Monday, November 7, 2011

A Month of Meals...

I have lead Josh to believe that I'm a sub-par cook...until I opened up the October issue of Real Simple and read "A Month of Easy Dinners." My transformation in the kitchen happened a few weeks ago when I was doing my weekly shopping. As I waited in line I checked out the magazine racks. One of my favorite one's is Real Simple. I of course bought the magazine and meal planning has never been easier. The magazine supplies you four weeks of meals and your shopping list for each week!

All of the meals I have made so far have been wonderful! My domestic divaness is shining through! Josh has been impressed and Logan has asked me who made the meal. I have always known how to cook, but I am horrible with coming up with new ideas. My grandma told us growing up, "If you can read, you can cook." I love these meals because I don't have to think about what to make. I also love that a lot of the recipes are cooking with fresh produce.

Real Simple has been so kind to post the month of recipes on-line..

Recipes have left us with extra food almost every night. I am making food for 3 adults and 2 children. So far I have made the following recipes...

Salmon with Gingery Green Beans & Bok Choy
Tomato Soup with Roast Beef, Cheddar, and Horseradish Panini
Chicken with Potatoes, Bacon, and Cabbage
Tortellini with Buternut Squash, Mushrooms, and Fontina
Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes

If you are unable to find the recipe, let me know and I will email it to you.
Enjoy! I hope that these meals make your life more simple--it has mine!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


October 18th is a date that will always be close to my heart; it's the date that I became a Mom! Today my son, Logan, turned four year's old. Today is also the first time that his Birthday hit close to my heart. I felt a sense of loss in the sense that he will soon be attending school full-time. I won't have the luxury of having him all day during the week. My little boy really isn't so little anymore. He's maturing so much I can hardly stand it.
I love Logan's heart. He has such a tender side to him. I love that at dinner he needs to stop and take hug breaks or still loves to give me extra kisses. I love that he's so sweet to his brother and can't wait to share a bedroom with him. I love that he thinks our next child will be a girl. He tells me that when Shane gets a little bit older then I'll have a girl baby. That's all he wants--one brother and one sister. (I'm secretly praying for two girls, but don't tell Josh!) I love that he calls me out on things like if I forget to put my seat belt on right away in the car or I don't follow through with a promise right away (good or bad). I love that he sleeps in his underwear (and dance, wrestle, eat, etc). I love the joy that fills his heart and his laugh that makes his nose crinkle up. I love that he still prays for his armpit, thanks to his daycare buddies teaching him how to make noises out of it. I love that he calls his bike with training wheels his "trick" bike and that he loves to be rough and tough with his daddy. I love how he make's sure that I'm OK since the passing of my dad. Weekly he's asking me if I"m still sad and then we are able to talk about Papa Mike.

Being Logan's MOM is truly an honor. I can't wait to see the plans that the Lord has in store for his life.

"Be strong and courageous, (Logan), for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."
Dueteronomy 31:6

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Thursday! So this morning I thought it would be fun for the kids and I to attend story hour at the library...the emphasis on this post will be "thought." I am easily excited, sort like the daycare kids, but this morning I should have just stayed home.

The first problem was getting all 9 kiddos to the library, transportation wasn't working out like I had thought, but in the end I was able to make something work. The first incident that threw the kids and I into chaos was our ride showed up 15 minutes early. I was still packing a sack lunch for two of the kids that had to get to pre-school right after story hour. No one was ready! We all scramble to get our things on. I asked the big kids to help the little kids, but the little kids didn't want the big kids help...grrr! We managed to get everyone ready and out the door.

As we arrived to the library the turn to the main access was blocked off due to construction. I had no idea how to get around, but we unloaded everyone and headed out to find a way in. Thankfully another mom was bringing her child to story hour and told me how to get in. During this time, the wind seriously could not have blustered (if that's even a word) any worse that it was. Dirt was flying into the kids and I's faces and it was chilly. We managed to walk around to the other side only to be confronted with stairs. I had my two year old's in the stroller and was not about to attempt this task alone. I put on my assertive pants and asked the first person I saw to help me and to get directions to the library from the DMV office. The other 7 kids were getting pretty rowdy and definitely didn't have their listening ears on. Down the hallways we went, up the elevator, down another hallway, through the doorway and we were there. We arrived to the library at 10:50AM (story hour began at 10:30AM) only to find that it was canceled due to the construction! Our ride was coming to pick us back up at 11:15AM, so we had some time to spare to check out books.

At about 11:10AM we headed out to find our way back to the parking lot. I managed to get us to the elevator, of course with kids fighting to push the button and running off so they could hide from me. We were on the Lower Level and needed to go up, assuming that meant we went to the Upper Level. After two failed attempts to the Upper Level, yes loading and unloading everyone out of the elevator, this sweet lady came to my aide. When we arrived to the Upper Level there was no way to get out and the area didn't look familiar. I failed to remember what level we were on when we first boarded the elevator to go to story hour. After one more trip "up" she enlightened me with the "M" button for Main Floor. As we got off and the surroundings looked familiar I began to sing Hallelujahs at the top of my lungs and even jumped up and clicked my heels together. No, actually I didn't do that, but that would have been funny! The kind lady helped me carry the stroller down the flight of stairs and we were all off again to our ride, not to mention running 10 minutes. I forgot another important detail, it had begun raining too.

We did make it back to our ride, $20 later, wet hair and clothes, with no story hour made for one disappointing outing! Advertisers say that Red Bull gives you wings well Soy Lattes at Caribou makes you think you're Super Mom... and I'm not.

If you can learn anything from this blog post please call the library before you plan an outing to story hour with nine kids, it will save you some stress and disappointed children.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Season of Change...

The past month and a half has brought a lot of change to my life. I think it's safe to say that Summer in Minnesota is officially over and Fall is in full force. As much as I love Summer there is something about the crisp air, the leaves changing to stunning colors of red, gold & orange, layering clothes, going for a run without sweating profusely, pumpkin patches, apples with carmel and cozy comfort food that brings joy to my heart. I wish Fall would last until December, but that's not how it works here. I was reminiscing about what my life looked like last year at this time. I had just had Shane Taylor and my dad, Mike, and step-mom, Ruth, where visiting us, my brother, Lucas, and sister, Eva, had come to Minnesota to meet Shane as well. I wasn't working and Twyla was doing daycare for me at the house. We had taken a family trip to the North Shore which we planned to make a family tradition, but some life events this year has caused us to post-pone until next Fall.

Monday, August 15th is a day I will never forget. It's the first time in my life that I have truly experienced heartache. It's the day that my dad, Mike, died. I received a call around 1:30AM from my step-mom, Ruth, that my dad had just passed away from a heart attack in his sleep. It literally felt like a bad dream. I was inconsolable, I shook as I cried in Josh's arms. It didn't seem possible. He was supposed to be coming next month to see us, Shane's Birthday was 10 days away and I had just spend the day playing phone tag with him. So many emotions rushed through me at the thought of not hearing my dad's voice again or being able to touch him. Through this experience of loss and heartache I'm able to rejoice knowing that my dad is the presence of the Almighty God. He finally has a perfect body--eyes to see Heaven's greatness. I'm so thankful that our time on Earth isn't the end and that I will get to spend eternity in heaven with my dad. I still go to call my dad on a weekly basis, but then remember he's not going to answer. There are so many moments through out my day that I wish I could share with him. Words Logan says or new milestones Shane has reached. I want to call him to vent about life knowing that he will lift my spirits up and tell me that he's praying for me. I miss hearing about his weekends, singing in the church choir and going to Sunday Karaoke. I miss hearing him call me "Keekers" and telling me how much he loves me. I don't know if time will make any of this any easier, but for right now it hurts. I am thankful that I don't have any regrets with my relationship with my dad. We both did the best we could and gave it 100%. His funeral was two Friday's ago, September 16th, in Columbus, OH. It was a perfect celebration of his life. I was able to share some thoughts at his funeral that I would like to share with you. We don't know how much time on Earth we will have and I want everyone to be able to be confident to know where you are going when you die.
Below is my speech...

My name is Kelsi Timm, and I am Michael’s daughter. Today you will hear about how great of a man my dad was, people will share sweet memories that they had with him, funny stories about dad, his love for music & sports and how he loved his family and friends, but I am going to tell you about my dad’s most important relationship in life.

My dad has had a lot of relationships in his life. Relationships with friends, family, wives, alcohol, music, work, sports, exercise, but none had ever completely fulfilled him until he met Jesus.

I began to pray for my dad when I was in middle school that he would come to know Jesus as his personal savior. After eight years of prayer, my prayer finally was answered. I will never forget the phone call when dad told me he had entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You see it was not by my dad’s good works or by him being a good person, it was that my dad surrendered himself to Jesus. Ephesians 2:8-9 reads, “For it is by grace we are saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Dad had tried to do life on his own for too long and realized that it wasn’t working. He needed something else and that something else was Jesus. Dad learned that Jesus loved him so much that he died on the cross for his sins; despite his shortcomings and poor choices. Jesus’ grace redeemed him and now dad gets to spend eternity in Heaven.

The last 10 years I have so enjoyed talking to him about what Jesus was doing in his life. He would challenge me in my walk with the Lord and would hold me accountable when I wasn’t living my life accordingly to the Bible. He became a prayer warrior for my family and I. Dad just wasn’t a dad anymore, he became a spiritual mentor to me. Dad has shared with me countless times that his greatest desire is for his family & friends to know Jesus as their personal savior. He wants us we all to spend eternity together. So on behalf of my father, I challenge all of you to think about where would you go if you died tonight. Are you confident that you would get to spend eternity in Heaven? The Bible says, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life,” 1 John 5:11-13.

Dad has left his legacy of living his life for Jesus for his children and grandchildren. He is dancing and singing with the angels. He finally gets to see with perfect vision and is in presence of the Almighty God! I miss my dad so much. I’ll never get to hear him call me Keeker’s, say that I love’s me, that he’s proud of me or that he’s praying for me. I know that one day I will be re-united with him in Heaven and we will get to spend eternity together.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Attack of the mosquitos and a mouse

We, my family & I, just returned home from what was supposed to be a leisure hike at Carlos State Park, but instead turned into an attack of the mosquitos. (sounds like a movie title) Our adventure went a little something like this...

It's a beautiful sunny day in Alexandria, low 70s with a slight breeze. A perfect day to take in Carlos State Park. We loaded up the boys along with some snacks and drinks and the double stroller. We began our journey with not a care in the world--didn't even check the time nor grab a map. We were just excited to have some family time and take in the lushness of the park. The trail started out great, we were admiring the lake, and the landscape and Logan was collecting sticks. Logan instructed me to take pictures of any animals that we see. As we got further into the trail, the shadier and moist it became. As you know, certain annoying critters love this type environment. (This is the part where the mosquitos begin to attack.) We start to walk faster and are trying to keep the mosquitos off of the boys. Did I mention that we neglected to bring bug spray with? Walking and swatting flies was not working. Thankfully we had brought a blanket with for Shane, so Logan draped the blanket across Shane and his legs to keep the flies out. Josh and I decided that we should start to run. We honestly had no ideas how far it was to the end, but all we knew was that we wanted out.

By this time I really had to use the bathroom, if the bugs weren't so bad I would have stopped and gone on the trail. I, however, didn't want the bug bites and Josh said he wouldn't wait. As Josh is running with the jogging stroller and I'm carrying our camera I can't help but start to laugh. Up we went, down we went, things were falling out of the stroller because of the rough terrain. I could feel my bladder a swishing' and a sloshing' and I envisioned myself not making it to the bathroom. Finally we came to the road and we knew it wouldn't be long to a bug free zone.

I hurried to the bathroom and just barely made it, but I made it! I was dripping in sweat and was relieved that our time at the park had come to an end. As I walked towards the vehicle with no more worries a mouse ran out in front of me and almost touched my foot. I jumped and screamed for my life and then took off running (again). My heart was pounding and I felt like I had the he-be-jeebies crawling all over me. Josh was laughing and couldn't believe I was that scared of a mouse. So needless to say I went out with a bang!

So there it is folks, our adventure at Carlos State Park! We are now safe and sound at our house and the boys are sound asleep in their beds. Learn from our mistakes, apply bug spray before hitting the trails!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lucky in Love

I've always wondered why I was so lucky to the meet the man of my dreams at the young age of 19 and to be married a month after my 22 birthday. I've wondered why I was so blessed to be able to conceive so easily and to have two healthy boys. I am forever grateful to the Lord that he has blessed my life. I've pondered these questions because I have dear friends who's hearts desire to be married and to have a family, but haven't met "the one" yet. These women love the Lord and life their lives for HIM; just like myself. I know that the Lord has different paths for each of us and that his timing is perfect, but it doesn't always seem fair.

Tonight, however, my heart is rejoicing for a couple of my single friends. The past couple of weeks they both have gone on dates with quality guys. I am so excited that they have met good men. I was at a wedding a few weeks back and the father-of-the bride gave a speech and said that he has prayed that his daughter would find a man that was good, godly and a gentleman. I now pray these things for my single friends and that my boys can be those three things for their future girlfriends and one day wife. I'm excited that the Lord is giving them a glimpse of hope that there are still "good" guys out there. I can't wait to share in their excitement of meeting someone new.

So if you, like my sweet single friends, are still waiting for "Mr. or Mrs. Right" keep trusting in the Lord with all of your heart. The Lord may just catch you off guard and surprise you with someone interesting. Remember, God is good all of the time and He gives us the desires of our heart!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

sub-ur-ban: a vehicle used to carry people or cargo

Today marked a major milestone in my life. We bought a vehicle today! It's sad to say, but I have never had to buy a vehicle before. I feel very fortunate and blessed that I have been surrounded by generous family. So here is the story...

I have been dragging my feet at the thought of purchasing a new vehicle. I have loved that we have had no car payments for a very long time, but "DD" (my 2000 Dodge Durango) is on it's way out. It has gotten to the point where I don't trust to drive it out of town. I have dreamed of owning a suburban, but every time we look it's always out of our price range. We have definitely out grown the Durango and Josh's truck.

We found a different Durango for sale and we're interested in buying it, but Josh did a little research and found out that the engine wasn't good for the year that it was made. He then decided to check out Alexandria Motors. Little did he know that he would find me a suburban; within our price range, plus all of the bells and whistles for the inside. I have a thing for moon roofs-- it'll probably be the closest thing I get to a convertible-- I love to feel the sun beat down on me as I drive off into the distance. I also dreamed of leather seats that are heated-- to help comfort my freezing body in the winter. Now since we are parents of two we really wanted a DVD player for longer road trips (ex. 8 hr road trip to Canada in July) and bucket seats with a third row bench for convenience and later on to strategically place the kids where they can fight the least amount. I thought a navigation system would be pretty awesome too, especially since I'm horrible with directions. This diamond in the rough has it all!

I was sad to say good-bye to "DD," it had been my wheels since Josh and I got married (almost 7 years!). I had worn it well. It provided me with transportation for numerous daycare outings and I grew to love the rust spots over the wheel wells. The rust soon became my trademark when friends were trying to identify which Durango was mine. However, I'm ready to start the next chapter with this vehicle. As I drove it tonight I suddenly felt like a 'real' mom. A van or a large SUV is such a mom vehicle. It enables us to haul all of our precious cargo around. I can't help but to give God all the credit on this awesome find. I have been praying about our next vehicle and he answered my prayer to a "T."

My husband is simply adorable! He has literally spent the entire night in the garage with our new buy. He has tested out almost every feature on the vehicle to make sure it works properly. He adjusted the tennis ball so I know where to stop when pulling into the garage. He made sure that there is enough room in the front to still open the fridge door and enough room in the back to throw garbage away. He saved my seat adjustment (and his too), tested the headphones to the DVD, made sure the CD player works, windshield wipers work (front and back) and so on and so on. I love that he is so detail oriented. I just get caught up in the moment and forget about the little stuff. He is such a great provider and protector.

Now that I have blogged about my new experience, it's official--We own a Suburban!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Four Letter Word...

My son Logan has really grown to love baseball. This past winter he discovered the movie, "The Sandlot" after his dad brought it home. It was one of Josh's favorite movies growing up. This movie has been around for a long time. I hadn't watched it in years and didn't think twice about letting my three year old watch it. ( I remembered it was about a group of buddies that played baseball all summer and were afraid of the dog that lived behind the fence.) "The Sandlot" soon became his favorite movie. He loved the huge dog, the "Big Bambino," and all of the baseball action. On the weekends he watched it, on long road trips he watched it, while making dinner he watched and the list goes on.

After it was already too late, I became aware of some of the language that was used in the movie. A couple of times the phrase, "Oh S***!" was used and I think H***. I was not impressed. I didn't think it was a good idea for Logan to be watching a movie with that kind of language. Now, not to throw my hubby under the bus, but he didn't think it was a big deal. He really didn't believe that Logan would pick up on the words since he doesn't hear it at home. Well, this weekend that theory was proved incorrect.

On Sunday when I got home from being away since Friday, Josh brought to my attention that while Logan was watching "The Sandlot" he repeated the "Oh, S***!" phrase after hearing it on the screen. He immediately told him that he wasn't allowed to use that word and that if he or I heard it again there would be a harsher punishment.

This evening we were saying good-bye to some friends at the front door and I realized that Logan hadn't put our science experiment away, (we put water in a bag and recorded the water level, and then froze it to see if the level changed). The ice was starting to melt and leaking all over the table. I handed it to him and asked him to put it in the sink. As he took the bag from me, he quietly said, "Oh S***, that's cold!" At first, I didn't want to believe what I just heard come out of his mouth, but Josh had heard it too. My first reaction was to laugh (of course, not so he could see) and then realized that "The Sandlot" will have to be put away until my son knows better. After our friends left, we had a "teaching moment" and let him know that he won't be able to watch the movie anymore because of the phrase that he had learned. We told him that not even adults should say those words and that our words need to honor Jesus. He was really sad, and once again gave me those big brown puppy dog eyes. He apologized and followed up with some kisses and hugs.

There are a couple of lessons here: 1) Always pre-screen the "oldie, but goodie" movies before you let your 3 year old watch it. 2) Go with your mommy intuition and after hearing about naughty words on a movie, don't continue letting your child watch it. 3) Brace yourself for many more "teaching" moments to come!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

So WE Think We Can Dance...

It's another gloomy day in the fantastic state of Minnesota! Yesterday was the first official day of summer which was spent indoors do to the rain clouds hovering over our state. With all of the rain coming down it's put a damper in my running schedule. I have been so thankful that the past two days I have made it to classes at the YMCA. I have had to be very strategical about getting there. You see, my daycare parent's have until 5:20PM to pick up their little darlings. "Pick Up" is quite vague, it just means that the parent needs to be in my doorway by that time; not out of my house. I really enjoy talking with my parents about life, their kiddos, latest shopping deals, special plans for the weekend, etc. so I had to be careful not to get carried away in conversation. I made sure to be dressed in work out attire, have my purse all set, kids fed/changed and strapped in their seats by 5:15PM. Class starts at 5:35 and I live at least ten minutes away from the Y. God-willingly, I have been out the door each night at exactly 5:20PM.

Tonight it was just the little boys and me. Josh is at a golf event for Sertoma. When the hubby is away I have zero ambition to cook a meal (OK, lets just be honest, by the end of almost every day I have zero ambition to cook, at least when he's gone it's a legit excuse.) so Subway was sounding pre-t-t-y good. Logan got to decide which sub we'd be sharing; ham & cheese, toasted. He told me, "Me want a big one, me no share with you." We did share, but he still got a big one--a 6 in. When we got to the counter and turned the "tube" on, low and behold "So You Think You Can Dance" is on!! I heart dancing and I heart this show. During each performance Logan would jump off his stool and bust a move. He thinks he can dance! He has quite the moves. One minute he's a break dancer the next he's a ballerina. He asked if he could stay up just a little bit later to watch a little more dancing; of course I let him.

When it was time to put him to bed, we waltzed (literally) into his room and I ever so gracefully threw him on his bed. He then proceeded to tell me that we were getting married and that I had to dance with him...NOW! So we whirled and we twirled and then we twirled some more. We danced cheek to cheek and even had a little free style time. I tried to hum a tune so we at least had a beat and Logan even joined in. After two different dance's it was time to go to sleep. After our prayers (he prayed for his "little mom" tonight) and asked if I would lay with him for couple minutes. I can't say no to those big brown eyes. As I laid there watching him hide under the covers and telling me when to close my eyes, I took in the moment. I won't get to do this with my little boy forever and I'll never be able to turn back the hands of time. I want to seize as many moments as I can. I am SO thankful to the Lord that he has blessed with two amazing boys. They just melt my heart. I love that no matter what Logan does Shane thinks he is hysterical. Logan is Shane's world. I constantly catch him watching his brother and trying to be like him. Logan simply adores Shane and loves all of the positive reinforcement that he gets from Shane. I've been praying since I was pregnant with Shane that the two boys would just love each other. Thus far, my prayer has come true. There truly is nothing more fulfilling then being a mom. This is what I was created to do.

I challenge you to seize more moments in life. Life doesn't always have to be exactly by the rules. Let your kids stay up a few minutes past bedtime and dance with them, snuggle with them, laugh with them and tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I heart Saturday's!

This past Saturday felt like a dream--it was too good to be true!
I felt amazingly refreshed when my precious little boys woke us up at 7:15AM. Breakfast consisted of cake doughnuts with white frosting, scrambled eggs with cheese & fresh fruit--strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and bananas. (This combination was inspired by Kourtney & Adam, they eat this every Saturday.) I met my mother-in-law at the local Farmer's Market and purchased some "killer" monster cookies from Chrissy and grabbed a coffee at Caribou. My sister-in-law, Erika, and her two boys, Ben & Jake, joined us. (Logan did not want to come with, he wanted daddy time--"No girls allowed!") We ended up at Herberger's who guessed it, having a sale and bought some amazing shoes/sandals. I have decided to turn over a new leaf. Instead of going for quantity, I am going to go for quality. I have way too many shoes (some still from high school) and it's time to weed some out.

When I got home I had lunch with my boys and then headed to the golf course. Josh and Logan golfed and I pushed Shane in the stroller. It was perfect weather--blue sky, sun shining and a slight wind to keep us cool. After we got the kids down for a nap, I headed out for a four mile run on County Road 85. I feel like I am on a vacation when hit it's pavement. The road runs along Lake Le Homme Dieu, beautiful trees dance over the road, dream homes line the shore, wildlife is abundant & the smell of lake lingers in the air. Motorcyclist, bicyclist, hot rods, walkers and runners occupy the road. Pandora on my iPhone makes for a great pace setter.

For dinner we tried a new recipe--grilled quesadillas with portobello mushrooms and pepper jack cheese with corn and avocado salad on the side. It was amazing! It was then time for our annual "Little Black Dress" party. I wore my scrunchy, sweet heart neckline dress. I decided to go a little more funky so I could wear my new Rocket Dog heels. The heel is wrapped in a twine and the rest of the shoe is a floral design in bold red, blue, black, yellow, green. We began at Kayla's house for some photos by Lake Carlos and then ventured to Sixth Avenue Wine & Ale. We did make a brief appearance at Bug-a-Boo in hopes for a dance, but instead we people watched.

All in all it was perfect. I was with some of my most favorite people, I got to enjoy the outdoors and put a pair of heels and a dress. I can't wait for many more simply amazing Saturday's!

Summer is now in session...

Today marks the first official week of "Summer Vacation!" I'm in full force with the daycare kids and am really excited for the next couple of months. This summer I have decided to do some themed weeks and also go through the "fruit of the spirt." On Tuesday and Wednseday's I will be having a helper and am really excited about having adult interaction throughout the day!

This week kicks off "All About Me" week and 'Love,' which is one of the fruits of the spirit. The kids were to fill out a questionnaire about themselves and bring a picture of their family and their favorite object in a bag attached with three clues so there friends can guess what it is. This will help them build confidence talking in front of the peers & let their peers learn a little bit more about them. My hubby and I built a three foot tree out of felt that will help the kids practice love (and the rest of the fruits of the spirit.) Any time I catch them showing love to someone they get to add a piece of fruit to the tree. Then at the end of the week they get to bring it home to show their parents.

This summer my school agers are having a "responsibility wheel." Each week they will be assigned a task (water flowers, help kids wash hands, etc) to do. I used the back of a paper plate divided it into four squares and will rotate their names each week on the wheel. Also, during nap time the school-agers will be journaling and going through a devotional. Since I have four (two boys & two girls) kids I am separating them. I am being that paranoid daycare provider that has thought about the worst case scenario. The girls will either get to watch a movie first or work on their chore, devotions, journal and reading. This will just give me peace of mind since I am not downstairs the whole time to supervise.

I also have implemented an incentive program for good behavior. Throughout the day the kids need to be Obedient, Kind/Loving, Truthful, Thankful/Cheerful & practice Giving/Sharing. If the preschoolers (2-5 years old) display these traits, at the end of the day they get to put a star under the appropriate box. Once all five boxes are filled they get to pick a prize out of the "Reward Box." My school-agers have to work as a group. I have a glass jar and each day they fulfill all of those qualities they get a scoop of popcorn, if they don't a scoop gets taken out. Once the jar is filled I will take them on a special outing--Casey's Amusement Park, Bowling, Movie, etc.

My other themed weeks will be the 5 Senses, Wacky World of Water, Camping, Community Service, Farm & Bugs. I am also going to squeeze in another tea party and possibly a field trip to the police and fire station. If you have any fun ideas for those themes let me know!

I am dreaming of many trips to the beach, picnic lunches in the park, water games in the back yard, nature walks, story hour at the library and watching the kiddos grow in the LORD. I feel so blessed to get to do what I do.

P.S. Picture frames & mirror are hung, I just need the photos to put in them. We already had to take down the curtains because the kids pulled the brackets out of the wall--tear, tear. That was most likely caused from them pulling on the curtains, wrapping them selves in the get the idea. Since the studs are weak, I can no longer hang them high. So I will post pictures as soon as I get the frames filled.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I dreamed a dream...

As I type this post I am watching Glee, yes I am a closet Gleek. Since I can remember I have loved the arts. In my very early days my sister, Kourtney, and I would make up dance routines to songs on our Raffi record player (remember what those looked like) and preform them to our parents. At Christmas time my sister, Eva, would write a play and all of us would perform it Christmas Morning. I loved being in the school musicals in middle school and started dance when I was nine and haven't stopped yet. (I have slowed down, it now consists of dance parties in the basement.) I loved to belt out Mariah Carey and Rachel Lamp songs and sometimes even the Star Spangle Banner and Amazing Grace in the garage. (the car is my new stage) My dad and I would sing duets in the recording studio and I even sang in the choir in high school and college.

I LOVE going to plays, musicals, dance performances & concerts. When I watch the arts it stirs something in my soul; I get lost in it--I just can't get enough of it. I have always dreamed of being on a stage singing or dancing in front of a huge crowd. I used to pray that God would give me a singing voice that would captivate people--a voice good enough to be on stage. He obviously has a different plan for my life. I am slowly exposing my boys to this world and would just love it if they have a passion for it too!

Worship music has been an awesome tool for me to draw nearer to the Lord. When I hit the pavement with my running shoes, I have my iPod on with worship music as my play list. I am easily captivated by his creation; his tapestry. I find myself talking to him--thanking him for all that he has done and given to/for me, repenting of my sins, praying for others and asking him for his guidance. The music drowns out the distractions of the world; it enables me to focus on the most important person in my life. I have peace that I'll never be on a big stage performing in front of a crowd, but I know that the arts will always be a part of my life.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I just set the timer...

It's amazing the power of these words. The moment I tell my daycare kiddos, "OK, I'm going to set the timer" they all work together in a brilliantly matter and quite fast too, to get the room cleaned up. I've never said that there would be a consequence if they didn't have the room cleaned up, but they automatically go into fight or flight mode...and I love it! So the next time you are trying to get your kids to clean their mess try that phase!

(that's all I got today, can you believe how short it is?!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Awesomeness=My hubby!

Sunday I was living the ENTIRE day of just me and my main squeeze, Josh! We set off into the sunrise--well kind of, more like a terrenchel rain storm, and headed on a shopping trip. (Of course we swung by the 'bou for my latte fix) I had been expressing to him that my love tank was low and was in major need of quality time with him. Our first stop was IKEA. If you have been reading my blog you will know that we are in the process of re-decorating our living room, so on the agenda was picture frames, picture frames, storage shelving unit and more picture frames. We were in there for 2 hours. I love walking through there and dreaming together. At some point we would like to get new furniture in our bedroom and when Shane is older the boys will share a room, so we were planning on how we would decorate.

My other item on my check list was "summer play clothes" that consisted of shorts, tees and tanks. I have a tendency to be prideful and don't always like the way my legs look; especially in shorts. This summer, however, I have vowed to wear them. I need to get over myself and instead of suffering from the heat just put on a pair of shorts! Josh was so sweet as he listened to me say, "Do these look OK, do they make my legs look fat? Are you sure? Promise? You know you can tell me?" He even help pick some out! I did find four pairs. Shorts are good motivation to continue running. We shopped Old Navy, H&M, Jcrew, Len & Banana Republic. I was able to do some damage; I should be set for awhile. Josh didn't even say "no" once. (He needs to come shopping with me more often ;)

The entire day couldn't be entirely perfect...Our next stop was Costco. We have decided to get a membership; so excited! I was trying to be a good wife and entered Costco, Maple Grove into my GPS system on my phone. I was the navigator and was reading off the directions to Josh. Twenty-five minutes into the drive to "Costco, Maple Grove" we are going through Chaplin, Anoka and had passed the 694/94 exit. I wanted to believe that my directions were right so I wasn't ready to admit to my flawed phone. I kept thinking that maybe they were having us take the back roads and not drive thru the town. (that's the part of me that really wants to see the best in everyone). Josh had had enough. He was ready to throw my phone out the window. We ended up with an hour detour and missed going to Costco since they closed at 6pm--so bummed! We then headed to Bennihana's for dinner. I think this is what got Josh through all of the shopping. He had been dreaming about eating sushi all week. We walked in the door and they didn't have an open table until 8pm! No bueno!

We ended up eating at Biaggi's and had a wonderful meal. This is going to sound really vain but our waiter couldn't believe I was almost 30! I had a glass of wine with my dinner and was carded. He proceeded to tell Josh and I then he couldn't believe it. It was very flattering. (He got a good tip and was a really good waiter too...just so you know) There was a family of 4 sitting across the aisle from us and their kids were being kids. Josh and I looked at each other and just laughed. We felt like we were newly married again; carfree, remember those days? (these days are wonderful too, just different.)

We arrived home around 10PM. Nana & Papa Greg had the boys from the AM-6PM and then MeMe and Papa Jeff took over until we got home. SO thankful for family!! The boys had a wonderful time and I think the grandparents did too.

So, tonight after work we were all excited to start hanging pictures. We had purchased this new 3M product that doesn't require nails, it's velcro to hang pictures. Well, lets just say that my sweet hubby spent 2 hours prepping, hanging, re-hanging (it wasn't quite right) to only find that the velcro does stick to the paint on the frames. So after all of his hard work, we have one picture hung on our soon to be frame gallery.

The rest of the week my darling husband has something going on. I casually reminded him of that and reminded him of how fast he is at putting things together. At 10PM he begins to put together our new shelving unit that goes in a bedroom downstairs. He is SO sweet and it seriously took him 20 minutes--the man has skills!

So yesterday was pure bliss for me. I have decided that Josh and I need to spend an entire day together more often. I assured him that it won't always be shopping and in fact he gets to pick the next outing!

I'm signing off for the night. Keep checking back, photos will be posted soon!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the tank...

My sweet little baby is now 22 lbs!! He's officially out of the car carrier and into a big boy car seat---rear facing of course. A friend of mine just had a sweet little girl, Finley Maryn, yesterday and baby fever was beginning to set in. I forgot how much I miss being able to hold my little Shane without him squirming to be set free. There is nothing better then holding your little one, gazing into their eyes, studying their faces and of courses smooching them! Shane is 8 1/2 months now and I can't believe how independent he has become. He's crawling everywhere, wants to feed himself, is showing signs of temper tantrums & literally runs in his walker--he already likes to chase cars and people going by and I'm not exaggerating! Now don't jump to conclusions I'm not about to start "trying" again, but I so cherish the first few months of my children's lives. It goes so fast, but you never get the snuggle time back; or at least not with my boys.

Logan is in a new phase--Mom, me going to marry you. When we are outside playing he is continually picking me flowers (dandelions) to save for our wedding. When I ask what I should wear he tells me my flower dress--the one I wore to church. He informed me that he's going to wear his Buzz Lightyear costume. Of course there will be a dance and Logan has been practicing! I try to tell him that I'm already married and I can only have one husband, but he doesn't care. He actually thinks I should have four! I think I remember learning about this phase of child development in my Psychology class in college. I think it was one of Freud's theories--one a child has an infatuation with a parent. The older he gets, the more glimpses of his sweet side comes up. He still loves to take care of his brother and wants to be my good helper. It's hard to believe he starts preschool in the Fall.

Life is going by too fast. Sometimes I wish I could hit the pause button. I'm look forward to making some new memories this summer. We have a family fishing trip to Canada in July, lots of weekends to be spent out at the cabins ( Ida & Gull Lake), camping at Carlos State Park and spending lots of time in the sun!

What do you have planned for the summer?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


This last few weeks I have felt burnt...burnt from work, daily house chores, the mundane of life, the weather, getting back into shape and the list goes on. It doesn't help that our Spring has been little to nothing; we were so spoiled last year. I crave the sun, I'm energized from it and feel like a brand new person when in it's presence (just like Jesus!). Life just seems better and maybe even a little easier when we can be outside without 3 layers on. These past few days I have been "living the dream--the daycare dream!" I have recited that line to almost every parent as they picked up their child(ren). The kids have been on their best behavior, everyone is in much better moods, there have had kinder hands and words and we have been soaking up the sun!! It's days like these that make me appreciate my job even more. I remember when I used to have a desk job and I would daydream about being out in the sun and would find any excuse to be out there, now I can be!

Today I was outside from 9:30-3:30PM!! I even am sun burned! So I hope each of you can be renewed by this amazing weather and find time to take in God's creation and thank him for all that he has creative for us. Thank him for giving us the sun that energizes us and for the lushness that is so appealing to the senses. As I went for a run pushing my boys in the stroller I was admiring the green lawns, the smell of fresh cut grass, the beautiful lake and the buds on the trees.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Reflection...

Happy Mother's Day!
What an honor it is to be called "mom!" Today I was reflecting upon my first Mother's Day and all of the mother figures that have been in my life---wowzers, I am blessed! I don't know why I have been privileged enough to have met so many amazing mentors. They lead such exemplarily lives & are Godly women. Being a mom is overwhelming at times at it's a comfort to know that I have their unconditional love and support.

Children truly are a gift from God. My life is so full with Shane and Logan in it. I couldn't imagine my life not being a mom. I feel extra blessed that I get to be a daycare "mom" to 16 other children. I get to play a role in their lives and leave a lasting impression. I pray that I will have an impact on their lives & my own children's lives for God's kingdom. That I can plant seeds and watch them grow into Godly men and women.

This morning my husband wrote me a very heartfelt Mother's Day card, it actually brought me to tears. Life has been busy for the Timm clan lately and my love tank has been on low for awhile. The words that he wrote where exactly what I needed to hear. I need to be affirmed by him, and I needed to know that what I am doing as a mom and a wife matter. Sometimes we forget to tell our spouses what they mean to us and how thankful we are for them; we take them for granite and just assume that they know. Josh's timing today couldn't have been more perfect! It also has encouraged me and reminded me to let Josh know how thankful I am for him and how much he means to me.

I want to wish all of the mom's & soon-to-be mom's a very Happy Mother's Day! Thank you Nancy, Ruth, Mary & Violet for being amazing role model's in my life. I'm so blessed to have so many mom's and a grandma that have lived selfless lives and have been there for me through it all. I hope to leave a legacy like yours to my children. I love you so much!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding...

I love a good love story, and especially a well publicized one. I love to look at the photos of the couple, read articles about them and anticipate the announcement of the engagement and then their wedding. As you can imagine, I have followed Prince William since I was a teen. I used to imagine myself marrying him! I would dream about attending the same college as Prince William, he would see my across campus and know that I was the one he wanted to marry. ( A girl can dream, right?) Thankfully, I have married my own Prince Charming and am so thankful that God knows the desires of my heart and what man is the perfect fit for me. I also have a special place in my heart for England. My Junior year of college, or uni/university as the Brits call it, I studied abroad in England at Lincoln University. I had the most amazing time. I made the sweetest friends, awesome memories and was able to travel around England and Europe. So in honor of the Royal Wedding and England I decided to have a tea party with my day care kiddos.

The more you read my blog, the more you will learn that I fly by the seat of my pants. Nothing is ever too planned out and my ideas almost always come last minute. Wednesday at the end of the day I decided that we would have a tea party. Thursday after work the boys and I made the rounds around town to get all of our supplies for our party---tiaras, ring, jewelry, scones,Tetley tea, finger sandwich supplies, fresh fruit, veggies, cream, etc. (I also had emailed my English friends to find out what takes place at a proper English tea party.)

Friday morning rolls around and I'm in party planning mode--I'm in the zone, or like my dad would tell us, "Focus like a lazer beam!" I have my list of "to do's" and start to prioritize in my mind. I can't start anything until I have made my Caribou run. Nothing really seems officially until I have my Northern Lite Latte in hand. When we get back, I have the kids all sit around the island so that we can watch the Royal Wedding together. Of course I have TiVo'd everything. As we watched, I was multi-tasking preparing food, decorating tables, curling & spiking the kid's hair, helping with wardrobe changes (the kids were instructed to wear fancy clothes), breaking up fights, kissing owes, you name it!

I couldn't wait to see what Kate's dress was going to look like and to see how she wore her hair and make-up. She reminds me of a modern day Jackie Onassis. She appears to be poised, sophisticated, genuine, great fashion sense & a natural beauty. I found myself putting myself in her shoes. Could you imagine going into the church and coming out royalty? I also couldn't help think of William and how sad it would be not to have your mother there. As I watched the ceremony, my eyes started to burn and tears started to swell up. The wedding was so magical & magnificent. I was overwhelmed for them. Thousands of people in the church and tens of thousands of people on the street. I also was thinking of my relationship with Jesus. I am a Princess of the Most High, the King of Kings & Lord of Lords; the only Kingdom that really matters. I was compelled to let my little munchkins know that they are princes and princesses of Jesus. I pray that one day they will grasp the concept and feel and know how much our KING loves them!

Our tea party began once Zella got home from pre-school. My mother-in-law, Mary, stopped over to check out the party. (She loves tea parties!) We took pictures of the kiddos, the food and the table setting. The kids sat around the table and were able to eat on my good china. I served each one a plate of finger foods and poured them each a cup of Tetley tea with milk and sugar. We explained to them that tea parities are fancy events so good manners are a must! We even showed them how to drink tea with their pinky's up! It was a fun party and I was exhausted afterward! Writing this blog post is my unwinding time. Now I must tend to my domestic duties and get my home back in order!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photos of new furniture and paint

Please forgive me for the way the pictures are facing, I'm still learning how to post photos, but haven't figured out the layout part. So the photos below are the beginning of stage of our living room make-over. Being the beginner blogger that I am, I of course forgot to take before photos. I will post more as progress is made! (The walls used to be a beige color.)

Chocolate Brown wall, with IKEA table and baskets. The wall will soon have a photo collage. I need to make another IKEA run.

Off White curtains that now hang just below the ceiling and a more modern curtain rod. (Curtains used to be teal and hung parallel to the window frame.)

My chase lounge! This is what sealed the deal. The pillows will be recovered soon. I want something a little more cheery and bright.

The couch. I also bought the mustard pillow from Target. I just loved the texture, color and design. It's going to be my little pop of color. The shag rug is also new. I've really enjoyed how soft and fluffy it is. It gives me a sense of comfort if/when the kiddos go crashing down.

So what's left to do? The bench, end table, lamp & pictures, lots and lots of pictures. Also, our kitchen table chairs are being reupholstered by my parents. I can't wait to get those back on Thursday.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Orange Glow...

This past Friday I decided to try out my new sunless tanning lotion, Extreme Glow by Jergens. My sister, Kourtney, uses it and I was really impressed with how tan she looks. Friday morning I applied the first coat and it turned out great. No streaks, nice and even so I decided to apply another coat just before bed. I was hoping to look nice and tan for Easter. My hubby had left in the morning to go turkey hunting so it was just the boys and me. I spent the evening doing laundry and cleaning. It was close to midnight when I applied the second coat and to be honest, I was feeling knackered and just wanted to go to bed. (This is the first and only problem) I decided not to wash my hands. So many times I apply the product and wash my hands and in the morning I have tan arms and white hands. To me it looks likes I'm wearing gloves.I tried really hard to rub the lotion in evenly and make sure I covered all areas of my hand. Feeling satisfied with my effort I went to bed.

Morning rolled around, like it does every day, and I checked out my work in the bathroom mirror.I was admiring how nice my arms, face, chest and legs looked not really paying any attention to my hands. I go on with my morning routine--feed the boys, baths, get the boys dressed, pick up their rooms and then it was my turn to get ready. As I go into the bathroom to do my hair and make-up, I turned on the light this time! (This is the part where I freak out) Now I really saw my hands, THEY ARE ORANGE!! The back sides are bright orange and the tops of my hands are streaky, or so very streaky! They are streaky and orange enough that I started to panic and try to find a shirt with long enough sleeves to cover them up. I then turned to the Internet to Google, "how to take off sunless tanner?" The various websites said to try lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and there are special lotions that can help ease the ornateness. I tried all of the above with no luck.

I had to stop freaking out and just deal with my mishap, I was supposed to be to Caribou soon to meet the ladies for coffee. Thankfully, I don't take myself too seriously so I decided to just laugh it off. There is no hiding of the "Orange Glow." The rest of the weekend my hands turned into comic relief. When situations got to serious all I had to do was flash my hands and it bright smiles to people's faces. I tried to beat people to noticing my hands and just laid it on the table. Sooner or later they were going to notice. Because of this situation it made me realize how much I use my hands and how obvious selftanner disasters are! So please, learn from my mistakes. I have also concluded that the "glove" look is way more unnoticeable then the streaky, orange look. If anyone has any tips for me to help remove selfless tanner, let me know! Although it's Monday, my hands are still streaky looking on certain fingers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A first for everything...

Last Thursday Josh and I did something we had never done before. Ready? Brace yourself, it's a huge milestone in a married couple's life! We bought a couch set! We have been blessed to have had about 80% of the furniture in our home donated to us, but it was time to pass down the wicker set. We heard that Ron's Warehouse had bought out a furniture store closing and was having a huge sale. (Isn't every sale the best sale of the year?)

Josh & I (my Mom & Logan came along for moral support too) put on our game faces and were ready to take on the masses. When we pulled up to the store it looked like it was Black Friday shopping. There were lots of little ole ladies, and of course some younger ones too, ready to find the best deal of their lives. The masses hurried through the doors to claim their "prize." Josh picked out the couch set. When I first saw it I wasn't very impressed, I actually told him, "absolutely not." For one thing, I like straight lines, not curvy ones, I was not a fan of the throw pillows that came with and I really wanted something where I could put my feet up. However, the chair that went with the set was behind the couch. (This is the part where I fall in love) I climbed around and saw the beloved chase lounge chair. I had dreamt about owning one of these. I love the style of it, I've longed to read books in something so chic, but yet functional and I think it adds a little pazazzle to a room. We told the worker, "We'll take it!"

As my darling husband pays for our new purchase and loads it into our truck, my mind heads straight into decorating mode. I felt like I was a hamster in a wheel, exhausted from thinking of all of the possibilities. I called two girlfriends to come over for brainstorming sessions, checked out a few websites and was ready to present my ideas to Josh. (I actually had one of my friends do it.) He was on board with everything; I couldn't believe it!

Here is the "to do" list: Paint accent wall a robin's egg blue with a dash of turquoise and the wall when you first walk in the door chocolate brown. Purchase a bench to put under the window for additional seating and storage, purchase an end table and a lamp with some sort of chandelier look, recover the bench & throw pillows, purchase off- white curtains (95in long) and a new curtain rod. Blow up pictures and frame them for above the couch in off-white and do a frame collage on the chocolate brown wall.

Of course I wanted everything completed by Sunday night, but that isn't realistic. Josh had to bring me back to reality and remind me that we need to stay within our budget. This weekend Josh painted both walls, hung the new curtain rod and curtains and we found a new rug and fabric. Shopping in Alexandria was a little disappointing with the selection of home goods. I like to shop local and think it's important to support local businesses, but they better up the ante. I'm excited to make an IKEA run to purchase my frames and check out Home Goods for a possible new lamp and end table.

I can't wait for the room to be completed. It is rewarding to see the fruits of our labor and to see the end result. I should have done a better job of documenting our changes, but I was in checking off my list mode.

Until next time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

5 Little Monkey's...

I promised an up-date on my latest parenting strategies so here it is...
I decided not to change nap time to room time, I thought it might confuse the kids and I didn't want to give them the wrong impression. The first day I tried this I had three little peanuts that thought it would be fun to do chores. After putting the kiddos down for nap and telling them their two choices--1) take a nap or 2) if I can hear you then they would have to do chores. As soon as I was upstairs and turned the monitor on I could hear giggling and talking going on. I head back downstairs to find my culprits---I had a good idea who they where. I reminded them that since I could hear them they were choosing to do chores. They were excited. I had the two little honey's wipe down a bag of blocks, separately and that there couldn't be any talking. Of course that didn't go over very well. After they were finished they were excited to go back down to nap. Again, once I got back upstairs I could hear them talking again. So I repeated the process again, except this time one dusted and the other wiped down the bathroom floor. After of an hour of doing chores each one asked at a different time if they could take a nap. One sweetie woke up about 45 minutes into nap time and didn't want to go back to sleep so he choose to do chores. His mom, later told me that he was excited to come back to my house the next day to do chores.

The next AM when one of the kiddos that did chores got dropped off his dad told me that he said that he didn't want to do chores at my house. The next nap day was awesome! Everyone went right down. However, day three I had some little monkey's that decided to jump on their beds, so I let them jump on the floor! They jumped and jumped and jumped and jumped and jumped some more. Some of the kiddos started to get mad and said that they wanted to go to a different daycare, somewhere where they could excel! (I was laughing so hard) This is when you use your coasting responses so you don't get sucked into their little pity party---Probably, Maybe, Sorry, That could be, Nice Try, I don't Know. Once cheeks were pink and the majority of them appeared tired I had them lay back down and take their naps. I reminded them that if I could hear them they would get to jump again or do chores. They slept for 2.5-3 hours that day!

I have come to the conclusion that jumping in place for a few minutes is a much better option then doing chores. Chores can take some time to complete and doesn't always wear the child out, but jumping in place does the trick in just a fraction of the time. Also, my littlest ones love to help and some of my older girls really do love to clean. Speaking of that, I implemented another rule that if the kids don't hang their jackets up then they will have to either buy them back from me or work it off. Two of my girls thought it would be fun to do chores so they purposely left their coats on the floor. I had one clean a vent with a toothbrush and one wipe down a huge basket of toys. So far they haven't left their coats on the floor again, so I don't know how fun it really was to clean. Don't worry, if the child is too little to hang their coat up all the have to do is ask for help!

I attended a parenting conference this morning called, "Raising Truly Great Kids" by Dr. Tim Kimmel. He echoes a lot of the same principals that Danny Silk does in his book, "Loving Our Children On Purpose." It's so fun to be learning so much! I can't wait until these principals are written on my heart and that I don't have to think twice about it. Check out for some great parenting resources!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'room time'

It's Tuesday and that typically means a busier day and most of my two year old's are here. Our day consists of attending play group at my church in the AM, come back have lunch and then nap time.

Nap time. Tuesday's are always struggle when it comes to nap time. It doesn't matter what combination of two year old's I put in the nap room they almost always horse around (and some of my older ones too). I started reading a new book, "Loving Our Kids With Purpose" and he calls sleep time 'room time.' I really love his concept, he tells his kids that he doesn't want to hear them or see them. Sleep time can be a struggle for a little of kiddos. He tells his kids that they have two choices 1) make that I can't hear you or see you or 2) he has chores for them to do to help them get tired. A couple time of his kids doing chores cured their problem of talking and being seen at sleep time. The coolest thing is that he can do this without getting angry and doing it as a scare tactic. It's enabling your child(ren) to learn to make choices. Sometimes they will make the wrong one but they are in a safe & loving environment to learn from them. Love drives out fear. His parenting is based on the New Covenant that we have with Jesus and your kids see Jesus through you. Jesus doesn't scare us into obeying him he gives us choices, free will, and he always has---ever since Adam & Eve.

I have decided, starting tomorrow, that I'm going to adopt the new name "room time" and give my kiddos the same two choices. I'm hoping after a couple of rounds of doing chores that they will want to make the best choice. I'll let you know how it goes.

I highly recommend this book, it has changed my perspective of parenting. I can't put it down, it's so good. I love parenting books since I'm "parenting" all day long. The more tools and resources I have the better!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

being united...

In a marriage, I think this is one of the best feelings--being united with your spouse in all areas. My hubby and I are finally getting serious about paying off our debt faster. We went through the Dave Ramsey class about two years ago, but never put it to work together. I started it, but the excitement of it fizzled fast since my hubby and I weren't doing it together.
This week we sat down and a had friendly (I know, not even one voice was raised or a cross word was spoken) talk about our goals for our finances and figured out a new system/ budget for our finances. I strongly dislike debt, but yet we have it. The Bible says we are a slave to our debtor and I definitely feel that at times. Often enough, I have played the "what if" game and imagined if we only had a mortgage payment and our normal monthly bills (utilities, groceries)---imagine what a person could do! I'm so excited to see what we can do together---being united with God at the center. I love how my husband is a leader, he has such a charisma about himself. I look forward to see how God will use that gift as we continue on in our marriage journey.

the little things...

Today has been quite the day. I have ten little munchkins and they are full or energy and spunk. We have had lots of "teaching moments." To reunite everyone and to practice being kind and good friends we had dance competition and then a dance party. It's so cute to see each one's little personality come out on the dance floor. I make sure to cheer loud and to praise each one for their different moves and creativity, or just for the courage to get on the dance floor.

Lunch, like most days, is crazy---some days that's an understatement. Some days I'll put in a movie while I slave away over the stove (not really) and that helps ease the rowdiness, but since the kiddos had a hard time listening and being kind there was no movie--movies are privileges, they are not to be expected. As my patience were decreasing, at a quite a fast rate I might add, and the noise level is way higher then it should be, I looked over to check on my Shaner and he had discovered how to open the cupboard. He was so focused and would hold on to the handle with such preciseness; his face would light up as he would open and close the door. In that moment, all of the chaos went away and my little boy amazed me and melted my heart at the same time. See, it really is the little things. I thank God for that. I need those little things a lot during the day. God has given me my Shane to remind me of the simple pleasures of life. When I'm feeling overwhelmed or discouraged I will look over at him and he will flash the biggest most wet smile you've ever seen. God puts people, or even babies, in your life for a reason. It's not that I'm at my wits end or even in a funk, but some days you need the little things in life to remind you not to take life so seriously, and for a moment to forget about what's going on.

So today I am thankful for the little things and the littlest person in my life...Shane Taylor.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Black Lung...

It's feels like the last month and a half our home has been hit by the "black lung." We have experiences anything from high fevers, barky coughs, sinus infections, runny noses, ear infections, you name it! So to brighten your day I have some conversations with Logan to share...(warning if you get uncomfortable talking about the human anatomy you may want to stop reading now.)

A parent had just dropped off a child and I was conversing with a parent...
L: Mom, come here I need to talk to you.
Me: Hold on, I"m talking with someone.
L: 1, 2, 3, Go in time out

Sitting in the bathroom, going to the bathroom...
L: Mom, do you have a p****?
Me: No honey, I don't
L: Why not mom?
Me: God made boys and girls different
L: What do you have then...

Shopping at Target in the swimsuit department. Logan is bringing me over different swimsuits that he likes.
He then points to the swimsuit bottoms and says very energetically,
"Mom, there is a spot for your p**** there"

In the bathroom at Target with Logan, someone is right next to us in the next stall...
"Mom, do you need some toilet paper to wipe your p****?"

What is it with little boys and their private parts...I will never understand it. At least it provides some good chuckles here and there.

"Mom! Me did it!!" I look over and Logan's face is glistening with some oily/greasy substance. In his other hand is a tube of butt cream!

I'm going to try to write down more of my conversations and hysterical comments that come out of my son's mouth. Otherwise I will never remember them.
I hope these bright a smile to your face.

Happy Spring?! (at least if feels like it)

Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Been Awhile

I can't believe it's already the last day of January; where does time go? I thought I was going to be better at staying up-to-date, but have failed miserably. A few highlights from this month...
We spent a weekend in Fargo. We attended my dear friend Lindsay's little boy's, Mason, First Birthday Party. Lindsay and I have been friends since 4th grade, which translates into us being friends for about 18 years! We even roomed together our Freshman year and part of our Senior year of college. We also hung out with one of Josh's high school buddy's, Jesse, and got met his lovely fiance. Of course we helped spur the economy and did a little shopping too. I was excited to see that they have a Forever 21 and a better Baby Gap then St. Cloud.

The next weekend was Potty Training! Much to my dismay Logan blew my socks off! We began the training at 9:30AM on Saturday and he refused to get off the potty until he had pooped and peed! I loved his determination and persistence. I tried numerous times to get him to take a break, but he wouldn't have it. Finally at 11:30AM he had accomplished what he set out for. I have to give God the credit for his determination. I don't know too many three year olds what would willingly sit on the toilet for two hours straight. We had been praying about this for some time. The rest of the weekend went well, with minimal accidents. He is finally telling us when he has to go instead of us asking him. We use Pull-Ups at nap and bedtime. It's so nice not to have to change his diapers! It's fun to see a new found confidence in him. He's growing into such a big boy!

Last weekend, we ventured to Red Wing for a weekend of skiing at Welch Village with some sweet friends. This was the first time Josh and I had left Shane and only the 3rd-4th time we had both left Logan. My parents were sweet enough to take the boys for us. Originally there were supposed to come to Alex, but last minute plans my mom brought the boys (& Hunter) to Wadena.

We left Alex at about 6pm Friday night. We planned to fit all of us in one vehicle, but of course we had too many bags. So it was girls in one truck and the boys in the other. We arrived around 9PM to the cabin. It was so cute. It was nestled along the Mississippi. Our friend's Uncle went before us and had everything set up and lights turned on. We stayed up until 1AM, eating pizza and snacks, playing games and talking. Saturday we hit the slopes. I hadn't been skiing in about 4 years, but it was just like riding a bike. The temp was 25F with a slight wind, the snow condition was fabulous on most runs. I, however, did not dress warm enough. I was chilled to the bone! I ended up buying a new hat and neck warmer + toe and hand warmers. That night we had homemade soup and tasty bread. Again, stayed up until 1AM talking. Sunday we packed up and headed home. It was a relaxing and much needed weekend. It was wonderful to only have to be responsible for yourself. I definitely missed my boys, but I think Josh and I need to make more time for us, as a couple. I am so thankful for the amazing friends God has blessed Josh & I with. It's so nice to be able to be yourself and know that they love and accept you for you. I look forward to many more weekend getaways!

My last announcement...I never thought I would be this statistic; probably because I'm too prideful, but I was in despair and joined Weight Watchers! After I had consumed 14 cookies in a two day time span, I realized that my eating is WAY out of control. I really appreciate how it makes you accountable to what you put in your body. I'm hoping to reach my weight loss goals by March/April--just in time for the summer months!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Is in over her head

I've been sitting at Caribou since 10AM (it's now 3:45pm) working on my book work for my business. I officially feel completely in over my head. I have put off all of my record keeping for 2010 until this week. I'm not asking for your sympathy because it's 100% my fault that I have just begun. Record keeping to me feels like pulling splinters out of your foot. I have managed to record the payments paid to me and have kept my receipts. I bought a book "Family Child Care Record-Keeping Guide" and have found it very helpful, but at the same time completely overwhelming. As I'm reading through the chapters I'm thinking of all of the things I needed to do last year when I first started my business and everything that I still need to do for 2010. I also am feeling stressed because this is something you have to do right, I don't want to mess with the IRS. One of my goals for 2011 is to do this monthly and not wait until the end of the year again. Or even better, would be to hire someone to do this monthly for me!

I'm calling it a day. My head feels like it's going to explode and I can feel my anxiety starting to build up.

I hope that each of you had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We had a great Christmas and New Years! 2010 marked us starting some new traditions with my little family. The 23rd of December will be the day that we celebrate our Christmas. We had shrimp for dinner (per requests of Logan), opened presents & baked cookies for Santa. I started a tradition of buying my sons an ornament that represents something significant that happened during the year and they each get matching Christmas pi's. Logan got a suitcase ornament to represent our first family trip to the North Shore and Shane got an ornament for his first Christmas. This year also marked Santa officially coming at night to bring presents to our family. I bought a special plate for Santa's cookies and Logan said that Santa needed to chocolate milk, not white milk. Christmas Eve AM the boys opened their presents from Santa and stockings too. Logan claimed that he heard Santa---so cute.

Christmas Eve we went over to Josh's parent's house. We had a lovely meal, went to church (minus Shane and Josh. Shane had a temp and Croupe---poor little peanut), ate some more, opened presents and had a slumber party. Christmas Day we headed to Detroit Lakes to my uncle's house for lunch and then went to Wadena to celebrate Christmas. My sister Eva surprised us and came home for Christmas, she was supposed to come over New Year's. Her friend, Aleece drove her up and also spent Christmas with us. My other uncle, girlfriend and daughter met us at my parent's house that night. We spent the night (its a grandparent rule).

New Year's Eve was spent at home organizing our home. I love Christmas and truly thinks that it's the most wonderful time of the year, but I can't help get stressed about where I'm going to put all of the gifts that we receive. The boy's rooms were just a disaster. I could barely walk in Logan's room there was so much "stuff" every where. I was on the verge of an anxiety attack, but with the help of my darling husband we conquered it! New Year's Day we co-hosted a party at our house. About 35 people showed up, it was a great time. People arrived at 4pm and the last person left at mid-night. I decided that we need to have quarterly parties. I LOVE to entertain and to have people in our home.

Well, that was our holiday's in a nut shell. I should be back on track again with blogging weekly now that the holidays are over with.