Mother's Day

Mother’s Day 2017


It was a beautiful Mother’s Day last weekend. The weather was warm and summer like. I made mother’s day corsages for my mom and mother-in-law and myself. We went to church and then had a picnic with  my family who were in town. We ordered chicken and picked up food and made it really simple.  Cousins and Aunts and Uncles played with my kiddos at the park. It was such a fun and relaxing time.


After supper we brought yummy ice cream from Stensland’s over to Grandma and Grandpa Maloney.  It was the perfect end to a great Mother’s day.  I am thankful for time with my family, kiddos and this little one that will arrive soon!

Funny Kid Quotes

Leeland’s Thought


Leeland was picking up his room today after lining up about 50 picture books in a square around his room. He was working hard and when finished he came in and told me this:

“so mom, I can pick up my room with two hands so it’s OK if I don’t have a brother. It’s OK if the baby is a girl.”

The background to this new revelation is that a few months ago I asked Leeland to pick up his room as well as the girls. He came in and said that he needed another “worker” to help him in his room. I told him he had two hands and that he would be just fine. He said that the baby should be a boy so he could have his own worker in his room just like the girls. Apparently, he is older now and his two hands can get the job done and another sister would be OK too.

*This picture was taken on Mother’s Day at Sertoma Park.  A man and his son brought a bunch of snakes and Leeland was none too afraid to get right in the action.  He loved to pet the snakes, hop over them, observe them, and was really excited when the snake pooped. My family joked that if the baby is a girl we could always get Leeland a pet snake.


Mother’s Day Interviews


At our last MOPS meeting (Mother’s of Preschoolers) my children and their teachers did an interview with them about me.  It was really interesting to get my children’s perspective on me.  I have to say Lillian really knows me spot on, Norah wants to travel to a hotel with me and Leeland, bless him, thinks that I love doing the dishes! I am thankful for this little peak into their minds and hearts!







Has anyone ever heard of a babymoon before? I had read about it on a few blogs and here is wikipedia’s official definition

babymoon: A babymoon is a relaxing vacation taken by couples who are expecting a child. Babymoons are often taken in luxurious locations, as the babymoon is seen as the last vacation that the couple will have alone until their child leaves home when they reach legal age.

In parenthesis is what describes our babymoon this past weekend: A babymoon is a relaxing vacation (overnight at a hotel .. and eating food we don’t have to cut up for others or convince them to eat) taken by couples who are expecting a child. Babymoons are often taken in luxurious locations ( ie….Luverne, MN- 20 minutes away), as the babymoon is seen as the last vacation (until the next child)  that the couple will have alone until their child leaves home when they reach legal age( or is potty trained, and can strap themselves in  a car seat independently and is watched by a very loving, responsible older cousin).

We our little adventure might not be textbook babymoon but it was perfect.  I had really wanted to have an overnight before little one arrives. Knowing the kind of attachment and work a newborn is… it was nice to have a 24 respite away from the kids and alone with Chris.

We went to Luverne, our home away from home. The weekend was set, babysitter booked and off we went.  Lucky enough for me it also coincided with the Luverne City Wide rummage sales.  We drove into town and hit a bunch of them before dinner. Checked into our hotel and drove to dinner at the Bluestem.  (Bonus about doing an overnight close to your house: cuts down wasted time driving, everything is minutes away, you get to try new things that you could easily go back to again. ) Dinner was lovely, quiet, good food, long, uninterrupted, filled with talking and conversation! I totally ordered dessert and didn’t check my blood sugar after dinner:)

Our 2nd thing we really wanted to do was hit their downtown and maybe a few more rummages on Saturday.  The weather was so beautiful and it was just very relaxing not to have a schedule and meander around.  During our morning rummages we even scored the last few items on our baby-to-buy list: infant stroller and carseat, and nursing pillow.  We had flatbread pizza downtown ( a good thing to eat when watching carbs) and then went exploring the blue mound state park.  We will definitely try to bring the kids back to that park to do some hiking and exploring soon.

~The kids had a fabulous time with their cousin! Thanks Maddie!!!!! She took them to different parks, took them out to ice cream, watch a movie, listen to Leeland chat constantly, and played hard for those 24 hours.  I had no worries or concerns what so ever.  You can see by the pictures that they had a pretty amazing time too!


34 weeks TODAY


Today I am officially 34 weeks pregnant. We are approaching the finishing line of this pregnancy with great speed! Spring always seems to be a busy time around here with outside projects, mowing, gardening and wrapping up the school year.  In the midst of all this new life happening in nature around us. This little miracle is also growing and getting ready to meet us all.

On Monday of this week we had an ultrasound to check on how big baby was (due to the whole gestational diabetes thing!) I have never had an ultrasound this late in the pregnancy and it was a whole new experience. We still didn’t find out the gender. It will be a good surprise and reward to find out after that whole labor ordeal.

During the ultrasound they measured baby and checked fluid levels. We saw feet, head, belly, and then the tech said, “Wow, your baby has lots of hair!” Hair was one thing that I never considered seeing in an ultrasound.  So much fun. I came from a very bald baby family and so having all my newborns adorned with lots of hair is kind of fun.  We also got to see the baby do practice breathing. At this point the baby is getting ready to breath on the outside and starting to practice all those important processes on the inside.  We saw the heart beat and heard the heart beat at a steady 140. What a great sound. The tech tried to get a good 3D shot of the babies face but our little one had it’s little fists right around it’s face.

This week Lillian and I also had a baby dream on the same night. I dreamed that I was delivering the baby in a foreign country while helping another young mom deliver her baby.  It made me thankful for our modern hospitals and wonderful birthing suits here in Sioux Falls. Lillian then woke up and told me her dream. She said that we went to the hospital and didn’t tell her. When she did get to come up to the hospital the baby was already talking to her. Oh fun.

As the weekly countdown quickly turns into days… I am thankful for this new life and the responsibility that comes with it.




Yesterday I had the opportunity to share this devotional I wrote at my MOPS'(Mothers of Preschoolers) last meeting of the year.  I think the topic of control in our lives is one that everyone can relate to and everyone struggles with.

Philippians 4:6-7 ” Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understandings will guard your heart and minds in Jesus.” 

Recently the Lord has been speaking to me about control.  I know that usually I am in a learning lesson when things get brought up multiple times in different circumstances. I could see it as coincidences or I could see it as God prompting.

  • 1st was at the women’s conference discussing breaking cycles in our lives. She discussed breaking the little, comfortable, patterns that we have left unchecked in our lives. Control over circumstances was one of them.
  • 2nd is this pregnancy with being 35, considered “geriatric in pregnancy” and then being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

The 2nd event really ampted up the control issues that I thought I didn’t have.  In regards to what, when , how much, I eat and it still not helping my numbers always.  Thus bringing in lots of medical “advice/headaches” to deal with at the last 7 weeks of my pregnancy.

So I wrote down a little list over the course of two days of things that:

I Cannot Control

my blood sugar levels

the gender of my baby or how Leeland will react if the baby doesn’t end up being a boy

what my children will or will not eat at any given meal

when and one which day Leeland decided to potty train.

the number of injuries my three children occur in a 24 hour period  (So many Folk)


plans that change because of sickness

when my baby will be born and how much that they will weight

who will be watching my kids when I’m at the hospital

who is going to melt down over: it being to hot, too cold, too windy, losing a game, being too tired or not being able to go to sleep.

how many fetal movements kicks I’m suppose to count in a 2 hour period.

if we will get enough jobs this summer for our business

and on today, April 20th, my dad’s 3rd birthday in Heaven. Four years ago this summer we had no control over my dad dying suddenly in the middle of our family vacation. We all felt very much out of control!

but… these are the things I can control.

What I Can Control

how I react to these circumstances

how I let it “steal” my joy and peace

how fast I take it to prayer or carry the heavy load

how much trust I put in God over these things or let fear and anxiety take over

We choose to focus our thoughts and take captive our thoughts on what is TRUTH in uncertainty.  We need to choose not to allow these control issues turn into fear and anxiety that then control our lives even more.   These verses speak to control and what we should be doing with it. This site also lists a bunch more that are all amazing:

Psalm 56:3 ” When I am afraid, I put my trust in you!”

Matthew 6:34 ” Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. “

So what is on your control list that you need to give up?

I will end with this verse because it is so near and dear to me and fitting because it talks about how God takes care of those with young, those mothers and their children.

Isaiah 40:11 ” He tends to his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”



Next Time There Will Be One More

Last week we took the opportunity to do a little traveling. The motivation behind the trip to my mom’s house and to the cabin was the fast approaching due date of this little baby on June 9th. We knew that the next time we travel to Grandma Wilken’s house and Grandma and Grandpa Maloney’s Cabin there will be one more.

there will be one more little cousin in the mix when my sister and I get together

the adults will be that much more outnumbered

a baby’s schedule will dictate our schedule a bit more

6 hour trips to the cabin won’t be able to be made in the truck

less sleep will be had by Chris and I

we will be maxing out the number of people that should sleep together in one room unless you are Pa and Ma Ingalls living in the Big Woods of Wisconsin.


there will be a little one to cuddle, love, and hold

At Grandma Wilken’s House Leeland got to ride along with Uncle Bryan on the mower and pick up sticks. I gave tons of Rhino ATV rides to all the little cousins.  Mom, Molly and I took the kids swimming at the hotel pool on a particularly cold day.  We did played Easter games, read Easter books,  and played hard.  We packed up and went home only to repack and get ready to go to the cabin.  My philosophy is that if you are going to disrupt the normal schedule you might as well put it together in one week.

The next day we packed up for the cabin with Chris.  Grandma and Grandpa Maloney where up and ready to greet us when we arrived at the cabin! The weather was beautiful for this time in April. The ice was off the lake so Chris and Grandpa could put in the dock.  We visited the Head Waters Science Center in Bemidji, MN. We got in for free with our Science center membership.  There was animals to hold and look at.  It was a simple afternoon of fun.  For the first time we also got to experience a beautiful Easter Morning up at the lake. We visited a small church, with a nice short service on Easter morning. We played at parks, and ended the day playing rounds of Skip-bo. It was a pretty perfect week if you ask me. And next time there will be one more!!

Funny Kid Quotes, Kids

Leeland & Baby

Leeland has been super involved in this pregnancy.  I have never had this old of child, or this verbal, while being pregnant before and boy does that make a difference.  It also helps his interest that his head is the exact height of my ever growing belly. Daily Leeland does the following things:

  • Come up and kiss my belly
  • Hug my belly and then try to wrestle the baby from the outside.
  • Say “Hi Baby” in a very big voice. (The baby will either know Leeland well or maybe be a bit afraid of him.
  • Declare that the baby is a boy and talk in great lengths about how he wants and needs a brother. He needs another “worker” in his room for clean up. That he already has two sisters. That dad doesn’t count because he isn’t little. Yes, Leeland has thought this one out. (For the record we don’t know the gender and won’t find out until the baby is here)
  • Asking if the baby is hungry when I take my vitimins and supplements
  • Ask if the baby is coming out
  • Ask why it is taking so long

The other day he was sitting on my lap and he started naming different parts of my body: eyes, forehead, hands, fingers, ears, mouth, baby (stomach), and yes, when he looked at my breasts he simply said, “Feeders! Right mom these are the feeders for the baby?” Oh the joy of a three year old knowing lots and lots of things. Breast feeding should be filled with lots of fun stories.


I’m Back

Hello Friends and Family!

It has been a long time since you have seen a blog from me in your email or blog roll. Over 7 months in fact! Last Fall I originally stopped blogging because I literally ran out of “picture space” here on this blog site (luckily the finally added an pretty affordable option for personal bloggers like me) .  Then factor number two- getting pregnant hit that same month.

Sickness stopped around December and normal life started settle in again.

The last few weeks and months I have really missed this platform to write down life and all it’s little and big moments. I don’t journal much and when I started writing blog posts in my head I thought it was probably time to pick this back up again.

Here is a little lately list of what has been happening:

Currently: in the 3rd trimester of Pregnancy at 30 weeks

Listening: to pod-casts of Read-aloud-Revival

Reading: with Lillian in her new bible.

Loving: Spring rain and spring weather

Counting: carbs and sugars because of my gestational diabetes stuff

Thinking: that no matter what I eat my body decides to do whatever it wants… I have no control

Planning: A trip to Grandma’s with my sister Molly and all the kids

Anxious: to potty train Leeland before baby arrives. People we have been in diapers or pullups for 7 and half years…. there is failure and success… again I have no control

Creating: spring bunting out of doilies and scrapbook paper

Excited: I got to go to a  women’s event on Saturday to hear Lisa Terkeurst and then this next weekend going to our Church’s women event. Planning lots of chances to get out before baby comes and not feeling guilty for it.

Getting: into the book of Isaiah for morning Devos. It’s hard to read but hopeful at the same time.

Starting: a family meeting between Chris and I since spring has arrived and now our attention has turned to the great outdoors. Hopefully our weekly meeting will keep the household running while Chris works to keep the outside in order.

Booking: a hotel room for our overnight date in May.  It was our goal to have a night away before baby comes.

Feeling: happy to be blogging again.



Spring Tradition

First Day of Spring Tradition


This is our 3rd year in a row of doing our First Day of Spring (or close to) Egg Hunt and Family basket.  Click here for 2016  blog & 2015 blog.  You can read about in detail in my past blogs as to why the change.  It has really been a game changer for me as far as taking the pressure off of Easter morning to “do it all” and also to keep the focus pure and joyful for Easter Morning. Because we all know it’s just hard enough to just get up, dress, and get to church on time (without all the fuss about Easter baskets).

This year for our Egg hunt I went with a lego set challenge for the girls and a magnet set challenge for Leeland. It was like a fun engineering (STEM) and Egg hunt all rolled into one.  A few days before the hunt I told Chris my plan for breaking up the tiny lego and magnet sets and putting them in eggs and hiding them outside.  He questioned the soundness of my plan and added some suggestions. It had been cold and so we moved the hunt indoors. The girls’ eggs got numbered 1-36 and were empty. They had to find their eggs in sequential order. After they found egg number one they got a corresponding packet with those legos in it. They had to work as a team and build the set together. Folks this took them over 2 HOURS to find and build their set. HUGE egg hunt win.

Leeland liked having things inside the eggs and would open them up and put them back into the packaging “mold” to make sure he found all his eggs. It took him 45-1 hour for him to do his hunt as well.

Before lunch we called the kids down and showed them their family basket.  We took a break of our live butterflies and loaned that stuff to my sister this year.  My thoughts for what to put in here fell under these few categories: Something they wanted, something they could use for school, special snack and family memories.  I also printed off these pretty scripture cards to attach to all the gifts:  Here is what we came up with this year.

Something they wanted:

  • Lillian had really been wanting a bible with chapters and verses in it. We are beyond the story book phase and so I did some research and found the NIrV Adventure bible. It is a perfect fit! (2nd grade reading level, pictures, cute cover!!)
  • Norah really wanted some jewelry. We found a perfect cross necklace. Simple and done!
  • Leeland wanted a bike helmet. I like the yellow color. However, as we found out later that week you do have to wear the helmet for it to offer some protection to your head. Oh, Leeland.

Something they could use:

  • Kwik Sticks- These are tempera solid sticks that you can “paint” with and they dry in 90 seconds. Can’t say enough about these. AMAZING and so much better then messy tempera paint.  We are totally switching over to these in the future for school art projects.

Special Snack:

  • I made Joy the bakers, PB Brown Butter rice Krispie Treats in the shape of eggs. Fun and yummy!

Family Memory:

  • I made a scrapbook of our time at the Wisconsin Dells and a youtube video of our trip. Love these both and it made me get these projects done because I had to have a deadline.

It really was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning.  It was relaxed. The kids could actually enjoy what was happening because we had time to devote to it. We, as parents, had fun knowing our kids and what they like and being able to make that day special.  I really like this quote from Stephanie Nielson’s blog about Traditions:

“Traditions bring happiness, stability, and assurance.
As as long as I am the mother around here 
we will celebrate anything and everything we can think of.”