Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma!

My Grandma, my dad's mom, would be 98 if she was still living today. She lived in the Lutheran Home in Fort Wayne as long as I can remember. Before she died, she made a point to tell the staff that she had lived there longer than they had worked there.
As a child, we would take her out of the home for about a week or two and she would come visit us a few times a year. It was her job to mend our clothes when she visited. My mom often kept items she might have thrown out to give her more work. She loved doing this for us. She saved everything after living through the Great Depression!
This photo was taken a few weeks before she died during the last time we were able to visit her. She was thrilled to see Lamb 2!

For all the saints who from their labor rest,
Who thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
LSB 677:1

Friday, January 30, 2009

We all cheer (hopefully not scream) for ice cream!

Lamb 1 has MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance). The doctors told us he would outgrow it between ages 2 and 3. The problem was that he was so low weight compared to a typical 2 or 3 year old. When I was breastfeeding him I had to give up ALL dairy and soy. After he was weaned we started gradually trying soy and dairy. But the two things we did not try were ice cream or a glass of milk (or basically anything with a lot of dairy). He has worked himself up to anything with soy, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and we are no longer reading labels. He turns 5 the beginning of March and he is almost 35 lbs so I figured it would be ok to try ice cream. He will probably never drink milk straight since he didn't grow up with it. That's not so bad to me, I would rather have him get his calcium from vegetables and other foods.
Lamb 2 doesn't have MSPI, but when he turned a year and we tried milk and dairy foods on him, he was no longer the happy baby we had before. He was fussy and didn't sleep well. My husband and his father don't tolerate milk well. So we decided to put him on the same diet as Lamb 1, a little dairy, but no milk or ice cream. He loves to drink rice milk. He will probably never drink milk either.
So I told the lambs when the Schwan man came last Wednesday they could pick any ice cream to try. They were so excited they didn't go to sleep and the Schwan man didn't show up until 9:30pm! Unfortunately he was out of the ice cream they picked. He said he would stop by today and bring their ice cream and a few other items we had ordered that he didn't have.
So today, Lamb 1 and 2 each had real ice cream for the first time in their lives (with the exception of Lamb 2 having it a few times when he was 1 year old)! They chose Confetti Cake kind. It's full of sugar and sprinkles. They'll probably never be allowed that kind again, but hey, it's their first time! Here they are with their first experience eating real ice cream, not Rice Dream.

Hopefully, they are really ready for ice cream and we don't have an upset tummy to deal with!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2 shepherds

I am about a month behind on everything. I finished sending our Christmas letter out on Monday. This week we made a few treats that I intended to make for the holidays including Puppy Chow and Buckeyes. We finally took pictures of the two oldest Lambs in their shepherd costumes today! Lamb 1 and 2 were shepherds, Ewe was Mary, Ram was Joseph, and Lamb 3 was Baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve program at church. I don't have any photos of us as the Holy Family, but here are the adorable shepherds.

Lamb 2

Lamb 1

Do you think it is too late to take more photos of them in their Halloween costumes? The pumpkins are sitting in the garage waiting to be thrown out. I guess I'm more than a month behind! By the time I'm "caught up" it will be next Halloween and then next Christmas!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday-Roar!

Caption Contest

I don't have a prize for you, but please leave a comment and tell me a title for this photo. I will pick a winner and you will be able to say that YOU are the winner of my contest!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ram's new sportcoats

Ram's parents told him he could buy a suit for a Christmas present. He told them that he would prefer to have a couple of sport jackets. Yesterday when we were in Fargo, he dropped us off at the play place at the mall and he went to Men's Warehouse. He was back in about 1/2 hour with two new sportsjackets. I wish shopping was that easy and fast for me. Here's my handsome Ram modeling his new coats.

This photo is taken in our basement so it's not very good. He chose one grey one.

And he chose one dark green one. Both have a pattern to them.
Thank you Ram's parents!

Obama’s Tax Hikes a Bad Idea, Actor Ricky Schroder Says

This will show my age, but I had a huge crush on Ricky Schroder as a pre-teen!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I usually don't write anything on Wordless Wednesday, but we are going to be gone tomorrow and I had lots of ideas for posts running through my head, so I had to post them now!

After reading this on Cheryl's blog, I was very depressed.

This afternoon I flipped through the TV stations and ended up on C-Span. I was encouraged that Mike Pence from IN and other congressmen were giving wonderful speeches in favor of pro-life. It was a great reminder to me that not every congressman has plans to kill the unborn. We need to keep all 3 branches of the government in our prayers, not just Obama.

I caught a small part of the story that Starbucks started a new program. If I understood it right, Obama inspired them to offer a free coffee to anyone that signs up to do 5 hours of community service. I may not have heard it right, but this seems ridiculous. Why couldn't you have this program while Bush was in office? Who is going to check if you really do the community service or if you just say you will? What is their definition of community service? I will help my neighbor without counting up hours. We were given gift cards for Christmas and we love Starbucks drinks, but when we go next time, we won't be signing up for this program.

Lamb 1 is going to get his hearing checked tomorrow. Hopefully his ear infection is cleared up and his hearing is back to normal. Then we are headed to Fargo for Ram to visit a member and the rest of us to get out and get over our cabin fever for a day! I already have my bags packed. (That is quite an accomplishment because it takes a lot to have the diaper bag packed for a whole day outing with extra just in case winter weather causes us to be more than one day!)

Statements I like to say and wish I could say

6 Statements I have said this last week that make me happy!
1. Lamb 1, we have to change our underwear every morning.
(Just recently he has started wearing underwear instead of diapers to bed and he has been dry all night 4 out of the last 5 nights!)
2. I'm done writing thank you notes for Christmas presents.
(The church members are very generous but that makes a lot of thank you notes.)
3. Lamb 2 is really talking a lot now.
4. Yes, I'll read to you now.
(Lamb 2 was so cute when he said, "Mama, read a me". Then he said, "book" and jumped up and down he was so excited. Ram had taken Lamb 1 to the town cafe and Lamb 3 was napping. So Lamb 2 crawled on my lap for a long reading session. He loved snuggling with just Mama!)
5. Thank you, Ram, for finishing taking down the Christmas tree.
6. Lamb 3 is standing holding onto something well.

6 Statements I wish I could say today, but I can't because they aren't true.
1. Lamb 2 is potty trained.
(He isn't potty trained AT ALL. We tried underwear last week and he never attempted to go in the toilet for the 3 days we tried. He loved changing his underwear after he wet them.)
2. Lamb 3 sleeps through the night.
(He did for awhile, but not now at 9 months.)
3. I sent all my Christmas cards.
(I did send about 1/4 of what we usually send-LAST WEEK.)
4. The Christmas decorations are packed up and put away.
(Notice Ram did his part, Ewe has lot to do yet!)
5. I love being here in Fort Wayne at Symposium.
(I'm very jealous of those friends who are in Fort Wayne this week. The last time I was in Fort Wayne was last June. We don't know when we will be able to visit this year. It's harder when you don't have plans to look forward to. We haven't traveled to Symposium the last few years because the weather is so unpredictable.)
6. Lamb 3 can go more than 2 hours without nursing.
(Well, to be honest, I do love cuddling with him and nursing him. And, I know that nursing is the best thing for him. But I'm tired of waking up and feeding him every two hours. I know this time will pass, probably when he finishes a growth spurt, but it's hard right now.)

Lambs and their memory

Example 1: I was talking to Lamb 1. The lesson I was trying to teach was we need to take care of our property, because if it breaks, then we have to spend money to repair it or buy new or do without. Here's our conversation.
Ewe: "Lamb 1, do you remember when the repair man came to fix our washer?"
Lamb 1: "Yeah, it was November 21. What do you want to know about it?"

I had to look on the calendar, and sure enough he was right. I don't need to say that the conversation went another direction than I expected.

Example 2: Each night after prayers, I talk to Lamb 1 and 2 about the next day and what we have planned. Lamb 1 needs this preparation or we have a meltdown, especially if we have early morning plans. I told them what we were going to do on Thursday. Then I said I couldn't remember what we had planned for Friday without looking at the calendar.
Lamb 1: "Mama, you have to go to the dentist in the afternoon!"

Thanks Lamb 1, no wonder why I blocked that out of my memory of our schedule!

Example 3: Recently, Lamb 2 has been talking much more. I am often surprised when he talks. Sunday night he had a few cups of milk and it was getting close to bedtime. Here's our conversation.
Lamb 2: "Milk please" (well, not exactly saying milk, but this is the translation)
Ewe: "You've had a lot of milk today. No more tonight."
Lamb 2: "Milk. Monday."
Lamb 2: "Movie please"
Ewe: "It's too close to bedtime. No movies tonight."
Lamb 2: "Movie. Monday."
No tantrums, he went on to play until it was time to pick books for story time and then get ready for bed.

I didn't even know he knew it was Sunday and the next day was Monday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday-Bath Time

My hard working boys

Ram has done a good job keeping up with the shoveling on our driveway and walks. We had so much snow that our shovel broke and we had to buy a new one! The last few times Ram has shoveled it has been warm enough for Lamb 1 and 2 to go play in the snow while he shoveled. You can tell the snow drifts are nearly to Ram's waist, not quite, on our back sidewalk.

Welcome President Obama

I am like Cheryl and have mixed feelings about inauguration day today. I realize the significance of the day like her. I pray and wish Obama well for the next 4 years. But I also fear for the country and our safety. I fear for the economy and our freedoms. And I especially fear for the unborn.
Yesterday I said I had no desire to watch any of the coverage today. Turns out I spent most of the day with C-Span on. There wasn't too much newspeople talking. There were two things that I noticed that bugged me.
1. He was introduced as Barack H. Obama. At least he was sworn in with his full name. Have any other presidents been introduced like that?
2. During the parade they mentioned there is a restaurant in NY that every president since Eisenhower has eaten there during their term. They are upset with President George W. Bush for not eating there during his term. They kept thinking he would eventually make it but he didn't. The media was giving Bush a hard time for not making this a priority. Wow, leave it to Bush to not waste money and make a security nightmare to go dine in NY. Maybe he had no desire to eat there and would rather eat in TX? Maybe he would rather spend a quiet night at home with his beloved with the great chefs he is blessed with as president. And I wonder if this restaurant ever officially invited him and told him how important it was to their business that he come. Plus, it was a new situation after 9/11. Eating at this restaurant was not a priority in this new situation for President Bush.
The media is positive that Obama and his family will be more social than President Bush and get out of the White House more and especially eat out more. What a nightmare for the Secret Service if this is true. Thank you President Bush for being considerate and giving most of your staff off holidays and not being selfish to get out of the White House any more than necessary!

I'm happy for Obama that he had a great day and that the power was transferred peacefully. I'm thankful he and his family were safe today even though I don't agree with the media swooning and having no holds barred as they cover it. Tonight the Lambs and I made sure to include President Obama in our prayers.

May the Lord Bless and Keep and protect President Barack and Michelle Obama and their two daughters! You are in our prayers.

Goodbye and Thank You, Former President Bush!

I received an e-mail from my dad today in honor of President George W. Bush's wedding anniversary. They have been married for 31 years as of 11/5/08. I will try to summarize what it was about. I have no idea who wrote this tribute to give them credit.
The leader of the free world had a woman by his side that promised to always be with him in love and support. George and Laura openly display deep affection for each other. They adore each other. They enjoy each other's company. It was a blessing to observe this. They were subjected to some of the ugliest abuse in our country's history. Throughout the rumors and hated, they endured it with peace and joy. They endured this through the grace of God because of their faith in Jesus Christ and prayer.
We grieve that his term is over and we will no longer see their example of mature love. But we rejoice that you will finally be able to spend time with your beloved. Even if the whole country is not saying it, we admire and respect you. We are forever thankful for what you did for us the past 8 years.

On a personal note, I tried very hard from election day until today to not say anything negative in front of the Lambs about Obama, even though I was often thinking negative thoughts. As we watched the coverage today, I explained who everyone was to Lamb 1. I explained that after President Bush got on the helicopter that he was no longer our president, but Obama was. I was talking about President and Mrs. Obama. Lamb 1 surprised me and said, "But I don't want to call that man President, I still want President Bush!" Yeah, Lamb 1, that's exactly how I feel. I'm a sore loser. A few months ago Lamb 1 thought Bush was a silly last name. He received a letter and photos and stickers from President Bush in the mail. President Bush is the only president he has had in his lifetime. So no wonder, he doesn't want change!

May the Lord Bless and Keep and Protect Former President George W. and Laura Bush and their two daughters, as they begin this new chapter in their lives. Just imagine how many books George and Laura will read now!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos

Elephant's Child recommended a few cookbooks including Simply in Season. Tonight for supper we had black bean sweet potato burritos. We loved it! Lamb 1 ate 1 1/2 burritos, Lamb 2 ate 1 whole one, and Lamb 3 had a good portion of sweet potato cubes. It is a simple recipe but the cumin and cinnamon taste delicious.
We have been trying to eat more of the 8 Foods recommended to eat every day by Eat This, Not That. Tonight's supper was very good for that!

Here's the recipe.

3 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes
1/2 onion chopped
Saute in large frypan in 1 tablespoon oil just until tender. Add water or apple juice as needed to prevent sticking.

2 cups cooked black beans
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add and cook until heated through.

8 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Divide bean mixture and cheese among the tortillas and roll up. Place in 9x13 inch baking pan. Lightly spray with olive oil if desired. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, salsa, and fresh cilantro.

We did use salsa, but not sour cream or cilantro. We had small tortillas and made 9 instead of 8. Next time we'll make a double batch because our Lambs ate this batch and there aren't any leftovers for tomorrow! Well, actually there is 1 1/2, but that's not enough for a lunch!

Look, No - Sign!

Taken Sunday, January 18, 2008 at 10:30am
Appleton, MN

Monday, January 19, 2009

Imagine the Potential-UPDATED

In honor of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday yesterday and the inauguration tomorrow. There may be another video that would be a better example, but this is what I saw in my quick scan of blogs the last few days.

HT: Cheryl

Thanks to Cheryl's comment, I can now post You Tube! Thank you Cheryl for your help. It sounded more complicated than it actually was.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Last and First

Last baby bathtub bath

First big bathtub bath

And yes, Great Aunt Lois, he's using Arbonne baby wash in both baths!

Thursday's Adventures

We lost our power for about an hour about 4:30am on Thursday. I was very worried and didn't sleep at all during that whole hour. I checked about a 1/2 hour after we lost power and the house was already down to 59 degrees. Thankfully they worked hard and got it back going about an hour later. It wasn't just our small town, it was several of the surrounding towns around us in MN and over the border in SD.
The school districts by us did have school with just a 2 hour delay. We heard 200 communities in MN (I don't know how many schools) canceled. I think schools just don't have the funds to heat buildings with this bitter cold.
It was predicted to get to -5 so we determined it was warm enough to travel the 1 1/2 hours to the doctor/shopping that we had planned. Unfortunately, the warmest we ever saw was -16. To say it is a pain to get 3 kids in and out of their car seats multiple times in that kind of weather is an understatement. The nurses were very surprised we came in this weather. All the schools around the doctor were canceled.
Lamb 3 did really well at his 9 month checkup. He didn't like the doctor examining him. When the doctor stood up to leave when we were done, Lamb 3 waved at him as if he was saying, "Goodbye, don't touch me again!" This checkup is an easy one with no shots or lab tests. Lamb 3 is actually on the chart now for height and he's growing in weight. I think we just have really small babies! He is close to 15 lbs now. But he's healthy and developmentally doing great.
We asked the Lambs where they wanted to eat lunch, and Lamb 2 is talking a lot more and quickly answered, "Apple Bee"! We don't usually eat out there as it is too expensive. But he did talk so nicely and Lamb 1 also really wanted to go there. Plus, we knew it would be much warmer eating there than getting fast food and eating in the car. Lamb 1 and 2 split chicken fingers and steamed broccoli and loved it. Lamb 3 slept most of the time we were there.
Then we went to Target and had a lot of shopping to do. There were some excellent sales and clearance items. Among other things, I bought a pair of dress pants for Lamb 1 to grow into for $2 and a sweater for him for $1.50.
Then we had Lamb 3 photo taken at Sears. I had a coupon so got the package of photos for $4.99. We've had all 3 Lambs take their photo in this Very Hungry Caterpillar outfit that Ram and I bought before we even had children in hopes to have one to wear it someday. Lamb 3 was shy at first, but he warmed up. I chose the 10th out of 11 photos that they took. It was hard to chose because he was so cute!
Then I had a coupon for CJ Banks that expired that day so I was glad to use it. There is no tax on clothing in MN. I chose a white mock turtleneck. After my coupon I paid $2.50. No, that's not a typo. I think I'll get a lot of use out of this basic.
Then we went to Caribou Coffee (there's no Starbucks) and Lamb 1 and 2 enjoyed playing with the toys while we took a little break. When we came in I told the Lambs that they had to share nicely with the one little boy sitting there. Lamb 1 went right up and started to share the boy's cookie and hot cocoa! Luckily I saw what he was doing and stopped him in time. At least he listened about sharing!
Then we did grocery shopping. Rice milk was on sale and Costco didn't have any last time we were able to get there so we stocked up on rice milk. While I was shopping with the Lambs, Ram got gas so we didn't have to be in the cold for that.
We got Arby's for a fast supper. We just got plain roast beef sandwiches. Lamb 1 and 2 each ate 1 1/2 sandwiches. Very clearly, Lamb 2 said "Mama. Dada. More. Meat." It was so cute, I almost went back to Arby's for some more sandwiches! But we told him he could have leftovers at home if he was still hungry then. They fell asleep in the car so we didn't have to worry about that. It won't be long that we can't afford Arby's even when they have specials, if 1 1/2 sandwiches don't fill up our 2 1/2 year old!
I would have liked to go to a few more stores, but it was just too cold. We were thankful our car worked and we had a safe trip and the power stayed on at home the entire day we were gone.

It's cold out there!

Real temperature taken in our car at 9am on 1/15/09
And for everyone that knew me in high school...

Lamb 3 or should I say Penguin 3?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

10:30am -15 F, Wind Chill -41 F
Back of our house Odessa, MN

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More on CPSIA

My mom wrote to her congressman (IN) and this is the response she received. We should all write to our congresspeople. If only they could declare if Franken or Coleman won so I could write to them!

Dear Joan:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concern about the impact of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) on small businesses. I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, the CPSIA was passed by the 110th Congress and signed into law (P.L. 110-787) by President Bush on August 18, 2008. This bill, which goes into effect on February 10, 2009, creates a more rigorous inspection process for consumer products, and makes it illegal to sell recalled products. The intent of this bill is to protect consumers from contaminated products and cut down on the number of lead-laced toys. Imports of unsafe products imported from China over the past year raised concern over the health, safety, and quality of imported products.

Some brick and mortar store owners are concerned this law will harm their businesses if they have to test their products. Although the new law does not require sellers to test children's products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit, such sellers are, nevertheless, prohibited from selling children's products that exceed the lead limit. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends all resellers to routinely check its website ( for information about recalled products before taking products into inventory or before attempting to sell a product. For your information, I have included a clarification that the CPSC issued on the law. I hope you find it helpful.

I believe it is important that all consumer products in the United States meet U.S. standards for health, safety, and quality before they enter the U.S. market. I am concerned, however, about the effects this bill will have on small business, and I will continue to monitor the situation.
Thank you for keeping in touch with me. If I may be of assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me again. I also encourage you to visit my Web site, which may be found on-line at

Sincerely,Mark SouderMember of Congress

Please be advised, I cannot guarantee the integrity of the text of this letter if it was not sent to you directly from my Congressional Email Account. If you have any questions about the validity of this message, please contact me via my website at or you can call my Washington, DC office at: (202) 225-4436.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Buying in season

Ever since I have been out on my own, even when I was single; but especially now that we have a family to feed inexpensively, I have tried to only buy produce that is in season. Lamb 1 loves grapes and when he was just 2 he learned to look in the grocery store advertisement and if grapes aren't pictured that week then we don't get grapes. (He doesn't know that even if they are pictured they still might not be on sale enough for me to buy them!) My paternal grandmother lived in nursing home the last 30 years of her life so she was pretty sheltered from every day life. She was amazed to learn that you could even buy produce out of season at the grocery store.
My question is, how am I supposed to teach the Lambs about buying in season when the grocery store advertisement for this week has watermelon on sale and the wind chill is -30 today? When I explained this to Lamb 1, he said, "That's silly. You have to wait until April when the snow melts to buy watermelon!" I guess my lessons are starting to sink in, even if they aren't concrete yet.

President Bush

I didn't know that I had this in common with President George W. Bush! I'm continually impressed by him. It makes me feel guilty that I can't find time to read and he can as President! Somehow I doubt Obama will have this kind of competition.

HT: IN Jane

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beach Party

The town 7 miles away received an early childhood grant. We live in this school district so we have benefited from their activities. Today they had a beach party.

Lamb 2 enjoyed eating fruit, meat, and cheese kabobs.

Lamb 1 thought the music was too loud and covered his ears for the whole hour.

Lamb 3 had the best time of all our Lambs. He played with a beach ball and...

danced and danced.

Here's the steel drum band. They were really loud. They even played the Hallelujah Chorus. I bet you've never heard that on drums!

When we got home Lamb 1 wanted to have his own band.

Lamb 1 and 2 making music.

Lamb 2

Lamb 3 with Ram. Ram, Lamb 1 and Lamb 3 had matching shirts from Hawaii from when Ram's parents went. Lamb 3 wasn't born when they went so Lamb 2 didn't have a shirt to match. He wore a different Hawaiian type shirt. Ewe didn't wear her matching dress partly because she didn't want Lamb 2 to be the only one that was dressed different; because she couldn't nurse Lamb 3 in that dress; and because it was 10 degrees today.
We had a fun afternoon at the beach party after I got the minivan stuck in the parking lot at church this morning and had to be shoveled out. At least we had church and we were healthy enough to go!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pictures and Dinner Out

Tonight we dressed up the Lambs in their Christmas outfits and I was finally able to take some photos. I like to take photos on New Year's Eve after church, but this year I was too sick. Here are some of the best photos we could get of 3 squirmy Lambs! Lamb 1 was upset that he didn't match the other two Lambs. They are wearing Lamb 1 and 2's Christmas outfits from two years ago. I thought Lamb 1 looked very grown up when he didn't match his brothers.

Lamb 2

Lamb 1

Lamb 3

Ram's mom found these coats at Target! I thought Lamb 1 would love a dress coat, but he was not impressed. Not only did I expect him to wear it, but I expected him to take more photos! Here are the Lambs acting not impressed to take another picture!
Ewe with the Lambs

Ram with the Lambs
After photos we headed out to Shady Beach across the border in SD. We love this restaurant and we used to go several times a year. Prices have gone up so lately we have just gone a few times a year as a special treat. They have a birthday club where the birthday person gets a free meal and they sometimes have coupons for a free appetizer. We went for my birthday in November. They also have a drawing each month for a free dinner. We try to always sign up before we leave, but with the little Lambs sometimes we are too busy to sign up. Well, I was reading the newspaper and I about screamed when I read that Ram won the November drawing. He was doing his nursing home communion visits and I called him on the cell phone and interrupted his visits to tell him because I was so excited. About a week after this a retired pastor in the area called us to make sure we had seen that we won. I think he was excited that he knew the winner. I realized he won about the middle of December and because of being busy with Advent and Christmas, then being sick, and bad weather, tonight was the first time we were able to go redeem Ram's free dinner. I also had a coupon for a free appetizer that was going to expire soon.
I was shocked to find out that we could use both the free appetizer coupon and Ram being a winner in the same evening! We had spinach artichoke dip for an appetizer. We both had the large prime rib with sweet potato chips and salads. For dessert we had this wonderful chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. The Lambs ate off of our plates and ate really well. Lamb 3 loved the sweet potato chips!
I had assumed that Ram winning meant he got a free meal and we had to pay for my meal and the drinks and dessert, etc. I was really shocked when the waitress brought us a $50 gift certificate for winning plus we had that coupon for a free appetizer. So it ended up that we had the complete meal even with appetizer and dessert for just a few dollars plus the tip. I asked Ram if he expected that, and he said he had no idea what winning meant since he had never won before.
We have always liked Shady Beach, but now we love Shady Beach after the service we were given tonight! It was a wonderful treat!
Even though Lamb 1 and 2 helped us, we both brought home some of our prime rib so tomorrow for breakfast we can have steak and eggs.
Thank you Shady Beach!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gas map

Go here for an interesting map of gas prices. I won't get started on my problem with ethanol amounts in the gas here in MN. Thank you to Loopers for this map.


The number of Ladies Aid meetings that Ram had to go to today. He'll be wanting a drink when he gets home tonight! The worst part was he had to skip the afternoon of the monthly pastor's meeting to get to the first Aid meeting today. He loves conversation with the pastors and being with men. Seriously, he likes being pastor and likes leading Bible Study with the Ladies Aids, but he doesn't like being with women that much of one day. He prefers one Ladies Aid meeting a week. This doesn't happen very often, but with New Year's Day one meeting was scheduled for today. It's not too bad to just happen once in awhile. People don't think of a tri-parish pastor having 3 Ladies Aid each month and 3 Voters meetings each quarter (which ends up being all in the same month). We'll be back on schedule in February, unless the weather forces a change in schedule. With the little Lambs, I only attend Ladies Aid a few times a year-basically when I am the hostess and for the Christmas party or if something special is going on. Ram does a good job letting me know what is going on.

Thank you God for blessing Ram with a tri-parish to be pastor of and 3 Ladies Aids that do a lot of church and mission work!


The number of beds that I changed the sheets today and tomorrow I will have to wash those sheets.

I figured after being sick we could all use clean sheets. Today was the first day I had energy to change them. I never washed the guest bedroom sheets after my parents visited in September. First I had to uncover the guest bed because it had been piled high with junk during Advent and Christmas. I had a hard time getting Lamb 2's crib sheet to fit-I finally gave up and chose a different sheet. I'll give away that sheet now. It was flannel with elephants on it and really cute, but not worth the trouble to get it in the crib. And I suspect it would have come off as he moved around during the night. Oh well, I was forced to use Pooh sheets!

Very soon we have to get Lamb 2 a mattress or a bed so Lamb 3 can have the crib. I'm not sure what to do because you have to be 6 to be on the top bunk and Lamb 1 will be 5 in March. We may just have Lamb 2 sleep on a mattress on the floor for a year until Lamb 1 can sleep on the top bunk and Lamb 2 could sleep on the bottom bunk. Then we'll have another adventure shopping for bunk beds!

Thank you God for the blessing of comfortable beds, cozy sheets, and warm blankets (especially when it feels like -3 currently!). I love the feel and smell of clean sheets!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


With the exception of Big Daddy's pizza while we are visiting my parents in Fort Wayne, IN; or homemade pizza; since Lamb 1 was born we have had pizza when eating out less than once a year. We live 7 miles away from a town with a pizza place and in our opinion, it's not that good of pizza. We would rather wait and have great pizza even if it is only once a year when we go to IN.

Today we were running errands and Pizza Hut had a special so we went there for lunch. Buffet was $4.99 for adults, $2.99 for Lamb 1, and Lamb 2 was free. Lamb 1 wanted pasta and didn't even try pizza. Lamb 2 ate more off the salad bar (just toppings) than pizza. Lamb 3 slept the whole time and didn't even eat a cracker.

What surprised Ram (and me too) was we only had a few pieces of pizza before we were full. I even ate mostly thin crust. We just aren't used to eating "heavy" meals like that any more.

After lunch we went to get haircuts for Ram, Lamb 1 and 2. A Lutheran friend who homeschools cuts hair in her home. After haircuts the Lambs were able to play with their friends. And then we all had some delicious pumpkin bars. Even though their children are older than ours, the Lambs enjoy going there and their children enjoy playing with our Lambs.

When we got home Ram had to visit someone in the nursing home. He has taken a little vacation from visiting as it is hard to schedule visits when people have family visiting for the holidays. Tomorrow he is back on schedule with confirmation class, Bible class, and voter's meetings. It was nice to have this afternoon for the children to play together and the adults to talk. Later this week Ram will get back on his visiting schedule too.

Ram and the Lambs look great with their new haircuts. Lamb 1 looks really grown up. I'm not doing so well with him turning 5 in 2 months!

Happy Epiphany!

Ram and I worked together and got the trampoline put together even with lousy instructions. One part said put A and B together and in order to put it together correctly you really had to put A and C together. The instructions said it would take 2 adults to thread the elastic around the bars and I really think we needed 3 adults. I was also trying to get caught up on some paperwork while Ram was working on the trampoline. We finally got to bed at 2 am. I think we'll write on our calendar next year to assemble the Epiphany present earlier than January 5.

The Lambs get so many presents for Christmas from grandparents and church members, that we started giving them each one gift from us on St. Nick Day and then a present they can all use together on Epiphany.

For St. Nick Day Lamb 1 received an animal hauler truck (for his plastic farm animals), Lamb 2 received a small PT Cruiser car, and Lamb 3 received a ride on car. For Epiphany they received the trampoline. It will be awhile before Lamb 3 can use the trampoline so I'm glad he got a big present for St. Nick Day that he can ride with help now. Target had the trampoline on sale with free shipping.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Have you heard about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act? (This link was provided as a good summary and it has links for further reading about the law.) I have purchased diaper covers from Avery's Attic and she alerted me to this. This is very troubling on so many levels if it is true. No more buying baby/children items at consignment stores. No more selling of handmade baby/children items on the internet. It would be illegal for me to buy diaper covers from Avery's Attic and illegal for Avery's Attic to sell them to me.

I hope that this is just a hoax, but I'm afraid it's not. I hope that word of this spreads and something can be done before it is too late. Please let me know what you have heard about this and what we can do about it.

Baby Stellan

Stellan is home, so I removed the Praying for Stellan from my sidebar. We can still have prayers of thanksgiving for healing Stellan!

Tonight's conversation

11pm January 5:

Me: Honey, do you know it's Epiphany tomorrow?

Ram: Yeah.

Me: Do you know Lamb 1 drew a present on his calendar for tomorrow?

Ram: So, they're expecting something? I guess I know what I'm going to do now.

Ram is currently whistling his way to work to get his tool box and the present out of the basement.

If all goes as planned the Lambs will wake up to this!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What I love about being a Mama during the diaper years

My Looper friend Pam, put this list on Loopers today. I think it is a great reminder for those of us that are so busy during the diaper years to take a minute to appreciate what we have. This is her list so there are a few that don't apply for me (at least not yet), but you just can't beat some of these!

Things I enjoy about the Diaper Years
1) Keeps me at the foot of the cross
2) The delicious smell of the freshly bathed newborn
3) Being 'The Mom,' who can kiss owies, give hugs, and make it 'all better'
4) Cute little baby and toddler bums
5) Keeps me humble
6) Soft baby hair at the nape of the neck
7) Wide, sweet eyes looking up at me while nursing contentedly
8) Hearing my kids, including the two year old, sing from memory the liturgy and hymns
9) The hugs of forgiveness that come after repentance
10) It is so humbling
11) The forgiveness my children offer me when I have sinned against them
12) Seeing my 3yo offer to share his toy, cookie, etc with the 2yo with NO prompting from me.
13) Sharing with my older ones a cute antic of the 2yo.
14) Watching my 6yo son hold the 6mo baby in his lap and sing hymns or read a book to her
15) I can't forget that children are indeed a blessing from God
16) When the 2yo brings me 'food' to 'eat' from her little toy dishes, and grins and giggles when I pretend to 'eat' it.
17) The sparkle and excitement in my children's eyes when they run into the house to tell me what they found in the woods *this* time. (snake, lizard, dead bird, saw a deer)
18) The same sparkle and excitement they feel for each other's joys
19) The concern for each other's feelings when one is sad or hurt, especially...
20) When the 2yo approaches the crying 9yo, pats her shoulder and asks 'are you okay?'
21) Seeing the children all vie for who gets to sit on Dad's lap during after-supper devotion time.
22) Watching them sleep
23) The whole family rejoicing together when the potty learning child 'goes' in the toilet!
24) The enthusiastic response when we tell the children we are expecting another baby
25) Knowing I may see all these precious souls in heaven one day, and thanking God daily for the privilege of being their mommy

I would like to add getting to read to toddlers daily as a great joy. I don't know who enjoys the classic children's books more, my boys or me!

I'm not looking forward to #17, but I know it's coming with 3 boy lambs!

I'm hoping that we can take part in #23 soon with Lamb 2, but we'll still be in diaper years for awhile even if that happens.

As my dad always said, changing diapers is a reminder to thank God that the plumbing works for the baby. Thank you God, for blessing me with 3 Lambs to be Mama for during the diaper years!

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 The year of sickness for our family

We are thankful that it was never anything serious needing a trip to the ER or hospital (except for the birth of Lamb 3), but someone in our family was sick much of 2008.

In February Lamb 1 and 2 were on antibiotics for the first time in their lives. They had Fifth Disease and Lamb 2 had an ear infection. I was pretty impressed that Lamb 1 was almost 4 and Lamb 2 was almost 2 years old before they ever took antibiotics.

In June Ram had a rash on his body. It took a long time to get into the dermatologist to find out it was a side effect of having something like strep. It finally cleared up a few months later.

In October we traveled to CA and when we got home we took turns having sore throats, colds, etc. Someone has been sick from October to December. We paid our co payment to the doctor a few times to be told to do all the things we were already doing-use humidifier, lots of liquids, lots of rest, etc. This has been frustrating for Ram as he can't go visit people as a pastor when he is sick.

In November Lamb 1 failed his hearing test so we were off to the doctor to find out he had fluid in his ear but no ear infection. The doctor recommended doing nothing but being rechecked in a few weeks. When we went back it was the opposite-ear infection but passed hearing test. The doctor doesn't know how he did that! When we returned in December for Lamb 1 to be rechecked to see if his ear was cleared up, then Lamb 3 had an ear infection. So then Lamb 3 took antibiotics for the first time.

About a week ago Lamb 1 had a fever and said his leg hurt, I think he was saying he was achy. Early this week Lamb 3 had a fever and threw up a few times. On New Years Eve Ewe got a fever and hurt all over. I was in bed with 3 blankets, coat, warm socks, beaver fur slippers, and hat and still was cold!

That was as sick as Ewe has been (with the exception of morning sickness) since about 8 years ago when I was teaching and I missed a few weeks of teaching with a terrible case of the flu. It was clear to me very soon that mamas aren't allowed to get sick! Lamb 3 still wanted to nurse (and he still wasn't feeling that well so he wanted to nurse MORE often). Lamb 1 was the best but Lamb 2 still needs lots of supervision, especially when he is near Lamb 3. I just wanted to stay in bed under the blankets, but I couldn't. Ram had to lead two church services. I took turns sitting on the couch and supervising the lambs playing together and then taking Lamb 3 to bed with me while Lamb 1 and 2 played. When Ram got home from church he fed the Lambs and put them to bed. They got to bed 2 hours past their bedtime because it took that long for him to make supper and then for the Lambs to eat and get pj's on etc.

I felt a little better yesterday but very weak. I feel like I can hardly carry Lamb 3 through the house. Today we all went to the chiropractor for an adjustment. Today I took a long nap and I still feel sick, but hopefully I'm getting better.

Ram has been wonderful the last few days-cooking, watching the boys, doing lots of dishes, keeping the house picked up, bringing Lamb 3 to me when it's time to nurse him, etc. Lamb 1 and 2 don't really understand Mama being sick, but they are doing the best they can at their ages.

Today we scheduled a recheck for Lamb 3 ears. We're hoping that this recheck is the last ear infection in our family for awhile. And we're praying that we stay more healthy during 2009. And we're thankful for the churches that pay for our health insurance for the doctors and chiropractor. Ram and the Lambs are very good about taking their vitamins. My goal for 2009 is to be better about taking my vitamins daily too.

Hopefully when I get more healthy I can post more. I've been under the covers but awake much of the past few days so lots of topics for posts are running through my head.