Tag Archives: soldier


The Old Mill

Hello Brother of mine 🙂

So lately I’ve been checking out some photography web sites.  I love love love my camera and I didn’t use it for awhile because during the whole moving process it was too hard to think of that while getting settled.  Lately I’ve started playing with it again.  I’m such a visual learner…really I need to just take a photography class.  And the more pictures I look at the more I realize that as much as I love beautiful landscapes it’s really pictures of people that are my favorites.  Anyway, I thought that I’d put up some of my favorite pics that I’ve taken (some recent, some old)… (I think you can click for the full size pics).

I like to call this “The Leap”.
The Landing
Little Miss Sassy Pants!
baby Buddy
one of my favorites of the two of you…

StinkyButt sure was a fun little turtle…
waiting for Sissy to get home…
OLD picture I took of Hubby
Hubby again
ok, last one of him and his bass 🙂
Have you seen these pics of Lulu?
by far my favorite pic of Lulu 🙂
little L.Truth
Muddy Buddy 😉
Wedding Day

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I’m sorry…

I’m sorry for the graphic nature of this post.  But I have a story to tell you.
We have a standing rule in the house that says “when mom is in the shower you don’t TOUCH or open the front door.”  You would think this is a fairly obvious rule, but a few weeks ago we had an episode where the kids tried to invite some Jehovah’s Witnesses into the house while I was showering.  Thank goodness I shower with the door open and the fan turned off so I can hear everything that goes on while I’m unavailable for 3 minutes a day.  Thank goodness the JW’s had the sense to say “No thank you, we’ll come back when your mom isn’t in the shower.”

So today before getting in I made sure the front door was closed (which means it’s locked from the outside).  I was just ready to get out when I heard the front door open and close a few times.  I screeched for Buddy and it took 3 or 4 yells before he came running.  I asked him if he had opened the front door.  he said no.  I asked him several more times and when he said no again I told him “If I go out there and the door is open you are going to be in really big trouble for lying to me.  Are you telling me a lie?”  He of course then said “Oh! I’ll go shut the door then.”  Yes…he lied about it.

So while I’m getting out he says in an oh-by-the-way voice “Mom, I need you to wipe my butt.”  I’m like “What??  Why do I need to wipe your butt?” (Since I know he didn’t use the potty while I was in the bathroom!)  He then says that it’s because he went poop.  When I asked him where he said “Outside.”  Yes, outside.  When I asked where outside he confessed that he went on my front steps.  MY FRONT STEPS!!!  Where approximately 37 neighbor houses can see!  Never mind that he pooped on the brand new door mat I picked up last night.

What the heck was he thinking???

So I made him clean it up.  Yes….HE had to use paper towels and a walmart bag to scoop it up.  You know how he is…so he gagged, choked and retched the whole time.  That was probably the best punishment ever actually.  He hates anything that smells bad so he wont forget cleaning it up any time soon.  Which, hopefully, means that he wont poop on my front steps again.

Do you wonder what I do all day while Little Miss Sassy Pants is at school?  I simply TRY to keep up with Buddy.



(more photo fun.  Click to see them larger 🙂

two of our nieces, S & L 🙂

new hair cut...

Little Miss Sassy Pants love to climb the tree in the back yard.

L. Truth knows how to blow it up!

L. Truth giving Sassy Pants a hug...SO SWEET!

Lilacs from our yard


cousin movie time!

they are the same height!!

she loves me

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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in brother, kids, letter, life


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spring sickness… Feb. 16, 2012

Yo Bro 🙂

How are you?  Mom says it’s so cold there that you are wearing 5 layers in bed at night!  Is that true?  If I knitted you something warm (hat, scarf etc) could you wear it there?  I guess you could wear it to bed, huh?  I hear you have a pretty cool bachelor pad set up!  Hubby is jealous…he wants a giant tv.

Poor poor Buddy is sick again this week.  He’s had pneumonia.  On Monday morning we took him to the doctor and they put both kids on antibiotics.  Monday during the day his temp shot up to 104 and I couldn’t get it to stay down.  Cool baths worked short term but his temp would go right back up after he got out.  Finally on Monday evening we took him back in.  Poor kiddo was so so sick.  The dr. said that between that morning (when he was diagnosed with a sinus infection) and that evening he had developed pneumonia.  Thank goodness they had given him the right antibiotic that morning.  It took 5 or 6 doses of alternating tylenol and advil (every 3 hours) to get his fever down to around 100.  He’s also on steroid and albuterol breathing treatments.  Poor little guy has been so so sick.  He’s only got one more day of antibiotics and they’ve finally kicked in!  His temp is normal and he’s doing so much better.  he’s still coughing but I have a feeling that will take a little while to kick.  Little Miss Sassy Pants has been sick with the same thing but it didn’t turn into pneumonia for her.  She had to miss Valentines day at school and that was terrible for her.

what else can I tell you?  The dog is not working out.  Sometimes I think he’s too smart for his own good and sometimes I think he’s too dumb.  He started having accidents in the house and we can’t seem to get him potty trained.  First of all he will NOT stay in our fence.  He actually pulls apart the fence, breaking it to get out.  And he does this every.single.time. we let him outside.  He also won’t go potty if someone is out there with him …apparently he needs “alone” time.  So this means instead of going outside he’s been going in the house.  But he’s super sneaky about it!!  He waits until I go to the bathroom or get distracted with one of the kids and then he either runs to the basement or up to the kids room and goes.  So we’ve had to resort to tying him up in the yard even though we have a fence.  AND he still breaks the fence and goes through it while he’s on his tie out!!!  Yesterday he had to be rescued 3 times.  I’m so frustrated with him.  If he’s in the house he has to be in the crate unless I can WATCH him close.  If he’s outside he goes through the fence and constantly has to be rescued.  I love this dog, but he’s not happy, I’m not happy and Hubby is REALLY not happy.  He didn’t want me to bring the dog up here in the first place but he’s been very sweet about not saying “I told you so.”.  So…he’s going back to Arkansas.  Hubby’s dad really likes Sprite and is actually pretty happy to have him coming home.  They told me that he’s their dog now and I couldn’t have him back if we moved to the country somewhere!  lol.  It’s been hard.  I know Sprite can’t be happy. A big 65 lb. dog like him needs to be able to run and be active…he can’t get nearly enough of that here and I think he’ll be much happier on the farm.

Peanut is still a little treasure.  Did you know that when Buddy gets his breathing treatments Peanut comes and sits by him?   While he’s been sick she has spent a lot of time on his lap.  He’s sweet to her and is good at being gentle.  He doesn’t like the dog because he’s so big and clumsy.

It’s been a mild winter here so far!  I told Hubby that it was the Lord being kind to us and breaking us in to the cold slowly!  I still don’t go out a lot, but I will admit that it could have been much much worse!

Ok, I’ll leave you with a few recent pictures…

love you so much.  stay safe!!


poor sick kiddo

breathing treatment

Little Miss Sassy Pants got a haircut (at her request)...

Talented eyebrows...

waiting for cupcakes to finish baking...


nap time

silly kiddos



playing outside on one of the warmer days...

sweet Buddy

petting the furball

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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in brother, deployment, kids, letter, life


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January 4, 2012

Hello brother 🙂

How are you?  I know…it’s been too long since my last letter.  I’m sorry I’m not a great communicator.  Mom said that you got my package…do you think you’ll like the books?  I read that trilogy a few years ago and really loved it. I actually bought you the three books and then went out and bought copies for myself.  There is a second trilogy in the story line too so if you really like the books maybe I can send those in your next package.  Let me know what you think? )

How was your Christmas?  Did you get a lot of packages sent to you?  You know we all went to our sister Anne’s house for Christmas right?  It was a wild, but fun few days. We had already left the house and were on our way to Anne’s house when our sister Jean called and wanted to know if we had left yet.  She said that two of the kids were throwing up and we might not want to come that night.  We decided to go ahead and get there (since we were already half way there) and that we would stay in a hotel for the night.  So we did.  By the time we got to Anne’s house the next day the kids were done being sick and she had already disinfected everything.  Neither of our kids got sick 🙂  It was fun to all be together but we really missed you and Mel.  We did a lot of cooking, a lot of eating and a lot of taking care of kids 🙂

Today was Little Miss Sassy Pant’s first day back to school.  She was READY.  I was READY.  I love her dearly, but school is such a good channel for her energy and intelligence.  Do you know that yesterday she said to me “Mom, when I grow up I’ll be an astronaut and I’ll go to space every Tuesday.”  ha ha.  She totally makes me laugh.  Buddy is doing good too.  Next time we see you, you will have a Wii buddy!  He’s figured it all out and is super good at the sports games!  Let me just tell you, it may not be possible to beat him in sword fighting.  He has a real birthday this year!  I don’t know what we’ll do but we’ll have to have some sort of big birthday bash on the 29th.

Me and Hubby are doing good.  Work is keeping him busy, but at this new job there is a whole team of people that do what he does instead of just him.  So the stress is not nearly what it was at the other company.  I love that for him!  I am personally not enjoying the Minnesota winter.  But I shouldn’t complain…we’ve only had a few inches of snow this year (knock on wood)…maybe a dozen or so compared to the 50 (or whatever it was) last year.  I’ve got my space heater going and I wear my sheepskin boots all day long!  lol

I’ve been knitting and crocheting a lot these days.  I guess all the time indoors lends itself to some sort of creative outlet and those ones won.  I’ve been making mittens and scarfs and hats.  I have Anne’s baby blanket that I’m working on and also one for my sister in law.  Those two projects will take me a bit longer.

Well, I guess that’s about it for now.  Buddy decided that we needed to have Chili for dinner so I’ve got that going and should probably think about showering and having some lunch before it’s time to pick Sassy Pant’s up from school.  I love you!  I miss you!

Praying for you today…


(click on the pictures to see the larger version)

Hubby and Buddy


This one is just for you!

happy pup!

ha ha ha!

new boots for Christmas!

cousin picture

Christmas outfits

obviously Buddy has a stinky attitude...

pretty Little Miss Sassy Pants

the "Puddle" (huddle) as Buddy calls it...

reading the Christmas story

Buddy got a too-big big wheel

someday I will use this picture to blackmail him for good behavior.

Daddy has more fun than Buddy

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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in brother, deployment, kids, letter, life


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Christmas time!

Well…it’s December. Christmas is around the corner.  I’m missing you a lot and you’ve been heavy on my heart and mind.

It’s been SO cold here!  My blood must have thinned down South because I am not enjoying the cold!  Little Miss Sassy Pants thinks she’s still down South too.  Every day when I pick her up from school she’s not wearing her hat or mittens and a lot of times her jacket is unzipped.  It doesn’t matter how many times I tell her that it’s important to wear her hat, mittens, scarf etc. she still comes out under-dressed.  So last week after we got home from school I squated down to her level and said “Honey, do you know what frostbite is?”  Of course she shook her head no.  So I said “When its really really cold out (temps have been in the teens here) and you don’t wear your hat and mittens and scarf then when your fingers/toes/nose get too cold they can turn black and fall off.”

Now you may think this is extreme…but keep in mind that I DAILY am reminding her to wear her cold weather gear and she just ignores me.  I know that when she’s at school I can’t remind her, and I’m sure she doesn’t realize how important this is.

I explained to her that if people stayed out for a LONG time in the cold and didn’t dress warm enough that they could die from it.  I didn’t want to scare the living daylights out of her, but I needed her to know that it’s so so important to stay covered up.  Well, her eyes got really big and she wanted to know if that was for real or if I was teasing her.  I assured her that I wasn’t teasing.

Guess what?  it worked!!  Sassy Pants now dresses up in her hat, mittens and scarf every time she goes outside!  After I knew she got the point I made sure to explain to her that 5 minutes outside wasn’t going to give her frostbite but that it’s just better to dress warm so you don’t have to worry about it.  It might have worked too well…even though she knows she won’t get frostbite from walking from the house to the car without mittens on she still wears them!  When our 80 year old neighbor brought a coffee cake over to us the other day she promptly asked him “Where are your mittens and scarf?  You should wear them so you don’t get frostbite!”

oh my…it’s the age old struggle of protecting your kids (from frostbite OR too much information!) verses freaking them out with too much info.  I’m not sure I got the balance quite right on this one!

The Dog is doing awesome!  You would never guess that he has only been an outside dog until getting here!  He hasn’t had one potty accident in the house, and he’s inside %95 of the time..  The kids love having him in the house.  Or at least Little Miss Sassy Pants does.  Buddy likes him sometimes, but gets annoyed with him too.  The cat seems to have taken it in stride. I saw her (the 6 lb. cat) make him (the 60 lb. dog) back away from his food yesterday because she wanted it!  Lol, I let them work it out for the most part.

I guess that’s about it for now…Hubby is home and the soup on the stove is ready to eat.  Kids are playing upstairs and I guess I need to feed them soon.  I’ll wirte again soon, and I am going to leave you with a bunch of new pictures 😉

love you so,


I've been loving our fireplace!!

He's made himself at home.

Sprite thinks he's 6 pounds instead of 60.

itty bitty christmas tree for an itty bitty house 🙂

Decorating the tree...Buddy's hair is so long!

ready to go frostbite lecture worked!

Peanut went to Arkansas with us for Thanksgiving!

at the Hotel on the way to Arkansas

me and Peanut in the car

Buddy and Little Miss Sassy Pants liked the hotel pool...

Buddy loves to help me cook...maybe he takes after you!

the mittens that I made for Sassy Pants

she really loves her mittens.

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Posted by on December 12, 2011 in brother, deployment, kids, letter, life


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September 27, 2011

Hello brother of mine,

(click on the pictures to see the larger version)

How are you?  Right now Buddy and I are sitting at the coffee shop that is just around the corner from our house.  It’s a rainy cold day so after dropping Little Miss Sassy Pants off at school we decided it was a good day for coffee and hot chocolate.  Buddy loves this coffee shop because on the stage they’ve got blocks for him to play with.  So really, I’m sitting here drinking my coffee and writing to you and Buddy is coming back every few minutes for sips of his hot chocolate.

What else can I tell you?  I’ve made a couple of friends here in the neighborhood.  Both of them are moms that have kids in kindergarten and we met walking our kids to school in the mornings.  It’s really nice to know a few people and to have some other moms to do stuff with.  I have a feeling the coffee shop is going to be seeing a lot of us! lol…

on another note, the whole coffee shop just heard your nephew announce “Mom!  I have to go poop!!”  Someday when he’s 15 I’ll torment him with that.

I love our little house.  It’s small, but it is starting to feel so cozy!!  We finally got bookshelves for the “office” and have been working this week to get all the books put up in it.


Have I told you that Sassy Pants is in Tae Kwon Do?  She LOVES it.  Last week she actually stayed for two hours because her teacher told her she could stay for the second class.  Thats a lot of time for a five year old to focus on one thing!  I think you can probably tell from these video’s how much fun she is having!

Buddy is doing good with soccer too.  I took some pictures this last week while we were at his soccer match but I haven’t gotten them off my camera yet.  I’ll be sure to put some in my next letter to you!  He’s so cute with his blond curls bouncing along as he chases the soccer ball.

Not much else is going on here right now.  We are in the process of looking through a church…we’ve tried a couple of different ones but haven’t really found one that fits us yet.  There is a Lutheran church just down the street from us that we might try.  I’ve noticed that they have bible studies in the mornings at the local coffee shop and that would be good for me since I won’t have a car to drive around.

Alright…I know this is short but Buddy is getting tired of the coffee shop toys and I need to head home so I can feed him and put him down for his nap.  I love you.  I miss you.  I’m praying for you a lot.  Stay safe and come home to us!



ps.  I’ll leave you with a few pictures…

fall is here!!

Kamikaze Sassy Pants

cozy living room

Sassy models our new (tiny!) table and chairs.

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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in brother, deployment, kids, letter, life


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Sept. 8, 2011

Dear Dave,

(click on photo to see large version)

I’ve been trying to write to you all morning but it’s been one of those days where every 30 seconds one of the kids has a tragedy.  I finally banished Buddy to the back yard because he was being so wild in the house.  But of course it’s not that simple.  Once he is outside he discovers he’s hungry.  And he’s thirsty.  And he wants to water the tomato plants.  And now I need to wash the tomatoes so he can eat them.  And then I have to wash them all again because he dropped them.  Oh, and by the way, this is all in about 5 minutes time.    We’ll see if the kids actually let me write to you at all.

We are working on getting settled in the house.  I forgot how the mess gets way worse before it gets better!

I hate unpacking.

Yesterday me and the kids set out for a walk.  We live really close to Como park and the free Zoo and Conservatory.  I didn’t know if it would be too far of a walk for the kids so I didn’t tell them that’s where we were headed, but it was so nice outside.  I figured it was the perfect day for a little exploring.  The zoo is about 3/4 of a mile away.  And guess what?  The kids did awesome!  Once they realized where we were they got so excited.

at the zoo

I’ve heard that it gets really packed on the weekends (because it’s free) and Little Miss Sassy Pants starts school next Monday so I knew we didn’t have much more time to check it out.  It wasn’t too crowded and the kids had a blast.

in the Conservatory

The Conservatory might have even been better than the zoo.  The kids LOVED the jungle room and there were lots of different types of gardens.  They even had one garden that was full of edibles like cinnamon trees and banana trees.

misty Fern room


flower garden

they loved running up and down the paths in the jungle room

Polar Bear!

curly hair


she's either grinning at us or she thinks we are lunch...

As we’ve been unpacking I’ve come across a lot of old pictures that have been in storage.  I thought you might like to see some of them 🙂

I love this picture

sweet Jake!

We only live about half a mile from the state fair grounds…so last weekend we went to the fair!  I think it would have been fun if there hadn’t been so many people there…we spent the whole time pushing ourselves through the crowd.  I didn’t get a lot of pictures but I did get this one of Buddy asleep in his stroller 🙂

asleep at the fair

We took a bike taxi home from the fair.

He also fell asleep while we were at Ikea buying the kids bunk beds…

poor kiddo!

bunk beds!


well, I can promise you that I’ve been interrupted no less than 27 times while writing this little note to you.  I need to get going but I will write again soon.  I love you.  I miss you.




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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in brother, deployment, kids, letter, life


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