Sep 30, 2011

This Thing Called Love

Don't get me wrong. I have my super share of days where I'm a wife like THIS. (PU-LEASE go read the blog on that link. It's hilarious. And if you say you can't relate, I don't believe you for a second!)

But then there are days like yesterday, where I just TOTALLY hit the nail it on the head. (Notice I choose to go into depth about this kind of day, whilst my friend Amy choosed to go into depth about her "crap on your head" kind of days. I think it's clear to see who has the higher self esteem ;) I'm talking, tidy house, dishes done AND put away, 4 loads of laundry, hot mulled cider on the stove with an accompanying mug bearing a sweet written message. Complete with relaxing music playing in the background when Jason walked in the door after a long day at work. He is one LUCKY man! Ya once every 6 months or something :)

I do love this man. And I do wish I provided him with that kind of environment to come home to every day. Maybe I was feeling so inspired because we just had a fabulous weekend away in North Conway. Our new fave spots since moving down here. We decided to forgoe birthday and anniversary presents and combine them all for this weekend where we went EXTREME ZIPLINING with Alpine Adventures! So worth it! There are three levels of zipline tours here. We went for the most extreme SUPER SKYRIDER. There was only one ther couple so we got to hike back up and do more ziplines as well as go on even more extra ziplines from other courses.

We got to the top of the course by off-roading in this six wheeled army vechicle (Like, helmets required off-roading!).
All totalled I think we went on over 10 ziplines, a few zaplines, and countless sky bridges. One zipline was 1,800 feet long. Some were pendulums with some free fall time and we reaches speeds of 65 miles per hour! The views were amazing too!

Ready to zip!

We were already up really high in one tree... And then we climbed up that 30 ft. ladder even higher! See, there's the people below us on the wimpy tour :) None of our tree platforms even had railings around them. Slightly unnerving even for this adrenaline junky...especially when the tree starts swaying in the breeze, or is jerked about by a zipper jumping off! It's hard to get pictures that really show what it was like. We were SO high. And the zips weres SO long. And we went SO fast! The views were SO amazing. The videos might do it better justice! Suffice it to say, it was amazing.

Sep 22, 2011

Ella Bella

I think it's time for a little light-hearted, cuteness on this here blog.
Isn't this a classic? Riding a scooter with underwear on head. She did it all by herself. It was a successful bedtime stall as it got mom and dad laughing and held off bedtime until mom could snap a few pictures!

This is Ella, clearly tickled pink with herself for setting up this little scene.
Here we have the baby asleep on her bed, with her monkey clock that tells her when she can wake up, and the other thing in here (you can't see it in this photo) is the card she got from Nanny. Now, Nanny also sent her a lovely book, but she's hasn't given a second thought to that book. She carries this card, in it's envelope everywhere, frequently taking it out to read it. It goes in her purse, her tent, her mailbox, and obviously her baby's bedroom. This is Ella covering a letter "A" with playdough. Man, she's got a great attention span, stays on task, and does really well! We also glued Acorns on a letter A. (I fear this is the only smile we'll get at ther three year photos!) Okay, I just HAVE to show this because I think it's amazing! I had her do a pin push craft over the letter A and an apple. I showed her how on the lower left of the A and the stem and upper left of the apple and then just let her at coaching, no correcting, I just typed an email while she did it on the carpeted floor next to me. I was expecting pin holes randomly all over the paper and this is what she did!!! And this is a cute new outfit! I love the leggings and tutu look and so does she. She helped pick this out and wore it to one of our library times. She also used to have pig tails in her hair...SO ADORABLE, but those only last so long, and she only stands still for pictures when bribed! This adorable face? Yeah, it's just her eyeing where she was going to tear off to in the next second!

Sep 19, 2011

Praising God

I am praising God for His answer to prayers.

My Aunt Karen has always been a very strong woman, but lately she's been showing just how strong she is!

Just a short time ago she was in the ICU
Just a short time ago she was fighting infections.
Just a short time ago she was taken off of sedation.
Just a short time ago she could only blink or slightly squeeze hands.

She has moved out of the hospital into a rehab facility.
She is able to sit up in a wheelchair for extended periods of time (an hour or two)
She is moving her left leg (which is the side most affected by the anurism in the right side of her brain)
She is smiling.
She is nodding her head.
She pulled my uncle in with one arm for a hug and a kiss.
She's made her clucking noises for her grandson.
She whispered "Tom" (her husbands name)!!!

Make no mistake about it. She will continue to amaze, but this is still a long road for her and her family. So please continue to pray for God's strength, peace, rest and joy for all of them!

Sep 13, 2011

Proud Mama!

Today marked our first day of more formalized learning for our little Ella Bella. I'm going to write and show what I've done so that, should some other overwhelmed mother of a toddler stumble across this blog, it might be of some help!

It doesn't matter that I have a good college education and graduated Summa Cum Laude. The thought of educating my toddler still terrified me! SURE, I know my ABC's, colors, shapes and numbers...but how do I best teach that to a two year old? How do I make that fun? How do I choose which method to use? I want to lay a foundation that won't need to be ripped up and redone by someone else!

But thanks to a lot of prayer, some good research, awesome creative inspiration from Pinterest, and some great friends, the weighty responsibility of educating my toddler is becoming less stressful by the second. Here's what I'm doing:
Mondays and Fridays are preschool story time at local libraries. Great for literacy, motor skills with crafts, and socialization.
Tuesdays and Thursday mornings will have learning time at the table where we'll focus on one letter a week as well as some colors, shapes, drawing, sorting, matchin, organizing etc.
Wednesdays I will go to Bible study so she'll get more socialization and practice with separation in child care.
Oh how I love routines and stability! So important for kids...and my sanity as well!

So today we introduced "A". I started by putting her letter A flag in her mailbox for her to find in the morning. Oh she was so excited! We went downstairs and hung her A flag on her banner. We'll put up a new letter each week and at the end have a beautiful alphabet banner to display anywhere! (See THIS post for a tutorial on how to make this frugal, no-sew fabulousness)Then at the table after breakfast we colored an A page, all the while talking about the different things on the page that start with A and saying our A sounds over and over. We continued our A sounds while making an A out of apple prints! Next we had fun making our "tracing goo". Dollar store hair gel, food coloring, and glitter in a plastic bag, and they have tons of fun finger tracing their letters. (Thanks Angie) She finger traced A three times! Later we read her letter A book that grandma got her for just this occasion! We will continue reviewing A in these ways throughout the week. Here are some other things we'll do to keep things lively...trace the letters I made in page protectors with dry erase markers. Finger trace letters in a box of salt. Use our flash cards...hunt for the A and then say the sound when she finds it. Draw the letter on paper and shape playdough over it or put stickers over it. Cut the letter our of playdough or cookie dough with our letter cookie cutters. Go on scavenger hunts to find things that start with A.
Ella won't turn three until Dec. Which means if she went into preschool this year, she'd be in preschool for 3 years before she's old enough to enter kindergarden. That's way to much preschool. But she's super smart and we could tell she needed a little more intellectual stimulation. We knew we needed to do something and boy were we right. So how did today go? Ella LOVED it! She was engaged. She was less mischevious throughout the day because she wasn't bored and we had a routine. She kept saying, "I want to learn my ABCD's." May aim will continue to be to just expose her to these things and have fun. But she is proving, once again, to be smart as a whip. She can now identify the letter A and what sound it makes! I'm one proud mama!

No Sew ABC (or anything really) banner!

Want a super cute banner but hate the idea of sewing seams and changing threads millions of times? Me too! So here's my no sew banner!

  • Here's what you'll need

  • enough fabric for 26 flags (9"x11" from my quilting mama)

  • Felt for 26 letters (I bought one pack of 14 pieces of felt at the $ store and this worked great, using one sheet for two different letters)

  • Pinking sheers so edges won't fray. (free from my mama!)

  • glue gun and glue sticks (mini with glue sticks just $5 from walmart)

  • aprox 26 feet of clothesline (I got a cute green and white one that's 60ft at the $ store!)
Using your pinking sheers so the unsewn edges won't fray, cut out 26 triangles 9 inches wide x 11 inches long. Cut all your letters out of felt and then use your glue gun to secure them onto the triangles. (I made my felt into 4 inch wide and 5 inch long pieces. I then used a ruler and a pen to freehand the letters and cut them out.) See look how pretty!Now take your clothesline...Wrap the top edge of each triangle around the clothesline and use the glue gun to secure the fabric back to itself and onto the clothesline. VOILA! I only have one letter on my banner, because we're putting one on each week as we learn them. When we go through them all, maybe I'll come back and put a picture up of the completed banner!

Sep 8, 2011


Aunt Karen and Grandma Fraunhofer's last trip to Maine in the fall of 2009

Aunt Karen
The journey will be long, but I'm praising God that there will be a journey. There's been a lot going on with my Aunt Karen. She's been taken off sedation. She responds to her family by opening her eyes, squeezing her hand, blinking and just recently a few smiles have appeared! She still doesn't move the left side of her body, so pray that that will come. She hasn't spoken yet, so pray for that. They continue to give her time off of the respirator and she breathed for three hours on her own yesterday! Praise God. Her fever is down a bit, as are her WBC. Her blood pressure is looking good and her lungs are looking a little better. Please pray for all of these things to continue in the right direction and please pray for this long road ahead!

Baby Jude
After my last post about all the positives Baby Jude had experienced, the rollercoaster took a steep turn. HE NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS. They cannot seem to stop the seeping from his incision. This is rare. PRAY THAT THE SEEPING STOPS as he cannot go onto any other surgery until this resolves. His body is not getting rid of fluid and he is swelling a lot. He has gained 4 pounds in 4 days. PRAY THAT THE SWELLING GOES DOWN, and that his body can properly rid itself of fluids. PRAY FOR HIS PARENTS AND THIS ROAD THEY'RE ON.

Sep 6, 2011

Kitchen is DONE!

Well, at least when I'm feeling super duper crazy, I release that crazy energy into some serious productivity. I've sorted Ella's clothes and inventoried what she needs. I've organized closets and junk drawers and scrubbed holes right into the shower floors.


Drumroll please...................................................


(okay so we still need to paint the ceiling patch and save up for crown molding.......but it's been such a long bleeping process, I'm just gonna call it done or I might cry.)

Might I remind you:

BEFORE AFTER BEFORE AFTER I love our dining room. I still don't love cooking. But I love my dining room.THE chandelier I wanted...found on Craigs List for a steal! The long hoped for, much saved for, if I could marry an inanimate object, I would...countertops!!!


While I may have just mentioned in my last post, that she is in a stage that is very annoying to me right now, that's not to say that she's not still fabulous. I haven't written about her in a while and so many thing are piling up. She does so many new things so quickly I just can't keep up and have been feeling the need to jot some highlights down to savor! So here's what comes to mind right now.

She has a special relationship with the ONE pumpkin that materialized in our garden this year. She visits it at least once a day, usually multiple times. She pats it and always exclaimes something like, "It's growin'!" or "It's growed today!" or "It's turning (insert some color here because she doesn't quite have those down yet)." She loves to inspect the garden in general and point out what's ready to pick and what's not. And she likes to help harvest, although this momma get's a little stressed at her little haphazard steps!

A magnificent imagination. She's always go to the beach, to go to the zoo, to go swimming, to go camping, to go to camp, to throw a birthday party etc. etc. And while it is generally adorable, this generally involves her taking EVERY LOVIN' toy in her playroom, to some other area, where she doesn't really use it, just piles it. She's always, "packin' up" and doing this and the sheer volume of toys that she moves and then has to be put back EVERY TIME drives me batty! And she does it OVER and OVER and OVER.

Loves her babies... stroll them, swing them, feed them, give them medicine etc. etc

She loves swinging on the hammock!

She sings lots of songs still, they just get better and better. She likes to dance along with some little kids videos like Laurie Berkner and such, but she's still a little shy with that.

She constantly asks WHY. Sometimes it's just to play the game, but most of the time it's because her little brain is really working overtime and she really is wondering about LOTS of things.

She still has a memory like a steel trap.

She is FULLY potty trained and VERY self sufficient!

She still has a pretty serious...and sweet mullett.

She continues to be the world's most persistant staller when it comes to nap time and bed time. Although frustrating at times, and we dont' give in, the things she does and says to stall are generally pretty adorable/hilarious (I need you to clip my nails, I need a tissue, I need you to snuggle me, I need you to move the pillow out of the chair, I need you to put the books on that shelf not that one, I need more animals, I'm cold I need long pants on...[when it's like 100 degrees out] and so one and so forth.) and give J and I a good chuckle in the evenings together.

She's still a great sleeper though. And she stays in bed in the morning utnil her monkey clock opens it's eyes and then instantly hear abover your head the "boom" or her leaping out of bed and then "pad,pad,pad,pad,pad,pad,pad," of her running little feet down the hall. Then she quietly walks down the stairs, tiptoes into my room, stands at the edge of me bed and says, "Boo!" or "Raawr!" or something equally cute to "wake me up".

She's still a nibbler and a picky eater. We don't give in. She eats what we give her or she doesn't eat...but she's stubborn and persistent little one (prob. doesn't help that both her parents are the same way), so mealtimes are less than our favorite times still.

She's ridiculously smart and ridiculously adorable.

Just Can't Shake This Feeling

This mama feels like she wants to crawl right out of her own skin!

Maybe it's because:

  • I have friends and family going through some pretty scary times right now.

  • We just experienced two wretched days of high heat/high humidity AFTER taking the A/C out. (And I don't DO heat.)

  • All of the house and yard projects for this place feel never-ending and impossible at times.

  • There's always just enough money, but life always seems like there's still never enough money.

  • Bathrooms are deceivingly small little spaces, but are a ROYAL pain in the BUM to edge in!

  • We are in transition between seasons right now, and I'm anxious for fall.

  • I am trying to get a routine together for Ella and I for fall and I feel in flux

  • I am planning for the start the daunting task of beginning to educate her in a more formalized way and I feel woefully inadequate!

  • I just don't do change general....ever.

  • Ella has reached a stage where a lot of what she does REALLY annoys me. (There I said it. Don't pretent you've never felt that way if you've ever been a mom of a 2 1/2 year old, because I won't buy it for a second!)

  • Patience has never been a really strong virtue of mine....yet. (Trust me, HE's really working on it with me!)

  • STUFF has been driving me insane! I feel the need to, and have sorted and purged and organized and purged, and purged. But it never ends! It is the bane of my existence.

  • We're still not pregnant and I'm really wrestling with/ struggling with understanding God's will. At this point I'm fine with whatever direction He leads us in, I'd just like some clarity as to which direction that is.

  • Or maybe it's the Clomid messing with me, because yes, this hippie got so desperate she resorted to trying it.
Or maybe it's none of those things. I can't really put my finger on it. I just hope it passes and I feel normal again....or at least comfortable in my own skin. And getting it all out helped a little.

Sep 3, 2011

Specifically Answered Prayers!!!

My heart is jumping with joy this morning as I've read about little Jude's road and I just had to share with those of my friends that are following his family's journey and praying along with me!

Prayers are being answered. Specifically. AND NUMEROUSLY!

After having to continue to wait for his heart surgery because of his poor kidney function and seeping from his incision from neurosurgery, he underwent a scary transfer back to the hospital where he had his neurosurgery. They did another procedure. And it was successful!

  • Today, his creatine level is 0.5...way lower...way great...specific answer to prayer.

  • His x-ray of his lungs look great! called it "best in the PICU" specific answer to prayer for collapsed lung.

  • The neurosurgeon is "wonderfully happy" upon seeing his CT scan two weeks after surgery.

  • The neurosurgeon called Jude a fighter. But we already knew that didn't we!?

Keep the Prayers a Comin'!!!

And go HERE to read how Brandon and Mandy's 50 things they're grateful for today. Such a testimony and encouragement to me to see how they are living and relying on God through this all!

Sep 1, 2011


Between the end of August marking my father's passing, my Aunt fighting for her life in the hospital, and a never ending parade of little pink sticks that always tell me no, I've been having some tough days lately. On my worst days I give into my silly self-pitty parties. On my best days, I trust in the Lord and rely on the Holy Spirit to strengthen me and get me through. But no matter what day it is, I am thankful. I realize how blessed I am and I am thankful.

I am thankful for this man. I am thankful for this little girl who donned this outfit all by herself. I am thankful foror crisp late summer air and perfect blue skies with white puffy clouds.

I am thankful that I live in a place where this sweet little hike and beautiful views are just around the corner from my "dooryaad". I am thankful for the simple pleasure of rocking in my hammock like a baby.

I am thankful for really great friends.

I am thankful that my Aunt Karen is a fighter.

I am thankful that as they lift the sedation she has been responding to her loved ones with opening her eyes and squeezing their hands.

I am thankful that she has moved her arm and leg on her right side and thankful that she's even moved her leg on the left side (the side that would is most affected by anurism in the right side of her brain).

I am thankful that her pnemonia is not worse, but still praying that it gets better.

I am thankful that baby Jude made it to his two week birthday, but continue to pray that his bleeding and kidneys and lung to improve so that he can have the heart surger he so desperately needs.

I am thankful.