Breathing Room

This afternoon, as I was looking around our house, I seriously started feeling closed in by all our things. There were piles of things everywhere. Things that need to be sorted and things that used to be in the basement that are now crowding us out of our main level. There is a full-sized mattress and boxspring in my kitchen. So, I started a list and I just plowed ahead. Then I told Nathan how I was feeling and he went into action when he got home. We accomplished a lot. I feel like I can breathe now. I do still have a mattress and boxspring against the wall in my kitchen though.

Things finished: I cleaned the boys’ room, organized the boys’ closet, sorted the books on the bookshelf, cleared off the kitchen counter, brought my scrapbooking stuff downstairs (to be sorted later), went through another bookshelf with Nathan and decided to get rid of a bunch of books, folded and put away laundry, and Nathan did a bunch of other things that I don’t remember right now.

In the midst of our craziness, we took some time for a movie tonight. We got How To Train Your Dragon. It was a cute movie. It arrived just in time to allow us some time with the kids calmed down and not chasing after each other. One 6 year old boy + One toddler boy = NOISE.

I also managed to take some photos today:




Memorial Day 2011

I was hoping to sleep later today because it was a day off for Nathan, but it didn’t work out that way. Thunderstorms rolled through early in the morning and I couldn’t sleep well after that. And then, of course, all 3 of the kids woke up ready to go before we were!

It was a pretty low-key day. The kids played with their K’nex building blocks. Nathan made them into cars and guns and the kids were thrilled. Isaac ran around shooting every one. He was pleased with himself. For lunch we had hamburgers that Nathan grilled. Then is was nap time. Isaac napped and not long after he fell asleep, I decided I needed a nap myself.

After naptime, Nathan decided that he needed to mow the lawn. So, the big kids went out and played in the sandbox and garage and I took Isaac out in the stroller for a two mile walk. I ran a tiny bit, but mostly I walked. It was so hot and humid, but I’m not complaining. We had a long, cold winter and I’m thankful for the sunshine.

I’m feeling mostly relaxed as we enter this week. I’m hoping to wrap up some laundry and dishes before bed so tomorrow morning is less rushed. We’ll be finishing our school year this week and we have two birthdays happening in the next 4 days. It will be a full week!

These are a few of my favorite things


being married to a man who enjoys reading with our kids- even when it means putting on 3-D glasses.

Sunday nights when Nathan has Monday off!

being a part of a church family that proactively reaches out to meet the needs in the church family and in the community.

brand new calendars.

planning out school work for the coming year.

watching Isaac run (head down and arms pumping).


picnic food.

watching 24.

kids snuggling in our bed in the morning.

Back Home!

In spite of nature’s deluge of water that made it into our basement, we were still able to take off on vacation. Plans were altered a little, but it was not the worst case scenario. The kids and I left on Monday morning at 9:00am. Nathan opted to stay behind and do a little more clean-up so that we wouldn’t have to deal with it when we arrived back from vacation. Nathan joined us one day later. I was so thankful that we had already planned to go with Dad and Joyce. That made it possible for me to be without Nathan and still make sure everyone was safe and having a fun time. But we were so thrilled when he arrived. I ran out to the car and Audrey ran right down the hall into his arms. When I asked Nathan what his favorite part of our vacation was, he said that was it!

It would have been quite a bummer to tell these very excited children that we would have to postpone the excitement. Ethan woke up on Monday morning and told me he was so happy he felt like crying.


We played and played for 3 days straight.




And this is the only photo we got of us as a family. Oh well 🙂


Now we’re home and it’s time for dealing with laundry and figuring out how to dispose of our basement carpet! We’re also trying to plan our next move for safeguarding the basement from rain water and wondering how likely it is that this will happen again. Our neighbor said that we received 5 inches of rain over the weekend. I’m thinking that’s not a normal thing, but it would still be smart to put some things in place so we don’t have to be worried about our home anytime we are gone for a couple of days.

Flood update

It’s 6:51pm. Nathan and a friend from church are still working on pumping water out of the basement. It has slowed down significantly, but it’s still seeping in.

Rewinding back to this morning:

Nathan went to bed at 3:ish and I got up with the kids at about 6:30 and took the kids to church at 8:00. The basement was dry and had been since Nathan had gone to sleep. Now that we were all out of the way, Nathan could get some more sleep. I asked my friend, Dawn, if she had a dehumidifier that we could use. She generously offered it and said we could take a box fan too. I would just follow her and her husband home after church and get it. Then some other friends volunteered to come over and help us move some furniture.

Shortly after church started, I started crying and I couldn’t stop. I was so exhausted and overwhelmed with how we would figure all this out while still leaving for our vacation on Monday. And then I could hear the rain start again. Not just a little rain either. It was pouring pretty hard. When the morning service ended, Dawn came over and said that their family was coming with lunch, a fan, dehumidifier and another shopvac. I was so thankful!

When we got to our house, I called for Nathan and didn’t get an answer. I found him fast asleep in bed. He needed it! He woke quickly and he and Craig (Dawn’s husband) checked out the basement. It still looked pretty good. Dawn made lunch and just as we were starting to eat at 1:00, the water started coming in the basement again. Within 30 minutes, our other friends had shown up and there were 5 people helping suck up the water and dump the water when the buckets were full. They were getting up 10 gallons a minute and hardly keeping up with the water flow. Gradually, the water slowed a little bit. Craig and Nathan hooked up a contraption so that they could have the shopvac automatically empty into a bucket. In the bucket was a hose that sucked the water out and down the driveway into the street. That took care of that one area of water. There were a couple of other areas too. That’s what has made this so difficult to manage.

We’re really at a loss as to why this is happening now. We have not had any water in our basement from rain in the 5 years that we have lived here. It’s not like this if the first time we’ve had lots of rain at one time either. Oh well. I think we’ll be pricing the cost of getting a sump pump on the basement. That can’t be a cheap thing to do. *sigh* But we can’t be working 8 hours non-stop bailing water every time there is a heavy rain.

So, that’s where we’re at for now. Over 1000 gallons of water pumped out of the basement today alone!

Please pray that we’ll get a respite from addition rain. If we can avoid more rain Nathan can go with us when we leave for vacation tomorrow. Otherwise, I’ll be taking off with the kids at our planned time and Nathan will meet up with us in a day. That isn’t ideal, but it’s better than the disappointment of not getting to go at all. I don’t even want to imagine cleaning up a mess in the basement AND consoling the kids if they didn’t get to go!

The Rains Came Down

and the floods came up.

In our basement.

We’ve bailed about 250 gallons of water so far. It’s still coming up through the foundation. The water came so hard and so fast that the ground has become completely saturated. Even the city storm drainage system has overflowed. Pray that the water stops coming in. I’m sure there are others who have it much worse than we do. Nathan is already planning to stay up all night to keep up with the water.

ETA: Well, it’s Sunday at 6:28am now. Nathan was up until 3:30. I have no idea how much water we had, but we were using two shopvac’s at the same time for a while.

Friday Photos


I’ve been researching different books for school for next year. This is one of the books I brought home with me today. Look at the date on that check-out card. Amazing!


Garage Sale success for Ethan! It’s the Winsted city-wide garage sale week/weekend. I found this Game Boy and games for a steal. I also have everything I need for Audrey through the winter.


This would have been a much cooler picture if I had a better angle. Do you see the eagle through the tree branches? This is a nest that we get to drive by every time we go to our church. I love it!


My friend, Kelly, came tonight to talk about her new ministry with Athletes in Action. Isaac immediately attached to her and started running through the house chanting her name, sitting on her lap, chattering to her non-stop and kissing her repeatedly. This is his adoring look as he talks to her!


Giving Kelly a smooch.

Early Mornings

I was awake for the day at 5:30 today. It’s been a bit of an adjustment to get used to getting up early to work out. I’m so sleepy in the afternoons! It wasn’t as difficult to get up this morning though. Isaac was awake for the day by 5:30 as well. Ugh.

There are lots of positive things about getting up early and exercising though. First of all, this morning was beautiful. It was clear and bright with the early morning sun while I ran. It became cloudy shortly after I got home, but it was lovely while I was running. Secondly, it’s so peaceful and quiet. I love the stillness before all the machinery is running at the manufacturing plants and the quiet of the streets with few cars out.

It was a busy day. School with the kids this morning, friends over for a morning play time, appointment in Burnsville and then funeral visitation in Minneapolis. I’m feeling a little sleepy now.