Friday, January 29, 2010

A Tribute

Karlena gave me a daily calendar for Christmas with these little inspirational sayings on them. Today’s saying said the following…”Do not save your loving speeches for your friends till they are dead; Do not write them on their tombstones, Speak them rather now instead.”

So because Karlena gave me the calendar that gave me the reminder I am going to pay tribute to my friend Karlena.

Karlena you have been a friend for so many years. During those difficult Junior High years, you were fun to be around, supportive and always happy. Your smile was and still is today infectious. In High School, although we didn’t spend a lot of time together you always treated me as though we were close friends. I think that I could have called on you for any reason, at any time and you would have responded.

When I found out that we were both attending Augustana I was relieved. It was comforting to know that I wouldn’t be alone and that we happened to both choose to live in the “quiet dorm” was no coincidence. I think that God had His hand in our lives as friends long before I realized it.90210/pizza nights in your room were the highlight of my weeks and I will always remember how much we all laughed. Although the school wasn’t where I was meant to be – sharing that experience with you was.

I think our friendship really grew that year and when we both decided to transfer to USD I knew that once again I was going to be able to make the transition smoothly. Remember that awful dorm room at USD. The room was SMALL and every freshman girl on our floor had only one thing in mind….PARTY. I remember us both being so frustrated about the noise. It was a blessing that we were able to transfer early that year to a different room. “ER” nights were on the agenda that year!!

You were the first person, after Dominic, that I called when I found out I was pregnant with Isaac. You had me come with you to Whimpys where I had a chicken dinner with some of your friends from class. I was terrified and sick and knowing that you supported me and loved me was such a blessing during that time.

I couldn’t have chosen a better Maid of Honor at our wedding and I know that you helped me in so many ways during the planning of our big day. You have been so supportive of me time and time again and I am blessed by it.

For several years we didn’t see each other much when we lived far apart. But I always knew that you would be there if I needed a listening ear, or someone to pray for me. I have seen your faith bloom and grow throughout the years and I know that you are a woman after God’s own heart.

A few years ago we started getting together annually for the Women of Faith Conferences. I always look forward to our time at these conferences and love to be able to worship and celebrate God’s amazing grace with you.

You are always overly generous when I come and visit you and I just cherish being able to sit and share life. I know that I can share anything with you and you will love me. You have never judged me or my choices and have been a constant pillar of prayer when I needed it most.
You continue to bless me and my family with your support and I wish that I could express how much that means to me…to us. My life is complete with you as my friend and I hope that I can be that blessing to you also.

So today Karlena I thank God for you. I thank God for the work He has done in you and for the example that you are to me, to so many. My children will grow up knowing about the impact you have had on their mom’s life. You are a true treasure.
Much love, Kristin

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What he's up to...


If you can believe it...our "baby" is now 8 months old. I haven't posted about Elijah specifically for awhile and I wanted to share a few of the new things that he is up to.

He rolled over 2 times in the past 2 days. Now this is something that he has had no interest in for 8 months and all of a sudden he does it twice!

Even more exciting is the fact that he is so very close to crawling! He can get up on all fours and rock back and forth. The he usually slides himself backwards until he is stuck in a corner and gets irritated! :)

He has found a way to scoot himself across the floor to get to where he wants to go. He gets up on his knees and then sits back down and repeats this over and over and somehow it propels him forward! He is very creative!

He is still our toothless boy, but I think that the bottom 2 teeth are close in coming. He had started biting down hard when he has things in his mouth so it is only a matter of time I think.

He is not a good napper and often sleeps for only 30 minutes at a time...unless that is if you are holding him - then he can sleep for hours! He also doesn't believe in the idea of sleeping through the night. He is up every 2-3 hours still! I am not sure how I manage some days but I have become used to our schedule!

He says mama and dada and a few other babbles. He cries every time mom leaves the room - and yes I feel guilty over it!! When he gets mad he does this thing where he throws his arms and legs straight out and makes one loud squeal. Boy does he mean business!

Overall he is a happy baby, who loves to play with his toy helicopter and sorter blocks. He laughs and smiles and sticks out his tounge and we are so blessed that he is a part of our family!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti - How Can We Help?

** UPDATE**
I just wanted to let you know that my dad heard late last night that Fritz is also alive! We are so grateful for this news!! Sadly though he also heard that one of Patrick's children were killed. Please keep his family in your prayers as they struggle to comprehend this loss.

Original Post
First of all I have to start by saying THANK YOU for your prayers for Nicole, Patrick and Fritz. As of last night my dad got a call from Patrick's fiance and he is alive and well! Praise the Lord!! His house has been destroyed, but he is ok and that is what Isaac was most concerned about. Patrick was their interpreter on their trip and we are so pleased to hear that he is well. Please continue to pray for Fritz and his well being and I will let you know if I hear any more.

I wanted to take a little time to share with you a couple of ways that you may be of help, if you like for the people of Haiti.

Locally here in Sioux Falls I have to put a plug in for the Kids Against Hunger Sioux Falls packaging site. As it stands there are over 75,000 meals that are packaged and ready to be sent to Haiti. They are working on finding a way to get them to Haiti fast. So please pray about that. Also if you are interested in supporting us financially so that the supplies can be purchased to pack more meals you can send donations to:
Kids Against Hunger Sioux Falls
2400 S Minnesota Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57105

In addition, KAH is partnering with 2 other local groups Mission Haiti and Helping Hands For Haiti to deliver food and supplies to the people affected by this devastating earthquake. They have put together a list of supplies that they would like to collect in the next couple of days. Please it check out and see if you can be of assistance. Donations can be dropped off at:
The Blessed Door
3300 S Holly Ave
Sioux Falls, SD

Finally, Compassion International sponsors and donors serve more than 65,000 children in Haiti. At least a third of them live in the areas that were hardest hit. Compassion International is working rapidly to assess the situation and determine the full extent of damage. Without a doubt, the children they serve in Haiti are in shock and face immediate needs for food, water, medical care, shelter and counseling. Compassion has teams prepared to respond, and they are deeply committed to helping each child. They need your help immediately. Please reach out in the name of Jesus to bring relief, comfort, love and restoration to precious children and families whose lives have been devastated by this crisis.

Please pray about how you might be able to help on a local and national level. And most importantly please continue to lift the Haitians up in your prayers.
Lord, We are committed to helping Your children and we look to You to lead us in the ways that we individually can respond to this crisis. We place the people, the children of Haiti in Your hands and ask that You continue to protect them and cover them with grace as they begin the process of restoration and recovery from this disaster. We know Lord that you are faithful and we pray that in all of this You may receive the glory. Amen

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prayers for Haiti

**UPDATE**
We have received word that Nicole has had contact with her parents who strangly enough live in Parker SD where we go to church! She is safe and we are thanking God for answering that prayer!

Original Post

As all of you have probably seen and heard a devestating earthquake has hit Haiti near the capital city of Port au Prince. Just one week ago Isaac and my dad were in this very area. I am struck by emotions of relief and sadness at the same time.

Relief that it didn't happen sooner but sadness that it had to happen at all. Please join me in praying for the Haitian people. Isaac is very concerned about the people that he met while he was there and is worried that some of them may be hurt.

Specifically remember Fritz, Patrick and Nicole. They haven't been able to contact them to see if they are safe due to difficulity with communications right now. So as we wait to hear we are lifting them up in prayer.

Lord, we don't understand why devastation of this magnitude has to occur. But we ask today Lord that you cover our Hatian friends in a blanket of safety. Help us as individuals, as a nation to know how to best help. We place Fritz, Nicole and Patrick in your hands and pray that we receive word soon of their well-being. Amen

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bring Your Heavy Spirit to the Lord

Today my spirit is feeling heavy. Sometimes the weight of the world around me – even if it isn’t my direct “problem” – seems like so much. I guess to be honest there are times that I struggle to reconcile with why things have to be the way they are in this world.

Why are some babies born with fatal illnesses – illnesses that take the life of an 11 month old baby boy?
Please pray for Ryan and Ashley as they just lost their son last week to Spinal Muscular Dystrophy.

Why do dads have to find out they have cancer and within weeks go so downhill?
Please pray for Lesli and her family as they deal with the continued “bad news” and work to do what is best for her dad.

Why do children have to live in extreme poverty, extreme hunger? Why does a 20 year old boy- no larger than my 6 year old have to live life naked, on the ground, with bent arms and legs from cerebral palsy – where the simple act of playing catch brings a smile to his face?
Please pray for the people of Haiti, especially the children.

Why didn’t I wake up this morning feeling grateful? Grateful that my children are healthy and thriving. Grateful that my parents are still here and we get to see them every week. Grateful that no one in our family has ever felt the pains of having nothing to eat, or a chill from having nothing to wear.

I guess the honest truth is that most of the time I am so focused on myself that I forget that there is this world out there hurting, struggling, and dying. I take my luxuries, my children, and my family for granted. I get irritated because someone left their dirty socks on the living room floor, or frustrated that I am not getting a full night’s sleep, or angry that one of my kids is ignoring what I have asked them to do.

And then there are times like right now. Where in the middle of my day I am struck with this overwhelming heaviness, when I should be working but I can’t seem to focus on the task at hand. Maybe this is the Holy Spirit prodding me to prayer.

Honestly, right now that is all that I can do. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t understand the “whys”. But I do have a mighty God that does have all the answers, that does know all the “whys”. And at a moment like this all I can do is lift up my hands and offer up these requests to Him.

So I lay at His feet the grieving parents. And I lay at His feet the struggling family. And I lay at His feet the broken children and I trust that while He may not stop the “bad” from happening – He is walking alongside every father and mother, every sister, every brother, every child.

“The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green Pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. Psalms 23:1-6

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. We will be celebrating with dinner at Beth's house tonight. We wanted to do something special for her and Beth came up with the idea to think of 60 things that we love and apprecaite about our mom. So I talked to my brother Mark and the three of us went to work coming up with personal reasons why we love our mom. In honor of her and who she is to each of us I want to share those here today!


60 Reasons Why We Love and Appreciate You!

Growing Up

You always took care of all of our needs, dinner, laundry, and homework help and got very little thanks for it.


You planned and organized family vacations and helped us develop a love for travelling as a family.


You were always home after school if we needed, something I wish I could now do for my own kids, but never truly appreciated at the time.


You always asked how my day at school went, even if you knew I didn’t want to talk about it, and that made me know that you cared about me.


You were there when my dreams didn’t work out as planned and helped me see that there were other dreams to be had.


You always made Christmas fun and I have so many memories as a child from those times.


You taught me the value of working to get something that I wanted and didn’t just give me everything that I asked for. I hope that I can do the same for my kids.


You encouraged me to be kind and giving towards others.


You helped me type out school papers many times on that old typewriter we had.


You would let me watch CHIPS in the basement and eat frozen dinners on those few nights we had a babysitter.


For making handmade Cabbage Patch Dolls for each of us one Christmas.


You were an example of how to be a loving wife.


For renting 8-tracks to listen to on long car rides. “C is for cookie….”


For teaching me to do what I love.


For reminding me at a softball game that I was not playing golf.


For getting me up every Sunday morning to get me to church.


For teaching me to follow my dreams.


For all the home cooked meals you made.


For letting us have a dog, even though you didn’t want one.


You made me hamburgers in the oven in Kindergarten and I loved them.


You always tucked me in a night and left a light on for me.


You packed my lunch every day so that I wouldn’t have to eat school food.


You always picked me up from elementary school and I never had to take the bus.


You spent time with me as a kid and I am lucky that you were home so much.


You helped me get through 6th and 7th grade computer class.


You let me decorate my room using my own ideas and creativity.


You always had supper ready at 5:30 each night and cooked a delicious family meal.


You were my cheerleader when I was in sports and at so many of my events.


I appreciate all the work you did to smoothly run a family of 5.


Today


You have always been just a phone call away.


You let me make and learn from my own mistakes even when it was hard on you to watch.


You shared and taught me how to use your recipes so that I could make meals for my family.


You are always there when I need advice about my kids.


You are generous with your time and make arrangements to help us pick them up when we need.


You are always willing to spend time with your grandkids and find ways to make them feel special.


You are a “cool grandma” just because you have your own Wii and games for it!


You are considerate in finding ways to do something special for Gabriel, buying his favorite treat, or bringing him “green pop” when you pick him up for us.


You find ways to have fun with the girls on our “retail shopping trips” and are always overly generous.


You pray for us at red stop lights.


You taught me what it means to be a woman of faith.


You have been accepting and forgiving even when I didn’t deserve it.


You are still happily married to dad.


You encouraged me to go to school.


You allowed me to make my own decisions.


You don’t smoke or drink.


You are very forgiving.


You always let me know that you love me.


For praying for us when you are at a stoplight.


For all the financial help to keep me going. I can’t say enough how I have appreciated that.


You know how to stimulate the Minnesota economy better than anyone and I love bonding on our shopping trips.


You are a fabulous grandma to Isabel and I never worry about her when she is in your care.


You support and pray for my family and truly want what is best for us.


I can call you and blab about anything and you always listen.


You love all of us unconditionally and never give up on us.


You have taught me to be organized, neat, and always on time.


You spoil us even as adults.


You are a great shopping partner and I love being your “fashion expert”.


You give me great advice on being a parent.


Because you have loved each of us wholly but also each in our own special way.


We are so blessed to have you as our mother.



Happy Birthday Mom! We are all who we are today because of you and dad and we are so proud to call you our mom!


Kristin, Mark and Beth

Monday, January 4, 2010

Operation Stellan's Bible

My sweet blogger friend Amanda who not only is now a famous Fox 9 TV baking "personality" is also a tender-hearted mother who thought of this great idea to send something special to sweet Stellan.

If you remember I asked you to pray for Stellan when he was in the hospital and very sick with a heart condition (SVT). If you have followed MckMama's blog you know the story of how God, with the help of some amazing doctors, healed Stellan's heart! Praise the Lord!!

Amanda recently wrote this post where she came up with the idea to send Stellan a bible with a favorite bible verse underlined just for him. But she wanted to share with others this loving act and invited readers to participate with her.

Today Stellan's bible was in my mailbox! It is a beautiful bible with really big margins for comments - how perfect! I was so excited to to underline a special verse. I would pray this verse for my children as well - it would be my hearts desire that my boys grow to be strong men of God who love Him with all that they have.

Luke 10:27 And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."

My prayer this year for myself, for my husband, my children and family and friends is that we be compelled to love God fervently, with everything that we have, everything that He gives us. Because without Him - none of this is possible anyways. I am so grateful to be able to pray for others and if you have a prayer request you would like to share - please leave me a comment and I will lift you up to the God that loves us.


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