Daily Verse

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from you commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11

Why do we try to conform God to our will? Live in His word and know true joy.

"Make me to know your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old."
Psalm 25:4-6

God reveals the truth of our time and all time to us through Scripture.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the tstimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalm 19:7-10

All the laws in all the books in all the libraries of the world are but a footnote to the law of God.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways ackowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

To know and understand God comes not through our intellect, but through the wisdom given to us by the grace of God.

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:1-3

Don't measure success by society's standards. Use Christ as your measuring stick.

"The the LORD answered Job our of the whirlwind and said: 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Or who laid its cornerstond...?'"
Job 38:1, 4-6

When we measure God by our limited standards, we attempt to measure the elephant by weighing one strand of its hair.

"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so lon, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?'"
John 14:8-9

Christ is God made flesh. If you want to know God, you must draw closer to Jesus.








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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008 ~ Hello 2009

More about ME!

Took this off my SIL blog!

ABC About You Questions:
B - BIRTHDAY: June 24th, 1983
D - DRINK YOU LAST HAD: White Grape Juice
F - FAVORITE SONG: Probably "Voice of Truth" Casting Crowns...but I love music!
H - HOMETOWN: Originally Lake Benton, but I claim Spearfish because it is WEST River!
J - JUGGLE- many things at once!
L - LONGEST CAR RIDE: Probably from our home to Dawn & Bob's on AG's first Thanksgiving...not sure though
O - ONE WISH: More children!
Q- QUICKIE: hmmmmmm...
R- REASON TO SMILE: AG and EE give me reason to every day!
V - VEGETABLE(S): Green Beans
W - WORST HABIT: Trusting to easy
X - X-RAYS YOU'VE HAD: More than I can remember!
Y – YOYOS ARE: old school
Z - ZODIAC SIGN: ???Cancer??? Maybe, not so interested in that stuff

Random Questions About You:
Spell your name without vowels: shl jn hrtng
Your favorite number: 27
What color do you wear most?: Pink or Blue
Least favorite color?: White...on my walls!
What are you listening to?: Happy Feet (the kids are watching it while I am, working...or something!)
Are you happy with your life right now?: I will be on February 1st...moving isn't fun!
What is your favorite class in school?:N/A
Who is your best friend?: Jason
When do you start back at school/college?: Don't plan on going back
Are you outgoing?: I used to be, been hurt to many times to just open up to anyone any more!
Favorite pair of shoes?: My new New Balance tennis shoes!
Where do you wish you were right now?: Settled in our 'new' house
What should you be doing right now?: Cooking and getting ready for tonight
Do you have a crush on anyone right now?: I wouldn't be considered a 'crush' since I am married to the man of my dreams!

The Cans:
Can you blow a bubble with gum? Y
Can you dance?: Y
Can you do a cart wheel?:Y
Can you tie a cherry stem with your mouth? N
Can you touch your toes?:Y
Can you whistle?: Y
Write With Both Hands?: Y
Roll Your Tongue In A Circle?: Y
Cross Your Eyes?: N
Walk With Your Toes Curled?: Y

Do you believe there is life on other planets?: N
Do you believe in miracles?: Y *Ethan ~ Do we need any other example
Magic?: N
Love at first sight?: N
Satan? Y
Santa?: N
Do you know how to swim?: Y
Do you like roller coasters?: Y
Do you own a bike?: N
Do you think you could handle the stuff they eat on those reality shows?: N

Have you ever been on a plane?: Y
Have you ever asked someone out?: Y
Have you ever been asked out by someone?: Y
Have you ever been to the ocean?: Y
Have you ever gone fishing?: Y
Have you ever painted your nails?: Y

Last person you hung out with?: ???
Last thing you said out loud?: "Ada, you need to try"
Last thing someone said to you?: AG: "I Try"

What is the temperature outside?: 25
What radio station do you listen to: 107.3
What was the last restaurant you ate at?: Hardee's
What was the last thing you bought?: Groceries
What was the last thing on TV you watched?: Handy Manny (with Daycare kids)

Who was the last person you IM'd?: Mom
Who was the last person you took a picture of: Probably one of my kids
Who was the last person you said I love you to?: Either AG or EE

Ever really cried your heart out?: Y
Ever cried yourself to sleep?: Y
Ever cried on your friend's shoulder?: Y
Ever cried over the opposite sex?: Y
Do you cry when you get an injury?: Often
Do certain songs make you cry?: Y

Are you a happy person?: Y
What can make you happy?: Time with my husband
Do you wish you were happier?: Y
Can music make you happy?: Y, but it can also make me sad

How many times have you had your heart broken?: By boys, family, many~but just last "friends", more than I can remember~but last time was December 7th 2008
Have you ever loved someone so much that you'd die for them?: Y

What is your current hair color?: Light Brown/Dark Blonde
Current Piercings?: 1
Have any tattoos?: N
Eye color?: Blue

What shirt are you wearing?: South Dakota T-Shirt
Pants: Warm Ups
Shoes?: Fuzzy Slippers
Necklaces?: None

Fav Eye Color: Blue
Short or Long Hair: short
Height: About 5'8"
Best Clothing Style: What ever my hubby has on

Been To Jail: N
Mooned Someone: N
Ran Away From Home: N
Thought About Suicide: Y
Laughed So Hard You Cried: Y
Cried In School:Y
Thrown Up In A Store: Y
Wanted To Be a Model: N
Cheated On Someone: While dating, once
Done Something Really Stupid That You Still Laugh At Today: N
Seen A Dead Body:Y
Drank Alcohol:Y
Smoked: N
Been On Drugs: N
Gone Skinny Dipping: Y

What Country Would You Most Like To Visit: Europe
Number Of CD's I Own: Many
Your Good Luck Charm: ???
How many pillows do you sleep with: 1
Do you drink milk: Y!!!!!!!!!
What do you want to be when you grow up: a Mommy
Turn off's: ?
Turn On's:?
Which friend acts like you the most: PAM
How many rings until you answer the phone: My phone does ring, it sings!
Are you a health freak: N
What is the worst weather: East River
Did you play with Barbies as a child: Y
How many grades have you failed: 0

Pepsi or Coke:PEPSI
McDonald's or Burger King: McD
Single or Group Dates: Single
Chocolate or Vanilla: Depends on what it is
Strawberries or Blueberries: Both!
Meat or Veggies: Meat
TV or Movie: Movie
Guitar or Drums: Guitar
Adidas or Nike: Nike
Chinese or Mexican: Mexican
Cheerios or Corn Flakes: Cheerios
Cake or Pie: Cake
MTV or VH1: Neither
Boxers or Briefs: I don't wear no difference

More Random Questions:
1.Three days from now, will you be a in relationship? I am married
2. How do you think your latest ex feels about you? ???
3. Do you like what you see in the mirror? No
4.Was today a good day? The best is yet to come...
5. What are your plans for this weekend? Probably working on the 'new' house after AG's dance class
6. What makes you laugh/cry? Pretty much anything happy or sad, I cry alot!
7. How's your room looking? We are moving, shall I say more?
8. Get asked anything ridiculous lately? Yes by someone at family a Christmas
9. What are you doing tomorrow? Painting
10. What were you most looking forward to today? Having E & M, J & A over for fun and games tonight to ring in 2009
11. How is your hair? Messy
12. As of today, do you like anyone? I like most people
13. Have you kissed anyone on the lips within the past 7 days? Jason, AG, & EE
14. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? Unfortunately
15. Do you stay friends with your exs? I do have 4 of them on Facebook as friends
16. Do you like your first name? I would have spelled it different
17. Do you like to cuddle? Y
18. What are your initials? AJH
19. Baseball or football? Depends who is playing
20. Ever been skinny dipping? Why is this so important that it is asked twice?
21. Do you want someone back? Silly question
22. Whats your biggest fear? That is for me to know
23. What's so good about the person you like? Hard worker, handsome, great Daddy...I could go on and on!
24. So where's your dad? Working on the farm EAST river
25. Do you drive yet? Y
26. How do you feel about racism? Have you seen my family? I have a problem with people who are racist!
27. Name a song that reminds you of old memories? Almost anything George Straight
28. Do you like the color gray? Depends
29. Is there someone you really can't stop thinking about? Y
30. Look outside, how's the weather outside? Sunny but cold
31. Are you jealous of anyone right now? Jealous isn't a great work for it...but anyone pregnant, I would love to be in their shoes!
32. Did you ever think someone didn't like you, but came find out they really did once it was to late? Sort of
33. Last time you ate grilled cheese? 2 weeks ago
34. Name something great that happened today? My daughter and son told me they loved me!35. Do you regret doing something today? N
36. Do you have Limewire? N
37. The person you hate gets hit by a train and put in the hospital, how do you react? I don't hate anyone...
38. Who is always on your mind no matter what?Jason, AG, and EE
39. What's one thing you've learned this year? Don't trust people for face value, they are going to disappoint you no matter what!
40.What kind of computer do you have?:Compaq

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I pray this finds each and everyone of you enjoying this wonderful day!
Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Tree

I posted earlier this month about how all of us went and cut down our own Christmas tree. Since that day everything has changed and honestly I haven't really even taken a moment to enjoy the tree. I actually neglected it and let it run out of water within the first 4 days of it being in our home. The tree symbolized something to me, it symbolized a life we were living one day that was shattered the very next. Sometimes, scratch that...Most of the time I do not understand Gods plan for us. If I had my way I would be able to have more than 2 years worth of Christmas trees in one home, but that ISN'T God's plan for us at this point. While it is a wonderful home that we have appreciated for the past year and a half, it is our time to move on. The house we are moving into isn't as pretty to look at on the inside as this one, but regardless God provided it for us through some very dear people that we are getting to know better every day and love even more! They have helped us out so many times in the last year and a half, they have been a sounding board, an encouragement, dinner hosts at just the needed time, and all in all just wonderful, caring, godly people. We are thankful that God has brought such a wonderful support group to us in this trying time, we wouldn't even consider staying in the area if we didn't have you. I could start listing names, but then I would forget someone and I wouldn't want to do that. Because you aren't forgotten. Sure, maybe this human brain forgets here and there, but God doesn't. God doesn't forget a thing! And for that, I am thankful. You see, when we wake up in the morning no matter where we have been laying our head, we thank the Lord for the day He has given to us and ask Him to help us live the day according to what He would have for us. In that lies the difference between possibly making a very bad decision and a godly one. It isn't anything of us ourselves, it is God. This may not make much sense as it is almost midnight, but one thing is clear as a bell to me. When we are no longer able to wake up in this pretty house that works fairly well for our living needs and we instead wake in a mobile home that is much smaller, that isn't going to matter. We can still serve God and continue to teach our children to do the same. We can still be used by God without our loyal 4 legged companions by our side (thought they are deeply missed!) We can still choose to 'take the high road' as Mr. W keeps encouraging us to do. You see, what hit me tonight is that it isn't about how nice of a house you live in or where you lay your head at night that enables you to serve God according to His will. It is your choice...choose Him!

So, with that wonderfully profound (not so much) thought that just flows too freely at midnight. I took some time today to enjoy our tree. You see when we get home from Christmas with family we will not be able to. We will be painting, packing, hauling, sorting, tossing, trimming, arranging, and all of the other things that go with packing & leaving one house only to fix up and move into another.

This is the ornament that I gave to Jason on our first married was bought at a store that isn't in business anymore....but it says "Our First Christmas Together" On the back it has 2002 written. I thought it was fitting because our decor for the wedding was Precious Moments and the guy had brown hair and the girl has blond... This is and ornament that my Grandma Jeanne gave me back in 1994, I think. It says my name on it...I was a dog lover even then!
Another precious moments, I had a difficult time finding a "baby's 1st Christmas" ornament for AG in 2006. The only one I was able to find was this Caucasian/Blondie Precious Moment which is very cute...just doesn't relate well to our daughter!
I decided to have one engraved for EEs first Christmas last year.
These old gold ball ornaments came from my Grandpa and Grandma Norgaards home, I am not sure how I ended up with them but I have chosen to use burgundy paint and write each family members name on one. So far we have J, A, AG, E, Meshach, & Nema Jaylee. Have a ways to go before using all 20 of them! One day I am going to come up with a clever way to include our 4 babies that we will one day meet in glory. Since they were so young we do not know their gender, and did not name them. But it seems so non personal to just write a date...still pondering that one!
The beautiful gifts under the tree
Laying under and looking up
The Ornament I chose for J this year...
The ornament I got him in 2006
EEs 2008 ornament, fitting since his adoption theme was Cowboy. If you want to get a smile out of him ask him about Cowboy E....
AGs for '08, rather fitting since she is in Princess mode right now!
My favorite one this year...kind of silly since it was in a package of 4 of $0.97 back in 2004! The place it was on our tree had air movement from the fan and it just so slightly shifted back and forth to glitter and sparkle for the last few weeks. The one part of the tree that made my feel weak in the knees EVERY time I looked at it.
Our beautiful, perfect, worth all the work of hauling two 2 year olds through 2 feet (or more) of snow!
My splendor
Honestly, the most important thing to remember this year is that while we are 'uprooted' we still have each other. I think back to 3 years ago and it was just Jays, myself, and Meshach (aka Pooky). It seemed as if everyone was against us and we were being uprooted then too. While having my husband was enough, we both still longed for the day that we would here little footsteps or tiny voices in the morning. WE HAVE THAT NOW! And while it is no secret that I would love to have 2-4 more children, I have my AG and my EE and who could ask for more...right now! I thank the Lord for the wonderful family He is building. An awesome godly husband, and two kids who amaze me every single day.
One little AG story before signing off for a few days:
Tonight J came home from work and offered to take us out for supper (as I said before, awesome husband) to help save time in preparation for going East River early tomorrow morning (there are two 6 o'clocks in ONE day??? Who knew!) We made a quick stop by the 'new' house so he could show me my stocking of those shower heads that are suppose to feel like excited! And he shoveled the walk for all the wonderful people that are helping us get it ready to live in. Then we took a drive by some PWETY CWISMIS WITES (AG=pretty Christmas lights) on our way to the Pizza.Ranch. Our new family fav, the kids love it, there are things for EE to eat and I can have that yummy greasy chicken! All for $2 more than what we would spend at the golden arches. On our way home AG was talking a mile a minute...guess that apple doesn't far from the tree...and we hear:
" tree....sixtween....yaaayy!"
In case you don't speak AG, it is her from of John 3:16! You see for the past several months every night before the kids go to bed we go through word by word John 3:16 with the kids and have them repeat after us. Apparently it is sticking...
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not parish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (punctuation left out)
I'd say she does fairly well for a 2 year old!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Events of 2008

As many of you will be receiving Christmas pictures directing you to this blog, I thought that I would do a rundown of what has taken place in the fastest year I remember living yet(or at least it seems that way!) You can also click on the month and it will bring you back to all the posts to the blog that I did that month.

~We had Andre, Christopher, and Kailey still with us, though they left the last day of the month.
~We were still running from doctor to neurologist to therapist and so on for Ethan.
~Ashley was working some Saturdays at Sweet Repeat.
~We still had our first litter of puppies around.
~Attended Foster Parents Association (FPA) meetings.

~Still had the doctor, therapist, specialist with Ethan.
~Had a great Valentines activity at the Olive Garden.
~Had Micah and Julian join us for two weeks starting Valentines morning at 3:00!
~Had Ethans LAST specialist appointment on the 28th!
~Attended FPA meetings.

~Figured out that Ethan couldn't have dairy and gluten, and now have a normal(relative) boy!! Praise the Lord!
~Continued with Ethan's therapists.
~Attended FPA meetings.
~Ashley worked some at Sweet Repeat.

~Continued with Ethan's therapists.
~Started working with the Bella Pregnancy Center here in town.
~Jason's birthday.
~Had Ethan's final birthmom visit! Praise the Lord
~Jason's parents came to visit.
~Had a great turnout for the church work day.
~FPA meetings.

~Ashley's parents came to visit.
~Received 3 FEET of snow!
~Ethan's hearing checks out okay.
~Continued with Ethan's therapy.
~FPA meeting.
~Our friends renewed their vows and had reception.
~Ashley worked some at Sweet Repeat.

This deserves a little talk time! We hadn't taken a real vacation since we had children and decided that before the kids turned 2 (while they could still fly for free) we would go somewhere fun. We decided on Chicago because Ashley's Aunt W and Uncle L lived there and this is where Ashley went to college. W & L were very involved with our dating and engaged portion of our lives and have been so loving and supportive of our adoption journey we just needed to spend some time with them. We did so many fun things. You can read more about the trip here and here.
~Ethan's therapy continued, but started to become less and less.
~Ashley turned 25!
~Started having 'game nights' with our friends.
~Ashley worked some at Sweet Repeat.
~Had the most rainfall on record and in turn flooded the basement of the parsonage!

~Our second litter of puppies arrived!
~Ashley's parents came for the 4th.
~Went to the Belle Fourche Rodeo & fireworks.
~Ethan's therapy continued.
~Turned the garage of the parsonage into a family room.
~FPA meeting.
~Attended our friends little boys 1st birthday party.
~Ashley was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) started fertility treatments.

~Ethan's adoption was finalized!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!
~Many friends and family came to celebrate with us including Jason & Ashley's parents, Ashley's sister-in-law Christy, and Aunt W (from Chicago) along with her daughter-in-law and children surprised us!!!
~Ethan's therapy continued, but he did GRADUATE out of Speech therapy!
~Jason performed two weddings.
~We had Jason's annual family BBQ.
~We celebrated our 6th anniversary!
~Ashley started working weekly with the Bella Pregnancy Center and became the Co-Chairman on the board for their big fundraiser of the year, the Dessert Galla.
~We learned how to play pinochle, which has been our stress reliever every since. Thanks E & M!
~Met up with some of Jason's family from Minnesota, Ray & Edie, in Wall for an evening.
~Ashley continued with fertility treatments.

~Ashley continued to work with the Bella Pregnancy Center on a weekly basis.
~Had a big rummage sale and raised over $1000.00 towards the adoption loan! Praise the Lord!
~Ashley continued fertility treatments.
~Ethan had a few therapy sessions.
~Ashley worked at Sweet Repeat some.
~Our Ada Grace turned 2!!! We of course had a party with some dear friends and family.
~Ashley's mom came for the party and stayed a week and a half.

~Ashley's mom's stay continued into October.
~Ethan had 1 therapy session!
~The Bella Pregnancy Center's Dessert Galla took place, we were able to raise over $25,000!! Praise the Lord!
~We hosted a college activity.
~Ashley stopped fertility treatments.
~Received our first snow storm just 5 months after our last!
~Ashley opened Pumpkin Patch Daycare on the 28th!

~Jason's parents came to visit.
~Had another 3 FOOT snow storm!
~Dear friends L & C watched the kids overnight while we snuck away to Rapid and spent a night at a hotel (mostly at Borders though!) Enjoyed the couple time.
~Ashley's mom came out early for Thanksgiving, a total surprise to me!
~Ashley's dad joined us a few days later.
~Of course did the crazy Black Friday shopping, left the house at 3:15 AM and didn't return until after 7 that night! I love the fact that mom is so much fun and wants to do that and that the guys are willing to take the kids for the day!
~Ada Grace started Dance Class, she is learning tap and ballet! She LOVES it!

~Have had a few Christmas parties.
~Cut down our own Christmas tree with kids.
~Found out that my husband would no longer be the pastor of First Baptist and that we would need to move by January 31st 2009.
~Started looking for a new church.
~Received many blessings.
~Loved getting the mail every day to see all of the fun Christmas cards and 'catch up' with each of your lives!
~Will be spending Christmas Eve & Christmas day with Ashley's family and the wonderful Fish family from Lake Benton (Christmas Day)
~Will be spending the day after Christmas with Ashley's mom's family who will also help us Celebrate Ethan's 2nd birthday.
~Will be spending the 27th (Ethan's 2nd birthday) with Jason's family.
~We plan on spending New Years Eve with friends. At this point we are a small group of us and E & M, but anyone and everyone is invited to join in!
~Experienced flooding in South Dakota in the middle of winter! 1st time in over 50 years!

We pray that this finds you well and that 2008 has been a blessed year for you. While it wasn't what we planned for ourselves, we know that God had it planned all along and rest easy in that fact. We may 'fall of the scene' for the next 30 days while getting our new house ready to move into and then moving (alot of work to do before January 31st!) I know that it will all get done because I have a wonderful husband and we have many friends who have offered their help! But once we are settled we will let you know our new address and things of that sort.

May each of you remember that Jesus is what Christmas is all about and enjoy the time with your family and or friends.

Life lived

EDIT: OKAY CHRISTY, now I'm copying you...while she took this off my blog, I am going to add to the list by adding info on what I have done like Christy did!

This was on the blog Parenthood For Me. The idea is to highlight the ones that you have done. Surprisingly, in my young life, I have accomplished 49 out of 101 of the list! You try!

1. Started your own blog,
2. Slept under the stars, back in high school at one of our many camp outs!
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower, I believe I was watching one at the neighbors house the night my parents brought home my red convertable! And have watched more since...
6. Given more than you can afford to charity...keeping this one to myself.
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain, on the youth trip in '98
9. Held a baby bird, I used to try to save them when they would fall out of their nests...
10. Sang/played a solo, there have been a few here and there.
11. Got a tattoo
12. Visited Ireland
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch, crocheting
15. Adopted a child...our AG & EE
16. Had food poisoning, Chinese Brookings!
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables, when we lived in Huron.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight...too many to count
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort, the ones with the Norgaard cousins were always the best!
25. Held a lamb...Wicherns always had lambs to hold
26. Gone skinny dipping...this was in junior high...won't do it again!
27. Ran a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse...I don't remember the year, but do remember seeing it!
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset...many, MANY times over!
31. Hit a home and there
32. Been on a cruise (not a long one, but a dinner cruise)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language, Sign Language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied...when we have adopted two more children it won't matter how much money we have...I will be happy!
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke, not for a while
42. Driven across the US (coast to coast)
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant, on my bus route in Chicago
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by Puerto Vallarta Mexico
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain...and the snow
53. Played in the mud...yep, lots of fun!
54. Gone to a drive-in theater...Rush Hour 2!
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business...Pumpkin Patch Daycare
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no husband brought home flowers in April for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma, back in HS...can't do it any more!
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check, but it was Wells Fargos fault!
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood teddy from Daddy!
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job, the flower shop...because she ran herself out of money and couldn't pay her employees!
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone...both wrists and my little toe
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle...used to think it was fun to roll that way
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book, does my Christmas letter from last year count?
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car ~ 2007 Honda Odessey
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper~ Opera House stuff, sports stuff, Abelskeiver stuff...etc.
85. Read the entire Bible...I have
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating...we used to help the VanLohs butcher chickens every year!
88. Had chickenpox...back in 1st grade
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury...not so much fun, now my term starts 1-1-09 and goes thru 6-30-09
91. Met someone famous, some guy in Nebraska...don't remember his name, and the guy in the limo at the FLA convention...Little Richard maybe? Can you tell it really mattered?
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one, unfortunately
94. Made a baby...we have 4 in heaven that we will meet someday!
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone...who doesn't?
99. Been stung by a bee...and was rusted to the ER
100. Had a dream fulfilled...Married Mr. Right (Check), Have children (check), Own my own busieness (check)
101. Have/had someone in your life who changed your outlook on life...there are many, many people whos names could be listed here & thank you to each of you!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Good Bye Chip!

A really sad day! Chippers also found a new home tonight. I am really happy about this one though, it is a young couple with a 4 year old boy. They were really torn between taking just Chip or taking both Chip and Nema Jaylee. As it turns out, Nema is pregnant it is good that they didn't take her. She is really funny, she is skinny skinny and then all of a sudden over night she just pops out her belly! She didn't look this pregnant yesterday, but today it was pretty clear that was the case. I would guess January 18th is her due date...we will still be in the parsonage at that point, so we will have her at that time to take pics of the puppies and name them. Everyone be thinking of Disney charactors that start with D!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good Bye Old Friend...

We did receive notice today in the mail, Jason is no longer the pastor of First Baptist Church. They let him go because they felt he had "become a liability to the general welfare of the church." We have until January 31st to be out of the parsonage. Thankfully, we have dear friends in this area that are helping us in all aspects of this transition...M & T, G have a home that is for sale that we are going to be able to move into. Praise the Lord for a roof over our heads!

Unfortunately the lose of a home and some income isn't the only thing we will be grieving. The home that is offered to us doesn't allow dogs. I had listed the dogs figuring that we were going to have to move on short notice and today I had to say good bye to my first baby, Meshach. We brought him home on April fools day of 2004...just 1 1/2 pounds, such a tiny little one he was. Our neighbors at the time thought he was a gopher! He has been an AWESOME loyal friend to us through good and bad and it breaks my heart that through this tough time we cannot be there for him. I am okay with the home he went to, he will be loved and spoiled, but it just hurts. Meshach has listen to me cry over so many things, particularly over the adoption process (before kids) and he was beside me trough each of our 4 miscarriages. I even would 'sneak' him into bed with me while recovering from them.

He will be missed!

Ethans Second Birthday Pics

I was able to pick up Ethan's birthday pictures today and am SO excited about how well hey turned out. Since they are dark, the scans didn't turn out so well...I will try an get them uploaded off the disk (yes I have copying rights to them) and get them in clear image on the blog sometime before Christmas!
This time I was able to do a collage with his name, because I am a member of the 'Smiles Club' for FREE!!!! Who can beat that. I was also then able to get ones of the shots on there that I was not able to get with my package. The shot on the bottom left corner is the only one we have of that pose. Isn't he a handsome little man!I think this is my favorite shot...the lady that took them, Tiffany, was feeling a little bummed about his not smiling. Not to worry though, he looks so serious most of the time! Tiffany is getting to know us pretty well since we are in there 5 times a year!
With birthday pictures I always have to have one of them holding the age they are turning
I wasn't so sure this was a good idea, but she told me to trust her...glad I did. He is just to adorable!
This 'candle light' pose is getting to be one of my favorites. I remember the first time they tried it was last year for EE's birthday and I was thinking they were crazy. However, they are becoming one of my favorite shots. How is a mother suppose to choose?
This outfit just screams sepia, so this one is the one we put in the old fashion looking
It seems as though his birthday part will be in Lake Crystal, MN on the 26th. If any of you are in the neighborhood, feel free to stop in!
I cannot believe that my baby boy is turning two! Just 9 months ago I was sure that he was either going to stay my 'baby' forever or at least need care 24/7 like a baby. Or, he wasn't going to be with us very long. We thank the Lord every day for the miracle He gave when he gave Ethan a somewhat normal life...he is a member of our family now, isn't he? Normal will be relative (right Grandma Pam?)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

~The Love Dare~

So just so you all didn't think I gave up on the Love Dare already, my husband asked if I would stop and restart with him after Christmas. So, just take a little pause and practice what we have learned already...and after Christmas we will continue on to Day 5!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Tonight after supper J, AG, EE, & myself had a great time of playing, laughing, and just plain being silly! It was so much fun to get to have Daddy around and not have him need to run off to visit someone, study, clean, or prepare something else. I know that while we are still awaiting our answer from the church people that is very weighing on a person, but it is nice that while he doesn't have church responsibilities for the first time in their young lives...they get to have Daddy play with them or sing with them or cuddle them after a fall.

We like having Daddy around!

We do pray that we can some news via snail mail soon. It would be nice to know our fate before Christmas...just to know will be much easier than this waiting stuff! Thanks again for all your prayers, emails, calls, and help in various ways. We appreciate you all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Only Jesus"

Only Jesus, only Jesus.
Who can heal my hurting heart?
Only Jesus.
Who can wash my sin away?
Who can give vict'ry ev'ry day?
Who is with me all the way?
Only Jesus.
When the dreams that I have longed for
seem to vanish in the night,
and the plans I've made start fading from my sight.
When my life is almost over and the night is falling fast,
Who will feel my deepest heartache?
Who will give me peace at last?
Only Jesus, only Jesus.
Who can heal my hurting heart?
Only Jesus.
Who can wash my sin away?
Who can give vict'ry ev'ry day?
Who is with me all the way?
Only Jesus.
When I wander from the pathway
and I fail my Lord again,
Tho' the night is dark, I cannot hide from Him.
When my spirit lies exhausted
But my guilt still rages on,
Who will give me His compassion
and restore to me a song?
Only Jesus, only Jesus.
Who can heal my hurting heart?
Only Jesus.
Who can wash my sin away?
Who can give vict'ry ev'ry day?
Who is with me all the way?
Only Jesus. Only Jesus,
Only Jesus, Only Jesus.

This song written by Ron and Shelly Hamilton (Patch the Pirate and Sissy Seagull) is included in the Christmas Musical "Goodwill to Men." Since the church was so small my husband and I had ordered the split track cd for the music from this musical and were going to sing one of the wonderful songs from it every week until Christmas. "Only Jesus" was the song we were going to sing last Sunday, December 7th. As it turns out I woke up and my throat wasn't going to hold up so we were going to postpone singing it until yesterday, December 14th. Jason and I hadn't given it a second look since the 7th, the day that one of the men in the church told us that as far as he was concerned we were no longer the pastor of the church. Reading these words, it is amazing the strength and love that God can send to a couple going through such a difficult time. We are thankful for all the wonderful friends and support that has been extended to us in the past week. We only pray that some how, some way we will be able to extend the gratitude that is due to each and every one of you. Until then, just thing of who is there for you through everything:

Only Jesus, only Jesus.
Who can heal my hurting heart?
Only Jesus.
Who can wash my sins away?
Who can give vict'ry ev'ry day?
Who is with me all the way?
Only Jesus.

~ Day 3 & 4 ~

Well, Sundays are not usually good days for all you get on day 3 is that is was about how love is not selfish.

As for day 4, it talks about how love is thoughtful. "Love requires thoughtfulness -on both sides- the kind that builds bridges through the constructive combination of patience, kindness, and selflessness. Love teaches you how to meet in the middle, to respect ad appreciate how your spouse uniquely thinks. A husband should listen to his wife and learn to be considerate of her unspoken messages. A wife should learn to communicate truthfully and not say one thing while meaning another."

Isn't it so true. When a couple is dating, engaged, and newly married we think of ways to impress our husband/wife. We think of the things we put on and if they will impress, we think of what we will say, we think of things we can do for and with our special someone, we think about that other person ALL THE TIME! I know that after only 6 1/2 years I am ashamed to admit that I do not think through every aspect of my day and how it will IMPRESS my husband! I should though, let this be a challenge to all the married folks out there. Let your spouse know that you have thought of them special reason, just that they were on your mind!

"How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." Psalm 139:17 & 18

A LITTLE taste of Princess's moves

Here is a very short video of Princess's dance class on Saturday, her 3rd class. She loves it, though she doesn't quite understand the whole stand in a line thing. I wasn't able to take much video because of chatting it up with the other moms there. So this is just a sample.

Oh the weather outside....or INSIDE, is frightful!

So it has been pretty cold outside, but we have not seen this here before! Last night the temp was around -14 F and the windchill was around -38 F! We started noticing frost growing up our walls all over the house. I thought I would share a few pics so you could see. I have reports of this being the coldest snap here for many years!

Toy Room: Dining Room:

Living Room:

Notice the extra shiny parts of the wall...that would be condensation built up on an INSIDE wall! And then there is the frost on the cable wire!
The bathroom...again and inside wall around the corner!

This has been an interesting year. In May we had the worst snow storm for a while with 3 feet of snow in 24 hours! June brought us the floods with the wettest spring/early summer on record. Then the first week of October brought the first snow storm...then the first week of November, and again the first week of December! It will be interesting to see what this winter brings!
May you all be in your homes toasty and cozy while the weather outside is frightful! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cold Days

So the high today was -5 and we are thankful we do not have the wind that some places do. I just saw on that Rapid City has -14 with a -67 windchill! We are -14 with a -33 windchill which isn't good, but in comparison isn't terrible either. I am thankful to have a home that is staying fairly warm at this point. We still do not know what the 'verdict' is as to if my husband is still the Pastor of the church or if he is not. At this point no one has sent the written notice of when we need to leave the property. HOWEVER, it does seem that the things we have in storage at the church are not off limits to the others in the church. Saturday morning we went over to 'condense' our belongings into two areas of the church instead of being through out and discovered someone had been 'rummaging' through our things. Again today my dear hubby went over and discovered that once again the room that houses our storage items had been rummaged through again. It is sad to us that this is what is going on while we are simply awaiting the decision of if we are out on the streets this Christmas or if we will continue to have a home to live in and keep us warm on these colder than normal winter nights. Please continue to pray.

As for how cold it is, come back tomorrow to see the pictures of frost growing on INSIDE walls of our house! Craziness...

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Saturday, December 13, 2008

~Day 2~

I read today's 'dare' last night so as NOT to have broken it before reading it like I did on day 1! Today it talks about kindness. Now yesterday we remember was PATIENCE, how love reacts to a negative circumstance. Today is KINDNESS, how love acs to maximize a positive circumstance.

"Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success." Proverbs 3:3 & 4

Day 2 talks how kindness can be broken into 4 parts:
1. Gentleness
2. Helpfulness
3. Willingness
4. Initiative

I have to say that I did pretty well today...there was one time that my dear husband was expecting me to move at that moment and do somethig and I didn't realize it was that much of an emergency, when he pushed a little bit I got a little more grouchy than I should have! But we worked together on the same project for about 5 hours today and things were wonderful.

May day 2 on the journey have go as well for you...I just have the 'do something unexpected left.'

Friday, December 12, 2008

~The Love Dare~

So if any of you have seen the movie Fireproof, you have heard of 'The Love Dare.' If you have not seen the movie (shame on you!) you may have, it is something that is sweeping the nation in the Christian circles. Well, I loved the movie, and the idea of 'The Love Dare.' So, when I pre-ordered our DVD (coming out Jan. 26th!) I also ordered a copy of The Love Dare. Now before anyone starts thinking J & I are in trouble...DON'T! But I do have to say that any time is a good time to strengthen your marriage, especially during difficult times!

Anyway, received the book in the mail yesterday and now as the little Pumpkins from the Patch are all sleeping, I just sat down with my green tea to read 'Day 1.' And of course, I had already broken the lesson to be learned from today...but my decision is to work at it for the remainder of Friday December 12th...patience!

"With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love," Ephesians 4:2"

The final paragraph for the day says: "This Love Dare journey is a process, and the first thing you must resolve to posses is patience. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. But it's a race worth running."

Now for those of you that are not familiar with the Love Dare concept. In the movie the couple is on the brink of divorce and Caleb (the husband) and his dad have a chat. His Dad asks him if he would be willing to take 40 days and WORK at trying to save his marriage. Caleb agrees (reluctantly) and his dad sends him this journal of a different aspect of loving your spouse for every one of the 40 days. The idea is to take one aspect (ex. day 1 = patience) each day, build upon them every day, and not leave out what you have learned the days before. I am not going to go into too much detail of the movie because you MUST SEE IT! But from today, December 12th 2008, I am starting day 1 and looking forward to seeing what the next 40 days has in store. While we are not even close to the brink of divorce (actually we are best friends and have a strong relationship) I think this can help me to understand and love my wonderful husband more. My challenge to each of you, buy the book! If you are unable to buy the book, check with me...I will be sharing many of the days challenges here on my blog. I will not go into detail like the book does, but I will share.

Here starts my journey!

"See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone." I Thessalonians 5:18
***Just so everyone knows...I am in no way being paid by anyone for trying to sell movie tickets, DVDs, or copies of the Love Dare. I just suggest that you check them out because they are all useful resources for a biblical way to work at strengthening your marriage...and who couldn't use that every once in a while!***

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Small Update...

We are still not sure of what is going on. Jason had an encouraging time at a church with friends tonight. I stayed home because Ethan has a cough that is worrying me and I wasn't feeling the best either. I ended up answering several encouraging phone calls while home though. All in all, we were both encouraged. Thank you to those of you who have been calling, helping, stopping in, meeting up with either Jason or myself, leaving notes on Facebook, emailing, and comments left here on the blog. When people are going through difficult times that is the best thing you can do for them! While I may not be getting back to you each individually at this time, we will get back to you. We have so many things on our plate right now as we have to be prepared if they do continue with the decision to ask us to leave and we both still have work all day as well.

Again, you all have been so encouraging to us. It is great to know that we have so many friends out there to support us when we are discouraged!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I was wrong...

After seeking legal advise we are now under the understanding that Jason is still the pastor of the church. There was only one of three officers at the meeting the other night, and in order for him to be 'let go' two of the three officers have to vote him out. Will keep you posted as to what unfolds as things are happening. Right now we have no idea what is going down. Please keep the situation in your prayers, we could really use them!

Monday, December 08, 2008

My Niece...

Isn't she just so adorable! I cannot wait to see E, M, & S at Christmas time! Only 2 1/2 weeks left to wait!!! Enjoy the adorable pictures of her celebrating Thanksgiving with her Daddy's side of the family! I am also very excited that little S is going to have a brother or sister in April...sometime around my hubby's birthday!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Some sad news...

As of this evening Jason is no longer the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Spearfish. The church was having some financial difficulties and we had prayerfully and wholeheartedly researched a plan that would help to generate funds for the church, while leaving us with a building. A special business meeting was called this evening to discuss the direction that the church should take, but before going into the detail Jason talked about how Paul was comforted and strengthened by God. He also talked about how a church needs to be unified as one body always, but especially during difficult times. Unfortunately the church could not choose to become unified and we didn't even get to talk about the plan for the churches future. The meeting quickly was hung up on the fact that with only three families as actual members we all had different ideas. We did not think that the plan we had counseled about was the only plan and if someone else would have had different thoughts and a different course of action we would have been more than happy to follow that direction. There was no other plan of action offered, so it came down to either going with the idea of turning a portion of the building into 2 apartments or closing the doors. It would have taken a $40,000 loan, but thankfully the church is debt free...but they didn't want to go that route, so ultimately the church couldn't continue any longer. We are saddened because we believe God could really use this church and we were willing to be there to the very end. We are unsure what the 4 members of the church are going to do, because they chose to ask us to leave rather than make a decision about the current financial status of the church. I cannot say that First Baptist Church is no longer, you would have to contact one of the other members for service information.

We now are looking for other living arrangements in Spearfish and praying that God will guide and direct our lives accordingly. Our desire is to serve Him.

"May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:5

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Family Adventure

We started out the day with Princess's dance, and this was her little foot prints so happily carrying her water bottle and dance bag all by herself to the suburban...because she kept saying, "Mommy, dance cwass!" (dance class) My batteries died before we got to the dance maybe next week!After dance we changed clothes and got all dressed up in warm winter gear for the adventure of cutting down our own Christmas Tree. Handsome and I did this childless last year, as some of you may remember we had a 3 yr, 2 yr, 1 yr, 10 month, and a 6 month old ~ so we had gotten a sitter. We actually went with our friends last year, but this year decided the kids were old enough to go and we didn't want to hold up the other family with two kids, an ax, and a Christmas tree! It wasn't the fastest process ever, but it was a memory making one!
Here the kids are still happy and excited to be going to get our CWISMAST TWEE!Here is the one, it all of its natural glory!And my wonderfully handsome husband chopping away as the kids and I wait in anticipation, or at least I was...the kids were kind of tired of tromping through the snow at this point
This is after I hauled Princess and the ax and Jason had Sunshine and the tree for part way out, I fell because the snow caved under me, I sat with both kids on my lap IN THE SNOW (right where I fell), Handsome carried the tree out, came back got Princess and the ax, and I carried Sunshine the rest of the way! Mommy and the kiddos, see how Princess is so HAPPY to be back at the 'burban' and Sunshine is still wondering what is going on!Mommy and Daddy managed to get the massive thing on top of the suburban, Princess kept saying, "Cwismas twee up woof!" (Christmas Tree is up on the roof)I just love the beauty of the all are missing out!
The finished product..BEAU-TI-FUL!My hubby surprised me with the trimmings from the tree on my arbor along with my favorite RED lights from our house in can see our tree glowing in the window of the doorThe view of our house as you pull onto our street ~ festive!From the outside looking in...cozy!
View from the church side of the house

All in all we had a great day! Many things accomplished, learned new things about each other as a couple, had many memories from years past as we took out decorations, and most importantly remembered how blessed and thankful we are to be a family of four! While this isn't Sunshine's first Christmas it is his first Christmas as our official child...only in the states eyes though, he was officially ours the minute I held him in the hospital on January 2nd of 2007.
As you all start celebrating in various ways; Christmas programs and church & school, work get togethers, shopping for the special people in your lives, family gatherings, sending Christmas cards, and whatever other tradition you have at this time of year...Please do not forget what it is all about.
Christmas is not about the gifts or the cards,
it isn't just the lighted snowmen in the yards.
Not a time for seasons.greetings,
Or holiday.meetings.
Christmas is about Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mary & Joseph, only a manger could afford.
Their sweet baby boy born in hay,
Long ago in Bethlehem one day.
It saddens me everywhere I go. Children get excited for Christmas because of S.anta and the toys they will be unwrapping from under the tree. While Grandpas and Grandmas are very good at allowing our children wonderful gifts all through out the year (especially Christmas) we as parents have made a commitment to teach Princess and Sunshine why we have Christmas. Because if we leave out baby Jesus being born, it is very hard to explain how He was able to die on the cross for our salvation.
We pray each and every one of you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A warm November day...

I do believe this was November 1st....we took Daddy away from his studying to go to the park...

We decided because of the time of day (later afternoon) we would drive to the park instead of walk, we went to the park so they could swing. As we got close to the park Princess realized where we were and started her, "wing park, WING park, WING PARK!!!' Too funny!

This first picture is of little Sunshine throwing his BIG rocks into the creek.Not such a big rock this time, but too cute none the less!
LOVE this picture, it is on my desktop right now

The wonderful swinging

Princess liked the ducks
She is gonna be a basketball player, if only coach K could see that follow through!!!
She REALLY likes to 'wing'
They have got their BIG rocks and it is hard work
A rare picture of Mommy appears on the blog...but it is really because the kids are just too cute. They are actually working on pushing Mommy backwards in this picture
Having fun by the creek
Walking with Daddy from the swings to the creek ~ this picture is really for my mother...