The Boss

"You are not the boss of me!"
This is the phrase that my boy seems to be saying to his older sister at least once a day over the past week. I am not sure where he picked the phrase up, but when he says it the little man is so serious. He isn't being sassy or disrespectful to his sister, he is just reminding her of the fact that she is not the boss.

Last night as we are riding in the car and Landon is belting out (or as he says jamming out) to some Go Fish Guys:
Morgan: Landon can you turn your music down and not sing so loud
Landon: Morgan, you are not the boss of me or my itunes
(Lance and I trying not to laugh out loud)
************************************************************************************************************* Morgan and Landon share a bedroom for the time being. Morgan was cleaning out/organizing her dresser today and wanted to try some things on to see if they still fit.

Morgan: Landon, can you leave the room because I need to try on some clothes
Landon: Morgan you are not the boss of me, this room or my drum set.
(Again, I try not to burst out laughing)



I am digging out from the piles of laundry, suitcases, toys, and books. Most everything is in the house and put where it belongs but I still need to clean the car and put the house back together after unpacking overtook the entire house.  This was one of those weekends away that was not relaxing - we were constantly on the go - but it was really fun. It was nice to get to know the other families on Morgan's gymnastics team, let the kids play and swim, and explore (just a bit) a new town.
Morgan watching the older girls compete
Former Olympic gymnasts Carly Patterson, Jaycie Phelps, and Shannon Miller 
 Morgan and I attended an ice cream social where she was able to get autographs and take pictures of the former Olympic gymnasts. There was also an open question and answer time at the end. As the gymnasts were packing up to leave, Morgan ran up to Carly Patterson to get a hug. I think she is still on cloud nine - a definite highlight to her weekend.
This was on our door one morning. Some of the older girls made signs for all the gymnasts.  So sweet!
Landon and Mauryn hanging out at the edge of the hot tub.

Landon at Mogan's meet on Sunday morning. He was "done with gymnastics" by this time so he found a quiet spot to sit for a while.  

Morgan on beam - she earned 1st place in her age group. They had the beam up on a stage with a giant American flag behind it. It was a very cool backdrop for their beam routines.

There were about 1500 gymnasts at this meet ranging in age from 6-18 years of age.  It is one of the largest meets in the country. There were teams from as far away as Florida, but most of the teams were  from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California.  This meet was very organized and they did some really fun things for the girls. When they marched in they had music playing, they turned off the big lights and just had spotlights, and they had a dry ice machine running to create fog when they ran in.  They thought that was so cool! The MC of Morgan's session was great with the girls and knew how to make them laugh and just have fun.  

Mauryn did start sleeping better by the day we left, of course.  She still didn't nap great but at least she would go to bed at a normal time and sleep in later than 4:30 am.  She did get some cat naps on us and one good nap in the stroller over the weekend.  Considering her lack of naps, she wasn't too miserable.  There was enough action to keep her entertained and plenty of girls who liked to play with babies!  

The kids were all great travelers!  We took the interstate home instead of coming down through the curvy mountain pass.  It was an easier drive, more miles, but about the same travel time. Landon and Mauryn slept the first 2 1/2 hours of the trip home and Morgan talked straight for those 2 1/2 hours.  I think she was a little excited after the meet.  Thankfully no one got car sick this time!   All in all, it was a good weekend - now to just get life organized and back to normal.


We're here!

We made it to northern Idaho after:
- 8 hours in the car, including two stops
- driving some curvy mountain roads
- one car sick kiddo (there will be dramamine for the trip home)
- going through 3 temperature changes - 37 to 17 to 57 and back to 30 degree temps
- one 30 minute period where all 3 kids were sleeping (and that was about all the sleep for the kids on the entire trip - even the babe!)

The kids traveled so well - what a blessing!  The first thing on their agenda when we got to the hotel was to hit the swimming pool- which was perfect because they needed some time to play after the long car ride.  It was fairly quiet in the pool area so the kids basically has the pool to themselves.  Of course that was a hit!

Mauryn is fighting a cold and has decided she wants nothing to do with the pack and play so she has been up since 4:30 am (me too!).   She is one tired little baby, but she has been a trooper and is hanging in there. She is sleeping on me right now. (She walked up to me saying "me, me momma" so I picked her up and she was out within seconds.)  Every time I put her in the pack and play, even asleep, she starts to scream.  I am not sure what her issue is right now, but at least she is taking a bit of a nap.  I am praying tonight goes better or it could be an awfully long weekend.




- does it take so much work to pack for a weekend away?
- do we take as much stuff for a weekend as a week long vacation?
- did Mauryn have to wake up with a cold yesterday?
- do I feel the need to have my house spotless before we go?
- have I checked and rechecked to make sure we have all Morgan's gymnastics stuff?
- does my "to do" list seem to be getting longer instead of shorter?
- am I blogging instead of packing?

Off to finish packing and organizing our stuff!


A Little Mothering

Mauryn has decided to try her hand at mothering a baby doll.  It's been very sweet to watch but let's hope her skills improve over time :o)
throw baby on the floor

cover baby with blanket and check to see if she is okay

try again but lay baby on the floor this time

straighten the blanket
cover baby up, even her face, pick her up and you are ready to go 


Life is good when

- you have a birthday coming up - you have a new sand table
- your best friend is your next door neighbor and she is as rough and tumble as you are
- the sun is shining and you can be outside
- you get to go to the park to play
- you can wear your Broncos football uniform, pads, helmet and cowboy boots to your sister's dr appointment and people think you are cute :o)
- you can sing, run, sing, jump, and sing all day long
- you get to have the ring pop from the birthday party you attended
- you get to snuggle up in bed with mom or dad to read Clifford or Critter books
- your baby sister wakes up so you can "jam out" on your drums
- you get to play games on the neighbors wii
- each day is an adventure waiting to happen



I saw this on a few other blogs and thought I would join in on the fun!

How long have you been together?
married 11 years, together 12 1/2 years
How old is he? 36
Who eats more? Lance does but now that he is on a diet....
Who said I love you first? Lance
Who is taller? Lance
Who sings better? Lance for sure
Who is smarter? We are both smart in different ways - we definitely compliment each other in that way
Who does the laundry? I do my laundry, the kids' laundry and household stuff, Lance does his own laundry 
Who does the dishes? I do
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Looking at the bed from the foot, I do
Who pays the bills? I do
Who mows the lawn? Lance 
Who cooks dinner? that would be me
Who drives when you are together? It just depends. For long trips, I usually drive for most of the trip. For close to home things, Lance drives more often
Who is more stubborn?  me 
Who kissed who first? He kissed me
Who asked who out? Hmm, I guess it was me since I asked him to be my date for a wedding close to where he was living. We weren't in a traditional dating situation since we lived 3 1/2 hours away from each other.
Who proposed? He did New Years Eve 1995
Who is more sensitive? I am for sure
Who has more friends? I think we are pretty close to even
Who has more siblings? I have six siblings, he has two
Who wears the pants in the family? Lance

Happy Valentines Day!


Mauryn's Stats

Mauryn had her 15 month well baby check up today. She is still tiny, but growing steadily. She now weighs 18 lbs 3.5 oz and is 29 inches long.    She didn't gain much weight since her one year check up but she did grow two inches.  Of course,  there were shots involved at the appointment today.  The nurse walked into the room and Mauryn instantly started to cry and continued to cry for a very long time.  I think we all know how upset she was about the shots.  It is taking me some time to get used to a baby with such dramatics but it sure does keep things interesting.  I just love that little girl!    


Almost four years ago, I was in a bit of a fog.  I had a heavy heart and really didn't even know why.  Over the weeks, the heaviness grew and grew.  I was getting close to my due date with Landon and I didn't want to bring my baby into the world with this heaviness in my life.  I had been praying, I had been crying alot, and I just couldn't pull out of it.  God had been speaking to my heart to get help, to go meet with a group of women in our church who provided prayer ministry.  I was afraid, I was nervous, and I ignored the nudging until I was put on bed rest the week before my due date.  I, then, finally made the call to our pastor's wife to set up a meeting.  The meeting took place three days after my due date and the day before I went into labor with Landon. God was not going to let this baby come into the world with a heavy hearted mama!
As the meeting time approached, I wanted to turn and run, but I knew I needed this time to heal my heart.  As we were talking and praying, I could sense that there was something holding me back from healing.  It came to light - I felt unworthy of His love.  The tears came, the peace, and  the healing  came when I realized I am worthy.  I felt worthy and loveable that day I went home and for weeks, even months afterwards. Then the feelings of being worthless and unloveable came back and have been hovering in my life.

I am participating in a Beth Moore bible study the Psalms of Ascent.  At the end of last weeks homework, we looked at Psalm 124.  The focus of our homework was learning (or pounding in my thick head) that God is on our side.  As I meditated on that Psalm, studied the word, did my homework those words of the Psalm and my homework really penetrated my soul.  It was like a light bulb went on in my head. One of those "aha" moments.  God doesn't just tolerate me, He loves me. He will be on my side, He will be my conqueror, He will choose me, and He will not be separated from me.  He knows I am going to mess up and he is there to help me pick up the pieces, walk in His path, and grow in the knowledge of Him.

In the middle of my homework this week, I really began to understand why those feelings of being worthless and unloveable continued to stay with me. Even though I have heard and studied the truth, I did not sow the seed, I ate it. I was feeling peaceful and free from my heavy heart, but it only lasted a short time because the seeds that were planted were not allowed to harvest.  A harvest is never instant it demands time (Beth Moore pg 82).  Galatians 6:9 says "At the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  

I know now I need to sow the seed. I need to be patient. I need to trust in God's love for me because I am worthy of it.  


Mauryn + no morning nap=

falling asleep at lunch in her highchair!  We are at the crossroads of giving up the morning nap or shortening it.  Obviously, yesterday Mauryn was so sleepy she couldn't finish her lunch.  She continued to sleep as I washed her face and hands, carried her upstairs and placed her in her crib.  Oh my sweet, precious, tired baby girl!   


Look what came in the mail

my very own copy of Anna Karenina!  My friend Renee has started reading Anna recently so I decided to join her and make Anna the second book I read off my list.  Although I am a bit behind Renee in my reading, I look forward to the conversations about the book and also the encouragement and motivation to keep going :o)

When Anna arrived and I saw the thickness of the book,  my heart beat a little faster. As I stated in my reading challenge, if a book doesn't capture me in the beginning,  I generally don't stick with it. I was really hoping Anna would capture me so that the process of reading all these pages would be enjoyable, not painful. So far, I am intrigued with Anna.  It caught me from the beginning - thankfully!  It still seems a daunting task to get through all those pages but I know once I am more engrossed in the story it will be pure pleasure.

I did finish Little Women last week.  I enjoyed it but I didn't love it.  I am glad that I read it, but it isn't a book that I will probably read again on my own (maybe read it with Morgan when she gets a little older).  I can't pinpoint anything that I didn't like, the story just did grab me.  

One down, many more to go......


I *heart* my Pearl Izumis

On Tuesday night, I went to this store, had a 3D foot print taken and found a wonderful new pair of running shoes.  A few reasons why I love my new running shoes:

* they were 25% off 
* they have great arch support
* they are so light it doesn't even feel like I have shoes on
* they are a cool green color
* for the first time in 5 years after a run outside, my IT band was not sore :o)

I think these shoes can carry my body 26.2 miles!


Misc Happenings

* We have had 19 inches of snow in the last week! Unreal!  This is an atypical winter for the valley, but I am LOVING all the snow!  On Sunday morning we woke up to 7 fresh inches of snow. It was a glorious morning with big flakes falling from the sky, snowflakes sticking to the tree branches, the yard was undisturbed - no snowmen built, no tracks in the snow from kids or dogs  - it was truly like a picture.

* I had my first training session for my marathon on Saturday morning.  It was a bit chilly and the roads and path were ice and snow covered - which made running a bit of a challenge. It was great to get out and get running again and to meet my other team mates. I am so excited about this adventure! 

* We spent Saturday afternoon at Morgan's gymnastics meet.  Her team took 1st place again. Go Danik!  Morgan placed 2nd all around for her age group and 1st on the floor exercise.  It was definitely her best performance on floor and guess what happens - we ran out of tape in the video camera. UGH!  
* I have been experimenting with picnik, a photo editing website.  Experimenting is the key word!  There are definitely some neat features and I can't wait to spend some more time with it.

* Thank you bloggy  friends who responded to this post.  Lunch time has been going better over this past week.  We tried a few new things that were a hit - english muffin pizzas and italian dunkers (cheesy garlic bread dipped in marinara).  I think it just helped to see we are just like other families out there when it comes to lunch time.

* Mauryn is officially a walker! She has been taking steps for about two months but not consistently walking. If she would fall, then she would just start to crawl. No longer - now she is walking everywhere.  She has also figured out how to climb the ladder and go down the little tikes slide in our bonus room.  The child has no fear!  

* We spent Super Bowl Sunday with our wonderful neighbors - eating yummy snacks and lazing around in our sweats. I love the fact that they are so like family- there is no entertaining, just hanging out, feeling as comfortable in their house as my own.  We are so blessed!

* This year in school we are participating in an online coop.  We started the year learning about explorers, then the early settlers, and now the American Revolution.  I am sure I learned about all these things at some point in school, but I don't remember them.  This year, teaching this to Morgan, I am finally "getting it".  I see how all the events in history are tied together, I see how these men and women were inquisitive and courageous, I see how they had a faith in God and how they wanted to be able to worship God without the control of the king or queen.  They founded this country on a belief that we were one nation under God - what has happened to that belief?  It pains me to see how far from the ideals of our founding fathers our country is right now.  I have never been very political - I vote but I am not necessarily the most informed voter.  I am not an activist in any sense of the word. Studying the founding of our nation has really struck a chord with me - I knew, I heard, I saw, but now I feel.  I feel like I need to be more informed, I feel I need to teach my children to be informed and discerning, I feel I need to pay closer attention to what is happening in our society, and  I feel like I need to be more vocal on issues instead of sitting back and keeping the thoughts in my head (i am fearful of sharing my opinions because i don't want to cause a conflict, offend, or upset).

* I finished Little Women - the first book to be checked off my Reading Challenge - yeah!  (more on this later)


100 things about me

In August, my husband received an email from his cousin Sean telling us about his wife Lindsey's blog.  I was immediately hooked on reading her blog and many of the others she had linked on her sidebar.  A few days went by and I decided I would start a blog to keep family and friends updated on our life in Idaho. I never expected it to become a hobby, a form of therapy, a way to meet other Christian women and mothers, a way to connect with other homeschool families, and a place to make so many wonderful new friends who inspire me, support me, and challenge me. 

In honor of my 100th post, I am following a sort of blogging tradition and posting 100 things about me!

1. My bachelor's degree in college was in elementary education
2. I taught elementary school for 10 years - grades K, 1, and 3
3. Chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite foods
4. I always make my chocolate chip cookies with milk chocolate chips not semi sweet
5. I am a morning person. I couldn't sleep in if I tried. I feel like the day is wasting if I don't get up and get moving
6. I would rather take a nap
7. I wake up at 5 am during the week so I have time to workout and do my devotional before my kids get up
8. I rarely watch live TV - most shows are on TiVo
9. I generally only watch TV when I am working out in the morning
10. I like to watch Cold Case, Without a Trace, The Closer, Amazing Race
11.  I love going to the movies
12.  I was a nanny for two summers in Rye, NY
13.  I saw Les Miserable on Broadway
14. I took a road trip to Mystic, CT and ate at Mystic Pizza where the movie Mystic Pizza (with Julia Roberts) was filmed
15. My brush with fame when I lived in NY was sitting next to Frank and Kathy Lee Gifford at a camp program for the kids I nannied for
16. My favorite drink is fountain soda - pepsi or cherry pepsi but I will drink coke
17. I was born and raised in MN
18. I have 2 sisters and 4 brothers. I am number 5 in the mix
19. I went to a small liberal arts college in IA
20. It is still one of my favorite places 
21. My favorite pizza place, Mabe's Pizza - only available in the town I went to college
22. I met my husband at the summer festival in our college town
23. While we dated I lived in MN, he lived in IA
24. We dated 5 months before we got engaged on 12/31/95.  
25. We got married one year later on 12/21/96
26.  I do not like mushrooms, they are fungus
27.  I gained between 60 lbs -80lbs with each of my pregnancy - I was a BIG girl
28.  It doesn't matter if I exercise, I still gain a ton of weight
29.  It does not come off easily - it takes a long time and lots of work to lose it
30. Landon and Mauryn were both delivered by c section. Landon turned transverse (head on left side, legs on right side) at 40 weeks and 5 days. He had been head down until that day - what a boy!  Landon was stuck in my uterus so they had to cut up my uterine wall, therefore any more children must be born by c section due to the high risk of uterine rupture.
31.  I only have 1 first cousin
32.  My kids have 15 first cousins
33.  I have worn contacts or glasses since 8th grade
34.  I wear my glasses more often now than contacts because putting on my glasses is easy
35.  I have hazel colored eyes with freckles in them
36.  I haven't ever broken a bone
37.  I have never traveled overseas
38. I would like to someday
39.  I love to bake
40. I do not like to clean but I like a clean house
41. I wish there was such a thing as a self cleaning house
42. I have a hard time spending money on myself
43. I like to do things for other people
44. I enjoy watching college sports - especially basketball and softball
45. My 3 kids' names all have 6 letters, 2 syllables, and end with the letter n
46. It wasn't on purpose until Mauryn
47. I love Marketplace (Target brand) light butter microwave popcorn
48.  I am not a fan of chocolate
49. I have 2 dogs and a fat cat
50. A relaxing vacation would be a beach, a book, and some very blue water
51.  I tan very easily and rarely burn
52. My kids tan easily too - especially Landon
53. I do not like heights
54. I do not ride on chair lifts or Ferris Wheels
55.  But I love roller coasters
56. I love my heated mattress pad
57. When I was a baby I was born with a full head of black hair
58. By the time I was a year old my hair was shoulder length
59. I have never had a pedicure or a massage
60. I have had a manicure once - the day before my wedding
61. I ended up in the ER the day after my wedding with pleurisy 
62. I like to take really hot showers
63. I have never been to Disneyland but I have been to Disneyworld.
64.  I do not like drinking pop out of a can - I always pour it into a cup with ice
65. My husband says I never forget anything
66. I have a good memory for names, events, dates
67. I get my memory from my mom
68.  I have only been camping in a tent once - it was cold and snowed
69. We came home after only one night
70. I do not like to drink coffee
71. I like the smell of coffee
72. I love to drink hot chocolate
73. My favorite kind of apples are Macintosh
74. I can not draw. When I was teaching and I would need to draw something, my students would say "It's okay Mrs. Cheney, we can just pretend" Yep that bad!
75. I do not like to eat seafood
76. I like deep fried walleye. (Walleye is a type of fish. Our wonderful neighbors bring it back each summer after a trip home and we have a fish fry.)
77. My favorite Bath and Bodyworks scent is Warm Vanilla Sugar
78. I have had one speeding ticket
79. I have been in one accident on my way to a job interview. I called and rescheduled and they offered me the job.
80. I love to read
81. I enjoy making cards and scrapbooking
82. I can not sew
83. I like being warm
84. My parents house was always cold in the summer - we called it the meat locker
85. Growing up, my sister and I used to dress up our cats in doll clothes
86.  I am not sure why we didn't just play with dolls
87. My mom has pictures of our cats in doll clothes being pushed in a stroller
88. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to play games
89. My husband and I are both super competitive
90. Before kids, we would stay up late at night playing speed since neither one of us wanted to concede the loss
91. I am not athletic but I like to exercise
92. I have small feet and can buy my shoes in the kids section
93. I wear the same earrings every day
94. I am right handed
95. I do most of my shopping on line
96. I like to blog
97. I like finding a good deal
98. I like taking pictures and would love to take a photography class someday
99. If I get to choose where to eat when we eat out, I will pick Mexican or Chinese
100. I like organizational and office supply stores (Container Store, Office Maxx)