Sunday, September 29, 2013

Back to the old stomping grounds.

This weekend we went to Minneapolis, just for fun to visit friends. It was a great trip and we got to see lots of people! We didn't get there until late Friday night, so it didn't really start until Saturday. 

Saturday morning we had breakfast with Dan and Kaitlyn, who Kley went to high school with. Then we headed back to Bethel to visit my brother. In the afternoon we hung out with David and Jacquie (Kley's old roommate), who we were staying with. Saturday night we went to Erik's apartment (another of Kley's roommates) who had a bunch of people over. It was a great time and we got to see lots of old Bethel friends! 

This morning we hung out at David and Jacquie's place, ate breakfast/talked. 

It was a great weekend! Below are some pictures from the ice cream shop we visited on Saturday.

Friday, September 27, 2013


On Tuesday, Kley and I went to the showing of Unstoppable. It's the new movie Kirk Cameron made. Heard of him? He was on the show Growing Pains when he was younger, and now travels around speaking about Christ and is involved in making Christian movies. (He was in Fireproof- a very good movie.) He also runs Camp Firefly, where terminally ill children and their families can have an expenses paid retreat. Another fun fact- his sister, Candace Cameron, was DJ on Full House!

Anyways, Unstoppable deals with the question, "Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?" This is a huge question- this question causes many people to be atheists. It's a very hard concept to understand, but the movie was done incredibly well and he did a good job answering it, I think.

The beginning of the movie deals with the early Biblical accounts- Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Noah's ark. It was so neat to see him weave Biblical stories into this, because there was a lot of pain and suffering throughout the whole Bible.

The second half talked about his friend that died of cancer. He ended the movie with talking about Jesus on the cross. Where is God in our suffering? He's right there. We may never know why something happened on this earth, but He does. His plan is perfect. He is still loving and always was and always will be, even if it may not seem like it in the midst of your pain.

Why? Because God watched His own Son die the worst death on the cross and suffer the worst pain, all for us.

Our earthly pain is all worth it and endurable in light of eternity.

(They added another showing- October 3. You should all buy tickets and go see it. Here is the link to learn more about it.)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pumpkin Patch.

This morning our small group went to Patch's Pumpkin Farm in Adel. It was a really good one, and it was a beautiful day! It was really fun!

When you entered they had a bunch of animals.

Duck races.

There were two rounds and a championship round, and Kley won it all. Way to go, baby! What an honor. :)

The best sensory tub ever! Wish I could have that on our playground at school!

Inflatables. We had timed races through this caterpillar. Kley and I unfortunately didn't do so well.

Tractor ride.

Corn maze! 

Kley left me behind in an attempt to win, and I finished before him. Ha.

Kley and I.

The whole gang- Mike and Brittany, Matt and Kate, Dave and Lindsay, and Brian and Nicole (with Brayden!).

Pumpkin patch. I got a medium orange one and a small white one, and it was only $3! I was excited.

Now our apartment is ready for fall. 

It was a great morning/afternoon! If you don't have a pumpkin patch visit on your fall list, it should be added. Happy Saturday!

Happy birthday Kayla!

This post is picture overload, but it's super fun to look through all my old albums on birthdays. Today is my youngest sister Kayla's 15th birthday! Happy birthday Kayla! We are 10 years apart, and according to her, my life didn't really start until the day she was born. In a sense, she's kind of right. Ever since Kayla has been born, my life has drastically improved. :)

Just born. 

Buds even as a baby.

Kayla was drug around to EVERYTHING when she was growing up. She attended pretty much every event of all three of her older siblings. What a trooper. (This was at my DARE graduation! Who else had that at their school?)

Playing Pretty Pretty Princess. If you don't know what that is, you need to play it. No matter how old you are. The object is to get all the jewelry pieces first.

One of the many times Kayla poked her head in my room in the basement just to see what's up. :) Usually I liked it, but sometimes I was annoyed. If I could take all those annoyed moments back, I would. Kayla, you can pop over anytime.

Some of my favorites coming up. Here we are on vacation in St. Maarten. 

This one is probably my favorite. Kayla thought she was so funny and cool. Ha.

Michigan trip.


The time Kayla came with me to OC during the summer to visit Kley. We were at the 4th of July fireworks.

Cancun again. 

Home (I don't actually remember what occasion this was for. Maybe nothing!)

My college graduation.

Another lovely trip Kayla joined Kley and I on- the pumpkin patch.


Kayla, you are funny, sweet, kind, loyal, sarcastic, determined, loving, and so much more. You love the Lord, which is most important. I love that you always came into my room- either just barged right in or tried to be sneaky. Either way, I knew you were coming. I didn't love it at the time, but looking back, I love that you always tried to read my texts/journals. You wanted to be around me and know everything I was doing. I hope you still feel that way. I do about you.

When I started dating Kley, you were upset because he was taking me away, but as soon as he came over and did the fist pump dance to "Bet On It" from High School Musical, you were hooked. You never let us sit by each other, "because we could sit by each other all the time at school," you had to be in the middle. I won't not describe affectionate as one of your top qualities, but when I came home from college, you would hug me randomly a lot. You were the first one to know Kley was going to propose, and kept it a secret for a long time.

I remember when you fell off the chair and broke your arm, and mom made me call dad to come home from the grocery store. I got a C on my science test the next day because I was too worried to study. I remember you bobbing for apples in our old basement during one of the "game days" I made up. I remember playing ancient Mario Kart together. I remember painting your nails. I remember your dance classes. I remember running through the sprinkler in the backyard.

Today, I'm so glad we get to come over and see you more while we are living in Des Moines. In the words of one of the classic Lindsay Lohan movies, Life Size, that we used to watch together, "Shine bright, shine far, don't be shy, be a star. Where you live, where you are, be a star."

Ha. Kayla, as much as we laugh at that song, it's true- you're a star. :)

The ups and downs.

God always has a way of working the ups and downs together. Doesn't it seem like really low moments and really high moments are close together?

At least it does for me. Especially with me job. This week was that week- especially Thursday and Friday.

We have conferences coming up, and I have been working super hard to get ready for them, including working a lot at home. I struggle with being a perfectionist and worrying about what other people think of me, so conferences are hard. I want what I present to be perfect and wonderful. I want all parents to be happy with me and think that I do a great job. But, that can't always happen, and usually doesn't. I'm not a perfect person, and my kids at school clearly aren't perfect either, so there's no way conferences can be perfect! It makes logical sense, but emotionally I still struggle with perfection.

Also, while preparing for conferences this week, I found out multiple times that different people I know are pregnant. My dream is to be a stay-at-home mom. It was like an extra prick from Satan to try to get me upset. I'm working hard for conferences while I watch other people attain my dream.

But, I need contentment. That's not where we are yet, and that's okay. Our day will come for that and it will be beautiful in its time.

Thursday and Friday were coupled with mornings of disobedience and afternoons of enjoyment. Thank you, God, for turning them around.

I told my kids yesterday that they were making me feel frustrated. After a long morning, at lunch there were three forks on the ground. After talking about it, guess what happened 15 seconds later? Another fork on the ground. I felt very frustrated, like I was speaking and no one was listening or following what I said.

God calmed my heart, and it was good. I think it's important to talk about my emotions sometimes, so the kids realize that I am human too and I have feelings. Sometimes kids think adults are robots and they forget/don't understand that we have feelings. I didn't yell, but I told them I wish they would do a better job listening and that disobedience can be frustrating.

Thursday afternoon we had a bad storm here. It got bad really quickly, and started blowing and raining really hard. The sirens went off, and we were in the hallway, ducked down for about 20 minutes. I was so proud of my kids and thankful that God was definitely with us. There's just an innate sense when that happens of calmness, when you think it would be opposite. Everyone listened, laid down, and was still and quiet the entire time.

Friday afternoon we had a great time running around outside together. It was a beautiful afternoon, it was Friday, all the kids were happy and smiling- it was a great moment.

All in all, through the ups and downs, I still think I have the best job.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

0646- I did it!

This morning I ran my first 5k! I am pretty pumped. I have been running for awhile now consistently, but for a long time I never ran past a mile and a half.

This year I decided to kick it up a notch. My dad and I talked about running a 5k together. We were supposed to do it last spring, but that never happened. We looked at the dates, but then never found one that worked for both of us.

We kept running all summer and said we would do one in the fall. We looked again, and found this one- Running with Convoy. I was so excited, because it was at a location I've always wanted to run at (Raccoon River Park), and it was supporting a cause I really liked- feeding impoverished children all over the world. 

Unfortunately, my dad was at my sister's volleyball tournament, but I decided to do it myself. I am so glad I did it. Even as an adult, you still get a little twinge sometimes about doing something new with people you don't know, but it turned out awesome.

Here is my tracker so they can keep my time. I had never seen this before! (Also, check out my new sweet running shoes.)

The shirts they gave us and number 0646!

Unfortunately, I can't get Kley to run with me. But, I did get him to come cheer me on.

Heading up to start (these next pictures all taken by Kley).

Right before they shot the starting gun.

Kley first spotted me coming- I'm so far back you can't even see in the picture. Ha.

Finish line.

You can't really tell what's happening in this picture, but I had just passed this girl in a Cyclone tutu (there was the big Iowa/Iowa State game today). I couldn't let a girl in a tutu beat me. I really wanted to pass this little girl that was running in the left corner with the green shorts, but I couldn't catch her. How can kids be so fast?

Almost done!

Crossing the finish line.

It went better than I thought it would! I'm really glad I did it. It actually felt great, and it was BEAUTIFUL weather outside. The past two weeks here have been about 100 everyday, so it was much harder to run. I had only ran three miles once, last weekend, but had been running about 2 or 2.5 consistently. I ran 3 miles in 34:57 last time, so my dream goal was to finish in under 30, but my realistic goal was to finish under 35. I finished today at 31:32, so I was pretty happy with that!

I was a sprinter in high school and hated running long distances, but I guess that's changed in my adult life. I never thought I'd say this, but I can't wait to run another one! I am proud of myself for working towards a goal and accomplishing it.