Beach Adventures Part 2. April 21, 2021

Beach Adventures Part 2. April 21, 2021

We were very fortunate to have LOTS of visitors while we were at the beach! Our first set of visitors was Stacy (known as Mimi) and cousins! The beach was so much fun with cousins around to play with! The amount of energy flowing around the house with five little’s was staggering!!! πŸ™‚ At least they had the beach to wear them out! There were a couple of partly rainy days, and we had to come up with some games and activities to entertain. My nephews, Henry and Patrick, are basically the same age as Emma and Samuel. They all played very well together.

Get ready for a picture overload! I literally can’t help it! πŸ₯° Look for the one with the, wait…is that an alligator or a log on the beach? πŸ€”πŸ˜

Palm Sunday and Easter were both very different again this year. However, I can say that I truly enjoyed spending them at the beach. We literally got to have Palms around us on palm Sunday, and we loved getting to see the sun rise over the ocean on Easter Sunday morning! Palm Sunday was Alesia’s last Sunday with us at the beach, and her and Jim headed back home that Wednesday. We were truly blessed to have them stay so long with us! The pictures of the kids and myself in front of the Palm tree was taken on Palm Sunday of course. The other one was taken in the little garden area in front of the house. Plus I had to throw in some more beach time pictures because, well, that’s what we did the whole time. I love the pictures of the kids buried in the sand. Emma wanted to be a mermaid, and so Samuel wanted to be one too! πŸ™‚

My parents came to visit over Easter weekend! It was the first real beach vacation my parents had ever been on. They loved it! There was a cool snap that weekend, but we still had a great time. We went to the local aquarium, we went hiking and actually did see a real alligator, we went fishing and spent time on the beach where we were lucky enough to see dolphins REALLY close up by the beach! It was spectacular! My dad loves to fish! We spent pretty much a whole day on the fishing pier. Ocean fishing was a new and fun experience. We did see a few people catch really big fish! Please notice the picture of my dad and his fish! 😜 He actually ended up catching a few decent size catfish.

We celebrated Easter Sunday by getting up before dawn, and booking it down to Fort Gaines where there was a community Easter sunrise service. Even though it was super early to get every one up, dressed, and out the door, I was so glad that we did!! It was an awesome, meaningful experience! It was beauty that only God can create!

Later that morning we had a brunch consisting of ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, stuffed eggs, rolls (from the frozen section πŸ™‚ ) and pig lickin’ cake! I actually did make the cake! πŸ™‚ Then the kids were super excited to have their egg hunt. My parents hid eggs all around the house, and the kids hunted eggs. David of course found most of them, with it trickling down the line. Later that afternoon we went down to the beach to fly the kites that Nana had bought the kids for Easter. Emma especially loves flying kites. She loves to run with them anyway. The kites flew really well, for a couple days, then the wind and the trees got the better of them. πŸ™‚

Later that Sunday evening and the next day David, Samuel, and Nana were hit by some kind of cold/fever germ. They were under the weather for about twenty-four to thirty six hours. My parents departed for home that Monday. We had a great time, and hated to see them leave so soon. We were blessed that David and Samuel recovered quickly, Emma and myself remained healthy, and we were able to get back out to the beach and enjoy the weather!

In between all these visits, the kids and I had some days to ourselves. We spent as much time outside as possible, we made sure to try pretty much all the different food on the island, we built tons of sand castles and collected more seashells than we could bring back home with us, we picnicked at a couple different park areas (one with gigantic trees), and made lots of great memories. The picture of Samuel asleep on the couch after a long day on the beach is the perfect picture of beach life. πŸ˜„

Emma is in the princess stage right now. She loves to wear pretty dresses and jewelry. My mom made her the sundress with butterflies and she loves it! She wanted to show it off, and so we took pictures. My favorite though is of her flaming red hair in the pictures of her sitting and playing by the water.

Stay tuned for Part 3!



Beach Adventures Part 1. April 18, 2021

Beach Adventures Part 1. April 18, 2021

Hello there!!! It’s so good to be back blogging again! I really missed it, even though I secretly enjoyed being in a part of the world where wi-fi and phone signals were so terrible that I could barely communicate with the outside world. πŸ™‚ It has it’s advantages…. We have so much to catch up on, and so I decided to start my blog this week as a “to be continued” saga. πŸ™‚

In my last blog post we were getting ready for the moving company to come, pack and load our things. I have to say it was one of the strangest experiences of my life! Four sweet ladies came in, started swarming around, wrapping up all our items and boxing them, and one man who wrapped up all the big furniture and literally carried it ALL out by himself! Meanwhile I just sat wherever I could find a spot and pretended to be busy! I loved and hated it! I love that I didn’t have to do all that packing with three kids running around needing this and that. I hated just sitting there not having anything to do! I’m obviously hard to please! πŸ™‚

Pictured above is the kids last picture in front of our home in Marion.πŸ˜₯ I took the kids to my parents where we stayed for a week while I was “busy” overseeing the packing. We stayed at Dad and Mom’s house until closing day, and then went to Jim and Alesia’s house where we stayed a couple days until departing for the beach. We have been living like Nomads for over a month now!

While we were staying at my parent’s, it was that time of year when the first daffodils start to bloom. I love daffodils and look forward to seeing them every year. It means spring time and warmer weather is just around the corner. The kids loved the flowers too, especially Emma and Samuel because they are at the age where they love to pick flowers! πŸ™‚

The day for us to depart for the beach FINALLY came! I have to say that the time from when Andrew left in January until the day we left for the beach in March seemed to go by at a snails crawl!! It took FOREVER for the time to pass! However, the month we spent at the beach went by so quickly it makes my head spin! I don’t know where the last month went, and that is a great thing!!!! It means two things, one; we were having so much fun the time flew by, and two; we are now only FOUR days away from seeing Andrew again!!!! Even though I am sitting here in my bed and in my pajamas, my inner self is doing leaps and bounds, with giggles and excitement at the fact the we will finally be together again in four days!!!!πŸ’“

The Beach! My favorite place in the world! I’m convinced that I could live the rest of my life on an Island somewhere and be perfectly happy.πŸ₯° God has other plans in mind I guess, at least for the time being….

On the first leg of our beach stay, I was very blessed to have Alesia come with us. She was a huge help with the kids, and we had a great time together! I am thankful to have such a wonderful mother in law!

We had the whole range of weather while we were at the beach, from cool and windy, to sunny and warm, from rain and wind, to all the above! Overall though, we were blessed with more warm sunshine than not. When we first arrived in mid March we were able to enjoy the beach with our sweaters and jackets. The kids played in the sand, and we scoured the beach looking for seashells etc.

One of the things I love about living close to the ocean is the fresh seafood available! We had fresh shrimp and fish on several occasions, and the recipe you see above is a shrimp scampi with pasta recipe. It is so good, fresh and simple! I will be making this even at home away from the beach!

One of my favorite places on the island is called the Lighthouse Bakery. It became our tradition to go get pastries from this bakery every Saturday morning for breakfast! Their cinnamon rolls are amazing! David loved the cinnamon rolls, Emma loved the cherry turnovers, and Samuel went back and forth, but I think he settled on the cream cheese Danish. The raspberry cream cheese Danish was my favorite.

Pictured below was our “beach home”! We loved it there! It was just a short walk down to the beach. The home was a lovely three bedroom town house, and we were blessed to make the acquaintance of the very sweet lady who owns it. She was so hospitable and loved having the kids around. You just never know who you are going to meet that will end up being more than just an acquaintance, but a friend. We hope to go back and visit her soon!

I have learned from past experience that you never know how your kids are going to react to the beach. One time you will go and they will love it. Another time, and they will be afraid and not like it. However I can honestly say that they ALL liked it this time!! Samuel loved it! Emma REALLY loved it! She thought she was a mermaid the whole time. πŸ™‚ David loved it too, however by the end of our stay his love was waning a little bit. He is more into Pokemon and Mario than playing on the beach, but it was good for him too.

To be continued…


Ends, In-betweens, and New Beginnings! March 6, 2021

Ends, In-betweens, and New Beginnings! March 6, 2021

This is the last weekend in our house! We close on the 15th, but the moving company is coming to pack and load our things next week! It is an ocean of mixed emotions! I love this house! Like so many other houses we have lived in, there are a lot of great memories here. Samuel was born and brought home to this house, and the kids have grown taller. πŸ™‚ We have done a lot of improvements on the house. We completely gutted the kitchen! It was probably the first and last time we will ever do such a project! Andrew hated the whole process! I enjoyed it for the most part, and loved being able to design our own kitchen! I improved the function of the laundry room by adding shelving. My dad built the kids a play house in the back yard. The playhouse is one of the things I am really sad about! My Dad and David worked on that playhouse for several days together. I have pictures of the building process. Memories were made, and the kids still love their playhouse! There are lots of things to love about this old, beautiful house! πŸ™‚

This past week we have been busy packing and doing some “last time” activities. In the past we have always packed and moved ourselves. This time the military is sending a moving company to pack and store our stuff. It is a whole new experience for me. I have been cleaning out, organizing, putting small items in Ziploc bags, and taking things off the walls. There is also a list of items they will not pack. I am pretty much a professional packer myself, so it will be interesting to see how the packing goes next week! My parents came last weekend and they helped by clearing out our attic (another thing the packers won’t do) and moving some furniture around for me. The kids had fun visiting with Papa and Nana too! I couldn’t help but share this picture of David and Samuel wrestling with Papa! It’s so stinking cute and hilarious! Monday, the kids and I went to retrieve some frozen meals from a restaurant that was gifted to us! I am thankful for less cooking this week! We have been spending time with Ms. Pam, who has been so gracious and helpful to us during this time! I honestly don’t think I would still be sane if it wasn’t for Ms. Pam! πŸ˜… God sends certain people into our lives for a reason, and Ms. Pam has definitely been a God-send! We went to the zoo this week too, and met up with a special friend that I regret not getting to spend more time with over the past year! We had a great time, the weather was beautiful, and we were grateful to spend it with friends.

We are also excited about the future! We are counting the days until Andrew is done with training and we are able to be together again! We have been spending a lot of time talking on the phone, reading stories, playing games, and having tea times! The kids like to play with the filters on the phone, and Samuel has learned how to do it too! He looked so cute in the sleepy bear one that I couldn’t resist taking a picture! We also look forward to our weekly dinner and movie together!

We are going on an extended vacation until the end of April! For a short time until things are taken care of here we will be visiting my parents. Then we are going to go visit the beach for a while…!!! I am very excited about it!! In fact, it is what has made this whole process a lot less grim! I love the beach! The kids love the beach! I pray it makes the days pass quickly!



Snow Much Fun! February 21, 2021

Snow Much Fun! February 21, 2021

This was a week filled with winter wonderland adventures! It was a once in your youth experience for those in Arkansas! We received seven or eight inches of snow last Sunday night and Monday, plus another five or six inches on Wednesday! The temperatures were deep freezer cold the entire week so it stuck around. We were fortunate to keep our electricity! However, we did lose internet, which was only a minor inconvenience. I just reminded my self and told my kids that this was how things used to be when I was a kid. We watched what came on the local tv station, and actually used our DVDs. πŸ™‚ We had enough food to last the entire week and so we stayed inside and enjoyed the warm, played in the snow, and did fun snow activities all week long!

The first day we went out in the snow the temperatures and the wind were so cold!!! The kids literally lasted about ten minutes! We spent more time putting on extra shirts, pants, socks, shoes, coats, gloves, and hats than playing in the snow! πŸ˜… Samuel’s reaction the first time out was, “It’s too cold! I want to go back in.” He also didn’t like the fact that the snow drifts were too deep for him to walk in. David, and Emma especially, loved the snow! Emma liked making snow angels, and David wanted to have snow ball fights.

I might have enjoyed playing in the snow just as much as the kids this week!

My Snow Angel

Wednesday when we went outside it was snowing. The kids were catching snowflakes on their tongues.

Samuel finally warmed up to the snow. He decided to lay down and make a snow angel too. πŸ™‚

The first few days involved going out into the snow and discovering the awe and wonder of it all. For about ten minutes. Then coming inside to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. πŸ™‚

Hot Cocoa

The real fun began about Thursday through Saturday. The temperatures were slightly warmer and we were able to stay out longer. We discovered giant ice cycles and made snow cream on Thursday! Emma had fun scooping the snow for the snow cream and helping me make it. Snow cream is not something I remember vividly from my childhood. I’m sure we probably did, but I just don’t remember it. So making snow cream was a new experience for me too! I was surprised at how easy it was to make. David and Samuel loved it, but Emma thought it was too cold. I enjoyed the taste of it, but I think because it was so cold I found it hard to eat very much.

Friday we went for a walk and found a slope by the pond just perfect for sledding! We walked back to the house and grabbed our beach boards. We don’t own a sled, but discovered that beach paddle boards work great on the snow too! The kids had a blast!! We sledded for a long time. My tail bone was sore on Saturday! πŸ™‚ I took videos of the kids sledding, and I wish you could see it! Pictures didn’t quite do it justice!

Saturday we went back to sled some more! We discovered the snow was melty enough to build a snowman! We built one down by the pond while we were sledding. After we finished sledding we came back to the house and built another one in our yard! David built his own little snow man too! He was proud because it was his first ever snowman. πŸ™‚

Today the snow melted quite a bit as the temperatures were well above freezing. We were able to leave the house this afternoon, and go get a pizza! πŸ™‚ I feel sad that the snow is melting, but at the same time glad to be able to get out and about again.



“Crazy Love” February 15th, 2021

“Crazy Love” February 15th, 2021

This year was one crazy Valentines Day!! I say this for many reasons. One, the weather has been crazy! A few days ago we got a bunch of freezing rain, yesterday (valentines day) it snowed. sleeted, and the wind blew so hard all night long, and today we are getting several inches of glistening, fluffy snow! The biggest reason why this Valentines day was crazy is because it was the first Valentines day EVER that Andrew and I have not been together. It made the day a little sad, but for myself it was made easier because I was surrounded by my three little valentines, and friends who risked getting out in this crazy weather to bring us lunch! Even though Andrew and I were not able to be together, I still felt very loved and blessed this Valentines Day.

It has been several years since we have seen an actual…well, anything winter weather related. The kids were amazed at the ice on the ground. This was their expressions when we first went outside. πŸ™‚ Samuel especially was not sure about it. Once we were out onto the street and was able to “skate” on the ice, they loved it. I am excited to see their expressions when we are able to go outside and play in the almost foot of snow tomorrow! Too bad it’s a powdery snow! I don’t know if they will be able to build a snowman, but they probably won’t care.

We made Valentines Day sugar cookies on Saturday. I love making sugar cookies with the kids! They love cutting the shapes out, and then frosting the cookies. My favorite sugar cookie recipe is from Sally’s Baking addiction. I love how soft and fluffy they are. I don’t use her icing recipe, mainly because I know the kids are going to be decorating and I don’t really want to go to all that trouble for kid frosting. I use a buttercream frosting and the kids color it with food coloring. Emma likes doing the food coloring. The last time we used the food coloring I got the lid for the yellow and red mixed up. OOPS! I had intended on having pink frosting, but we ended up with red because we had to use enough red to cover up the yellow we accidently put in first. πŸ™‚

We had a lazy Valentines day morning, and the kids wanted to watch cartoons with a valentines day theme. We watched the Curious George Valentines day episode, and the kids saw that the man with the yellow hat made heart shaped pancakes and waffles for George, so the kids wanted some heart shaped pancakes too! πŸ™‚ Who am I to disappoint?! I got into the kitchen and whipped up a batch of pancake batter! I used the NYT everyday pancakes recipe! I used self rising flour, and substituted a cup of the milk for buttermilk. They tasted amazing, and were so fast and easy to make! I broke out my heart shaped cutters, and pretty soon the kids had their heart shaped pancake breakfast!

A few days prior I had received my traditional Valentines day gift from Andrew. We have a thing where every year he buys me one of the gold plated roses from I Hate Steven Singer. 😍 I believe this is my seventh rose! πŸ₯°πŸ’ It’s really beautiful! The kids and I sent Andrew a care package/Valentines day gift as well. We mailed it last Monday, but to our disappointment he is still waiting for it. It will be a nice surprise next week when he returns from field training!

Friday we had to make a break for the grocery store in between weather, and while we were getting groceries we passed the valentines day card display. David stood there looking for a few seconds and then comes up to me and says, “I want to buy this card for you, but you can’t see it!” He shows me the back of the card so I can see how much it costs. I, of course, say ok. He carries it all through the store, and at the check out asks the lady if he can have the card back after she scans it. He was very careful to not let me see his card until Valentines day. He was so sweet! I have to say, David did a great job picking out his card! πŸ˜‚ Emma painted me a wood heart envelope, and then made a picture of us at the beach she says. πŸ’Œ πŸ™‚

The kids usually get their valentines day candy from outside sources! I try to buy them gifts without sugar, as we generally have already made cookies and such. David wanted more PokΓ©mon cards, Emma got a pup pad from her favorite Paw Patrol show, and Samuel got a cool light up spinning top.

My three little loves! They made my day special, and a lot less gloomy!

I am feeling very blessed for this crazy life we are leading. We all miss Andrew terribly, and being far apart on Valentines day was difficult, but we have so much crazy love to be thankful for!


“A Hundred Wishes” February 6, 2021

“A Hundred Wishes” February 6, 2021

We had a couple days of pretty weather this past week, and we took the opportunity to go outside and soak up the sunshine. On one of our walks we discovered a big patch of dandelions! I always think of the saying, “Some people see a weed, others see a wish”, when I see a dandelion. I am a believe in wishes type, and I still love blowing the little seedlings off the dandelion. David caught eye of a nearby friend and ran off to play with him, but Emma, Samuel and I made wishes. πŸ™‚ Samuel loved blowing on the dandelions, and occasionally tasting them. πŸ™‚ Emma was really into making wishes! She made so many I wish I could remember them all! She wished for our garden to grow food, for daddy to be safe at training, for the field to be full of beautiful flowers, for paw patrol to be real, for a pony, for rainbows, and I can’t even remember the others! It was so precious, and I do remember thinking about how selfless a lot of her wishes were. Emma has such a sweet heart.

Time has passed pretty quickly for the most part this week. I am glad to finally be in February! We are marking the days off the calendar! The days that I am busy, my mind is occupied, and I feel like I am accomplishing a goal, I do really well. I can maintain a positive mood. However, when I find myself unsure of what to do in a day, or if we are in a lull, my mood deteriorates and I start to feel the sadness. I have been trying to make sure I stay focused on keeping our routine, and playing with the kids. I am also trying to downsize the amount of our things. I have had some success in selling and donating quite a bit of stuff, but I still need to clean out some more! Mostly toys that I need to sort through. I will have to be sly to accomplish this! If the kids get the slightest hint of me getting rid of anything that could possibly be theirs, the cause will be lost! If I succeed, they will never miss anything. At least not for a while… πŸ˜‰

David has been doing well at school, and he made excellent grades this last quarter. He has his days where he wants to be lazy, but once he gets into the work, he does excellent. He loves reading, and can read so well! I often forget just how well he can read. The other day we ran some errands and picked up some lunch. On the way back home we passed a street corner where there was a person standing on the corner holding a sign. We didn’t have to stop at this corner because our light was green, and so I barely even caught sight of this person, plus I am jaded because there is almost always someone standing on that corner. However, David, for apparently the first time, noticed this person and read his sign. David said something to me in the car about that man’s sign said he was homeless. I was focused on driving and I don’t recall even really responding. When we arrived at home, I noticed something was wrong with David. I asked him what was the matter. He said something to the effect of “I am sad because of that man’s sign. He doesn’t have a home”, and then he went into total melt down. We had to have an impromptu lesson about poverty, and homelessness. We watched some you tube videos for kids about it, and we had a talk about it. I must have told our kids a hundred times how we need to be thankful for what we have because there are many people in the world less fortunate; There are people who don’t have enough food, clothes, or a place to live, but I guess it went over their heads because they have never experienced meeting or seeing someone like that before. It also made me think about my actions!!😳 I want to set a good example for my kids, and help make the world a better place for them. Maybe I need to start paying more attention to people on the street corners! I was given an idea from my mother-in-law, and I think I will start keeping a small bag of non perishable food items, and toiletries in my car for just such an instance! My parents also say they sometimes go buy a fast food meal and then give it to someone who says they are in need of food, instead of giving them cash. I told David I was proud of him, I loved his caring heart, and that I wish for him to always care about others like that.

Yesterday we went to Jim and Alesia’s house, or as they are more commonly known around here, Grand-mama and G-pa. πŸ™‚ Emma has really been into having tea parties lately, and so we had another tea party at Grand-mama’s house. Emma wants to dress up on the days we are planning to have tea. It’s so cute, she goes and picks out one of her dresses to wear for that day. The kids had fun playing, and spending time at G-pa and Grand-mama’s house, and we all went for an afternoon walk together too! We spent the night, and the kids loved sleeping on the bunk beds at Grand-mama and G’pa’s house. πŸ™‚

This evening I started a fire in my fire pit. We enjoyed being outside! The temperature was actually pretty nice, however it did start to shower on us just as we were going to roast hot dogs. The rain wasn’t enough to put out the fire, and so I roasted hot dogs and marshmallows anyway! The kids then enjoyed a picnic on the living room floor while watching Monster’s Inc. πŸ™‚

I stole this picture from Facebook. Andrew is leading a briefing in one of his classes. I’m still not used to the camo!

I am so proud of you, Andrew. I miss you dearly, and can’t wait till we can be together again. I know you will do great! You always love a challenge and rise to the occasion. You are my hero!

If I had a hundred wishes And only one of them could come true I would wish that, over this distance I could be right there, now, with you.



Facetime Fun! January 31, 2021

Facetime Fun! January 31, 2021

Since I started blogging a few years ago, one of my main objectives has been to be honest and real in my writing. I want you to know that we are a real family just like all other families with the good, the messy, and the in-between. My personality is that of the glass half full, so I naturally gloss over the smaller negative things in life that others might tend to dwell on, but that is just me. I hope that in all the posts you have read you have felt either encouraged, inspired, or like part of the family! It is never my intention to make anyone think that “I have it all put together”, or that I am “an amazing mom”, or anything even close to that! The one thing I am proud of is that now I have this treasure trove of stories and pictures for my family and I to look back on! I guess I say all this because I want people to know that what we are going through right now is no walk in the park! In the midst of my mirage of smiling pictures and stories, there is a deep down sadness right now. One that I suspect won’t go away until April 24th. I know it is even harder still for my husband, who is not only separated from us, but going through army basic training (need I say more!), and drastic changes in every aspect. I am so thankful that we are still able to communicate with him, and see him through facebook portal! Please keep Andrew in your prayers, and if you are a close friend I ask you to reach out to him and send him a word of encouragement!

Here are a few pictures of us facetiming with Andrew! David loves to use the effects on the messenger app! That’s why I have some kind of dragon on my head. πŸ™‚

For now the kids and I are keeping our usual routine, and are surrounded by family and an amazing community of people that are helping to support us. There is an angel heaven sent who’s name is Pam. She has been coming to our house in the late afternoons into the evenings and helping me out. I’m sure she could tell you a story or two about the Kjorlaug’s! πŸ˜… The kids have actually been doing really well. There has been some boundary pushing this past week, especially at meal time, to see what they can get away with. I pray that I will be able to stand my ground, and still be a loving parent. It’s a difficult balance in my mind, and I find it taxing at times.

Last weekend we went to my parents house. We celebrated my Dad’s birthday! We had a hot dog and marshmallow roast, and went hiking in the woods around my parents house, played games, and had birthday cake! We had a great time, and the kids loved spending time with Papa and Nana!

Sunday evening when we returned home from Dad and Mom’s house, we had pizza and movie night with Andrew! We have also played some family games with Andrew this way. For those of you who have similar experiences, what ways do you spend time with family long distance? Is there certain apps or games you use to spend time together? Would love to hear about it!

Pizza and Movie night with Dad!

Monday and Tuesday were unusually warm this past week, and Tuesday I decided we needed to get out and enjoy the sunshine. I took the kids to the zoo, and we spend a couple hours walking around. It was a beautiful day, and a great morale booster! πŸ™‚

While Andrew is away, I am flexing my cooking muscle a little more! I enjoy cooking and it typically is fun for me. One of the recipes I made this past week was an herb roasted pork tenderloin! The meat was so tender and juicy, and it paired well with the peach glaze. The kids really loved it, and Emma especially liked the glaze! I had reserved some and put it on the table. She was dipping her roll, and everything else into it! I may have as well. πŸ˜‰

I bought Fred and Ethel this cat carrier for later on when we have to do some traveling. They can both fit in it comfortably and I also believe a small litter box will fit as well. I folded it out so they could get used to it. I believe they like it! I have never traveled long distance with cats before. Hopefully they will ride well!

Fred and Ethel

We had a tea party with Grand-mama Friday afternoon! πŸ™‚ Emma was so excited about having a tea party! She has been asking to do it for some time, and I finally took the opportunity. I bought some cute little valentine cookies and brownie bites, made some earl grey tea, and broke out the real china! The kids thought that was something! They have been asking for afternoon tea everyday since! I love a good afternoon tea myself!



Sad Goodbyes! January 21, 2021

Sad Goodbyes! January 21, 2021

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of events! Things have happened so quickly that my head is still spinning! Andrew preached his last Sunday, and I taught my last week of piano lessons. We have moved many times, and saying good bye to people is ALWAYS the most difficult part. This time is different too in that Andrew has already left, but the kids and I will not officially be leaving for quite some time. So we have said goodbye to Andrew, I have already said fare well to my students, and with the pandemic I don’t know if I will see a lot of people before we do leave. I feel like this past year has stolen my time of being with friends and people from our community. It’s so terrible and sad! I will miss everyone here! There have been people from our church community that have been so thoughtful, generous, and shared their friendship with us. Their help in this time of transition for us as a family means so much too! Words cannot express the gratitude we feel!

This is a picture of Andrew preaching at the drive-in service on his last Sunday. I am so proud of him! He has worked so hard this past year. Lately, I have been asking myself if this is the same person I married!? πŸ™‚ In the past year he has made several positive lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier, working out, going through the enrollment process of becoming a military Chaplin, trading in his shirt and ties for camouflage, and getting a much shorter haircut! I mean seriously! In the whole of our married life, I have NEVER seen Andrew wear anything camouflage!! It’s going to take some serious getting used to! He has even influenced me to cook a little healthier, and watch my weight over the last several months! So hey, I might lose a few pounds and get in shape this year too! πŸ™‚

Andrew Preaching outside!

We decided to put our house up for sale a few days before Andrew left. We have moved several times, but I have never had to stage our house for selling. It’s intense! I have never told a bigger lie!! πŸ˜‚ Our house was absolutely spotless! I had cleaned out corners, closets, and put away anything that made the house look like it was lived in! The kids pictures all came off the walls, and their toys put neatly away! I had to send the kids to a friends house for a few hours to accomplish this task! There is no way our house would have looked like this otherwise. However, God’s hand was surely at work in this process because I have never heard tell of a house selling so fast! We listed our house on a Friday and by Saturday evening we had accepted a generous offer! Praise Jesus! I could not have managed to keep our house in showing order!!! It was way too stressful!!! God knew I couldn’t handle it!πŸ˜… We had the house inspection today, and so I am praying all goes well on that front. The good thing is that we get to stay in this house until March 15th! This is wonderful because it gives us some time to live a “normal” life in this house. Moving will also be different this time because the military will come pack up and store our things. I’m not sure how I, as a control freak, will handle that, but it does make it a lot less work! Also, if you where worried about where we will live after March 15, don’t! God has had his hand in that too! I will be sharing more on that in a later post!

I cannot really describe the depth of sadness and emptiness I felt yesterday as we said our goodbyes to Andrew. We have spent some time apart over the years, but never more than a week or two. This is an entirely different realm we have entered, and honestly the days cannot pass quickly enough. I’m usually not one to wish my time away, but in this instance, I’m all for the next few months passing quickly! The kids had been talking about it for a few days, and while I know they felt sad, they handled saying good bye really well. We have been talking to Andrew over facebook portal, and Andrew has read them a bed time story the last couple nights. I’m so thankful for technology! I can’t imagine doing this back in the time of hand written letters, and long distance phone calls!

In the midst of all this craziness, David lost a tooth! πŸ™‚ Bless his heart, he is getting a lot better about not freaking out about it! This one just kind of popped right out, no drama at all! πŸ™‚



Be Anxious for Nothing! January 9, 2021

Be Anxious for Nothing! January 9, 2021

Happy New Year!! I have to say that in past years I have not been a fan of making new years resolutions. For the most part it seems like a definite way of setting ones self up for failure. I hate to fail at anything! So why make goals and promises that I probably can’t keep for all 365 days? However, this year I feel differently. This year has already started out a different kind of year for many many reasons. So I actually did make some resolutions this year. In fact, we sat down as a family and made some resolutions together too! I don’t know if I will be successful at keeping all of them, but hopefully it will help me keep in mind some things I want to focus on.

I also have a scripture verse that I am claiming this year! “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7 It has been sticking out at me in various places over the last month, and it has spoke to me each time. I love this verse and hope I can live it this year. Especially with all the uncertainty, and changes that are coming over the course of this year.

Speaking of anxiety…Andrew leaves for training in eleven days! We have started this year by cleaning out our garage, decluttering various places in the house, and we are preparing to put our house up for sale. In some respects I always welcome the opportunity to declutter, organize, and get rid of stuff. Anytime we move I always get rid of stuff. I honestly don’t know where or how we get so much stuff! I pretty much hate stuff! I feel like it multiplies all by itself and I don’t even know! My goal in moving this time is to get rid of as much stuff as possible! I don’t want to take anything non-essential with us. I feel like it would be so freeing to be rid of stuff! Of course the kids are never going to go for getting rid of their toys, so I guess I’ll have to make some exceptions! πŸ™‚

All this cleaning out is actually helping to distract me from the fact that Andrew is fixing to leave for three months. Because of covid we won’t be able to travel and visit him in person! I am thankful we have facebook portal technology! We will be able to see and talk to him that way at least! We will miss him terribly! I worry about how the kids will hold up during this long of a separation. I worry about the emotional effects it could have, and how I can make sure I am supporting them through this. I don’t know how the next several months are going to play out. There are so many things I just don’t know. I am fully putting my best foot forward, and embracing living life on the edge! We could use your prayers…, and if any of you have any life experience of this sort, please share! I would love to hear your stories, experiences, and advice. I am trusting in God, and know that all things will work together for good.

David started virtual school back this week! I resumed preschool activities with Emma, and Samuel likes to sing his abc songs and identifies his colors, etc. πŸ™‚ I have become a lot more relaxed with the whole school at home, and I enjoy the freedom of the schedule. It will definitely be an adjustment for us this fall if we decide to do traditional schooling again. We also enjoyed some special moments of falling snow this week! It snowed pretty hard for quite a while but didn’t stick to the ground. I think there is another chance this coming week for snow, so hopefully it will stick.

Blessings and Peace for this new year!



It’s A Wonderful Christmas! December 30, 2020

It’s A Wonderful Christmas! December 30, 2020

Despite everything the year 2020 has thrown our way, we had a wonderful Christmas this year! The few days leading up to Christmas eve was spent in preparation for the big day. We made cinnamon rolls, put up our Christmas tree and decorated it, baked cookies and a cake for Christmas eve/ day. This is the first year in a very long time that I have been with my side of the family on Christmas eve and Christmas day!! Because of both Andrew’s and my ties to church on Christmas eve and sometimes Christmas day even, we typically are not able to be with our families until after Christmas day. This year my family came and spent Christmas with us!! It was a wonderful treat, and really the best Christmas gift they gave us!

I LOVE home made cinnamon rolls, and I am always so impressed with them. You probably get sick of seeing my pictures, but I can’t help it. I’m always so proud that I can actually make cinnamon rolls that taste good. πŸ˜‚This year I put a cream cheese frosting on the top, and I will probably always and forever put this frosting on my rolls. I loved it!

Cream Cheese Icing for Cinnamon Rolls:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (or more if necessary)

Emma and Samuel were really into helping me out in the kitchen! They are my taste testers! πŸ™‚ I wanted to bake cookies on Christmas eve, but I didn’t want to stand in the kitchen forever making the dough. This year I made the dough the day before! For the sugar cookies I separated the dough out, and rolled it into three little discs. I then stored it in between wax paper in the refrigerator over night. The kids were able to cut out the cookies, bake, and then decorate the next day. I also did this with the snickerdoodle cookies we made. I rolled them into balls and put them into the refrigerator overnight on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper. The next morning the kids rolled them in the cinnamon and sugar, and then we baked them! I have found my favorite snicker doodle recipe too! I stumbled across this snickerdoodle recipe by Modern Honey and thought I would give it a try. It truly is the best recipe I have found!

I am sorry for the overload of pictures in this post, but I have captured so many good memories that I want to keep and share! I simply can’t choose!

Since Andrew and I have been married we have always bought a real Christmas tree. I didn’t grow up with real Christmas trees, but Andrew did. The first couple years I was skeptical, but I am a total tree lover now! πŸ™‚ I LOVE a real Christmas tree! They always look so beautiful and smell so good! Yes, they are a little messy, but totally worth the little extra effort.

David was super excited to put the star on top of the tree. The tree was too tall for him to reach the top to put it on, so the next best thing was getting to plug it in! I love David’s face when he lit up the star for the first time! His facial expressions this year were priceless! πŸ™‚ One of my favorite things is unwrapping all the ornaments and decorating the tree. I love looking at the different ornaments and remembering different people, places, and memories.

Christmas eve was a fun filled day spent with family!πŸ₯° It was wonderful having Leah and Brandon, and Dad and Mom here! We ate tacos for lunch on Christmas eve! We played games, and later that afternoon unwrapped presents from Uncle B and Aunt Leah! The kids are at the perfect age for gifts! Their face expressions and exclamations of surprise are prime television worthy! 🀣 Especially David’s when he opened the packs of PokΓ©mon cards from Uncle B. Later that evening we settled down to watch some Christmas moves featuring The Grinch, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and finally the Christmas eve service live stream from our church. We missed Andrew that evening at dinner, but he was with us on tv, and then joined us later. πŸ™‚

After the kids were all tucked in bed, we then went about setting out all the gifts under the tree! I like waiting to put the gifts under the tree on Christmas eve because I like to see the kids eyes light up and their expressions the next morning! (Okay, let’s be honest. I am still in bed when the kids wake up on Christmas morning!) However, I could hear the shrieks of delight and imagine the sparkle in their eyes as I lay in bed. πŸ™‚

We have a tradition of always reading the Christmas story before we open presents. It stems back to when I was a kid. I am glad we are continuing that tradition with our children. Since we opened gifts both on Christmas eve and Christmas day, we read it twice. Dad read it from Luke on Christmas eve, and Andrew read it from Matthew on Christmas day. The kids then tore into their presents! Once all the gifts were unwrapped, then came the task of opening and putting them together! Dad started working on helping Emma put her Barbie doll house together, Andrew worked on Samuel’s little people race track, and I put David’s hot wheel Scorpion track together. I had cinnamon rolls hot and ready, and we all just ate sporadically between putting toys together and playing! πŸ™‚

Before we knew it, it was almost lunch time! We made roasted beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, and steamed green beans for lunch. I also made a coconut cake for dessert! (Actually I made the cake and frosting on Christmas eve morning. That way all I had to do was frost the cake Christmas day!) I am so thankful that my parents were able to be with us on Christmas day! We had a wonderful time, and it made Christmas feel that much more special!

After my parents departed, we took a nap. πŸ™‚ We then spent the rest of the day relaxing!

Christmas with the Kjorlaug family then took place the next day! We were able to gather with Jim and Alesia at their house along with Chris, Beth, and their two boys. We had another wonderful Christmas celebration! We had brunch! Sausage and egg casserole, fruit trays, ham and cheese tray, cinnamon rolls, and Danishes; it was so good!! I have totally got to start the new year on a diet! πŸ™‚ The kids always have fun with their cousins! We had a great time of adult conversation too!

Can you see David’s surprised expression! I was able to get it on camera! 🀣 Too bad the sound he was also making can’t be heard! Emma got a paw patrol tower, and when she opened it she said, “This is just what I’ve always wanted”!!! HAHAHAHA!!! Samuel just likes opening gifts at this point! It was so hilarious!! I love it!

We had a lovely time opening gifts and visiting afterwards. When Chris, Beth and the boys were fixing to leave, Samuel gave aunt Beth the biggest hug! She asked him if he wanted to go home with her, and he really was going to go! At least until they got outside, and then he wanted to get into our car instead of theirs. πŸ™‚ He’s so funny!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas 2020