Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Christmas Recap

Oh, what a joyful Christmas we had. What made it so joyful? We spent the holiday with family, worshiped with family we have rarely been able to get into a church, and we didn't make it about presents. On Monday we trekked to the Patterson Inn where I spent the night trying to envision how the 6 hour drive would play out and thinking how in love the Western SDers would be with John, who they had not yet met. Tuesday came and went with no hardships. The boys were incredible travelers (thanks in part to the DVD player we borrowed). And Grandpa and Grandma were enamoured with sweet John. Wednesday was a full day of family fun, including an old time photo with all of Chris' family. The best part of the whole day was attending church with Diane and Harlow. Thursday brought another celebration and another first time meeting. We drove down to Rapid City where we celebrated Christmas with Chris' mom, Donna and her new husband. Again, John was instantly googled over, but ultimately Elijah was the star of the show with his movie lines and dance moves. Friday brough a sudden illness for me but Elijah had the "best day" because he got to stay in his jammies all day. Saturday was another travel day, which again proved to be blessed since the boys slept all the way to Chamberlain! (That is 4 hours and over lunch) Saturday night and Sunday we were blessed with time with Sara, Andy, Josiah, Isaiah, Grandpa Tim, and Grandma Barb.
All in all it was such a blessed Christmas. I felt the magnitude of God's gift more this year than ever before as I watched my boys and visited with family.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Yesterday John worked overtime to get to one of Elijah's toys. I thought it was cute but it didn't really occurr to me that it this meant that when motivated, John is mobile. I showed Chris John's new skill and we agreed that he isn't really crawling but he sure can propel himself.

ps..Elijah wanted to be on video too but he wasn't playing my reindeer games.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Revival of Love

Chris and I had the honor of witnessing the nuptuals of friends, Laura and Greg. It has been a long time since I attended a Christian wedding so I forgot that I usual cry at these events. I was immediately brought to tears when a radiant Laura floated down the aisle to the same song I walked down to. No, not the wedding march, but Agnus Dei. Later I was again in tears as the pastor implored the newlyweds to RUN. Run toward one another with Unfailing love, Never forgeting God. It reminded me of the message at Chris and I's wedding. He told us to always be the first to apologize; to always work together in everything. At the end of the ceremony I was again in tears as I noticed how moved Chris was.

Every couple should attend a Christian wedding once a year. It really renews your belief in human love. I have found that I am more patient, more accepting, and generally more loving of my husband since the wedding.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Chapel

Once again the 7th graders were in charge of the Thanksgiving chapel. I really dreaded it this year because this class is not as take charge as last years' class. God really showed up though and showed me how hard they each worked. They each went out of their comfort zone a bit to speak in front of the whole school, to sing in front of the whole school, to greet each student at the door, to run the sound system, to run the powerpoint, to take pictures, and to show positive leadership. Each class also played a part and they displayed, acted, and stated their thankfullness. The 7th graders got to do their favorite thing which is make noise (a joyful one unto the Lord). :-) I thank God for each of my students. They really are a treat!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Suzanne: The High School Years

My dear friend Ali visited this weekend. We had a blast shopping, hanging out, doing life together. Ali is one of those people in life who is so genuine and sure of herself. I have known her since freshman year of high school. We didn't hang in the same circle then but became good friends a few years ago. She went out of her way to console me after I lost my mom and earned a special place in my heart.
But I was remined this weekend how narrow minded and short sighted I was in high school. I missed having a great friend because I was so concerned with what other people thought of me. I spent so much time trying to be cool that I was a fake. Yuck! Thank God I have been delivered from those feelings (okay so not totally delivered but I'm working on it.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I can remember it like it was yesterday. After a long night of labor and no progression they finally told me I was going to have a c-section. Then after what seemed forever, I heard his little cry. He melted my heart instantly. He can still melt my heart instantly. I think I said this last year but I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone. I was in tears this morning as we prayed over donuts ("Is it a special day, Mommy?" "Yes it is!") because I cannot believe the little person who is growing up before my eyes. I want time to stand still so he can stay the boy who loves to give hugs and laugh and talk to his mom. I have seem glimpses that indicate this will be a tough year of growth for both of us. I look forward to the challenge of forming a God-fearing, Bible-loving, gospel-preaching man.

I love you, Elijah! I thank God for you every day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We were a farm and zoo family last night. Thanks JoJo and Isaiah!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Mt. Excess

I have felt God telling me for some time to be content. It started in July, at Beth Moore, where I felt God telling me to be content with my job. It is a good job that hopefully impacts kids for the kingdom. Then as I began to shop for school clothes I again felt God prodding me. Be content. God gave me a visual this month. I now know I live in excess. After eleven days of not being able to do laundry I still didn't have to repeat an outfit. I'm not sure where to go with this but I do know I certainly do not need any more clothes.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Car Conversations

Elijah: Is that a cross? (as we drive past three crosses)
Mom: Yup
Elijah: Is that the cross Jesus died on?
Mom: um, not the exact cross, no.
Elijah: Why not?
Elijah to Chris: Dad you better get away from me. I'm dangerous.
at yet another epic battle of Parents versus Two year old at the dinner table

Chris: Elijah take a bite right now
Elijah: Dad, help me. I'm small, just look at my feet.
and my favorite
Elijah: Mom, so, how was your day at school?
Mom: Good
Elijah: Well what did you do today?
Mom: I taught lessons, ate lunch, graded papers, planned lessons (pause)
Elijah: Aren't you going to ask me about my day?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Monuments and Milestones

I know it is cliche but time really does fly. My dear "mom", Barb, sent pictures from cousin's camp. One of which shows me and the boys with Andy, Sara, Jo, and Babe-I. John is little and has all this dark hair. This week John is balding, his hair is turning a shade that is beginning to look a bit red, and he reached a monument and a milestone.

While frantically trying to finish my bible study before small group on Tuesday I did what any great mother does when trying to get a moment to herself, I turned on tunes. Elijah was entranced and John was talking away on the floor. Engrossing myself in my study I happened to look up and noticed that John was on his tummy. Without anyone looking John had rolled over! I moved him to his play blanket to see if the trick could be repeated. It was! We officially have a roller. He rolls pretty much every time he is placed on the floor.

Wednesday I got a daycare call during the school day. I don't get too worried about those calls because my wonderful daycare mom, Jodi, loves to call with the funny things Elijah does or to let me hear John babbling. Turns out her message was about a monument, in John's mouth. John got his first tooth this week. We noticed it Wednesday and it was through on Friday. No pomp, no circumstance.

I suppose crawling and college are next.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Sara

Today is such a great day. Not only is it Josiah's birthday; my nephew who warmed my heart from the first time I held him, but it is my big sister's birthday. She is so much more than a big sister. As any of you know who read this blog I adore my sister. Seriously, how many people can actually say they have known their best friend their entire lives? I was telling my students today about how annoying I used to be (probably still am) to my sister. I followed her around, changed my clothes to be just like her (Lord knows her fashion sense is better than mine), and wanted to be a part of everything she was doing. She always tolerated me; always gave me another chance to keep a secret. I was trying to decide today what it is about Sara that I love the most. I think it is that she knows how to love people. She gets what it means to be a friend and she goes out of her way to make people know their worth. For example, I projected confidence as a teenager but really I was a ball of insecurity held together by the words of others. Sara always made sure I had enough string to keep the ball from unraveling. She went out of her way to make sure I was always taken care of; even when I didn't want another mother watching me. (Thanks for watching me!)

Happy Birthday Sara! You are so much more than a sister. Life circumstances have made it so that we are forever glued together: the Lund girls are we. I can't think of any one else I would rather be glued to.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Apple Orchardy Pictures

Peek a boo! I see you.
Jump, don't jump, jump, don't jump...
Eating apples at the apple orchard isn't stealing is it?
Hey Dady, what about this one down here?
Hi mom!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apple Orchardy

We have never been an apple orchardy kind of family. Chris once said, "Why do people do that?" Yesterday we found out why.

Earlier in the week I decided since we were apple orchardy dummies we should enlist the help of some experts. I called on our friends the Siweks. They graciously agreed to show us the ropes.
We arrived to find Tyler and Hayley running through a hedge maze. Elijah quickly joined them. good thing he had on his orange hat or we could still be searching for him. We moved from the maze to the ever allergy friendly hay bales. Apparently, there is nothing more fun than jumping off the top of a hay bale into loose hay. Next it was onto a trailer for a hay ride. We were scoping out the apple choices. Who knew there were so many different types of apples. Rainbow has been holding out on me! After the ride and some taste testing, we were off to pick our favorites. I was a bit shocked when everyone began picking and eating but apparently that is what one does at the apple orchard. We picked and wandered and munched and had a great time. new favorite apple is the Sweet 16....or the Liberty.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Adventures in Baby Cereal

We took the plunge into solid foods this week. I decided that after two weeks of midnight and 3 am quality time that John must be hungry. I must also have a deliusional memory when it comes to feeding babies. All I remember about Elijah is that he loved cereal and ate it up right away. John, made the most hilarious face when I put the cereal in his mouth and I am certain that more of it ended up on the bib than his tummy but tonight was night four and more of it ended up in his tummy than his bib. Yeah! Now if I could only remember how long he eats cereal before he starts the baby food.

Elijah's first meal at almost the exact same age.
Here we go, the first bite.....
"Mom, I'm not sure what you just did but yuk."
You be the judge.
"Okay mom, this stuff isn't so bad." (night four)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 and Seventh Grade

As I was thinking about how to address the importance of today with my 7th grade homeroom it hit me that they were mere kindergarteners when the 9/11 attacks happened. So I opened my class today by asking what they remembered about this day seven years ago. Their responses ran the gamut from thinking the attacks had happened close to here, to thinking it was a movie, to not remembering a single thing about the day. After our discussion we watched a four minute video that had President Bush's speech from that night along with still images set to a song. I, of course, teared up thinking of all those dear people and how they must have been feeling. My class was so silent and mesmerized by what they were seeing but I don't think they could really connect that it had happened and that it had affected real people and how it changed the course of our lives forever.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Morning Meeting

It is my prayer that my dear boys are always so excited to see each other after a long nights sleep.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Morning

For 13 weeks I have had a beautiful sleeper. Twice my little buddy has slept through the night. But not last night. No instead of giving his mama the sleep she needed to be fresh and ready for her first day of teaching John-John presumably decided to go through a growth spurt and eat every threeish hours (sometimes two and three-quarter hours). At least he laid in his bed talking to himself long enough for me to get my hair done this morning. If nothing else, at least I looked awake for the first day of school.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Leap of Faith

I leaped! I stood on the edge of a door and looked down 13,000 feet and then I leaned out and was free. It was so amazing and beautiful. Careening through the air at 150 mph, I could see forever. There was no fear, no nerves, just pure fun and enjoyment as we fell for 65 seconds. A tap on my shoulder told me it was time to hold on. The parachute flew out and did it's job. Floating down was magical, at times it felt like we were suspended in air, not moving at all. Getting to drive the parachute was fun. I did spin a bit more than I should have, 30 year-old tummys can't handle all that discombobulation. Seeing the ground rush at me for the landing was a bit startling but it was soft.

I would like to say I had these great revelations as I was falling but my mind was clear; blank. I think it is one of the only times I have ever had a clear mind. Afterwards my mind went to the symbolism of the jump. That jump is my faith. Christ has my back. He has the parachute. He has the spins. He is in control of soft landings. He is in control period. As I begin a new school year I pray I can remember that.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Take the leap already

So, I have been trying to take a flying leap for two weeks now. Yes, a literal flying leap. I have always wanted to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and see the ground rushing up at me. Strange, yes. I decided that for my 30th birthday it would be the perfect time. Of course the day I was to leap it rained. The only day we have had rain in weeks. Next time came around. After a week of beautiful sunny skies, clouds. I guess it is not cool to jump from 10,000 feet in the air when it is cloudy, apparently there is a lot of wind in clouds which makes it difficult for pilots of small planes. So, I am praying that the third time is the charm as I try to do the craziest thing I have ever done on Tuesday at 4:00. Until then I will remain my normal, boring, uncrazy self.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Missing You

I think about her almost every day but there are certain times when I really miss my mom. One of those days is any day something really cool happens with John or Elijah. Yesterday was one of those days. John was having some happy tummy time. Showing off how strong he is with is baby push ups--or head ups in his case-- he moved just right and rolled over! The look on his face was priceless and I wanted to share that with my mom.

I miss you mom.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Today is one of my favorite days all year long. Nine years ago today I became Mrs. Suzanne Anderson. I can remember that day as though it were yesterday. I remember my mom telling me not to see Chris because it was bad luck but while she was out getting her hair done Chris and I saw each other for a brief minute. I remember putting my dress on at the church and then having to go to the bathroom with three bridesmaids holding my dress. I remember those bridesmaides assuring me that my soon-to-be husband was at the church when really he had not arrived yet. I remember walking down the aisle, tears flowing, and only being aware of his handsome face. I remember our tears as our friend Jared sang.

We were talking last night about all that we have done and been through in nine years. It really amazes both of us that it has been nine years already. For our first year anniversary I gave Chris a homemade card that I made while we were driving back from the Black Hills to our apartment in Bloomington. The card said, "Love is bumpy but I'll bump along with you forever." That saying is so true. Love is bumpy but man do I love going through the bumps with this man. It hardly seems possible, but I think I love and appreciate him more after nine years than I did on August 14, 1999.

My dearest Chris, you continually challenge me, which really irritates me at the time but man do I love how you don't let me get away with my stuff. You push me to be the best I can be and I am all the better for it. I thank God every day for blessing me with a man who loves me as much as you love me. I certainly don't deserve your devotion but I am so thankful I have it. Here's to ninety-nine more years of love with you.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Go Daddy Season

Today ended our 2008 "Go Daddy" season. Chris finished his last MN tri with a second place age-group finish. He was a bit disgruntled with himself because he thought he got a penalty (saved by grace I guess); some passing rule or something. Elijah finally cheered like a pro and Daddy actually got to hear him yell. John enjoyed his day to, although he did spit up all over Mommy's shoulder.

Elijah was growling, his new greeting. John was smiling at his brother's antics.

Man, Daddy is fast!

Look Mom, I found some dirt to rub on my face

Way to go Daddy!

Monday, August 4, 2008


I have a confession to make and since they say confession is good for the soul why not confess it to all of cyberspace? I have been on a tough journey over the course of the last eleven months. My enemy had put the desire for more in my heart, and I began to falsely believe I was much better than I really am. "I am a great teacher and finding a better job will be easy." "I deserve better than what we have." "I am smarter than a lot of people so I should get paid accordingly."

I went through the entire school year certain God was leading me to a new job; a better paying job. I planned lessons and attended meetings with an aire of snobbery. I had a horrible attitude about my job and am sure I was just a peach to work with. In April when our car was having trouble I dreamed dreams of nice cars with remote entry and a sun roof.

Then God started to take me down a notch at a time. First, looking for a car became like a second job and nothing ever seemed to work out or be quite right. I became so stressed and upset that I began to resent my dear husband's insistance on buying a car from the "stupid" Consumer Reports list. Next I started applying for teaching jobs (10 of them to be exact) and I began waiting for the interviews to roll in (I was sure this was what God wanted). I got one interview and was passed over. Oh, so God wants to me to get what we teachers call a regular job. I applied for 10 of those too; nothing, not a single phone call or interview.

The problem with all of this want-for-moreness is that I chose to forget who was in charge. I was telling God what I wanted, asking without listening, and getting so angry with the results that I shut Him out. I faked my faith and ignored God. Funny how one can not really ignore the creator of the universe, He is everywhere. But man did I try. I got so successful at it that I could go days without praying and I didn't even think of reading my Bible daily.

God finally got through to me a few weeks ago and then really hit the message home at Beth Moore. "Be content. Be content with what you have, Suzanne. Do not worry, I will provide, just be content."

And so I am trying to be content, I am working to repair my damaged relationship with God, and I am clinging to His promises.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Boys

I watched in awesome wonder this week as my boys changed before my very eyes. It seems that John changes every day. Seriously, he seems to grow or do something different each and every day. This week he started talking. I was helping Elijah play computer games when out came the cutest gurgling and cooing I have ever heard, well except for Elijah's. In only eight weeks he has gained 2 pounds, learned to smile, kick his legs, sleep for 6 hours in a row, and now talk. Amazing!

Elijah is just as amazing. This week he became very proficient at manuvering the mouse on my labtop. He loves to play Curious George on He loves it even more when he is in control. He also is really starting to love to play matching games. He still refuses he learn his colors and skips either 5 or 4 when counting but I still think he is a genius for 26 months old. He may be small, only in the 10% for height, but he was the bravest boy I have ever seen when he got his booster shot on Wednesday.

Oh, I am so blessed!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Friends and Sisters

What a wonderful weekend I was blessed with. Friends and sisters abounded as we had the second annual Beth Moore weekend. As my sisters and friends spilled through the door on Friday evening I couldn't help but smile at the blessing of being able to host them and worship and learn with them this weekend. We all have such different lives but we were all in need of the same thing this weekend. As Beth would say, we needed a Word from God. And man did we get it.
It was an adventure navigating (Thanks Becky) downtown Minneapolis and through road closures. We laughed at my ability to get us lost, sort of. Who knew it was so hard to get out of a parking garage, both times! I think I can safely say we all were touched this weekend through worship and the word. There is nothing quite like singing Amazing Grace with 7,000 other women, but singing it with sisters and friends was so moving for me.
This weekend I received a word from God, I bonded with my sisters, I reconnected with old friends, and I solidified the bond with new friends. How amazing!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

True Friends...

...are those who don't laugh when your shorts split at bible study.
Thanks ladies, you are true friends whom I treasure.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Home Again

Elijah came home yesterday full of stories of Buster (aka Baxter), Twinkles, and Buddy, who came with an explanation. "He doesn't like people Mommy. I just love him so much." We heard all about climbing a tree and how his finger got an owie that hurt. He explained all about swimming and splashing. "I gave Isaiah lots of kisses so he wouldn't miss his mommy," Elijah attempted to reason when I asked him to stop slobbering on his brother (John was wet with spit).

Needless to say, Cousin's Camp was the hit of the summer. Elijah is certain Grandpa and Grandma Patterson are much better at making goulash than Mommy and they are more fun too. He came home with the mark to prove it.I laughed for five minutes after a friend noticed his mark.
Thanks Grandpa and Grandma for giving Elijah the best vacation ever!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Yesterday Elijah went off to camp. No, not toddler boot camp. He went off to Cousin's Camp with fellow campers, Josiah and Baby I. Camp couselors for the week are Grandpa and Grandma Patterson. Sending off my little boy was a bit hard for me but he was a champ. The four days promise to be fun-filled with water, hammers, stories, and crafts. For me, the four days promise to be full of cuddles with John, reading, and shopping.

Have fun Choochie! Mommy loves you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fourth fun

We had a splendid weekend with family. Here's the proof:

Jo Jo and E: parade buddies

Candy please!

" This is how you do it boys"

A real tractor!!

"Donuts are yummy. I saved a springle for later."

Swinging fun

"Here ducky ducky."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Blessing of Barb

Chris has been gone for nine days today. I fearfully faced five of those days alone. The other four days were a blessing beyond belief. I have never been more certain that God interweaves the lives of people for a reason.

Eight years ago my sister married a great guy, Andy. On that day Tim and Barb were introduced. I remember being struck by how genuine they were, a rarity in today's world. Since that day Tim and Barb have become treasures I would never trade. They are Grandma and Grandpa to Elijah and John and regular family to Chris and I. We speak of them as though it is totally normal to be close with your brother-in-law's parents.

Barb came on Monday and blessed our week beyond belief. Because of her visit Elijah felt loved and adorded by his Grandma and he got to have some special time with mommy at the fountain park. Because of her visit John was lavished with hugs, kisses, snuggles, and the first bath he didn't scream through. Because of her visit I was able to stay sane by having adult conversation, I was able to get some extra sleep, and my love tank was filled with all her words of encouragement.

Barb is such an example of a godly mother, wife, and servant. I treasure getting to witness and hear and learn from her example. Thank you doesn't seem like enough for the impact she had on our week. So thank you a thousand times!

Monday, June 23, 2008

30 Days

Dear John,

You have officially been in the world for 30 days. Congratulations on surviving so far. We promise it all gets better from here.

So far you have survived the yelling in your ear from your brother, the teasing of your father, & the drowsiness of your mother. You have successfully gone through 159 diapers, peed on things other than diapers 5 times, and only pooped out once. That is amazing!

We are so blessed to have you as part of our family. Our excitement is teeming over as we get to know you more every day. So far we have learned that you take things pretty seriously, you will scream for extended periods of time until someone comes to pick you up, and you hate baths. Most importantly we have learned to always have a burp rag handy and that you love to snuggle.

We look forward to what the next 30 days have in store.
Loving all of you,
Mommy, Daddy, and Elijah

Friday, June 20, 2008

Big Boy

I must have blinked because my little boy is quickly becoming a big boy. See for yourself.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Today was Chris' first race of the season. I love going out and cheering for him. I feel such a swell of pride when I see him out there giving it his all. But, I was nervous about going today. John had a very rough day yesterday; needing to be held most of the day because his poor tummy hurt (I think). How was I ever going to get two boys and myself out of the house by 7:15 and to the race and keep them entertained between Daddy spottings?

It happened perfectly. John slept great last night and got himself on a great schedule for the day. Elijah woke up all excited to see Daddy race. I was rested enough and had prepared enough the night before to be ready as well. Chris had a fantastic race. He beat his time from last year (but he did finish in third for his age group instead of second in his age group). Elijah was a super good boy cheering and playing at the park. John was a fantastic baby sleeping all morning. Plus, when Daddy was done Elijah got more park time and a cookie! What could be better?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mommy Fog

Here I am, almost three weeks into motherhood 2.0 and the mommy fog is starting to set in. John is a great sleeper so most nights I get a broken 6 hours or a bit more so I really can't complain but I found the other day that I could not even get out of my jammies. This was fine by Elijah, he loves jammie days! Showers have become a luxury of every other day. And if I am not changing, getting a snack, or feeding one I am doing it for the other. Whew! But I love it. I think about how quickly it goes when I look at how grown up Elijah is already. When I think about how different things will be next summer when John is a year old and Elijah is 3 1/2, it makes me want to grip my boys and never let them go.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


We came home on Sunday. I was feeling really good and just wanted to get home and start the adjustment process. John has been very sleepy but his eating has picked up. He is a nuk baby just like his brother was. So far sleeping at night has been pretty good. Elijah is warming up to being a big brother but he is very sure Mommy still needs to come play cars with him. Of course all of this has been possible because my super sister is here helping take care of things. So I guess we will see how the adjusting really goes when all the help leaves. Until then...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

John Myron

My heart overflows with love. I have a brand new son. He is perfect. Arriving at 8:03 in the least dramatic birth ever, the first thing everyone in the room said was, "Look at all that hair." I knew getting heartburn from peaches would lead to some hair! He weighed in at 7 lbs 11 oz and is 21 inches long.

It took some discussion and research, but Chris and I arrived at the name John on Thursday night. I love the simplicity and the way John the Baptist was so bold in proclaiming that Jesus was coming. Chris was drawn to the name after taking some time to read the book and letters of John this winter.

Myron has been my choice of a middle name for a long time. My dearly beloved grandpa was Myron. As a young girl, he was the man I wanted to marry and as a young woman he was the standard by which all men were measured. I can think of no better way of honoring this faithful man of God than by naming my son after him.

Elijah is, well, I'm not sure. He thought the baby was cute, even though he kept saying "she". He wanted to hold the baby only for about 15 seconds and only after Michael and Anna held the baby (he likes to fit in).

We are excited and nervous for this new part of our lives. John Myron will certainly bring a whole new view to our family.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Greatest Teaching Moment

I have oft wondered why God would have me teach an age group of kids that I don't really relate to. I have cursed God for not putting me in a high school to be with the kids that I really love. But yesterday and today God showed me why he had put me where he did.

One of my favorite classes to teach is Christian Faith. I love it so much my class has been in the same workbook for two years because we talk so much about the lessons. (We still won't complete it this year.) I frequently remind my students that receiving the gift of eternal life will change them forever.

Yesterday after class one who I least expected came to me and said, "Mrs. Anderson, I, um have never invited Jesus into my heart before." I paused for a second and then stammered, "Would you like to talk about that?" The student paused and said yes but they couldn't do it right then so we set a date for today.

My mind was racing for the rest of the night. I had never led anyone in the saving prayer before. Would I even know what to say? Of course it only took a few moments for me to remember that I didn't need to do anything since Christ would work through me.

Today we met. We talked. We prayed. It was the greatest teaching moment of my life. As we were walking away the student shared, "You were the only person I could share this with." My heart stopped. Me?

Thank you Lord for keeping me in this job even when I didn't understand why. Thank you for cultivating a relationship I didn't even know was being cultivated. Thank you for choosing me as your vessel. Thank for this student, who bravely took a step of faith today. Guard and protect their heart and help them to feel your presence.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Six Days

There are six days until I get to meet the newest Anderson. In those days I need to wrap up Julius Caesar with 7th graders who are not quite sure they like this one as much as Romeo and Juliet. I need to wrap up Romeo and Juliet with 6th graders who are not quite sure how two people fall in love (I mean lust) and get married at 14 and in only 24 hours. I need to figure out how to explain to a sub that the 5th graders really are great kids they just talk too much. I need to remember how to install a car seat base into a vehicle. I need to motivate the same 7th graders who are unsure about Julius Caesar to finish learning about world geography without me and our random, if not funny, discussions of the world. I need to bake a turkey to make room in my freezer. I need to lavish as much love as I can on Elijah so he doesn't think I abandoned him while I am in the hospital. I need to forget about washing the windows. I need to make a packing list. I need to pack. I need to check with the friends who so graciously volunteered to watch Elijah this week. I need to keep my feet up so my ankles look normal. I need to pray. I need to convince Chris that waiting until the baby is born to pick a boy name is not a good idea. I need to write my "Story" for bible study on Tuesday. I need to remember where all the nuks are. I need to forget about all these things and just concentrate on the joy of new life and the awesome blessing of getting to raise another human being.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Moms

I think God knows that some of us require more than just the two eyes of Mom watching us. I certainly did. I wasn't purposely naughty; I just lacked the ability to forsee upcoming trouble.
So I had three moms.

Peggy was Mom. She loved me with all she had. She taught me how to love with all you have. I was her Suzy-baby and she always treated me like her baby. I know my lack of timeliness drove her nuts. I am not sure I was on time for dinner my entire school years. I also spend most of my elementary and middle school years grounded because of my blindness to trouble. But my favorite moments (from age 5 to age 24) were laying on her lap while we talked and she stroked my hair. We would fight, get it out there, and get over it. I am very certain she gets quite a chuckle from her spot in Heaven as she watches me try to parent my stubborn boy.

Pearl is Grandmom. She teaches me how to life by faith; how to find strength in the tough times; how to do work worth doing. My dear grandma allowed me to grow up in my own little world. It drove her crazy that I would speed through my cleaning duties so I could go outside to play in the playhouse, in grandpa's pickup, in the field, or wherever I could find space. When I got bigger I got out of cleaning (I still hate cleaning) because Grandpa discovered I was an excellent riding lawn mower operator. But I always had time and she always made time for tea at 4:00. It was tradition: Black tea, sugar, milk, and cookies. We would talk about the day, her childhood, how she met Grandpa, and pretty much anything else. It is such a joy to get to share the adventures of motherhood with her and hear her advice and stories.

Sara is sister-mom. It must be a birthorder thing. Sara, who I thought was bossy, spend our childhood trying to steer her sister away from troublesome situations. She did do her small part in getting me into trouble too; nobody said she was perfect. I will never forget the time she pushed me out the garage window, then let it slam shut, then run out of the garage declaring she didn't do it when Mom came racing out of the house to see what had shattered. I am not sure I can articulate all that I learned from her. I think the most important lesson was how to live a life of integrity and genuiness. My sister is nothing if not genuine with people. I always struggled with that (what if people didn't like the real me). Our phone conversations have become the highlight of my day. We trade mom stories, husband hillarities, and solve the world's problems.

Thank you, God for these moms who have helped raise me. Thank you for giving me three sets of eyes to watch over me. May I pass their wisdom on, may I always find time for those who need it, and my I always show love the way these moms have loved me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

For Ashley

It was my greatest pleasure to get to see my little sister graduate from college last Saturday. We didn't get the pleasure of growing up together but over the past few years we have learned a lot about each other. Probably the one thing that I love the most about her is that she introduces me as her sister; no explanation, no step, just her sister. I smile everytime and thank God that she thinks of me that way. She is a woman wise beyond her years, often counseling me in matters of faith and life. I am so excited to see what journey God has for her and to see how she grows along that journey.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Husband

I love my husband, always have. He reminds me a lot of my Grandpa Myron, whom I always wanted to marry. Last July he switched from a job that was very secure to a job that requires a daily leap of faith. Along with leaping he is also quite the traveler. Being the director of a national ministry requires him to go to events, meet with people, and support the Team. A better wife would probably remember all these things but I sometimes fail to. The travel often irritates me and causes some strife in our lives. The blame for my irrational irritation falls on my pregnancy hormones, which are raging right now.

Chris just returned from Boise, ID where FCA Endurance became an offical bike club with an big cycling organization by holding a bike race/time trial. On Wednesday, Chris leaves for California for the Wildflower Triatholon, one of the biggest in the country, where he will minister to athletes and run as part of a relay. On May 12, Chris is off to KC for FCA meetings.

I am sure you can imagine our conversations when things pop up on his schedule that take him away from home on the days he is in the same state (like an all day expo on Sunday). Friday night we had a hot date sorting through books and college notes in the basement (the nesting has spread to Chris too). During our date he mentioned, "Well you have plans for nap time tomorrow." I had no idea what he was talking about but said, "Oh." Imagining another nesting project.

At 12:15 Saturday I was seated in the waiting room at a massage clinic. The receptionist said, "Was it your husband who scheduled this? He was so cute, he said, 'She really needs this.'" She is right. He is really cute and I really did need it and the fact that he knew that made it all the more relaxing.

I love my husband, not because he bought me something but because even after 8.5 years he romances me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Super Reader

Elijah is in love with the show Super Why. It is really too old for him but I let him watch it since it is all about reading, spelling, and letters. This is what he has been up to the past few nights.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Room Love Created

This past weekend my dear sister drove 3 1/2 hours through rain and cold to create a room of love. It was time to get things crossed off the list and baby room and spring cleaning was on the top of the list for the weekend.
First on tap was a trip to the store to buy the paint. My sister's eye for color and knowing what I am talking about when I don't meant the color would be perfect (and it is!). Then we had the arduous task of removing the old-lady border. It was tedious, messy, wet, and time consuming.
We still managed to get one coat on Friday night. Sara cut in and I rolled, sort of. Around 10 we needed a snack. Sara made the wise choice and had Kashi cereal while I stuck with my nightly ritual of ice cream (mint chip was the flavor of the night).
After a sleepless night (thanks Elijah and Isaiah) we were up by 6:30 and working by 7:30. Sara painted and I cleaned vents (gross!). Then it was a room by room attack of the neglect I had allowed for months. Floors were mopped by hand, window sills cleaned, appliances de-finger stained, furniture dusted, and bathrooms sanitized. At about the time we thought we were done we noticed that there was still green showing through our butter color. Coat three was on tap as soon as Chris could run to the store and get more paint. When it was all said and done the room is exactly what I pictured in my mind: a warm, bright sanctuary.

I never could have done this without Sara. Her sacrifice of time with her family, time to herself, and sleep are so amazing. My brother-in-law, Andy, sacrificed vacation time and spent the weekend trying to coach Josiah on the intricacies of using the potty. It warms my heart to know this baby is so loved already.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dear Mr. Blue Bunny,

Dear Mr. Blue Bunny,
Words cannot express my gratitude for your delicious creation, Pistachio Almond. The creamy goodness has brought me much joy this week. You see I live with a two year old who appears to have mulitple personalities. Let me give you an example. On Friday night the two year old went to bed without a whimper, but on Saturday night a new child appeared. One who cried, screamed, talked, yelled, and played in bed until 10:30. Another example came last night when the two year old refused to eat the yummy, mommy-created pot roast. In the blink of an eye, however, the two year old was eating and even complimenting the mommy-made meal, but in another blink was back to refusing to eat.
It is stressful living with one who has this disorder but your heavenly, frozen delicacy has allowed me to keep my sanity. Each night the container calls my name and reminds me that I need an escape. As I sit with my bowl, my mind drifts to thoughts of beaches, sun, and puppies.

Thank you,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Break

Whew!! We just returned from a great spring break trip to South Dakota. Gone for nine days, driving 21 hours total and it was all worth it. The first leg of our trip took us to an overnighter at hotel Patterson, the most accomidating place I know of. We arrived late but stayed up even later visiting. Elijah, of course, did not sleep in and the look on his face in the morning when he saw his cousin 'Siah was priceless. While Elijah was excited to see his cousin, he was even more thrilled to be on his way to Grampa's. He has a tractor you know (its really a riding lawn mower but don't tell Elijah). The 6 hour trip went well thanks to the generousity of a coworker who loaned us their travel DVD player.

Our time in the Black Hills was great. Elijah had a super time playing at gramma and grampa's and Chris and I had a great time catching up with family. We even got to see some college friends that we hadn't seen in years!

After four days we headed out of the snowy hills east to Sioux Falls. Again, the joy on 'Siah's face when he got off the school bus was enough to warm my heart for months. The tornado began immediately and did not end for another five days. Grandma Barb and Grandpa Tim, AKA Grandpa Barb :-), lavished so much love on all of us it was just amazing. They gave 'Siah and Elijah a bath, at the SAME time and still had the energy to offer to babysit for a night so the Mom's and Dad's could go on a double date.

We went old school for our date, bowling! I was pitiful in the first round. 63 points was all I could muster after three straight rounds of gutter balls. I did forge a comeback in the second game when I figured out that I should lead with my right foot.

Easter was another fabulous day with new friends and a visit from Granny. What a blessing it was to spend the day with family and friends! Elijah went to Sunday school and proudly returned proclaiming, "Mom, Jesus is alive!" We drove home Sunday night and after a day of no nap and non-stop playing Elijah was at his wits end. Again the DVD player saved the day. In the middle movie number two, he finally passed out, even though both Mom and Dad were jabbering away to Auntie Melissa on the phone.

All in all it was a fabulous break. Thank you to all of you who hosted, fed, cleaned up after, played with, ate with and talked to us.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

God Speaks

"I want to hear Everlasting God, mom" Elijah says from the backseat.
"Okay, choochie" I reply. Strength will rise when we wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord. Each leg of our trip these words have wafted over me and the other day I was greeted with them when Elijah, in his precious singing voice, sang them from his room. It began to dawn on me that perhaps God was trying to tell me something.

So, okay God. I am waiting upon you! What's coming?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Things that make me happy

I remember watching a game show that was all about naming things on a list, I think it was called The $10,000 Pyramid, and I have been feeling a bit on the crabby side lately, so I need to change my point of view. Here is a list of things that make me happy ( in no particular order)
Going to Tuesday night Bible study
Kisses and hugs from my boyfriends
Baby kicks
Root beer
Talking to my sister on the phone
Hearing "Jesus Love Me" sung by my favorite artist, Elijah
New clothes
Not having to worry anymore
Knowing my husband loves me even though I look pretty round right now
Helping someone out
Ice cream
Planning a great week of meals
Crossing things off of my lists
Counting my blessings
Playing hide and seek
Nap time
Sleeping in
Hot showers
Flowers - for no reason
Reconnecting with old friends
Spring Break
Learning new things

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Thank You

Friends are so wonderful! Tonight our dear friends the Millbauers decided they needed an Elijah fix. I had a party to go to, Chris is out of town with the senior high kids from church, and I have been mommy-on-duty with no breaks for a long time, so I decided to take them up on their offer. To my suprise, their offer was extended to an overnighter. Yes, these wonderful parents of a sixth grader and a fourth grader, wanted to keep my toddler. So it is 9:00, I am blogging and when I post this I am going to go to bed. It will be silent; no little boy sleeping noises, no humidifer. In the morning I am going to get up, drink hot chocolate, do some bible study, shower, and then get ready for church. No rush, no negotiating, just peace and quiet. Thank you Millbauers for loving Elijah, for giving me a break, and for being such a great model of friendship!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Vent

Oh, we have been struggling at our house. Many of you know Elijah to be a sweet, well-mannered, and as my sister points out, compliant little boy, so it may be difficult for you to picture the stubborn, strong willed, yelling side of Elijah. I am happy that he typically shows his great side when others are around but as a woman who struggles with patience I wish he wouldn't always show his stubborn, strong-willed side with me.

Two days this week, on our commute into work/daycare Elijah has spent 20 minutes or more yelling at his mom. One day he was very mad that I had taken his cereal, as he had politely requested I do. Another day he was very mad that I had taken his cereal, as he had politely requested I do. For some reason, in his brain when he says," Here you go mom" that means I should take whatever he is offering and hold it in front of him until he decides if he needs it. I figured that out on the first day so I tried to reason with him by saying, "Mommy is going to put it on the seat and when you need it back you just need to ask with your nice words." He agreed with this but as soon as the bag was out of my hands the screaming began. It is hard to show patience to middle schoolers when your two year old has emptied the bank that morning!!

The commute has not been our only struggle. Bedtime has reverted back to 8 month old Elijah where he cries, hoping someone will come back. The catch here is that he only cries when mommy puts him to bed. That one is easy to solve you may say, just have Chris put him to bed. The problem is Daddy has been gone 3 1/2 weeks out of the last 8 weeks (not all in a row).

Why is my two year old unable to see my logic? It is the best logic after all. Of course he redeems himself every time he says, "Love you too" or "How you day, Mommy?" or when he sings Jesus Love Me (he actually knows most of the song now) or when he rubs my arm or when he asks, "Are you okay?" when I cough, or when he snuggles close when we read Little Quack or when he tells me about how David fought the big mean giant, "Liath".

Friday, February 15, 2008

Baby Bump

I am 25 weeks pregnant. For the past two weeks I have heard countless times how pregnant I look. I think this is a veiled way of saying, "Oh my, your belly is huge!" I don't mind, it is what being pregnant is all about.

But it did get me thinking. In 15 weeks I am going to have a new child to take care of. Am I ready for this? Seriously, I have a hard time handling my "I-have-my-mommy-wrapped-around-my-little-finger" two year old. He is sweet and stubborn and talkative and opinionated and adorable and prone to yelling "MINE" at the top of his lungs whenever you touch something, anything that could be his. Am I ready for this?

It doesn't matter if I am ready am or not because it is happening. I just pray God continues to shell out the wisdom and extra patience that is needed. I can tell already that this baby will be a force to be reckoned with; the kick I just received affirms that. But what fun it will be to guide that force and shape this baby into the child, the teen, the adult God wants them to be.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lent Sacrifice

Teaching in a Lutheran school and not being Lutheran has lent itself to some interesting questions. The one I always get at this time of year is, "Mrs. Anderson, what are you giving up for lent?" The students expect me to say sweets and wish I would say assigning homework.

Last year I actually asked the pastor to explain the purpose of giving something up and found out that giving something up really is a sacrafice or a fast that is meant to bring you closer to God. So last year I gave up sweets as an experiment. Didn't do much growing. So this year I thought about what it is that I do a lot of: discipline, talking, eating, going to the bathroom (darn baby), and worrying. After a short prayer and a common sense moment I decided to give up worry.

So, this lenten season whenever I worry I turn it to prayer. I think this will really help me in my resolution of finding joy and gaining strength. By the way, I have prayed a lot in the past 48 hours and anticipate that the Lord and I will be in much conversation over the next 38 days.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Prison Drama

"This group tonight is going to present a drama. Not prison drama but actual drama."
This is how Susan introduced the drama team from Faith Covenant last Monday as we anxiously awaited our time to do the show. Not prison drama but actual drama...that thought stuck in my head.

Last July, two other women and I wrote a drama that interweaved our faith stories with the psalms. After performing it for a church service we were excited to present it again and that opportunity arouse when we were invited to revival night at a local women's prison. To be honest, I was really look forward to having the night be over. At this point in my pregnancy I am lucky to remember Elijah's name much less lines for a 40 minute dramatic presentation! This was to be my last drama until after baby is born and I was glad to get my Thursday nights back again.

The women filled the room, there were 100 of them. They were about three feet from our performing area and there were no spot lights to blind us and hide their faces. Some faces were alert, some faces skeptical, same faces down right angry. We all struggled to remember our lines, until we remembered we needed to pray. We prayed for us, "Lord bring our lines out in such a way that it will be authentic"; we prayed for them, "Lord, prepare their hearts, touch their hearts, change their hearts."

Worshipping with them and presenting the drama was much like I imagine it would be like in a Southern Baptist church. Most of them worshipped with their whole beings; their faces shining in the Light. Those that were not quiet there worshipped with their mouths; their faces yet skeptical. There was more Amening, Yes Lording, did she really say that, and applause going on during our presentation than I have ever heard in my 29 years.

At the end our director suprised us by asking us to speak on what God was doing in our lives now. Not prison drama but actual mind raced. What could I possibly talk about that would ring true to these women. My life has drama but I do not have prison drama and my drama seems much more petty compared to their situations. Oh Lord, bring me words.
I told them about how God had been beating me into submission when it comes to controlling my life. I implored them to remember that in all things God has control; we just have to remember to let go.

It was a blessed night all around. These women are forever in my heart. I pray that their prison drama will lead them to Christ.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Those who know me know that I am horrible at waiting. I hate waiting. Yesterday it snowed about half an inch and traffic was bad. I sat in traffic for sixty minutes waiting to get home with a two year old who wanted a graham cracker, a pumpkin sticker, a bando (bandaid), and to watch just the race, just Lightning's race. I hate waiting.

I am anxiously waiting to meet the new member of our family. I am 22 weeks along and I already feel like time is at a snail's pace. What will the baby be? What will the baby look like?

I hate waiting.

I am waiting for a new career direction. For four years I have longed to be in a high school and I think I reached my limit this year. My love for teaching is zapped by middle schoolers who can't remember their pencils or what a verb is or how to raise their hands or how to talk without rolling their eyes at me. I hate waiting.

I hate waiting and God knows it. He sent me a devotion today on patience; a lesson I have been taught continually for 29 years. The devotion said patience is a virtue that can only be developed with God and through a strength that comes with knowing God has plans to prosper me.

So I wait, and while I am waiting I am going to try my hardest to remember that I can do all things through Christ who stregthens me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Quality Time

The women's small group bible study I am in is going through the 5 Love Languages and last week we talked about quality time. While I am pretty sure it is not my primary love language, I was reflecting on the times I cherish the most and the first thing that came to my mind is the daily commute with Elijah. My talkative two-year old has created some of the greatest moments in the past few weeks.

Here are snippets of conversations:
Elijah: "Mooooo"
Mom: "Is there a cow in the back seat? What is the cow eating?"
Elijah: "Grass, oh mom!"

Mom: "Did you finish your banana?"
Elijah: "No"
Mom: "You better eat it up like Curious George, good monkey"
Elijah: "I good monkey, oooooaaaa."

Elijah: "How you day mommy?"

Mom: "Be careful climbing in."
Elijah: "I love be fareful, mommy."

Elijah: "Does the baby need a blankie?"

Elijah: "I wuv you mommy."

The conversations never cease to amaze me. I just hope they continue throughout the duration of his life!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Night and Day

Sometimes I am just amazed at how two people can be so different. Growing up my sister and I were often questioned on our family status. "You two must be cousins, distant cousins." She was studious, organized, obedient, and often annoyed with her little sister. I was messy, always late or in trouble, and only got good grades because my sister got them. The one thing that stands out about our childhood is that I loved my sister and wanted to be just like her.

She always struck me as a girl who was confident in herself; I on the other hand struggled with what everyone thought of me. She was smart and beautiful and so talented and she had this...this..."thing" about her that I just didn't have. It annoyed me as a teenager because it was the one thing I couldn't pretend to copy about her.

She shared that "thing" with me when I was heartbroken and convinced at 17 that no one would ever ever love me enough to marry me. (Yes, I was a drama queen too) She shared the joy of the Lord, something I had heard and practiced before but had forgotten. She saved me, and it wasn't the first time nor the last. There was the time some cleaning water got "spilled" in the midsts of a fight one summer day. She quickly came up with a plan that would ensure no one got grounded. She has continually rescued me. Through all my irrational thinking, ideas, and troubles she has spoken the truth to me.

As Chris and I have been discussing names for our new addition we have struggled but the one name that we always agree on is Sarah. If we are blessed with a little girl she will be our Sarah Joy, mostly because my Sara has brought so much joy to me!

Thanks sis!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A year in pictures

Here is a slideshow of some of my favorite pictures from 2007. Note the some, there are so many to choose from.