Monday, November 29, 2010

Still Here

We are still here but since our lives are currently looking like this....

updating is the furthest thing from my mind.

We are loading the truck Thursday morning and unloading on Friday. Hopefully sometime after that I will have some time to sit and ramble.

Regularly scheduled programming will resume after this short break.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Huge Giveaway from Today’s Mama and Gamestop!

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama (link to: and GameStop (link to: are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
For us all to be together. It looks like it is going to be coming true!

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
Stockings with the kids, church, presents and then Christmas dinner. Lots of relaxing along the way!

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
I would have to say my camera. It isn’t necessary but it is something that I have wanted for a long time.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
Spending time together. Making memories. Doing something fun with the kids.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
Monopoly, Pictionary, Pit, and then any number of outdoor games. 

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
Christmas Eve dinner. We have continued to have Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and any number of wonderful sides, Spanish Cream for dessert. Wrapping presents at the very last minute. (This year I will do better!)

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
I would love to go ice skating in Central Park someday. Cheesy? Yes.

8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?

Nintendo DS

Wii Fit

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I know that I have mentioned that Lily is usually pretty tired in the evening on school days. Example:



We went to see Harry Potter last night. We had a great time. The kids were over at the Burtons playing and having all kinds of fun. I am sure that Larry and Denise were ready to be done for the day by the time we got done.

All the kids fell asleep in the car and transferred without any trouble. Thank goodness!




The most recent pictures taken for Lily’s Class memory book. I am trying to get as much done on it as I possibly can before we leave. These ones are from centers, library, and potential title page pictures. I am so excited for these to be finished. :)







Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Cards

Last year I got our Christmas cards from Shutterfly. I love the products that they have. I have been a loyal customer for years now and I have never been disappointed with any product that I have received or the service that has been provided.
So, when I saw the cards for this year I decided to go with them again.
Here are a few that I love. It is going to be a really hard choice.
Check it out! You won’t be disappointed. They have calendars that you can personalize with birthdays, events, and pictures. One of my absolute favorite gifts to give is a photobook. They have a lot of great options for those too.
Also, exciting news for you! If you are a blogger you can participate in this.

Thankful on Paper-Week 3

Here we are. Coming in on the end of this little endeavor. I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is so close!
This week I am thankful for my siblings.
Yes, it is true. I love my siblings and have nice things to say about them. If you had talked to me about them 20 years ago I don’t know if I would have been able to say it but I definitely can now. I love what growing up and becoming an adult does for relationships.
First off. Esther. She is the sister immediately after me. She is a shining example of a giving, gentle, passionate woman. She is gracious and never wants to let anyone down so she will attempt to do too much. She is so kind. We were so blessed last year when she came to live with us and look after our kids while I worked. I knew that it would work but didn’t know how well it would end up working. The kids treasure that time that they had with her and still talk about her regularly.
Next is Ruthie. She is number 3 in our line up. She is driven to accomplish, whatever it may be. She is also a very passionate person. She has such a heart for missions, home and abroad. I love that about her. She has found a wonderful man that shares her passions, dreams, and desires. I am looking forward to getting to see them more often now that we are moving to Iowa and will be considerably closer to them. She is all about being the best wife she can be and making her home a refuge.
Lastly is Johnny. Or, as he is now known to all but me, John. He stayed with us briefly this summer before going to Russia on a trip and it was so fun getting to know him as an adult. He has always been my baby brother and now he is a man and it has been really fun getting to see him in a different light. He is so responsible and very caring. He has a very analytical mind and is very passionate about his beliefs. I love that so much.
Of course I have other siblings now that have been gained by marriage. Matt, Christie, David, Rachel and Josh. I am thankful for them and for all the fun things we have done together and all the memories we have shared. I love that my family has grown so much and my kids have all these people to love them and pray for them. I am thankful for them all! Each of them add to our lives in a different way. I look forward to all that is to come.
Some of you we see more often than others but know that you are all loved and missed.
Thank you all for being there for me and for my family. We miss you.

*Join up with Rachel. What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thursday 13

I came across this list from Log Your Memory and decided it was perfect for today. Here we go.

1. The last significant purchase I made was plane tickets to California. I had to take a deep breath before we hit purchase. It was a big deal.

2. The top three things on today’s priority list are packing, laundry, and playing with the kids. Seriously. I have been putting them off for the “more important” things to do. Hello!! What could be more important?

3. My favorite thing to drink this time of year is cider. I love it. In moderation. I don’t ever buy it but it is always fun to drink it while out and about. Also, pomegranate 7up. It is only available during the holiday season and I love it. Kind of like raspberry schwepps. I loved that stuff while pregnant with Lily. (Did I mention that I very rarely drink soda? It is a special treat!)

4. My fondest childhood memory involving this time of year is This is a stumper. I remember so many things about my childhood but not specifically this time. I am going to generalize to the Christmas season and say that the caroling and dancing with friends was some of the most fun that we had. The crazy rush on Christmas Eve when we were going to open “just one gift, Dad” and ended up with a pile of opened presents 2 hours later. The food. Freezing to death after one of the infamous bucket showers in the Auliapur house and running out of the bathroom and dad blow drying our hair before bed. Watching Mama choke down “just one more” sunum pitha (a very dense, very awful after the first 30 bread that that is fried in oil and served with puffed rice at Christmas) and acting like it is the best one that she ever ate. You eat at least 3 at every house you visit during the holiday season and you visit everyone you know. All that adds up to wanting to sleep for a month afterwards.

5. The temperature outside lately has been cold. Not Alaska cold but about 35*. I need a coat now.

6. My favorite way to relax right now is to sleep. True. I am so tired that as soon as I sit down to read, work on pictures, whatever…I fall asleep right away.

7. My wish list right now includes Nikon D3000 or the Canon XS. Love them both. Either would be fabulous.

8. The messiest room in my house right now is the office and laundry room. The result of focus on every other room in the house leads to crazy mess in the office (thank you children) and the laundry mess that I have to tackle. Bravely.

9. Lately most of the reading I’ve done has been the Fablehaven books. I know they are for “young” readers but I think that I like them as much as the Harry Potter books, maybe a little more!

10. The last time I saw a movie that I really enjoyed was I don’t remember the last movie that we went to so I am going to have to go with High School Musical 3. Loved it. Still love it. Don’t judge.

11. Today’s delivery from the mailman included junk mail, catalog for Joe, not much else.

12. I always know the holidays are near when the Christmas music starts playing and the light posts along main street have all the Christmas baskets and lights. So pretty.

13. One thing I really wish I could change right now is nothing. I am actually really happy right now. Yes, I am frazzled with the craze of moving but I wouldn’t want it to be over because that would mean that our time here is already done and I am relishing every moment right now with friends.

14. Five moments I’d really like to capture through photos this year are… This is a hard one because I am really into the little things now instead of the major “traditional” photo ops. I would have to say that one thing that I really want to accomplish next year (starting in January) is to take a family picture every month. Not necessarily all formally posed. Maybe set the timer and read a family book? I don’t know yet. :)

15. The scents I am most aware of right now are cleaning supplies. The whole house smells of bleach. I am still trying to get things disinfected after our awful bout with the plague.

16. The last thing that really made me giggle was Matthew’s giggle. Is there anything sweeter than a baby laughing? I love it. He is in such a funny stage now.

17. One year ago I was getting madly ready for Ruthie’s wedding. This post was up on the 16th of November, 2009.

18. The best meal I’ve eaten recently was buttermilk pancakes last night. I love them. So tasty. I don’t make them too often so when we have them it is really fun.

19. A news headline that caught my attention recently was any one of the reports on the TSA and the use of the scanners or pat downs. CNN did a piece on it.

20. I would probably describe the “sounds of the season” as kids laughing, Christmas music, that perfect evening of quiet when the snow is coming down outside and you are inside, nice and warm with candles lit, watching. (Don’t judge the punctuation or sentence structure, my brain isn’t working.)

21. One thing I’d like to do differently this holiday season is relax. I find that after everything is done I always look back and feel like I forgot to do so many things that I wanted to do.

22. My most comfy clothes right now include the same things that I always put. Some kind of soft pants, a t-shirt with long sleeves, a sweatshirt, and socks or slippers. Love it.

23. It just wouldn’t feel like the holidays without without the traditional food. Is it strange that food is what I consider to be one of the most memorable parts of Christmas? Or any holiday for that matter?

24. A tradition that really means a lot to me is one that I have never been able to initiate with my own family. I remember we would sit at my great-grandma Boe’s house on Christmas Eve and after everyone was done with food my grandma would sit down at the piano and we would all sing Christmas carols. I LOVE it. I have always wanted to do it with my own family. Insert excuses…I don’t play piano. The kids are all little and can’t join in. We are always too busy with dinner prep and church to actually sit and sing. Etc etc. Maybe someday.

25. I am most looking forward to all of the exciting changes that are coming our way. Looking forward and dreading at the same time if that makes any sense at all.

Note #1. If you are visiting my blog and don’t know me you are probably confused by the answer to #4. I am a missionary kid. We lived in Bangladesh from the time I was one until I was 16 years old. Lots of fun stories. Lots of crazy memories and experiences. Ask me about it. It’s a fun story. :)

Note #2. I am linking up to Thursday 13. As usual. Join in the fun.

Note #3. I know that there are more than 13 things. Don’t be a hater. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some Miscellany

1. We had a wonderful visit with our friends from Ohio, the Nordens.

IMG_0866 IMG_0865











They were here on Friday. They went and looked at tractors (they need a new one), checked out the wind farms in the area, visited, had dinner, and then headed out. It was so nice to see them. Karen is not pictured because she doesn’t appreciate the camera. Grace was one of Lily’s best friends when we lived there.

Yes, there is a significant age difference.

Grace is taller than I am.


2. Hannah has THE craziest bedhead.

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True story.


3. Packing is my own personal nightmare.

I got this accomplished today with the help of 2 very strong and able bodied men.

IMG_0874 IMG_0871







Thank you John and Ron.

You are both my heroes!


4. I don’t know where this child came from.


Or this one.


The End.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This and That #3

daily system4 daily system1








So, I have been eyeing this system for a LONG time now. I keep waiting for that perfect spot to put it all.

I love the idea of having everything all in one place that is accessible without being too obvious. Ideally, if we ever have an office that is a little more centrally located than off of the laundry room or in the basement I would like to have it there but I can settle for in the right kind of kitchen.

Also, how easy it would be to reproduce some of these pieces myself. The whiteboards would be the easiest. A permanent marker, a ruler, and vinyl lettering and it would be done. So fun. The pegboard would be easy too. An old bulletin board out of the frame and a piece of linen, maybe some twill tape. Instant success. I want to say that it would be easy to do the magnetic boards too but I haven’t looked into where metal sheeting is available or how much it would be. The magnetic canisters are available anywhere, IKEA would be my first choice because everything is so affordable there.

daily system2 daily system3








I just love that they are so versatile. You can build the wall to your needs. What works for me now might not be what will work for me in a few years so it is nice that it is easily customized.

kitchen inspiration

How pretty. I find myself gravitating towards the white or neutral palettes right now. It just looks so inviting. Wouldn’t you love this in your kitchen?

thankful garland tatertots and jello

I found this garland over at Tatertots and Jello. I love this blog because it is just full of inspiration. I have a huge list of projects I want to do that I found on her site! Love it!

twig reindeer

Aren’t these cute. I love how spiky they are. Simple. Almost natural looking.

Halloween Canvas11

I think this is really cute too. I would probably not do the Halloween look because I have never been a fan of the spooky and scary but it could be so cute for other seasons. I am loving all the silhouette stuff that I am finding online right now. (I don’t remember where this came from originally. I have seen it on numerous sites. If I find it again I will let you know who is responsible for this awesomeness!)

vintage lockers

Lastly, vintage inspired lockers. With numbers. Sigh. I need a mudroom.

*Everything shown is from the Pottery Barn catalog online unless I have credited someone else specifically.*

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful on Paper-Week 2

Again, I am late on this. Oh well, maybe next week.
I am thankful this week for my best friends from CUI. Celine and Sarah. These two girls were the best girlfriends that anyone could ask for. I have been thinking about them a lot this week because I got to see Celine briefly.
She is not terribly far from where we are now but really really busy. The last time that I saw her I was within a week or two of delivering Hannah. She is a gracious, gentle woman of God and every time that we are able to visit I feel like I have been blessed. I feel like I can go years without seeing her and then pick up right where we left off. I love her and miss her so much.
Sarah is the third of our trio. She and her husband Jeff (and 2 beautiful little girls) live in California and I am so thankful that we had the chance to see her this last summer when we were out there for a visit. She is the most amazing mother and wife. The love and devotion that she has and shows for her family is inspiring. She is so creative and artistic.
Both of these women have helped me to become who I am today. We have all had so much fun together and I feel like I am a better person today for knowing them. Thank you both for everything, for being my check and balance when we lived together, for being my shoulder to cry on, for all of the fun memories. You continue to bless me even though we all live in different states and see each other so rarely.
I love you.

*Linking to Number 17.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

4 Months

This is a few days late. I don’t know where my brain has been!


He is filling out just a little! He weighs 15 and a little pounds now! I can’t believe it. We were at Target the other day and he had a little diaper situation that required a change of clothing. Of course there weren’t any other clothes in the bag so I grabbed the onesie in the picture above. I thought it was so cute but they only had it in a 9 month size. I figured that it would be a little big but that way he can wear it longer right?


It fit him really well!


He is the most incredible sleeper. He is every parent’s dream child in that department! He takes 2 really good naps during the day and then goes to bed around 7:30 or 8:00 and gets up around 6:30 or 7:00. He is so incredibly good natured.

I think that we are about ready to give cereal a try. He is very interested in the whole eating process and tries to grab our food if he can. He is always ravenous so I am hoping that the cereal will help him get filled up a little more quickly.

He loves to “talk”, smile and play. He is rolling. He will happily play under an activity gym thingie for about an hour before he gets bored with it. Any one of his siblings can make him laugh at the drop of a hat. Really, all you have to do is smile in his direction and he will flash a gummy smile back at you.

He loves to give “kisses”. There is lots of slobber and fist sucking right now so I am wondering if there are teeth on the horizon.

We have so enjoyed this last month and are really excited about the next!


Thursday 13

Drew a huge blank so I asked Lily (the 5 year old) for her favorite things to do.

1. Bounce on a bouncy house

2. Make invitations

3. Play with my sister

4. Play outside

5. Read stories

6. Draw pictures

7. Play with bendaroos (aka pipe cleaners)

8. Play with friends

9. Say the ABC's

10. Cuddle with my mom

11. Visit my grandparents

12. Get piggyback rides from my dad

13. Play with Jakes cars and Matthew’s baby toys.

Linking to Thursday 13. Join in the fun.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jakes Birthday Party

Yes, it is a little late. We were trying to find a weekend that we were free and ended up doing it very late (still in October at least) but he had a blast playing with his friends from school and church.






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