Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spaghetti Casserole

One of our favorite recipes here at the apartment is the Spaghetti Casserole.  I love it because it tastes better as leftovers than plain spaghetti does.  And when it's just the two of us it carries for a couple days. :)  It's really nice to make before I know I'm going to be away, so I know Jon gets a good meal with easy clean up. :)

Ingredients:
(fills up a 9x13 "casserole pan")
2 lb hamburger
1 large (4 lb 3 oz) container of Prego Traditional Italian sauce (Use whatever is your favorite traditional spaghetti sauce, or make homemade....but I'm not gifted in that area yet.) I use about 3/4 of the container.

Zita noodles (or whatever noodles you want)
2 bags of shred cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you want really)  We love cheese, so I load it big time! :)

Directions: (read all before you begin)
1. Boil water/ cook pasta and drain.  (You need enough pasta to cover the pan evenly twice.)
2. Brown hamburger (drain) [My skillet is not big enough to hold the hamburger and the added sauce later.  So when doing step #6 only add half of the meat sauce if you have all of the meat cooked.]
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
4. Wipe hamburger skillet with paper towel to get rid of extra grease/fat left in pan.
5. Return hamburger to pan and add half of your sauce (enough to fill the bottom of your casserole pan).
6.  Put the meat sauce in the casserole pan.
7. With the pasta cooled by now, layer your pasta on top of the meat sauce.  Do not overlap.
8. Layer with lots of cheese. :)
9. [Skip this step if you were able to cook all of hamburger at once.]  Brown other half of hamburger.  Drain. Wipe skillet.  Put hamburger back in skillet, add sauce enough to layer the casserole pan again.
10. Put the rest of your meat sauce (on top of the cheese layer) in your casserole pan.
11. Layer evenly your pasta again.
12. Load up the cheese! :)
13. Put in oven for 15-20 minutes or until you can put your finger through the casserole and it's warm and the cheese is melted.

*Note: The last batch I made was our favorite.  The directions above is what I did.  However, in the past I layered the casserole differently.  The order in the past was: sauce, cheese, pasta, sauce, cheese.
Jon and I really liked how much more cheesy it tasted by layering the cheese on top of the pasta.  But do what you and your family likes the best.


I serve it with garlic bread: butter bread or leftover buns, sprinkle a good amount of garlic salt, put under broiler until your liking. Yumm!


Enjoy!! :)


                                What the casserole looks like after it's 3/4 gone. :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Discipline

"He who spare the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him."  Proverbs 13:24


Okay, I know I'm not a parent.  But I'm observant after all these years with children........
Last week I had an interesting experience.  One that maybe parents can relate to, but I desperately cry out to God that He will provide peace.  While visiting my sister, my nephews were so motivated to have me take them to the Learning Post.  When we got to the store the boys rushed to the train table (play area provided for kids so moms can enjoy shopping). :)  Melissa and I crack up because the boys have a train table at home, in yet they get so delighted to play at the Learning Post!

L to R: Max (2), Jack (4), and Sam (5)
Sam and Jack came with me to the Learning Post.


My nephews went straight for the trains, but this time there were two boys already playing with "their trains."

I'm sure you can imagine what is already about to happen.

The boys that were there first our pretty sure that the trains are theres.  I tell my nephews those boys were there first, so they have first pick.  However, once they will leave they can play with the certain ones they want.

Sam grabs one that he wants and the little two-year old boy (maybe a young three?) cries out, "NO! NO!"  He grabs the trains of his desire.  I whisper to Sam, "I know it's hard to share sometimes.  But just treat him like Jesus would.  He's kind of like your brother Max (age 2).  He's still learning manners."  The boy's mom hears her kid's 'cry' and shouts out, "Share boys!"  Then returns to her shopping.

Sam and Jack find something else to do.  I also notice the young boy playing with trains and also holding three or four in his hand.  Oh boy.

While watching my cheerful nephews play, I talk to the employees whom I used to work with.  It's soon time to meet back up with my sister, but my poor nephews barely got to play with the toys they were so excited to play with! :(  The mom comes by and says it's time for them to leave.  The boys don't budge.  Then she says, "I'm leaving!"  The older son rushes to his mom's side.  The younger one....not so much.

The mom tries and tries to get the little boy interested in leaving.  That doesn't work so she says, "You are never going to come shopping with me if you keep this up!"  Then she says, "I don't know what else to do!  Why don't you ever listen to me?  How do I get him to listen to me?"

The manager of the store tries to help, "I'm going to close the store.  All the lights will be turned off and you will be here all alone.  Mom is leaving."

The boy cries out, "NO!  I'M STAYING HERE!!!!"

After much fight the mom just decides to come and pick him up while he screams and kicks his legs.

After they leave, the manager of the store tells me she comes in with these kids a lot.  The boy fights the same fight every time.

That poor mother.

That poor son.

I look at my nephews and they are happily playing.  I talk to them about what just happened.  "Remember how Mom and Dad talk to you about having a grateful heart?  Well, this is why.  She wants you to be able to think about the good things.  She also likes to see you show people the love of Jesus.  What do you think?"

Sam (age five), "Yeah.  That boy is not happy.  He needs Jesus."
Jack (age four), "Yeah.  He was really upset with his mommy.  He needs to listen to her.  He did NOT want to leave."


I know I'm not a parent yet, but my prayer is that I will become a mother someday who is willing to stick out in the tough moments.  I really want my kids to learn respect, thankfulness, and what it means to have a grateful heart--in Jesus' Name!  And ladies lets continue to lift up mom's in prayer.  They really need rest and wisdom!


"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid."  Proverbs 12:1


"Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death." Proverbs 19:18



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankfulness

I love my husband so much!  It has been hard this past week to see him so overly stressed with finishing up this semester in school.  He has a LOT of group projects, papers to write, and exams to focus on.  His boss also told him he has plenty to do there, and to "make sure you kissed your wife good because you may not be seeing her for awhile."  If you think about it, would you mind lifting him up in prayer?

Thank you so much!  If you haven't gotten a chance yet, check out our pictures from Thanksgiving week on facebook.  It was a fun week with friends, family, and extended! :)

Jon and I are really thankful.....
-God and His unfailing love and faithfulness
-God allowing us to be saved and know Him personally
-God's provision: in our marriage and lives around us
-His Word
-Family: their help, love, and support
-Friends: their accountability and time
-Marriage: commitment and relationship
-Provision: God always provides us with our needs
-Answers to prayer
-The blessings God has poured out on us

We are hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and was able to spend time with family and friends!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Encouragement for all Eve's

*Note: Jon was totally honest with me with this subject.  He is a wonderful husband!  And I thank him for his honesty!  I also want you to know that I had no idea where I was taking this post when I first starting writing it out. :)

Last week I was reading books to help me become a better wife.  Now, I'm not saying you have to read books to become a better wife.  I was just reading them to learn more about Jon (men in general), so I can be able to understand where Jon is coming from as a man.  While reading these books, it constantly reminded me of all the different things that make men who they are, so while reading I asked Jon to see where he fit in all the different categories.  
Obviously, one of the sections was about how guys are visual people.  I talked about it with Jon to get a better understanding of what it meant for him.  It got me thinking though, how did man get this visual side to them?  Was it given to them from the beginning or after the fall of man?  Was it at one point not a sinful act or thought?  

So of course I went to the beginning for my search.  I dropped my literature and went straight to the Truth!

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."  
So God created man in his own image, 
in the image of God he created him; 
male and female he created them.  

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."  Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food."  And it was so......Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.  And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.....

(After Adam names all the animals.)

"But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh.  Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  
The man said, 
"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; 
she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man."

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."
Genesis  1:26-2:25 (skipping a few parts)


I thought it was interesting how God mentions that everything in the garden was good and it was pleasing to the eye.  When God creates a woman, Adam (the man) is sleeping.  So when he wakes up he sees a woman.  Visually, guys can only imagine what Adam saw that day! :)  Can you imagine what Eve looked like that day?  The first woman ever created, and sinless.  They were both naked and felt no shame.  But I also thought it was interesting how Scripture mentions they became man and wife, and then it mentioning them being naked.  They were naked that whole time, but they didn't become "one flesh" until AFTER becoming man and wife.
God shows us a great example from the very beginning.

I don't know about you, but I know I have made many mistakes in my past, and even today!
There were probably days I wore something that wasn't God-honoring.  I know there are days where I'm acting like Eve when she took the fruit from the forbidden tree (Genesis 2:15, 3:6).  Or days where I'm not honoring my husband the way I should.  But this is an encouragement to all you ladies out there.  Scripture says that after the fall God took man OUT of that wonderful, perfect garden.  But God doesn't plan on keeping us here.  Someday He will come.  On that day I can't wait to see my Father!  The one who loves me enough even after all I have done and all the things I'll do until then.

I know I can rest knowing I am in peace, in Him.



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yummy, Chicken Parmesan

While sitting here eating my craving for this week (BBQ chips), I've decided to share with all of you my latest favorite recipe!  My hubby ate it and it filled him up where he didn't have to eat another helping!!!  Yeah for leftovers!! :)
I love this dish, because you can really change it up with different side dishes to go along with it.  If you have any other ideas, let me know!
Oh, by the way, I know you heard that I had a craving.  Just to keep things clear...I'm not expecting a little Kaisand anytime soon!

I got this yummy recipe from a Des Moines magazine that I found at my parent's house.

Ingredients:
1/4 c Italian seasoning and dry bread crumbs (mixed together)
1/4 c Grated Parmesan Cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
(I only had three, but I cut them up to about the size of a chicken finger.)
1/4 c Mayo
1/2 c Traditional pasta sauce
1/2 c Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (I didn't measure this out.  I just took small handfuls to layer the chicken.)

Directions:
1. Combine bread and crumbs mixture with Parmesan cheese in a dish.
2. Put chicken in a baking pan and preheat the oven to 425*
3. Coat mayo on chicken.  (The recipe said to put the chicken in a ziploc bag to coat the chicken with the mayo, but I like to do it cheap style.  I just took a spoon and coated the tops of the chicken with mayo.)
4. Put on crumb mixture. (I just layered it on the top of the chicken.  It tasted just fine, plus it was faster.)
5. Bake for 20 minutes (make sure chicken is cooked).
6. Evenly top chicken with pasta sauce, then mozzarella cheese
7. Bake additional 3 minutes or so (until cheese is done).

I put chicken on top of noodles and pasta sauce.  I also served it with green beans and hash browns.
They say you can serve it with noodles or rice.  Jon and I are more pasta people.
It was really yummy!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WANTED: Deep Connections

How do you find deep relationships with people you are just starting to meet?

The reason I bring this subject up is because while living in Ames, Jon and I are working on becoming plugged in.  It has become pretty difficult really.  It's hard to meet new people in a group setting.  We try to be real with them, but sometimes it takes a LOT of work just to be yourself.  Why does that have to be?
Why do some people make it so uncomfortable to be yourself?  Or why can't everyone get loose and enjoy each other's company?  What are some things you can do to "relax the heated room" and not feel the odd one out?

Jon and I have come up with some ideas.  Let me know if you can think of any other ideas, or have suggestions of your own.
1. Get together not for a certain reason all the time.  Get together to just socialize, play games, etc.  It helps keep things less stiff.
2. Encourage people to open up.  Open up yourself.  Be vulnerable.
3. If it's a larger group of people split off to smaller groups.
4. For awhile, try to sit next to the same person.  Each week motivate yourself to get to know him/her.
5. Find the person/few people you most relate with.
6. In the bigger group setting, try to be close to your spouse (if it is necessary).  Your spouse will always back you up. :)
7. Pray before going.  Pray as a couple.
8. Pray all week about it during your quiet time with God.
9. Think of a few things to talk about before going.
10. Know that no matter what, God loves you and your spouse does too! :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh wow--October!

Can't believe it's already November.  But I love this time of year....wearing sweat shirts, colorful leaves, yummy food, and family gatherings for the holidays!  It's the beginning of a new month, so it's time to update everyone on how the last month went for us!  It was a busy month filled with everything on the weekends!


The first weekend was so nice.  Jon and I went to Johnston to stay at my parent's house for the weekend.  Saturday morning we celebrated Evelyn's 2nd birthday.  That evening Jon and I left for Josh & Leah's wedding.  It was so nice to visit with people we haven't seen for awhile.  It was a beautiful, God-honoring wedding!  On Sunday we went to my childhood church in Altoona for a reunion.  After the reunion, we went to a coffee shop to play games with some of my friends.  I don't get to seem them too often!  That night Jon went back to Ames, while I stayed in Johnston.  
Britney turned 19 on Monday, October 4th.  She didn't know that she was also going to be getting engaged.  It was fun to see how surprised she was, and I'm so happy for her!  I remember those joyful, giddy days! :)  That night I spent the night at her house just like old times.  It was nice to have some girl time!  Tuesday mom took me back to Ames and helped me pick out some pictures at Hobby Lobby to hang up on our white, boring walls.  


                                           Taken before going to Josh & Leah's Wedding


                                             The new, engaged couple!! :)


I can't remember what was going on, but Jon and I went back to Johnston the following weekend.  Saturday we went on our first date night as a married couple!!  We went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner and then out to Gray's Lake.  Neither of us has gotten the chance to enjoy it out there yet, so it was fun to do it together!  The bridge was beautiful at night.  On Sunday we drove back in time to our Ames small group, because I was in charge of bringing treats.  It was an interesting night, something I can post about at a later time.


                                              My sweet, funny husband.  Notice the sign.


                                        God gave us a beautiful sunset to enjoy.


                                            I just love the colors on the bridge!


The next weekend we went back to Johnston, because it was my grandma's birthday and Britney was going shopping for her wedding dress!  Saturday we went to a couple shops and she had me help her with her photography assignment.  (By the way, she picked one!  It definitely has Britney written all over it!)  Sunday, after church, we went to back to my parent's house.  We enjoyed the company of the Ulrickson's and Mariam and Asri.  During the kid's nap time we played some games and had a wonderful time filled with much laughter! :)  Before dinner time, we went to go see my grandma.  We ate dinner with her, and Jon and I helped entertain the kids.  She was really happy to see everyone!  She also enjoyed holding baby Frank, her great grandson.

                                            The Family, minus Liz and her clan

Wednesday's I'm starting to go down to Ankeny and help Melissa out.  October 20th was my first time going "officially."  It was cute to see Sam (5 yr old) play with Max (2 yr old) football for an hour.  They would take turns running around the house and kicking the football, while the other one waited holding the football up in place for the kicker.

    Here is Sam showing Max how to hold the football so he can come to kick it.


The next weekend we went to the annual Harvest Party down in Essex, Iowa!  Jon's friend's from college (Crown in Minnesota) get together every year to hang out and play games.  It was a lot of fun!  It was wonderful to get to know his friends.  We played football and telepictionary.  
Sunday we drove back in time for me to make it to my sister in law's (Elizabeth Flug) baby shower at JEFC.


The last weekend in October we came down to make it to our friend, Ryan Wilson's birthday party.  Sunday we went to JEFC church service, and then went to lunch with family and friends at Texas Roadhouse.  Yumm!  Back at my parent's house Jon and I helped my parents go through their storage space.  I had a lot of things to go through!  I need to become better at just giving things away.  Too many memories attached to items!  During the sorting my dad and Jon took a break to work on Jon's accounting homework.  He had an accounting test on Tuesday, November 2nd.  So he really wanted to make sure he understood the material.  


That was our "Oh wow--October!"  Filled with lots of fun!!! :)
Looking forward to Thanksgiving!!!  We have so many things to be thankful for this year!
Blessings,
The Kaisands

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Something about September

Sorry I didn't inform everyone on how Jon and I are doing!  I know I told you all I was going to keep you updated every month.  Sorry I got us a little behind.  September was a fun month for us, so let me spill the beans and share....Something about September! :)

First week: Every first Wednesday of every month, Jon gets together with his brother in laws (John Ulrickson & my brother Ryan).  They take turns picking what they do.  I always love it when Jon returns!  He comes back after being with all the guys happy to see me and tell me about his night!
Labor Day weekend: The Sunday before Labor Day my Tometich extended family has a reunion.  It was so nice catching up with everyone.  This time we had three new babies to welcome to the family! :)


Most of everyone that could make it, minus a few who were gone for kid's nap times.

Labor Day was a fun day with family, friends, and dad's employees at Adventureland! 
Second week: After a four-day week we returned to Johnston for our brother in law Scott.  We celebrated his birthday!  Sunday we celebrated our three-month anniversary and went to JEFC community picnic.  I love going to it, because it's like a JEFC reunion! :)  That evening we went back to Ames to make it to our first Ames small group with newlyweds.  I've made a post earlier about the group.

Third weekend:  We went to Newton to celebrate with family Jon's 26th birthday!!  My dad also came Friday night to help catch the bat in Jon's mom's basement!  Sunday we went to the church Jon grew up going to, it was nice to visit with people who have known him for a long time. :)




Monday, September 20th: Jon's actual birthDAY.  After classes I made him one of his favorite meals and we took a walk to the park.  It was a really fun day!


The rest of the week was pretty hectic with an exam and lots of studying to do.
Fourth weekend:  We returned to Johnston to celebrate our niece, Evelyn's 2nd birthday!  Time has flown by so much!  Last year on this day we were in Kansas City (Jon too).  Jon and I were still dating.



Evelyn loves anything to do with Mickey Mouse!
                                            

I hope everyone enjoyed their September as well!  It was a beautiful month filled with great family time and wonderful memories!
Blessings to you all!
October is coming to an end already!
Soon you'll be hearing about our "Oh-boy!  October!" :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Prince Charming

Growing up I absolutely loved the Disney classics.  Who am I kidding?  I still love them!  My heart would melt as I watched humbled Cinderella fall in love with the Prince and when Belle was serving the Beast.  To a little girl  it was hope of the future.  Some man out there would be my Prince Charming and we would live happily ever after.  But the part of the story I was missing was the part about what the women did.
The Prince didn't fall in love with Cinderella because she had a pretty dress on or a perfect face.  He fell in love with her character, personality, and loving spirit.  Cinderella was such a cheerful person!  How often have I let days go by and let Jon know what I was thinking and held on to it all day long?

I started rereading a book all about being a good helpmeet to your husband.  (Now it feels a little bit more relevant now that I'm actually married.)  I read a section out loud to Jon, and he said "absolutely true!"  The writer told this story of an older woman at this store, not on the pretty scale, and overweight, but all the guys were acting like they were attracted to her.  When asking her husband he mentioned she was very sweet and nice looking.  How could this be she wondered?
The next time they went to the store the same woman was talking to her daughter with harsh words and there was no happy spirit about her.  The writer's husband had a new comment to say.  "Who is that woman?  Have we seen her before?"
The men were not attracted to her because she didn't have a joyful heart!


It's amazing the reaction you can receive from your husband when you have a joyful heart!  It shows on your face and puts them in an uplifting mood!  Who doesn't want their husbands to be in a good mood?
All day yesterday I challenged my sinful heart to smile all day long.  Allow Jon to see his wife cheerful and in an upbeat mood.  If I needed something from him I smiled and asked him for help, but also telling him he didn't have to and it would be okay.  I never made him feel like he ever had to do anything for me.  When he said no I didn't let him know, think that it really hurt me, or affected me by having a huge reaction of hurtfulness.  After a day of just joyfulness, today I can look back on it and think......you know?  I don't ever remember being in a bad mood.  I don't remember ever feeling hurt.  All I remember is spending wonderful time with my husband.  Both laughing and enjoying whatever we did.

Some verses to ponder, notice what they have in common:
"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."   I Thessalonians 5:16-17

"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones."  Proverbs 15:30

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."  James 1:2-3

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."  Romans 12:12

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

I thought it was interesting how it says to be joyful, and when fail to be consistent in prayer.  It never says to let someone else know, but to lift it up to God  (ooops!).  It also mentions that being joyful is a command by God.  I'm going to continue to pray to ask for God to help me to be a joyful and cheerful person.  We can't do it alone.  Who's with me?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

25 things

Here's a list of 25 things you may or may not have have known about Jon and Mary!

ONE
If Jon could own any car he would want a Porsche, while Mary would rather have a SUV with plenty of space for traveling with around the three children she would like to have. :)  Otherwise she would pick a purple intrepid.

TWO
Jon loves sleeping with the fan on his face to keep himself cool.  Mary would rather have a ceiling fan on low with a bunch of covers on.

THREE
Jon's favorite fruit is a ripe peach or a good banana, while Mary loves watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, pineapple and peaches.

FOUR
Mary loves chocolate with her strawberries, while Jon would rather just have them plain.

FIVE
Jon loves watching the history channel and got Mary addicted to checking CNN updates on their website.

SIX
Mary can't go to bed without wearing socks no matter what.

SEVEN
Jon would rather have you shop for him, and Mary loves to shop!

EIGHT
Jon and Mary are both savers.

NINE
Jon first spotted Mary at Johnston Evangelical Free Church in the singles Sunday School class, while Mary noticed there were a few new guys in the class. :)

TEN
Jon said, "I love you" first, and it was on the telephone.

ELEVEN
Before married, Jon and Mary used to go on dates in Ankeny after Mary got off work on Tuesdays.

TWELVE
Mary sometimes steers the car while Jon is driving.

THIRTEEN
Mary's favorite sport is football (and ultimate football).  Jon loves soccer and tennis.

FOURTEEN
Jon and Mary both love taking walks outdoors, and they usually find themselves going to parks.

FIFTEEN
Jon kills all the bugs.  If Jon is not home the trusty vacuum does the trick!

SIXTEEN
Someday Jon wants to go to Germany.  

SEVENTEEN
Mary wants to go on every roller coaster in the United States.

EIGHTEEN
Jon and Mary are saving up to put a theater room in their own house someday.

NINETEEN
Jon promised Mary he would take her to Disney World someday. :)

TWENTY
Jon and Mary are reading through the Bible together.

TWENTY ONE
Mary has never gone fishing before.

TWENTY TWO
Jon and Mary are both not morning people.  If you want to call us then try after dinner time.  We'll be more talkative then.

TWENTY THREE
This number is the lucky number.  I know I know, we don't believe in luck.  I should just say it's our special number. :)

TWENTY FOUR
We both love being an aunt/uncle. 

TWENTY FIVE
Mary is a system-minded, think ahead person while Jon is a here and now kinda guy.  It's a good match!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Praying how to make Ames feel like home

Living in Ames has been a new adventure.  It has been a journey just getting used to living outside of under the roof where my parents live.  Jon has been wonderful and supporting me all along the way.  His encouragement has really helped me feel confident in everything I do.  He is also patient with me, and comforts me when I feel as if I have failed him in every possible way.  Sometimes I feel like I have completely failed him as a wife and know in my heart I could have done better.  Instead of hurting me, he returns with a loving heart and boosts my esteem.

He always seems to have the right words to say.

I knew the fall semester was going to be tough.  I knew it would give far more things to stress about than ever before.  I knew it would take our marriage to a new profound place.  This past week we were at our deepest moments.  I continued to fall to my knees and call out to God.  Jon was patiently waiting for me to be able to explain my thoughts.  We had a few comforting discussions.

Just praying that soon we would be able to get more plugged in here at Ames.  This transition in our lives is big enough for the both of us, but only enough that our God can still allow us to grow.  Our faith will strengthen in Him and one another through this process.  We were delighted to know that our relationships with people in Ames were going to grow.  Mary was in need of connections in Ames.  Jon had school, work, and relationships already fully intact.  He had a life here.  Sunday night was the first small group get together.  There was seven couples all together (including us).  It seemed large, but soon it will feel at home.  Right now it feels overwhelming.  We chuckle at "wait, what was their name?"  We wished for name tags! ;)

The small group was a nice group of young married couples.  When the ladies and guys got split the gals talked all about similar subjects that Mary could totally relate to!  It was nice to start opening up with people and having them be in a similar understanding situation as you.  There's no judgement.  They don't tell you what you should be doing, or what they think you should be doing.  They just allow you to open up.

It's nice to talk about newlywed conversations with others.  No one in the room was married for two years yet.  One had a young baby and the lead couple is expecting in five weeks.  Most of the women work with children. =)

I love finding connections!  I hope this is the brand new start of a great connection group!  Praying this will help me feel more comfortable with living here away from close family and friends.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Who's the ISU fan?

When I first met Jon and got to know him I knew it didn't matter if he was an ISU or Hawk fan, but as time went on I just HAD TO ask.  Why?  Because he attended ISU!!  When I asked him he said he didn't keep up on sports too often but if he had to pick he would go for the Hawks.  I was so excited!!  No matter what happened I knew I was starting a relationship with someone who attended ISU but would cheer for the Hawks!  yahoo! =)

Now with football season happening RIGHT NOW, it's really nice.  We live in Ames and around a LOT of ISU fans and Jon could careless.  It's awesome!  (Sorry ISU fans if you don't like this post.  GO HAWKS!!)  With all this ISU spirit around me, I'm really going to have to start wearing black and gold.  Or should I?  Do you think I would last long with all these powerful ISU fans?  Thankfully my dad is also a Hawks fan!  Whenever I want to watch a game I can always go back to Johnston and watch it there.

It's unfortunate to have all these ISU fans tailgating....they close down Jon's parking spot for when he goes to school!

LET'S GO HAWKS!!! =)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Summer Ending

Not only is summer ending but that means August as well.  I need to post about August!

The early weeks were filled with Jon not looking forward to school starting and me not looking forward to it either.  I was just not looking forward to less time with him and I knew it was hard on him to think of how much more stress school would cause.  On top of working and going to class he was going to receive lots of school work, hours of studying.  I was just not looking forward to it at all.  But God encouraged me to be His wife who would: encourage, support, and help Jon in any way I can!

This month marked the second time my friend Kate drove up to visit me at the apartment!  It was so nice to catch up with her on life.  She shared wonderful insights on her life and how the mission trip to South Dakota went.  (It was my first year in seven years not to go.)

The first weekend in August Jon and I went to Johnston because my sister, Elizabeth was due with her second daughter.  I wanted to be with my parents to catch a ride with them down to KC to see my new niece.  Annabelle Marie Behrens was born on Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 4:16am.  (Liz check me if I'm wrong on the time.)  She is an absolute doll and I miss her so much!  Her big sister Evelyn loves her too!

The second weekend we went down to our niece's birthday party.  We spent Saturday with some friends playing games and just had some good conversations.

The third weekend we visited with Kate spending a lot of time together!  It was so much fun playing games and enjoying life together!  That Sunday night we helped at Timberline by watching the kids so the parents could focus on the church meeting.

This past week has been hectic.  Jon started school and we've been adjusting to this new schedule.  My parents were in KC helping my sister adjust to two children, so I was on call for my other sister here in Ankeny.  I was so excited to hear Melissa would probably have her baby earlier than expected!  (She has never gone into labor before her due date!)  So I got to their house Wednesday morning at 4am to help out.  Melissa had her fourth baby boy at 10:36am Wednesday, August 25, 2010.  He weighed 8 lbs 4 oz and 22 inches long.  He is an absolute wonderful baby!

Today marks the last weekend in August.  Jon and I stayed in Ames.  We had nothing we had to be in Johnston for.  It's going to take awhile to get used to not visiting Timberline, family, and friends.  Ames is my new home.  Home is where Jon is!

This is the Kaisand Home.  The Kaisand Korner! =)

About July

This month was filled with the blessing of saying, "We've been married for a month!"

We spent many hours unpacking and cleaning...making our apartment more like home.  Looking back it's such a blur, but it was so wonderful to just be married and together.  We spent every weekend returning to Johnston for different family things---sister's birthday, fourth of July, friend birthday, friend's wedding, and family vacation.  The Tometich fam had not gone on a family vacation for a few years.  It was so nice!  We went to Kansas City.  It gave my nearly 9 month pregnant sister (who lives in KC) a chance to not have to travel but enjoy the vacation.
On facebook I put a few pictures and videos from that trip.  Unfortunately more pictures are on my mom's camera and those are not downloaded yet.  That trip is filled with many wonderful memories. =)  Especially it being the first one where I had a husband too!!! =)

Becoming One

Each month I'm going to try and post at least one thing about what the Kaisand's are up to! =)
June was the month our story really started as being Kaisand's together.  I'm so blessed to have Jon as my husband.  God really answered prayer!  He knew the man I really needed.

Jon has some wonderful characteristics!
1. Strong man of morals and good character.
Not only does he know how important it is to have a good relationship with Christ and those around him, he also understands how important it is to check up on our relationship.
2. Understanding and uplifting
Never have I ever met anyone more uplifting and someone who encourages me as an individual!  I can totally be myself.
3. Opposites attract!
I totally know what that means now.  Before I thought it meant nothing and I was completely clueless about it.  Our differences are the things that make our relationship stronger.  We would not be the same with out the other. =)
4. Leisure time and outgoing
We both love to just sit back and enjoy life one step at a time.  We both have similar personalities where we just love to laugh and enjoy each other's company.
5. Confronting and conversational
Jon would rather talk about it than argue.  What a great father figure!


I could keep talking about my husband, but I know you're all wondering about the day I said "I do" to this wonderful man.  Jon and I both love looking back on that day.  We love the "party," the day we became one and all the people who was there to celebrate with us!  The day went so quickly we missed the chance to sit down with everyone who could make it.  We want everyone to get together soon so we can catch up!  We loved seeing friends and family all together in one place.  We appreciate all who came from near and far.
 Thank you all for helping make it such a memorable day!  We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family!  The wedding day story is coming.  It might have to come in parts so I can include all the special details. =)