Thursday, December 29, 2011


I love her!
I'm really far behind on blogging but I don't think today is the day to catch up. As many of you know, my sweet little 5 year old niece was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. It has been a really crazy few weeks. She was diagnosed on December 12th. She's already had two spinal tabs and bone marrow biopsies. She's had 4 rounds of chemo. She is thin and hurting. She's having trouble walking up the stairs and is exhausted. It just doesn't seem fair.

As I sat and watched my children wrestle with Bapa, tears filled my eyes. Lilah can't wrestle right now. It  just doesn't seem fair. When I talked to my sister and she talked about her emotions and how she felt horrible for not realizing when Lilah needed help, I cried. It just doesn't seem fair.

Every baby who cried on that floor. Every child who lost their hair. Every parent I saw with a glossy look. The mom getting her tour of the oncology floor as we were packing up to leave. Knowing that this is not going away. Going to receive her treatments and being told "This will become the new normal." Not fair.

I wish I could take it all away. I wish I could hold my sister and take her pain (her bubble certainly wouldn't allow a hug that long!). She's an amazing woman. She's been through so much and she is so strong. I can't tell you all the specifics of her struggles as I am sure she would kill me. But there have been many ups and downs. She has overcome and overcome and overcome. She's fiercely loyal. One time in high school, she chewed out a staff member who wronged me. She covered for me. She taught me all kinds of things! She made it to  Des Moines within 5 hours when Dawson was admitted to the NICU. She reassured me, encouraged me, loved me, forgiven me. I hate that she is going through this. I hate Lilah is going through this.

 And I quote, " I don't know why I am smiling." 
And, " I hope I look normal."

I am sure this is a bit of rambling. It's just what came out. Please pray for them. Pray for Lilah. That she is healed and strengthened. Pray for Jade and Kurt and Bella. That they are all comforted. That they have strength to endure and that the Lord shelters them in the shadow of His wings.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yeah Right!

I had a plan. We were going to make cross ornaments to give our neighbors with a Bible verse attached. It was going to be great. Dawson was going to have a great sensory experience decorating and painting something 3 dimensional.  And Ollie was going to sit and sort them and say, "Oooo. I think Ill paint this one red. This one, I'll paint blue and add silver glitter. And this one Mom, I'd like to add tissue paper." 

Strike 1:
Ollie: "Oh Mom! Why do we have all these airplanes?"

Strike 2:
Ollie: What do you think of my picture?
Me: Oh. I was hoping you would paint the crosses.
Ollie: What are they for?
Me: To put on the tree see?
Ollie: I am going to decorate the paper not the airplanes.
Me: OK

Dawson to was not interested in the "airplanes." He painted the paper and himself. 

Strike 3:
Ollie squeezed out each and every glitter glue tube onto the paper. As soon as he finished one, he squeezed out another and another. All I could do was laugh and ask Bob to come look.

Then, while I walked away to get something to clean up my littlest love, he decided it was time to start flinging paint and waving his paper around. His face, head, hands and arms were covered!

So, we have no ornaments. Oh well. The kids had fun. Bob laughed. All in all, it was a good afternoon!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My budding artist

So it seems that Dawson is very interested in art. He loves to draw and paint. He is fascinated by the colors going onto the paper. I am thankful for this as it seems Ollie's interest is waning.

Recently, we got out the markers and rather than just sucking on them, Dawson took a genuine interest in making lines on the paper. He wasn't satisfied with just one color either, he needed multiples! And it doesn't end with markers. He loves stickers. He peels them off my fingers and adds them to his project with an accomplished smile. He really enjoyed making art for Lilah this week.

He loves to paint and surprisingly enjoys using a paintbrush. Once again, not interested in only one color! Today, I made some colored snow paint. Snow paint is made with equal parts shaving cream and glue. We mixed them in some muffin tins and added food coloring. It makes this wonderfully fun fluffy paint and it dries puffy. Bob had to excuse himself and sit in the living room because he couldn't take the mess. This is precisely why we typically save our messy fun for while he is at work. It apparently stresses him out. The funny thing is that he is a former art teacher. Hmmmm...

 Anyway, both boys had fun allow Dawson was interested for much longer and after they had a blast in the tub playing with more shaving cream. Such a fun morning!

How could this stress you out?

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Update on my niece:
Today she is doing much, much better. She has eaten a bit today and received pet therapy. Thank you so much for all your prayers. Here is her caringbridge site!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Little Lilah

I have a beautiful, spunky five year old niece named Lilah. She is exactly like her mother. Maybe that's why I like her so much! On Monday, my sister brought Lilah in to the Dr to have some tests run as Lilah had been sick and just wasn't bouncing back. her color was off and she even smelled different. Anyway, the results were not what she anticipated. Jade was told she needed to take Lilah to Sioux Falls Hospital immediately.

Lilah at her 5th birthday party

After arriving, Lilah had some tests run and they discovered that my sweet little niece has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This is not the news that parents expect to hear about their child. This doesn't happen to my family.

Today Lilah started chemo. The outlook at the moment is pretty positive. She should make a full recovery. But the road is hard; she will be extremely sick for the next 6 months and then continue treatment for 3 years. Not the life you hope for your five year old. My heart aches for her. She is such an amazing little girl. Please keep them in your prayers. God is the God of miracles. He can do all things and I believe He will take her through.

Jade plans to create a caring bridge site. I will share that as soon as I get that information.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's Christmas Time!

Today, we did our annual Christmas tree setup. I love love love family days like this. When the boys got up, they found a wrapped gift. Every year, I wrap our fisher price nativity set for them to open. Once it's open, we read the Christmas story from their Bible. Ollie was so excited to see a gift when he got up! To him it was as if he had never seen it. I am sure eventually they will be like, "Do we really have to open this again Mom?" Bob and I laughed about how they may dread this day as they get older. I said I'd bribe them with yummy treats. Bob said they could chose to willing participate and have cookies or get beat (lol). This is important to your mother darn it! So you will participate and you
will at least act like you like it! I hope they always enjoy it. We shall see. I may have to buff up my cookie recipes or just with hold them until special days like

Yesterday, Ollie and I made the dough for our cut-out cookies. It was a lot of fun but what a mess. I am loving that he is suddenly so interested in cooking. I just have to breathe and tell myself "The mess doesn't matter. The amount of time this takes does not matter. What matters is engaging him." So messes we made. I
even let them both loose with the sprinkles. A brave woman I know! We baked while Bob played a few Christmas songs and set up the tree.

Once the lights were on, the boys and I got to work. Ollie is at the perfect age for this. Every ornament he took out, he was like "Woah! Mom! Look at this one!" or "What's this one from mom?"
Some of our ornaments were from when I was a kid. Some he made. Some I made for the boys or other people made or bought just for them. It was really fun to talk about. Dawson enjoyed taking them off the tree and sucking on them. He also really loves berries so anything that remotely resembled berries ended up in his mouth. Gross! It's a good thing he is so stinkin' cute!

We had such a marvelous day. I believe we made about 8 dozen cookies and 2 loaves of bread. Fun times! Our tree is up and we enjoyed each other. I am so unbelievably blessed to have two beautiful, healthy boys and one amazing husband! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Slime Time!

Ollie and I recently tried out a slime recipe I found on pinterest. It was a great lesson in directions and a fabulously messy sensory experience. You can find the recipe here. While making it, I really thought I'd done something wrong. There was a lot of extra liquid and it wasn't very cohesive. But once I reread the instructions, I realized that I just needed to knead it a while. We also forgot to add any food coloring. bummer. But nonetheless, it is fun stuff!

Dawson even had a go!

Our slime is safely stored in a ziploc bag ready for us to play with it again!

First Haircut!

My littlest love received his first haircut on Monday night! I was very apprehensive but he looks so handsome now. Being poor little Dawson is my second child, I did not think to get out the camcorder. bah! Dawson didn't mind having his hair cut in the slightest. Of course that may be because I gave him a sucker. Oh my! The things our 2nd children get!


During our Adventure


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

We recently (last Monday night) carved our pumpkins. I figure better late than never. The kids don't know we missed the deadline. They thought it was super fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Last Hurrah!

I know I am so behind on blogging but life has me busy and loving every minute. A couple of posts ago, I told you that we went to North Carolina on vacation. What I didn't tell you is that those dates were picked back in April. Why so far out? Well, we have some really awesome friends and with those friends we've went to some really awesome concerts, two of which were The David Crowder Band. There is nothing I love more than worshiping with my very bestest
friends! So when Jeff found out that this was their last tour and that they would be in North Carolina he booked tickets. What a swell guy, eh?

Us in 2007 waiting for the David Crowder Concert

Us in 2011.

Here is the David Crowder concert in November of 2007. We got meet and greet passes because Holly and I went on banged on the bus and she told the sob story of how Jeff is in the military and never able to go to concerts and yada! True but so funny!

Let's give you some background on our dear friends--the Jolly's--Jeff and Holly. We have been through a lot together. Jeff's many deployments, marriage issues (on both sides), the birth of our first child, a move, changes in occupation, birthdays, holidays, teenagers and through it all our relationship has been rooted in Christ. We've never had a relationship quite like it. We have hit concerts, movies, dinners, and a military ball. We got to see Jeff retire from the military. It's been such an amazing ride. And in the summer of 2010, when we discovered we were moving, they chose to drive across country and help.Truly amazing friends!

Next, we come to the Skolozynski's-- Emily and Jeremy. Late nights of Catan, early morning coffee, late night false labors and questions! We had Panera runs and photo sesssions, sunni skies and park dates. We watched their kids turn from babies to kids. Emily and Jeremy both played in the kid's worship band with me! We were in the same Sunday school. So many awesome memories and once again a relationship rooted in Christ.

So, on Tuesday at noon, we packed up for a 3 hour drive to Charlotte to go to a concert. There were laughs and loud singing. Sore backs (after four hours of standing) and lifted spirits (after 4 hours of worship). One of the highlights had to be when the Cellist for Gungor broke out beat boxing! It was A-MAZ-ING! That and I have to say the bluegrass section of David Crowder's set. Go Tell it on the Mountain is my absolute favorite. I begged Bob to do it every Christmas. (Yep, Pastor Ken, that was me!) The whole night was so great!

The Jolly Bautumns! Back together again!

Holly, Emily and I. Can you believe Emily is 30 weeks pregnant here? Yeah me either.

Me and Em!

Bob and Jeremy

I know this post told you next to nothing about the concert. Oops!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mad Science!

Last week, we returned from North Carolina to discover two boxes had arrived from Discovery Toys. I had a party a few weeks back. When I opened them I was thrilled to see PACKING
PEANUTS! WOOHOO! While perusing pinterest, I came across a blog where I woman did a couple science experiments and a bit of art using them not to mention they become an amazing sensory experience.

We drug them out this morning during Dawson's nap to try it out. I started by talking to Ollie about hypothesis. He was already familiar with that word since Buddy from Dinosaur train says it at least once every episode. I asked him to create a hypothesis about what the packing peanuts would do in water. Here is what I wrote on the white board:

Hypothesis: I think the packing peanuts will stay dry in water.

Then we started putting them into the water.

Then we stirred them up.

And we touched them.

And we discovered that they do not stay dry, they dissolve!
Even Bullseye and Woody had fun!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Plane!

We just got back from a wonderful trip to North Carolina. For those of you who don't know, we just moved to Iowa from North Carolina about a year and a half ago after living there for 7 years. We were a bit homesick for our old friends so we planned this trip. There is so much to tell you about so I think I will have to do a few posts.

Ollie was super excited to ride on the plane. And as excited as we were, we were a bit
apprehensive to take two small children on a plane especially one that took off at 6 am! Dawson was up at 4 and Ollie at 4:30 to make it to the airport. They were so excited that neither of them fell back asleep! I think Ollie asked for 10 granola bars. Anyway, the boys played beautifully together and they both did great. We had a connection in Atlanta.

When we reached Atlanta, we refueled with some coffee and a really expensive fruit cup for the boys. My goodness! Highway robbery! We loaded our next plane and heard those dreaded words: We are experiencing some technical difficulties. A mechanic is on his way over to assess the problem. Oh my goodness! You've
got to be kidding me! Two small children. Trapped. On a plane. AHHHHHH. But wait, what's this? We can get up and go out to the jetway if we like. Sure!

So me and the boys trudged to the front and were snagged by the amazing stewardess who let
them into the cockpit. How awesome is that?! After a couple of photos, we headed to the jetway where the pilot raced them. The crew on this flight were amazing. I couldn't believe it. We were
given snacks and water and fun. The flight only ended up about 30 minutes delayed and we were on our way. The flight attendants called Ollie a pirate because that's what it sounded like when he said pilot. They lovingly brought extra snacks and drinks for them. I was so pleased with Delta. I have every intention of sending an email. I should probably do that!