Saturday, January 30, 2010

I know I said I wouldn't blog...

I said on facebook that our computer is broken so I couldn't blog for awhile. The borrowed laptop is still at our house, though, and I have stuff to blog about. I'm just full of surprises.

Besides our computer being sick with a virus, that it should recover from next Tuesday, we still plan on getting a new one, since our old one is almost 8 years old now, and in computer years, that's ancient. We'll just do a bit more research, and hopefully get updated soon.

Unfortunately, the computer isn't the only thing that got sick in our house. Elias has had a light cough for a few days that has turned into a heavy cough yesterday, that turned into a wheeze this morning. We don't like wheezing, so I brought him into the weekend clinic this morning.

After being checked out, the doctor thinks it's RSV again, or croup. He doesn't know for sure which one. However, since he has a history of RSV, and if you get it once, it's likely you'll get it again, he's leaning towards that. Fortunately, it's not at the hospitalization level like it was last year...at least yet. He's older and stronger this year.

Still, we picked up a prescription for some steroids. He said if it's asthma (which he doesn't think it is because the wheezing would be lower in the lungs for asthma, though in a small child, he said, it's difficult to tell) the steroids would help a lot. If it's RSV, it would help some, and may keep him out of the hospital. If it's croup, the steroids won't help, but won't hurt. So he's on the 'roids for now.

The other thing that makes the doctor think he doesn't need to be in the hospital now is he still wants to play, and he's still drinking (although he hasn't eaten anything all day.) If he stops drinking, or stops playing, we need to bring him in to the hospital. The wheeze is on the exhale right now, and if that changes where he's struggling to get air in, that will be a problem.

I feel like I'm just blogging about sickness lately, and I don't mean to be so dramatic! Overall, we're a very healthy family. We don't have any major health problems, and for that we are so thankful!

Other than that, life has about returned to normal after our eventful Christmas. Knut is skiing more and more in preparation for his race coming up at the end of February. He's hoping to get at least 3 hours in this afternoon.

I've been sewing and knitting during naptimes and other sleeping kid time. I'm working more now on that then I plan to once the online store is open. I just want to have a stock built up so I have something to start with. I think the start up time is more than the maintanence time will be. It's a good time, though. Knut is in his "off" season on the farm, and is home so much more now to help out and pick up the slack so I can do this. He has been so supportive. I'll admit, it's been so fun. The planning and sewing and knitting and crafting in general.

He is still working, though. He goes to meetings and seminars. However, he's home in the evenings, and on the weekends, and some random days during the week. Sometimes he's done with work at noon. So it's been very nice to have him around.

I've gotten my license approved and ready to sew and sell "La Di Da" diapers, which is a relief that is done. Not only will that be good publicity to be listed on her site as one of her approved seamstresses, it will be sort of a quality seal on my diapers. I need to get one more license done, and that's for the wool covers I'm making. I'm hoping to get a license through "Little Turtle Knits" diapering items, since I'm not a pattern designer, and her covers are in my opinion, the best. That process is a bit more involved, though, so I don't think I'll be able to have the wool covers in the store in time for the grand opening. I am working on having everything ready, though, so that when the approval comes through, I'll be able to list them right away.

So Elias and I might be laying low until Elias recovers. Hopefully his wheezing doesn't get worse. These things always happen on the weekend, don't they? When the clinic is closed and you have to go to the emergency room. I'm hoping, though, that since he is a year older than when RSV hit him last, and he is 26ish lbs now, and he is still active, that this will pass quickly. Last year when Elias had RSV, the other kids had colds, which our doctor told us is just RSV manifesting itself in older children. So far, no one else in the house is sick, and I'll do my best to keep it that way.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Well, I've been busy. Busy doing what? Besides catching up on housework that laid dormant for the last month, and besides getting Silje back in school, and the boys back on schedule. Besides sleeping in on Silje's first ever snow day...

I've been busy.

While Knut has been busy skiing every chance he can get for hours at a time as a part of his training for the Birkie race coming up at the end of February, I've had my own pet project:

Photobucket

That's right, I'm opening up a shop. An online shop that is. I've been resisting it for awhile, but as I was sewing up the dozens of diapers for my sister's twins, I occurred to me that I was having fun, and I wouldn't mind making a little money on the side. When coming up with a store name, I was again inspired by my sister. Her nickname for me was "Nerdy Gerdy" growing up, and I thought it made for a funny and memorable name, and so there you go.

When I finally decided to go with it, and was working on a business plan before diving in, I went down to Phoenix, and got a whopping reaction from all the woman at my sister's shower, who were seeing "modern" cloth diapers for the first time. As I got phone numbers from women pressed into my hands with a "call me when you're selling these...I love them." I realized there was no turning back.

So I've been busy...


making the most scrumptious wool covers...


figuring out the fancy "welt pocket" opening for the pocket diapers, (The openings are large enough for Knut to even stuff a prefold in, and if you've seen his hands, you know that's saying something.)


and sewing up the cutest little all-in-ones. These newborn sized ones make me squeel every time I walk past them. I can't help it.

Those aren't even close to all of what I've been working on to stock my store with. In fact, that's not even 1/4 of what I've been working on.

But it's a hint of things to come.

Grand Opening March 1st.

I've been disciplined enough to only sew when the kids are in bed, so the only thing I've had to give up so far is t.v. time...and that's not so bad. There is still a bunch to finish up, though. I'm quite excited.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Few Pictures

Here's a few pictures of what we've been up to.

These are David's new "race car pajamas" that I just finished. They were supposed to be done by Christmas, but as Sassy had some trouble before Christmas, some of the presents got delayed. As you can see, he LOVES mama made p.j.s.



Last Saturday, we left Elias with the grandparents, and took Silje and David out skiing. This time, it was David who was having trouble, and Silje who shone. Since David skis almost every morning in our yard, we weren't sure what his deal was. He normally doesn't have poles at home, though, so that could be part of it.


Silje took the lead, and loved the trail.

I think there might be skiing in our whole family's future!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

His Dresser Runneth Over

I'm not afraid to admit it: I'm a frugal person. "Frugal" is a much nicer word that "stingy" or "cheap" so I'll use that. I'll rarely buy my kids clothes unless it's on the 75% off rack at Target. Sometimes I'll splurge and get an item or two off the 50% rack, but that's only if they really need it right then, or I know it rarely goes on sale, and they will need it and there's only one left on the rack, etc. I buy my boys 2 pairs of shoes a year: a winter pair and summer sandals. Boots get handed down, and I buy them usually 2 sizes too big so they'll last a few years. Silje gets 3 pairs of shoes a year, and that's because I think she should have a pair of dress shoes to wear to church with her dresses in the winter, instead of her tennis shoes. In the summer, she just wears her sandals with her dresses.

However, I'll admit, and this is in no way trying to toot my horn, I love buying things for other people more than for myself. This is most true when it comes to my sister, Heidi. It goes both ways, because I think she has as much fun spoiling me as I have spoiling her. Both of us are cheap as cheap could be, but we'd eat Raman noodles for a week to afford to get stuff for each other. When I was pregnant with Elias, she sent me a gift in the mail each month of the pregnancy. Sometimes it was just a fun lotion, or purse, or maybe even something for the baby on the way.

So although everyone else seemed surprised when I offered to make Heidi's diapers, when she found out she was pregnant, I think she and I knew that I really wanted to do it. (There are more to come, you know. I only made the size smalls. We still have mediums and larges to go!) When I said that however, no one know she was having twins yet. When I found out I would be making twice as many diapers as I had promised to, some family members pulled together and helped me out with the cost of materials for the rest, which was so nice. However, knowing Heidi, she was thinking of a way to bless me back, since I was still going to have to do twice the sewing.

So when she called me saying that her son Jack had outgrown some clothes that Elias might fit into that she was going to get rid of, I agreed I'd love them. You see, David is a bit, well, how can I put it...rough and tumble? And his clothes, well...show it. So poor Elias inherited a wardrobe of tattered clothing. It was so bad that I was getting to the point of considering paying full price for a decent pair of pants for him to wear. Yeah...I know! Me considering full price is pretty desperate!

I knew Heidi's son Jack, had an awesome wardrobe. How, might you ask, did Jack get such an amazing wardrobe with a "frugal" mom? Well, Heidi has a friend who has, well, really rich friends. And these really rich friends asked Heidi's friend if she knew anyone they could hand clothes down to, and Heidi's friend said Heidi might like them.

Did you follow that?

So Heidi got a huge amount of clothes from this rich neighborhood of families. All of the clothes were worn by just one child, and there were so many of them, that hardly any of them had a chance to wear out. So my nephew Jack had such a good rotation of clothes that they hardly wore out, and now, this huge stash of clothes is Elias'.

And let me tell you, now his dresser runneth over.

I just finished finally going through them and WOW! Just WOW!

There are 7 swimming shorts. Seven. That may be a fundamental wardrobe difference between Arizona and Minnesota, but still...seven.

In Elias' dresser, I had short sleeve shirts on one side of a drawer, and long sleeves on another side. As I was cramming in all those Ralph Lauren and Gymboree shirts and they weren't all fitting in, I had to take out all his remotely warm clothes, and pack them away for summer. So now his summer clothes fill up a huge trash bag in the closet by themselves, when usually that entire size (both summer and winter clothes) fills one bag.

And the shoes! There are at at least 5 pairs of shoes in each size...for his next few sizes: at least one pair of Converse shoes, one pair of dress shoes, one pair of casual sandals, and one pair of leather/dressy sandals, and one pair of house slippers. Again, there's barely any dirt even on these shoes.

As I have just spent the last 2 hours sorting, folding, and putting away all of these clothes I can't help but feel blessed.

This is grace. This is God's blessing...for no reason. Why on earth I get to have the fun of dressing my baby in these fun clothes is beyond me. My sister and I had kind of a saying growing up. Since my parents divorced at an early age, and my Dad lived miles and miles away, and then went through a bought of unemployment due to several factors, we went through some times of need together.

We always remembered, though, that although our earthly father couldn't always come through for us, our Heavenly Father always did. And when you take God, not just as your Savior, but as your Father, you can ask him of anything you would normally ask your Daddy. For example: when we would normally ask our Dad for money for a dress for a school banquet/dance, and we couldn't do that, we would ask God. Seriously! We would ask God for it. And then one would at least arrive on our doorstep, being our exact size and look great on us, or we would find it on a clearance rack, costing less than $20.

When each of us were getting married, and much of the burden of paying for the wedding was on us, it got tough. I remember talking on the phone with Heidi during one of those stressful times as I was trying to put myself through college and pay for my wedding at the same time she would say "Gretchen, our Daddy owns a thousand cattlle on a hill. You can ask him for anything. This is HIS DAUGHTER'S wedding. And the Father of the bride pays. It's tradition." And you know what, I'm not sure how, but it all worked out. Because that's God.

I think like any father, God doesn't want to feel used, or feel like his only relationship with us is simply an exchange of stuff. In fact, I think the blessings God has to offer, go way way way further than stuff.

But God cares about the "stuff" too. I honestly feel like God has fun giving to Heidi and me, just like we have fun giving to each other.

Sometimes, it overwhelms me.

God provided not only our weddings, but amazing husbands for us. Husbands who are hard workers, and amazing fathers. God provided vans when we needed them, and children in both number, timing, and temperment, that most obviously he picked out! God gave us this house, which is the nicest home I have ever had in my whole life. Why would God do that?

And on top of that, God has clothed my children in fine clothes. I am overwhelmed, and most obviously, Elias' dresser now runneth over.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Frosty Morning

These kinds of mornings are magical.

When the fog descends, and then freezes, creating an amazingly beautiful morning. Look at this peek into the woods behind our house.


See our apple orchard.


I think the tire swing tree was my favorite.


So it got two pictures.


Here are my lilac bushes.


And our, um...ahem, antique shed.


Our summer kitchen, with an old wheel Knut found in the fields a few years ago.


Doesn't it make my kitchen look so warm and cozy?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's a Privilege

There was a saying I heard throughout my childhood from the time my grandparents lived with us to leaving the house. "It's a privilege." It's a saying my grandpa used to tell my mom when she was sick and he would take care of her. She'd say "I'm sorry Dad, that I threw up all over" or something to that effect, and he would say "Mary, It's a privilege to take care of you." It's a saying my mom continued to say whenever I felt bad that I needed her for something that wasn't so fun for her, such as changing the sheets in the middle of the night, or holding my hair as I lean over the toilet.

"It's a Privilege."

That saying came to mind last night. I had a bad headache last night, and fortunately took medication before it got out of hand, but forgot to take it again before I went to bed. So at 4:30 am, I woke up with a splitting headache, and even the smallest sounds in our quiet house made my head throb. So I pulled myself out of bed and took some medicine again, and crawled back in bed, and laid there until the meds kicked in and let me go back to sleep.

About a half hour into my new sleep, Elias woke up. It was so close to his wake up time, but still to early, so I thought I'd try to get him to go back to sleep since he didn't seem ready to wake up for the day yet anyway, and it would fit into our schedule this morning if he slept in late instead of taking his morning nap.

So I changed his diaper, which is normally all he needs, and laid him back down. He just screamed. Afraid that he'd wake up everyone else during this dangerously close to wake up time in the early early morning, causing everyone (myself probably the most) to have a cranky day. So I picked him up again, and he just snuggled as close to me as he could. I snuggled him for a few more minutes, and then tried again. Screaming again. So I picked him up. I could not have him wake up the other kids, but it was obvious that neither he or I had enough sleep yet.

So I took him downstairs and warmed up some milk, and sat in front of the fireplace in the living room and snuggled him as he gulped it down.

I was annoyed because he doesn't normally get a bottle at night, and it just turns what could have been a zombie-like trance of changing his diaper and going back to bed into an all out awake awareness that I had to be fully awake again before headed back to bed. I know...sob sob...poor me. But with just around 5 hours of sleep under my belt for the night, I was annoyed.

"It's a privilege" came to mind. I looked in my son's eyes in the firelight, and the way he wanted to be as close to me as humanly possible. How could I be annoyed that I was awake for such a moment as this? How could I be angry that it was me who had to get up, or angry that he would not go back down after getting his diaper changed. I get to feed him a bottle in the middle of the night! I am privileged to do it.

It was so appropriate that this week at my Bible study, we were talking about God's multiple references to children as blessings in the Psalms of accent. Let's be honest, though. Sometimes, though, children don't feel like blessings. They feel like work. Well, that's usually because children are work...and a lot of it! I mean, no one can deny the truth of children being blessings, but we don't always think of them being blessings. It lead us to a discussion on what other things we see as "work" but God gave them to us as "blessings."

It made me think, that the fine line difference between "work" and "blessing" is often our attitude. Think of all the blessings that we miss out on because we just see them as more work.

So that's my deep thought for the morning, and something for you all to chew on. That's also my big news for the morning: I got up in the middle of the night when I've gotten used to sleeping. Now I need to pull my 3 kids together, and runs a ton of errands with them, and as I unbuckle and rebuckle carseat straps 83 times, remind them at every stop to not touch the candy at the check out, to use inside voices, to tell them not to run up and down the store aisles, and to answer the 3,451 questions that they will have for me along the way, I will try to recite to myself:

"It's a Privilege."

Because that is the truth.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wasting No Time

Wasting...


no...


time.


Knut's going to be so jealous that David went skiing this morning!

Good Morning!

Good Morning! We arrived back home last night, after a 2 day drive with 3 kids cross country. This morning we got up early to get Silje on the bus, and then Knut went back to bed for a few more precious moments of sleep, and I went to the basement to do some gentle "Wholly Fit" Christian yoga to try to work out all of the kinks acquired on the drive.

I've been feeling better each day, and taking less and less drugs each day. I'm down to just Tylenol once or twice a day, which isn't bad. I don't feel as though my strength is completely returned yet, and I'm pretty sure I lost some weight over the course of this all. It was pretty painful to eat when the tumor was so big, but of course I still had to eat. Still, those who know me know I have no weight to lose, and I get pretty weak pretty fast when I do lose it. So I think I'll be feeling a little weak until I return to a healthier weight.

I know people might just think that's a ticket to each junk food for the next few weeks, but you try eating a bunch of junk food and then taking care of 3 kids. It's impossible. Junk food won't give me the strength and endurance to keep up with them! So it will be, like everything else, a process, and one that I hope goes well.

The trip back went without a hitch. I can't remember the last time we did that drive in such beautiful conditions! We were able to break each day into a morning, afternoon, and evening shift. I took the afternoon one, and Knut took the others. The kids were restless the first day, and tired and cranky the second day.

Poor Elias was just pulling at his 5 point strap and screaming in frustration the second day. You should see him move today! He won't stay still or listen for anything. He's just a crawling tornado going through my house. Nothing has gotten unpacked yet because of him, and I'm hoping he will take a morning nap this morning so I can at least have a few minutes to find the floor in my kitchen today.

Knut was kind enough to unload the van last night, and gave me the job of starting a fire in the fireplace. As I waited for the fire to really take off, I sat on the floor and read through the pile of Christmas letters sent to us while we were gone. What fun that was to sit and "catch up" with so many people who we love. My Christmas letter did not get done this year, and even though the stationary and stamps are sitting in front of me, I think I've decided to save them for next year. Sometimes, life hands you an extraordinarily hard season, and this last fall was ours. Things had to get cut. My family didn't get my Christmas cookies (although we did get Aunt Heidi's!) and you all won't get our Christmas card this year. I'm sure every year won't be like this though. At least I hope!

But back to the trip, the fun thing about a road trip is all the opportunities to hear the kids play together. Sometimes, I don't get their humor. They would laugh hysterically over the weirdest things. Knock knock jokes are their favorite right now, and they love to make them up. The one that had them in stitches the most was:

"Knock, knock"
"Who's there?"
"tree"
"tree who?"
"Aren't you glad you didn't eat a firetruck hamburger?"

I know...I don't get it either, but apparently it's the funniest joke ever told.

I have so much to do that I'm not sure where to start, but as Elias runs around like a mad man, the safest place for him to be is in the playroom in the basement, and the only thing for me to do down here is blog, so here I am. We need groceries, but I don't know when or how I'll get to the store today. We need to pick up Lena, but again, the when and hows are unknown. Knut will be working a bit today, but I'm not sure when or for how long.

So basically, we're home. We have no clue what we're doing, but we're here, and glad to be here. Hopefully this new year will be a new start. Hopefully we can leave behind the terribly long and frustrating harvest, the painful miscarriage and health issues that followed, and the radiator leak in our van found just hours before a 30 hour round the clock road trips down to Arizona. That was so 2009.

2010 has a surgery with a best case scenario outcome in it, and a perfect weather for a road trip, in which we had no van problems. So far...2010 is looking good.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Surgery at Last

I'm home from the hospital now: tumor free. Everything went as we hoped for. He was able to do it liposcopically (I have no idea how to spell that, but it's when they go through your belly button.) I mentioned to the anesthesiologist that last time I went under to get my wisdom teeth out, I got terribly nauseous. She said she normally puts some anti-nausea medication in with it, but she would go the whole nine yards with that since I had a history of that. When I woke up, the nurse made some comment like, "Whoa, you got the huge anti-nausea cocktail!" since they had put me on multiple kinds of anti-nausea drugs.

I'm at my parents now, ready to take some drugs before bed. I simply have 3 bandaids on my stomach. I'm having trouble walking, as I get dizzy easily and I don't fully trust my stomach muscles. I'm tired, so I think I'll go to bed soon.

I guess they fill my abdomen with some gas for the surgery, and the most pain I have is that gas that has now risen to my shoulders, and they hurt a lot. My mom got a heating pack on it now, and they're taking turns rubbing the shoulders. Even though I'm unsteady on my feet, I feel better when I walk around, and the nurses recommended I do that to work out all the surgery gas.

I just wanted to stop in and thank everyone for the prayers. They were able to save the ovary, and they were able to do the minimal cuts that they were hoping to, and the tumor did not have any red flags of something bad when it came out. Supposedly, I'm supposed to feel pretty good tomorrow.

If I said anything stupid in this post, it's the drugs talking. I was just so appreciated of my dear friends on here who were praying for me, and wanted to post that the best case senario took place.

Monday, January 4, 2010

City vs. Country

I'm starting to know my way around this big hospital down here. This morning I was able to get my surgery moved up from Wednesday night to Tuesday afternoon. So I had to go into the hospital today to get some additional blood work done as part of their surgery prep, and I am now tagged at the wrist, and ready to go tomorrow.

On the way home from the hospital, Knut wanted me to pick up a cheesecake from the grocery store as a surprise for my parents tonight. Although, it's not for them, I don't think. Because, you know, he wouldn't benefit from that at all!

I went into Safeway, and city living flooded back to me. It's one thing to visit a city, it's another to live there. When you shop for groceries, you're living. You should have seen the selection they had! Their ice cream aisle was the size of the entire frozen food section at my grocery store back home. And the cheeses! I just loved walking by and reading the names of all of them! I could have stayed in there for a few hours, but my energy was running low.

It's probably a good thing we don't live in the city anymore, because I can't even imagine how high our grocery bill would be, because I'd want to try everything out.

I've found that I like Phoenix much more now than when I lived here. That's pretty easy to say when the temperature is in the negative degrees back home! I drove around today with the windows down, and loathed the fact that I had only brought long sleeves. I get a headache almost every time I go out without sunglasses on.

However, we stick out like a sore thumb down here. The wonderful van that we're driving is dirty, and all the vehicles down here shine. One guy at church last Sunday (who comes up north a few times a year) laughed and said "Now you guys are from Minnesota! I don't even need to see the plates. It's dirty, and a plug for the block heater is hanging out the front." I'm sure we should have gotten it cleaned right away, but our whole vacation, or at least my whole vacation has been consumed with doctor visits, hospital visits, and such.

Still, there's something about walking past teenagers making out on top of the grocery carts in front of a Safeway, that makes you think "We're not in Kansas anymore." Here you can leave the back door wide open, and not have a thought about bugs or cold running in. There is no bundling up to go outside, and there is shopping galore.

Still, I don't think it holds a candle to our charmed life on the farm. At home Knut gets to come home for lunch on most days. At home I get to have a huge garden, which is almost a foreign concept down here. Back home there is skiing and snowmen and a 2 wardrobes for the different seasons. Back home the leaves (usually) fall in a rainbow of colors, and back home, tulips pop up in the spring.

As you can tell, I think we're mentally ready to be home, although the reality of that will probably smack us in the face, as arctic temperatures tend to do. There will probably be no update by me about the surgery tomorrow afternoon. I'm setting aside lots of time for throwing up as I come off the anesthesia. Then we'll be walking the fine line of figuring out when to come home after that. Not too soon, as we don't want to push my health to any breaking point, and not too late, as we cannot trespass on my parent's or the farm's (or the sweet people watching Lena) kindness longer than necessary. Plus, despite the warm, beautiful weather, I think we're ready to be home.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Good News, Bad News

News around here has been changing so fast. As soon as I've headed to the computer to blog, that news changes. I'll warn you, this post is very long...but I'm giving you a few fun pictures at the end, so it will be worth it.

The good news is they've ruled out ovarian cancer. My numbers from that last test were very low, and if there were anything cancer related the numbers would be high. We can now breath a collective sigh of relief.

The bad news is, because of the holidays, they can't get me in this week. The doctor and his assistant said next Monday for surgery, and they'd call me with a set time. Knut and I talked about it, and thought staying for the surgery would be the best option. I then got a call from the assistant later that day, saying the surgery was scheduled for Wednesday night. She said as packed as the operating rooms have been, she had to fight to get it that soon.

Wednesday is not Monday, obviously. However, we were planning on heading home tomorrow, and Wednesday would extend our visit by at least a week.

I wish we could say it was an easy decision, but it wasn't. After much anxiety, we've decided to stay and have the surgery here. We're uneasy with that decision, as Knut is kinda taking an unplanned week off the farm. Then again, nothing about this was planned. I would not have planned it this way!


Our biggest concerns are first the trip back. I won't be able to twist around and help the kids out on the trip as easily. I'm almost at the point of being no help at all. We 3 kids on a road trip, that's a big factor. The other factor is if we go home, we'll have to wait until the end of next week before I can see the surgeon there, and then schedule a surgery again. The process would likely drag out another 2 weeks, and at that point, the tumor would have grown and calcified even more, and it would likely be a more invasive surgery, requiring a much greater recovery time.
So we're staying here another week. It won't be vacation, but it will be good.

Just for fun, I want to share some pictures of the fun, though, because we haven't shown enough of the fun.


Here's Silje and David with their cousin, Jack. He's such a sweet little boy and the 3 of them get along really well.


One morning we went to an open air mall around here with a huge fireplace, and fun fountains. Mom actually brought the walker from home, so Elias could walk around as much as he pleased.



Here's Knut sitting around the fire pit with us, with the palm trees in the background.



Here's my little cutie decked out in his new amazing clothes. My sister, dresses Jack in hand me downs from some of her more wealthy friends who had tons of designer clothes for their kids. Heidi normally sends her used kids clothes to a consignment shop down here, but since I made all those diapers for her, she gave me all of Jack's hand me downs for Elias. Seriously, there are a number of huge bags full of clothes that look barely worn. I counted at least 7 pairs of the cutest shoes, so far.


All of the clothes are Ralph Lauren, Gymboree, Children's Place, Gap, etc. There are an unusual amount of swim trunks and shorts, but I guess that's the difference in living in the North or South! Since David wasn't so gentle on the clothes that are being passed down to Elias, I'm so grateful to get some "new" clothes for him. For the next year, I think Elias will be the best dressed person in our family!



Here is Silje playing for the first time with some girl cousins! She giggled with delight as baby A kicked and squirmed under her hand.

Things must go in threes though, as Heidi spent some time in the hospital last night as she could no longer keep fluids down and was quickly getting dehydrated. And of course since pregnant lady + dehydration = contractions, they went the the hospital to get it under control. She's back home now, and able to hold down food and water again, but she has not been at 100% either.

And the 3rd "thing" was my Grandma V. (Papa's mom) was playing with Elias when we were at her house a couple nights back, and she got a dizzy spell and fell down. The corner of the piano broke her fall, and she wasn't feeling so good. After a trip to the doctor, we found out it was a bad bruise, but no cracked ribs. This whole vacation has been full of trips to hospitals and doctors.


I got to meet a diaper sewing diva in real life, as my friend Jennifer and I met at a playground as our kids ran around. This is the lady who designed the pattern (La Di Da)that I used to make my sister's cloth diapers. It was fun to talk sewing, patterns, fabrics, with another mom.
So it's been fun, as well as stressful. The weather is nice, although Knut is aching to go skiing on some snow. He is through and through a Minnesota man.
Thank you all for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray that nothing else will delay the surgery on Wednesday, and for me, as they have limited my pain killers in preparation for that surgery. Still, I am so grateful for my amazing family, and how much help they've been to me!

About Us


I'm Gretchen, wife to Knut and mother of 4. We live in Knut's childhood home, on the family farm. I love to write, have a strange obsession with sewing cloth diapers, and apparently homeschool our children now! I have a little boutique I sew and knit for named "Nerdy Gerdy" (a nickname my sister always loved to call me).

I'm a city girl by history, but a farm girl at heart. Though we are never perfect, we live by the grace of God, and hope that reflects here. With His help, we're figuring out the path He has chosen for us, one step at a time.

Knut,Silje

This is Knut, with our oldest. He farms corn and soy beans with his family. He also loves to cross country ski, is a huge reader, and loves to work with his hands. He thinks this is his blog too, but you'll only see him post for major family events. He's my high school sweetheart and we have been married for 9 years.


Silje has creativity and imagination flowing from every part of her. She's an amazing reader, and reads about anything she can get her hands on. At age 7, she's the type of person to overhear something in a conversation, and then come ask either Knut or I "what's embryonic stem cell research?" and will push until she fully understands. She loves to sing, dance and draw.



David is active and passionate. He plays outside every chance he gets and loves to cross country ski, ride bike, play baseball, and do really any other outdoor activity. If David does something, he does it at 150%. He knows no other way. He's always full of questions, and is really into rockets and paper airplanes. He's compassionate and competitive. He's snuggly, and fast.


Elias, the messy-faced 2 year old, is the king of sound effects. He doesn't have many words, but he gets his point across very well. When he's not feeding Lena, the puppy, he's trying to keep up with the "big kids." He already knows how to charm the ladies, with a flirty smile that stops grandmas at the supermarket in their tracks. Knut calls him the class clown as he's always making us laugh and is so silly.


Solveig is our new little baby girl born December 2010. She fills her day lounging around the house, eating whenever she likes, and taking naps. It's a tough life, but somebody has to do it.

 Lena is our pooch.  She's a black lab, German shepherd mix.  She fearlessly protects our yard from birds, and loves it when the kids play with her.