Saturday, September 1, 2007

Quick Update

I know that it has been ages since I last posted. My life has been absolutely crazy since July 18.

Shortly after my last post, we took Blessing to the doctor for her 1 year appointment. She was declared a failure to thrive baby because she is not gaining weight like what they would like. It is just a weight issue, not a developmental one, as she is way ahead in that aspect. So, we started stressing over what she was eating and what she was drinking.

At the end of July, Blessing was running a very high fever and because she is so small, she ended up in the hospital. We spent 3 days in the hospital with her as she was being rehydrated. For two of those days, all that she did was sleep on my chest. It was very scary to see her that way, as she usually is a go-getter. She never seems to stop running and is constantly on the move.

A week after she was released from the hospital, she stopped eating and drinking again and had another high fever. We took her back to the doctor and he ran blood tests again and she was mildly dehydrated. However, the pediatrician sent us home and told us to let her have anything she wanted to drink. So, we gave her fluids she probably shouldn't have had, just so she would drink, as we were leaving on vacation the next day.

We went on vacation for a week. The day after we got home (the 20th of August), Blessing had diarrhea. She would go 4 or 5 times a day. On the 22nd, her bowels changed and she became constipated. We noticed on Friday that she wasn't feeling well. By Sunday, she had stopped eating like she was and definitely didn't want anything to do with fluids. On Monday, she woke up with a 104.6 fever and so I took her to the pediatrician. He drew blood and once again sent her home and told us to give her whatever she wanted to drink - it could even be soda. Well, I brought her home and all she did was sleep the rest of the day. She didn't want to eat or drink. She didn't sleep well at night and was extremely fussy! Tuesday morning, she woke up with a 105.1 fever. I called our family doctor and by noon we were in an ambulance being rushed to a local Children's Hospital. It was a huge blessing. She was dehydrated again and was very very lethargic. Anyway, we spent 3 days again in the hospital. We have more tests coming up in a week to see if there is anything going on to make her not want to eat or drink.

Besides what has been going on with Blessing, vacation was great. It was wonderful to be able to get away and spend time camping and relaxing and fishing. I finished the last Harry Potter book - oh my! It was excellent. Mr. Tall and I got to go to the state fair alone and spend a few mornings fishing alone while grandparents watched Blessing. It was wonderful!!!

I will try to post pictures very soon and keep you updated on what we find out with Blessing.

We know that God has a plan and a purpose for all of our trials. We are just looking to him for strength and guidance.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Birthday Wishes!

It is so hard to believe that our daughter turned 1 today at 15:51. As I reflect on the past year, my heart is so full. Blessing has amazed me every day. She is an amazing little girl who has taught me so much. I can't believe that a year has passed.

Blessing has taught me all about patience. Every day she tests me and pushes my buttons, especially on the days where she is clingy. Blessing tends to want my full attention at all times - one of the problems of being a stay-at-home mommy. However, Blessing pushing my buttons is worth every second of being home. It has been very wonderful to be able to make sacrifices to spend time with her. It has been awesome to see the little things that happen as a baby grows into a toddler - from rolling over, to laughing, to taking the first step. I can't imagine missing one second of that.

I wish that I could put all that I am feeling into words. Blessing is so much of a blessing. She is the light of my life, the one thing that tends to shine even when the going gets tough. Over this past year, she has made me smile so many times and laugh that many more times. She has caused my heart to break as she has fallen off the couch or missed a step and fallen down a step or two. She has made me just shake my head as she wasn't wearing a diaper and decided to poop and then smear it on every step as she came to the main floor from the second floor. She has tested my patience as she has thrown food off the table onto the floor, and then managed to smoosh it into the carpet.

I can't tell you how much I enjoy her cuddling. When she was first born, she didn't want anything to do with cuddling with mommy. She would cuddle with daddy and fall asleep for him. But not mommy. However, in the past month, she has cuddled with me. She has fallen asleep on my chest several times and ran to me and given me gigantic hugs. Those hugs mean the world. It is so rewarding to be hugged and to know that she appreciates me and loves me just as much as I love her.

I would give my life for her. I want to protect her, teach her, and help her to develop into a beautiful young girl. Each day, I want to help her to learn about her Creator and discover life.

I'm not very good with this, but Blessing, you are an amazing young girl. You have taught me so many things - from what love is to caring for a little person. You have given me joy that couldn't have come from anywhere else. You have given me peace. You have helped me to find my true place in life - to discover what happiness truly is. Blessing, you have changed my life and helped me to become a better person - just by being you. You have helped me to see who I was and strive to be a better person, a better mommy, and a better wife for your daddy. Blessing, you have helped me to focus on the good things in life. I love you and will do anything for you. You are a Child of God!

Ok, on another note, we had Blessing's birthday party on Sunday. We invited grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a few friends who have meant a lot to us. We had a meal (lasagne, homemade rolls, salad, and of course, cake and ice cream). Following the meal, we opened up gifts and then ate cake and homemade ice cream. It was a wonderful afternoon filled with excitement and fellowship. Blessing received some much needed things (a Leap Frog discovery table, a sheep rocker, a rocking chair, an outside swing, a push/riding toy, some mega blocks, and a couple of outfits). These were unexpected, but so very much appreciated. Blessing will get some excellent use out of them and enjoy playing with them.

Happy Birthday to our amazing little girl! We wish you many more years of happiness and many more years of discovery and learning. Know that your mommy and daddy loves you so much and will always be here for you! We love you!

Pictures will come soon!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Galations 5:22-23 ~~But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

During this past week, this verse has been brought to my mind several times as we have been picking "fruit" from our garden. We have been picking zuccini, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, eggplant, and onions. Each time we have picked fruit, this verse has come up and made me think of ways to apply it to everything I do.

Some of the fruits of the spirit we have practiced lately is patience, self-control, and faithfulness. To pick "fruit" from the garden, one has to be patient enough to wait for it to get ripe and faithful enough to keep the garden weeded, watered, and looking healthy. It takes time to raise home-grown "fruits," but it is so worth it. We have also had to practice self-control. If we eat all the tomatoes in one setting, then there is none left for the next day. Also, we have had to have self-control so we can share them with others. We have given 3 precious tomatoes away.

Our daughter is learning all about kindness and gentleness. This past weekend, we went camping at grandma and grandpa's house. They have four kittens that run around and catch their mice. Well, Blessing will point at the kittens and walk towards them trying to catch them. Once she gets to them, she will grab them by their ears to pick them up or hit them. As parents, it is our job to instill kindness and gentleness. We show our daughter how to treat the kittens and be gentle and kind. We show her her to pet the kittens to make their motors run and how to feed them, showing them kindness. It is a tough lesson for an almost one year old to learn, but one that we are trying to teach.

Another fruit of the spirit is joy. Joy is something that I have been struggling with over the past year. It has been hard for me to be joyful with everything going on with my husband's recovery, job loss, and job search. However, I tend to feel joyful at least a little bit each and every day. This comes through my daughter. She reminds me how to laugh at the little things, how to enjoy the goofiness of my husband, and how to appreciate all that I do have. Lately she has been running between Mr. Tall and I (playing her own game). She will give us giant hugs one time and then get almost to us and turn around and run toward the other. It just makes me smile and laugh. That is one time that I truly do feel joyful. One of these days, I will be joyful at all times, without my daughter reminding me.

Love. What can I say about love except to show it at all times to everybody. I have had a few experiences lately where I have been able to show love, not only to my family, but to strangers. One stranger in Wal-Mart helped me to carry a very heavy battery out to my car. After he had put it in my car, I talked a few minutes with him and just showed him love and gratitude. I show love to my family every day. I work at cleaning the house, make dinner/lunch/breakfast, do laundry, and spend time with them. On the 4th of July, we went to town to watch fireworks. We sat about 300 yards away from where they lit them off, a little close for an almost 1 year old. Anyway, she watched them without moving. However, she was scared and just needed my love. So, I held her tight and comforted her through tight squeezes. I know that she sure appreciated it.

Goodness and faithfulness. These are two that are hard to explain. I remain faithful to my husband, daughter, and God. I try to remain faithful to my routines and to my friends. It is hard to explain goodness - except that God is good. He has been providing for us. A good friend of mine came through at the last minute (after disappearing for a month) and provided just what I needed to make my pampered chef goal for June. He provided just tonight with another possible July show, after two had cancelled. I need two shows to meet my goal for July.

Overall, I am working on the fruits of the spirit. It is amazing how every day things can bring me to a place of awe. It has been amazing how the silent time has been working (see previous post on solitude). Just turning off the television or the radio has made a huge difference for me - it has allowed me to appreciate God's goodness in all parts of life!

Well, enough for now. God is so good!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Camping and other things

We finally got to go camping! It really wasn't camping - as we ran around a lot, but it was still camping!

Our camper was in a wind storm back in March. The damage was a hole in the side of the camper and the roof torn. Therefore, we had to wait on insurance and have 2 panels on the side replaced and a new roof. There were a few other things repaired as well.

So, on Monday, when we got the call that our camper was done, we were extremely excited. We went and picked it up and began work the next morning at getting it ready. I cleaned out 3 boxes of stuff that we had never used and donated them to a local charity.

On Thursday afternoon, we pulled out of our driveway to go camping. We pulled to a local small campsite and set up. It was a blast! Blessing enjoyed every minute of camping, and actually slept better in the camper than at home! She just played and played and had a ball.

Like I said earlier, it really wasn't camping like we like to camp. We camped close enough to home that we had to run home several times to get a few things that we had forgotten. I also had a pampered chef party to do Friday night and Mr. Tall and Blessing ran home home to bid farewell to his brother who is going over to Iraq. Saturday, we drove around looking for garage sales and then ran to town to get a tire fixed for the car and take Blessing swimming.

Swimming - what a joy. Blessing enjoyed it and didn't want to leave. She played with another girl about her age for awhile. She enjoyed mommy and daddy's undivided attention. She was having so much fun that she cried when we took her out of the pool to warm up - she was shivering because the air was cold! She was glad to get back into the pool!

Sunday, we woke up and went to church before packing things up to go home. It was a good chance for us to find what we were missing from the camper and to just get away from our house for awhile.

Besides camping, we have been busy getting ready for Mr. Tall to go back to work. He has also been going to town several times a week for reading tutoring. This has been making a big difference as he has started reading books to Blessing!

I have been busy with Pampered Chef. Even though it is July, I am trying to finish up my June promotion and get ready for a busy August - 8 shows plus vacation in the middle!

Also, I took Blessing to the doctor today. She woke up with a red spot on her head on Monday morning. Then, this morning, she woke up with a golf ball sized knot on her head. I was extremely worried and just called the doctor to see what to do. She wanted to see her, so I ran to the doctor to find out it was probably just a pimple/bug bite (red spot) and a bump (she had ran into something). I am glad I took her, but it just broke up the day a little.

Randomness - that is what happens when I am sleep deprived. With Blessing waking up several times at night and being up late trying to accomplish a few things, sleep has been little.

What a life!


Just so you can follow what is going on, names have been changed to the following:

Mrs. Haven - me; a wife, mother, homemaker, and teacher

Mr. Tall - my wonderful husband, a very tall man

Blessing - our beautiful daughter, a perfect blessing in trying times

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (New Living Translation)

9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

On June 19, 2007, Mr .Tall and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary. It is so amazing how fast time flies. Some days it seems like yesterday that we were married. I remember that day so well. I was stressed as I had planned the whole wedding myself. Mr. Tall was calm as could be, knowing that he was making the best decision of his life. My dad struggled as he was letting his first daughter be married. The reception was wonderful. 400 people came and showed us they cared. Such an amazing day.

However, I had no idea how my life would change. That day was the turning point. I was no longer a single person, but a person bound to my husband and Christ. We would become a cord that would not be easily broken.

Over the past three years, I have realized how amazing my husband is. He is dedicated to me. So much that he would give his life to save mine. He is an amazing hard worker. He will do whatever it takes to provide for his family - not only financially, but emotionally and spiritually as well. He is an amazing father. Little did I know how much he loves kids, especially his daughter. He plays with her and loves her so much. He cares for her and would die for her as well. He is such a strong man - physically as well as emotionally. He has gone through a complete hand amputation, watching his wife have a c-section, and an appendectomy. He has worked weeks with more than 60 hours. He has lifted things and moved things I couldn't even come close to. My husband is a true handyman. He has made a swing out of a lawn chair, fixed our lawn mower, fixed my car, glued wooden chairs back together, removed doors and fixed the hinges, the list goes on and on and on....My husband is also very supportive. He wants the best for me. He wants me to pursue my dreams and reach for the stars.

I don't know what I would do without my husband. I love him with all of my heart and am looking forward to spending the rest of our life together. I will say that it hasn't been easy. We

have had our rough times as well as our good times. During the valleys, we turn to God for strenth and remember the above verse from Ecclesiastes. We look back and know that God does have plans for us and will see us through both the good and the bad times.

Once again, I love my husband so much. I am looking forward to many many more years with him. So much to come. So much to look back on and appreciate. So much going on right now.

I love you Mr. Tall!

Sunday Sermon

solitude - noun - 1. a state of social isolation - 2. the state or situation of being alone - 3. a solitary place

We went to church this morning to discover that our pastor was speaking on one of the spiritual disciplines. I was surprised as we have been in the book of Matthew for almost a year now. It was an amazing sermond and made me reflect a lot today.

Upon reflecting, I have come to the conclusion that I do not do solitude very well. I hate being alone, however, I do socially isolate myself. My social isolation is used more to escape than to be solitary. I would rather be around somebody at all times - it keeps me from thinking and processing through things. However, I really need to work on being alone and focusing on Christ.

The last time I can really say that I enjoyed being alone was when I lived in Phoenix, Arizona. I lived down there for 6 months. For the first 3 months of my time, I spent much of it alone. I did a lot of reflecting and spent a lot of time just walking or swimming. It really helped to prepare me for being married, as I learned a lot about myself and enjoyed the single life.

However, during the past two years, I have struggled with being alone. If I could, I would have somebody around at all times. I don't like going anywhere or doing anything alone. I hate silence and would rather have the television on for noise - just so I don't think about things and wait upon the Lord.

Also, during this past year, I have not allowed my wonderful husband to have alone time. I want to know where he is and what he is doing at all times. I think that part of that has to do with his accident and the fact that I have become overprotective. However, part of it is that I just don't want him to disappear on me. It is an underlying fear that I have that if I allow him some time of solitude, that he will enjoy it too much and leave.

So, what is the conclusion from this sermon and how has it affected my heart. Well, first of all, I need to take at least 15 minutes a day spending time alone. If that means I ask my husband to watch our daughter while I go for a walk, then that is what I do. If I have to set the timer and go outside for 15 minutes while my daughter is taking her afternoon nap, then that is what I have to do. I also need to allow my husband time to spend alone. Time to get away from the business and chaos of life to spend time waiting on the Lord.

15 minutes is doable. Therefore, it is a good place for me to start. I will let you know how it goes. I now know that the Lord wants us to spend time alone, waiting upon him. It is now just trusting and listening to Him.

Jeremiah 20:10-11This is God's Word on the subject: "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Monday, June 18, 2007


The last time I wrote we were leaving Portage, Wisconsin to head towards Wausau, Wisconsin. We headed over to the Wisconsin Dells just 15 miles west of Portage. It was a beautiful drive. When we got to the Dells, it was amazing what we found. Tourist attractions galore, waterparks galore, and tons of expensive shops. We wanted to do the touristy thing since we were on vacation. As a result, we decided to take the Army Ducks tour. The Army Duck is a vehicle that can go on both land and water. We took a tour of the lower dells, which was beautiful. We saw several amazing rock formations and huge houses on the lake front. Blessing really enjoyed the ride and squealed whenever we would take the plunge from land to water. It was amazing that they built a vehicle to travel on both land and water.

We ate lunch at a wonderful little cafe. The food was fabulous and the air conditioning felt fabulous. It was once again another day of very high temperatures and humidity. We then went back to the car and started the trek up to Wausau. It was approximately a 2 hour drive via interstate. Wisconsin is a very beautiful state, but we could never picture ourselves living there. Good news to some of you! :-)

When we arrived at Missy's house, we met her 2 year old son, Garrison. We just sat around and talked and caught up a little bit. We then worked on fixing supper. While Mr. Tall and Gary were out grilling supper, they let Hallie play on the deck with a dump truck. Blessing had a blast pushing the dump truck from one side to the other. She would cruise back and forth. Mr. Tall had to make sure that he stopped her before she pushed the truck over the edge....She even got going so fast that she would trip over her own feet and fall hard on her knees. To our disbelief, she got up and went again. Our knees hurt just watching her. It is so amazing how fast she has grown up. After supper, us girls put the children to bed and the boys went out for an evening on the town.

Saturday came around and Blessing and Garrison played the morning away. We ran and got a few groceries and then I did my pampered chef show. It went well. It was fun to meet some of Missy's friends. It was also a great excuse for a mini-vacation. After the show, we cleaned up and tried to put Blessing down for a nap. She didn't want to go down and screamed for about an hour straight. It was so unlike her. She finally went to sleep and I held her for about a half hour. I then tried to put her down and it started all over again. Who knows what was going on, but she was definitely upset. She has a huge temper....I wonder where she gets that from?

We then fixed supper, hamburgers, french fries, and salad. After supper we headed to the aquatic center. Blessing loves water so much! She really enjoyed her time there. She even went down a slide by herself....of course, we caught her at the bottom and didn't let her go under. She had a blast and actually cried when we had to leave because the pool was closing. Not only did hte aquatic center have a little person slide, it also had a big person slide. Both Mr. Tall and I went down it twice and had a blast. It felt so good to be a "kid" again, even if it was only for a few minutes. We have come to the conclusion that we are going to take Blessing to the pool in a local town for some fun. Both pools have slides as well....Maybe we will be "kids" again for a few minutes! :-)

Sunday morning came around and we went to church then packed up the car. We started our trek home. We took a little different way home. It took us 5 hours to get to Owatonna, Minnesota. By the time we got there, Blessing was definitely ready to be out of her carseat. It took all that we had to keep her entertained in the back. She would laugh and smile then fuss. She just ran around once we stopped. We walked around Cabellas for an hour and then went and grabbed a bite to eat. At about 8 last night, we decided to make the rest of the trek home. We got Blessing ready for bed and put her back in her car seat. She fell asleep and slept the last 3 hours home. She also fell right back asleep and slept through the night once we got home. We walked around the garden and were amazed at how much things had grown.

Overall, it was a very good trip. We enjoyed being away and escaping things for a few days. However, it wasn't what we had hoped for.

Vacation Reflections

1) Relationships change. Missy and I were best friends our senior year in college. We were close and could talk about almost anything. It was interesting to see her as a mom and to see how she had changed. I know that I have changed as well also. We didn't have the same connection that we had before. I had a hard time talking to her about things. We didn't talk a whole lot, just watched our kids play together and hung out.

2) Friends change. I guess I was just stuck back in my senior year where we were both carefree and focused on career. We have both changed our focus from career to family. We no longer look to our career for an identity, but to our families. We love different things. The closeness that was once felt, is no longer felt.

3) Faith changes. My faith has become stronger over the past year. I attribute it to the new relationships that I have developed with people that attend the church we attend now. My new friends challenge me in my faith. They encourage me to dig deeper and to be a "woman after god's own heart" and to FLY. I really noticed this this weekend. I no longer have a surface faith. I want to talk about my relationship with Christ and how things have changed. This is hard to do with somebody that has changed as well.

4) No escape. We couldn't escape the goings on of home. Work comp called and put forth a "solution" to things. We had to deal with deciding on what to do. Parents called and talked to us. We had to deal with things that we were trying to escape. It made the trip intresting and added more stress.


Yes, it was good for us to get away. We enjoyed our time away and enjoyed seeing old friends. It made us realize how much we enjoy our friends back here. It made us realize how close we are to our friends back here and how moving away would be difficult. Yes, we are still considering South Dakota, but who knows what will come out of that. It is in God's hands.

Time away....even though we were contacted by work comp, it was great to get away.

Relaxation. Yes, a little. Mr. Tallwent out on the town one night and relaxed. I was able to read a little and get a little sleep.

Perspective. It was nice to get some perspective. We realized how much we enjoy our state, the country, and where we live. However, we also realized how nice it would be to be able to be to a grocery store in 5 minutes or to a pool in 10. However, we also realize that we have it great. We have amazing friends.
So, was the vacation good - Yes. However, it was disappointing at the same time. I learned a lot and made a lot of realizations.
Once again, Life is definitely a journey! A journey that we take one day at a time.

Friday, June 15, 2007

vacation pictures 1

Fun in the pool!

Blessing in her suite for the first time!

Blessing enjoying the pool - It's cold!

Sitting on the edge of the pool!

Hotels are not childproof!

The toilet paper bandit!

What mommy?

Mommy, look at me!

vacation fun

Ok, so we went to bed last night. Blessing didn't sleep too well until I finally broke down and just let her sleep in bed with me. Our room has two queen beds, so Mr. Tall decided to do something a little different and each of us sleep in our own bed. It really made us realize this morning how much sleeping together is good. We missed each other! Anyway, Blessing came and joined me at 2 am after she had been up about every hour since she went to bed.
She woke up at 6:30 this morning when Mr. Tall dumped some stuff off of his bed. He didn't clean his bed off before going to sleep, so it was a loud clunk! Blessing was up and in an excellent mood. We went to the pool again and then came back to our room and showered and got dressed.
While I was showering, Blessing was running around our room naked while Mr. Tall was shaving. I heard her push the door open and come into the bathroom where I was. I heard some sqeaking going on and the toilet lid shut, but didn't think anything about it. Next thing I know, I heard Mr. Tall start laughing really hard! I asked him what was going on and he told me to peek around the shower. Blessing had unrolled the rest of the toilet paper and had been playing with it. Since the bathroom floor was wet, the toilet paper was sticky. The pictures show the excitement we had.
Then off to breakfast. Blessing hasn't been too interested in food this trip, which has caused a little concern for us. However, we know that she will eat when she is ready.

So, now I am sitting on the bed writing this blog while Mr. Tall is picking up the room. I wanted to use the wireless high speed to post pictures since it is so quick. At home it takes a long time to download pictures. While I am writing, Blessing has pulled out a dresser drawer and has crawled into the drawer. It is so great to have a camera close by to capture some of these pictures. She played in the drawer and had a great time.

Finally, it is so different going on a vacation with a young child. We have to constantly try to think about her and hope and pray that nobody turns us in when she starts crying. Life is definitely a journey!

Well, I need to go and help Mr. Tall finish packing. We are off to the Wisconsin Dells and then up to Wausau to see Missy, Gary, and Garrison. More to come later!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

No AC and record temps

I am sitting in Portland, WI right now at a hotel enjoying wireless internet very much. It is so very fast compared to my general dial-up connection at home. I could enjoy this so much longer than just one night.

We left this morning from home at around 8:40 am. We were hoping to leave by 7:30 this morning but I couldn't sleep last night. I laid awake and was just about asleep when I smelt something burning. I got a little worried and woke Mr. Tall up about 2:30 am. We walked around the house and nothing was burning. I went outside and found the source: the burn barrell. The wind was just in the right direction. So, back to bed and back to sleep for Mr. Tall. I laid awake. It was about 4 am when I finally went to sleep. So, when Blessing wasn't up at 6:30 this morning, I didn't stress and just slept until she woke us up - about 7:30.

Getting on the road at 8:40 wasn't bad. We arrived at my alma mater about 10 am. It was so great to spend some time on campus and to see some people that helped me through college. We even had the chance to visit with my clarinet professor - an amazing man. He has a wonderful wife who is so knowledgeable as an ethnomusicologist and 2 sons - Anton and Vaalik. Their sons are so eccentric - it was fun to watch them today play with Blessing. We ate a picnic lunch on campus and took off about 1:40 in the afternoon. It was hot as we only have 4-55 air conditioning (4 windows down and 55 mph). However, we took a road that followed a river - very very curvy and slow going at times. It was a huge blessing though as we stayed cooler due to being close to a river. Thank you Lord!

We arrived at Portage, WI at about 6:00 pm tonight - it was a long trip, but God is good! He kept us safe thus far. We unpacked at our hotel for the night and went to dinner. We were hoping for a nice meal out, but it turned out to not be so good. The service was terrible and the food came out cold and not fully cooked. I had a rotten tomato on my salad and the lettuce core in there as well. We had to ask for water every time the waitress can around. I guess we should have just went to McDonalds and eaten. You live and learn!

Blessing made the trip relatively well. She slept the first leg to college and then the next 2 hours to a small town to get bas. She was awake the rest of the time. We stopped at a Wayside Park to let her get out and run. When we got to the hotel, she just wanted to be down and crawl and move around. I can't blame her!

After dinner, we even took her swimming. I will post pictures tomorrow when I take a few more (our battery died tonight and I had to go get another one). She loved the pool and enjoyed having mommy and daddy's undivided attention. So many smiles, laughs, and giggles. What joy she brings to our life.

Plans for tommorow with more record temps in WI - drive the rest of the way to Missy's house and enjoy the countryside and special touristy areas - Wisconsin Dells especially.

So, God is good once again for safe travels. Please pray for a continued safe trip and an enjoyable time for all!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Redneck or Resourceful?

Ok - Let me preface this with I believe that we are good parents. We have never left Blessing alone and if she is doing something dangerous, either one or both of us are right there with, on with the story! :-)

Our daughter LOVES to swing. We discovered that on Memorial Day weekend while at a family potluck. Mr. Tall took her down to the playground and put her in the swing. She laughed, smiled, and giggled. Absolutely loved it! It was so awesome to see her smile. She hates the swing indoors, partly because it isn't quite as smooth and partly because she has to be buckled in so she doesn't climb out. The swings outside that we have found are designed for little tikes. At least at this point in time, Blessing can't climb out of it or even stand up. So, it makes things just perfect. Plus, the swing is outside where she doesn't feel confined and can enjoy the sunshine and the breeze blowing across her face. She is just like her daddy, absolutely loves the outdoors. I don't mind it either!

That leads me into today. We went to church this morning and listened to a sermon on two of the seven woes in Matthew 23. It was great. We didn't take Blessing to nursery as we sat in the back of the church at a table. She was a wonderful girl and just hung out. After church, we came home and ate some dinner. We put Blessing to bed and went out and mowed the yard. Blessing got up about 3 hours later (she didn't sleep for 3 hours, I promise you that - she sat in her crib and played for about 1.5 hours of that...maybe dozing in and out a little.) Once she got up, I got up and began preparing supper and a couple of casseroles to take over to some friends of ours. She is 31 weeks pregnant and started having contractions on Saturday. So, she spent all day Saturday and most of today in the hospital. We want to bless them and provide a couple of meals for them - at least ease the burden a little.

As I was busy in the kitchen, Mr. Tall took Blessing to her favorite place - outside! He kept buzzing in and out. When I asked him what he was doing, he just smiled and said dinking. When I got my casseroles made and the kitchen cleaned up, I headed outside to look for my two sidekicks. I thought I would find them in the garden weeding or weeding the flower beds. But, I didn't. Instead, I found Blessing sitting in a broken outside chair hanging from a tree and swinging. This sounds terrible, but if you look at the pictures, it really wasn't. Mr. Tall had rigged it up so that she could swing. Blessing was laughing, smiling, and giggling once again. It scared me to see her swinging, but I knew that she was safe. So, Mr. Tall took her out of the swing to make it even better, and she started screaming. She really enjoyed the swing!

So, Mr. Tall spent about another 2.5 hours making it better. He dinked with it and then tested it with Blessing then dinked some more. By about 7:30 pm, he had the swing all put together, hanging from the tree, with Blessing in it. He had even rigged a seatbelt to hold her in sitting down. It was so sweet. So, my question is are we rednecks or resourceful. I would say resourceful - we used a broken chair that couldn't be sat in again to make a swing for our dear daughter. It won't last a lifetime, but it will last long enough for us to scrounge up enough money to buy her a swing.

8 pm rolled around and Blessing went to bed. She crashed hard as she had played hard outside swinging and helping daddy! What a day!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Crazy week

Ok, so what a crazy week.

Monday - I took Blessing to the doctor. She had a bacterial rash on her bum. Also, her weight is still low. So, the doctor put her back on first foods. After leaving the doctor office, I took some back roads and just happened to find the strawberry patch. Blessing and I picked about 10 pounds of strawberries and took them home to surprise Mr. Tall. Then, to the grocery store to pick up a few groceries and to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions. Got home and put
Blessing down for a nap. When Blessing was napping, Mr. Clean and I cleaned out the freezer....It felt so good to organize and know what we have in the freezer. Also, things don't fall out and hit my toes anymore. Then to the hole to pitch dirty diapers and back home to work in the garden. It was a great day......running in the morning, but working in the afternoon.

Tuesday - We stayed home in the morning and I worked on cleaning up our extra bedroom. I also got some papers rounded up and some other paperwork filled out. We left about noon to head into town for a meeting at 1:00. Bad news, we don't qualify for a morgage loan for the house that we really wanted. This is due to our financial situation. However, due to our excellent credit, we qualified for a high risk loan. It is too high of an interest rate for us, especially to give up our first time homeowner privileges. At 2:00, we had an appointment with vocational rehabilitation. It was a very frustrating appointment and basically a joke. Then we ran around town and got the runaround trying to find information. Didn't find anything out, but did end up getting an appointment scheduled for Wednesday. Then to the park to play for awhile....grabbed something light to hold us over until we got home...then to Mr. Tall's class. We were trying to be conservative and save gas.....we saved gas but not much for energy. Home and to bed!

Wednesday - Ok, so I thought this would be a day to get some things accomplished......well, picking strawberries in the rain is one thing I got accomplished. It was great to see Blessing just sitting on a blanket in the row of berries and grabbing some and smushing them. Needless to say, when we left the patch, I couldn't tell who was pinker, Blessing or me. Also, it was so great to hear one of Blessing's friends (who is 2) say sta berri - pick sta berri....You just had to hear it.....Hey mom, pick sta berri. It makes me smile! He is so grown-up for just being 2! What to look forward to! :-) Mr. Clean was at a job, when he got home, I threw together some lunch for our friends and us. We ate and then made two fresh strawberry pies.....oh my, they are delicious! Then, off to my meeting....once again, no good information. Just a bunch of run-around. After processing the meeting, I am determined that God is trying to tell me to trust him and remain faithful to Him and He will take care of us. It is a lesson he is trying to teach is just so hard.....Ran to Wal-mart to get diapers. When I arrived home, we loaded up into the truck and headed to some friends house to deliver some supplies to make jelly.....rhubarb, ziploc baggies, and sugar. We ate supper and took care of a few things. Got home and went to bed again.

Thursday - Today has been another long doesn't seem like our life ever slows down. We will reach a point of just crashing here soon. Mr. Tall had an appointment with his hand surgeon this morning. The surgeon referred him to a pain specialist to hopefully figure out something to help with his immense pain. That appointment is later this month. We had to schedule to go back in 6 weeks. So...nothing changed ---- 6 more weeks of occupational therapy and back to the doctors. We then ate lunch and headed to another appointment at 3 in town. It was an interesting appointment, but we made head way. When we got home, we had to wash the car to get all of the tree sap (dust control for gravel roads) off of the car. So, we washed the car and then fixed supper and relaxed for a few. We then took a walk with Blessing- it was a beautiful evening. Blessing a bath, and to bed. Now, I am writing!

So, a crazy week. I am hoping that tomorrow we can make some headway on the house. After talking with a friend of mine, I have decided that I have to start a routine, FLY lady here I come. I need a morning routine and a night routine. I know I need to start one, so now I just need to sit down and pencil one out so it gets done. Then, I need to promise myself to stick to it for at least 2 weeks.

Oh some news......we are looking at possibly moving to South Dakota. We are so excited about this opportunity. We would be moving to a big 2 story house with no rent and all utilities paid. It would be on 6500 acres of land. Mr. Tall would be helping out as a hunting guide and a farm/irrigation hand. I would possibly have the ability to find some work nearby or even help out at the lodge. It looks to be an opportunity to keep looking into. Mr. Tall has his application sent out.

And, some other good news....Mr. Tall applied for a few jobs at a local hospital. And, when we got home today from all of our running around, he had a phone message saying they would like to interview him! I am excited. That would put Mr. Tall in the hospital setting and working with people - a direction towards what he wants to do.....

So, things are looking at least a little upwards. Not quite so bleak. I will keep you posted.......Maybe even some updated pictures soon!

Sorry about the long post....just enjoy!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Good, the bad, and the Ugly


Ok, so as some of you read this, you may be surprised. Mr. Tall and I are finally both at the same point in life. We are very ready to settle down in a place that we can call our own. We have been renting ever since we have been married (almost 3 years). In a few months, our rent is going to reach $700 each month. It didn't use to bother me, basically because I didn't have any attachments to the area and wanted nothing to do with the people or the place. I didn't know if this was where I wanted to settle down, and Austin definitely didn't want to settle down here.

The past couple of weeks, something has really been on my mind. I am ready to have a house to call my own. This shocked Mr. Tall. So, over the past couple of days, we have been driving around looking at houses for sale or looking for houses for sale. We have an appointment tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at 4:00 to look at 4 acreages near Hubbard. Yes, they are north of where we currently live, and we vowed to not move any farther north. However, we want to live in the country, and these 4 houses could easily be put in our price range. The payments would be near or below what we are currently paying for rent. They are acreages, out in the middle of nowhere! The town of Hubbard reminds me of the town where I grew up.

So, the good is that we are looking for a house. We have been praying about the decision, especially considering our current financial state. However, we think that it would really be good for our family to find a place to call our own and not to "throw" our money away. If it is meant to be, God will open up doors for us. If it isn't meant to be, then things won't work out. However, it is very exciting!!!


Blessing, our 10 month old daughter is not feeling well. She hadn't been pooping for several days. Then, suddenly, today, she has major diarrhea. She has already pooped out what she ate for lunch (peas so we saw the shells). Sorry for the visuals.....

We have attributed this to her cutting teeth. However, she has been running a low-grade fever and has been very irritable and grumpy. She has been cuddly and can't decide whether she wants to play or whether she wants mommy to hold her. She doesn't want much to do with daddy right now, which is weird.

On top of this, she has an interesting rash near her private area. It started like a little rash, then it looked as if it was going to peel, and now it is red and bumpy. It almost looks like little puss pockets. We have been trying desitin, A and D, and now Bag Balm. We called our doctor's office and talked with them about it. They said to use Bag Balm and to come in and see our doctor on Monday (she is on vacation until Monday).

So, hopefully things get better. We have been letting her run around with nothing on while at home to hopefully get some air to it. We will see how tomorrow is....


Work comp (WC). We had an appointment on May 16 to determine whether or not services are going to continue. We got news today that they are going to cut our services because the doctor we saw on the 16th says that there is no pathology or symptoms to warrant a diagnosis. This means that we have 6 appointments left, unless we fight it.

On top of this, the report from the doctor on May 16 contradicts another doctor that we have been seeing. WC wanted to pull his medicine perscription, but haven't yet. This is a good thing, since it does make a difference.

So, where are we...basically no where. We have to wait until the other doctor gets back from vacation to ask her for a full evaluation to be sent to WC. Then, if there are differences, the WC adjustor will contact the doctor from the 16th. It could get messy....

So, more stress related to the accident that changed our lives. We are just taking it one day at a time. Managed care is not fun.

Life is a journey.......I just wish that I knew what God's plan for our journey is. It isn't easy, but we know that He is walking with us every step of the way. A journey.....not a destination.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pictures as promised

South east corner of house (on left)
East side of house - north of porch
(Austin's surprise to me)
East side of house (south of porch)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Making a House a Home

My husband and I have lived in the same house for 2 years and 9 months. So, it is quite a long time to live at the same place, especially for us considering we have only been married 2 years and 11 months!

Well, for the first 2 years, we had no pictures hung on the walls and much stuff was still in boxes. Then, I was pregnant and decided that we needed to make it feel a little bit more like home, so we unpacked and organized and started making it feel more like a home.

Well, as you read from the previous post, things have been tough this year. We haven't known whether or not we will be able to afford the house where we are living (especially since our landlord just finished putting on new siding and installing new windows). Our rent will have increased almost $100 in the next couple of months from a year ago. Crazy since we really don't have a stable income right now.

Anyway, back to the point. My husband has been working at a local greenhouse and they tend to throw away a lot of flowers that are just not top quality. My husband, being the flower hater that he is and understanding that we have no money, has been going dumpster diving! All for me! I had a meeting a week ago and did not get home until late. When I got home, he had planted me a flower bed next to our front porch - all to surprise me and make me feel a little happier. It was so special. I have never felt that loved, especially since he isn't a real big fan of flowers.

Anyway, on Friday of last week he surprised me with a whole trunk and rear seat of the car full of flowers. A result of dumpster diving! Oh, if I could have only taken pictures of that!!! Anyway, today was the day that we planted them. This required digging up some sod and leveling out some areas. But, through it all, we laughed and smiled and sweat! It was a grand time. To me, our house feels more like a home now, just by planting a few flowers that other people were going to throw out! I really take pride in the outside of my house (more than the inside sometimes) and enjoyed driving up to it to see flowers. (I had to leave just so I could drive up and see the fruits of our labors!)

It is amazing what us wives are supposed to do for our husbands. It is well worth our time and effort to make our houses home. Hopefully when we move, we will make sure to get right on that task and not wait 2 years and 9 months to do it!

I will post pictures when I download them off of my camera. What a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The past year (abbreviated)

Ok. I have been told that I am an excellent writer and that I need to begin to document what has been going on in our life the past year, so here goes nothing.

In November of 2005, we learned that we were expecting an addition to our family. What a surprise. Mr. Tall was very ready to have a son or daughter, but I was not ready at all. So, it was a tough transition, which still hasn't happened completely.

My husband was working several hours on a farm about 2 miles from where we live. He would put in over 80 hours most weeks, which made things extremely tough on our relationship. He just didn't know how to slow down, and as a result, struggled with not getting enough sleep. In February, we learned that I would not have a job for the 2006-2007 school year which was a surprise. So, I was looking for a job and gracefully finishing out my 2nd year of teaching.

In May, the school year was drawing to a close and we were getting prepared to have an addition to our family. Mr. Tall was working terribly long hours and not getting much sleep, trying to get the crops in and please his boss. On May 16, 2006, my husband stopped thinking for a split second and stuck his right (dominant) hand into a hay grinder. That split second has changed our lives forever. Things will never be the same. Needless to say, the past year has been one of many ups and downs - many struggles and many successes.

Mr. Tall spent 10 days in the hospital and endured 4 surgeries. He was released, and three days later had an emergency appendectomy. It was a stressful situation, especially being 8 months pregnant.

In July, we had a precious daughter born via C-section. She was 7 pounds .5 ounces and 21 inches long. She was so beautiful. I spent an extra couple of days in the hospital due to some complications, which was a struggle being we had spent so much time there in May.

In December, Mr. Tall quit his job and started a new job. That job did not pan out due to a few accidents, that he was unemployed 7 days later. This was a huge valley for us. He started school and working on his GED, also a huge struggle for him.

He found a job working for a greenhouse 30 miles away on a part time, temporary basis. This has been great for him. However, this job ends in about a week. So, back to square one.

Through this all, we have both been struggling tremendously with the loss. We are both dealing with it in different ways. However, during this past year, God has blessed us tremendously. We have made amazing friends with a couple who moved here from Washington state and have had their own trials and tribulations. We have drawn closer unto God. We are different people because of what has happened. It definitely hasn't been easy, but we are still alive through God's strength.

So, even though this may seem choppy, the post would be way to long for me to go into much detail. So, I will pick up from here.......welcome to our journey of life.