Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Marco Polo

Arianna got to have her friend Faith overnight last night. Faith kept asking Mark to come in the pool and play with them. Mark obliged and soon all I heard was:
Marco- Marco- Marco

They had alot of fun though! Hopefully they're good and tired out so they fall asleep tonight.

On a different note: Just to let you all know- I got my MRI results today and what a relief- it was completely normal so it is just a viral thing and I'm happy to say that as of Monday I was really starting to feel better anyway.
Even though this has been a nightmarish couple of months I wouldn't change it because it brought me closer in my relationship with God. On Monday when I prayed I finally just gave it over and said- if this is the path that you have for my life as long as you're in it with me- I will travel it- I did mention that I preferred not to walk it!!! but not my will but your will be done.
Surprisingly (not) that day I started to feel better. I can't tell you the gratitude I feel that God has lifted this burden from me- God is good- all the time!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

God's still working on me!

Well apparently God's not finished with me yet!
I went on church's website and just happened (not a coincidence) to run across Brandon's blog.
He had entered a post earlier in July talking about trials and he mentioned to read Psalm 30.
Well I'm going to post a portion of it because I feel like it was SHOUTING to me!

I will exalt you O Lord for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O Lord you brought me up from the grave you spared me from going down into the pit.
Sing to the Lord, you saints of his, praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment but his favor lasts a lifetime, weeping may remain for a night but rejoicing comes in the morning.

This was so touching to me because I was struggling yesterday with the fear again (I know- I keep taking it back!) and I just prayed this morning that God would make Himself very real to me and that I would feel His presence and then I found Brandons blog- not a coincidence!!
Thank you God for not giving up on me and walking with me through the trials:
I'll leave with the sermon passage from Sunday:
Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk throught the fire; you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

The little sister!

Nick had a friend over on Thursday and they were playing outside alot. He came in and was completely dripping wet. I asked him what he was doing and he jokingly says he went swimming. He then informed me that Halle snuck outside and got the hose and was chasing him and Daniel around and she got Nick!
Nick wasn't mad- what a good brother!
Later that night she was sitting by me and I said something about Nick getting wet outside in the afternoon. She says back to me- "it was me- I sprayed him with the hose- that was pretty funny wasn't it mom!"
I have to admit that yes- I thought it was hilarious!

Friday, July 27, 2007

MRI time

Well today I had my MRI. Mark went with me because they gave me drugs to sedate me because I do not like tight spaces. Well the drugs really do knock you out a bit. Where I went there was no music so I just listened to the banging. The part where they did my neck was the worst because they didn't want me to swallow for 3 minutes at a time. That was hard- I did swallow a couple of times! The head part was much better. I just prayed to God and spoke to the virus or whatever it is and told it My God is more powerful than you are and it is time for you to leave my body! Then I sang hymns. Since I was drugged up all I could think of was Jesus Loves Me, Amazing Grace and Christmas songs- but it worked and it felt good to be praising God in the middle of this trauma in my life!
Hopefully we get the results by Tuesday. Please continue to lift me up- Fear keeps creeping in and I don't want to give it that power over me!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Before we went on vacation the girls were playing in the backyard and when I checked on them this is what I saw.

Normally the horses don't come right up to the fence but they had just mowed so they were hanging around right by our fence.
The girls thought it was awesome!
I love it that we have horses so close to us!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Time to get going again!

Well after a scolding from my big sister- I'm feeling better. To give you the back story- we ended up coming home early from vacation because I wasn't feeling well.
I've been having wierd symptoms for about a month and a half and my mind wouldn't quit thinking the worst. I've been to my Dr twice and the ER once- all 3 dr's have told me they are quite convinced it's a virus.
It's amazing how powerful your mind is. I know that when I keep thinking about it- it's not helping me any. I have decided to pick myself up and move on with my life and we'll see what happens next. (I go to the neurologist sometime- haven't heard when the appointment is going to be yet)
I'd appreciate any prayers that you are willing to lift up for peace and that this virus runs it's course quickly and I can feel normal again.
In any case there are so many people that are so much worse off than me and I'm going to focus on my blessings instead of the small chance that something's wrong.
I'm going to list a few here right now just to get me going:
1. My family- Mark has been great and very supportive- my kids- I've gotten cards from all 3 of them telling me they love me and hope I feel better soon.
2. My friends- you know who you are but Brenda- you go above and beyond- please let me be your shoulder to lean on sometime- I'm really feeling like I owe you big time!
3. My therapists (just kidding- my sisters!) Thanks for knowing when to just smack me up a bit and tell me to get on with my life.
4. I have a nice home, food on the table and everything I need.
5. I'm so thankful I live in the best country in the world.
6. My church family who as soon as they heard about this have been so supportive.
7. My biggest blessing is that I have a God who loves me and I know He won't give me more than I can handle- and I'm going to rest in that promise!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Last day of vacation

Well we are home- safe and sound. We ended up driving 13 hours yesterday and got home at 4:30 this morning.
In the morning yesterday we went to the Laura Ingals Wilder exhibit in DeSmet.
We are so glad we went there- it was fantastic!
The kids got to ride ponies, make rope, make corn husk dolls. We all got to ride in a covered wagon to school and have an old time school lesson. We got to see actual areas that things happened in the books. Afterward we drove down the rode and saw the cemetary of Charles, Carolyn and Carrie.
It really was a fascinating place to visit. Even Mark was impressed- this wasn't one of the stops that he was looking that forward too!
It was a great vacation- but I'm glad to be home too!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

vacation- day 6

We started off the day going to "Cosmos mystery spot" That was so wierd. It's a little cabin up in the mountains that has a strange "pull". Balls roll uphill. Your height changes when you switch spots and I don't know what the explanation is. The feelig you get when you are in the cabin was too much. I started to not feel good so I had to wait outside. Check out these pictures of the girls heights. All they do is switch spots- which they have a level on so it's not that the ground isn't level. After this we went to the Corn Palace today- all that I had heard was correct. Not too exciting. It was nice to see once but I don't think it would be high on my list to revisit.
Cabelas was next. It was a pretty small one but the kids enjoyed it.
We got to our hotel in Brookings, South Dakota around 6:00 p.m. and got quite a surprise~ the hotel has a waterslide in it! The kids are beyond excited. Very fun!
Tomorrow is the Laura Wilder exhibit. The weather is supposed to be great- 76!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vacation-day 5

First off- I'm feeling better- thanks for all the well wishes!
Today we went to Rapid City with no plans. The morning started off rough- we had a severe case of grumpies that hit the girls! There was much fighting and whining going on and then the strangest thing happened- a severe case of frustration and irritation hit both Mark and I!
After some raised voices and some timeouts things got much better and the mood of all parties returned to their pleasant normal disposition.

We started off at panning for gold at Thunder falls. That was pretty much a rip-off and the kids hardly got any gold. Then we went to Dinosaur park which wasn't worth the time. Then we went to a geology museum which also wasn't very exciting. I was getting very dissapointed in Rapid City at this point. We ended up seeing a sign for Thunderhead falls. We drove there and ended up deciding to do it- it was a walk. The walk ended up being inside the mountain- 600 ft to be exact! It was very cool- at the end still inside the mountain was a huge waterfall. That turned the day around. After that we went to crystal mountain cave. That was a 45 minute tour of a cave underground. The kids all loved it. We ended up having a good day after all!
The pictures below are of
1. Panning for gold
2. The waterfall inside the mountain
3. The walkway 600 ft. to get to the waterfall
4. Inside crystal cave
5. A train just outside our hotel that we see a couple times a day.
I'm busy trying to catch up on laundry. I brought my own soap and I'm doing at the guest laundry here at the hotel- what a blessing!
Tomorrow we head to Brookings, S.D. We will be going to a Cabellas- the kids are so excited for thaat- you'd think we'd never been to one before. The Corn Palace is also on our hit list.
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers for safe travel.
Mari- We're praying for you all over the next couple of days! Tell Andy we love him and we're very proud of him!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Vacation day 4

Well I'm going to keep this brief- I'm tired and my stomach isn't feeling well- something I ate isn't agreeing with me at the moment.
Today was another great day. We went to Bear Country in the morning- the kids loved it- you drove through the park and we saw bears, sheep, wolves and lots of other animals.
From there we went to Presidents Park. It was nice- we were only there for about 45 minutes and it was 1/2 mile walk. Perfect in 90 degree heat- although the heat really truly hasn't been bad. I hope I'm not jinxing myself now!
Then we drove up to Spearfish Canyon- wow! So beautiful. We drove and saw all kinds of beautiful sights and then we hiked for about 1 mile to see the waterfall below. Very cool!
Then we stopped along the road at the creek and let the kids play- it was so fun- they all loved it!
I've also posted pictures of last night's lighting ceremony at Mt. Rushmore. Not quite what we expected as we thought it was going to be a light show but they just lit it up. Still pretty though.
Tomorrow we don't have much planned we're just going to play it by ear!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Vacation day 3

We started out the day going to Custer State Park. They have a whole drive you can take- it's about 2 hours. We all loved it. At the end they have a wildlife loop and you can feed donkeys and see buffalo, deer, prairie dogs and antelope. It was very cool. After that we went to Mt. Rushmore. Wow- how beautiful! We are heading back tonight to see the light show. I hope our pictures turn out good from that.
It's almost too much to take in how beautiful God's creation is. As Arianna says-
"God really makes cool stuff!"

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vacation- day 2

Well we made it. The kids did well again today. It is hot here- 95- but are you ready for this- it's really not unbearable!
The badlands are unbelievable- we kept hearing ourselves say- this is incredible but you just couldn't stop saying it!
So Beautiful!
Here are some pictures for you to enjoy. Click on them to enlarge them.
You can't believe the number of prairie dogs through the badlands. The kids thought they were so cute. Tomorrow is Mt. Rushmore- that should be fun. The hotel is nice- it's brand new- hot tub is lovely!
Catch up tomorrow!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Vacation- Day One

Well we made it to Minnesota! We left this morning at 7:00 and we arrived here about 5:30.
We did a little of this:

and a little bit of this:

and by the time we got here this is what we looked like:

Just kidding- at least the last picture. The kids did really well- we had a few minor squabbles but all in all they did great!
We got to the hotel and ordered pizza- You're all shocked right!! Then we hit the pool and hot tub.
I think it's going to be a early night because we have another full day of driving tomorrow- but we have some fun stops that the kids will enjoy tomorrow so that should be good and we have scenery that mom and dad will like so that'll be good for us!
You can pray for us (seriously!) I checked the weather and now they've upped the highs to ::::
Can you hear my screams from here!!
If I'm not a puddle on the floor I'll post again tomorrow night.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Last picture post!

Here's the last post of our camping vacation. Where we camp they always do an egg hunt in July. The kids just love it!
They can't bring bags so they have to tuck in their shirts and drop the eggs down their shirt.
Apparently the kids did quite well!

Tomorrow we leave right away in the morning for our other vacation. You can all be praying for me as we have a long day of driving ahead of us tomorrow with 3 kids in the back seat! I'm so thankful for close neighbors who all know we'll be gone and will be keeping an eye on the house for us!
I will be posting as we go along because I'm bringing the laptop with me so stay tuned.....

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Camping- day 3

I think these pictures are some of my favorites. Mark took over 100 pictures of fireworks! Can you imagine what I'm going to have when we get back from Mt. Rushmore!!!!