The Warmth

Minnesota is not known for it’s mild winters, yet today as the sun streams through my window and the temps have gone up 40 degrees (it’s now like 31!) since yesterday, I can’t help but feel the grace of God in it all.  He knows that we can’t weather below zero forever.


Bittersweet is the loss Tuesday’s family is experiencing right now.  They will miss her, to be sure, but knowing that she is being held, pain-free, in the arms of Jesus…sweet.  Tears stream (again) down my cheeks as I write this.  I have lost several close family members to cancer.  One was my grandfather.  I will never forget his words the morning we found out my aunt had died.  “No parent should ever have to see their child die!”

My grandfather was a man of faith.  He loved God so deeply, and it showed.  But it did not mean he couldn’t grieve, and question, and be angry.  I hope and pray that Tuesday’s family feels that freedom, by God’s grace, these coming days, weeks, years.

If you want to do something to help this family, Heather and her husband are donating $1 for every comment left on THIS POST.  Click on over, leave a comment or 75, and say a prayer for the Whitt family.

And then I go and totally redeem myself!

Now in case you saw the photo I posted of my mom and brother a few days ago, you should know that she doesn’t look that perturbed all the time (nor does he look that…weird).  In fact, my post today for I Heart Faces is probably the best photo I took all Christmas season.  I adore it–my mom’s look of joy, surrounded by a sea of faces of loved ones.

Grandma 122508

Enter the contest yourself and check out other photos at

The Only Survivor Was My Hands

Turns out all the (wonderful) advice I got from you guys on Saturday came in more handy for us (Husband and me) than for Anja.  She had the stomach flu for about 5 hours–puked twice, but was otherwise happy.  Later that afternoon she was already able to keep down toast and such other items.

Husband and I were thankful to have made it through her sickness unscathed…or so we thought.  We kept her home Sunday, just in case, but took turns going out, he to church and me to small group.  Still fine.

Around 10:00 I went to bed (early work the next morning), and my stomach wasn’t feeling the best.  I chalked it up to the cookie I had eaten before bed (BAD me!) and dozed off.  Around midnight I woke with terrible stomach problems and found Husband, who said he had been experiencing the same.  For whatever (dumb) reason, we assumed carbon monoxide.  Husband tested and re-set both our CO monitors, we opened the deck door and let some fresh (below zero) air in, and hoped for the best.  Within 20 minutes I was vomiting.  Let’s just say that between 12:30 and 8:00 a.m., I lost 6 pounds.  I have never met a sickness like this one before.

Both of us were literally unable to move at times.  Poor Anja.  We couldn’t find a sitter, so she spent the day alternating between her playpen, her high chair, and in front of the TV (a major no-no in our eyes, but a must yesterday).  She did remarkably well, but by day’s end seemed to have quite hurt feelings, thinking her parents had turned into lazy slugs who can’t be bothered by her needs.

After sleeping most of the day and for 11 hours last night, I am doing slightly better today.  I was able to keep down part of a banana and a piece of toast.  Hurray!  (Warning!  TMI ahead…)  My urine was orangeish-red this morning, so obviously I’m still a little on the dehydrated side.  But thankfully, recovering!  And trying to find the lesson (read: the glory to God) in all of this.  🙂

Sunday Sunshine 01.25.09



Let’s hear it for organization!  I had motivation, however; we’re trying to sell.

Thank you all for the well-wishes and advice regarding Anja.  Husband and I have stayed sickness-free thus far.  She had two bouts of vomiting and was able to keep some toast, chicken broth with rice, crackers and fruit down later in the day.  Yay!  I am praying for a better day today, too.

I Caught Vomit in My Hands This Morning

I think that’s a first for me!  Even in all my years of camp counseling, youth ministry and childcare experience, I don’t believe I have had the pleasure.  🙂

Fortunately, it seems much less gross when it’s your own child.  This is her first time throwing up, and she seemed quite scared.  She can’t even keep chicken broth down, poor dear.  Any mommies want to share how they keep their little ones hydrated when they’re sick?

Another Anja Day

Anja and I were supposed to have a playdate this morning and a vaccination this afternoon, but we cancelled both since she isn’t on her “A game” right now.  Meaning, she has snot running down her face and is coughing like a 78-yr-old smoker.  Seriously, I’m going to try to get her coughing on video.  It sounds heartless, but I want to remember how funny she sounds!

Rub 011409

I’ve been wanting to record here (since I haven’t been terribly good about putting things in her baby book) some of her latest “accomplishments” (is learning to kiss without a wide open mouth an accomplishment?), so here goes.

1) Counting to three.  We do this a lot in our house.  She helps count the amount of buckles to get her in and out of her high chair or car seat, we count to three before she can jump off the changing table into my arms, we read counting books almost every day, do flash cards…She had been counting “one, two” for a long time, but just recently added “feeee” to her repertoire.

2) Identifying colors.  There are still several she mixes up, but she consistently gets the following right: black, white, yellow and orange.  Hey, it’s a start!

3) Walking backwards.  Again, she’s been practicing for months, but now she can do it full on (full back?).  Atta girl–what a talent!  heh heh.

4) Naming body parts: legs, feet, butt, hands, arms, neck, back, head, forehead, nose (she loves to name other people’s noses and touch them, too, which can be awkward at times), mouth, chin, eyes, tummy and “button” (belly button).  Doesn’t get the concept of cheeks yet.

5) Telling us when she’s about to poop.  We’re hoping this leads to early potty training.  We have a potty in our bathroom that she sits on regularly, but she tries to stand in it or disassemble it just as frequently.

6) Feeding her babies.  She got a little Snow White doll for Christmas from my cousin, and she sits her down into her Bumbo, has mommy help her put the tray on, then sets out a spread and feeds her with a spoon and cup.  She uses very emphatic nom NOMs just the way her mommy does–it’s hilarious.

7) Doing actions to (and kind of singing) songs.  She would, for the longest time, enjoy watching such classics as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Only A Boy Named David,” but wouldn’t do the actions (except for the falling down part at the end of “David”).  Yesterday I sang “Old Macdonald had a farm, ” and got a very distinct, if not in tune, “E-I-E-I-E-I-E-I” in response.  No O’s necessary here, man.

Then at breakfast this morning, she was acting rather peculiar, putting her fingers together in the “more” symbol, but not asking for more, then moving her hands from up in the air down to her tray and saying things like “Wash” and “Bitty.”  After a moment of confusion, smart Mommy quickly figured out that she was trying to sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and boy oh boy was Anja overjoyed when I began singing the song for her!

Another favorite is “Peas Porridge Hot.”

8 )  Drinking out of a glass.  Not a sippy cup (she’s never handled them well) or even a plastic cup, but one of our heavy glasses.  She has used it since she was a little younger than a year for drinking (again, not so good with sippy cups), and for the last few weeks holds them and drinks herself in a surprisingly controlled manner for a 16-mo-old.

9) “Praying.”  After many nights of prodding, she finally folds her hands (for about 5 seconds) at the beginning of prayer time.  Still working on focus–she’s a bit busy for anything besides reading that requires sitting still.


A couple of things we’re still working on:

1) Learning to push herself forward instead of only backward on her little scooty car.

2) Putting away toys and books before naps and bedtime.  This has  brought on more than a few tantrums and punishments, but consistency is that for which we are striving.


Encouragement and tips accepted!!!

I’m the Apple of His Eye

Or at least my reflection is in his wicked awesome sunglasses.  Ha!  Another one of Husband this week.  We took Anja sledding at my Mom’s house after Christmas, and I grabbed a random hat out of the “outerwear bin” for him to put on.  He didn’t even realize it had an embroidered deer on it (even! more! awesome!) until I told him quite a while later. It’s my entry in the adult category for I Heart Faces this week.

Awesome 122608

Check out more stuff at