Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Funny Gram

My Grandma is the best ever I have said that before. She knows me all to well sometimes. She also is the best shopping buddy because after years of sewing for me she knows exactly what will look good on me and what won't. Which colors are complimentary to my skin and hair and which ones aren't. Shes a rockstar.

Recently I went to her house for a visit and this was our conversation:)

Grandma- If you were asking me(I wasn't)...I would say you have gained a few pounds:)

Me- cough cough cough giggle.....okay. Laugh some more.

Grandma- But don't worry a healthy backside is positive on a small frame:)

Me- No comment:)

Again I love my Grandma, she has also compared my backside to the likes of that famous girl you know something Lo. Not sure what it is with the topic, I am well aware that I have been blessed with certain curves, glad someone else is keeping track:)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Picture Update

Whats the saying? If you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all....I am following the rule:)

The kiddos picked out new sunglasses, they wear them everywhere:)
They also play spies constantly.

My Elliot is the cutest ever.

This is Grace and her friend Mackenzie at church on Easter. Aren't they cute.

This is my Gram and 5 of her 20 some great grand children....picture didn't turn out so great so hopefully I can get them all to sit like this again some time.

Joshua and I...he is wonderful, and smells really nice like a new baby. This smell should be bottled, it is great stress relief.

Heres Layla my niece she is a chunky piece of love, I could just eat her.

These are the bricks that made up our old chimney, happiness is selling them on craigslist for $75:)

And last but not least my Grace. I baby her on Tuesdays and Thursdays when she doesn't have school. You see this girl is not a morning person, much like her Mom and happiness to Grace is morning where she can start life at her own pace. So we take our time have breakfast after Elliot goes to school, eat our english muffin split between the two us on heart plates and share a smoothie. There is no rush to eat and then she usually spends a good portion of time in the bath, talking to her Barbies. I must say I wish I could start out my days like this too, minus the Barbies:)

Well that's a boring attempt at catching up, I think we might have our first guest blogger in the meantime, while I try to come up with something fun and happy to right about:)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dear Mr. Husband, the thank you edition

Dear Mr. Husband,

Thank You again for the one millionth time for being you!! I am reassured daily that Gods hand was in complete control when he brought us together. I am positive there is no man in this world that could ever love me like you do.

Thank you for breaking your back to create for me the most beautiful kitchen I have ever seen yet to date. Thank you for going further yet to tell me it would not be ready for company until it had a floor and since we had company planned for Sunday you have been painstakingly putting it in every night after work this week. I can see the exhaustion in your eyes every morning but know that it is your love for me that makes you do these things. I am a blessed woman.

Thank you for reassuring our children who have recently been introduced to the idea of divorce that you made a promise to me that will last a lifetime. I can not imagine the security they must feel. They are blessed to have a father like you.

Thank you for not calling the police when I am gone for two hours on a walk in the dark. Sometimes I need to be alone to figure things out. Thank you for knowing this. Thank you for not looking at me like I have a third eyeball when I tell you sometimes I yell out loud on my walk...I just need to get it out. Thank you for knowing I am an emotionally charged person and loving me for.

Thanks for telling me and reassuring me that I can handle all that is on my plate right now. Your belief in my abilities is amazing, I know your faith in God is what gives you faith in me. For it is Him who lifts my head every morning.

Thanks for understanding my love for my sister and my family. It can be cumbersome sometimes. Thanks for loving and worrying about my sister just as much as I do. Thanks for checking in on her without my knowing, this means more to me than anything in the world right now.

Thanks for reminding me that the dysfunction that is within my family is a part of me but does not define me.

Thanks for doing everything in your power to support me in all things.

Thank you for reminding me that sometimes my expectations for others might be justified but not realistic. I need the reality check, people are going to let you down, but God is always there.

You are my companion, my love and the truest friend I have ever had. And I don't say it enough but I am so thankful for you, it is beyond anything I can comprehend most of the time.

Your girl.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear You......An Ode to What Could Have Been

Dear You,

I heard that you moved on from this earth on Friday night. You would be surprised to know that it hit me like a ton of bricks. I really couldn't catch my breath. Millions of thoughts ran through my head at the same time, yet all I wanted to do was breath so I could run to my sister wherever she was. I had planned to see you on Monday, I wanted to come and tell you so many things and remind you that I loved you even though the last 5 years have been beyond horrible.

I guess thats where this conversation starts. Part of the reason I had to separate myself from you is because you weren't able to be the Dad of my childhood anymore. Your moods were unpredictable, and this was hard for me but it was hard on my children as well. It made me so sad to see you slip farther and farther away from who I knew you would want to be if you were all there. But you weren't. So on Monday I wanted to explain this, I wanted to tell you how much I loved you for the good times in spite of all of the bad.

I wanted to tell you that I would keep my promise that I made to you 17yrs ago when my brother was born, that I would look out for my brother and sister and keep us connected no matter what happened to you. I am keeping my promise, and I won't break it. I am helping them both now as much as I can and I will continue to.

I wanted to tell you I always hoped that all of these problems would go away so that we could have some sort of relationship. That I hoped some day you would have been able to get the help you needed so things could be better. I always held out hope that you would come to me in a gentle way and ask to fix it all.

I wanted to explain to you that there were so many other things that had happened in the last 4 years to complicate this situation even further.

Mostly though I wanted to tell you about Jesus' love for you, and I didn't. I wish I had gotten the chance, I continue to pray that someone did.

Brian drug me out of the house by my toes yesterday morning for our breakfast date, I didn't want to go, I wanted to lay around and be confused. Instead he took me to one of my favorite places, and there happened to be a man there singing and playing a guitar and he was playing all our old favorites, the ones you made me sing to you on long car rides as a kid. It was bittersweet to me. I thought of you and I remembered you telling me a couple of weeks ago that you weren't mean anymore, and I wanted to tell you I was not mad anymore.

I love you...and am sad about what could have been.


Friday, April 15, 2011


Happy - My Grandma took me to Boomers for a burger and waffle fires today.

Crappy - It cost $55 for a half a tank of gas in my crazy high maintenance car:)

Rhubarb, oh how I love thee, let me count the ways......

I love rhubarb....this is new for me, our love affair only started last spring. I grew up categorizing it among the other "old people foods"(all of which I love now), acorn squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, beets and so many more that I am to embarrassed to admit to.

Well as you may not know rhubarb is a very versatile food, you can make desserts, sauces, glazes, compotes and chutney out of this heavenly ingredient. We even made a rhubarb sauce to top off salmon the other day and that tangy, sweet freshness was almost enough to send me over the edge.

So if you love me and you have rhubarb that you are not enjoying feel free to drop it by or tell me to come get it because I am not fortunate to have my own plants. My dad tried to plant some for me but it didn't make it. Maybe next year. But for now I am buying it from the grocery and they know what they want for it, as my grandma would say:)

In honor of this lovely ingredient I thought I would share the recipe for the pie I poured my tears into yesterday. I am proud to report there are only two pieces left, and no I didn't eat it all myself. I am enjoying it for breakfast though....don't tell anyone.

Rhubarb Berry Pie

The crust
2 cups flour
2 tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter cold and cut into small tiny cubes
7-10 tblsp ice water

Get the dry ingredients put together in a bowl. Next cube the butter. Use your fingers and/or a fork to combine the tow together until it resembles a coarse sand. I don't prefer to use a food processor because I think this often results in a tough crust and that is already an easy enough mistake to make when making a butter crust. So get in there and get can do it:) Slowly trickle in the water and combine together until it forms a ball.

Then break into to balls. One bigger than the other. The smaller one will become a lattice top for your pie. If even the phrase lattice top freaks you out feel free to make two equal size balls and make a traditional top for your pie.


Throw the balls of crust in the fridge until you need them again.

The most important part of the whole baking process is to love what you are creating. I swear to you it will know if you don't and you will turn out with a gross product:)

Next up the filling.

about 2 1/2 lbs of rhubarb - cut into 1 inch pieces
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is the best option)
2 tsp grated orange peel
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup of jam - I used a raspberry jam, strawberry is the more traditional choice but really any berry jam would work.

Combine the rhubarb , sugar, o.j., orange peel, and spices in a large and deep skillet.
Cook over medium heat until liquid starts to bubble. Reduce heat to medium and cover, continuing to simmer for 8 minutes. If you like your rhubarb to have a little more crunch cook for less time.

Once you have completed the simmer stage strain over a bowl and return liquid to the pan.
The color is so pretty.
O.k. people you are now going to perform what us kitchen folk like to call a reduction. You are going to take this lovely liquid and turn it into almost a syrup. You are going to boil the liquid on its own for a good 8-10 minutes you want to be left with 2/3 cup of syrup when you are done. When that is complete mix in the jam and let cool on the stove for 15 minutes or until cool. At this point the smell will be taking over your home and if you don't eat all of the prepared rhubarb you will be lucky.

This is when I roll out my crust and get it put into my pie pan. You can also cut your strips for a lattice top.

Lastly mix the rhubarb in with the syrup and pour into your prepared pie shell. Top with your lattice. And voila. I like to brush my lattice with a bit of cream to give it some glisten in the cooking process.
375 degrees for about 50 minutes. I like to place a cookie sheet underneath to avoid bubbly messes.

Its delicious as usual let me know if you try it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

God of the good times and the bad......

I am not sure I have experienced so much joy and sorrow all shoved together into one 24hr period of time. I am not sure that the roller coaster of emotions I have experienced is anything that I can describe, yet it is so confusing and earth shattering it brought me to my knees without me even thinking today.

I have experienced the joy of new life this week, and I was given news of death approaching rather quickly for someone else. I know as well that my sister must be experiencing these same exact feelings yet different at the same time.

After I literally scooped myself up off the floor and went back to cooking a rhubarb pie-baking is my ultimate stress relief go anti-drug-my neighbor walked through the door and pulled me into her arms for a hug it was so wonderful. She is so wonderful and she understands this time more than most would, she has been down the same road in her own way.

I want to share a bit of what is going on without stepping on the toes of others, so in that I will attempt to be super sensitive.

I grew up with a dad just as most of you did. He made a lot of mistakes, just as many of yours did. His mistakes affected me, my sister and my brother in many ways. Ways that shaped me, scarred me and molded me into who I am today. I believe he did the best with what he had to do it with, however sometimes your best just isn't enough.

This is where I will break to tell you that this may sound insensitive but it is actually quite the opposite.

In recent years I decided to cut contact with him for reasons I am not sure would be worth explaining. However I can say I don't regret my decision, it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but after much prayer and even more counseling I knew my decision had been made from a right heart and mind for the situation at hand.

However in making this choice I hurt a lot of people, this hurt me as well. I had to lose a lot of relationships, with my grandmother, my brother and many more. I am not telling you this to justify my choice or make anyone feel bad for me I am more just explaining the situation.

Following the disintegration of that relationship more secrets that caused more hurts and confusion were revealed which furthered the distance and if possible made the chances of that relationship ever being repaired even slimmer.

I must say although I had much doubt that I was doing the right thing sometimes God makes you step out in faith and make the decision feeling that He is right behind you. And in the last month I couldn't feel more right in my choices. And mostly in relation to my children not to me.

Well now as you can already gather, this man the dad of my childhood is in his last days. Much to the surprise of others this is painful for me, I am experiencing grief for a man that I thought I had said goodbye to. I know this is confusing for others in my life as well. I will not apologize for it, in fact me explaining it is more that I thought I would do. However this blog is my safe spot. My soft spot. My journal, my place to stack up rocks to place hold different points in my life. So here goes.

Although there are countless amounts of bad times there were quite a few good ones as well, and for the longest time I have been able to separate them completely almost as if I experienced them with two completely different people. This man taught me how to ride a bike, he taught me how to fish, he taught it was no big deal to pee in the woods if there is no outhouse when you are fishing and he is partly responsible for turning this pansy from a shoe princess to a little bit of a toughie when it comes to surviving. Even typing these things brings a smile to my face. However the bad clouds these things quickly especially in recent years and that is why I am in the situation I am in.

I went to see him for the first time in 4 years about 2 weeks ago. It was the most frightening, and anxiety ridden morning thus far. I needed to go to close the door to forgive him, and by the grace of God I was able to complete what I sought out to do. And with the forgiveness came a peace that I had longed for for some time. I can not explain it, but I had to feel it in order to experience the grief I am feeling now. And in it I know that God will show me something in it, because the hardest times are the times you grow the most.

I long to visit him one last time. It is confusing for me. Part of me has naively wished and prayed for reconciliation and a day where he would come to me to fix everything. The feeling has been much like the feeling I had as a child when my parents got divorced, the dream that someday they would get back together and everything would be magically different and repaired. Well that was in no way on Gods green earth going to happen when I was a kid and I need to be o.k. with that dream not coming true now, because all possibility is lost. This is the hardest part I think. However I know I can hold out for the day that Jesus comes back and God restores the wretched world and all of this hurt, sorrow, confusion and sadness will be taken away. And He will!

Once again I may have shared to much, but not sharing was making me feel worse. Please pray for his family, especially my sister and brother, they are losing a man that was very present in their lives, their dad.

I love this hymn, I am clinging to its truth!
God on the Mountain

Life is easy when you're up on the mountain
And you've got peace of mind like you've never known.
But then things change and you're down in the valley.
Don't lose faith for you're never alone.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

You talk of faith when you're up on the mountain.
Oh but the talk comes easy when life's at its best.
But it's down in the valley of trials and temptation
That's when faith is really put to the test.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Break, Kitchen Update, Exciting Additions

Spring break was here and now it is gone. I took a purposeful break in blogging for the week so I would be able to focus on my kiddos. It was good, I wasn't constantly worrying about posting.

First up....Spring Break. We mostly stayed close to home to work on the kitchen. But we did go to the science center one day and to a movie another. The kids also spent a couple of days at my moms while I went to a church conference in Olympia. They had fun!! It sure was nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle that a normal school week brings, and our kids are finally getting the hang of sleeping in a bit when they can:) This makes for a rested mommy:):)

Our kitchen is near complete...we still need to choose a flooring and the paint needs to get on the wall, but that will all come. The flooring and back splash seem to be the hardest decisions to make thus far so I am taking my time.

In other news my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last night and he now has a name. Joshua Lee. 8lbs 1 oz born this morning at 2:47am. I was priveliledged enough to be able to hold him at less than an hour old and I must say I am now in love. Unfortuantely I had to guide an Eagle Boosters at 9am so by the time I got to bed at 4:30 and up by 7:00 I had gotten 2.5 short hours of sleep. My sister asked me to come back in this morning and now I have gotten my fix until tomorrow. Oh how sweet new babies are. And what a reminder of the power that God has to create something beautiful.

Without further blabbering I would like to introduce you to him he is a complete doll, complete with a dimple chin, and beautiful olive skin.
My sister did wonderfully and everyone is happy and healthy.
He was just workin that tongue:)

Next up kitchen pics.


And now you have seen it. I love it, I have so much more space, and everything is laid out so much better.

Lastly some pictures of the science center. The Star Wars exhibit is now open and Elliot was nothing short of ecstatic. He even wore his yoda shirt.


Everyone says that Elliot is my mini me and although I will not argue its pictures like this that make me think otherwise:)


A wee bit excited.

And just one last picture of a proud tired auntie and her new tiny bundle (to spoil).
I love you Mr. Joshua!

I will be back tomorrow no more blog slacking:)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Let There Be Light

We have finally arrived at cabinet install day. In a mater of hours the process of installation and rebuild will begin and I couldn't be more excited. I haven't had a stove in over a week and I haven't had a sink since Friday. And although I am not complaining about what is about to happen here, the last few days were rough.

Wanted to share a few more before pics and hopefully tomorrow I will be able to show you some pics of the next stage.

I must add that we couldn't have made it through the last week without the help of a lot of others. Once again our friends and family have been generous with their time and talents to get us ready for the next step. We are overwhelmed with blessings.

My husband has had an interesting day, after a meeting with Bob we found out we had a lot of stuff still to be done and changed today. So Bill came before work, my Dad worked a half day and spent the rest of his day and night helping. I know that Brian is more that thankful. It takes a village most times and after a straight year of remodel I can say we have a large and loving village:)



I married a very talented and handy man. He works so hard!!!

Well I promised him I wouldn't blog much tonight so I am off to bed:)

But before I go I leave you with a picture of one of our tribe members. He is responsible for using that big piece of equipment to make the holes for my 11 can lights. Thanks Luke you are the best dude!! I know you know! You still might want to consider Tim the Toolman for Halloween next year;)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Emmie Kaekers

My sister is my constant. I know coming from a nearly..ahem...30 year old woman, me stating this may seem strange and weird and well odd seeing as I am a happily married woman with 2 beautiful kids that are most obviously my constant, also coming from a woman who loves the Lord with all of her earthly being I could truly state that he is my constant as well. And in saying this that is true all three of these statements are true. However my sister has been my constant for her entire earthly existence, and for the last almost 25 years I have loved her with all of my being, cared for her and what not. I know that in recent years much to my dismay it is not like we are joined at the hip but I love her just the same. Our hearts are connected and we share experiences and stories and history that only we know and understand. For a lot of years she was my only constant, and now she is one of many.

Well this being said my Emmie Kaekers(her childhood nickname), is going to become a mama sooner than later, sooner being in a matter of days. She will be giving birth to a beautiful baby boy, I can say this because I already know he is going to be the cutest dark hair, dark eyed munchkin one has ever laid eyes on. I have watched her grow in the last few weeks from beautifully pregnant to beautifully pregnant, pained and uncomfortable, filled with excitement and impatience.

The last week she as well as I but mostly she has experienced some things that have brought great sadness, confusion, anger and anxiety and I am so proud of her for handling it all strong and brave. I have also been sad because I can not be her constant in the situation as much as I would like. My own choices for my family have separated us a bit in this. My original roll of caretaker, protector and defender of my baby sister, is no longer needed I know, but my heart automatically wants to go there. I have fallen asleep praying for her the last 6 nights and I imagine it will go on like this until some of these situations subside. Unfortunately only one of the situations will bring great joy, the birth of her son and the other will bring sorrow and a hole for her I am sure, death of a loved one, death of a father.

Emmi when you read this I pray that you will know how proud I am to be your sister...I will be in your corner through this. And most of all I am praying for you constantly, because this is one of my constants now. But no matter how old we get or what life brings us I will still be your sissy, I can still be your constant.......