Friday, October 31, 2008

More Kid Funnies

I've been not feeling well for awhile, so Tony has been taking over many of the household things for me. Well, at least, I've not been doing them...including making sure the kids have been keeping their room tidy -- clothes in the hamper, books picked up, beds made, etc.

A couple nights ago was the first time in several days I was upstairs with them for bed time and almost choked when I saw their room. Clothes all over. Books all over. Blankets strewn throughout the room. A very nasty smell due to Susi's disposable overnights laying all over the floor and Luke's saturated overnights (washable) still inside numerous pairs of pjs also scattered throughout the room. Ugh!

I have not been working very hard beyond encouragment to make sure the kids get up overnight to use the bathroom, if they have to go. The way our house is set up, the bathroom is two floors below their bedroom, and even though there are night lights throughout, it's still kind of dark at night, ya know? But both Tony and I encourage them to go downstairs for potty, or at least come in our room and get one of us to go with them. For awhile, they had both been doing very good. For awhile.

After seeing and smelling their room, though, I told them both "ENOUGH! You WILL be getting out of bed to go downstairs for potty, or we are going back to diapers for both of you." That horrified especially Luke who assured me that he would not be wet any more in the mornings.

The next morning I awoke when I heard over the monitor "Luke, you are wet!" "Yes, I know. But don't tell Mama, because it isn't going to happen again. I'll make my bed and she won't know." After a snicker or two, I later instead complimented them both on making their beds so nice without being told. However, that evening I did let them know I'd stopped at WalMart and ALMOST picked up some diapers but decided to wait one more day. "You didn't get diapers, did you, Mama?" "No, Luke, but I can go tomorrow if I need to."

This is what I heard this morning:

"Luke, Luke, wake up! I am not wet! I am DWY! Are you dwy?"

"Huuuuh? Uhhh, hey, I AM dry! I did it! I did not get wet last night! I don't need diapers!"

"Luke, we are both dwy! It's a MIWACLE!"

"No, Susanna, THAT is not a miracle, but it is good that we are dry."

"Well, it's a miwacle for me!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Favorite!

After our journey through the woods the other day, we stopped at the farm to look at some of the trees there. The kids were MUCH more interested in trying to get the crab apples than anything else!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Well, today is another day, and I got to the hospital for an ultrasound first thing this morning. Everything showed pretty normal except for my liver which is a "rough liver" as my doctor (who was on call) described it. Not sure what that means, but I have a follow up appointment Thursday to see what's going on. After my dentist appointment earlier that day!

However, praise God!, I AM finally feeling better. Drank some broth last night which again sent me straight to bed praying that I'd feel better, but when I woke up, I was just thirsty. But I couldn't drink....until after the ultrasound. Had some eggs and toast for lunch and, considering that was three hours ago, I'm doing quite well, thank you very much! Was I at the tail end of a virus? Is it something more? I don't know, but I sure appreciate the prayers! Thanks also for the notes so many of you have sent.

The two things I did the most of during the past week were sleep and read my Bible. I sort of jumped all over, wherever I was lead -- Job, Ecclesiastes, Hosea, Isaiah, Psalms, John, Luke, I Corinthians, Acts, Revelations, Ephesians, Phillippians, Romans, to name a few. I just devoured everything I read, going from text to footnotes (Life Application Bible -- GREAT notes!) and back. Everything I'd read before at some point in my life, sometimes many times before, but what delights me is that God's Word is always fresh and new, restoring and delighting, applicable in every circumstance. I would decide to start reading a particular passage and get caught somewhere else along the way for an hour or so, sometimes never getting to where I had intended to go but reading what God intended for me to was great! But each and every thing I read was a personal ministry to me for what I've been going through or things I've been grappling with for awhile. The times when I feel stressed. The times when I feel discouraged. The times when I feel overwhelmed as a mom. The times when I am wholeheartedly rejoicing. The struggle with how much to financially support one's local church as opposed to so many other ministries that need financial help. The times when I feel distant from God. The times when I see and feel God's hand of provision and blessing on my life and my family's. Maybe that's part of what this week of illness was for... just a time for God to minister to me One-on-one in a way that's hard to do when one is a mom of preschoolers with several other things going on. I listened to praise music over and over and over again, often falling asleep to it, always having it calm me through everything I've been going through.

I've also exchanged a few emails with someone in Ohio. I don't know if he's my cousin's husband or boyfriend or fiance or what, but the emails made me sad. They started with an email I had forwarded about politics to which he responded. Through this whole election process this year, I am amazed at how blind so many people seem to be. Or, maybe it's me. I don't understand how so many people who are Christ-followers don't care about life and turn a blind eye to the position of abortion simply because other things are "more important." What is more important than life? I don't understand how people don't seem to care that the country is falling into socialism. Why don't people want to take responsibility for their own actions instead of passing the blame on others or holding their hand out for freebies?

Here in Minnesota, we have someone running for a high government office who writes pornography, belittles women, hates Christians, has a worse mouth than the entire office I worked for that was almost completely made of sailors...Why is it when truth is pointed out about one candidate (truth backed up in numerous indisputable ways), the person pointing out the truth is accused of "dirty politics" yet when half-truths and misconceptions and personal vendettas are aired about the other candidate, it is portayed as fact? One more week. It'll be over. Maybe. I don't know who will win. I know who I am praying to win, for so many reasons, but I also know that MY will may not be GOD'S will. After all, God is the One Who puts each person in office, whether we may ever understand it or not. And, I may not like who ends up in the elected positions, but my responsibility will be to pray for them and the decisions they face.

But back to the emails. Maybe it's because I have such a sheltered life now, living in a small town, actively involved mainly with only my family and church and small community, but I don't understand the mindset of "liberals." He is completely opposed to McCain being elected because 1) Sarah Palin bans books. 2) Conservatives might be put on the supreme court and if so a) abortion will be outlawed b) homosexuals will be hated c) all art that is offensive to Christians will be completely banned d) Christianity will impact in some way our government and that's not what our country was founded on. (huh?) He has the view that because Thomas Jefferson rewrote the Bible removing any supernatural happening that Christ did (miracles, birth, resurrection), that our country should not have anything to do with Christianity. (He also thinks Christ was betrayed for 40 pieces of gold.) He claims that Jesus Christ probably never existed simply because the Romans never wrote about Him while He was alive and the Romans, well, they wrote about EVERYTHING.

We've been civil. I've considered just ignoring the emails. He is really messed up in so many of his views, and I'm not just saying that because we are on different sides of the fence. I pity him. I've spent alot of time in prayer for him...and for my cousin who I cannot believe is involved with someone with those beliefs. But sadly, he is not alone in his beliefs. As long as Christ continues to use His people to shed light on a darkened world, we will have opposition. Sin hates being exposed and will do anything possible to make itself alluring while making the Light look threatening.

It makes me sad. This world is sooo messed up!

So there you have it. My ramblings for the day.

(Greater is He Who is in me than he that is in the world -- ah! What a promise!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Still going...

my yuckiness, that is. Felt great most of the morning only to get whammed again around noon. Ended up in bed, feeling so lousy that I called Blue Cross's 24-hour help line. Told 'em my symptoms, how long I'd been feeling like it, and she told me "HANG UP AND CALL AN AMBULANCE IMMEDIATELY!" Whaaa? She told me everything indicated heart symptoms; stay laying down until the ambulance got there. Well, I called Tony instead and he rushed me into a VERY jam packed emergency room. Finally got in the back (and I was on the "rush" list! But hey, that guy with the nail sticking out of his hand...yeah, I was hoping they'd get him in first, too!) about an hour later with a doctor coming in half an hour after that, blood tests fifteen minutes later only to have the doc pop his head back in fifteen minutes later and tell me he'd like to run a pregnancy test. WHAAAA??????? NOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Two hours later (seriously) was the next time I saw someone other than my beloved husband who had left for a finance meeting at church, finished that, came back, left again to check on the market, came back. The doctor came back in, seemed a bit disappointed in my relief that I am NOT pregnant, and told me everything pretty much looks great except for elevated liver enzymes. The two previous blood works I had this year also showed the same, but my doctor didn't think it was a problem. However, he scheduled me in for an ultrasound tomorrow morning of my liver and gall bladder to see what was going on. He also told me if I'm on the tail end of a virus, it wouldn't show in my blood work as my body's antibiotics would have pretty much eliminated everything but the yucky feeling. we headed home and off I'll be to the hospital for an ultrasound tomorrow morning. I feel a bit better than when I went in but still yucky again. It seems I feel better only when I'm laying down.

And Susi has complained the past three days that her tummy "hurtses." Oh. Yippee.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What was that again?

I'm feeling better today, although we stayed home from church as a family and got some extra rest in while having church at home. Thanks for your prayers!

The kids continue to delight me with their version of devotions at bed time. They are both so earnest as they "read" their little bookmark for their own devotion. "Be kind to one another. God likes when you are kind but not when you are bad. Listen to your Mama and obey her or you will get a spanking. Susanna 8, 9, 11, 40." "Jesus wants us to be good. He will keep His angels around you with their flaming swords and they will cut the neighbor dog in half if he chases you. Luke 10 tractor 12."

Today after lunch Susi came upstairs with a big grin on her face and candy in her hand. "Sus," I asked, "what do you have there?" "Candy! Daddy gave me some LMNs!"

And did you know? Davy Crockett fought the red sheets!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Today I am sick. I've been feeling "ishy" (as my mother-in-law says) for several days now, spending more time than usual in bed. But today I woke up even worse. Being sick is no fun. Being sick as a mom is even worse...but I'm thankful for my mother-in-law who has spent a good amount of time this week playing with Susanna, has taken her for the day, and came over this morning to fix breakfast for the kids.

Luke is out with Daddy at our last pumpkin party being Davy Crockett...and I don't get to see him today :( The weather is beautiful, there is a huge turn out again (thank You, God!), we had two birthday parties there, but I'm not.

I spent most of the morning in bed and made the mistake of getting up around 1:00 this afternoon when I woke up after a heavy sweat (and finally a full hour of no phone calls! The phone just didn't stop ringing this morning!!!). I felt okay for a bit but am feeling a bit woozy again, so I'll be tucked under the sheets again soon.

I'm bummed. Not just cuz I'm sick, this isn't a pity party for me (well, okay, maybe a little bit it is!), but we had planned to leave tomorrow after church for Gretna, NE, home of Vala's Pumpkin Patch, THE biggest pumpin festival in the world. We were going to return Tuesday evening. No way I'll be up to going now.

Keep us in your's hard around the house when Mama's not well, but I've had some great help from friends over the last few days, and especially from Tony and Mama Carter. Luke woke up yesterday with a headache and dry heaves, but a quick trip to the clinic determined his insides seemed fine...and watching him rushing all over today again proved the same!'s off to bed I go. Again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Last Week's Pumpkin Party (our biggest crowd so far!)

Still the star of our shows!

We had no "little scarecrow" this week; instead, "Davey Crockett" joined the cast!

This picture cracks me up...looks like the bear has been beheaded! (He's actually "bear hugging" Rocky)

Some of our cast of characters (empasis on CHARACTERS!)

The bear and gorilla often wished "Professor Carter" a happy birthday as the wagon load of folks would sing along!

Tony has giant sunflowers planted in the maze this year...

You never know WHAT you'll find in a tree!

This year's giant pumpkins

I love these bear pictures!

Some of the crowds we had during the day and the activities they did....which included singing Happy Birthday several times to Tony (with a great duet from Bill and Jan Lundsten)
We celebrated Tony's birthday as a family with BLTs (sans peanut butter) Friday evening just amongst ourselves. The kids had picked out a card from WalMart that played "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," Tony's signature banjo piece, when you opened it. I had picked out a card that basically said he's still my "Macho, Macho Man" (and plays a horrid rendition of the song when you open it) -- Susi LOVES the "muscle man" card while Luke continually opens the banjo card, making for an interesting blend of music. The cake we enjoyed with family and employees at the Market on Saturday, his actual birthday.
Opening the cards

Dancing to "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"

She found my favorite snuggling place!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, My Love!

Today is Tony's birthday. He is 43 years young, and I've been very blessed to spend the past six years with him, five of them as his wife, four of them with two other small people in our home. He is a wonderful blessing to me and our children and, I think, most everyone who comes in contact with him.

Tony is a hard worker, often gone before sunrise and usually out working again after the kids are in bed -- because yes, he takes the time to have supper and read stories and have prayers with the kids each evening (except for extreme circumstances). He is often up several times during the night, checking the temperature and going out to feed the fire at the farm, turn on water if frost is coming, move the irrigators, check the cows (especially when they're due to give birth...or if he forgot to feed them!) and more. He loves to work with his hands and would probably do some kind of wood working if it would pay the bills...but he also loves the land and enjoys preparing the soil, planting seeds, tending the plants, harvesting the produce, and enjoying the look and taste of what his hands have helped bring about (as do we all!). I don't know how he does it all!
As if farming wasn't enough, Tony also knows about plumbing and electric -- he has added electrical outlets to our house, put in plumbing for our washing machine, successfully installed our dishwasher, vented the dryer out side and inside (depending on the time of year), helped carpet our basement, built a playhouse for the kids, made a bed (and training potty) for Luke, creates wonderful costumes for the pumpkin parties, he dug a new well for our home, put in a new septic system (and did such a great job that the inspector said it was better than most professionals!), and does so many repairs to machines and more both here and at the farm (and the market), that I'm amazed. He takes out the garbage and takes up the laundry, he makes sure the doors are locked every night and checks on the children before going to bed himself.

Not only that, Tony is a wonderful artist...but doesn't often have the time to put his attention to doing much art work...although he takes the time to draw a picture for me usually for my birthday, our anniversary, and Christmas. One of my favorites was the picture he drew in my birthday card the first year I was his wife. We had just found out we were expecting a baby and hadn't told anyone yet. To the ordinary viewer, it was a cute picture...Tony and I having a picnic on a blanket, lovely scenery around us. But if you didn't know our news, you didn't realize there were tiny footprints drawn approaching our picnic blanket....

He has made a couple banjos...and taught himself how to play. He plays the trombone, and you don't want to ever play a game with him because he takes soooo long to think through each and every move! (I read a book or do some craft work when we play Scrabble.) He is an accomplished hunter and we always end up with toooo much venison!

Tony also is involved with church -- after two years of helping with our children on Wednesday nights so I could be involved with Awana, he is back to being a leader for the Boys' T&T group. He will resume teaching Sunday School to the 3-year-old class next quarter, something he started doing a couple years back.

October 18, 1965, Mama Carter gave birth to her seventh and last child -- Anthony Paul Carter. He was over 9 pounds (Mama can't remember exactly...and she can't find his baby book :( ). She told me once that after seven children, she ran out of names which is why Tony's middle name is the same as his oldest brother's given name. She told me he was always a good boy and usually very quiet.
Tony will be doing what he usually does on his birthday -- spending time with his family and working. We have another pumpkin party, and we are anticipating a VERY busy day, but I have a few surprises lined up for him (and in case he reads this blog before they happen, I'm not mentioning them...yet!).
Can you tell I love this man? And do you understand why?

I love you, honey, and we will do our best to give you a wonderful birthday!