Wednesday, October 13, 2010


well I am offically done with checking in on two survey spots. FINALLY. getting 20 + emails a day from one company and 15+ from the other was way too much and I just could never get caught up. I ended up cashing out with a $10 check coming and a $25 walmart gift card. But SOOO not worth me spending all my time on the computer. I will keep recieving the emails until my prizes get here and then I am totally deleting out of them for good it feels refreshing to see new ones come and just send them straight to the trash. Will more sites follow? I don't know yet a couple of weeks to see if this works is what I plan to do first!! SOOO excited though

the sites you may ask? and rewardport yes you get money but it takes way too much effort

Sunday, October 10, 2010

so I've been purging

So I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off since we have moved to Meade. I'm not sure what it is, the extra child, the super large house, more laundry, having more distractions in town i.e. a TON of family, my intense new Bible study, or my best guess a combination of all the above but I can't get caught up. When I started this chapter of my life as a stay at home mom I started doing online surveys to make a bit of extra money. I would devote about an hour a day to the cause and every once in awhile I'd make some money. It got to where I'd make about 300-400 dollars a year with some good other good things thrown in there some rewards or gift cards plus getting to try products out and I was hooked. So over the years I've started added more and more survey companies. Oh yeah and I should say I discovered google reader and several sites where they would post ways to get freebies, by just entering some mailing and general information about myself. All this was good, but all of this took time. But the reward (money, free stuff) was so thrilling and fun (I admit I do enjoy money, I like months where we out +s are much more than our -s and I felt like I was adding to this. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.Well this last year I think I just got too much of a good thing. I would find myself not able to get online for a day or two and end up 300 to 400 emails behind. So I started being on my computer (and will admit right now I still am on it too much) WAY TOO much. So I felt convicted to spend less time on the computer. It was a hard decision to make as for the last several months I've been making about 200 bucks a month in "cash and prizes" but at what cost? So that I'm too busy to spend time with my kiddos, that I don't do things I see as more important, spending time with Kjell (sad thing is we are both addicted to our computers) spending more time with the kids, writing in their journals, reading books or reading a magazine. So a couple weeks ago I just said I'm done no not even close to all done but I have decided to drop two companies I do surveys with. I didn't go cold turkey I waited until I could cash out of them and so far I've only been able to cash out of one. I had 500 unread e-mails and when I went to delete the new ones from them I had 57 the other company I can cash out of at 7500 points and I am waiting, right now I'm at 7413 so not very far off. I get roughly 20 emails a day from them. I also deleted one of my google reader things I subscribed to, I never got anything out of that one that one of the other freebie sites didn't talk about so I felt ok.

Do I think I will ever quit all my surveys? No. Will there still be a couple days where I'm online more than an hour? Yes, but that's ok I do consider this a part time job but when it becomes my life it's too much. I want to be able to take a day off and be able to get caught up. What have I done with my "free time" (which still isn't much because i just deleted the one company yesterday and I have a few days left before the other one will be to 7500) I've been praying, it might not be anywhere near what my great grandma used to do, she was a true prayer warrior and I have a long way to go yet but when I found out a friend's parent got cancer, a friend had heart surgery, several of my friends not living their lives for God instead of being too busy to do anything I pray. Such a powerful tool I have to use. Oh yeah and I can't forget praying for my kids and my husband.

We will see if I delete more but I feel so much relief just from these three "small" things I dropped see I had time to update my blog which I haven't done in forever and I feel that is important :0) I will keep you updated on if I delete more. I want my surveys to be a fun thing to do not a chore.

Oh yes today my little boy turns two. I can't believe how big/little he is! Justus and Karis both got dedicated in church today and I also have a new book to read, I don't remember what it is called but it shows us how to parent using scripture can't wait to start that book.

Monday, September 13, 2010

for my audience of not many

Good grief so I have totally let blogging slide. That's not really true but I think my priorities have changed slightly. Since the last time I wrote we have had a baby (July 23rd 2010 at 7 47 in the morning she weighed in at 8 lbs 2 oz ) we named her Karis (sounds like Paris) LouAnn (my mom's middle name and Kjell's mom's middle name) A week after that we moved to Meade to a house we thought was smaller than our last one but soon realized it is larger just hard to find places to store things in (ie no unfinished basement to just send castoffs into) Kjell started a new job, he is now an English teacher not a Social Studies teacher (don't tell him that though). Kiah started a new school as a peer model for an at risk class and now goes to school Monday through Friday from 12:10 to 3:10 and gets to ride the school bus. She LOVES it mommy still misses her old preschool and the fact that they could have Jesus time and I liked all the kids in her class. With being in an atrisk class Kiah is around students whose parents lead slightly different lifestyles from ours so she is seeing more of the world than I would like my little four year old to see but I pray not only can she be a school peer model but a spiritual peer model.

Kjell and I started helping with the Trek program here just like we had in Atwood only instead of like 5 total girls we have about 35 each week. We aren't in charge and I am super glad for that. It has been fun the two weeks so far. Our house also sold, and once again we got to see the hand of God and his perfect timing in our life.

We had planned to go to Colby for my 6 week (only we went at 5 since six would have been Labor day) appointment so I could finish all my bills out with one doctor and get cleared so maybe I can get some insurance now that I'm not pregnant. As we were on our way our realitor called and said she had an offer on our house. Now that just doesn't happen houses in atwood tend to sit, and sit and sit. Some of the house we looked at three years ago just recently came off the market we were hoping and praying for maybe a years worth of waiting at best. The offer was a lot lower than we wanted but after some haggling we got it sold at a very resonable price for everyone involved. So since we were on the way there we got to sign all the preliminary paper work that weekend sleep in our house one last time (and shed A LOT of tears we did so much to that house !) We will probably close by the end of this week. So the house is already being lived in by their stuff we only had it on the market one month that we didn't actually live in it. So very amazing. God is so good!

Three kids is a HUGE difference to me than two kids. I have felt like I just can't get everything done. But I did go from cleaning 7 rooms in the old house to 12 so that makes some difference. I just feel like I can never get everything done. As we speak I have 223 new messages in my google reader and about 500 e-mails. I haven't written in my blog in forever I guess I just don't get on line as much as I had been I just spend more time with the kids and what will really matter when it's all said and done is them. I'm just glad one of the biggest messes in my life (my email and google reader) is something no one else can tell how cluttered it is.

We have found a new play group and gone to that once, it meets every other week and there were a TON of people there last time. We really enjoy our church already and now with living in Meade and Kjell working in Minneola we are adjusting to trying to be involved in two communities. Oh and probably where a lot of our time is going. My parents live here it has been so nice to have that I think we we didn't Kjell and I would both think we had two very horrible children. It's sad to say but Kiah and Justus bring out the worst in each other. several times we have taken one of them with us along with Karis and gone somewhere. And they act great but when you put those two together oh my they sure do love to fight! I'm also probably going to get fat living in Meade. The first weekend we were here my mom and dad took me to an orchard and made me pick 100 pounds of peaches. just kidding we all picked! They were the best peaches I have ever had you could eat them while you picked. Mom and I made about 24 peach pie fillings to freeze and several cobblers and crisps Kjell thought we were going to be cooking every night we lived here! Mom also likes to give us her cast off desserts so she doesn't eat them all.... so then I eat them all ... lol.

I could write for about an hour more but I forgot to mention I am also doing a Bible study on the book of Hebrews and that's exactly what it is IN Depth study I feel like I'm taking a master's college class. I also worked out for the first time today since before Karis was born... I miss that feeling I used to get from being done and feeling good.. and then going in to the kitchen to grab a cookie..... so for my audience of maybe two... hope you enjoyed :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Time line

Here is our next few weeks
Tomorrow Going away coffee for me 9:30 -11:00
Friday Kiah goes to Bible School
Saturday Kjell's championship swim meet in Lexington NE (no I will not be going)
July 23rd Baby is BORN
July 24th Kjell takes the test to see if he will be certified to teach his new subject ENGLISH... has to drive to Hays the day after baby is born... no pressure
Aug 2nd Moving day
Aug 9th Kjell starts his new job

naw we aren't busy or stressed.............................

quiet house

I'm not sure what I expected when Kjell told me he planned to go to Topeka right before the baby came. He wanted to take Kiah but I said he had to take both kids. (Kiah is the very enjoyable one who can self entertain.) Justus is still at the age where he needs to be watched A LOT and follows me while I'm cleaning and undoes the work. So I made a list of what needed to be done (besides hosting a basement sale on Saturday) and already my list is finished, my email is caught up no small feat for me because I average 45 a day with my surveys and freebies stuff. I got all the boxes packed I said I needed to, I've watched WAY too much tv and I scrapbooked 14 pages. I'm so glad they are coming home on Tuesday. Any longer and I think I would go crazy. It's been nice to get some things done but I miss them! It's funny Justus and Kiah sound the same on the phone. I know them apart though because Kiah uses words and Justus doesn't but their voices sound the same. Tomorrow I have a coffee with a group I joined when we first moved here. They are doing it as a going away for me which I think is really nice. As long as I don't forget about it, I've had to remind myself four times I have plans in the morning. Oh and I've even wrote in the kids' journals if I didn't have kids and I didn't have a job..... wow I would be bored out of my MIND..... I guess the good thing is I still have the little one karate chopping my ribs to remind me I'm not alone :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I honestly say every time I have a long pause I'm going to write better. But I never do. Honestly I wonder at times what I would do if I did have a "real job" outside of the home because it's hard to keep up with everything all the time just staying home.

This summer is totally flying by and in less than two weeks we will have another child my ribs couldn't be more ready with all of the pain I have been in the last few months. I finally (yesterday) broke down and started taking Hydrocodin again. It's supposed to help the pain and it did yesterday but today I took two and it didn't even touch the pain. I remember that after Justus was born yeah I had a huge long gash out of my lower stomach but there was INSTANT relief from my ribs. I tell you what as soon as the uterus gets big enough to touch that spot it's like a constant burn.

In about three weeks we are moving. It's been pretty bittersweet. We can't help but laugh when we find ourselves in tears over leaving this house. When we got here we were in TEARS and wanted to run after our friends and go back to Spring Hill. The house was horrible I still look at the "before" pictures and want to throw up. It was just an awfully maintained never updated house. But we put so much sweat, work, ideas, dreams, and even some money to make it what it is today. It's ours and it's almost like we are losing a part of us by having to leave it behind. But with the Atwood market we can probably visit it for at least three more years because it will still be on the market. lol! I will miss my porch and Justus's room the most. His room is my favorite room in the house because it was all my dream the colors and the stripes. I just love it. I feel bad for Kjell too because he put so many hours into the yard. And it's finally getting where he wanted it, and we can't see the fruits of our labor.

I am alone for the weekend not sure if that deserves a happy face or a sad face. Some minutes I'm glad for the silence others I miss the kids and Kjell so much. I do have a VERY long to do list with scrapbooking being my break. Seeing as Justus is yet to be born in photographs I have a long way to go! I had a garage sale today and tomorrow after church I will work on getting Kiah's room more packed. Today I worked on the bathroom a bit and realized I will never in my lifetime have to buy shampoo again. Too many sales on Sauve over the years has us with about 10 free bottles of that stuff and then I get so many free samples. Good grief I didn't know I had so much!

Speaking of free samples last month was a very good month I'll mention my tops because it would take me all night to mention all the goodies. I keep getting gerber formula coupons because they think I have an 11 month old (?? tried to fix it online but it wouldn't let me) so I sell them on ebay so I had some of those and sold them for 10 bucks so that was nice, a secret deodorant, those always seem to come in spurts but I love when I get them because it's really at least a months worth of free deodorant! I got a gillette power razor that Kjell is TOTALLY jealous of he told me it looks like a boy's razor that is just because he wants to use it. That one took me forever to get because I kept misreading the form and barely got it figured out in time to get one! I got another small bottle of pantene shampoo and conditioner. I think that makes five of those now. Not sure why they keep coming! a Ritz Crackerfulls sample oh my goodness those are YUMMY. They will be on the list of things to buy (see free samples really do make people buy things, for me not often but sometimes they do) Oh yeah totally forgot (which is why I type these all up now. I won another houseparty last month and got a gazillion things for my frebreeze party here's what I got 1 Febreze apron, 1 pack of napkins, 2 febreze room sprays, 5 flameless luminaire starter kits, 8 set and refresh starter kits (Hawaiian aloha), 8 set and refresh starter kits (linen & sky), 10 scented reed diffusers, 18 luminaire refills, 20 Sandra lee entertaining tip cards, 180 set and refresh coupons (house some of these products are 15 bucks in the store I think the whole pack was worth 300-400 dollars. Now I didn't keep all that I had several friends over for a party and then gave some to my mom and mom in law as well. Crystal light samples came too three of them. I can't wait to try them I need to. add to that small stuff and A LOT of magazines and you have my month

As for surveys last month was awesome for that too I made $103 dollars last month. It was a good month and I am really happy with pineconeresearch now. You have to apply to them during "open registration" but you get about one survey a week and you get 3 dollars then sometimes if they think you fit what they are surveying about you may get a sample to test in the mail and then do a follow up survey for another 3 dollars. It's not very many surveys but it's an automatic 3 bucks in my paypal account which I enjoy.

Please pray for us as we face the road ahead I see baby and moving in our future but I also have a husband who has to take (and pass) a test to be certified in a new subject the DAY after the baby is born and get lesson plans done for a totally new subject. It is going to be quite the adjustment for the whole family. I still don't see how people who don't have Jesus in their lives can handle any kind of situation like this. If I didn't have Jesus I'd be freaking out big time right now... I love the peace he can give me

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Destination in Sight!

Well I really need to write more often! It ends up my blogs get so long no one reads them the whole way (I never see any comments!) :( I can't believe I didn't post that Kjell got a job! He was interviewed in Minneola KS a job he only applied for because it was close to Meade (he wouldn't have applied because it said English/Social Studies teacher) got the interview and then a day and a half later was offered the job! We were very happy but Kjell is still nervous because he will only be teaching one SS class and 3 english classes plus a reading class thrown in there. He hopes he can be as good at teaching English as he feels he is with SS. He will also be head coach of jr high girls basketball and track. We went to Minneola to look at houses TWICE now. We found one we really liked but didn't have any of the money issues covered yet so the day we went back to look at it found out it was under contract. :( very sad after the rest of the houses we saw. Very overpriced for the house we would get. And we really wanted something move in ready, the only one that appeared that way was about 10 feet from the highway and with how much Justus ends up in the street, not a good idea.

Then we found out about a little three bedroom house in Meade. It's the cutest little thing but that was what worried me it was so TINY. I don't know where I could go in that house to hide from my kids! lol but it's very cute. It looks like a mexico adobe house on the outside and on the inside it is very nice. But probably around 900 sq feet is my guess. But we were going to try to make it work for at least the next six months. Then we found out about two more houses. LARGE three bedroom two story houses in our price range (still to rent) and today we get the joy of driving back down to Meade to look at them. Never thought I'd say this but I'm TIRED of going to Meade! :) so I hope this trip we figure out what we want. I'm so excited and can see God's hand in all of this as we will be renting. At first all Kjell and I thought of as a possibility was buying but renting at this point is such a better option for us. Why? because our house in Atwood is still on the market and probably will be for between 1-3 years just the atwood way. Luckily for us it is VERY close to being paid off so yes we will have some expenses while it sits empty but not too many. Hopefully once we can get everything out of here it will be a fast sell. Another reason is we have NO money of any sort at this time to put on a down payment but once the house in Atwood would sell we would have a very good sized down payment. And lastly we never know how Kjell's job will fit him. We hope and pray it is a good fit, the last thing I want to have to do with my children is move them all over I want them to have a fairly stable growing up time. So we hope this all works out.

Update on baby, she is getting huge... or I am I feel like my skin is already stretched as far as it can go but I still have between 6-8 weeks. She likes to move all the time mostly around 11 oclock at night that's when she decides it's time to dance. My ribs hurt like crazy she hasn't kicked them but every time I've been pregnant they have hurt (thanks to Kiah who DID kick them HARD for a very long time) I don't know if there is a fracture in there or what but it only hurts while pregnant I remember after Justus was born the instant relief in that area so I'm just holding out for that. All these trips in cars sure doesn't help, laying down makes the pain go away for the most part.

Kiah is keeping us busy this summer, she is involved in T-ball, swim lessons (for two weeks) a story time and playgroup. We would be home a lot more if it wasn't for her activities! She has been to one tball game and I had to keep telling her to stand up, she was playing in the dirt. When we got home I asked her why she kept playing in the dirt and she told me she had to "it was the best mudpie dirt she had ever found" She also looks like mommy when she bats but it was her first time ever to bat. I guess we need to get a tee at home. As for swim lessons she is taking after both her parents and seems to be a natural in the water (as far as a natural 3 year old can be!) she has been the first one in at lessons every day and loves to go under now. Last year she was terrified of the water so we didn't do lessons. So I'm glad she loves it so much she wants to go everyday.

Justus is getting so big! He loves to "kiss the baby" and show people where the baby is. He also likes to poke my belly button in so I have to be careful because that hurts. He is all boy. And totally enjoying summer. He has learned how to get out of the house and can be gone in nothing flat so we have to keep the door locked. He is learning more words and also loves to swim. His hair went from blonde to beach blonde again this summer.

Kjell and I are busy packing up trying to get this house ready we have already moved two trailers and a pickup load south so that our house would look more sell ready. We won't be moving however until after the baby is born. Right now looks like baby here July 30 move Aug 1st .... yeah we will see how that works out :) We are also watching the world cup. Justus loves to lift his hands over his head and yell goal with us. Kiah wants to know why she isn't on a soccer team... I dont' think we need any more busyness!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lord where am I going part two

Well I just haven't had time to write this update but finally will, so much has changed in the last week I'd really like to put that but for now. I have to finish my story! Let's see January 2004. I move in with a couple from the board of our Young Life group. I was totally scared of them in the beginning (before I moved in) however they were the perfect fit. They had three grown children and their youngest had just started college so they had a bit of an empty nest thing going on. We got along great and they loved Kjell too really became like another set of parents to us.

Then Kjell and I got married and I still had one more year on my internship so he went to find a job, he was either overqualified for things or unqualified so finally he found a job at a warehouse. WORSE JOB he ever had. He had to deal with a pretty disgusting coworker but it paid the bills and we worked on getting rid of Kjell's student loans. All 19,000 dollars of them. Then came the bad news Oct 2005 after things were going so good with our fit with Young Life and it seemed I may be able to stay on as full time staff the top donor and top getter of money for our Urban Young Life died suddenly of a heart attack. He was in his 60s. And money had already started to get tight for the organization. He was the CEO of Helzburgh diamonds. Now left to try to talk to "fellow CEOs" was a black man from the hood and this white girl from the sticks." Not really the kind of people those kind of people like to rub elbows with. And money problems got worse. Young life has a policy that if you are in debt for a month you get one month grace then 75% salary then 50% the next month then 25% the next month then NOTHING the next month. However we were in such financial trouble that our regional director decided a week before payday that we would get NOTHING no warning this was to be our month of grace..... but we were told we would get nothing. Talk about freaking out, (if only I knew then what I know now!) Well I had a very strong supporter or called our RD and talked to him and we ended up getting part of our salary that month, and the following month and then the paychecks stopped. People found out, and people started giving and giving and giving. And when we finally added up the total of what God had blessed us with after no paychecks. It was to the penny the amount that I should have been paid by Young Life. No doubt who was in charge there!

The sad news is we never did fully recover from our losses at YL so I wasn't asked to stay on. Kjell and I decided to be a Biblical marriage I really needed to follow him and his career rather than him continuing to follow mine so we started pursuing other areas. Kjell applied for a job in Meade for KDOT and did not get the job but then we put in more aps for KDOT and he ended up hired in Lousiburg KS. After trying to find a place to live we ended up in Spring Hill KS. A town I still miss with people in it I still love dearly. But Kjell wasn't happy in KDOT. I could tell his self esteem wasn't high and he thought he could be doing more with his life (as did some other people as well) we found out about a program called Transition to Teaching and after about a year of living in spring hill started the process of applying for school teaching jobs.

He got a phone interview (which he didn't realize was an interview) and two face to face interviews one in Atwood KS and one in Argonia KS . He was offered the job at both places. We chose Atwood because we thought the people were friendly we thought we liked the town and it seemed a good fit (I didn't go to the argonia interview so I've never been there) Then came the next adventure we end up buying a house. When I walked into this house I wanted to walk back out I nicely nicknamed it the "trash house" or "the house that threw up on itself" I cringed with my open toed shoes as we walked through it. A couple weeks later Kjell and his dad came back out and Kjell's dad convinced us the "trash house" was the house for us (obviously he saw what it would look like down the road not what it looked like THEN) so we bought it. and it actually worked out for the best it was the cheapest house in town but the night I finally got there to see it I bawled it was the most ugly house I had ever seen. I hated it and what had we done. Remember the folks I talked about from Spring Hill well they all came down to help us get our house in order. They vacuumed, they painted, they tore down walls they put new ones up they laid a floating floor almost while Kjell and I walked around in a daze thinking WHAT IN THE WORLD have we gotten ourselves into? the coolest thing about our move to Atwood was my 5th grade teacher and his wife lived in Atwood. Really and right down the street? That was so awesome we had a little 13 month old girl and no carpet for a couple days and much more painting and fixing to do and they allowed us to stay in their basement for two weeks. It was awesome

So now move forward three years. Kjell knows he is on the chopping block, the only third year (non tenured) teacher not already leaving and the board really wants to make a cut. But his evaluation is great no problems told he's a great teacher but should know he's probably not going to be rehired. We wait and we wait and then the wonderful legislature gives the school board more time to make us wait and wait and wait. Finally (they have to tell us by the 21st of May) on the 19th of May I am at Kiah's preschool program and people keep looking at me funny and whispering and I KNOW something is up. So when I get home (Justus had a fever so Kjell stayed home with him) I told Kjell to run to the grocery store and buy a paper. In the paper it says that Kjell's position has been terminated. Wow let me tell you THAT was fun. Something no pregnant woman should have to go through. But we held fast to the fact that God does not allow anything to pass through His sovereign loving hand that He doesn't want to happen. But it hurt... and it still hurts. Kjell loved his job, he loved his kids, and so many of them loved him too. He had a girl who had been sexually abused and totally shut out any man tell Kjell he was the first guy she let back into her life and she hugged him the last day of school. He made an impact more than the school board will ever know and he was a GUY teaching jr high. Sorry but Jr high boys totally need at least one male teacher in their lives to help understand them.

And then starts the wait and we wait and trust and we pray. And that's what we tell people we are waiting and trusting and praying.... and then God decides He needs to remind us just how cool He is and we get an unexpected check in the mail for 1000 dollars.... isn't' God fun!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lord, where am I going?

The title of this blog is the story of my life. Well only since age 18 so not even half. The amazing thing is I was brought home from the hospital to the same house my parents lived in for the first 20 years of my life so unexpected plans and not knowing where I was going... not really a part of my growing up years. Then we hit senior year of high school. I had my heart set on attending Hutch CC, my brother and sis in law lived there it was still close to home and I didn't really know what I wanted to do so I wanted to figure that out cheaply. Well mom and I took a visit there and I HATED IT. I don't remember if I visited the criminal justice guy or the music guy but I was led down like three flights of stairs to the very back corner to this cluttered dark scary office and "talked" to that guy. I never wanted to look back I knew I was in the wrong place. So now the question was WHERE DO I GO? In late April our band director invited a friend of hers to come direct us for a day. He was from Seward County Community College he was quirky and funny and I liked his style I happened to go to the office after band and he was sitting in there and he asked me to come play for him. He'd give me a scholarship (french horn players are few and far between) I figured well I might as well do this for a year because I want to get out of Meade and I like band and it's free money so I went. I ended up staying two years and not only playing my french horn for this guy but also after first semester joined his tennis team he was the tennis coach as well. I got very involved in those activities as well as choir and show choir and my sophomore year I was an RA loved that and got out of two years of college an associates degree, and NO DEBT. But that still left where do I go next?

Somehow (I have no idea how this happened had to be a God thing) I got selected from my Jr. College's youth group to attend a leadership conference in Topeka KS. There were probably 300 kids there but God placed me in the one group I needed to be in. All these groups of ten got to spend a day visiting a different organization in Topeka. My group, we went to the women's penitentiary and I was in heaven. (I know sounds weird huh) but I knew what I wanted to go "into" and I knew Washburn had a great CJ program. The leaders of my group were great friends with a guy who happened to be the head of the whole criminal justice program. He then wrote me a letter urging me to come to his school and he would try to get me as many scholarship as possible. I figured anyone who was willing to type (with a type writer) a three page letter to me, I should take him up on his offer so I did. And I ended up not owing anything for my 3rd year of college.

The summer before my senior year I went on a "missions trip" and worked at an inner city youth camp near San Jose CA. I found this amazing organization... doing an Internet search. It was the best three months of my life and the closest I have ever felt to my Heavenly Savior. This is where I also learned about a group called Young Life (but I'm getting ahead of myself) I had planned to live with a girl and another guy in a house my senior year (yeah mom was thrilled with the whole living with a guy idea) anyways about a week before school (these two both lived in Topeka) started she called me to tell me she couldn't afford to move out her parents house so I needed to find someone else to live with. The dorms were full (or else I had to pay double since I hadn't signed up on time it was something totally crazy) so dad and I loaded all my belongs in my car and his and headed up to Topeka to move me in....... we didn't know somewhere. We looked at three places all too expensive for me to afford on my own and we drove to one place and dad refused to stop because it was in a VERY SCARY neighborhood. So here we were all my bags and stuff packed with no where to put them. I put a call into my youth leader and asked if she could think of anyone. That night I ended up moving in to a two bedroom apartment with two girls from youth group and I stayed the whole year.

Then came the next step what was I going to do with my life. Here I have a diploma but no where to go? So I called the lady who's young life kids I had fallen in love with and asked if she had any openings in CA for me to come work for her. She didn't but she had a friend in Kansas City and she called him. Long story short the region decided to hire me even though there wasn't much money in urban ministry but they liked me :) so I got a job. One of the ways young life works with their interns is to give them a "small amount of pay" and try to find a family who will allow them to live with them. This began the worst two months of my life. I moved in with a very wealthy family and a wife who was a total control freak (it's ok I'm not bad mouthing her some people just shouldn't open their houses up to people.) I survived for two months on chocolate because I didn't feel I was allowed in their kitchen to eat food. And she HATED Kjell. I really do believe it was the duct tape sandals. Well it all came to a head when I had gone out of town and they knew I would be gone and they were supposed to leave me a key. Only they just didn't. I had no where to go. So I called my trainer and told her I needed a place to stay so I stayed the night at her house and it ended up being a couple months worth of staying. (At least I was eating again) They were awesome and fun to live with a younger couple and they even bought my favorite cereal. I loved living with them, but I had to move out because they had already promised another girl she could live with them before my whole situation came up... whew I'm tired of writing wonder if anyone is even reading this still. I'll stop here and later tell about the 6 months before Kjell and I got married and all of the "fun" questionable places we ended up!

Monday, May 10, 2010

update #2

Forgot to mention the newbie. Baby is doing good went to the dr last week. I've gained 14 lbs total not really sure where that weight IS because I really am not showing like I'm in the third trimester but that's ok. My doctor was pleased that I'd "acutally gained some weight finally" I don't go back until May 28th when I do the glucose test. She has been kicking like crazy and has found the ribs which isn't too bad I just can't sit straight up for long periods of time. The next blog was the real update....


I don't think I've done a very good job of keeping up with my blog I had been hoping I could do it once a week but that just never seems to happen. On the other hand I've done a great job on keeping up with the house work (minus the living room I used to have a pile that would never get cleaned up now all of a sudden I have room) but I just need to buckle down and do it! Kiah and I almost consistent with doing her "preschool pages" which is one page out of four books she has. And we have read the First of the Laura Ingalls books together one chapter before each nap and started the second. I am caught up on my Bible study, it helps I'm only doing one well I'm still doing two but the new "second one" is a short page and then I journal pray for about ten minutes so it doesn't take as long as the lesson books I had been doing.

I think I've been able to keep the house clean becasue we are still living in that what does our future hold mode? In less than two weeks the school board will finally let us know if Kjell has a job here next year. Which according to all we have heard so far is about a 1 to 2 % chance he does. He's the easy fire since he's not tenured and they would have to tenure him this year if they kept him and they "have to cut at least one more teacher" (when this all started they said they needed to lose 4 and they actually lost 5 already so I'm not understanding their math but whatever!) Kjell is looking at all openings throughout the whole state of Kansas and has heard from one school they had 80 people apply for one job. So it's going to be really hard for him to get hired anywhere else. We are already watching ads in the paper and have settled to the fact we may have to work part time waiter jobs while we wait, what a waste for a guy who is getting his masters this weekend. But I am not a school board member nor do I have a say. but to get rid of a teacher with a masters (we aren't sure how many more are in the district but not many) and someone as passionate about his subject as Kjell is.....well it's just not the choice I would make. But like i said he's the easy out, he's not from atwood and he isn't tenured. Makes life hard to plan. I looked through baby clothes yesterday but I don't know what to do with them, put them in our bedroom in the dresser.... or leave them because the baby will be born and then we head somewhere else.... now from this you probably think Kjell and I are totally stressing but we are actually quite calm I just take one day at a time and they are still moving so extremly fast, and Kjell has lost himself in a couple books by his favorite author so we are doing good.

Last month's surveys were not too profitable, I made 6 whole dollars.... but the end of the month kind of helped I got two tubs of baby wipes to use on Justus to try out and two tubes of toothpasate to try for one week each. Usually I'm super excited about trying things, but this toothpaste is horrible I really can't wait. I will feel totally unfrugal if I don't finish the tube but it seriously looks and smells like diaper rash ointment. and as soon as I'm done brushing my teeth I want to rebrush them there is no minty clean feeling in this toothpaste!

Couple of highlights from my free samples this month was a pack of 5 gum, a coupon for a free bag of sunchips (oh how I have hoarded those away from my family, why oh why is there no off brand of them I can't afford to buy them but i LOOOOOOOOOOOve them), a glade plugin warmer and refill , several magazines and I started getting OK weekly which is like the cheaper version of People so I'm happy I love this magazine but it doesn't take as long to read as people I get a year of that free. another Uniball pen and those are amazing! Ritz munchables, pretzel m&ms (not very good either one would have liked to try the ritz cheedar rather than original. Those were the highlights today was a great day getting three things of shampoo in the same day! I should never have to buy shampoo again at this rate.

Justus is growing like a weed. He has several new words in his vocabulary and one of the kids' favorite things to do is dance all the time... they are so cute and no matter what mood I'm in just watching them dance makes everything better! Kiah has her trike-a-thon this week and had to raise money she shot her goal high 100 dollars we have asked everyone we plan to ask and gotten 85 bucks so dad and mom will pitch in the rest so she can get this backpack! I'm sure it's not worth that much but she did great asking people and getting money. She is super excited. She only has four preschool days left. Mommy is almost more sad about this ending then when it started, only because we LOVE Kiah's preschool and don't really know if she will be back next year. She says we can't move because she'd miss her best friend Clair but she's been talking about a new/different house before Kjell and i were even aware we may have to move.

Kjell get's his masters this weekend. I'm ready for it to be over! I know he's excited and I am too he's worked really hard for this but I'm NOT looking foward to sitting through his hooding and his graduation with two kids on my own one who will not sit and be quiet for anything. Then we head to Topeka for Kjell's brother's grad on Sunday..... let's just say Justus doesn't last ten minutes in church so this weekend (at least the ceremony parts, don't sound like any fun to me!)

I am continuing to workout. I had to take out the cardio workouts I was doing, causing some weird pains and I didn't want to hurt the baby just because I wanted to work out. So I've started using several of the preggo videos I have I got them on ebay for like 5 bucks when I was preggo with Justus and the newest one is like 1994 i hate them with a passion but it's only two days a week and I have enough I should only have to do the same videos a couple of times before the baby comes. I'm serious they are bad, spandex, belts, legwarmers, and smiles the whole workout. I don't care if you are supposed to be "glowing" durning pregnancy NO ONE smiles the whole time for a 45 minute workout! ! anyways that's my update.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Learn to roll with the punches

After the last several days that Kjell and I have had our couples devotion we do together each night, well it couldn't have fallen on a better day. Isn't it funny how God does that? You may miss a day here for there and never think of it but it was really divine intervention because this is exactly what we needed to hear at this moment at this time and it just shows that God cares so much about the little stuff...... we need to learn to trust HIM in the big stuff.

The title was learn to roll with the punches. "When you and your spouse face adversity, pray for the wisdom to know whether to stand firm or roll with the punches. Perhaps God is working powerfully in your cirucmstances to bring about His plans for you and take you places you cannot now begin to imagine." The verse was from the NLT "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him."

I'm scared stiff but also feel like I'm at the top of the roller coaster waiting to see how the ride is going to go once we start the scary fall down the hill and honestly I can't wait to see how this ride goes!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

long time no post

Well I am anxious to see where this blog goes because I don't really know what I'm going to say but I haven't written for so long I figured I needed to write. The pregnancy is going good, I'm at 24 weeks and still in regular clothes, although part of that is because Kjell hasn't brought my clothes up from the basement yet. It's always fun to pull those big tent shirts out and wonder if I will actually get that big and have to wear them (and the answer is always yes!) I had done amazingly well on my weight only five pounds in five months, then we went to Meade for Easter. For some reason we always eat way too much food in Meade it's kind of my mom's and my time to try new recipes and mostly desserts and just eat way too much. Needless to say I came home having gained another 4.5 pounds. :( So did Kjell though but he lost it in like one day... buckethead. Since then I have continued to gain rather rapidly compared to how I gained in the first several months. I'm up to having gained 12 lbs. Even though I am working out every day!!! Too many baked goods around... cake more cake, cookies cupcakes.... I'm a sucker for those yummy treats.

As for my workouts I finished the first month of my new program it is really a four month program but I'm going to try to attempt the first three months. Month four would put me right up at my due date not sure I want to still be doing jumping jacks then. Am debating having to take one of the days out though already because it's putting a lot of strain on my body for the past two weeks I don't want to do anything stupid so I may just have to add one of my favorite P90X workouts back into to make up the difference. We shall see. I'm too tough on myself to know if I truly need to quit or am I just a wimp?? I hate quiting anything.

As far as do we know what the results are from the school budget cuts. No, they are planning to wait until the latest day possible to let people know if they are hired or fired for next year. FUN times, the wonderful state of Kansas decided to allow them an extra three weeks to give staff notice, why? because some counties have school board primaries or elections coming up and the state thinks it would be horrible for these wonderful school board members to lose their postions over "tough choices" that's all nice but WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO ACTUALLY GET PAID and need to make adjustments if they tell them they aren't coming back next year?? Good grief. Kjell and I on most days are very calm about the whole thing but it sure is hard to make any future plans just not knowing what is going to happen, as in we don't even know where we should plan to put the new baby, or her clothes.... so sad I can't plan anything oh well we only have one more month of waiting.

Kiah is growing up too fast, she and I do four preschool books every day and she is just super sharp and would love to do more if I let her. I figure for now that is probably enough but we have fun coloring and learning together she is very excited to finish one book because then I told her we could start a new one and she picked out a math book that she can't wait to try and has already been practicing.

Justus is learning so many new words. We do however believe he speaks either Chineese or Vietnames because somedays we just don't have a clue what he is saying. He now says night night when we put him to bed it is so cute because he insists on yelling it several times for all to hear. When you ask him to give you kisses he honks your nose instead. And he is all boy because he loves to play with balls and also loves to drive cars or anything with wheels around the house. We have to watch him outside because he thinks it's a game to run out into the street and we live at a pretty heavily trafficed (for Atwood) corner.

The new baby as you read above weighs in at 12 lbs already haha! She has found my ribs already and if you know anything about my other two pregnancies you know this has been a sore spot total pun intended with both of my other children. Kiah kicked me all the time my students that I was a para for made fun of me because I would sit in class holding my stomach down off my ribs all the time so she wouldn't be able to kick. Justus head butted me (since he was breach) and I was in so much pain the dr gave me he strongest meds he would give a pregnant woman and it didn't even touch the pain. So you can see why I'm a bit fearful of the next three months with that in my past. I want to get excited but there is so much planning that you need to do when you get excited and I just don't feel I can do that until I know what our future holds.

I read a really good devotional book with a couple of ladies from Atwood called "Lies Women Believe" and the one thing that I have really utilized since the study is that God gives us enough time to do what we need to do." Somehow that has impowered me to stay on top of things, like cleaning. My house has never looked this good for so many days in a row it's amazing (all you clean freaks stay away though because my version of clean and yours are probably totally different!) I've worked out every day I needed to, done Kiah's preschool books with her, stayed almost caught up on my e-mail and managed to do two Bible study lessons. I don't have more time I am just using it better in my opinion. That's it for now!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

moving and not pregnant

These are the rumors going around about my family in Atwood. Well the moving part is what we have heard the most about this week. Somehow people are starting to talk about us leaving. And then some people didn't know we were having a baby in less than four months. :) that's ok it just means my 9 lb gain hasn't started showing too much yet!

I've ranted about small towns in the past and as much as I love living in one they can just about drive a person mad. Here's the deal, there are unforseen amounts of budget cuts in EVERY school district in Kansas. that is a FACT. The next fact is school boards all over the state have some very tough decisions to make but DON'T yet know how much money they will be without because the Kansas St legislature just started a 3 week 'vacation" must be nice. So more facts. Kjell is one of the newest teachers in Atwood. So here's the delimia do you just sit around and wait for the board to say yes we want to keep you or do you at least see what is available out there? In my mind you don't stick your head in the sand and pretend that everything is fine. So yes we have looked in to a couple other schools but do we want to move NO. What scares me the most is the school board may hear these rumors and think "oh Kjell wants to leave so we might as well just delete his postion." so let me say it again. I AND MY HUSBAND DO NOT WISH TO LEAVE ATWOOD AT THIS TIME :) I'm having a baby this summer for goodness sake I can't imgine a move on top of this. But it all boils down to is God's will, not mine or Kjell's will be done. If He has us moving we will be moving, if He has us staying we will be staying. I had been doing so good to not worry since spring break but this has all stirred up all those crazy worries in my mind again. I HATE that. I just want to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm scared. I have a house not paid off in atwood, I have a husband who loves his job and a daughter who loves her preschool and we have really just in the last year felt we have made some really good friends. I don't know...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

writting a letter to Oprah

So let me be the first to say this I don't like Oprah, I don't tend to agree with the things Oprah says and besides Tina Faye who played Sarah Palin in SNL I think she singlehandedly had the most influence over why Obama sits in the White house (besides God of course who knew this would all happen) anyways I'm also I sucker for free things and recieved her O! magazine free for a year It's been ok because at Christmas she had a 5 dollar coupon off any hallmark purchase so I got to use that, but today I was reading her November issue (I am like my mom and months behind on my reading) and was highly disappointed, Oprah was quoted as thinking as a child as she watched her grandmother hang up laundry outside that she wanted a better life than that, or that there was more to life than that. A couple of pages later some fashion designer is quoted as saying when she was a kid she saw her dad give her a washing machine for a gift and how happy her mom was and "knew that was NOT the life for her" I guess I shouldn't put these in quotes since they aren't quite the exact words they said but ya get the picture. So I wrote a letter. I mean seriously Oprah is on at 4 in the afternoon who does she think watches her show, if she wants all women out in the workforce then she would have never been as big as she is (her show not her body, I see she has struggled with that over the years)

I would love if Kjell brought me a washing machine that actually worked, and ya know what in the summer I hang out my laundry to *gasp* air dry to save a couple bucks. I mean you'd think with how green liberals are supposed to be they would make that manditory. But heck they have maids for all that stuff. Or they can just afford to throw their stuff away and get new stuff. I LOVE being a stay at home mom. WhenI started almost four years ago that first month I thought I would die. I wanted to be around other "humans" soooo badly. But now I couldn't imagine life any differently. I get to help my kids learn, I get to see every new thing. And it may not always be easy living on one income, but we make do.

Our spending freeze ended yesterday on a HIGH note. we were able to be 1200 dollars in the black this month. That means I had money to pay off a small debt we owed, and put a lot of money in my envelope system, and towards paying for this baby and paying off my house. We don't eat out, I don't get my nails done and I rarely get to see a movie in the theater. but I get to have the best job I could possibly have, being with my kids and teaching them the values and morals and life lessons that I want them to know.

So Oprah... I'm sorry this stay at home mom is going to continue hanging my laundry out to dry and if you would like to ever help a "poor ole stay at home mom out" I'd sure love a front loading washing machine and matching dryer. It'd make my day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fight or Flight?

So I must learn to keep my mouth shut. Yesterday I was telling someone we had had no drama at our house for the first time in a long time. The "big drama" was the naked lady lamp that our neighbors decided to get rid of by putting it next to their garbage can Friday afternoon after trash came Friday morning. Luckily someone with a different sense of humor than me came a long and picked it up, I'm guessing I did post about it on facebook! So at least it didn't sit there a week!

People always say a person's true identity is revealed when they face a crisis, and what we are going through right now is not in any sense a crisis but once again in my weeks of self discovery (somehow I've been learning a lot about myself in the past couple of weeks!) I've decided when I get backed into a corner I'm definitely a fighter not a flighter. I think I've always been this way not very afraid to voice my opinions in high school or in college. Then you reach that age of "adulthood" where you are supposed to learn class and not open your mouth with every issue that presents itself. I have done that very well for awhile. Then we moved back to a small town. :) nothing like small town drama. Where anyone and everyone can decide for themselves that your business somehow became their business, where even if I live here for 20 years the Nordgrens will still be the "new people in town" and last names totally matter. Don't worry I'm not bashing small town I mean I've lived in one all but 6 years of my almost 29 year life. They have their perks too, like going to a neighbor for a cup of sugar or on move in all the food that was brought to us (probably more to be nosy than to be hospitable but still) when Kjell and I lived in Independence MO we didn't know a single one of our neighbors just that one was obese, one had a dog and one smoked pot. If my kid is found playing in the street THREE people stop at the house to make sure I knew where she was and when a rattle snake crawled out of our yard the man who killed it let us know it came out of our yard. And that feeling of going to football games on Friday night and seeing the whole town there. And everyone getting geared up for prom. I mean it's got it's good too! But in a city everyone kind of minds their own and none of those issues really get brought up. So there's no need to be loud and disagree.

The question what would Jesus do always gets me too because especially when I'm mad I picture him with the whip and clearing out the temple. lol if only my reasonings were as holy as His. So the dilemma still presents itself how do you disagree with someone and not go about it in sin. How do I argue without being mad, or feeling maybe just maybe in this situation I'm smarter than the other person. Hummm this I shall ponder as I prepare my next chess move. Isn't that what life really is though a bunch of reactions because of the way others react so on and so forth.

So as we have our small town drama here in Atwood I'm excited to announce I can now feel the baby kicking. which may be a good thing since I'm still not sure this whole pregnancy is real. I mean I always said I wanted that surprise pregnancy but this one is still such a shock to me I may still be in shock when we come home from the hospital. If this kid is like either of the other two in about a month it's presence will be felt OFTEN and PAINFULLY (my right ribs are still bruised from the other two) then maybe it will sink in!

Friday, March 19, 2010


So I noticed I haven't written for awhile. I finally got caught up on e-mail, hadn't been there since before Christmas. Then we went to Colorado for a Sun-Thursday and I'm almost as far behind as I was before we left! Oh well. In Colorado we got to see some of our good friends in Denver, Justus totally loved their dog and cat, and the kids played inside the dog's pen for a LONG time! Then we went on to a camp near Estes Park with a group from our church to do work. The first day I worked tearing down wallpaper, then scrubbing (not as easy as it sounds) the glue off of the wall behind the wallpaper, then I mudded all the holes in the wall of a couple of the rooms before they painted and I excused myself not wanting to be around the fumes. So the next day since all the ladies and younger people were painting I followed Kjell around, I decided I really enjoy "men's work" at things like this. We got to put trim up in the rec room, we had to measure and then nail those babies down, I got to use a nail gun first time ever. You'd think since I was a criminal justice major and had a ton of time shooting a hand gun I wouldn't be scared of a nail gun. But I was for the first couple of times I did it. The next day I was supposed to be working in child care but Justus did horrible with me there he wouldn't let me even look at another kid and screamed they said "he hasn't acted like this at all" so I decided that was my cue to go work somewhere else and let someone else watch my son. Kiah could care less she loves to play with other people. I'm so glad I chose to leave because I got to help demo a cabin. There Kjell and another guy his age were in charge and then sr. jr high boys so when I came up they didn't really care but they put me in the bathroom, all by myself to take care of that room. At first I was slow, I took the light fixture, mirror and shower curtain out with a screw driver. And then used a crowbar to pry all the drywall out. ( At this point with all the dust flying I wondered how much safer this was for a pregnant women than painting was but I was having a blast) Somehow I manage to get the room basically finished (with a few helps from Kjell) but of course when it comes to the toilet the guys totally take over, and start throwing an ax at it from across the room. Boys will be boys! This dorm had two bathrooms and when I was "almost finished" with this one we all moved to the other side. Well this time I had learned a lot.. slug away, forget unscrewing things just punch a hole in the dry wall and it will come off plus you will get more dry wall done at the same time.

You may wonder how a preggo woman like me made it working this hard in the high altitude. It's called two other kids who had to have afternoon naps. So I got to hang out with them and nap a bit and get a bit caught up on my magazines (if you count starting at the beginning of Nov and getting to the end of November of catching up) So that was nice.

We left with our two kids and the three jr. high girls we had invited from our awana group on Thursday. One of the girls got car sick on the way out of the mountains. I'm just so glad she felt bad before we left because I thought to get a couple barf bags. We were also blessed that she started right next to one of those slow cars pull over spots because once we got started back up we would have had to drive a good 4 minutes down the road before we would have been able to stop. When we got home Kjell pointed out that we were really naughty though, we left the bag and a couple of baby wipes next to the road. I NEVER even thought of that as littering I had to turn my head away and just focus on breathing so I didn't end up next to her! So I have littered in Co, and I feel horrible!

We got home anxious to sit down and watch all the games, only to find that due to operational error (I won't mention names but it wasn't me!) we didn't have the games recorded. We got home about half time of the second games, and then we kept hearing how the first four games were all amazing and we were really disappointed but we have been sitting in front of the TV ever since. If you don't know the NCAA tourny is the whole reason Kjell and I are married so we love to watch it together.

I'm starting to look pregnant. I guess I knew that would happen lol! I did order a new workout video I'm going to do starting on Monday call Calean, it's by the same company that does P90X but it is a little bit easier, not as intense AND I get two days off a week rather than one. And the workouts are shorter. So that is very exciting. I had been just doing a couple workout videos and wasn't too impressed with me being in charge of what I did when. (didn't feel like I was pushing myself enough) but I feel happy to start this one. We will see if I will be able to do all the moves. I will finish this mid June the way it looks and i may want to be working out more outside by then so we will see if i get it done.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Children's Mercy

So I explained to someone why we went to Children's Mercy for Kiah's laser treatment and I realized many people probably wonder why we did it. Especially now when we don't have any extra money. Having a child born with a birthmark on her face has been a learning experience for me. Of course I have always been biased and thought I've had the most beautiful children in the world. When she was born they figured it was a stork bite and would eventually go away. It was when she was about one that we took her to a children's dermatologist and found out that it was a "vascular malformation" which basically means while she was in utero her body produced some extra blood vessels. It never really bothered me but we had to explain to every new person we met, no she did not fall, it's a birthmark. As her hair grew longer I just decided bangs were the way to go. That way it wouldn't be as noticeable and what's wrong with bangs? I even went and cut my bangs so that I could be like my daughter to make her feel more comfortable. We decided we would make it a good thing "Kiah that is where God gave you an extra special kiss before you came to earth." which worked until her little brother was born with a birthmark on his butt.... just didn't quite have the same feeling then lol.

But around Christmas Kiah came to me one night and said, "mommy, I tried to rub my birthmark off last night, I don't want it anymore." Kjell and I look at each other and are basically speechless, the bangs and just life had almost made us forget she even had it. It hadn't yet become a problem she every once in awhile would get asked about it and she would just tell them "it's my birthmark" usually that was enough minus the one lady who had the audacity to argue with my daughter and say "no honey surely you fell" But we are also realistic parents knowing we can't shelter our daughter from mean people. kjell never understood in the beginning why I thought it was such a big deal, then he became a jr high teacher and saw just how mean kids that age can be, even without something so obvious. So when Kiah said it was time, we said ok.

On Tuesday we got to take her to children's mercy in Overland park. I absolutely LOVE the children's mercy hospitals, drs, and nurses and feel so grateful every time I walk in there that the only problem my child has is skin deep. When Kiah got her MRI (about a year and a half ago to make sure it was only a surface mark- sometimes they can have roots and since it's on her head they thought it may extend into her brain., it didn't) I wanted to cry, someone asked me if we took any pictures of Kiah getting her MRI I said no because it really would have been disrespectful to those who have so much bigger problems. The nurses were awesome and even said, "mom it's ok to be nervous we know you don't do this every day but we do, and we will help you with anything you need " and were just sooooo reassuring.

I've never seen Kiah act as she did that day, she is usually very loud, talkative and doesn't know a stranger, she became withdrawn, and very melancholy I just wanted to hold her and take away any anxiety she had but she chose to even sit far away from Kjell and me. The laser treatment only took about 15 seconds. They did three little laser bursts and then we were done. For two weeks it will probably look worse and in about a month we should be able to tell if it worked. They said that if this doesn't work they have "stronger lasers" that they would be willing to try when she is older. To me that is a relief. This will always be Kiah's decision. When she wants things done, when she wants them to stop. I just feel this is something she is the only one who truly knows how to deal with it. If you don't really know my daughter you may be wondering "why in the world would she allow her THREE year old to make such grown up decisions" For now I just feel it's the right thing to do, and she is so smart super smart and to me above her years. I trust what she wants. We just continue to pray that God will give us, the doctors and Kiah wisdom in all of this.

So there is the long short of the story LOL

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spending freeze update

I've had some people ask me how our "spending freeze" went this last month so I thought I better get on here and update. I have been really busy trying to stay on top of my two Bible studies I'm doing plus my 90 day read through the Bible I really feel very busy. Plus Kiah and I were sick off and on for ten days and finally started feeling better last weds. The one area in my life where I have fallen off the wagon... working out EVERY DAY... or every other day or every other other day..... Yeah so I need to order my chalean workout I really want but I'm torn becasue I still haven't seen a price I want to pay.

Ok here's how Feb went. Our CC bill was about half of what it usually is. Most of the bill was gas (kjell went to Colorado for a weekend to ski with one of his friends, and we went to CO to watch the KSU game this was Kjell's Christmas present) and groceries, for my cooking day that was supposed to be held before we started this freeze. Kjell also needed an oil change for his car, our only "frivolus" purchase on our CC was a bill for 6.77 for the dinner we had when we were in CO for the basketball game, we ate at noodles & co drank water and I had a buy one get one free coupon. Now I'm going to review our bank account. (I've got the accounts open so I can see what we spent) Justus had to have a hair cut and I am not going to cut his hair (yet) so that was 10 dollars, we also ate a meal before one of the HS basketball games and that cost us $15 I also had to pay the eye doctor for Kjell and my appointments and my year supply of contacts. An extra 235 that won't be spent monthly. All in all I was pretty impressed. When I added what we had made and what we had spent we had 450 dollars left over. The first 150 goes into savings for our car insurance and house taxes so we have that money when they come due every six months. Then the rest was divided four ways. our house payment, money we owed for our home renovations, into savings for the new baby dr bills, and our envelops which I think I have mentioned before. I just want to let people know that we are trying to save money but it is EXTREMLY important to Kjell and I that at least a tenth of our income goes straight to God, it always has and always will, He has blessed us with everything we have and if we tried to save money by stealing from Him... no it's not going to happen. I don't want anyone to think I am trying to sound holier than thou I just want people to know you can live on 90% of what you make and still be fine. Have I ever looked at that money and though man that extra money would be nice to go here or here or here.. yeah but there is a reason that our money seems to be like the widow's oil and flour in the Bible and it just keeps coming and coming and coming, it'ts because we do have faith that no matter what God is always faithful that we have enough and often more than enough.

Well I already know that that March will not be quite as good as Feb, why we came to Topeka and Topeka always means shopping, Kjell needed new shoes for work and found some he really liked at payless and he used his spending money to pay for half, I also won another party to host with a new product but it's a sandwich party and they basically provided the bread so with all the extras I have had to buy to make it a meal I will have spent about 40 dollars on that. Plus we did run out of some food in our pantry amazingly enough. We had to stock up on our ranch dressing at aldi!

I'll try to sit down when we get home from KC/Topeka and let you know about my freebies for the month. oh my survey totals will impress no one this month. I made a measly $13 dollars but there are months like that (more months like that than the other) but they do help you get to those $165 dollar months!

Please pray with us as tomorrow is Kiah's appointment with the laser specialist at children's mercy. My prayer is that they will be able to do the treatment, and that they will tell us it is the lower of the two costs we were quoted. As of right now insurance has denied covering the treatment because they don't find it nessicary. I plan to appeal their decision but will wait to write my letter when we get home. Some dr in california got to decide all this even though our dr said it was needed. Gotta love st funded health care.. Probably should start with the politics ;) but they knew we had the appointment for three months and only told us last week they were going to deny us, make me made. The hospital wanted us to cancel our appointment but we have been planning the trip for 3 months (it's a 7 hour trip it takes some planning) and weren't about to cancel it two days before we were suppposed to leave. We have saved some money and should be able to cover at least one treatment but I just have a feeling they won't be able to turn down my appeal. I can write a pretty convincing letter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to make a habit stick

I think I have come to the realization that I have discovered how to make a habit stick. In November I started my "90 days" of P90X in December I started my "90 Day read through the Bible" and I think I've figured out why they both chose 90. Ninety days at least to me is what changes something from an obligation to a habit. I have been "finished" with P90X for about a month now, but any day I don't work out I feel like I am letting myself down, I haven't done near as many P90X workouts because no I really don't want to give an hour 15 minutes every day. I served my 90 days but if I don't do some sort of workout for about 30 minutes I feel like I have let myself down (and I'm still holding out on wearing my own jeans until it's shorts season- no maternity clothes for me until at least my birthday (April 29th) ha we will see. As for the Bible reading since then our Sunday School class at church started a Beth Moore take home study (with video during Sunday School) and a couple ladies and I started a Nancy Leigh DeMoss study. Both studies are AMAZING... but what do I find myself grabbing FIRST THING in the morning EVERY morning now? My Bible, even if it's only to read one or two chapters I feel lost if I haven't had my daily intake of my Bible reading. Even when I was reading through the doldrums of Isaiah and Jeremiah and all the other books about how God is going to destroy the cities. I still wanted to be in God's word and now that I'm finally in the New Testament I'm begging Matthew and Mark and Luke to slow down and share more details of Jesus with me. So wow, when I started P90X I wanted to find a way to get physically and spiritually fit and I think I'm on to something. And I'm also very proud that at 15 weeks pregnant I STILL weigh less than I did when I got pregnant with Justus and my jeans still fit fine.

So what is next on my list for things to start doing for 9o days so I do them all the time, housecleaning... that's a huge one for me. I inherited some family genes that don't allow me to keep a clean house, oh how I wish I had gotten Great Grandma Isaac's skills in that area! I seem to go like this my house is clean for one week out of a month and the rest is a a total disaster area. I get it clean because of (fill in the blank probably someone stopping over) and then maintain it for a week and then just stop maintaining. So I would like to do that. Also I bought Kiah a book for her birthday that is a Preschool learning Bible book with pictures to color I bought it so that we would do one picture together every day. Well by fault of both of us (more mine) we haven't been doing it very good so I would like to start that. I'd also like to start reading Justus one book a day, which I know I did with Kiah every day when she was his age but she never tried to escape after page one like he always does. With Kjell I guess a good night kiss would work, we've kind of gotten out of that habit, I'm glad that he and I still do our nightly devotion together though.

So anyone else got anything they want to add to the list for themselves? let me know. Oh yeah and the last two weeks I've been doing Jillian Micheals 30 day shred. I though hey 30 minutes a day can't be too bad right? It's hard but I'm starting to love it. I have a hard time doing the weights though when mine are 6 lbs and they are holding like 2 or 3 lbs.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

So I lied, a little

Well I started doing P90X back in October and finished it in late January. I had so many people ask me about the program, start the program or are getting ready to start the program and the main two questions were did you like it? and did you lose weight? I said it was the workout I loved to hate. I also said I fit in jeans that I hadn't worn since before I was pregnant with Kiah, and that I lost two pounds. All this is true. What I failed to mention is that when I was finished with the program two weeks ago I was 11 weeks pregnant. Yes I did 14 weeks of P90X while being pregnant for most of it. And now at 13 weeks I feel I am just starting to show, and I actually still haven't gained any weight. The reason we actually waited so long to tell people (well long for us) was because I just really didn't want to have anyone telling me, "you shouldn't be doing this workout" "do you think you should be doing this?" and all those other questions that people think they can let you know they feel when they find out you are pregnant. It's like it's a free ticket to tell someone what you think is right for their body (if you think I sound cynical remember I have had two other children I'm just being truthful!) I was super excited though when I went to my doctor and I've seen two different people and they both said, if I want to stick with the program I can! They even told me they had one lady who did her ab workout until she was THIRTY SIX weeks! I felt that was my green light to do what I need to do to stay in shape! As for P90X when we first found out I was pregnant, I kept doing the same workouts but took out the ab ripper (which when my dr told me that last week went right back in!) and then switched out my favorite (but deffinitly most butt kicking) workout plyo and switched in cardio (which became my new favorite) There I feel like I have let a load off of my chest! So now I'm 13.5 weeks along. Still working out not wanting to burn myself out on P90X since mom and I plan on doing the full 90 again in Jan 2011 and start planning our cruise (something I told mom we were doing when I was done having kids and done nursing. I've been saving for YEARS!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The end of the "spending freeze" month one

Well I balanced our budget this month and it looks a lot more like the federal government now than it has in the past. A lot more red then black. So I wanted to know what in the world went wrong with this spending freeze it's sounding more and more like Obama's. Ok I shouldn't have gone there, but the fact of the matter was 1) last month's credit card bill gets paid this month and it was huge several dr bills and car bills, 2) somehow I paid my electric bill twice this month, once at the beginning and once at the end guess I never paid it the month before (don't worry it was still on time but not on MY time) And that was about all I could find as to why we have a big old negative $275 this month. BUT on a happy note my credit card balance is $4.34 and I only have ten more days before the end of that cycle so although we are doing this Jan, Feb, and March we will feel the benefits of it in Feb, March, and April. I've decided I don't quite like going this hard core. Take for instance the fact that I have a party tomorrow night. 2 liter pops were on sale at Dillons this week and I really would have liked to buy some for my party, however since we can't spend money I didn't buy any. However when I got home I realized we had five 2 liters and then one of the girls called and asked if she could bring anything and I told her to bring 2 2 liters so I guess that one all worked out. Then there's diapers. Did not realize I was down to my last pack when I was in Colby last time they also had Huggies on sale for $8.99 and I had several coupons. But instead of looking at them I just bypassed and now wish I would have bought one pack that would have saved me some money. Oh well I did a survey this week that may send me a pack of diapers to try out so I'm hoping I get that opportunity. I've done that several times and tried several brands I buy anyways, I think I've "tried" all three major brands for them in the past.

So I think this is the most interesting part. Here is what I got as far as online survey incentives for the month of Jan. This was a FABULOUS month. This RARELY happens. Actually I think I've figured out it happens about two times a year. This year since I'm keeping really good tabs I will know but here is what it shapes up to be.
Jan 4th $25.00 Home Depot gc (e-poll account) $5.00 Target gc some "facial survey" they said I tookd I didn't remember
Jan 5th $20.00 check from Tuluna
Jan 12th $20.00 gc (valued opinion)
Jan 15th Huge body wash to use for two weeks (Zoom Panel)
Jan 19th $10.00 check (synovate) and $50.00 check (global test market)
Jan 27th won't say brand since I'm testing. 1 set teeth whitening strips, full size toothpaste and full size mouth rinse to test for one week (Daily Candy, my first experience with them)

Great month as far as rewards, but after being behind and not qualifying for much this last month the money will be slim in Feb. I say my average is around $20 bucks a month

NOW onto my freebies for a month. I really wish this thing had copy and paste but for some reason it doesn't work. I have a TON to post as far as freebies.

Jan 2nd (we were gone for two weeks so some of these may have come in Dec
Grocery tote bag, charmin toilet paper extender, folgers single use coffee sample, device to check the belt on your car, powerbar energy gel blasts, stacy's pita chips single serve bag, two excedrin tablets

Jan 4th Lipton green tea (four bags), address labels from Arbor day

Jan 5th wild grape pop tarts (one "bag" two poptarts)

Jan 8th New Yorker calendar poster

Jan 11th Kotex ultra thin overnight pad, address labels (wanted me to buy magazines) Atkins quick-start guide, carb counting book and three snack bars, WATCH magazine

Jan 15th Pampers coupons $3.00 off diapers, $1.00 off wipes, $2.00 off diapers, $0.50 off wipes

Jan 16th Buy one get one free starkest creations from Vocalpoint, Vaska herbal laundry detergent (one time use) Glowelle- "beauty drink mix" and a little makeup bag, Roadsides in Bloom 2010 calendar

Jan 19th Slim-fast peanut butter snack bar, coupon for free international delight coffee creamer, Eat Better America 2010 calendar, American Baby Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine Feb 2010

Jan 20th Digiorno Pizza pack from set included 15 $4.00 off DiGiorno pizza coupons, 6 FREE DiGiorno Pizza coupons, a football shaped hot pad, 16 stickers, a pizza cutter, a clip/magnet, and 15 "rally bead" necklaces, coupon for free bag of Stacy's product (pita chips etc.) Disney stickers, Escade perfume sample

Jan 22nd St. Jude address labels

Jan 25th RepHresh vaginal gel applicator plus $1.00 off coupon, 2010 Betty Crocker Calendar, 2010 Pillsbury Calendar, Ladies' Home Journal Feb 2010, The Oprah Magazine Feb 2010

Jan 27th Omega 3 orange squeeze sample with $5.00 coupon, 2 Huggies Pullups (from Costco)

Jan 29th Nordic Naturals vitamins, 2 tablets Omega-3, 2 tablets DHA, 2 tablets kids' multivitamins, Tylenol "workout" DVD and pedometer

Jan 30th American Baby Feb 2010, Spark energy drink powder mix

Wow that was a lot to type over again. My favorites...... Of course the free pizzas, the poptarts were really yummy. And I always enjoy my magazines but I'm still several months from reading those because I'm behind. Ones I didn't need, the new yorker calendar, and the starkist one but I handed that one off to a friend so she could use it we just don't eat tuna. Stay tuned for next month. I am SHOCKED at how many free samples I get. I'm glad I decided to start keeping track. I should also keep track of what I use and don't still trying to figure out where to hang up all these calendars!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pride comes before the fall

So I have decided I have an inflated head. Now before you go wondering about the size of my head I am talking about my ego. Well my workout ego. See I finished P90X on Saturday. Looking back I really enjoyed it and it's amazing how many people I got started doing it, I think I have six facebook friends who have started doing it and my "little brother" he's 6'5", and two of his college roommates started two weeks ago. I can't believe I actually finished it in NINTY days I thought for sure with Christmas in there and Thanksgiving and tons of traveling I would have several days at the end to make up. But I didn't so I was pretty cocking this weekend, telling Kjell I have bigger guns then he does (I don't) and thinking I could pretty much cakewalk my way through any workout out there. Yeah but then there's Jillian Micheals who comes in and bursts my bubble. Not sure when I bought it about six months back I bought her 30 day shred. The video has three phases and get this is TWENTY SIX minutes long. I had done phase one back in the day but was so cocky yesterday I started with phase three. Jillian KICKED MY BOOTY. OH my, different workout people have different styles and she just goes goes goes and when the "short" 26 minutes are done I was left on the floor feeling like someone who had been dunked in a water trough sixteen times. Wow. So no more big head! But I am continuing to workout. Today I did my favorite P90X workout it's cardio it's only 43 minutes long and it has yoga, plyo, kempo, and core in it. So it's all short enough parts that you don't get too burned out. I'm going to continue doing the workouts I like (tues, weds, fri and sat) and putting a bit of Jillian in however I may back it up a step and do phase two and work my way up to phase three.

As far as the spending freeze, we went to Colby today and spent 4.36 on the credit card. That purchased us. 6 digiorno pizzas, 4 jars of baby food(fruit since I have yet to find yogurt on clearence) one thing of coffee creamer (I don't drink coffee but drink tea and want to see if that can help the flavor of hot tea) and a tub of diaper wipes. Everything was free but the diaper wipes which I had to have and had a dollar coupon for the rest was just tax on the other stuff. I'm planning on posting all my freebies, and survey stuff I've done and also let you know how much we spent. Speaking of which I need to go balance the checkbook.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 21 of our "spending freeze"

So the whole point of the spending freeze was to get some space back in my pantry. And so far I have seen no difference in there except that I have way too much food. It is a bit like the oil and flour with Elisha and Elijah at our house since we are on WIC and get several cans of beans a month and several cans of fruits and veggies as well. But still I am amazed at all the snack food that is in there!

So where I have I had problems. Actually problems started day 2. When we were on our way home from Meade we stopped at Walmart and Target to get a body pillow. Their Christmas stuff was already 75% off. That was hard I even had things in my cart and then hanging my head put them all back kicking myself for making such a dumb proclomation as a spending freeze. Ah but then day four kicked in and I headed to Colby I just HAD to stop at dillons and see what manager specials I was missing out on. And then I cried. Not literally but I wanted to. See my FAVORITE place in Dillons is their yogurt aisle, and if you get really really really lucky you hit it right after they have markdowns, like a four pack for 1 dollar and then hopefully I have a coupon for 1 off and thenI get FREE yogurt. So when I turn the corner and see a NEW guy marking down the yogurt I just about pee my pants. See there's a new guy working the yogurt because I scared the last lady off. I made some comment about her being my favorite person in the whole dillons and she was my hero... and now every time she sees me in dillons she walks the other way quickly mumbling under her breath about a restraining order or something. Not really but very close. So I get my heart rate back to normal and I walk up to the guy all nonchalant and start up a conversation about yogurt. He tells me if I find anything with an experation date of TEN DAYS DOWN THE ROAD, he will mark it down for me. So I start searching my coupons, and NOT a one was for the brand he had marked down. Wow that was sad and disheartining and I really really want some yogurt.

What else have I missed? Well mom was supposed to send some jelly home with me over Christmas but we forgot so I came home with no jelly I found this "fruit stuff" in the back of my fridge some kind of gift I'd gotten a long time ago it said to put it on meat and that's just not my family so we had never opened it. I called mom to see if she thought it would be good, and she said if it's canned and the lid is seal it should be fine. So it was! So we used that although it was more like fruit in a jell than jelly it worked. Then there was salsa... we had about four bags of tortilla chips... and ran out of salsa. I almost cried salsa has become my new ranch, literally I eat it in my salads. So I had thought we had had one more jar so that was a sad day. UNTIL about a week down the road I moved a soup can and found my beloved jar of salsa so I did a salsa dance praising Jesus and now have one jar of salsa that will hopefully last two months... As for the jelly, I found a rebate check I had forgotten to cash, for 2.50 and jelly was on sale for 2.19 I figured that was a sign and went and bought the kids some jelly with no chunks of fruit in it!

Also I have decided we can spend cash, if we have any I never get cash but sometimes find cash (I get it for something then forget what it is supposed to go for and then well now that money goes towards emergency situations. like yogurt in colby next time) So I was really excited when I found two ten dollars bills in the diaper bag. Probably my spending money but hey I'm saving for a cruise in about three years so not a big deal to lose twenty bucks.

Now comes the real check I just opened up my cc online statement... lets see where I've spend money. A $90 Dish network bill- since I forgot to pay them over the Christmas two week vacation I had a late fee and had to pay for two months! $56 dollars in gas from our trip to Colorado to watch Kstate and hang out with our friends for a day (kjell's Christmas present) a $7 meal while in Colorado (managed to find a buy one get one free coupon so we even ate cheap!) and that's it. Oh plus a two dollar credit from paypal because I was unhappy with an e-bay purchase. Not too shabby. Plus we though Kjell didn't have eye insurance so we thought we had to pay $100 for his exam. Only the insurance company covered most of it and we only have to pay $25. So what a blessing I can't believe how grateful you become and how much you can miss the little things, like yogurt sooo much.