Thursday, December 24, 2009
The day started early for my dear husband who took the van into the shop first thing in the morning for what we knew would be about $1,000.00 worth of work. We have been saving for these repairs for a couple months.
A bit later in the morning, as I was straightening up the house for my impending company, we got the phone call: the majority of the work would be covered under our extended warranty! THANK YOU LORD! The same warranty that a different dealership said had expired, hence we were saving the money. Rest assured, letters will be written and a complaint lodged against that dealership.
Thank you GOD! We've been fretting about these repairs for two months, trying to save as much as possible in as little time as possible and still pay on debt, provide for the family and give our girls a Christmas (needless to say, Josh and I decided quickly not to get each other anything). I've been praying like mad, every time I'd get in the van I'd pray! Talk about answered prayers! The dealership called while my company was here saying it was going to cost us $100.00 for the repair made to the tire. I was so excited, I think I may have jumped up and down. Just thinking about it now, I want to jump for joy!
Praise the Lord, our van is fixed, we didn't have to use our emergency fund and we even have a partially funded vehicle maintenance fund! I love Josh's take after the emotional stress dump: At least it got you closer to God, think about how much you've been praying.
And that company...
IT WAS ALLY!!!
Ally, Ethan and Baby Lana came down for the day, such joy! I have missed my dear friend and her wonderful children. It was so great being able to catch up, meet and hold the babe, watch the kids play, and just talk! Ally looks amazing! Lana is beautiful and so laid back; she slept most of the time, but when she wasn't, she was all smiles. Ethan has gotten so big!
I think Brenna was in a bit of shock when she saw Ethan, even though she knew he was coming over. I had Brenna open the door, when she saw Ethan she said, "Ethan? Ethan! ETHAN!!!" She shrieked, it was precious.
It was great, the kids played, it was almost like they had never been separated. All us girls sat around and gabbed, we ate and visited. A wonderful day!
My absolute favorite part of the day was when we were getting ready to go out to dinner. The kids were putting on shoes and coats when Brenna looked at Ethan.
Brenna: "I love you Ethan."
Ethan: "I love you Brenna."
So simple, so perfect.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I was appalled back in September when I heard a small town in Oklahoma was having to, essentially, close down the police department. On the news this evening, they were talking about how one Northwest Chicago suburb is having to fire 4 of their police officers to save money.
THIS IS NOT WHERE THE CUT BACKS SHOULD BE COMING FROM!!
I'm all for local, state and the federal government cutting spending to save money instead of raising taxes but seriously?! And, I understand money is tight in this recession the White House says we're out of, but this is not the way to go.
Crime is on the rise and people just don't have the warm and fuzzy feeling of being safe anymore. How are we going to feel when it takes an hour for someone to respond when you call 911?
Now, I don't have the miracle cure, I haven't done the research to know where the money is going that would be considered frivolous. I do know politicians make more than our military, my only suggestion is put congress and the senate, mayors, governors, all of them, on the existing military pay scale. That should save a dollar or two, or maybe the military would get a raise.
My thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters in blue. May they have what they need to keep us safe.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Our weekend actually started like most other's would, on Friday night. Josh's class graduated Friday morning so he we in during the day and had the evening off, it was a lovely change of pace. We went to the store as a family, then went to dinner and to a musical recital at Community Christian Church of Lake County, our neighbor and her family were in it. After the recital, the church had a birthday party for Jesus, Brenna had a great time.
Got up Saturday morning and had acupuncture. I can't believe I've been headache free for so long without meds. I really didn't think I'd ever live without headaches, I've suffered from them since puberty. Thank you Jenni for recommending I try.
Later, Josh went to the gym and the girls took a nap. Once he was home and they were up we began our weekend project... We swapped the girl's room with the play room. So now, Brenna is back in her old bed (she's been sleeping on the futon in Paige's room since Paige started sleeping in her crib 6 months ago). I love that Brenna wants to share a room with her sister and I'm thankful to be getting her off the futon. I'm beginning to enjoy the idea of a guest/play room. We now have a place for someone to sleep and not have to worry about where the kids are going to sleep.
I have some work to do on the new guest/play room, hang some pictures and a shelf. I moved most of Paige's clothes out of the closet this evening.
Sunday morning we got up and went to church as a family. Oh how I LOVE that!!! Came home to enjoy a quiet afternoon. Josh and some buddies went on a 10 mile hike with weighted packs while the girls and I hung out. I got some presents wrapped and under the tree and am surprised that I have to tell B more often than Paige to keep hands off.
Brenna spent much of her Sunday singing. I love hearing, "Jesus loves me so, so, so..." and "Happy Birthday Dear Jesus!" Apparently she had a lot of fun in nursery/Sunday school today. I was told the reason she didn't color her picture was because she was busy being Mommy to baby Jesus. And this evening she asked if she could knock on the table, we assumed it was a knock knock joke and, of course, allowed it. But to our surprise when we said "hello?" as per instructed, she told us "there was no room in the house [inn]." If you ask her if baby Jesus was born in a stable she will correct you and say, "He was born in a manger."
It's been a lovely weekend, thank you Lord!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Paige, on the other hand, looked at this red fellow with a bit of wonderment and quickly offered a smile.
When Brenna became nervous, I grabbed up Paige and assured Brenna she could take the picture with her sister. While she was slightly delighted she was not yet convinced.
I stood in front of Santa and asked which side he'd prefer the baby on, he indicated the left and I proceeded to place Paigie gently in his arm. This did not please our Little Bit!
I instantly became reminiscent of ALL of Brenna's past Santa experiences, she's never been a fan.
I quickly looked to Brenna and had her sit with Paige and hoped they'd both cheer up a bit. It worked! Paige wasn't completely happy but at least she was calm.
In the end, we got a good picture.
I've learned, sisters can make us brave!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I came across the above video while blog hopping and was very excited.
You see, I've been a bit down lately when thinking of the upcoming holiday. Usually the coming of Christmas fills me with joy and delight but this year has been a little different. This past summer we started the Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt and it has drastically changed our lives in the process. It may not appear so from the outside but we now budget EVERYTHING with all extra money going to pay off debt. The cool thing is we've paid off close to $5,000.00 of debt in the past 4 months! But I digress.
We decided when we had our first child that we'd try to keep Christmas more about Christ and less about consumerism. We continued a tradition my parents started in my family, each child got three presents from Mom and Dad and then one from Santa. I wanted to go a step further away from too many toys, especially since we knew that's what most of the family would be giving, so we agreed one gift would be a toy, one would be something educational and the third would be clothing; the gift from Santa would be something asked for (within reason).
This year we applied the budget to Christmas shopping as well. I have been so stressed trying to figure out how I was going to give the girls the Christmas I felt they deserve on about $40 per child. I've been having so many internal struggles with this. I know they don't "need" any of this stuff but I want to give them things. Some how, I've finished shopping for both girls on less then budgeted and since Josh and I have decided not to get each other anything all we have left is to MAKE our gifts for family and friends.
Tomorrow is the first day of Advent and we've already started taking steps to (hopefully) ensure Brenna understands Christmas is about Jesus' birthday and not about opening presents. Tonight we read a poem and a bible verse as part of a series my church doing during Advent and on December 1st we'll start reading The Advent Book, the true story of Christmas. *Side note, this is an amazing book!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Three years ago, shorty after Brenna was born, I was watching NBC5 News. Back in the day, Anchor Bob Sirott had a little bit at the end of the 4:30 news where he gave his opinion in a light-hearted fashion. On this particular day he made light of the fact that Christmas decorations were popping up before Halloween and one of the local radio stations was going to start Christmas music on November 1st. He chuckled and said in a year or two decorations would be up in September and the radio station would start their Christmas music Columbus Day weekend. He was dead on!
A letter to all early Christmas shoppers.
First let me say I am excited you've not only finished your Christmas shopping back in October but you've already started on next year's. That is kinda cool.
But seriously, what's up with all the pressure, aren't the retail outlets doing enough of that?! It's bad enough that a couple days before Halloween I can no longer get Halloween candy and the day after there is NO sign of it because everything has been replaced by holiday decor. Our local Walmart seemed to have skipped Thanksgiving completely.
Please don't rush me. I used to enjoy Christmas shopping, now I'm feeling behind the power curve! I was going to wait until Black Friday, take advantage of the deals then spend a couple weeks getting what I hadn't. Now you're telling me if the sales over the past couple weeks are better than what is planned for Black Friday. I'm so confused! Last year was my first Black Friday experience and I was looking forward to this year but now you're saying my I'm too late.
If you have the time, could you please put together a shopping calendar for next year for us wayward shoppers, this would help immensely! You could add suggested start dates, or which sales to look forward to.
Your tired and frazzled shopping friend.
I just cant seem to get on top of them. I thought it would be simple, to keep my house clean I simply split up the basic cleaning needs into one or two daily chores. The problem occurs when I don't get Monday's done, on Tuesday I'm trying to do two days worth, then if I don't get them both finished Wednesday is even worse. By the time Thursday rolls around I'm overwhelmed.
You're wondering why the lack of cleaning can make me feel overwhelmed... Well, just don't look at my house right now.
I created this cleaning routine when I was pregnant with Paige and it worked well. I spent a few months actually feeling like I had it together. I didn't cringe if a friend showed up unannounced, although I did still apologize for the mess.
I'm wondering if my lack of success may be due to the change in dynamic. Before, I could clean while Brenna played, I wasn't having to worry about what she may be getting into or if she would find something to choke on, current worries with Paige. I don't like to be upstairs cleaning with her downstairs and to take her up with me puts her at my feet. I also suffer from a lack of motivation, when the girls are resting I want to rest as well, when they're happy playing, I want to play with them. One thing can be said, my house may look like poo but my girls sure know I love them. :0)
I guess I'm off to configure a new game plan!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I did something to my knee a couple weeks ago and I have a tendency to only remember it's injured when I go trotting up the stairs in the evenings. (I don't do much trotting during the day for some reason.) Earlier today I injured my left index finger and now it just feels odd, it's strange. I can't quite bend it all the way and it's a little swollen, as long as it doesn't fall off during the night I'll be fine, I'm sure.
Mentally, I'm just exhausted so everything is slowing down! Between Paige's teething and B's UTI (Oh, by the way, B has a UTI) I haven't a full nights sleep in weeks. What I would give for just 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep... **I'm imagining what it would be like to wake rested, ahhhh** And I'm back.
Lately, I've been so tired and unmotivated I have completely neglected my house. Luckily today we rearranged the living room so it's been dusted and vacuumed. Now if I could just get on top of the rest of it. To have energy I need rest, to get rest I need the girls to sleep, to get the girls to sleep I have to figure something out, LOL. Ugh!
Emotionally, well, I refer back to the lack of sleep.
Heavenly Father, help me to find rest and motivation. Help me to feel a sense of accomplishment and to enjoy even the most tired of days.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Please understand we love you and it is with that love that we chose to find you a new home. You deserve more than we could give you. You deserve to be walked, played with, snuggled with, and enjoyed.
I truly hope this new home brings you more joy than you've ever known.
Thank you for being a part of our family. We love you Bubba!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Tonight I found myself at a loss for words and even actions when B was in full meltdown refusing to pick up her toys then refusing to go upstairs. It's like she didn't even hear me! (I ended up carrying her upstairs and putting her on her bed.)
A while back, a Facebook friend asked why parents raise their voices at their children in non-emergency situations? She suggested it just adds to the chaos. So I challenged myself to not raise my voice at my B. For about a week I was very aware of my tone and it really changed my behavior and the way I dealt with the crazy 3yo. Lately, I've found myself raising my voice at her everyday! And I find it tiring, having to repeat myself.
So, I'm going to challenge myself, again. My attempt will be to not raise my voice at her, unless she is some kind of danger or she is placing her sister in danger. Please wish me luck and prayers are always welcome!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I don't want to admit it but yes, my sweet darling daughters can sometimes be brats, although I do prefer not to use the "b" word and opt instead for saying "sassy."
Just recently, on two separate occasions, I found myself defending and making excuses for both my girls. Yesterday when I was asked if Little Bit's crankiness was due to teething, I found it was easier to say yes than try to explain that we're dealing with separation anxiety. A couple weeks ago Big Bit was in a full meltdown mode at the mall, I know it was aggravated by hunger but that is no excuse for the way she was acting.
How often I find myself blaming fits and crankiness on teething, tiredness, hunger, everything under the sun because deep down inside I don't want to believe my kids are really "that way." And I know they're not. I have great kids that sometimes misbehave.
Thank you Lord for making my children just how you want them, please help me to remember that raising them is a process and one to be enjoyed!
Friday, October 23, 2009
To my own sleep-deprived brain and body,
This is your third attempt at this blog. While I know you enjoy staying up for the Hubby and you really, really want to get those pictures posted on FaceBook, it's okay to step away from the computer. Especially when you have read the same line you've just written three times and it's not until the third time you realize you typed when "wehn." Brain, it's time to tell the body to back off and head upstairs. Take a break, go to bed.
And for future reference, it's okay to not get on the computer every night. Try going to bed right after the girls do one night, you might be surprised how much more you can accomplish when you're actually rested.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I was sitting on the couch, nursing Paige while Brenna was putting toys away. She bent over by me to pick up a toy.
"Brenna, pull up your pants, I can see your tushy."
"You wanna see my tushy?"
"No Sweetheart, can you..."
I was unable to finish my sentence because she promptly pulled down the back of her pants and mooned me. "Look at my tushy!" She giggled.
I laughed so hard Paige was forced to stop.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Over the past few weeks this household has been busy and a bit hecktic. I didn't mind you stopping by to visit and while I appreciate your company, you have overstayed your welcome! I am kindly asking you to leave. I will give you this opportunity to save face and leave of your own accord. I feel we can best move on with our lives and find quicker closure if you leave tonight.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Have I mentioned how much she loves pears?! That's my girl!
Josh and Brenna dig the apples, Paige and I are pear lovers!
Friday, October 2, 2009
This has been a crazy week for sure. With both girls being sick at the same time and my total lack of sleep I felt it best to write you for prosperity.
While I know pieces of this week, even the past few weeks, will eventually fade into nothingness, I implore you will help me to remember the highlights. I don't mind forgetting about the sleepless nights, the insane amount of B tantrums and the isolation felt by being stuck in the house with the sickies, in fact I'd prefer to. I do want to remember the love Brenna has shown Paige when she wasn't feeling good and the smiles Paige gives Brenna every time she coughs, as if to say, "I know, I've been there." I hope to remember the fact that Brenna has worn some piece of her Cinderella costume everyday since her birthday and will even put the crown on Paigie's head. Most importantly please help me to remember God's grace brought me out of this when I wasn't sure how I was going to make it, yet another day running on empty!
One thing I also hope to never forget is at the end of this crazy week, baby Lana made (or will make) her grand entrance into this world! Welcome sweet child!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Paigie said Mama today!!!
Actually it started off as Mamama followed by a happy squeal. It was so precious. By the time we left the hospital this evening she had it down. Yes, you read that right, we ended up at the hospital. (Our insurance doesn't cover acute care clinics without a referral). So she has her first, hopefully her only, ear infection. Poor thing spiked a crazy quick fever and was miserable. But of course by the time we got to the hospital she was calm and checking things out but she was still running a fever. Tylenol broke her fever about an hour later and she slept. She's sleeping now.
Gap is holding a nationwide contest to find the next faces of babyGap and GapKids, and Paige B. is entered into the contest. Check out Paige B.'s entry here: http://family.go.com/gapcastingcall/entries/ClanBrunn/613085591/
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Yesterday was B's 3rd birthday, where did the time go?! We had a play date at the park on Saturday to celebrate. It was a lovely day, not too hot and the men did most of the chasing. It was so very nice to be able to sit and chat with the ladies and not worry about which one of this kids is trying to climb the wall. Brenna loved her cake, it had Toy Story characters on it.
Being 3 is a big deal here around Clan Brunn, we made a rule a few months ago that children weren't allowed to have pacifiers past the age of 3. Brenna has known this for a while and if you'd ask her anything about her birthday she's tell you she was getting rid of her binky. So when her birthday finally arrived, she was saddened to give up the bink. Since she didn't quite understand why a perfectly good binky needed to go in the trash we "broke" it (we cute a slit in it) and I held her next to the trash can so she could throw it in. When we came back inside she told me she was sad and that she might cry, I told her that was perfectly okay, then she ran off to play with Woody.
Nap time was a little difficult, she cried for a bit. Josh and I both talked to her about being a big girl and how we would all help her get through this. She eventually went down and woke up very grumpy. Only wanting to be held, I had to strap her to my back so I could cook dinner. Josh was very surprised when he walked through the door.
Bed time was, well, non existent. Our routine starts between 7:30 and 8, she finally went to sleep sometime around midnight, in our bed. I know it's going to take some time to adjust, I pray it doesn't take too long. I'm already missing the happy, go lucky B.
This week is International Babywearing Week. I'm excited to participate in the Lake County Babywearers International Babywearing Week Celebration this Thursday. It should be a lot of fun. For myself, I'm trying to do a different carry everyday and take pictures. My Maya Wrap ring sling and Pikkolo are my work horses so I've been trying to use the wrap more at home.
This is my first real attempt at carrying Paige in a ruk, I was a bit nervous but Josh said she looked very secure. I think she enjoyed being up so high.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I was in Bahrain, I had worked the night before and spent all day with the Marines at the range (all though I never did get to shoot) so I was exhausted and went straight to bed when I got home. When I finally answered the phone I remember telling the dispatcher I had swapped days with someone else and was not coming in and he told me what happened. If memory serves correctly the towers had not yet fallen. My Chief had me come in although he didn't allow me to arm up, I spent the next 12 hours or so sleeping in the conference room or on the smoke deck chatting with everyone.
I remember thinking how it was such a tragedy and I may have even remarked about how we, in the Middle East, weren't the target for once. I'm sorry if that sounds cold.
We spent the next several days in Delta, working and sleeping, not much time for anything else. I missed most of the aftermath, the searching and not knowing.
I was back in the States for the first anniversary and that's when I found out how it affected everyone and how America seemed to change.
My heart and prayers are with those who wake up everyday mourning someone they've lost. My heartfelt gratitude goes out too all who still serve and to our first responders everywhere. God be with you and your families.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The girls and I are heading to Oklahoma for Labor Day and the countdown has begun! This will be the Second Annual Labor Day Weekend Bash. Last year was a luau, this year will be a fiesta! I'm looking forward to being able to play this year (I was pregnant last time).
Monday, August 10, 2009
I don't have the answer, but it would be nice if you were wanting a product to review and the manufacturer provided it for you. Personal integrity would of course fall on the individual. Who knows...
Sunday, July 12, 2009
On the table between the two beds I found the following note...
To Our Guest
In the ancient time there was a prayer for "The Stranger within our gates"
Because this Hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.
May this room and motel be your "second" home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.
May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.
We are all travelers. From "birth till death" we travel between eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.
Needless to say, I felt the Spirit within those walls and slept very well.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The rest of the morning and into the afternoon was just kinda fun and happy! I got to take a nap with the girls.
Josh came home for dinner, fun and happy!
Brenna got to play at Grace's, fun and happy!
Anna watched my girls so I could run to Walmart, fun and wait... Not so much fun and Paige was really NOT happy. We are learning that Paige is suffering from a bit of separation anxiety. I was really hoping she just didn't like the church nursery but after today I'm sure she just has an attachment to her mommy and daddy. I guess we'll be working this over the next, well, however long it takes.
After Paige calmed down and took a nap, B and I hung out and had some more fun. When it was time to go to bed Brenna decided she and Paige needed to sleep in their matching cow pj's (I'm really hoping to get a picture in the morning).
So now, my babes are asleep, my dog's at my feet and I just rescued a spider and set him free outside. All in all, it's been an AWESOME day! Thank you Lord!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Since birth, Paige has slept in our room in a bassinet and, consequently, Brenna ended up in our room as well since she has to be where the action is. Well, Little Bit no longer fits in the bassinet and since she was trying to roll in it we deemed it was time for her to move into her room. WHY OH WHY?!
Paige loves her new bed and her new room, so much so that she loves to be awake when she's in there. She loves to wake up at 4am and thinks she's supposed to nurse since hey, she's awake. I feel like I haven't slept in a week, oh wait, I haven't.
The upside to all of this is Brenna wants to sleep wherever her little sister is and now sleeps on the futon in Paige's room.
Advise is welcomed.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
With the help of a friend I found a local acupuncturist (who gives a military discount, woohoo). I felt better after the first session and after the second session my background headaches were gone! I can't wait to see what else we can accomplish.
I started doing research on other homeopathic remedies and came across Baltic amber. A friend of mine has a necklace for her daughter and says it has made a big difference with teething. It is said Baltic amber, when worn against the skin, can help relieve pain and strengthen the immune system. I'm very excited to try it. A woman I met at a babywearing meeting suggested Inspired by Finn and by mentioning them in my note I'm able to get a 20% discount. You can have it too by using the code save20. Inspired by Finn I'm getting Brenna and I each a necklace.
I'll be sure to keep you posted!