Celebrating Nathan

Nathan had his yearly “check-up” at work. They don’t call them reviews 🙂

The whole process is so encouraging. The work atmosphere is such that your team leaders don’t wait to tell you if you are doing something that needs improvement. So, you don’t have to worry about being blindsided once a year regarding things you could have already been working on.

So, for Nathan’s yearly check up, he talked with his team leaders about how the year went and they basically spent a lot of time encouraging him in his strengths. They also have a time with the whole team when all the team members give positive feedback. Nathan got to hear from all of his peers about what they appreciate about him.

I’m so proud of him and know that most of you who read here understand and are cheering him on as well. We are so blessed that Nathan gets to do something he loves and is in such a great encouraging and motivating environment!


One of his team mates wasn’t there and sent an email instead. This is what he said,


I don't want to miss an opportunity to celebrate Nathan just because I'm

God brings the right people at just the right time to get His work done.
Nathan is obviously the right person at the perfect time. We could never
have accomplished the quality of Ruby migration over the past year
without his craftsmanship, quality, passion, and love for doing Ruby
well. His positive influence is all over our approach to Ruby. We are in
a far better place because of Nathan's awesome influence. I'm so glad
he's on our team!

Thanks, Nathan!



Weekend Wrap-Up

It was a really nice weekend.

We were going to have friends over on Saturday night, but decided to cancel because the kids were all coughing a lot and didn’t sleep well Friday night. They seem better now. I think it was good to make plans to reschedule. I usually don’t worry about coughs, but I think we needed a nice low key weekend.

Both Nathan and I were able to run on Saturday. The morning was cold. So, I bundled up, but I didn’t need my gloves by the end of my run. By the afternoon it was warm and sunny. I ran some errands including getting groceries and returning library books. Somewhere in there Nathan got his quad-copter stuck in our tree. Eventually, with some teamwork, he got it down. We wrapped up the night with a family movie night- Spy Kids 3.

Today was church day. The sermon was great. We’re going through a series on the DNA of our church and the last couple of weeks have really challenged me. I’m a Bible Bowl volunteer now. So, I come to practice and help with quizzing the kids and a few other administrative things. Practice is Sunday afternoons. So, that takes up a few hours of the afternoon. Then we ended our day with our Life Group. We had some new families tonight. That was fun!

I hope you guys in MN are staying safe and warm!

Weight Loss Update

I’m down 5.8 lbs since January 1. Yahoo!!

I’m thinking of doing the diet bet on this site. There are challenges set up to lose 10% of your weight in 6 months or 4% in 4 weeks. I’m looking at the 6 month one. There is an entrance fee and everyone who hits the the goal splits the pot.  There are options to set up your own bet or join a group. A bigger group has a bigger pot, but also more potential winners…. It looks like fun to me. Maybe it would be cool to join in. I would do it starting in February for budget reasons 🙂

If anyone else is interested, maybe we could join the same bet. Let me know!

Happy Friday!




Discovery Center Trip

Today the kids and I went to the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro. There was free admission because of the holiday. It was our first time going and it was a lot of fun. It’s a children’s museum. One of the exhibits was actually a Curious George exhibit from Minnesota. It’s something I’m sure we will do again.

In other news, Audrey’s reading is really coming along. It’s like a light just turned on. I attribute it to two things: First of all, developmentally, I really believe that Audrey had some maturing in her brain development. Not all kids’ brains are ready for reading at the same time. Second, the new curriculum that we’re using is fun and hands-0n. She is reading signs on the side of the road! At night when we tuck her in, she has been writing stories in her journal and sometimes reading one of her readers (sometimes to herself and sometimes to her brothers) and tonight she even read some Bible verses for a class we had at church. It was awesome! I’m so proud of her hard work! I’m also very thankful for good friends who have helped me with teaching!

I was thinking about my mom this weekend. Yesterday marked 6 years without her. It seems like life should have stopped, but it hasn’t.

Tomorrow we get to see some friends we don’t often see. The kids are excited! The children who lived next door have moved back in with their family (they were foster children) and our kids are missing them. Most nights the kids played together at our house or theirs. It’s been a little sad. So, having some other friends to come and play will be good for all of us!



Brick Fair

On Saturday we surprised the kids by telling them we were going on an adventure.

We got in the car and drove south for 2 1/2 hours. Birmingham, Alabama. It was a sunny morning and a great day for a drive. When we arrived we got to experience Brick Fair! That’s a huge lego fair. There are people from all over who display amazing creations that have been done with legos. There were also places set up for the kids and play and build. It was awesome! We capped the day off by meeting some friends at the Sheraton to swim in the pool. I love family adventures!

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4 Pounds

I’ve lost 4 pounds since January 1.

Here is my secret 🙂 I have been cooking more real food. I am enjoying the meals I eat while gathered around the table with my family. I haven’t even been tracking calories. In fact, I baked bread several days in a row. There were other meals that weren’t necessarily low in calories either.

My plan was to do more cooking and less just heating things up– like things you pull out of the freezer and just put in the oven and have no other steps to prepare dinner. Those are the things I stayed away from (mostly) this week. The other part of my plan was to not eat snacks after dinner.  In trying to make my goals more realistic, I think I’m going to change that to allow myself to have a snack after dinner twice a week. It’s better than every night.

I didn’t eat much in between meals because I wasn’t that hungry.

I’m working hard on trying to figure out the habits I can implement that will be long-term changes I’ll stick with. So, I don’t anticipate my weight to fall off that quickly. The first week is always the easiest!

I’m also training to run a 5k in April. It’s so much easier for me to be active when I have a goal to work towards.

Are you guys doing anything to be more healthy?

2 Years

Today marks Nathan’s second anniversary at his job. This morning he sent me a message thanking me for being willing to move. He said that these two years have probably been some of the best years of his life.

Wow! That’s a big statement. We are happy. But, it’s still bittersweet to me. We have much to be thankful for. We are glad to be here. But we do miss our friends and family in the north.

On Tuesday morning, it was 2 degrees here. We did have a below 0 windchill. I know it’s not nearly as cold as it was in MN/WI. Construction is different here though. I would have scoffed at it earlier, but on Monday and Tuesday there were pipes bursting all over the place (not our house). Electricity went out in east Franklin for a short while Monday night. People were running their faucets to keep them from freezing. These are the sort of things I have never worried about before when the weather got cold. And now life is back to normal. It’s 40 degrees.


Ethan has a cold. His tummy was bothering him tonight. He has a bucket wit him in bed. Hopefully, it’s a false alarm.

Audrey has been busy with her reading lessons and all things girly: horse movies, books on beagles, puggles and boxers (because those are the kinds of dogs our family members have), Barbies and her doll Scarlett.

Isaac has been wearing the same shirt for the last 3 days. It’s a t-shirt we received handed down from a friend. She had put a 4 on a t-shirt for her son’s birthday. Now he’s 5. Isaac is 4. He believes that 4 is his number. Tomorrow I may request that he wear something else.

We finished reading Charlotte’s Web this week. I really enjoyed reading it to the kids. Now, we’re moving on to Ramona Quimby.

Happy Thursday!


I’ve been reading quite a bit lately and I’ve been updating my lists of  books to read.

Last week I read Chasing God by Angie Smith. It happened to be out early (before the release date) at a local store and she had actually came in a signed a bunch of the books on the shelf. I picked up one of the autographed copies.

Here’s a video trailer about the book:

It was really, really good.

And then I read  Between Shades of Gray. No, it’s not that  scandalous 50 Shades of Grey book that everyone has talked about. This one is a novel about a family in Lithuania during WWII. It was very interesting.

I have found that I am really interested in WWII history. It’s so fascinating to me. I sat and watched a documentary on Hiroshima last week. I’m an odd person. 🙂

The next book that I’m looking forward to reading is this one:

Quiet. The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.

Doesn’t that sound great??? Have you read anything good lately? Are you looking forward to reading anything in particular?