Friday, May 12, 2017

Kid Funnies

Ben: "Do you know maple syrup comes from sap in a tree?"

Lily: "I know that, Papa told me."

Cora: "Actually, I learned that from Curious George."


Hattie: "Mama! I forgot to do my avotions!!"

Translation: avotions=devotions


Hattie (age 3): "He is risen!"

Mom: "He is risen indeed!!"

Hattie: "That's so important, I have to remember that in my brain!"

Mom: "He is risen!"

Hattie: "He is risen in oven!" close!


Hattie: "Mom, how do you say yes in Spanish?"

Mom: "Si"

Hattie: "How do you say one in English?"


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Florida Recap...Leaving on a Jet Plane...March 12, 2017

Destination: Tampa, FL
Departure Time: 3:40pm
Layover in Michigan

As has been documented on the blog, we kept our vacation daisy chain, removing one chain each day until it got shorter and shorter and then there was nothing left of it.

We were so excited when that last chain was removed and we knew we were just hours away from leaving for the airport.

Grammie came and picked us up. We loaded in with such excitement.

We were dropped off at the airport where we promptly took a picture. After all, this was the first time for the kids to get on a plane where they were all old enough to remember it! We soon realized that in all our excitement, we forgot Hattie's carseat in the van. A quick call was made as well as a U-turn my Grammie and within about 10 minutes, she was back out front with our precious cargo.

My crew searched for our flight and found our gate. The plane was full so our seats were scattered all around the plane. Hattie and I were together, but everyone else...well that was a different story. At least God provided kind people to sit next to the kids. I was so nervous they would end up by some creepy person, but God took care of all of us.

The first leg of our trip took us from MSP to Michigan. I was glad that this was such a short little jaunt since we couldn't be by each other. It's hard as a mama to have your children all spread out!

Lily was the most nervous about having to sit between strangers. Luckily, God knew her heart would need some comforting so he placed a very kind woman next to her who helped calm her nerves.

This is how far Ella was away from my seat. Luckily she's tall so I could at least see her head.

Hattie passed the time by watching some movies. This was one of the nicest planes I've been on! It was so new and I loved that each kiddo had a screen to watch what they wanted. It also made the time "fly" by.

I did some research before hand on what is allowed through TSA and quickly found out that we weren't forced to eat horribly tasting and horribly expensive airport food. I would way rather save my money for a great meal in Florida. I packed up some super awesome chicken-avocado pitas, apples, pretzels, a cookie, and filled our water bottles once we passed through security. They didn't have a problem with any of our food whatsoever. I will be doing this every trip from here on out! Besides, I'm convinced that you could bring boring pb&j sandwiches and it would taste awesome by proxy of being at the airport on your way to vacation.

Everyone gobbled up their supper and I didn't hear even one single complaint from anyone. Success! It was also so much easier than standing in line and trying to eat quickly to get back to the gate. This was so much more relaxing.

The flights from Michigan to Tampa was maybe half we got to sit with each other and that made the last leg so much more fun!! You can see that there really wasn't anyone even close to us.

Ella came and sat next to Hattie and me. We watched movies, drank our ginger ale, and enjoyed our complimentary cookies. The little girls thought they were so grown-up getting to order their own drink!

About half-way through the flight, Hattie decided to go sit in the middle of these two chuckle-heads. They had a great time!!

We arrived at 11:18pm...although with the time change and daylight savings time, we felt like it was only 9:18pm so we were still full of energy. The air outside smelled so good!! I was giddy, absolutely giddy. It smelled of warmth, dirt, living things, and of promise.

This picture just makes me smile...we were on an adventure! (Not to mention that Lily and Ella were pretty happy to be off the plane.) The 2nd leg really played with their ears and no amount of gum chewing was helping. Look at Hattie! She is too cute for words.

We got our rental car and went out to the row to pick it up! Jason wanted this one.

But he got this one. A very practical, 7-seater, luggage hauling mini van!

We got checked into the room at the Hampton Inn and Suites, put on our jammies, and everyone crawled into bed.

We were here. Florida. With adventure just waiting to knock on our door in the morning.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Kid Funnies

Hattie: "Look mom...I'm a magyptian."

Translation: An Egyptian.

**Don't mind the undies, that's her go-to outfit these days. I'm lucky I got her to wear a shirt.


As Hattie and I were shopping for groceries the other day, we passed through the produce section. She immediately saw something she wanted:
Hattie: "Mom! Can we get seaweed?!? Please!!!"
I was so confused. Although I know she does like seaweed, we were in the middle of all the fresh fruits and vegetables.
Me: "Seaweed? I don't see any."
Hattie: "It's right there!"
Me: "Ooohhh, you mean kiwi?"
Hattie: "Yes"


Hattie: " do you make 'awesome sauce'?"

For example: We are having dessert tonight and everyone replies "Awesome Sauce!"


As I'm laying in bed with Hattie:

"Mama, I'm so disausted...are you disausted? Cause I sure am disausted. I just want to go to sleep.

Translation: Disausted=exhausted...and she was very proud of the new word she had
added to her vocabulary.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

So Tired of Being Sick...

I know that it's been a little hit and miss around here, but it's been for good reason.

Unfortunately, we've had a string of bugs come through our home and I'm very, very ready for warm weather so I can open up and air out the house.

We started a few weeks ago with Lily and Cora getting the flu bug within just hours of each other. Jason promptly pulled both of their mattresses onto our floor in the bedroom so he could help them through the night since the murphy's law dictates that if a child gets sick it will be just an hour after bedtime or smack dab in the middle of the night. He was such an attentive and compassionate dad as he nursed them through the wee hours of the morning.

Meanwhile, I was in Hattie's room helping her get through her own misery. She didn't have the flu bug, but she somehow, at the same time, got a nasty cold bug. Her nose was running so much that she almost gurgled when she was laying down. It was really rather nerve-wrecking laying next to her. She also had a fever to go along with it. She wanted to be snuggled up to me for comfort, but wow, she was like an oven. We kept the kids quaranteened for the next 3 days and when we felt like the bug had passed, we let them out. It's not easy being confined to your room for so long!

A few days later, Hattie started throwing up. I administered her cocktail of meds right away and Blessings Upon Blessings we were able to manage it at home and not head into the ER!!! It was hard to see her sick, but I was so relieved that we didn't require IV's or hospitalization. About 12 hours after Hattie started getting sick, Grammie texted to say that she had gotten it too and was sitting next to her new best friend, Mr. Bowl. This was a catchy bug for sure.

I spent a day or two feeling under the weather as did Jason. :) It is not easy when sickness comes into a large spreads easily and it takes forever to work it's way through everyone. Luckily, Ella and Ben remained untouched. Whew.

Then a few weeks after that Ben came home saying his head hurt which is odd...cause nothing really ails this kid. I immediately thought of strep throat, but knew I needed to give it a day to see what came of it.

The headache just wouldn't go away, even with Tylenol and some good rest, so we make a trip to the dr where she confirmed by suspicions. Strep throat positive.

We stopped to grab the antibiotics and just as I'm about to pull into the development, Ella texts me. "Cora has bumps all over her face."

Upon walking in the house, I see that they are not only on her face, but her neck, arms, stomach, and back. Oh Joy. She was immediately sent to her room for quaranteening until I could figure out what was going on. So now I had Ben on the bottom level in his room and Cora on the top level in her room. I can't even tell you how many stairs I climbed that day!

Turns out Cora had scarlet fever and required antibiotics.

Each of them spent the next 24 hours in their rooms and we waited with baited breath over the next 5 days to see if anyone else would come down with either illness. I can't tell you how much quaranteening and washing hands does for helping to cut down on stuff spreading. I'm happy to report we just passed day 5 yesterday and we should be in the clear now!

I'm hoping for a much less eventful spring.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ben Turns 11

How is this possible? Someone...please tell me.

11 years old?!?

Whew, time flies by much too quick.

This kid is growing up and I wish I could stop time.

Ben is a boy full of passion, a fight-for-what-you-want kid. He doesn't back down easily and can be tenacious. But beneath that tough exterior is a boy who can also be kind and compassionate, one who at times surprises me with his gentle heart.

We spent his day enjoying the warm sun outside, eating out at a Chinese restaurant (his pick), opening presents, and eating chocolate cheesecake.

*notice the lovely gift, we are soooo bad at wrapping presents around here.

I watched him outside yesterday, patiently teaching some of the neighbor boys how to improve their basketball game. I was taken back by how he was calmly encouraging them (even when one was getting a little on the grouchy order cause he wasn't making the shot).

He loves his sisters, even though he would tell you that some times they are "annoying", but you can't fool this mama. He comes home from school and most often will start wrestling Ella to the ground, whether she's a willing participant or not. He just wants to reconnect with her and get her attention.

And the times that he and Hattie have one-on-one time is so cute to behold. He takes her little hand in his and teaches her how to build with legos or how to play soccer. And it melts my heart when he asks if she can have a sleepover with him or at least come down to help tuck him into bed.

I know God has great plans for this boy. With his tenacity, he could be a force to be reckoned with. He has set goals for his Awana verses this year in bible memorization and I trust that God is going to use those seeds that are being planted to bring Him glory. I feel so blessed that God brought us together.

Happy Birthday, Benjamin Jae.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Things We Put Up With

Here is a conversation that just transpired:

As Ella is switching Hattie's outfit and redoing her hair for her pretend photo shoot...

Me: "Hattie, you sure do put up with a lot from your big sister."

Ella: "MOM, she likes it. Don't you Hattie!!"

Hattie: "Not really...

Then after a long pause...

But I love you, Ella."

I couldn't help but laugh.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Such a Pretty Shade of Purple...

Did I ever tell you about the time I was carrying Hattie up the concrete stairs to our hotel room while in FL? I tripped, and as any good mother would do, sacrificed my own body so I could minimize Hattie's potential injury as much as possible. She came out without a scratch while I got a bruise the size of a baseball.

I routinely trip going up stairs. I have no idea what is wrong with my depth perception or why I am so dog-gone clumsy...but this happens to me all the time. I should not be allowed to carry children. :)

This pic doesn't do the purple color justice.

Just know it hurt. ;)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Three Muskateers

These three...

Most of the time they are inseparable. Where one goes, there are two following.

Giggles abound, squeals are intense, and the love is evident.

Except when they are scrapping...and they can do that to.

Seriously though, they have become the three muskateers and it is so cute.

Hattie used to be the little sister who would tag along and dream of being included with the "big girls", but now that she is growing up, they have all become best friends.

Yes, friends can argue from time-to-time and get a little grouchy, but they also have each other's backs, exhibit a fierce love for one another, and are creating life-long bonds between them. As a mother, it's a beautiful picture of family.

*dresses are from Cocoa Beach Surf Co. when we were there for our family vacation. I had bought them each similar dresses when I was in San Diego last year and they wore them until they were so crunchy they could practically stand up on their own. To say the dresses were loved is an understatement. I had to throw all three away due to holes or broken straps...luckily we found these cute ones to replace their beloved sundresses. I'm guessing these will get a lot of mileage this summer.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Cora's Artwork

Cora wanted to do some sketching and she needed to find some willing she gathered up a couple of baby dolls we had around the sat, propped them up just so, and got to work.

I'm pretty impressed with them...the hand on the baby doll sketch 1 on the left side seriously looks like it is bent just as it would be if you were leaning on it. And I love the hair on the second one. The noses are quite good too. I love that she loves to draw and I can't wait to see the artist she will be.

How I Roll

I'm going to preface this with "I know this isn't normal." I get that.

But it's my reality.

I am cold all. the. time. Sometimes even in the middle of the summer I'll sit wrapped up in a blanket. If the temp is accidentally put below 78, I am chilly (my husband things he's sneaky). People always wonder why I complain about living in MN and I'm always raving about the warm weather states. Here's why:

I'm standing here in jeans with a pair of leggings underneath, a pair of fuzzy socks, a tank top, a long sleeve shirt, a zip-up hoodie, a coat, and a hat. Inside. Because I was cold. Did I mention that my house was set to 74?

My Hashimoto's/hypothyroid really plays with my body temperature and makes it difficult to stay warm. In fact, one of the symptoms of this disease is an "intolerability to cold." Not that I don't like cold...but an intolerability to it.

Intolerable: Adjective
unable to be endured: unbearable,
insufferable, too much to bear, unacceptable, too much

There have been times where I have felt so cold, where it's deep in my bones, and I just can't manage to warm up that I have taken my temperature to see if I am completely nuts. The number on the screen has read 96.9F. Totally. Not. Normal.

Yes, I've seen a dr....this is just the nature of the beast. It's just fair warning that I may move down south at some point in my life. :) Who's coming with me?!?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sick Kiddies

Life just never really calms down around here. Jason and I spent the weekend and early part of this week caring for sick kiddos.

Lily and Cora started throwing up on Saturday night. Lily started the whole party off before we went to bed, and Cora decided to join in around 4am. Jason pulled their mattresses into our room and it was then dubbed "the infirmary" and off limits to others in the house. There wasn't a lick of sleep that night as he was holding a bowl for one or the other all throughout the night. I was informed that there was even a time when he was holding the bowl for Cora who was actively using it when he heard Lily call from the bathroom in a rather emergent tone "Dad...Dad, I need you!" which was followed by what he described as a "splash" sound. Eeeeewwww gross. Apparently she was literally standing right by the toilet with the lid *closed*. To say this man is a good dad and has an abundance of patience is an understatement. He did such a good job of taking care of the girls when they really needed someone to comfort them.

Where was I you ask? I was taking care of Hattie who seemed to have her own unrelated bug. She also came down with something on Saturday night. She was put to sleep and within an hour, she was awake and crying. I spent the night nursing a 101.6 fever for this poor girlie. We spent the next day camped out on the couch blowing her nose every .8 seconds. Her fever broke overnight and you would have no idea that the girl had ever been sick.

You can see the sick in her eyes.
Three sick kids...two different bugs. At the same time. So weird.

Cora and Lily are still upstairs feeling under the weather. They haven't thrown up since Sunday morning, but it is taking them some time to get back on their feet and have any sort of appetite. I've given them more bone broth and applesauce over the past two days!

To top things off, Jason left for TX today for work and will be gone until Friday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that no one else comes down with this...especially me since I've got no back-up!

Remember to thank God for your health, we take it for granted!!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Five on Friday (March 31, 2017) is it Friday already? I had such good intentions of posting on Monday and I blinked and it's the end of the week. Seriously, life just gets so busy some weeks that they are whizzing by too quickly. Here is a recap of our week:

1. Today was all about Spanish. Ella had a field trip at the Mercado Central on Lake Street in Minneapolis. It was for her Spanish class at West. Jason and I took her so we got to enjoy some latino culture as well. The kids all took part in a scavenger hunt which involved going around the various businesses hunting for their objects. The only rule was that they could only speak Spanish...
in espanol, por favor. :) We also got to have some authentic Mexican food and wowza, it was delicious. I completely enjoyed the eating. It was a lot of fun to be a part of her world and do this field trip with her.

2. Hattie had her follow-up appointment with Metabolic yesterday. We drove down to Children's to meet with Dr. Vargas and get labs done. It was a hard appointment in some respects and yet wonderful in others. I always feel like a pretzel when I go to these. My emotions get all twisted up and I get so lost in thought. Being there brings me back to a point two years ago when all of this began. It reminds me of the horrors we have endured and both the physical and emotion toll it took. My eyes flooded with tears as my heart ached in the memory of just how hard this has been and how much I wish I could take it all away for Hattie. The toll has been very high. And then suddenly, I'm twisted, and I force myself to look just how far we have come. Out of the depths of sadness, heartache, and pain we have climbed. I've researched so much and fought so hard for my girlie. And God has done immeasurably good things for us. He has brought us to a place where things are stable in certain regards and for that I am humbled and so incredibly grateful. The Dr. (whom I can't say enough good things about) gently laid out a realistic outlook. It was a little hard to hear since some of my fears were put into words and confirmed, but I can't lose hope and I can't disregard how God has taken care of Hattie. I'm done with talking about this for now.

3. Wednesday brought the long awaited Awana Grand Prix. The kids raced their cars and we were proud parents watching as they zoomed down the track. Some faster than others and some more like a turtle...but proud of them and their efforts irregardless. It's just so much fun to be your children's biggest fans. Even Hattie got in on the action. Her car was made from leftover wood from Ben's pine wood block. She painted it up herself and Jason and Papa put on leftover water bottle caps for the wheels. Once the official race was done, the commander let her put hers on the track. It zoomed down and amazingly was the second fastest car out of the Hubler submissions. She was so proud.

4. Tomorrow Ella and I are headed to church to make shoes for kids in Uganda. So many children who live there walk barefoot and end up with chiggers in their feet which can hurt so much. In fact, it can be so painful, that they can end up losing the ability to walk. To take care of the problem, an adult literally takes a safety pin and digs the little bugs out. Unsanitary. And to top it off, they use the same pin on multiple children, spreading the blood and along with it disease. A simple cure is a pair of shoes. We are working with an organization called Sole Hope. We cut plastic from milk jugs that serve as the sole, and denim from old jeans for the rest of the shoes. Those cut-to-size materials are sent over to Uganda where they sew them up and attach them to pieces of rubber tires for the bottom. And more chiggers and no more threat of spreading lethal diseases. An opportunity to teach my children how to serve and that the world is so much bigger than their little bubble is an opportunity I'm so grateful for.

5. Cora was showcased this week on our friend's facebook site. His name is Nick NickCantRun and he is undertaking a serious pledge. He's training for an ironman in order to raise funds (a very large amount) to provide water for people living in Africa through Compassion International. Cora has been learning in Awana that Jesus wants us to care for and serve others. She decided that after hearing what Nick was trying to do, that she wanted to do extra chores around the house to earn money to donate to him. He was so touched by her heart, that she became his first "donor spotlight". I couldn't be more proud of this girl and her heart. I just know that God is going to do big things with her.

I'm speechless. 6 short weeks after launching Nick Can't Run I'm excited to announce we've hit $10,000 in fundraising. 🙌🏻🙏🏻🙌🏻
I thought it would be great to celebrate this milestone with my first donor spotlight: Cora Hubler.
Cora's donation of $20 is in my top 3 all-time inspiring donations in my 5-years raising money for @worldvisionusa
Her precious note said this: "In AWANA, I am learning that we need to help others. My mom told me about you and we watched a video about what you are doing. I also saw how much work you are doing to give them clean water. I decided to earn money to donate to you. I think you are really strong for doing this."
Wow...All the feels. Thank you Cora! ❤️