Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas...from the family

This is one of the many videos I took at my mom and dad's house. We were trying to get a good still photo of the grandkids and mom and dad. Well, then we got this...it's a Pruim thing. I don't see this kind of thing happening at the Bierma Christmas...but I'll have the video camera with in case it does...we celebrate with them on New Years Day.

Oh, and then there was this...my brother's way of getting the kids to smile.


Back row: Emily, Christian, Sarah, Liz
Front Row: Bryan, Jed, Wesley

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What happened to my little boy?



ONE YEAR LATER:



I'M IN SHOCK!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Two Super Stars

Last weekend we had the Kingdom Kids Christmas program at church. My little Jed was Slim the Southern Angel, he's the one in the cowboy hat. He had some great lines which he delivered all in a Chicago-Southern accent. He had some of the greatest lines in the program including, "Well, tie me to an ant hill and smear my ears with jam...we made it!" And, "This was more fun than a barrel full of rodeo clowns." However, he has no idea what a rodeo is and so we took 6 weeks trying to convince him it was pronounced rodeo but he was having none of it and very consistently said "ro-Ne-O" it was great!

Emily had the only solo in the play. She was amazing! Now, I might be a tad bit biased but she has a beautiful voice and amazing stage presence. She was born for the stage and loves every minute of it.

This clip has a little bit of both of them...thanks for watching my little stars, my sweeties, I couldn't be prouder! video

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's raining Coach, Hallelujah!



I've had the best day ever cause I got a DEAL!!!!! I was recently put in charge of buying the gifts for the women who work in our office Nurses; receptionists, office managers etc. For the last two years I received a 25% off coupon from Coach in December and I thought it would be great to get the wristlets for the girls. However, no coupon came. In my quest for a coupon I was talking to my girlfriend who suggested that I go into the store and talk to the manager there. Well, I never would have thought of that, but I did it. And it worked! At first they gave me the run around...the old, "you may not even get the coupon" then there was the "you could buy these and then return them when or if you get the coupon" Whatever! Finally, after talking forever, the manager came up front and then the real work began. She said she thought that if I bought enough, the discount would automatically kick in...awesome I thought....I'm buying 25 items...however I guess $1300 wasn't enough cause she told me if I only spent $2000 dollars then I'd get the discount...again, Whatever! That was not working for me...so I told her if we could only get the discount, I could place my order right now! (Side note: If you buy more than 3 of the same items at Coach they have to approve you...weird....you have to give them the reason and the company you are ordering for in order for them to assure them you are not going to sell them on ebay.) So the manager disappeared for 10 minutes and then came back and said that miraculously the company was going to give me the discount! Whoo Hoo! I ordered 28 wristlets...one for me, of course...and saved close to $300!!!!!!! AWESOME!! It's been a good day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In honor Thanksgivning

In honor of the holiday, I thought I share my favorite holiday recipe. Although not appreciated by all of my family, sans two, everybody else loves this one. I look forward to making it each year and only once a year because it's so rich, I could never justify it on any old Monday. If you make it enjoy but beware of the marshmallow backlash!

Christine's Favorite Sweet Potato Bake

3 cups cold mashed sweet potatoes-1 large can
1 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1/4 butter
3 eggs
1t salt
1t vanilla
1t cinnamon
Topping:
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/4 c flour
2 T butter

Mix together the first 8 ingredients, put into greased 2 qt baking dish or 9X13. Combine topping ingredients, cut in butter, sprinkle over potatoes. Bake 325 for 50 minutes or more until golden brown. Serves 10-12 people. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Italian Barbecue Sammies

This post is in participation with The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

A big thanks to Rachel Ray for this wonderful recipe...I love her! This is an easy Sunday football meal or a great one to put together when you have the itch for take-out but not the budget.

1 T EVOO
1 bottle of your favorite Barbecue sauce
6 T butter melted
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pkg of steak buns--the big hoagie type
1 large strip steak or several small ones
8 slices of Provolone-melts soooo nice!

Melt the butter and add garlic. Spread butter onto open faced buns and put under broiler for 15 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile cook strip steak with a little salt & pepper and EVOO on stove...until med rare(don't worry if you don't like rare meat because this will cook further under the broiler) Let meat rest 5 minutes before you slice THINLY against the grain. Put healthy squirt of Barbecue sauce on buns, layer with meat and top with cheese. Put back under the broiler until the cheese is gooey and melted. Serve open-faced.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Best Ideas of the Week

1. Crock pot oatmeal
2 apples chopped
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 t cinnamon
2 C Old Fashioned Oats
4 C water
1 pinch salt

Let cook all night and enjoy with walnuts mixed in if you like. EVERYONE in my house liked this....Amazing!

2. Sock basket in the kitchen
I have an ongoing war with socks at my house. I can never find them when I need them and yet they are always all over my house. Plus my boys seem to think of socks and shoes at the very last moment when getting ready in the morning. I've fought this battle for years...this year I got out of the box. We now keep our(the kids) socks in the kitchen in a basket....I wish it were always full..but I'm getting better at it. It has taken a lot of stress out of my morning...I love it!

3. The grocery cart challenge blog This is a fantastic blog about a super mom who is homeschooling 4 kids and keeping her grocery bill below $100 a week! Amazing. Although I don't aspire to do this...she does have a feature on Thursdays called Recipe Swap, where tons of women link to their favorite recipes. This week I looked at all the links that I thought we would like, cut and pasted the recipes into a word document called Menu, cut and pasted the ingredients into a Word document called grocery list. Printed the list, went grocery shopping and now keep my laptop in my kitchen for dinner time. It's inspired! This simple task has helped me reduce the stress of mealtime immensely and helped me appear like Bree VandeKamp at dinner time....sans the apron.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The best book I've read...3 times

I've been reading/studying this book for the past 6 months, first alone, now with my sista-friends and my small group. Each time I go through it I feel like I learn something new. Mostly, because the first time I read through this simple book I was quite sure that although I understood the words, the truths were evading me. It's a book that has shaken the foundation of my faith yet, has not contradicted a single belief I hold.

Lately, I've been reading about "The Tyranny of the Favor Line" The invisible line that tells us whether or not we've met enough of someone's expectations to merit their approval. And how, most of our lives we live knowing that this favor line exists in our relationships with other people...and how we assume that God has a favor line as well. The problem is that we never know where it lies. When everything is pleasant we don't think about the favor line much but when things start to encroach on our lives we begin to wonder how God feels about us. Does He love me? Have I offended Him?

One of the questions the author asks is, "How many of you think you pray enough? Read the Bible enough?" How much is "enough?" The tyranny of the favor line is unrelenting because it never allows us to be certain about how God feels about us. And when we are trying to compensate God for his mercy eventually we become aware that our efforts are futile because it's impossible and it leaves us guessing whether he loves me or he loves me not.

I'd love to write out the entire book but I will leave you with one of thoughts that have consumed me for the last few days, "The key to God's favor doesn't rest on what I give to God but what he has already given to me."

Let me encourage you to order this book off of Amazon and use it for your daily study. It's wonderfully challenging...and will open your eyes to discover a Savior you've never known before but who was always there. It's a great read...if anyone's looking for one.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yes, I have four children. No, I don't have pictures of all of them. Doug and I went away for the weekend and I didn't get to trick-or-treat with the kids or take their pictures. But yes, don't worry I still have four kids.

This is at Wesley's preschool. They allowed us to stay and take pictures but I thought the way they did it was strange. They had us stay for the first 20 minutes of class and then leave. Well, the poor little three year olds were all in tears...I thought it would have made a lot more sense to have the moms come 20 minutes early...less tears that way!




















I had a good time taking pictures of Emily. She was dressed for her first boy-girl party the day before Halloween. The sunlight was just perfect that day so I dragged her all over the house and outside...much to her dismay! But I think they turned out great!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

An excercise in perspective

Here is a excerpt from my journal...if you don't want to read ramblings then click on the SNL link below instead.

Yesterday sermon title was "Transforming your life through prayer." Tim was the pastor, Sheila and I had been assigned to plan because Anthony was gone.

We had the idea to turn the service upside down and what really happened is God turned NL right side up!



As people walked into the auditorium I could see they were skeptical. Consumers of church, as we are so often, not wanting more than they expected. But God was mighty through Tim yesterday and had anointed him with words of power and from where I sat, on a stool on the stage, I could see the congregation open up and start to talk to God.

We opened with a drama called, "The Lord's Prayer" which explored what a conversation with God would sound like if He audibly responded to the prayer. We followed with corporate prayer and then group prayers. The small group prayer was a risk because it is an exercise we don't use in worship...ever. I really thought that there would be open rebellion but people did it. I thought we wouldn't hear them but we did. And when Tim started to pray as a sign of the end the congregation continued to pray getting louder...only stopping when they were done. I was amazed.

We had a time of individual/family unit prayer while I sang the song, "I Surrender." Tim instructed us to think of the one thing that we needed God to take care of...the one thing that was weighing on the family or individuals heart and take that one thing to the throne of God. As I sang I had the privilege of seeing families praying together in each other's arms. Mothers, fathers, small children and teen-agers talking to God, together. Singing to each other and wiping one another's tears...communicating with God and with each other.

We ended with the song, "Holy God" --a song that I think has such power to move our hearts to God and yesterday that time was full of the Holy Spirit. From my stool on stage, I saw God painting colors of power and love across the auditorium. I literally saw His power filling our members with his love...and the picture of un-abandoned worship was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed in 20 plus years of worship leading.

I think the difference in yesterday's worship from any other service was perspective. So often, we come to church to receive, to hear, to be entrusted, to be moved, preached to, or challenged...but yesterday we had to be involved. We had to give of ourselves and in return, we received more than ever before. I think that being at consumers at church may be the most lonely and dangerous role for us to play.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Laugh Out Loud Funny

Here is the skit that was aired on SNL, was posted on YouTube and then yanked for an unknown reason. It is laugh out loud funny! Be sure to read the sub-titles. Click here to watch...it's as good as it gets.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?

I wondered why the video was suddenly gone? Now I know.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Housing And Financial Crisis - We Are On The Edge Of Economic Collapse Because Of Government Social Engineering

Thanks to my friend Rachel for showing me this incredible explanation of what has been happening in our country.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What can we be sure of?

It seems as if so much is uncertain in this world right now: the economy, the presidential race, the environment. Turn your computer, tune into your radio, watch TV or read the latest headlines and it is difficult to be certain of anything. It is easy to be afraid of the unknown and fear the future.

In times when anxiety starts to get the better of you, go to the scriptures and search out the truth of God's character and His faithfulness. So many times in both the Old Testament and the New Testament the Bible shows us the hope that believers have for the future. One of the most incredibly powerful things the Isralites did as they wandered through the desert was to recount the story of God's faithfulness to them. Each time they were in a place of uncertainty God would come to them and tell them, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt." (Exodus 20) Over and over in the Old Testament God would remind the Israelites that he was the God of their forefathers and that He had always been with them.

In the New Testament Jesus promised that even though He was going to heaven he would leave us the Holy Spirit. "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father wills send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:26-27

As Christians, we have the confidence that all things are in God's hands. That He is is the master, creator and ruler of the universe. We have the confidence that nothing that happens in this world is out of his control or surprises Him. Romans 8 clearly tells us, "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."


So, as we watch the Dow rise and fall, listen to the latest poll data or wonder what bank will close it's doors next week, as uncertainty seems to swirl around us we can be certain that God is in control and that we are His. Get into the Word...all His promises are there just waiting to comfort your heart and fill you with the Spirit and truth.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Walking along the road

I'm a new contributing writer to our church blog. Here's my first entry.

By now the children have been back in school for a couple of weeks and hopefully the art of schedule is becoming a routine. In this time of adjustment from summer to school year we can find encouragement and instruction from the Old Testament.
Deuteronomy 6: 4-7 says:

4
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Our job as parents is to submerge our children in an environment that teaches, exhibits and explores a relationship with God. According to this scripture, every moment of the day should reflect God's love and His Truth. It's a journey that we do together with our kids. We are not called to know everything or have it all together but we are called communicate with our kids and to explore God's character, His commands, His love and His creation. It's a lesson we can do with our kids...learning together. The best part, is that if we follow these instructions, we will be creating a relationship with our children where we know each other and together we know God. It creates a family environment that is built on trust, understanding and most importantly God's love.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

From my sister-friend in AK

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Living in Alaska, For Better or Worse

Cons
1) It's now official: This has been one of the coldest summers on record. Only 2 days hit above 70 degrees.
2) The leaves are now turning color and yesterday morning we awoke to a chilly 40 degrees. Fall has arrived.
3) We usually have snow by Halloween.
4) Rising gas prices have forced airline prices up. Way up. Cost of one ticket to Colorado over Christmas: $1200

Pros
1) $2,069 Permanent Fund Dividend (largest ever) + $1,200 energy rebate check = $3,269 in free money from the government. I'll do the rest of the math for you. Family of five: $16,345.00 deposited into our bank account next week. Windfall.
2) National attention over a little known governor from a small town in Alaska (could be considered a pro or con, I guess)
3) Did I mention the free money?

So, what would you do with $16,000??

I think I might want to move to Alaska!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A quick look at what's in front of us

palin vs. obama - a side by side comparison
Published Aug. 31, 2008


Office being sought -

Palen-Vice President

Obama-President of the United States and Leader of the Free World

Full name

Sarah Louise Heath Palin

Barack Hussein Obama II

Nickname

Sarah Barracuda

Barry Obama; "The One"

Public opinion

Palin - Smoking hot in a "naughty librarian" sort of way

Obama - May be The Messiah

Age

Palin-44

Obama-48

Children

Palin-5: two sons, three daughters

Obama-2: two daughters

Religion/Church attendance


Palin-Evangelical Christian;attends Juneau Christian Center when in Juneau and grew up attending Wasilla Assembly of God

Obama-Attended Trinity United Church of Christ for 20 years, a "black liberation theology" church formerly led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright and governed according to the Black Value System

Current Job

Palin-Governor of Alaska

Obama-Junior Senator from Illinois

Previous Public Jobs


Palin-Mayor of Wasilla, AK (1996-2002); President of Alaska Conference of Mayors; City Council member (1992-1996)

Obama-State Senator (1997-2004); Community Organizer

Executive Experience
Palin-Governor for 2 years; Mayor for 10 years

Obama-None

Foreign Relations experience


Palin-Governor of state that borders two foreign countries (Canada and Russia)

Obama-Chaired Senate subcommittee on Europe but never called it into session;once gave a speech to 200,000 screaming Germans
Military Affairs experience

Palin-Commander in Chief of Alaska National Guard;Son is enlisted Infantryman in U.S. Army

Obama-None

Private Sector Experience

Palin-Sports reporter;Salmon fisherman

Obama-Associate at civil rights law firm

Spouse's name

Palin-Todd Mitchell Palin

Obama-Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

Spouse's occupation

Palin-Salmon fisherman; Former North Slope production supervisor for BP Oil

Obama-Vice President for Community and External Affairs at University of Chicago Hospitals;former Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago;former Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies;former Assistant to the Mayor of Chicago;former associate at Sidley Austin law firm

Reaction to spouse's political success

Palin-Quit 17-year BP oil job when BP became involved in natural gas pipeline negotiations with wife's administration

Obama-Promoted and given 160% pay raise by UofC hospitals within months of husband's election to U.S. Senate;Employer received $1,000,000.00 federal earmark, requested by husband, after her promotion
Coolest thing about Spouse

Most Courageous Moment in Public Service


Palin-Resigned in protest from position of Ethics Commissioner of Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in order to expose legal violations and conflicts of interest of Alaska Republican leaders, including the former state Attorney General and the State GOP Chairman (who was also an Oil & Gas Commissioner), who was doing work for the party on public time and supplying a lobbyist with a sensitive e-mail.

Obama-Gave an anti-Iraq war speech to a crowd of anti-Iraq war demonstrators in Hyde Park in 2002

In Current Office Because...

Palin-Upset sitting Governor in GOP primary due to public support for her efforts to clean up corrupt government establishment

Obama-Republican opponent, who was leading in the polls, was forced to leave race after unsealing of divorce records exposed a sex scandal

Theme:

Palin-Change and Clean Government

Obama-Hope and Change; "Bringing Change from Outside Washington"
What they've done to live that theme:

Palin-Replaced entire Board of Agriculture and Conservation because of conflict of interest;Resigned from position of Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in order to expose corruption among members of own party

Obama-Selected 36-year incumbent Senator as running mate

Family Affairs


Palin-May have removed State Public Safety Commissioner as part of effort to protect sister in messy divorce and child custody battle

Obama-Often says, "I am my brother's keeper";Brother lives in a hut in Nairobi on $12 per year

Union affiliation


Palin-Union member, married to Union member

Obama-Endorsed by a union

Iraq and Troop Support


Palin-Formerly (pre-surge) critical of apparent lack of long-term strategy for Iraq;Visited wounded U.S. soldiers in Germany;visited AK National Guard soldiers deployed to Kuwait;Son deploying to Iraq on 9/11/08 as Army infantryman

Obama-Gave an anti-Iraq war speech to a crowd of anti-Iraq war demonstrators;almost visited wounded troops in Germany, but decided to go shopping in Berlin instead
Bipartisan/"maverick" credentials

Palin-Married to a non-Republican;Exposed corruption within own party;Campaigned for Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell against corrupt GOP congressman Don Young;Called out Sen Ted Stevens (R-AK) to "come clean" about financial dealings that are under fed investigation

Obama-Talks about bipartisanship

Legislative Record


Palin-Passed a landmark ethics reform bill;Used veto to cut budgetary spending;Prevented "bridge to nowhere" that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.

Obama-Voted "present" over 100 times as IL state senator

How they dealt with corrupt individuals in home city/state


Palin-Exposed legal violations and conflicts of interest of Alaska Republican leaders; Campaigned against corrupt GOP Representative;Ran against and defeated corrupt incumbent governor in GOP primary

Obama-Launched political career in home of unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers (and still refers to him as a part of "mainstream Democratic Chicago";Purchased home with help of convicted felon Tony Rezko
Guns

Palin-Lifetime member of NRA and avid hunter;video can be found on YouTube of Palin firing an M4 at a military firing range

Obama-Worked to pass legislation in Illinois that would prevent all law-abiding citizens from owning firearms

Earmarks

Palin-Opposed "Bridge to Nowhere" project;Said Alaska should avoid relying on federal money for projects;Campaigned against porker Don Young (R-AK) in 2008 primary

Obama-Secured federal earmarks for wife's employer and for campaign bundlers

Abortion

Palin-Pro life;gave birth to 5th child knowing that he would have Down's syndrome

Obama-Pro-choice; only IL state sen. to speak against the Born Alive Infant's Protection Act, which required medical care to be given to live infants who survived abortions
Energy

Palin-Believes energy independence is a matter of national security;For drilling in ANWR, which is in her state

Obama-Says Americans should "get tune-ups" and "check tire pressure";Says "we can't expect the world to be okay with" our use of heating and air conditioning
Environment

Palin-Chair of Alaska Conservation Commission (2003-4);Announced plans to create sub-cabinet group of advisors to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in AK

Obama-Talks about the environment a lot

Friday, August 29, 2008

Soccer Mom's can rule the world!


It's rumored that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin will be John McCain's VP pic and I'm in awe! I've don't know much about this 40 something soccer mom from AK but I do like the idea of a conservative women getting the chance to have a say in Washington. She has a degree in Communications/Journalism and decided that what she saw in local politics needed to be changed and that she could make a difference. She was elected to local government, state government and now has the national spot light...can you believe it?! I'm inspired by her story....because it could have been me...it could have been you...you can make a difference! Soccer Mom's can rule the world! = )

Quiet Please!


Yesterday was the kid's first full day of school...and Wesley was ready to pick up the kids by 11am. We must have had a hundred conversations that went like this:


Wes: Can we go pick up the kids?
Me: No, they aren't done yet.
Wes: Yes they are.
Me: No, they are not.
Wes: Yes they are.
Me: No the bus is not there yet, we have to wait until this afternoon.
Wes: Is it afternoon yet?


And on and on it went...for hours and hours and hours.

I left a half hour early for the bus stop just because I couldn't take one more argument...he fell asleep on the way....THANK GOD! A few minutes of peace and then the bus arrived.

8am Today--he's learned to ride a two-wheeler
8:15 He rode his scooter
8:17 Asked for a snack
8:20 Asked again
8:30 Played with cars outside
8:31 Sprinklers came on and scared the cr*! out of him...now he's back in the house....TALKING TO ME about what he wants for Christmas and asking why he can't go to school?? Help Me!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pictures are on Facebook...are you?

My Hilton Head pictures are listed on facebook...check them out if you dare. See you soon Melissa! = )

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden, really? Yuck!

When's bed time?

When we got home from vacation, Doug and I decided that since school starts in a week and a half we were going to institute early bed times so that the kids could recover from vacation and get ready for school. Great idea! Wrong!

Ever since we said, "You are going to bed on time," we have had more opportunities to go out than ever before. Baseball games, dinner parties, late night neighborhood chats and so on. I think my kids are more tired this weekend than they were last weekend when we declared the bedtime rule. Argh!!!

So, bed time starts tonight! My 11 year-old would say, "Whatever!"

I've got a good handle on my little guys bed time...7:30-8:00...seems to work well for them. It's the older two that have me a little confused. What is a good bed time for a 6th grader? He will be getting up at 6:45 in the morning. Any ideas?

We are off to Emily's first soccer game...I'd take pictures if I could find my camera, but then again I'd be posting about vacation if I could have found my camera!

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's an August thing



I love summer. I love the pace, the lack of schedules, the fun, swimming, heat and look forward to adopting a "Jimmy Buffet" approach to life. Love that the kids can eat Pop-tarts for breakfast, stay in their pj's till noon and go to bed at 10...it's all good, really good for a while.

Then August hits and everything gets real boring...

The pool is no longer fun, the heat is too hot, not having a schedule becomes a burden instead of a blessing and everyone in my house, me included, starts to long for "normal life" again.

I remember when my kids were all preschoolers and this rhythm was not a part of our life...everyday seememd unkindly like the last...and I longed for a break from the monotony of it all. With the advent of school aged children life seemed a little less bland...there were actually seasons again...seasons are good!

So this summer season is winding down...or at least it feels like it should be...still a month till school starts...VBS starts today, then vacation then two weeks till school...

I promise around September 1 I'll be lamenting the end of summer and will be asking where all the time went...it's a rhythm...it's not boring....it's just predictable.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

He's gonna kick MY ass?

Charlie bit my finger - again !

This is too funny! Watch the baby's face.

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's Christian's turn...


Christian leaves for camp this morning...he's really excited...I'm pretty sure he's been awake since 5:30 when Wesley came down the hall crying because of a bad dream. Who can blame him? I couldn't go back to sleep either...however, I'm allowed to come out of my room!

It occurred to me yesterday as we got ready that it's so much easier the second time around...no tears, no anxiety, just excitement. Isn't that weird? I'm so confident that he can do this and that he will be well taken care of and that at the end of the week he'll have had a great time and be completely tired.

He's growing up so fast and that fact has been hitting home on a regular basis lately. A big part of that is his changing stature...5'3! Also his incredible sense of humor and quick wit(which sometimes gets him in trouble) add to how mature he is becoming. Parenting an 11 year old is worlds different from parenting younger kids...there is a tremendous learning curve for me as to what to allow vs. what to crack down on, how much risk is appropriate vs. how much I need to watch over him, how much to listen vs. how much to talk. It seems to me that as soon as I get a good handle on our relationship it changes.

This was hammered home yesterday at church as we said 'good-bye' to one of our youth group young men...he's heading to boot camp. Another one of our 'boys' just had his first child and then was shipped off to Afghanistan...time never stands still. And as I watched my friend Karen's tears fall all morning because it was her son going to boot camp I was struck that I'm glad my son is only going to summer camp...for now.

Good bye Christian...have a great time...look for God's hand, it will be resting on you...I pray you have an open heart to hear his voice this week.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Birthday!


It's July 13 and my little girl is celebrating another birthday...I can hardly believe it...but she's 9 years old~

Emily is the heart and laughter of our family. She has the kindest heart and is always thinking of others. She constantly sings, dances, bounces and kart-wheels everywhere.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Growin' Up



This summer is so different for us than others because in one year I've left all the diapers, strollers, naps, cribs, wipes, bibs, baby food jars, sippy cups and everything else that is baby behind. It really hit me last week when my "girls" came over and literally stripped my garage down to nothing and then put it back together again. We tossed two strollers(kept two), two high chairs, baby shoes, clothes, toys, two car seats and and infant carrier and all the other stuff that defined my life experience for the last 11 years. It was a really strange feeling. It was strange to see how fast I went from needing to pack all that "stuff" with me for every trip and now...traveling is so much lighter.

Although I don't seem to have much alone time any longer because no one is taking naps and my older two are staying up until I go to bed...it's a good thing. I don't feel like I'm a slave to the clock anymore. If we want to go out at 1 in the afternoon we can...if we don't have dinner until 7...no one cares....if we want to stay out past 8 it's all good. I love this pace of life. Schedules are good...and when my kids were small(like last year) I firmly believed in keeping to one...but now, there is so much more freedom.

I wondered if I would mourn the passing of the baby days...and sometimes I still need to hold Wesley and feel his little arms around me or hold Jed's still little hand...but for the most part I'm so content to watch them grow...it's a good thing!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

She's yours Lord

My Emily is at camp this week for the first time. She has been gone since Monday and I'm going to pick her up tomorrow. My sister-friends think it's quite funny to hear how I'm missing her...but I am. It's a strange experience of giving up control when my kids go to camp. For the first time in my life, I give them to complete strangers to keep them safe and have to rely on God's love and protection in a different and more complete way. I don't know if I can articulate my heart but I will try.

Every time I've left my children in the past I leave them with family or friends, people I know and trust. And I have left them...Doug and I have taken weekends away together and even gone on a 7 day cruise together and left the kids behind. I think that it is extremely important for both mom, dad and kids to get away sometimes. We go away, they stay at grandma's or cousin's or friends houses for a day or two...

But camp is different. They stay away a long time. I can't call them(however, one of my rules when on vacation is not to call...it upsets everybody...so I'm not sure why this bothers me?) I don't know what they are doing. I'm not sure who they are with. I don't know what they are eating. I don't know if they are pooping. This is a very strange twilight place for me to be....I'm usually not this mom. ???? I'm always about them growing up independent, growing up self-reliant. A "you can work it out on your own" kind of mom.

But I think the part of camp that stretches me most is that I have to wholly rely on God. I'm required to put feet to my faith and believe that God loves my kids more than I do and that he is more capable than I to take care of them, to love them, to provide for them, to keep them safe. It's a faith exercise for me. A time when I open up my hands and give God my most precious treasure. And also open up my hands and bless my kids and say, "Fly!" It's a small flight and I know there will be much bigger ones to come...I'm grateful for these baby steps of letting go but it doesn't make them any easier.

Thank you Father, for the most amazing gift of motherhood and for allowing me time to cuddle and love and teach and grow these four amazing children. The time is short I know, each day I learn that more and more. I trust you Lord. Please keep Emily safe. Please reveal yourself to her heart in a way that changes her, that challenges her to want to know you more. May her time away from me be a time when she seeks to know you and rely on you more. You are her creator, her life-giver, her Savior, her friend, her provider, her comforter. I open my hands, my grip...I know that's my role. I pray that you reveal your love to her loudly and whisper into her ear that I love her too, please.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Here are some random photos of the last few weeks here at the Bierma house...since getting my new pink camera...we've been snapping photos left and right!
Me and my beautiful girl!

The hippos at the Bolingbrook promenade...a really great place to play in the water...just be sure to bring extra clothes!


We celebrated Doug's 38th birthday at Chilis...the kids had ribs and made a huge mess and had TONS of fun.




Christian and Wesley...for some reason Christian thinks it's fun to be buried in the sand at the volleyball court???

Just being silly!



Jed started T-Ball the day before Christan finished baseball. Lately, all I seem to be doing is sitting at a ball game. T-ball is a totally different experience however, I tend to laugh until I cry. Jed is so proud of his hat and T-shirt...he hasn't taken them off in a week


The summer schedule is really hard on my poor little Wesley...he tends to fall asleep on the couch 3-4 times a week...we all laugh...I take lots of pictures and then we carry him up to bed. I just love watching a sleeping child.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Summer

It's summer! Finally, the warm weather is here...although it's too windy to go outside right now. The kids are home & Doug is at work. We are all figuring out how to live with eachother 24/7 agian...it's always a time of adjustment not to mention that the kids are just plain tired from going to bed late. Not too much new here...kind of brewing a post in my head...check back in a few days to see if it came out.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

10 days and counting

I slept in my bed all night last night! Yay for me! Doug has been snoring so much while recovering from surgery that I've been on the couch for a week. Every night I try...every night I end up on the couch...but not last night! I woke up to Emily tapping my shoulder and when I opened my eyes I was still in my own room! Small victory I know but I'm hoping this means that Doug is getting better because for the last 10 days every day is worse than the one before it.

The kids only have 2 1/2 more days of school left...how did that happen? I'm not ready for them to be home yet...but I am ready to be done with the whole school routine for awhile. It's still not very warm here in Chicago yet...so strange? Usually by this time we are well into the 80's...this year we haven't hit 80 yet?

Hopefully the weather will break soon and hopefully Doug's pain will break soon and hopefully our family will return back to normal soon...hopefully....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Surgery Day

This has been a very difficult year this year for Doug...it seems he has been sick more often than he has been well. In fact, when we went back and looked at the charts we discovered he had Strep 8 times in the past 12 months. On top of that he had multiple sinus infections so many that between the strep and the infections it seemed like he was taking an antibiotic more often than not. Dr. Gartlan, a friend of ours, told Doug months ago that he thought surgery was his only option but it took Doug a long time and 2 more bouts of Strep to agree.

When we went to the doctor for an exam we found out that he indeed need his tonsils out but even more importantly he needed his nose fixed. The CT scan of his nose looked like a squiggly line. There was absolutely nothing straight in his nose, it was amazing!

So today he went under the knife to have this extensive corrective surgery. The recovery time for this is quite long--he has to take 2 1/2 weeks off of work! He is in a lot of pain right now, but never fear I am drugging him up...and it's hilarious! He's on Oxycontin, Tylenol, Celebrex, an antibiotic and nasal rinse. Yikes! I know Jana wants to be a nurse but that has never and will never be in my cards.

Say a prayer for us because Dr. Gartlan says that days 5-9 are worse than the first few days...oh boy!


BEFORE

AFTER

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Today was a wonderful day here in Biermaland! It started out with church this morning. I had the great opportunity to sing the Mom's Overture live in church...it was thrilling and tons of fun! Then we went to my dear friends Laura and Bob's house for dinner. We were joined by Dave and Carol and Tim and Jen. The guys put everything together, made the menu, made the food and cleaned up! It was wonderful! Tim and Jen came back to our house after dinner so Wyatt could take a nap and the guys could play X-Box. I got a new pink camera for Mother's Day and a printer...so here are some of my first shots. The camera also came with 10 lessons...so I'm looking forward to getting better hopefully I'll improve soon.



















Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

video

This is like growing up in my house between my brother and I.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wesley...my little man





My auntie Laurie takes the best pictures. It's a good thing too cause my mom tends to lose her camera for months on end and never takes a single picture of my beautiful mug! It's a crying shame!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Crazy Weekend!

Thursday morning we hit the ground running and haven't stopped until right now. I have no food, no clean clothes, no clean dishes, no gas and no more energy to burn! Yikes! Thursday morning was Jed's 6th birthday. He's getting so old! We had cookie cake and ice cream for breakfast and opened presents before he went to school. Thursday night, Christian was in a musical at school. It was a great show complete with dancing, humor and even special effects. He kept saying he hated the idea of singing in front of people, yet, it looked like he had fun and he made it perfectly clear to me and Doug that standing between two girls made everything more bearable! = )

Friday night Emily was off to camp with Gems. She got off the bus at 4:05, got home at 4:15, left for the store(to pick up the snack mom forgot to get) and then church at 4:30 and left with the girls at 5:00pm. Actually, it was more like 5:05 because she forgot to pack her sleeping bag and I had to run home and get it...kids!

Friday night was also the piano recital for the boys. Emily was suppose to play too but chose to go to camp...which was an impossibly hard decision for her. Jed did great at his very first recital. I'm so proud! Christian also was awesome! He loves playing and even begged an extra time slot from his teacher. We played a song together...that was nerve racking! A total first...but I loved it. It was a lot of fun to sit next to him and share that time.

From the recital, we all (mom and dadx2 and uncle) went back to our house for Jed's birthday party. Birthday pie(Jed doesn't like cake...says all he eats is the top part anyhow, so why bother mom?) and ice cream for all...a couple of rounds of happy birthday and would you all please leave now, I'm tired!

Saturday was opening day for baseball...but before that I had to find baseball pants that would actually fit Christian. The ones they gave us with his uniform were WAY TOO BIG! So I was out with every other parent in New Lenox in search of a different size. Got home at 11:45 and was off to the Easter Seals Telethon. Doug was one of the on camera interviews...he's so important! He did a great job...and it was really interesting to watch how they do a live show. Went out for a quick bite to eat and off to the ball fields.

It was so windy on Saturday here...I think I still have dirt in my teeth! Christian had a great game! First time up to bat he got a good hit into right field which was an RBI. Second time up to bat he fouled two balls and then got walked....stole second, stole third and then scored. This was so great because last season we waited until the second to last game for a hit. He was super excited. He played right field for two innings(yawn!) and 1st base for one.

Saturday night Emily came home from camp late. Sunday morning, we woke up to a huge school project that was due this morning. It was one of those projects that in theory we should have had done before she went to camp, but time totally got away from us and suddenly we're stuck doing it the day before.

Well, if you've stuck it out this long thanks! Big thanks to my little Wesley who had to sit through a musical, a piano recital, a telethon and a baseball game...he did great. I'm so proud. Here are some pics from this weekend, I don't have a camera so I had to steal my father-in-laws...that's why there are some missing moments.

My big 6 year-old! He lost two teeth this week!




Wesley had to have his own candle. I thought he was gonna burn his nose!


Christian playing guitar hero.

Christian #11


Christian and Collin(his friend/cousin)