Ethan has made it through all his single digit addition facts! We started working on subtraction concepts this week. He’s already done some of that in his head by solving for unknowns. Now he gets to do it with symbols. I’ve been pretty excited about his progress. I want to make sure he really masters concepts before moving on to the next thing. So far, he’s been mastering things pretty quickly.

Today Ethan was working on reading the “ou” and “ow” combinations like in the words “flour” and “flower”. We also did some geography extra handwriting and worked on some Christmas music. While I was messaging Nathan today, Nathan decided to write some of his message to Ethan. Ethan could actually read most of it without help!

Audrey was feeling a little sad on our way home from AWANA tonight. Nathan was asking Ethan a lot of math questions and she felt left out. So, Nathan gave a chance to answer some different questions tailored to her. I took Ethan in the house while Nathan and Audrey were still talking. A few minutes later, Audrey came upstairs and said to me, “1 plus 1 equals 2”. She was very proud of herself. Nathan did a great job of reminding her that we think she is smart and special too.


Date Night

Nathan and I had an impromptu date night tonight. It was nearing supper time when I decided to call and see if I could get a babysitter for later in the evening. It worked out!

We took off for a coffee shop and talked about life, the future and spent time praying together. It was so good and very much needed. I love being able to share my life with Nathan. I trust him and admire him and appreciate how he does what he can to make my life easy. Not everyone is quite this lucky and I try not to take it for granted.


This is not related, but I was looking back and found this photo sequence from one year ago today. It cracks me up!

Christmas Tradition

I love Christmas. I love the lights and the decorations and the food and movies. It’s the one thing I like about winter. Too bad it comes at the beginning of winter leaving me with nothing but piles of snow, cloudy days and freezing weather from December 26th through May! Oops. I was supposed to be talking about Christmas.


I’m back on track. Christmas. We have a tradition(it’s a tradition because we’ve done it twice now!) to go and get chocolate shakes and then drive to see a house in Waconia that has this elaborate lights display that is set to music. They have their own website here. According to their site, for every minute of music, there is 5 hours of computer programming. The lights are programmed to three different songs this year. Tonight we went and enjoyed the lights together and then Audrey fell asleep on the way home. It was fun!

I Got the Photo to Post!

Look! I got the photo to work!

Such an awesome photo of the boys with my uncle Ralph. They love stories!

It’s been a nice Sunday. It started with a bit of commotion. As I was going out the door to get in the van, Max slipped out and we had to wait for him to run around the yard and neighbors yards for a while before he decided to come back so we could leave. Silly dog. He was so worked up over seeing a cat out there.

After church and lunch, Audrey and I took off and did some shopping. It’s fun to have a daughter old enough to enjoy outings with me. I’m not really a lover of shopping. I would prefer to get what I need and leave. That works well with having a 5 year old along! We picked up a few Christmas gifts and some clothes and I got some dress shoes for Audrey. She was very excited about the shoes!

On an unrelated note, I have discovered my super power. I have the amazing (and embarrassing) ability to put on 9 pounds in less than three weeks. So, even though the holiday season is not an easy time to reign in eating, I can’t wait until the New Year if I want to fit my clothes. I’m back to tracking my food again. I’m okay with that. There is room for eating Christmas treats if I’m not gorging myself every day all day.


Technical Difficulties

I have a very cute photo that I would love to post. It’s of the boys sitting with my uncle as he reads them a story. Picasa is giving me trouble.

Speaking of technical issues, our brand new air compressor broke minutes after Nathan turned it on. Thankfully, after a little searching, Nathan was able to figure out that he would be able to print off a new receipt. We bought it over a month ago so I didn’t keep the recipt. I didn’t think we would need it for anything. Oops. Nathan was able to exchange it. Now we have one that works.


We’re home from celebrating Thanksgiving in Cottage Grove. We had a great time! We had lots of yummy food to eat, the kids wore out Grandpa and we played multiple rounds of goose-egg and hearts while football games played on the TV.

Nathan is quite amused at the person I become while playing card games with my family. I may or may not have declared that I was going to “bring it”. 🙂 Lots of competitive players, but so much fun still.

We brought our camera and didn’t take a single photo. Oh well.

We got home today and pulled out the Christmas decorations. Let me just say that the vision I had of decorating the tree together deteriorated rapidly. Too many breakable ornaments, kids that were too excited to wait and a toddler who really isn’t allowed to touch much all converged together and caused me to almost postpone decorating until after bedtime!

This is what the tree looked like after letting the kids hang their ornaments wherever they wanted (and could reach):

After adding the rest of our ornaments, I balanced the distribution of ornaments a little better.

Nathan perfected setting up the Christmas village. Notice the addition of trees and fences and stonework.



Here’s a view from 9:00pm

Winter Arrives in Winsted

Ethan had a terrible time falling asleep last night. He was so excited about snow coming and he was really disappointed when I told him that it wasn’t coming until the morning. So, he waited and waited this morning. I kept checking the radar for him and I showed him how the weather system was heading this way. At one point, I was thinking that the snow should have arrived by now. I brought up the radar online again. The snow was falling all around us, but there was a circle of clear weather with no snow right over Winsted.

Luckily for Ethan, that didn’t last long!

It’s been snowing, mostly lightly, since noon. We don’t have very much snow, but it has made the roads slippery.

Nathan got to drive home in the snow this afternoon. He finished his CISSP exam. The test was administered in Minneapolis. He said it was very hard. It’s one of those tests where you have to wait to find out if you pass. He’s very happy to have his evenings back. No more studying!

To celebrate winter, after supper, our whole family sat and watched Muppet Christmas Carol. I don’t mind the snow in November. It’s the snow in April that I’m not so excited about!

Master Bedroom Update

5 1/2 years ago we moved into a 2 bedroom home. 4 years ago, we made it into a 3 bedroom home. We grossly overestimated our ability, ambition and resources to undertake house projects while caring for 2 small children when we bought this home.

I’m happy to report that our master bedroom has paint! Now we just need to put up the trim work. I am very happy with how it turned out.



The “after” photo would be more dramatic if the bed was neater, but Max had decided to hang out in our room and Ethan was hiding under the covers! A very heart-felt thanks to my dad for volunteering his time to paint today. He’s a master painter and did a fabulous job!