Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fall Family Pictures, Part 1

Our friend Sierra took some pictures of our family in October. Here are some of them.

Beck. He spent much of the time running off to explore.

The family at Shingle Creek

T-Bone. Kind of looks like an elf. A really cute elf.


Yep, that is all three boys running away. This picture does not show how long it took to round them up.

Young and in love. Well, in love.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Even more pictures from my phone

This is T-Bone is his natural state. Yelling. He yells and runs around.  That is what he does. Thankfully he is a happy child. Those are happy yells.
Our friend Marlyse made this hat for Jackson but Beck took a liking to it. Now he wears it all the time. 

A Beck in a dump truck.

Our friend Glen built this box window with a bench and the boys love it.

Jackson had a flair for the theatrical. So does T-Bone.

A boy and his leaf pile.

We took a lot of bike rides this summer and the twins fell asleep almost every time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I am a Rugged Maniac

Last summer I was invited by Jake and Roni Sheck to join their group in the Go Commando Adventure 5K race. I was in terrible shape but still had a great time. The race involved running through water and mud, climbing hills and obstacles, and jumping over fire. It was my first adventure race and I was excited for the next one.

On Saturday, I joined up with Andrew Gross and David Sandquist for the Rugged Maniac 5K at the Wild Mountain Ski Area in Taylor's Falls, MN. This race made the Go Commando look like a walk in the park. The obstacles were crazy and there were tons of them. Twice we had to climb under barbed wire through 12 inch deep mud, we had to climb over all manner of other barriers, and the course went up and down the ski hills twice. (I know these are MN ski hills and not CO ski hills, but the uphills seemed to go on forever.) One of the most difficult obstacles involved climbing through a tube into a covered mud pit and then pulling yourself through on the other side. I am just big enough that I need to use the muddy rope to make it up and out of the tube. The best obstacle was basically a huge slip and slide that ended in a giant mud puddle. Boy, that one was fun. My fitness level was not quite up to the task and I lost Andrew in the last half mile. He beat me by about 25 seconds but I was still pleased with my time. It took me 42:02 to cover the course, which would normally be a terrible time for a 5K (3.1 mile) race. As soon as I finished, my first thought was to sign up for next year's race. I have never had as much fun at a race as I did at the Rugged Maniac and I have run a lot of races. It was really hard, but really fun. I am not sure that I will ever get the mud out of the clothes I wore but it was totally worth it. I am excited for next year already.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thoughts on Twins, part 3

The twins are now 18 months old and Jackson is three and a half. Our house is loud and busy. The boy's personalities are showing through more and more. It is really fun. Here are more of my thoughts on twins:

  • The twins still love the bathroom and now have figured out how to lift up the toilet seat to splash their little hands in the water. With two of them, it is almost impossible to get them away from the toilet. The other day I grabbed T-Bone first, quick washed his hands, and put him down in the hallway. Then I grabbed Beck, washed his hands, and turned around to see T-Bone back in the toilet. Fortunately, Heidi heard the commotion and took Beck out so I could clean up T-Bone again. 
  • It is interesting to watch their development side by side. Last winter, Beck started crawling first. Poor T-Bone would get left in a room as Beck and Jackson would head off somewhere else. After a while T-Bone finally started crawling and could keep up with his brothers. After many months of crawling, T-Bone started to walk, Frankenstein style, while Beck was still crawling. Soon T-Bone was walking full time and poor Beck was left behind. After months like that, Beck just started walking one day. I guess he was ready. Now T-Bone runs everywhere and Beck only runs when we leave the bathroom door open.
  • The twins love danger. We are constantly pulling Beck off of objects that he is standing on, like the kitchen table. In the last few days he has twice made a break for it out of the garage and toward the alley and I only barely got to him before he reached it. They are so busy and quick and there are two of them so there is a constant threat of one of them getting hurt. We have a fenced in front yard and back yard, so that helps, but they still find ways to scare us.
  • The twins take care of each other in very sweet ways. If one of them is upset, the other will bring his brother his Lovey (their blankets). Last night Beck was done with his snack and I was getting Jackson something to drink, Beck crawled up on the kitchen table, grabbed a handful of Goldfish crackers and gave them to T-Bone. Lately, when they are done eating, whichever twin is cleaned up first will get the other one's Lovey and bring it to him. Of course, the problem comes when the second twin is not cleaned up yet and wants to grab his Lovey with hands covered in spaghetti sauce. Jackson is also good at making sure his brothers have their Loveys so they are not sad. 
  • In the mornings, when I go for my run, I take Jackson and a twin in the double jog stroller. The problem is that one twin gets left behind. Many mornings one is asleep so I take the one who is awake. This morning I snuck into their room and only T-Bone was awake. Unfortunately, he was so excited that he yelled out and woke Beck. It only took a moment for Beck to realize that he was getting left behind because it was T-Bone's turn and he was very sad. I made sure to give him extra cuddles when we got back. When they ride in the stroller, T-Bone just lays there looking bored and Beck points at everything and talks. In little things like that, it is fun to see their personalities coming out.
I sure love my three boys. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Summer pictures

Heidi and I got a weekend away at the end of June.
The twins love playing in the bathroom.

Still in the bathroom.
Beck loves milk.

Playing in the backyard.

All wet.
Finch Lebert was visiting and Beck was very attentive. It was so sweet.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not again.

At a midnight showing of the new Batman movie a cowardly murderer entered the theater, threw out canisters of tear gas, and started shooting people. At the time I am writing this, at least 12 people are dead and as many as 50 were injured. It took place in my hometown of Aurora, Colorado, at the mall I near where I grew up. I have seen a number of movies there, even a few with Heidi. That was my stomping grounds and I still know that area well. It makes me sick to think about it.

Since I moved to MN for college, there have been a number of high profile mass murders in Colorado. The first was the Chuck E Cheese killings 1993, which was closest to me since my good friend Duane worked there and left work 20 or so minutes before it happened. The following summer two teenagers were killed during a robbery at the drive in theater blocks from my house. The music pastor at my family's church and his friend were brutally murdered in a case of mistaken identity in 1998. Columbine was less than a year later and then the YWAM and New Life Church shooting a couple years back. I just keep thinking "not again" every time something happens.

I am afraid that our society is becoming more violent every day and these incidents will just keep happening. Saying "not again" will just keep happening.

There are many reasons that our society has spiraled into violence and I will not get political here. The reasons are deeper than that. Our society's moral core is compromised. There is only one solution. We need Jesus. Only calling on Him and following His commands and giving up our selfish ways will bring about change. The solution is simple but not easy.

Now I need to take a deep breath, hug my boys a whole bunch when they wake up from their naps, and pray for Aurora, Colorado.

Monday, July 16, 2012

code word

I was cleaning out some files on our computer this afternoon and found our birth plan for when Jackson was born.  Pretty funny stuff.  Boy was I clear.  Leave nothing to chance.  I even had a code word for if and when I wanted drugs.  Of course, nothing went as we expected.

I think I will save it and put it in his scrapbook.  Well, I guess first I would need to buy and start a scrapbook for him and then put it in there.  Perhaps a box.  Yes, a box will do.  :)

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

branching out

Well, the time has come for me to branch out and start my very own blog.  One that is all about me rather then those cute little boys that always follow me around.  For realz, where did they come from?  And why am I so tired all the time.....?

Seriously though, I have started a new blog, one where I can focus a little more on the new direction God is guiding me in and leave a little more breathing room for Tim to write about the Broncos and the littles.  :)

Don't worry, it's an amiable farewell.  I will still check in from time to time, I'll just be a "guest blogger" from now on!  Hard to believe we have been using this blog for so long.  You would have thought we'd be more proficient such luck.  I think I need a web class, but I digress.

Come on over and check it out!!! 

Hopefully there is room in your web surfing for both of us :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

belly of the fish

Dad died 9 months ago and I have been experiencing a "pocket of grief" lately.  To commemorate this day, I will be attending a funeral of a dear friend who was only 36 and leaves behind husband and three small sons.

I am so over this.  Cancer sucks.  I am ready to start actually seeing some miraculous healings.  I didn't actually know Preethi very well until she received her diagnosis.  At that point, I entered into prayer for her healing with all the faith I had and through that process of praying for her with a small group of faithful women, I got to know her very well.

My heart is broken.  I feel numb.  And I wait.

I wait for a loving, compassionate God to sort through my confusion with me one day at time.  It's all I can do.

Today I am thankful for a God to can handle me when I am at my most raw.  It's not pretty, but He's not scared.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Pictures from my phone.

Beck. In Jackson's room.

T-Bone was considering making a break for it.

Headed to the park.

He already has cooler hair than his Daddy.

The boys love to swing at the park by our house.

This was a while ago. Now they can walk.

It won't be too long before toy cars will not be enough for Jackson.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

my "sometimes middleman"

Thanks for your comments on that last post, friends.

This morning, we are "bedside Baptists."  Especially funny since we aren't even Baptists...

While the twins were napping, Tim took Jackson for a little walk and I was left with a quiet house - such a tremendous gift.  I quick cleaned up the kitchen, folded some clothes and snuck outside for a little time with the Creator.

I find it encouraging to be reminded that "Hell works the hardest on God's saints.  The most worthy souls will be tested with the most pressure and the highest heat, but heaven will not desert them."  (Streams in the Desert)  In case you missed that last part, heaven will not desert them.  Praise be to God.

I certainly don't feel like the most worthy of souls, but I do feel tested right now.  My test is hearing from God in a painful and confusing time without my "sometimes middleman."  I realized that Dad was what I want to call my "sometimes middleman."  It was just so easy to go to him for wisdom, advice, counsel, etc. because he seemed to always have godly counsel to give.

At times, its easier to phone a friend, or a dad in my case, than it is to seek God and wait until His answer comes.  It always comes, but not necessarily in my timeline.  Without our go-to guy, Tim and I have often felt  like we're left without a friend to call, so to speak.  The truth however, is that we are not deserted.  Heaven has not deserted us and in fact, our very best resource is closer than ever.

I, without a doubt, believe that Dad had more to teach me, more to explain, more fathering to do, but God, in his infinite wisdom, allowed Dad to come home regardless of that.  Apparently God considered us capable of hearing from Him without our "sometimes middleman."

So where does that leave us?

Well, it leaves me in a place of thankfulness.  I am thankful that my dad taught me how to seek God before he died.  He taught me how to stand in faith in the face of hopelessness.  He taught me the best lesson he could, to know God and be known by God.  For that I will be forever thankful.

After sharing my last post, a few of you have shared your current struggles with us and its so refreshing to know that none of us are alone!  Stand strong, Beloved, and know that heaven has not deserted you.  He hears your prayers and your answer, your victory, is coming!    

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't judge me

Typically, I make an effort to keep my mouth shut if I don't have anything nice to say.  I apologize in advance.  For today, we'll call it complaining venting.  I may live to regret this post...we'll see.  Don't judge me. Well, go ahead, I can't stop you anyway.

Lately I have been feeling a bit like I've lost a taste for life.  Getting together with friends falls a little flat.  Tim and I haven't been on a date in months, each day drags on until bedtime and then I don't really want to do anything except veg out.  

I still have goals and aspirations and there are dreams that God has given me that I want to work towards, but finding the motivation for that is hard these days.  This is a year to dream and I want to dream big.  God loves dreamers!  Especially dreamers who are do-ers.

Maybe I need to join a twins support group.  No seriously, there's one that meets in N. Mpls, probably not far from here.  I might go.  Next fall.  I'm not procrastinating, that's the next time they meet.

I know most mothers of small children find themselves self-medicating from time to time with media, food, wine, etc.  We all do.  It feels good at the time to eat that whole bag of dark chocolates and watch back-to-back episodes of Mad Men.  All things in moderation.

The trick of it is that self-medicating never feed the soul.  And that's what I know I need in order to get my groove back.  I need encounters with God if I am to survive this season.  There is no amount of wine or Modern Family that can accomplish that for me.

If we were good friends and you caught me at a candid moment, I might tell you that there has never been a time in my life when I have wanted to drink, smoke and curse more.  (In no particular order.)  I will say that I made a vow that I will never smoke another cigarette again.  I won't tell you when I made that vow.  You're on a need to know basis.  And maybe we're not that good of friends.

After the twins came along and Dad's illness progressed, Tim and I found a couple of wines that we really enjoy and about once a week, we enjoy them.  It doesn't help me process the mountain of grief I feel over losing one of my best friends, but I still enjoy it.  Drinking wine makes me feel grown-up.  Silly I know, but it does.  Considering that I am still astonished when I look around and realize that I am the mama to these 3 beautiful babes and that I am indeed in charge, maybe I need more wine!

We all know that sometimes it feels like life sucks you dry.  And sometimes it really does suck you dry.  And that sucks.  And I have no answers or cliche sayings that will make it better for you or for me.  But I want to share a song with you.  Music is powerful and this song has really encouraged me this past month.  Jackson and I listen to it over and over (and over) in the van and he calls it "our song."  That kid is too cute.

This may not be the best version of it, but give it a listen and really listen to the words because it's truth she's singing about.  So whether its grief, money, infertility, a crazy duplex, twins, family, illness, your job, or all of them, I pray that God would give you eyes to see His truth in the midst of your pain.  


Wednesday, May 23, 2012




Their second favorite place to play. The bathroom is first.

Heidi made smoothies for Jackson and me.

Jackson likes to be turned into a burrito after bath time.

T-Bone asleep.

I am not sure what is going on here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Do we still think about Africa?

Three years ago today, Heidi, Baby Jack, and I were in Monument, Colorado learning how to be missionaries. It was an incredible training but we were haunted the entire time by the thought that the Lord did not want us to go to Senegal any longer. A few months later we had resigned from the Navigators and did not know what to do next. We had spent three years getting ready and then we did not go. It was a terribly painful time of our lives. My lowest point came on Christmas Eve of 2009. I was working at Costco, collecting shopping carts in a blinding snowstorm all day. Since then I have settled into a better job, we moved into a house that we love, and added twin boys to our family. But we still think about Senegal.

I cannot speak for Heidi but I think about Senegal all the time. We don't know why the Lord changed the plan and perhaps we never will. Enduring the death of Heidi's Dad and birthing twins in Dakar would have been tough, but I am not sure either of those things are the reason we did not go. We loved the team that we would have joined. They are three fantastic families and sometimes I ache thinking about how much I would have loved to serve with them. I still cannot bring myself to wear the Senegalese soccer jersey that I bought in Kebemer. The sadness is still too close to the surface. I know how hard life can be in Africa and there are times when I feel relief thinking about broken down trucks and 100+ degree weather and long days learning a new language, but I still feel sad. We know we made the right choice and someday I will wear my jersey again. In the meantime, I will pray for the Mashburns, Ketchums, and the Herzbergs and hope to see them on home assignment. And I will continue to think about Senegal.