and have him crap in the undies right away.

May 12, 2009

Devon's track pics

Here are some pics of Devon's relay from today. He has another run later tonight, too.

Here he is after two runs around the track trying to cool down.

Post surgical check up

I had my post surgical check up today and all is well. The HCG levels are almost down to 0, and everything is healing great.
My doctor knows my sick side, since he was there when I insisted on watching my own c-section, and he gave me the pictures of my surgery! So, I have pictures of my good tube, and how small it is, and the tube that is swollen unbelievably huge in comparison and you can perfectly see where the baby was developing.

I will email it to anyone who wants to see it, but I have friends who are wimps with weak stomachs who wouldn't want to see it, so I am not posting it, even though I think it is really cool!

May 11, 2009

Get back on the horse day!

After a long, painful week where I did almost nothing but lay on the couch with the laptop and play Bejeweled Blitz and get waited on by the kids who still love me, I have decided today is the day I join the land of the living again.

Laundry doesn't do itself. And when left unattended, it multiplies like rabbits. Lots and lots of naughty rabbits. I seriously don't know if I will ever find my laundry room floor again. I want to set fire to the laundry. It would be faster. And less work. And probably cheaper to buy everyone a modest new wardrobe than wash that much laundry at the laundromat.

Sam is doing great at potty training! We are still having the issue of doing great when he is naked and peeing when he wears undies, but he is accepting the undies and knows to use the potty after he starts. He is even pooping in the big potty chair (when naked, of course) so we don't even need to clean the little potty!

I can't say that I am going to miss the diaper days, as cute as cloth diapers are.

Enduring Justice ~ A book review

Enduring Justice by Amy Wallace, the author of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, is a continuation of the characters in those books. You can still keep up if you haven't read the other books, but it is neat to keep reading about those characters lives after the end of the last book.

This book was difficult to read in substance because it touches on racism and child molestation and kidnapping. It is hard to read sometimes and know that these things DO happen in our world and there are ugly people out there in the world.

The story was great, and I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to reading more by Amy Wallace.

In Enduring Justice, Hanna Kessler’s childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her thoughts.

Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. And when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else.

A racist’s well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. When the attack turns personal, is healing still possible?

This thought-provoking novel deals with healing from sexual abuse, the balance of justice and mercy, and maintaining mixed-race friendships in the midst of racial tension. Readers who enjoy investigative thrillers by Dee Henderson, Colleen Coble, and Catherine Coulter, and who watch crime dramas like Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and Without a Trace will love this book—and the entire series.

Author Bio:
Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, a homeschool mom, and self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

Mama's Got a Fake ID ~ A book review

I think that almost every mom at some point suffers from an identity crisis after becoming a mother. You get so overwhelmed with raising children that the "you" in you becomes lost. You are known as "Johnny's Mom" instead of for yourself. The part of you who graduated with honors, or helped save a company tons of money is no longer recognized. You are just a mom. Running car pools, baking cookies, running fundraisers.

I don't remember struggling with this much, but I thought my kids WERE my greatest accomplishments, and the only thing I had done with my life. But there were times when I struggled with who I could be outside of them, and what I would do with ME when they are all out of the house.

I don't have all the answers yet, but I do know that I am valuable outside of being a mother, too, and I have a life that is "Lisa" and not "Mommy." I live in both worlds and it is great! But if you do struggle with the two halves of yourself, read Mama's Got a Fake ID by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira, it will help you become the full you that God intends for you.

Formula for identity loss:
1. Take one multifaceted, intriguing human being.
2. Bless her with a child.
3. Mix with today’s cultural assumptions.
4. Add the demands of motherhood.
5. Presto! All identity except Mom disappears.
For every woman wondering what happened to the unique combination of gifts and abilities she was known for before kids came along, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira has good news: in Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., Rivedeneira helps moms reclaim their full identity as creative beings, gifted professionals and volunteers, loving friends, children of God—and mothers.

This inspiring and practical guide shows women how to break free from false guilt, learn a new language to express who they really are, and follow God’s lead in sharing their true self with others. After all, motherhood doesn’t have to mean losing one’s identity. Instead, being a mom makes it possible for a woman to discover a more complete identity as the person God made her to be.

Author Bio:
The former managing editor of Marriage Partnership and Christian Parenting Today, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira has been a trusted voice writing and speaking to women for more than a decade. Today she is the managing editor of, an online community for Christian women in leadership. Rivadeneira works from home in the Chicago suburbs, where she lives with her husband and their three children.

Dear Mom~ A book review

Dear Mom by Melody Carlson is a sort of mock teenage diary written to a mother. When I decided to review it I thought it was going to be an interesting read. I was a typical teenager, but I don't have typical teenagers myself, so I was not expecting to relate to that much in the book.
Boy, was I surprised!
This book is EXACTLY where I am with Kaytlin right now. I get frustrated with what I perceive is going on, but this book has helped me to put it into perspective and be more patient about things. Not that I LIKE what is going on, but I guess I didn't remember some things. I am extremely glad that I have this book right now.

If you have a teenage daughter, or soon will, pick up this book!

Every mom knows how communicating with a teenage girl can be difficult, even impossible at times. One-word answers. Defensive conversations. Daily arguments. How typical for teens to put up such barriers. All the while, moms truly long to know what their daughters really think.
Best-selling author Melody Carlson, whose books for women, teens, and children have sold more than three million copies, bridges this chasm with trusted insight. She speaks frankly in the voice of the teen daughters she’s written for and she tells it like it is: struggles with identity, guys, friendship, and even parents—it’s all here. The straight-talk to moms covers such things as “I need you, but you can’t make me admit it,” “I’m not as confident as I appear,” and “I have friends. I need a mother.”
Instead of focusing on outward behaviors, Dear Mom looks at a young woman’s heart and reveals to moms:
· how to talk to teens so they hear,
· how to connect despite the differences of perspective or years and experiences,
· and how strengthen the bond every mom and daughter ultimately wants.
The lively chapters in Dear Mom can be dipped into topically or used as a read-through tool by moms and daughters alike to understand what motivates or deflates, troubles or inspires—and just in time for Mother’s Day and all the Mother’s Days ahead.

Author Bio:
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than one hundred books for adults, children, and teens, with sales totaling more than three million copies. Beloved for her Diary of a Teenage Girl and Notes from a Spinning Planet series, she’s also the author of the women’s novels Finding Alice (in production now for a Lifetime-TV movie), Crystal Lies, On This Day, These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking, and A Mile in My Flip-Flops. A mother of two grown sons, Melody lives in central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. She’s a full-time writer and an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.

May 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. I'm not sure how fun it is to have to combine your birthday with Mother's Day every few years, cause then you lose a day that is all about you. Not fair.

Would you all stop over and say Happy Birthday to my mom? Her blog is Bring Your Own Cheese.

Have a great day, mom!

A Mother's Day Card For You

This always gives me a giggle! It really reminds me of Kaytlin and Devon's relationship. Plus, it is just funny. And I need laughing today.

May 09, 2009

Updates~Good and bad

Just about a year ago I was working with Sam on potty training, I know it was young, but we had been doing EC since birth, and there was a chance he'd cooperate, but then my family stubbornness kicked in. This was Sam potty training a year ago. But now, this is what Sam would look like if he ever let us see him going.
Sam goes to the bathroom on his own and then drags us in to look at it and do the potty dance. Yesterday he quit the children's potty and moved to the big potty all on his own. He is developing the runs with this virus we have going around our house this week, so he went poo a lot last night while Donnie and I were at a movie, but after cleaning up some poo Cody must have told Sam to start doing that in the potty, because he did, 5 times!
After our movie I dropped Donnie and home and went to Ladies Night for almost an hour, I didn't want to spread germs to my friends, but it felt so wrong not to be there! When Donnie got home, Sam went poo and drug Donnie in to see it!
We are working on the underwear part of training, and he is accepting wearing them, but so far he is still peeing in them if he has them on. That will come, though, and I think by the end of next week we'll be there during the day!
The kids all seem to be starting to feel better now, no more throwing up as of yesterday afternoon. So far I haven't gotten sick, either.
This morning I awoke to the last part of the end of this pregnancy. I am very thankful to be going through the miscarriage part naturally rather than getting a D&C, but it is very painful and very much like back labor. Vicodin and 600mg of Ibuprophin together is not cutting the pain that comes and goes like contractions. It is painful, but it is a good thing, the doctor was sure I'd go on for a month without a D&C, so I am glad that is not going to happen.
For those who don't know what to say, it is OK not to know what to say, it is better to have someone at a loss for words, not that anything actually helps, than to be ignored and avoided. Distraction helps, too! Like having a score to beat on Bejeweled.

Star Trek Movie

Through a strange twist I ended up at a movie instead of Ladies Night last night. With my family having the flu all week I did not want to bring germs in and risk getting my friend sick because she has a surgery for cancer next week. Nothing is worth getting her sick. I wanted to go, but I just felt I really shouldn't spend my time breathing in her space just in case.
And it is Drew's last few nights here, so we were going to go with Drew to the movie. But Drew then took off with some friends and didn't set a time with us and didn't answer his phone. We ended up on a date instead!I had watched NO previews about the movie, so I did not know at all what to expect. I am a Trekkie, but not a die-hard one, I've probably watched 90% of Trek shows, but would never dress up.

The movie starts and from the beginning this is a different Star Trek. I wasn't sure where it was going, but I knew it wasn't following the story line of the previous shows. But it was gripping. The twist in the first 5 minutes was a great move, they brought emotions into Star Trek. I was moved to tears, literally crying over the movie that fast. Excellent writing!

From there they moved you to laughter. Not the "oh, that is kinda funny" humor, the really, really funny kind of humor.
Soon it moved on to terror, and I literally hid under my coat!
Excitement and action filled the screen! Twists and turns and unexpected moments of humor. Some of it was only funny to die-hard Trekkies, because if you didn't watch from the beginning you might not find McCoy's reference to bones funny, and things like of that nature.

This is my hands-down favorite Star Trek movie ever! Even if you are not a Trekkie, you will like this movie based on the excellent writing and amazing videography and computer generated scenes that look incredibly real.

EXCELLENT movie! In fact, I am going again tonight!

May 08, 2009

My husband is the sweetest!

I am pretty well addicted to Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook and I am pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. I am pretty close in skill with a couple of my friends and it is a huge competition between us to stay on the top. Except that our friend Jeannie's daughter Jessica kicks our butts every week. (the score board wipes out weekly) Over all, who wins doesn't matter, our scores are combined to put us in a drawing for a prize, but we still want to be the top dog.
Sometimes I beat Jessica, but she quickly puts me in my place when she sees it.

So yesterday when she beat me, again, and I was all frustrated trying to beat her I found out what Donnie did to make me feel better this week.

Me: Jessica beat me again! Grrrr!!!
Donnie: I TOLD her not to do that this week!
Me: What?
Donnie: I told her to let you win this week because you've been through a lot. I guess she didn't believe me.

Isn't that just the sweetest thing ever??? He always says how mean we are trying to beat each other, but he still did that for me!


Last weekend was Kaytlin's Senior Prom and here are some pics of the beginning of the day.
This is Kaytlin with her friend Rachel, they double dated.
This is Kaytlin and Peter, it was a masquerade prom.

The four of them with the girls' friend Samantha who helped them get ready, her prom is this weekend. And just to be fun, Here is a really goofy shot of Kaytlin, lol. You'll have to click on it to get the full effect of the face she is making, lol.
The three amigos!

May 07, 2009

A unique mother's day idea

Infante Sano, offers a alternative to flowers, chocolate and brunch this Mother's Day. For $25, you can honor your mother by helping another---ensuring that women in Latin America and the Caribbean have access to a clean, safe birth and their children have the healthy starts to life that they deserve. To learn more about the campaign, please visit

10 Things I hate about Christianity~ a book review

The title of this book caught my eye rather quickly. 10 Things I HATE About Christianity, Working Through the Frustrations of Faith by Jason T. Berggren at first appears to be anti-Christian, or at least religious, but it is really about the things that even Christian's struggle with. It isn't like Christians have it all figured out and have their faith in complete order without question, or that they don't have things that are wrong being taught to them causing confusion and anger.
This book touched on those things that Christians struggle with.
Dallas/ Ft. Worth, TX—A recent article in Britain’s Telegraph brought international attention to a decision by Oxford University Press to remove certain terms associated with Christianity (i.e. disciple, abbey) from a popular children’s dictionary, replacing them with modern words like “MP3 player” and “blog.” In short order, this story has become fodder for the blogosphere, and it’s not hard to see why. After all, our understanding of the world and of ourselves is formed, in the most foundational sense, by our vocabulary. Words are powerful. Words are important.

Author Jason T. Berggren is among the many who have spoken out against the attempt to expunge Christian words from the new lexicon. And so it comes as a surprise to many that his first book release is entitled 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith, with his website similarly dubbed How could a Christian author—and former pastor, no less—use such derisive language to describe his faith?

Choosing the right word has always been important to Berggren. As the founder, former front man, and lyricist for the hardcore Christian band Strongarm, he developed a knack for turning memorable phrases. Strongarm is considered by many in the hardcore Christian music community to be one of the most influential bands in the history of that genre, based in large part on the power of Berggren’s verbal style.

His rocker/poet days behind him, Berggren now traffics in prose, with recent freelance credits including an article for Engage, a newsletter for North Point Community Church leaders. As an author, Berggren is convinced that the right words—even negative words—can bring about positive change. 10 Things I Hate About Christianity is based on his realization that all of the problems in his Christian life originated from a relatively short list of issues and misunderstandings. The book is completely free of pretense, church-speak, and even the basic niceties one would expect from a work on Christian living. Berggren’s goal is to get readers talking about some of the biggest let-downs in Christendom—whether it’s faith that doesn’t deliver, love that doesn’t come easy, or churches you’d rather avoid—and to see them rise above their frustrations.

His website,, will be the main site for the book once it releases, featuring ordering and booking information and a free sample of the book, as well as the link to Berggren’s blog. The blog ( is the perfect place for believers, seekers, and skeptics to engage in the kinds of discussions that fill the pages of Berggren’s book. Featuring everything from the latest non-chick movie trailers to laugh-out-loud personal reflections to commentary on current events, Berggren describes the blog as “the ongoing version of the book.” Recent posts include “Sometimes I Hate Christians,” “I Hate the Green Bible,” and “I Hate the Media.”

Berggren firmly believes that positive momentum begins with negative tension. This often requires plumbing the depths of difficult issues, both for him and his readers. As such, Berggren expects to offend some people—but he considers this to be merely a step in the process of maturing in faith. “I have worked in construction off-and-on for years. The first thing you do before you remodel is demolition. If you ever watch HGTV, you know this to be true,” Berggren states. “You tear down walls and break up old cabinets to make way for the new. That’s what this book and this website are about. I am simply trying to change into the person I want to be and inviting you to join me in the process.”

Looks like it is going to be a LONG week

My kids have been sick all week. On Monday, both Hope-Anne and Cody stayed home from school because they were sick. So when I had my surgery on Tuesday morning it was actually good that they were still feeling ill because they stayed home again and helped with the kids, even though they were not doing well. They were troopers, but that didn't allow them to get better. I knew I had to send them to school on Wednesday so the school wouldn't have a fit, but Kaytlin was ill and stayed home and Cody got sick and had to be picked up. Devon hasn't been feeling well, either, but he is going to school anyway.
Last night Sam threw up all over me. It was nasty! And today Hope-Anne and Cody are both home sick, with puke buckets......... Donnie has to work, and even though he works from home, he can't hang up on a meeting to help clean up puke.

Pray for a quick recovery and an easy day for me, I don't want to push myself, but I need to be a mom today.

May 06, 2009

My friends are one of the biggest blessings in my life

My life took a huge turn on Monday night and I have been sleeping for most of yesterday, but today I am up to writing.

Friday evening I had some spotting, but it was brown and I didn't really worry about it too much. I could have been as simple as the placenta growing, many women have spotting and nothing is wrong, besides, it wasn't fresh blood.

Monday I had one tiny drop of blood and that was it. But I figured I should get my progesterone levels checked because I am advanced maternal age and if I do have low progesterone it is an easy fix if you catch it early enough.

I called the clinic and asked to have my doctor run a progesterone test. The receptionist wouldn't let me make an appointment because I hadn't had a pregnancy test done at the clinic yet and I had to do that and then set an OB Educator appointment before I was allowed to make an appointment with my doctor. That OB class can take 2-4 weeks to get into, if I do have low progesterone, the baby will be dead and this is an easy fix if you catch it early. Nope, that is the policy. I told her that my doctor would put my baby's health before their policy and made her contact him. Sure enough he scheduled an ultrasound for Tuesday and an appointment with him on Thursday.

Monday night I was at my friend Jody's house with my friend Anna for a women's ministry meeting. (we do it later at night over there because her husband is gone a lot, and it is easier to have fun and talk longer when we are at her house, hehe) About 9:45 I started getting uncomfortable and it quickly turned into pain in my abdomen. By the time I got home I was doubled over and couldn't stand up straight.

I didn't immediately attribute it to my pregnancy because I wasn't bleeding and half my house is sick, including Kaytlin, who had said she had the worst menstrual cramps of her life and her pains were in the same places as my pain. But as mine continued to be bad and I didn't seem to have diarrhea that would explain it away, I started to think I better be safe and check the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. Everything, from back pain to rectal pain was included and I had all the symptoms. So, off to the ER we went at 11:30PM.

After a very painful and long ultrasound experience, we found that I had a cyst on my ovary, pooling blood behind my uterus, but they couldn't really see if I had an ectopic pregnancy or rupture since I was still only 5 weeks along. It could have been the cyst, though I was pretty sure that the cyst was just from ovulating, a normal thing. We didn't know if I was going to be able to have the laproscopic surgery or not, either, because of scarring from the two c-sections I have had, and if the scarring was bad he would have to do invasive surgery. He wanted to do a D&C because my uterus is still closed and "pregnant" without the baby and he said it could take a month to get through that, but I refused, I don't need another traumatic surgery or risk a puncture or more scar tissue.

There really was no option but to do surgery, the bleeding had to be found and stopped or I would soon go into shock and could die. But I had no idea if the baby was already dead or not, and I was so torn up inside because to take the baby from the tube was to kill it, and it goes against everything that I believe in. I just was so horrified to have to sign that I was agreeing to kill my child.

I know that I had no choice, there really was nothing to do but die with the baby or to take the baby and let me live. Not really a choice. It was the right thing to do, but it doesn't take the pain away.

My friends didn't try to stop me from feeling that it was wrong, they understood my pain and validated my feelings instead of saying that I had no choice and that it wasn't wrong. They agreed with me, sympathized with me and just loved me through the pain. They didn't try to make me feel better or get rid of my guilt, they just loved me and cried with me and held me. They listened.

My heart is broken over what I had to do, but it is OK, I know that God knows and loves me.

When I discovered I was going to have to go through the surgery I tried making some calls but I just couldn't talk, so I let Jody make the calls for me. It was 2AM, but she tried to call our friends, lol. I prayed and asked God that I had already ruptured so that I could live with the choice of taking the baby. I also prayed that my recovery nurse would be a friend of mine who is a pastor's wife, because I knew she would understand my pain. Not the pain of losing the baby, but the guilt.

When I woke up in the recovery room the very first thing I heard was that they had taken the left tube. I knew then that it was not the cyst, and that they had taken the baby. I really lost it and Brenda was my nurse! She hugged me and comforted me and just loved me. God is so good! Brenda went and found out from the doctor that I had ruptured, and that helped me some, too.

I had a really hard time staying awake and kept dozing off, but I had a reaction to the morphine that apparently took away my involuntary reflex to breath, which apparently you need when you are asleep, lol. So every time I would nod off, which was every 5 seconds or so, I would stop breathing. Brenda kept yelling at me to Breath, Lisa! and I would wake up and breath and say I was breathing and then nod off and stop. I had to consciously think about each breath while I was awake, but I couldn't stay awake. She must have given me something to counter act the morphine because I fell asleep and stayed that way and I am still alive.

Finally I was moved to a lesser recovery room. I was still so tired I couldn't open my eyes, and even when I did I couldn't see much, it was like I didn't have my glasses on even though I did. I started feeling really nauseated. I told the new nurse that I was going to throw up. She was digging through the cupboards and saying "Hold on! Just wait, hold on! I'll grab a trash can!" She finally found a little throw up container in the bathroom just in the nick of time. Sort of, LOL. I got it in time, but it certainly doesn't hold much. She was standing beside me trying to set the bed up further so I wouldn't choke on it, but she was so worried about getting puked on that she had a pillow between her and I and kept saying "Oh, wow! It's OK. Everything is going to be OK. You're OK. It's OK." LOL She was so funny! I couldn't laugh, but I was thinking it was too funny and I am so going to blog that! I am not sure what the problem was because she was able to clean the bed and the bucket without gagging or anything, so it must just be the watching it happen that bothered her. Donnie said he is in the wrong career field.

I was able to go home at 6AM. Of course we just slept and slept. Except Donnie, who only got a couple of hours before he had to log into work. Cody and Hope-Anne were both sick on Monday and still sick on Tuesday, so they were home and took care of me and Trinity and Samuel even though they felt really sick.

My friend Anna came over first thing in the morning and just cried with me. I am so thankful for that. She didn't try to make me feel better, just loved me and felt my pain. My pastor came over later and didn't try to make me feel better, but he did say that he could only relate what I was feeling to war. God says not to kill, but sometimes he would send his people to kill, it isnt' pleasant, but it has to be done. I think that is like what I had to do. There isn't a way to feel OK with it, but it was necessary. Then my friend Sarah called me and just loved on me and let me talk and didn't try to make me feel better, just loved on me and felt my pain. Then Jody came over last night on her way home from work and brought me the stuff I hadn't been allowed to have while pregnant. Donnie do took me off caffeine after the spotting started and my midwife had taken me off chocolate to help the morning sickness. So she brought me a 12 pack of my favorite soda and some candy bars! Some flowers from her boys, too. And my friend Jeannie called me too and listened to me talk.

My sister and sister in law have been amazing and loving me on facebook. Neither of them are hard core believers, but their loving support was just what I needed.

For the most part I couldn't stay up more than 20 minutes at a time yesterday, but the pain was managed well, and after all the loving support I had, I am doing so much better emotionally. This post is easy to write, in spite of the tears, because God has surrounded me with love and support and made everything as easy as it can be in this situation.

I did find out that Donnie was shown before and after pictures and there was a LOT of blood inside and the tube had ruptured, but the baby was still in there. We are doing OK with that, as much as we can be. I only lost one fallopian tube and everything else is intact. I still have to go through a "miscarriage" when my body realizes I am not pregnant but I am prepared for that.

Trinity was my big concern. She had prayed for this baby and God had answered her prayer and I didn't know how this would affect her. I let her name the baby, and she named her Suzy, I'll have to blog about that, it is cute. But she was having trouble understanding, of course, and at times worried that she would die, too. So please pray for her. She does seem to have finally understood that Suzy is in heaven with Jesus and she will get to see her one day.

I am tired today, but doing really well and I am finally at peace with what happened. I am so blessed to have so many friends and family who just love me. I have a long way to go, physically, and maybe emotionally, but I am so confident that it will be OK.

Jane Kirkpatrick book reviews

I got the wonderful opportunity to review two new books by Jane Kirkpatrick; A Flickering Light and Aurora. Aurora is a beautiful coffee table type book with beautiful pictures and stories about a real community. It is really neat to read about and I love the pictures of the quilts and clothing from their times. A Flickering Light was a story about a young teenager and her love of photography and some temptations she faced and bad choices she made. The story was good, but I felt it read slowly. The story of temptation, wrong choices and then the right choices was really good.
Summary of A Flickering Light:
Returning to her Midwest roots, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick draws a page from her grandmother’s photo album to capture the interplay between shadow and light, temptation and faith that marks a woman’s pursuit of her dreams.
She took exquisite photographs,
but her heart was the true image exposed.

Fifteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele loves nothing more than capturing a gorgeous Minnesota landscape when the sunlight casts its most mesmerizing shadows. So when F.J. Bauer hires her in 1907 to assist in his studio and darkroom, her dreams for a career in photography appear to find root in reality.

With the infamous hazards of the explosive powder used for lighting and the toxic darkroom chemicals, photography is considered a man’s profession. Yet Jessie shows remarkable talent in both the artistry and business of running a studio. She proves less skillful, however, at managing her growing attraction to the very married Mr. Bauer.

This luminous coming-of-age tale deftly exposes the intricate shadows that play across every dream worth pursuing—and the irresistible light that beckons the dreamer on.

Summary for Aurora:
Wrap yourself in a fantastic journey, a remarkable commitment, and a spare and splendid story
Master storyteller Jane Kirkpatrick extols the beautiful treasures, unknown to a wider public, rediscovered in the Old Aurora Colony of Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley. The people and legacy of Aurora, a utopian community founded in the mid-1800s, will stir your imagination, hopes, and dreams; and remind you that every life matters—that our lives are the stories other people read first.
Unique and treasured quilt pattern variations
More than 100 photographs, many never-before published, from 1850 to today
Cherished stories from Aurora descendants
Rich images of fine crafts from the Aurora Colony and private collections
An introduction by renowned American artist John Houser

Aurora is about the difference every ordinary life can make—and a beautiful celebration of a time and place in which people expressed their most cherished beliefs through the work of their imagination and hands.

Author Bio:
Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.

Both books can be purchased online: A Flickering Light and Aurora.

May 04, 2009

Choosing a prenatal care provider

Staring at those two pink lines on a pregnancy test can be overwhelming. Suddenly you are in charge of another human being! You are now a parent, and taking care of the baby starts in the womb.

One of the first things you need to do when you find out you are pregnant is to find a pregnancy care provider to give you the prenatal care and advice that you need. Here in Minnesota we are very fortunate to have a broad range of choices to choose from. We are free to choose an all-natural home birth with a midwife or a doctor-assisted, pain-free birth in a hospital.

Types of providers:

Midwife who does homebirths

Midwife in a birthing center/hospital

Family practitioner

High risk pregnancy specialist

Read more at Choosing a prenatal care provider on my Examiner column.

May 03, 2009

Poll results on swear words

Wow, an overwhelming majority say that "pissed" not used for peeing, is a swear word. Only 26% said no. I didn't even expect that kind of majority. But I like being right, hehe.

12 (46%)

7 (26%)

5 (19%)

well, for teens, but not adults
2 (7%)

Thanks for playing along with my poll!

The origin of swine flu is found

Stop kissing pigs, people!

May 01, 2009

Fashion Find Friday, Goosy Gear children's clothing and accessories

This week's Fashion Find Friday brings us another Minnesota children's boutique. Goosy Gear Children's Boutique is run locally by Goosy in Buffalo, MN. Goosy makes adorable children's clothing, cute pillow cases, and adorable hats, among other things.