Category Archives: life

Winter blues.

How do you “get through” the winter blues?  Those days which turn into weeks that seems to crawl by in January of bitter cold and short amounts of daylight.  I have managed to find a few simple things to help my mood improve at least a little, and hey, I’ll take whatever can help!  I am including a mix of things that are daycare-related as well, since this is how I spend my days!

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Invitation to play-with fresh homemade playdoh!  I use this recipe and double it for large amounts!  I also use paste food coloring and sometimes essential oils for scent, also you do not have to boil the water first and it will turn out fine.  😉

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Add a new element to the play space.  We found this great little tent at Ikea {where else?} and the kids have really enjoyed the reading nook a lot more lately.  Children need a space where they can not be seen by adults sometimes.  It’s fun to hear them make-believe while they are in the tent.

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Set out some paints and allow the children to just come and paint as they desire, not specific direction-just because it’s fun!

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I am enjoying this fake orchid in my window that I picked up at Ikea, I am afraid I would kill a real one so this cheers me up just as much, if not more!

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I did buy a real plant too-this little Primrose!  Even if it only blooms for a few weeks it really lifts the mood to see something bright and cheery growing in my kitchen.

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It’s important to remember to keep caring for your skin {and your overall health} even when you feel the winter “blahs.”  I love this thick shea butter based lotion by J.R. Wakins {MN based company, love!}.  It is super nice to rub on after all the hand-washing that goes on around here.

There are many more ways to keep yourself going this winter, don’t give up!  Spring will come again, we need to remember to find the little things to be grateful for in EVERY season.

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Childhood.

What does a good childhood represent to you?

To me it’s what I experienced.  I had parents that cared about me enough to invest time, teaching, and giving of wisdom.  It wasn’t about perfection, fancy gifts or a huge house.  Life doesn’t always work out that way.  A good childhood to me is one where you are loved-and love can be shown in so many ways.

My mom and dad have never had enough money.  Wealth was not in the plans that God had for them and they knew that and did their best to be wise with what they were given.  I knew that the lack of money could cause a great deal of stress but rarely did my parents complain about it to us kids.  My mom was resourceful and my dad learned that it was okay to receive help {most of the time!}.

Despite times of stress and craziness there were also moments of pure joy.  We didn’t have huge birthday “bashes” full of perfectly matched napkins and party favors {not that there is anything wrong with those} but we did get to decorate our own cakes, and have neighborhood besties over.  We threw water balloons and splashed in kiddie pools.  We laughed and we LIVED.

At Christmas we didn’t get very many gifts, but we looked forward every year to the simple yet meaningful ornaments my mom would make for each one of us.  Decorating a small tree and staring at the fragile nativity scene on the mantle always made for special memories.

My dad used to read to us, and sing to us when I was very young.  When I was older he would let us watch favorite TV shows with him and have all our friends from school hang out nearly every weekend.  He was funny, humble, and caring.  My mom was patient, kind, and always thinking about others.

A good childhood is one where you are loved and respected as a person. It’s where you are given freedom to be yourself within the boundaries that are set there for your own good and safety.

I’m so thankful for the childhood that God gave me, although it wasn’t perfect-it was perfectly in HIS plan for my life and my journey.

Thanks Mom and Dad, for always being there and loving ALL of us kids with your whole heart.  Thanks for knowing what it means to show love even though it isn’t always easy.  Enjoy your “empty-nester” years to the fullest and let God continue to show you His love and blessing!

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Our year.

We decided not to do the usual Christmas card dealio this year.  Just not feeling like it’s right this year for lots of reasons {nothing too crazy though}.

Instead I thought I could just give you our “year in review” right here on the blog!

Oh wait…now I have to remember stuff!

Winter– I bought my first dutch oven {love kitchen stuff!} and Ryan went on an amazing ski trip.

I blogged about trusting God, even during trials.  We spent a relaxing weekend in Duluth and discovered a passion for snowshoeing!

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Spring- I worked a lot on getting organized around the house and with my daycare space…also wrote about how to be less stressed.

I was able to see both of my best friends and have wonderful and amazing talks and laughs.  So thankful for these girls!  My sisters also came into town later in the spring for a fun girl-time weekend!

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Summer-  We made it to the big TEN year wedding anniversary and couldn’t believe how fast time had gone!  I guess we are getting old!  I struggled to come to terms with my infertility journey and all that has come with it {I had to have a minor surgery}.

We planted our garden and waited for growth.  Ryan played softball with our church team and we took some time off to spend a week at IRBC family camp with the Bjokne/Nystrom side.

My baby sister got married to her sweetheart, Sterling Pfenning in July and I couldn’t believe the day had come {love her!}

I turned 31 and Ryan celebrated 33 years of life in August.

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Fall-  I took some time off from writing and focused on getting healthier.  I received my sleep-study results and started learning how to deal with my new bedtime companion…the cpap!

Ryan and I both attended amazing retreats with the men and women of NWBC and were strengthened and encouraged.  My daycare family grew by one child and life just continued to get busier and busier for us both at work.

Thanksgiving was held at our house for the Hood side and we had a great time with a full house of guests!

Winter this year finds us getting ready for my other sister’s wedding and all the plans that go with it!  We look forward to a new year filled with new adventures and possibilities!  So thankful for God’s hand in our lives and that He chooses to use us to glorify Him!

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Love.

She stepped out into the brisk cold evening air and started to walk.  She walked hard and fast, trying to leave the heaviness she felt behind her somehow.  The air was heavy with fog and the streetlights struggled to burn brightly.

The wind bit at her cheeks and as she reached the edge of the neighborhood homes the tears started to fall.  She pleaded with God to show Himself…somehow in this heavy, ever hazy darkness…she needed Him to tell her the answer to it all, and to tell her why she has to hurt.

“Show me that you love me!”  She yelled into the night.  Nothing.  Again she repeats this prayer and the plea is quieter each time.  She knows who she is.  She knows that there is good happening here and everywhere….but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough.  

Then, the very next day while sitting in church she is reminded so vividly.  “I DO love you, and I’ve shown you…at the cross, I gave up my own life, I suffered  to show you just how much I love you.”  A simple moment, belief…and faith in what really matters, once again.  She is the child of the KING, and she will be in that palace in Heaven in the end…and there will be no tears.

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Fall.

It’s foggy, misty, wet, and cold.

Fall is really here…only not the nice weather type of fall.  REAL Minnesota-type fall.

I have so much on my mind and heart as I sit here.  Good friends of mine are out there and they are really suffering these days.  It’s hard enough to go through periods of pain and hurt myself, but when I see my friends endure hardship it feels even worse.

No one asks for pain or trial, but the truth is that God does mean it for our good, we have to cling to that truth and although it seems like forever, our suffering will one day be over.  If we are a child of the King of Kings we will one day be with Him in Heaven and there will be no more suffering.

I know I personally cannot wait.  We don’t know how many days we will have, life is so very brief and sometimes over in what seems like the blink of an eye.  Miscarriage has robbed many mother’s or moms-to-be of their hope, there are parents mourning the loss of a child that was still growing, learning, and playing just a moment ago.

Let us encourage one-another to keep going on.  When the cold sets in, and the wind feels cruel…get that extra blanket out, give a pair of mittens to cold fingers and tell those who hurt that spring will come again and God IS using your pain to draw you to Himself and to show His almighty glory to the world.

I Peter 1:6-9