Saturday, December 17, 2011

10 years of struggle...Discipline vs Grace and TASKS vs TIME

It's the first day off of my normal routine and my heart is already struggling.  I'm trying to figure things out that have been growing on my mind for the past 10 years!  I can't get it out of my head and days like today just give me more of a reason to keep it there.  Stuck.  In that part of the brain where it likes to stay and then randomly shoot off and drive you nuts.
Today I felt both annoyed and painfully sad at my reactions.  I was so focused on making sure I could prove to myself, "I can do this!"  Look how well I am able to manage this!  In the mean time I didn't get a chance to engage really at all.

Let me explain for those of you who can't read my mind.

I've been watching everyone elses kids for 10 years.  I have showered them with love, adoration, energy, and well myself!  So that all of you parents could work, take a break, or whatever.  I've watched your kids in the following (for you one of these and some others in mulitple ways) : a day care senting, church nursery, Sunday school class, VBS, dancing, babysitting, their nanny, and last but not least their aunt.  Overall I can say children our a gift to us sent from Above to learn more about Him.  He loves them.  We should have child-like faith...etc etc.  Kids ARE a gift and a blessing.  Sometimes we just don't always see it that way until later....

Today (through tomorrow) my sister is/was counting on me to watch three of her four boys (ages 6, 3, and 16 months).  My husband is here for help (and support).  My brother is also chilling with us also.  (Who am I kidding?  Just chillin' with kids around?)  Moving on.....
Sorry my mind is mumble jumble right now.  Like I said, thoughts for 10 years now!
I love, adore your kids I do...I promise.  And no, when I become a parent I won't say "whoops you were right!"  Because I have nothing that I am saying that you are doing WRONG about your parenting.  Yes, I discuss with my husband, "What would we do if we had a child with this personality...etc etc?"  We also talk about how we plan on "talking" to our kids, and rod vs no rod etc. 

But can I be honest here?
Is it okay for me to say, I would do some things differently if I was in their shoes? 
Why should I get "the look" from people/parents if I say that (or if something like that gets mentioned)?
How is it any different then any thing else that I would do differently in my life compared to yours.  Like how I spend my money as an example.

Okay now that I have explained that thought I can move on to the next one.....
I really want to be a parent that doesn't give "one more chance" after I already said it was the last chance.
Yes I will leave a store if that's what I said I would do.
Yes I will say no even though I'll end up with a tantrum because of it.  Yes even if it wakes up the baby when it lets loose.
Yes my kids are homeschooling, and pj's will be a definite option. :)  (had to add that thought)
Yes I will spank my kids if they disobey.
Yes I will apologize to them when I make mistakes so they learn, authority (parents, government) isn't perfect.  It's a great lesson to learn WHICH authority is Perfect!
Yes I will feed my kids fast food from time to time.
Please don't give me the guilty look down.
Yes I plan on breast feeding.
Yes I plan on my babies not always sleeping in the same place.  Can't miss out on small group! :) Right guys? :)
The list goes on.....but you get the idea right?  I have these things I'm sticking to you.  Go ahead and laugh now....."Mary you will change them!  Especially when you are a parent."
You know what.  Of the things listed above...the ones I am able to do to kids even though they are not my own...I'm sticking to them.  I don't go back on my word!

The struggle in parenting is....
grace versus how much judgement/discipline?

Let God be the answer of that.

I prayed tonight on my way back from Target thinking....I better talk to my little nephew Sam tomorrow.  Make sure our relationship is okay.  He wouldn't go to sleep tonight, kept yelling out.  Making excuses.  It's his thing he does.  Manipulater is his middle name, sometimes.  But if you stick to your guns, he will eventually drift off to sleep.  And that "scary monster by the closet because you won't let the room be bright enough" is not there anymore.  By the time he heard "spankin" out of my mouth he was brought to tears.  That poor boy.  When do you find the right way to do things when he's the boy who called wolf?

Later when I see you in person you mention how you follow my blog!  Thanks for letting me know that I'm not just writing a journal online for myself. :)  Please comment so I know you know what's been on my heart these past 10 years.  And sorry, I kind of took you on a wild ride to get to my point!  Or maybe you are still confused.  Either way, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  And parents, this was not meant to dis you or anything.  I love spending time with children (yours too)!  And Melissa, I love your boys!  I just wish I got more time to spend with each one like I used to so I can focus more on a relationship versus the TASKS of the day!  But I know we as mothers and/or caretakers struggle with tasks and busyness of the day vs quality time with children.  Please let me know I am not alone in this!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Semester Ends!

Sorry for not keeping you updated for awhile.  I have plenty to say but less than 10 minutes before I have to get going.  Since my last post I've gotten sick twice and then the days I wasn't it was "catch up days" on the apartment and on cooking....my poor husband!  This past week is a blur.  I was sick for two days practically.  Jon had a final on Monday, worked on Tuesday, studied on Wednesday, and two finals on Thursday.  Now he is completely done and only has one more semester of college left!  You can only imagine our excitement!!! :)

We had it planned that Thursday night we would celebrate.  He got home from work and I was all dressed up and ready to go out!  He wanted to walk around and just enjoy the fact he is completely done...so we picked something near the mall.  Fazoli's.  We sat down and I handed him a card. :)  My hubby's love language is words and he said if you ever want to give me a gift, just give me a card.  It's cheaper, but it means more.  Okay! :)  I can do that!! :)
(Sorry I meant to have us take our picture while we were out or before we left but I forgot since he came home and was SO hungry!)

After eating we walked around the mall and I got a couple things that I've been needing to get.  The rest of the  time was fun just to window shop. :)  He pulled the car up (burr was it cold!) and we went home.  We had planned to go to Dairy Queen (since we had coupons) but it sounded like too much.  So we got home and grabbed a few snacks junk food that we have around the apartment and watched Live Free or Die Hard that we got on Black Friday for $5.  Now that's awesome! :)  What a fun date! :)

Here's a link to the trailer.  Don't watch if you don't like action movies, seeing intense stuff, or blood.
I don't mind this stuff.  Someday we'll have a movie theater in our house but until then......
:)
Happy Friday everyone!  Hope I get to post some more before Christmas.  Jon and I will be all over the place this year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Jon and I love receiving pictures and updates about your family and we know how much fun it is to receive one. :)  However we feel like at this time in our life our letter wouldn't be worth sending out financially.  So I will sit down with Jon sometime and we will write you a letter and post it here for all of you to enjoy.  However I haven't seen my hubby for over 24 hours.  Which is a big deal to me due to my top two love languages being touch and time together.  However I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening when we finally get to see each other!!

Jon has been so overly stressed over all the school work that is due and it's been intense.  It also didn't help that Wed-Friday I was sick.  He has a lot left to do before Monday and I can only imagine what the next two weeks are going to look like.  Hallelujah only one more semester left of this!  May is going to be such an AWESOME month and I just can't wait!


But let me tell you a few things that have been our highlights through out this year. :)

January:  a fun-filled family vacation in Kansas City at Great Wolf Lodge

Jon and I holding nephew,
Frank at dinner time
                                                       
February: I had an interview to become a nanny in Ames. :)

March: Now knowing I got the position, I wasn't planning on starting until April 1st.  However their previous nanny had her baby early and they needed me March 21st. :)
The girl's new bedroom since she became a big sister,
August 2011
                                   
April: filled with fun weekend parties and preparing for our friends Ryan and Britney's wedding in May. :)
Easter <3
                                                       
May: a busy month no matter what.  My sister, Melissa and I share a birthday on the 5th, Rosebud meetings Sunday nights, parties for Britney's upcoming wedding, their wedding on the 21st, and brother Ryan's birthday the 30th.  May was also a month of  a huge blessing.  I was supposed to end my nanny position around the 15th.  However they decided to hold on to me, and Jon and I have been thankful for the wonderful provision.

Birthday Cake!


June: one-year anniversary! :)  We enjoyed a getaway at Bed & Breakfast in Jon's hometown.  This month Jon and I also got the privilege of going on our first mission's trip together as a couple.  We went to South Dakota Indian Reservation.  It was my eighth year going, and Jon's first.  It was a great experience for both of us and I was joyfully showing him why my heart is so stretched there. :)
Our room on our anniversary getaway
                             
The best picture we got of the two of us on our anniversary.....ooops!


Rosebud Mission Trip in Ideal, SD
                                   

Jon and I serving the team together :)
                       
July: Chances of spending time with family for birthdays, the holiday, and cousin's wedding.
Fourth of July (we both had blue suckers)
                                       

Jon caught this:: my cousin's wedding
                                                 
August: was a wonderful month :)  Before school started back up for Jon we were blessed to have our friends Mike and Megan get married.  We also went on a couple's vacation with Ryan and Britney in Kansas City.  August 31st the family I nanny for went from having one to two kids.  Making my job a little bit more interesting. :)
Yeah for marriage party! :)  Mike & Megan!
                                 
World's of Fun
(vacation with newlywed friends)
                                                   

World's of Fun with friends! :)
                                             
September: Annual Tometich Family reunion (my dad's side) and then Labor Day at Adventureland.  My small group also helped me surprise Jon for his birthday by hanging out at Ledges State Park.

Nephews and niece celebrating Jon for bday
                                         
October: We had our two nephews stay over night (my sister's oldest boys).  She went down to Kansas City to help my other sister prepare to get her new house ready to move in.  October also means Jon's friend's annual Harvest Party.  Later this month Jon and I met up with my parents and brother to help my sister out on her new house.
Playing with my sister's girls while everyone else worked on getting new house ready to move into
                                    
November: So excited to announce that this is the month when our small group officially started consistently! :)  We've really enjoyed seeing--Ryan, Britney, Mike, and Megan--every Sunday night.  It's been a blessing to grow along side of them and continue to pray and keep each other accountable.  There's a picture of us all at Adventureland (Labor Day) on the side of this blog.  We also chuckle how all of the women in the small group has worn the same veil at their own wedding. :)  And of course November is also a month of Thanks and enjoying time with family and friends...and can't forget all the good food!

Our Newlywed Small Group :)
                                                     
                         
Jon's extended family
Thanksgiving table
                                                       
December:  Even though it has just begun, there's already plenty to share.  Jon has a lot of updates on his future and right now really focused on getting this semester accomplished.  I miss being able to spend time with him and thankful for the times when I get a chance to be with him.  Jon has a face interview with Principal this coming Friday.  It would be a position for this coming summer, which would begin immediately following his college graduation.


Over all, 2011 has given us a chance to lean on God for His provision.  To fully grow in our faith in Him and know Who has the best plan for us.  We are so thankful for everyone who has supported us and prayed for us along the way.  We've been enjoying this year and a half together as husband and wife, and would like to take this moment to thank all of you for your support and interest in investing your time in giving us wisdom and used your gifts to encourage our relationship.  God's provision has definitely been clear this year and we just want to give Him all the praise for where we are today.  To Him be the glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meal Planning

Long post because I'm including some directions and ingredients.....Sunday and Monday food!!

Without having to work this past Friday AND Monday (yesterday), I received this extra energy boost.  (Like cleaning.  I cleaned their house, the apartment, etc.)  However my other boost was given to me for cooking.  Thankfully!

Sunday night was small group which I was pretty pumped about.  That probably also gave me another good amount of energy. :)  We had tacos and I brought dessert...

Brownie Cake from Betty Crocker's Cooking Basics cook book. yumm yumm yumm!
My mom got me this book as a gift for one of my bridal showers and inside it says, "Can't go too long with out brownie cake!"  And oh it is SO true! :)

Here's the list of goods...
350*
Grease (or cooking spray) bottom of 9in round pan, sprinkle flour and have it evenly spread out sticking to the grease and remove excess flour.

Mix: in a medium bowl with wire whisk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs

-Pour into greased and floured pan
-Bake 40-45 minutes (or 30 mins in the Kaisand oven) or until top appears dry
-While it's baking cut the strawberries in friendly-sized pieces . :)  Because strawberries are so good with it.  (raspberries are a good option too)
-Cool cake for 10 minutes, remove from pan and place on cooling rack or just leave it in the pan
-Top with powdered sugar and serve with strawberries

yum yum yum!!! :)

Monday I was good to go and happy.  I had nothing else better to do then clean and cook.  But I put some food in the crock pot because it was something new.  NEW NEW NEW.  Can you believe it?  I made something new.  It smelled so sweet all day long! YEAH! :)

What you need and what to do:
Pork roast (or beef roast because that's what I had)
Carrots (as many as you desire)  or you could use dried apricots if you love them
Place onion in freezer with outer layers off for 15-20 mins prior to cutting.  It helps with the tear-issue.
1 medium onion, thickly sliced (seriously thick)
1 cup chicken stock (or beef is using beef roast)
1 (18 oz) apricot preserves (I used Walmart brand, but Smucker's is good too.)
2 T Dijon mustard (again I just used mustard because I use what I have)
1 T thyme leaves
salt and pepper
plus...some stuff for roast which I'll include soon.

First, layer bottom of crock pot with onions and carrots (or those dried apricots).
Then season roast with: onion powder, garlic salt, cinnamon and place in crock pot.
Mix in a bowl with a whisk: preserves, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper, (mix well) and then add the stock.  The stock will make it soup-like but that's okay as long as you got the other stuff mixed in well.
Pour it over the roast and it cooks for 6 hours.


Enjoy!

More to come for what I made AFTER dinner Monday for Tuesday night's meal! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

88 cent green pepper

I used an 88 cent green pepper in three ways!
When I saw the sale I couldn't let it go.  I was looking forward to top it on my new favorite pizza option!



First green pepper meal option:
Homemade pizza- garlic chicken, mushrooms, green pepper, and lots of cheese!

Second option:
Jon put it in his chicken tacos for extra flavor!

Third option:
Hamburger and Corn Casserole

I absolutely LOVE love LOVE not having to throw food out! :)

Next post....this week's meal plans....

Perfect Meal for a spicy kind of guy!

Mexican Beef and Bean Casserole
(aka Mexican Casserole at the Kaisands)

Jon loves Mexican so I know I couldn't go wrong with this --and it's SO easy to make!  bonus! :)

1 pound ground beef
2 cans pinto beans
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
(I just use whatever I have on hand for red pasta sauce.)
1/2 cup mild chunky-style salsa
(I just used medium salsa since Jon loves the extra kick!)
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
(I use whatever cheese I already have.)
8x8 pan
aluminum foil

375*
Cook the beef in a skillet until fully cooked; drain.
Rinse and drain beans.  Mix the beef, beans, tomato sauce, salsa, and chili powder in an ungreased baking pan (8x8 casserole pan).
Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until hot and bubbly.
Carefully remove lid and sprinkle cheese on top.  Continue baking UNCOVERED for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Put on plate with some rolls or something and watch your hubby scarf it down!
He also says it would be good as a burrito!  Yeah! :)
I love having those kind of options to change things up a bit!

-Taken from Betty Crocker's Cooking Basics cook book

Monday, November 7, 2011

The issue of being comfortable

If you know me for very long you learn that I have issues.  Yeah, I know.  I'm not perfect.  The secret is out.

One of my many issues is comfort.  Comfort through change.  Comfort while watching a movie.  Comfort about a new step in life.  Comfort about how to drive somewhere that I've never been.  Comfort about making a new recipe.  Comfort about having a warm shower.  Comfort with knowing where I'll be a year from now.  Comfort about having a roof over my head and a heater that works.

Comfort about the possibility of living hours away from my husband for many months.
Comfort about living on my own even though I am married.
Comfort when I have no one to share a bed with and share about my day.
Comfort with having a handyman.
Comfort to supply me with the needs that I have as a wife.
Comfort in the possibility of having to drive hours on the weekends just to see my husband.
Comfort in knowing my husband is okay.
Comfort in knowing he is taken care of without me there.

So many thoughts and concerns come up, in the areas where I am not strong.  My husband has a pretty big decision to make, and I can't see myself a part from him.

Before leaving his interview last Friday, he was told he got the job in Williamsburg (west of Iowa City).  That means he needs to be there by the beginning of January and would work through August.  He would receive $16.50 per hour, and the company is built from a Christian foundation.  He loves the small town atmosphere and the feel of everything.  We can both see God really working through this.  It would make him have to push his last semester of school NEXT fall in 2012.  Still thinking through that process, because there are quite a lot of options available.  This internship could be a great bonus for him for his future career and great for a resume of course.  However it would be hard to figure out how we would work things out.  Our apartment here in Ames....my job is here.  A lot of things to think through....

Please pray for us as we consider all our options.  Consider praying about searching for God's will and not for us to pick where we are most comfortable.  Please also consider thinking about my position as I support and encourage my husband!  Thank you so much for your prayers.  We can certainly feel God working in our lives....to God be the glory!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The New Options

New updates on Jon's internship options:
1. Position in St Paul that was really something Jon was looking forward to: still waiting to hear back from them.
2. He told the Ames position no.  (Didn't seem the right fit compared to others.)
3. Driving to Iowa City position this coming Friday for a face-to-face interview.  This past week he had a phone interview for them.  He also likes this option as well.  However it would delay his graduation date to December 2012.

Praying now with the final decision in the future and also our living situation.  At some point I knew I would have to leave the family I nanny for.  I just wasn't expecting it to be so soon.  It could be as soon as December or January.  Or not until May.  Each day I'm trying to enjoy the moments I have with them.  Taking it all in.  I love them so much! :)  It's hard to be in a child's life daily for a year or so and then never hear from them again.  I'm hoping that doesn't happen with this family.  I've learned so much and will be a better mother thanks to them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kaisand Updates Finally!

I have a camera filled with pictures from this month that I am dying to share with everyone.  However the whole no computer thing for two weeks has gotten Jon and I a little behind.  We finally got it back and now spending our leisure time (well not always) watching missed shows on hulu, catching up on facebook, friends, gmail, etc.  How much we missed hulu!  We don't get TV really, just FOX and a Des Moines station (KCWI 23).  Not too bad but it gets old pretty quick.  We love sitting in front of the TV at dinner time enjoying each others company and leisurely spending time together when we can.  Some times we cuddle and watch for so long it gets too late to do the dishes.  We let them soak until it's another day.  Our poor little one-bedroom apartment kitchen.

I started to call it The Hole.

This picture was taken over a year ago so I have definitely changed things!  I even have a microwave cart blocking some of the space by the oven (the side closest to the camera).  I could go on and on about the changes....however I can save that for another day.

When my nephew was here over night he asked me how I got anything done in there, it was so small! :)

Other updates on Jon and I.....
He has a third option for internship.  And that is in Iowa City.  He had a phone interview yesterday morning and talked  to them again today and now he is going there next week. Yes, driving there next Friday for another "interview" and to see the building where he would work.

So it sounds like we will be living in Ames for less than a year now.  If you told me this a year ago I might start shouting for joy, but now I'm kind of holding back.

I love my job.  (What will I ever do without hearing those sweet words, "Maaa-dy!  Maaa-dy!" :)
I love being close to family and friends.
I love knowing how to get everywhere.
I love the routine.
I don't like change.
But it's time for change again.
And I am not God.
He has other plans for us.

It's not that I never liked living here.  It's just that it never felt like "home" or a place where I felt comfortable no matter where I drove around.  But now that I have a job (since the end of March), I don't get lost (hardly ever since now sometimes I help Jon find his way), and we are so close to family and friends.... I can't imagine being SUPER far away.  I like the option of driving 30 minutes to see my sister and her family. :)

 Come on, who doesn't want the option of seeing those cuties? (I got a chance to see each one of these four boys be brought into this world!!)

However I'll let her break the news to everyone in full, but they bought a house and will not live as close to Ames anymore.  (But that's a blessing for them!  God is working!) :)

Plus, Jon and I live 45 minutes away from his sister and her family and my parents.  How awesome is that? :)
Free laundry.  Any time.  Did I also mention hot water even after the shampoo? :)

Jon's top choices that he is leaning towards are:
1. Interested in this Iowa City position (hey, it IS in Iowa like we were always hoping for).
2. Waiting to hear back for the position in St Paul, Minnesota.  The position would be summer 2012 and could then transfer him to Clear Lake, IA.  yeah, that's Iowa but no one is even close to that area.

Iowa City we would possibly have visitors due to the fact that we have family in Des Moines and east of Des Moines.  Jon's mom lives in Newton.  We would then live over an hour east of my sister and her family and their new home.

Please pray for this upcoming transition for us!  And pictures coming soon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Praying about Two Options

Jon has a couple interviews in the next week or so.  Here are the options as far as I understand them to be.

Intern Option One
Pros: in Ames, don't have to travel, already have jobs here
Cons: starts spring semester where he already will be in school and has a well paid and he loves the part-time job (don't know how that will come to be); why this option a biggie since he'll still be in school?  Someone took one of the classes he has to take and he said, "that class alone makes you feel like you are working a 40 hour week."
(side note: let's just say we're looking forward to May---graduation!)

Intern Option Two
Pros: during Summer 2012 (not in school anymore)
Cons: St Paul, Minnesota
Pros about the cons: they will help us find a place to live and will help pay for it
More cons that Mary comes up with: farther from family and friends, would have to find a new job if I'm not a mommy yet.

Jon's thoughts:  He likes Option two better because of the timing, but the distance isn't too exciting.  However he likes St Paul and thinks it would be fun.  But we always planned on hoping to stay in Iowa so that's a tough thing to swallow.

We're just praying about this and hoping God gives us a clear answer.  I can't imagine what it would be like to move to Minnesota.  And it could only be for a short while to get his feet wet with his degree.

Just thought I'd give you all the heads up.....

All this thought of Jon's job being the foundation of where Jon and I end up living is becoming more and more real to me.  To the both of us.  Really gives me a chance to understand why all those married women out there moved because of their hubby's job.  It makes more sense now. :)  We both never thought we'd live anywhere but Iowa so this is kind of a big step for us.
If you think of us and wondering details of what to pray for....
--God giving us a clear understanding of His will for our lives
--Patience and commitment to where ever He wants us to go and not let it effect our relationship with Him and each other.
--The willingness either way.
--To learn how to encourage each other through all of this.

Thank you.  Please commit so I know you got this. :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Missing you All

Sorry I have been away from my blog recently.  I'm really trying to keep everyone updated as much as possible. But busyness has over taken the position of updating my blog.  Jon and I have been keeping ourselves busy.  The fall semester has definitely got him going with more school work and he had quite the week with the career fair not too long ago.  And I'm adjusting with two kids at home instead of just one at my nanny job.  (I could also add the mom is their most of the time too.)  It's been an adjustment for all of us, but I see blessings coming through. :)

This past weekend Jon got a chance to see his friends for the weekend (Harvest Party) and I tagged along with him.  It's a weekend filled with games, food, and conversation.  I'm sore after playing hours of football and having little sleep.  Going to bed early tonight!

How is everyone doing?  Enjoying the wonderful fall weather we are receiving?
Let me know how your October is going!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Choosing their Battles, worth it?

Most people understand the phrase that I am about to discuss.  However I need to be very cautious about how I talk about it.  Someday my thoughts will probably change, but let me just express my thoughts for now. :)

Choosing Your Battles

That's a phrase you hear, not a lot, but quite often with toddles and young children where parents or caretakers are trying to decide what battle to "deal with" or which ones to "let go."

However I'm not a fan of that phrase or what it stands for.  I feel like if I happen to decide a certain "battle" is worth dealing with today, but not tomorrow what exactly does that mean?  Once the child gets older they may understand this, but really is it worth waiting until then?  Why are we "choosing our battles"?

My key thoughts on parenting:
1. God is holy, and we are not.
2. We all are going to mess things up.  Even tell your kids when you mess up.
3. There are consequences for our actions.
4. The obvious one:  How much God loves them, and how much their family loves them.
5. Respect.  In all circumstances respect.  (like showing the proper way to express yourself through interrupting with manners, yes means yes and no means no, and the typical take care of each other and the things God has blessed us with, etc.)
--Am I missing any other key points that come to mind?  Maybe I'll add some more as time goes on, but you get the idea.

When a kid is freaking out over something I don't want them to think I'll freak out over it too.  Instead I like to:
Calmly react to the situation so they know I care.
"What happened sweetie?"
Usually I'm given a baby voice or a situation that I can return with a lesson attached to it.
In most cases it ends with a happy child and a happy caretaker like me. :)

In other cases when the parent is around I sense this extra emotional thing going on.

Yes, grace is important.  And letting them know you care is important.

Where's the consequence?  Where's the lesson?

Today the girl I nanny for was messing with the door while waiting for her mom to return.  She freaked out because it bumped her on the foot.  With me she cools down VERY quickly (different story around mom).  I told her I was sorry she got hurt, but to remind her doors are not things we play with.  (And yes I looked at it.)  She responded just fine.

Few moments later her mom came home and randomly she remembered about her foot and how it got hurt earlier.  With a wimpy voice she told her mom about it.  Her mom picked her up and told her let's check it out.  Her mom did different things with her foot to see if it was still working okay.  And then told her,
"Let's walk it off!  Is it okay?"


Thank you for that!  Yes, I might of done things differently.  But aren't we all a little different? :)  She is given the chance to see things that come her way and either: figure out why it happened or to check things out and walk away!

Battles I think are worth it.  There's lessons learned every time.  I'm not giving them the response they want.  I'm giving them the response that will be helpful next time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Future Recipe!

So, I've only heard back from one person (thanks Erin!) on suggestions or feedback from my latest post about changing my blog and what not.  Now with answering her suggestions, I'll try to post more often.

Lately it's been hard to get my brain around a more serious heart-felt post.  My mind is going like crazy.  My poor husband has to deal with my mind wrapping around in circles and never stopping.  The latest "thing" in my (our) life is that I get to take out MOST food out of my diet (normal eating habits).  Once Supplements get in I can't eat: dairy, grain (pasta/breads/cereal), fruit, etc.  I can only drink water and can only eat eggs, meat, and veggies.  I'm prepared to go hungry.  And also prepared to make veggies in ways I have never tried before!  I'll also have to spend more time on breakfast, and also more dishes.  And probably spend more time on meals (probably making two because my hubby can't go with out pasta or cheese!).
Meat will taste so blah.
Veggies might become my new addiction.
Good-bye grape juice for dinner!  (My after work delight.)
and no more quick frozen pizza or mac and cheese.

I think I can already hear my stomach growling!
Why all these changes you ask?
Because I got some tests done and I need some healing.
This is where I went to get the testing done.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Need a Change 101

I was getting pretty discouraged lately about my blog.  Pretty much everything about it.  I realize I need to be more on top of things.  What am I trying to share?  Looking back though my past posts I see a lot of posts about updating you on Jon and my life, posts about my thoughts on marriage or life in general, or some recipes.  I think I need to change things up a bit and maybe mess around a little bit with my formatting. 

Until then I changed the backround to my favorite color to kind of brighten my mood about my blog.

What do you think?

What suggestions can you make about my blog?
-Should I have more frequent posts?
-Do you want recipes?
-Do you want more meaningful info?
-or do you want just updates on Jon and my life?
-Do you want more pictures in the posts?
-Other?

(Honestly, I've been trying to get Jon into being interested in writing a post on here to allow everyone to hear his thougts on whatever he comes up with.  Sounds fun right?) :)  Yeah, I thought so.

Please be honest with me, kind, but honest.  Thanks! :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yummy Chicken Casserole

It's called Broccoli chicken casserole but I substituted peas for this last time and LOVED it better than broccoli. But it's just preference.

I'm in cooking/baking mode lately since I got time off of work and been helping the family with meals in prep for the baby.  They had a baby boy, Lucas Joel just yesterday.

I found this on allrecipes.com so don't thank me for this recipe.  I needed another chicken option, and this is fast and easy!  Great for when you can't start making dinner until 6pm.

What you need:
9x13 pan
cooking spray
frozen broccoli or peas (14oz for broccoli)
boneless chicken breasts
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup of sour cream
1 tablespoon of horseradish (or mustard)

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350, and spray pan
2. Spread frozen veggies on bottom of pan
3. Place chicken on top of veggies.
4. In a bowl: mix soups, sour cream, radish/mustard
5. Pour sauce mixture on top of chicken
6. Bake uncovered for one hour, let sit awhile before eating

It's a great way to get your meat and veggie all in one.  Easy clean up and yummy!  Makes great leftovers.  Sometimes I serve it with baked potatoes so I can have more leftovers. :)

Enjoy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lunch Entertainment

During lunch today, I was talking to Jon on the phone about something, and suddenly we got sung to!

(not very quietly might I add) "FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!  ONE FELL OFF AND BUMPED HIS HEAD...MOMMY CALLED THE DOCTOR, DOCTOR SAID! (finger pointing) NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPIN' ON THE BED!"

But little do you know, it really sounded like this:
"Five witte monkeys jumping on the bed!  One feh off and bumped his head...mommy cawed the doctah, doctah said! No moah monkeys jumpin' on the bed!"

And continued the song....

I let Jon listen in and I let him know....poor Jon.  He doesn't get entertainment during lunch! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sometimes it takes I LOVE YOU....

So I take care of a wonderful, sweet two-year girl.  We are preparing for her to become a Big Sister on September 7th.  However she knows she'll be more grown up once the baby comes, since she turns three in October.

The morning however hasn't been one of the best mornings we've shared together.

I won't go into detail, but the last ten minutes stand out to me.  Every day we have a routine after lunch.  We pick up from lunch and I let her know how many books we have time for (for me to read to her).  She usually likes to guess, which is pretty cute.  Her voice is enough to make you smile. :)

Today I chose three books.

I told her to go pick them out and I would be right there.  When I got in her room she had a pile of around 10 books lying on her rug.

"Honey, I said three books.  Can you pick out just three?"

So she takes out three books and tells me to put them away, meaning the rest of the books are for me to read.  Sorry, that's not what I meant.

I laid all the books out on her rug and told her to pick three of them for me to read, and then to help me put the rest back on her bookshelf.  That got accomplished faster than I thought it ever could.

I start reading the first book.  A new "routine" is me sitting on a chair and she sits on her beanbag chair and I read them to her like they do at story time.  It's worked since August first.  However, today after the first book she decides she wants to read them.  I told her she could read one of them while I read the other one (done this before).  No, she wasn't excited about that.  Which is odd for her...but I guess not odd when you're two.  She was pretty upset and didn't want to sit down anymore.  I asked her to please sit down so we  could read.  She didn't want that.  Then she told me we were done reading and it was time to put them away. As soon as we started to do that she decided it was time for me to read again, realizing it wouldn't complete our normal routine.  So I said okay, as long as she sat down.  Sitting down again, I began to read.  Not before my first sentence read, did it start to upset her again.  I told her it was time to put the books away and go for a nap (it was her tired cry).  I've been with her for five months now, and I feel like she is my own.  I know every cry, whimper, and plea.
So I told her I would continue to read if her happy voice can back.  She didn't want to, she just wanted to cry.  Since I gave her the warning, I couldn't go back on my word.

I put the books away and I picked her up and sat her on the potty...the thing we normally do after reading books.  I stayed on the routine!  I stayed calm the whole time, thank you Jesus.  After I got her to sit on the potty, while she cried and cried and cried the whole time.....I let her flush, pull her stuff up, and helped her wash her hands.  Like we always do.  She was happy finally and giggled with me as we washed hands.  Her smile can melt your heart for sure.

I helped her back to her room and tried to get her tucked in for nap.  She wasn't excited about that.  Reminded her of her sleep rules and she told me she wasn't going to follow them and not lay down in bed.  I told her she would have a time out after nap time if she didn't lay down.  She then laid down for me but not long after started to really cry.  I closed the door and started to fold laundry.  After a few minutes she changed from crying out to mom/dad and started saying, "I need you Ma-dy!  I need you!"

So, that's what it feels like when you are a mom! Geesh!

I wanted to cry back out to her and say, "I need you too!"  But I knew if I just leave her for awhile, she would probably fall asleep soon.  She was so wiped out.  I texted her mom and she said she didn't have a nap yesterday and she should go down for a nap early today, so that helped me feel better about my decision. (It's hard when you've been away from a child for four days and you come back not knowing how they've been doing.)
So not long after calling for me, I started to hear her say she had to go poopy.  I questioned back and forth and decided to go get her up.  She usually poops before nap, and she hadn't yet.

I went down to get her and she stopped crying as soon as I opened the door.  I picked her up and told her:

"I love you Norah.  Know that I love you.  I'm sorry you are sad and upset.  Let's go to the bathroom."

She ended up not going, but I ended up with a sweet little girl who stopped crying and is sleeping now.

Sometimes it's good in the hardest times with kids, just let them know you love them. :)
Just like the Lord reassures us.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Week with no Grocery Shopping

This week I've decided to try to meal plan with out having to go to the grocery store.  Let's see if I can do this! :)
*I eat lunch at work and Jon eats leftovers at home.




Monday:
Parmesan-Dijon Chicken
Peas & Corn
Strawberries & Cantaloupe

Chicken recipe:
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Heat oven to 375. 
Melt butter, then stir in mustard.
In a small bowl mix together the crumbs & cheese
Dump the chicken in the melted butter/mustard and turn chicken around to coat.  Place in 9x13 pan.
Using a spoon sprinkle the crumbs/cheese mixture on top of the chicken.
Bake for 20-30 minutes

*The peas were from the freezer and the (1 cup) corn was leftovers from a few days ago when we had tacos.

Tuesday
Leftovers & Frozen Pizza


Wednesday
Fish sticks, french fries, and hot dogs


Thursday 
Lunch: $1 subs at Jimmy John's
(I know I know, this cost money.  But how often can you feed two adults and a two-year old with only $2.14?  Jon brought chips from home--free because we get chips for free from Old Dutch--and we got water.)
Dinner:  Parents paid for dinner at the Iowa State Fair!


Friday
Got ready to head out to Mt Vernon after lunch to attend the rehearsal for Mike & Megan's wedding!  We are looking forward to the year(s) ahead!  Their apartment is not far from us here in Ames!
Lunch: leftovers found in parent's fridge
Dinner: Rehearsal Dinner :)



Friday, August 5, 2011

The Cost of a $4 shirt......

My mind is inconsistent.  I will admit.  I will admit plenty of things.  I will also admit I have a hard time watching men play video games for endless hours and wonder how they can love "those games" so much.

Last weekend my husband and I went out and about around Ames and we made a stop to the mall.  For the first time I went to the Ames mall, I was so excited....and left with, well, my hubby!  I was happy to hear that he is in search of an xBox game that I will enjoy!  (Why you ask?  Because my husband loves playing video games.)  Which let me tell you, finding a game I like is a LOT harder than it sounds.  I am picky.  I am not a big video game person.  I'm not very good, and after awhile I just get bored.
One game I have come to like, maybe because I picked up on it pretty quickly.  It's a pretty stupid game when you really think about it, but my husband LOVES playing video games....so it's been enjoyable because we play together.

Plants vs Zombies

I know I know, weird.  But just talking about it makes me want to go set up another game!

I also play Settlers of Catan!  (similar to the board game but you play with computer people)

Those are the only two games we play "together."  Otherwise I see him playing for numerous hours of things most guys like to play (racing games, Halo, etc).  This last week I tried played Halo with him, but I got really bored and annoyed with getting use to the controllers.  What can I say, I grew up playing Mario Brothers (Nintendo) and sport games.

What I am about to tell you is something that wasn't really necessarily good on my part, but at the time I needed to GET OUT of the house (or in my case I should say apartment).  It was after 11pm and I was really wanting to have Jon come home at 9pm and want to spend time with me but he was ready to unwind playing Halo.  So I ran to Walmart after 11pm at night.  I spent $4.  So my frustration cost us $4.

I tried the $4 shirt on for Jon and he liked it and was totally fine with my purchase.

I sat down with him on the couch and not long after he decided to turn off Halo!  It was around midnight by this time.  We ended up talking until about 2am about things I won't get into right now for the sake of my husband and myself.  (Not about marriage, just about our past experiences and details that should stay within our marriage.)  I was very thankful that he was willing to open up and even take the consideration of turning off Halo.

This morning we got talking and he told me how thankful he was to have me.  That I am so easy going and allow him to just spend some time doing his own thing.  That I don't get upset with him when he wants to do whatever he wants to do, and not exactly do something with him.

It's a good thing I ran to Walmart last night.  Our long chats would've turned out to be a LOT different.  I could have stayed in the apartment and got all steamed up and upset.  Feeling like I deserved time with him.  But I don't.  My place is to serve him, care for him, and support him.  I'm not his holy spirit.  That's not my job.  I need to be aware of what his needs are and put them before my own.  He had just worked about eight hours and needed time to chill.  Who was I to tell him something different?

He also mentioned his feet hurt from standing all day.  (His job requires him to stand the whole time.)  How often does he hear me mention I'm in pain physically and he cares for me?  And even if he didn't care for me when I needed him to, shouldn't I care for him anyways?

That $4 means a lot to me.
1. I was able to cool down and just "get out" for awhile.  Our apartment is small enough that no matter where you are, you would be able to see your husband playing a video game.
2. My husband appreciated it.
3. I learned how much it means to him that I allow him to have time to himself, especially when I'm around.
4. He was able to rest his feet.
5. He's working hard before he starts school again in a few weeks.
6. He has a lot on his mind.  He didn't mean anything against me.

So, the next time my hubby decides it's time to play four hours of Halo, I will go put that $4 shirt on and remember how much he cares about me!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

When we think God's big, He is EVEN BIGGER!

So today (July 29th)  is my spiritual birthday!  This night nine years ago (2002), I was invited into my sister's room.  My two sisters were talking about the Gospel and details I've never really came to grasp before that night.  I was fourteen years old.
Alone in my room before bed, I prayed to God that I wanted to lay my life before Him and turn to Him.  I wanted Him to know I wanted to change.  I can't explain the incredible feeling I had.  I can't describe it.  I just remember this awesome feeling coming over me and writing it all in my journal.....before I was very good at describing my thoughts in writing.  After writing I ran into my sister's room and let her read what I wrote.  While she was reading I felt awkward, because I know I didn't write my feelings out very well.  But she told me she was so excited for me and WELCOME TO THE FAMILY! :)

I wish I could tell you that life after that night was absolutely wonderful and that I focused my life on living out God's calling for His believer.  But I didn't.

But that's not the post I was planning on writing about.  So that's for another time.
Tonight I want to share about what happened today.
Today a LOT of wonderful, God's blessings, overflowing kind of days!  I saw God in my life today more than I have in awhile.

While at work today, during nap time, I prayed about my day.  Lord, I know today is my spiritual birthday and the actual day doesn't mean anything, but may You be glorified through my day.  Please, I pray, have something happen today that is unbelievable and reminds me of You.  


I got my prayer answered a couple hours later.  Plus I got my prayer answered a SECOND time later in the evening.
First of all, I had a wonderful discussion with my boss and we discussed some things about the upcoming school year.  They are going to have another baby and we had to discuss how things should be.  She was really open to my opinion and was actually asking for MY input.  She said she needs help and WANTS to hear what I think.  She's interested in learning what it is like to have more than one child.  She doesn't know any different then her almost 3-year old daughter.  We talked and had great conversation for about an hour and a half.
Second of all, after work I came home with an uplifting feeling and a lot of energy to go DO something rather than stay stuck in the apartment all night.  Jon was willing to "go out" and so we landed at B-Bops.  Eating outside in shade, which was actually really nice.  We headed over to Best Buy but stopped at Boarders next door because they were having a going out of business sale.

Walking inside we expected not to purchase anything.

It REALLY became clear that we were not going to end up with anything because Jon got stopped by an older gentleman asking him about the shirt he was wearing.  (A shirt he got from Crown College...a Christian shirt but doesn't mention anything about God on it. However I was wearing a shirt with a Bible verse on it and clear messages about the Christian faith.)  I won't get the word for word right, but it turned out where the guy wanted to talk to Jon and I for a brief 20 minutes if that was okay with us.  We told him we could meet him in a few minutes.

Long story short, we ended up walking him out to our car and driving him to Subway.  We found a table and he told us his life story.  He told us about how bad his life has been.  He's gone through a lot of stuff.  After working for nine years he got let go.  He lost his dad about 10 years ago, and his mom didn't want him around.  So he became homeless.  He's hitchhiked to a lot of places.  He told us for awhile he found faith in God and read the Bible.  He mentioned a few books that he has read (that I recognize), from very good Christian authors.  He said being homeless made it tough to get connected with others and he started to question Christianity.  'How could a loving God allow this to happen to him?' he thought.
I wanted to ask the guy some questions, but he kept going.  The questions would probably be human effort anyways.
He said he's tried to work in different places.  He knows some Scripture and he knows the teachings of the Bible.  However he said it was hard for him to find anyone who believed the Bible and acted on it.


He slowly told us that he threw away all his Christian literature and Bibles.  He said that there's belief that Christianity could be just a "feel good" belief for people.  However he does believe in some kind of higher power.  He knows a lot of science and knows there has to be something to make it all possible.


Later on he mentioned that he knows someone who has found something that could help him out a bit.  A decent place to live and a job.  But he needs the money to get there and be able to pay for rent before he has a job.  Jon mentioned how it's a cycle.  You can't get out of homelessness when you can't get a job and so you have no way of paying for a place to live.  Jon asked him if it was okay if we gave him some money to help him out (with my okay as well).  The guy was hesitant. [Can I mention here that moments before Jon mentioned giving him money, I had something tugging on my heart that maybe we should give him money.  I say that because Jon was worried I wouldn't be okay with it.  Another great way to show how God really works in our hearts.]
Jon told him 'from the stories you've told us we can tell you won't buy anything that is not what the money is meant for' (drugs, beer, cigarettes).  The guy was thankful that we trusted in what he was saying.


Before leaving we gave him more money because we found out the exact amount for what he needed to get by.  With tears in Jon's eyes he told the gentleman thank you for opening up with us, and how sorry he felt that he found no Christian acting out their faith.  


I've only seen my husband cry (ahem, tear up) twice.  First, at our wedding.  Second with a man in need of someone to show God's love.


Jon doesn't want me to share details of what we gave him, but I will tell you this.....
He got the exact amount that Jon made today at work (God is at work!  It's his anyways!).  
We left with a feeling of a greater love for God, our family, and humbled before the Lord about our finances.
Another God thing I want to mention, I have been getting paid with a check for the past few weeks and I just so happened to get paid with cash today.  So I had cash available to hand right to the man.
Only God could plan that.

On the way home Jon and I talked about what we just experienced.  We were in shock.  However we know that...even though we didn't preach the gospel to him (he already knows about it), we were able to love him like Jesus.  We were able to act on what we know is True.

We pray that he uses the money wisely for his benefit.  We also pray that where ever he goes he gets led to someone able to connect with him and allow him to take the time to rethink through the Gospel.  We pray he gets the desire to read the Bible again.

He gave us his contact info and so we plan on keeping in touch with him.
May GOD BE GLORIFIED!!!

Amen!





Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Husband Isn't Perfect {But I'm okay with that}

My hubby isn't perfect.

But really, I'm okay with that.  Really, I AM!

My focus recently has been on perfection and what it truly means, for we are imperfect people.
Can we really have perfection?

While the days go by.....
My husband helps with the dishes and cleaning
My husband takes out the garbage (I've only done it a few times since we've been married!)
My husband is willing to hit pause on something he is doing to give me full attention for something he honestly could care less about.....
My husband is willing to do activities and discuss things about our marriage...even when his thoughts are on doing something else.
My husband is willing to let me watch chick flicks.  This is a big deal because he allows me to use the TV to watch it.  He could MAKE me use our small, portable DVD player.  However he allows me to watch them, keeping him from being able to do what he really feels like doing.  He also sometimes will watch them with me, because he knows I like the company.  (Chick flicks make me cuddly!) :)
My husband asks me to do things with me because he wants my company.
My husband reads the Bible and gets really excited to share with me about what he just read.
My husband is flexible and not judging about my lack of cooking or food prep skills.
My husband gets sweet and thankful when coming home from work and just happy to see that I'm okay.
My husband loves my eyes.
My husband lets me know how much he cares about me.
My husband still allows me to ask him stupid questions to reassure our love and thoughts towards one another.
My husband will read this humbly.

That's what I think of when I think of my husband.  If you ever hear different, it's probably because I'm not being thankful or just really plain tired.  Or I'm not being a good wife.
(ouch!)

I'm reading this book about how God planned marriage for holiness instead of happiness.  It's really got me thinking about how I "treat" or respond to marriage....with my husband (all marriages in general).  I won't be happy with Jon alone.  Things will come up.  If you know me, my emotions are like a crazy roller coaster.  There's no way he could ever stay happy with me!  (Thankful for grace.)  Geesh, I'm getting all over the place with my thoughts.  This is something that got in my mind in the shower.  That tends to happen to me a lot.  Sorry.  It sounds like such great thoughts that seem to go together so well until you put it out there in writing.
I don't know how else to try to explain myself.  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CAMPING 101

Prepare.  Have plenty of time to prepare.  You must be thinking packing, but I'm talking about your MIND!  haha.  I talked the whole week prior with Jon about how I could really use his help and comfort.  I was so fortunate to have a patient, loving husband.
[Example:  "Mary, please move behind me."  So I did.  When I asked him later he said, "There was a spider about to take over our tent and I threw it out of the way and I didn't want to throw it near you."]






When people chuckle about how much I am NOT a camper I resort back to my family tree.  The Tometich's are NOT campers.  Must I repeat myself?  It's a huge stretch to even know I am now a part of a family that camping is normal and a part of life.  I grew up where a hotel was the only option.  Now, I don't blame anyone for this, I'm just giving you a few reasons why this Camping thing is not my kind of thing.  It doesn't come natural for me to go camping or even THINK of how to start packing for camping.

Oh gosh.

Some things I learned about camping...
1. Be thankful that you are at the church camp where you can use extra mattresses from the cabins.  They are super comfortable, and help allow you to feel farther from the ground.
2. Bring plastic to put under the tent to keep your stuff as dry as possible, because even morning dew can make it miserable.
3. It is HOT.  Bring fans (luckily we came prepared) and extension cords (thank you father!).
4. Jon and I parked our car right next to the tent so we kept most of our things in our back seat.  Which was really handy, and I never had to worry about what critters or wetness was getting on or near our bags. :)
5. We didn't shower while we were there (oh I know GROSS!) but we only stayed for about 24 hours.  And we didn't want to take one right before we left, because we just wanted to wait to get back in our own bathroom!
6.  Camping is not for me.  Unless the weather is EXACTLY how it was that night, but not so humid.  I wished we would of made it to some bon fire or something.  We didn't get the FULL camping experience.
7.  Watch out for the geese poop.

Friday, July 15, 2011

No, I'm not stranded somewhere, without arms, or without internet.

Have no fear, I'm still here! :)  In case any one keeps up on my blog, I want everyone to know I haven't disappeared.  I actually have plenty to say.  There's actually some topic I wanted to blog about but by the time I got free time to write it, I couldn't remember it. :P  After this weekend I'm SURE I'll be able to blog about how the weekend went and all it's festivities.

So, a new blog post coming soon with updates on how Jon and I are doing....with mostly my thoughts about it. haha.  If I ask Jon to write a post, I don't think it would happen.  He's not much into the "writing is a hobby of mine" sort of thing.   It's not bad, I don't mean that at all.  I just mean it's not "his thing."

A sad thing though, summer is halfway over!!!! :(

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Perspectives: What's yours?

a wet towel hung up carelessly
a pile of dirty dishes filling up in the sink
a two-year old still working on manners and patience
an empty apartment where hubby is away unexpectedly
a pile of clean laundry still needs to be put away
a mile long to do list needed done before fall
a crowded feeling of a one-bedroom apartment

A husband willing to hang up his towel even though his ride is waiting
Dishes from a meal we were able to pay for
and made without a recipe and still turned out okay
A blessing from above, because I needed a job
He is able to go and just be with a group of guys for awhile
Thankful we were able to do laundry for free
Enjoying a summer filled with work and time with family and friends
Saving money now, so we can have the blessings in the future

-----



It's all how you look at it.
Now read again.  This time read it in a different order, see if you can catch which sections respond to each other.
Which perspective do you normally have in every day life?  

Monday, June 27, 2011

I shed tears for you....

Every night and every day I can only imagine 
how many hurtful things are said to you.....
how many hurtful things are done to you....
how many times you feel unloved.....
how many times you feel not cared about....
how many times you don't hear you are beautiful!

Every night I close my eyes and picture you
wondering if you are safe and okay...
worried you might be scared...
concerned about your comfort...
hopeful you are calling out to God...
and knowing He hears your prayers.

Every time I sit down to eat
I'm concerned you don't have anything good to eat
worried the others are calling you mean things
hopeful they are not hurting you
wondering if you are being hugged.

And every time I start to pray
I think of you
praying you are safe
praying you feel loved
praying you know I am thinking of you
praying you know I can't wait to see you again
praying you know you are loved
praying you know you have a Heavenly Father
praying I get to see you some day
praying some day it will be heaven.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

TK Conversations

Ever since Jon and I have started a relationship people inform us about just waiting for our first "fight."  When we told them we never had one, they said wait until you are married and you'll fight over something so small.

We still don't understand what they mean.

Don't quote me wrong however.  We understand disagreements and making the other person upset and frustrated.  We feel like we have never had a fight before, because our meaning of fight isn't disagreeing on something.  Usual fights include raised voices, hurt feelings, and the need for reconciliation.  

Jon and I have had situations where someday (hopefully not) could turn into a fight if we're not cautious.  I call them TK conversations.  What are those?  Well, the "T" stands for Tometich (for me) and "K" for Kaisand (for Jon).  Meaning, whenever we have a disagreement or conversation that leads to frustration it's usually because we respond in the way we have always responded in the past.  We grew up in our families where we're used to the way things went and how things "should work."  I'm not going to go into details about each of our little "things" that we do, for the sake of gossip or other things like that.  However I will mention that we've discussed how we are going to respond when those issues arise.

For example, I KNOW when something has set Jon off a little bit.  I can tell.  I respond with, "Sorry Jon, this may be a TK conversation.  Let's talk about this."  It allows us both to know how vulnerable or sensitive the other person is about that certain topic, etc.  Vise versa when it's something that gets me a little upset I know how to confront Jon and it doesn't turn into a big argument. 

Like last night I asked him if I could bring something up that might be a little sensitive for him and I wouldn't want to disrespect his desires and needs.  He told me how to talk to him about it...stay calm, be super duper nice, and use as many positive words as possible.  That gave me the opportunity to not hold things inside and let my bitterness towards something that was hurtful to me to get in the way of our relationship.  The conversation led to a husband who was willing to do practically anything to help me out.  I was rewarded with no argument, a happy husband, and a man after my own heart wanting to please me! :)

Ephesians 5:1-2, 21-33

Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind-- yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pay It Forward

Have you ever had days where you are just unsure of how things are going?  What is your boss really thinking?  What do they think of how you are doing?

Well, these last twenty-four hours my husband and I are counting our blessings and running out of fingers of how many blessings we have just from this wonderful family that I get to nanny for their two-year old here in Ames.

You see, I went 9 months, (did you hear that NINE months!) without a job while living here in Ames and Jon was doing twelve credits and working part-time.  The gift Jon gave me on Valentine's Day was mentioning his wife to his substitiute professor at ISU.  And that little conversation brings me to where we are today! :)

Since the end of March I have been blessed with a sweet little two-year old girl who teaches me more than I could ever thought possible.  She is a gift from God--her whole family is!  Her mom is about to have a baby in early September.  I get to nanny for her through at least the summer.  Her parents told me I get to take her swimming lessons, to the library, to Reiman Gardens, etc.  After the swimming lessons I can take her swimming, and her dad told Jon he could come with! 

Blessing One:  Jon is always invited to be a part of this nanny-job.  He is always welcome.
It's been a blessing to have Jon around from time to time.  He loves it too! :)  He mentions how much fun it is to work along side each other (note Blessing Five)! :)

Blessing Two: I was originally going to work through May 15th, with a possible later date.  The prayers have been answered.  I have it (for atleast) through the summer!

Yesterday her parents were delighted to see that I helped her make an umbrella during the rainy afternoon.  It was nice to hear how much they enjoy what I come up with to do with their daughter.

Blessing Three: They let me know what they appreciate.

Yesterday I needed to do a load of laundry and they had something in the dryer so I did those as well.  This morning her mom made it sound like I just did hours of work for them!  She was so thankful!

Blessing Four:  Even the small things they appreciate.  They notice the "cleaning" I do for them.  At the beginning of this job they made it clear it was expected, but I had no worries.  I like to organize and tidy up things! :)

Jon's part-time job seems to slow down in the summer.  He makes home theater screens and there's not as much as a need for them when the weather warms up!  The family has asked Jon to mow their lawn a couple times, do some yard work, clean their windows, and redo the finish on their windows.

Blessing Five: They have given Jon some hours to work which has really helped boost his esteem during the summer.

They gave me an entire week off when I said my friend was getting married and I was in the wedding.  They also didn't expect Jon to come and work on their house while we were out of town.  They figure we stay together. :)

Blessing Six:  They understand family and friend time.

Jon has accidently done a couple things at their house while cleaning/working.  When he brings it up they say no big deal and thank him for all he's been doing for them.

Blessing Seven:  They are open-minded and very understanding.  They have glass half-full responses.

They trust us in their house, eating their food, spending time with their daughter, and so on.

Blessing Eight: They are thankful for us and allow us to ask them for anything we need.

They lend me one of their cars to take their daughter places.

Blessing Nine: They trust me with their daughter while I'm driving. :)

They really make it clear when they are thankful for what I do something (or Jon) and how it was done.  I always try and make their house look better than the way it looked when I get there in the morning.  I'm also working on training their daughter life lessons.  They are Christians, which gives me a great opportunity to teach Truth to their child.  It also is encouraging because we have similar beliefs, and it opens the door for great communication.
Which brings me to blessing ten....

Blessing Ten:  They are Christians.  They also have great communication with me which allows me to do my job better and be more efficient.

I could go on and on and on about more specific blessings, but I will stop there.  I just wanted to update my blog today about the many blessings from this family that I get to nanny for.  They have encouraged me to also PAY IT FORWARD by letting people know when I appreciate them.  A few sentences can go a long way when it comes to blessing others.

Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend everyone!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

And the winner is.....

Julie Young!

Julie, if you would like to message or email me and let me know what I can do for you that would be great! :)

For everyone else thank you for being a part of my birthday give away!  Let me know if or when you would like me to do it again! :)

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BIRTHDAY GIVE AWAY!!! :)

I will be doing a drawing for my birthday.  If you want to be a part of the drawing please comment here on my blog or comment on my link on Facebook.  Please share this with anyone you feel led to share it.

What is this drawing you say?

Well....

I want to find out what kind of service you need from me.
Is it company?  Do you just want to get together with me and chat?
Do you need a babysitter?
What about someone to clean out that annoying closet?
Or maybe that kid's room/toy room?
What about a planned day where I come over and dust and pick up your house?

Comment and I will put your name in the drawing! :)
The name drawn will get the service for free.  If I get a lot of feedback I may try this again. 
Or if you are in deep need of one of the things listed above I will do it for a small fee.

Let's see what happens.
Spread the word! 
This is Mary's BIRTHDAY GIVE AWAY!! :)
I would like the deadline to be Thursday night, but I will lengthen it if I need to.

Give me your thoughts. :)