Thursday, October 29, 2009


I should give you a Julie update. She's doing really great. Is that enough information? Her grades are excellent, she's easy to have around, and has put up with my mood swings amazingly well. Sometime soon I'll have her do a guest post on her thoughts of living here. It's sure to entertain. ;)

Julie traveled with friends to an apple orchard last weekend. Along the way they found a little store in a little town that sold Norwegian stuff. She brought back this mug for us. It says:

Living with a Norwegian Builds Character

It makes me smile. Now, if I could only find one for her that says:

Living with a Pregnant American Host Mom Builds Character

Poor girl. I think my nausea and laying around for the past couple months may have scared her away from ever wanting children. I think it's best that come April, she stays out of the delivery room. ;)

Last winter when we were contemplating hosting a foreign exchange student I remember joking with my Bible Study ladies that I'd probably end up getting pregnant AND hosting a student...because that would of course be INSANE. At the time I was completely joking. Because God certainly would not do that to me.

Or maybe He would. And maybe just to show me who's in charge of it all, He'd set up the fact that baby #4's due date would be the birthday of the Norwegian girl He'd ordained to live with us. None of it is by accident.

Because God is big on details.

PS - Remember when you all voted for the Iowa hospital to win a chance at a new game room? Well, they ended up in 2nd place so THEY WERE ONE OF THE WINNERS!! YAY! Thanks for voting!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hearing the Big News...

I thought I'd share with you the video of the boys hearing the news about the baby.

It cracks me up every time.

Little background info: We hid baby items in three separate bags and then had them find the bags. When they did they opened them up together...that's where the video starts.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Goodbye Long Week...

I love Fridays. I do I do I do. I like the counting down of hours until BAM I'm done with all of my obligations (except the family ones) and the only thing that lies ahead is two days of freedom. OK, so that's a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

Friday nights are sort of our Family Date Nights. Sometimes it's a high school sporting event or something like that. The favorite though seems to be what we did last Friday night...dinner at McDonald's and then rented a movie to watch together. The boys love to turn off all the lights and pretend it's a movie theatre. We all cram on the couch...including the over-weight wiener dog who seems to think the couch belongs to him. They love it. I love it. It's a moment in the week where we just get to enjoy each other. So many other moments I'm just funneling them through what they need to do and where they need to be.

Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, stop running around the house, brush your teeth, get your shoes on, make sure you have your homework, have a great day at school, pick kids up, drop kids off, supper, homework, blah blah blah. I sound like a load of fun, don't I?

Our date nights are cheap, and the activities are really sort of insignificant. But I'm gonna treasure them...and I think they will too.

All too soon they will have different kinds of date nights...probably with girls I think are immature and annoying. Oh I'm kidding. No, I take that back...I am so not kidding...I'm certain I'll think they're annoying *wink*

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Around the House

I got this idea from Melissa at Breath of Life. I couldn't resist.

Around the House: October

: This Present Darkness by Frank E Peretti

Enjoying: My family. Ben was on vacation last week and it was so nice to just have him around. The boys never cease to amaze me. They are each so unique, that when we're all together it's just plain amusing to me.

Learning: How to deal with people that drive me absolutely CRAZY. Maybe pastor's wives aren't supposed to admit that they find certain kinds of people very annoying to be around. But this one does. And although I'd like God to zap me with the ability to just "like" them, it's not that easy. Instead He's teaching me how to love them even in their annoyingness...which goes against my natural tendency. Very against.

Watching: I'm part way into season five of 24. I rented the season for a week, which means I really need to plow through it. I love that. Anyways, Sunday night Julie was quite horrified at how scary and violent it was. I tried to explain to her that she'd just have to watch it to "get" why we love it so much...I also may have explained that although the show is fictional, our government in America really does have to fight crazy terrorists and it is going to be's just too bad Jack Bauer isn't real. I digress. By last night, she sat through a couple episodes and I even heard her say "I see why you think it is so exciting"...she's coming around ;) But I am now convinced that you have to be American to truly love Jack Bauer.

Anticipating: Christmas. I know, I know it's only October. But I've been listening to Frank Sinatra's Jolly Christmas all week. Christmas in the Parsonage is going to be very different this year and I'm excited about it. Most years I spend, what feels like forever, making lists and endless shopping trips trying to find a present that someone won't hate and doesn't really need. It makes December fairly well...not fun. This year we're stepping back from present exchanges so that we can give to those who really need something and we can spend some time as a family doing meaningful traditions that will last far longer than toys and material things. Oh, there will still be some presents, but it won't be the flying though of package after package as in years past. Our new plan is bound to cause some to think we're crazy...but that's ok...we are.

Realizing: How blessed I am. Even in the tough stuff...blessed beyond measure.

Pondering: Why at the clinic and hospital yesterday (where I got to see and hear this little baby growing inside) everyone that found out this was my fourth baby had the same reaction, "Wow! Four?!?" As if three is normal but FOUR, gets a wow? Weird.

Studying: Daniel by Beth Moore. I had no idea how timely this study would be for me personally and so many others.

Wondering: If this little baby is a boy or a girl. What its name will be...because at this stage in the game I don't like any boy or girl names.

Remembering: Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.

Praying: That our family stays healthy and miraculously avoids the flu and H1N1.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

This Present Darkness...

On my way to take the boys to school today I was listening to our local Christian radio station. They were having people call in and share things they appreciated about their pastor because October is Pastor Appreciation Month. The other question they asked the callers had to do with any preconceived ideas they'd had about pastors or ministry before getting to know their pastor.

I laughed to myself. I'm the chief sinner when it comes to preconceived ideas about Pastors. It's likely why I was pretty sure I'd never EVER be a pastor's wife.

Ideas like:
  • All Pastor's ever think about is spiritual stuff.
  • They know the correct answer or action for every situation.
  • They don't understand what it's like to be a normal, average person.
Obviously I was quite the idiot.

But the whole thought process led me to think about my preconceived ideas about ministry, or in the very least the things I didn't fully understand back then.

The biggest eye-opener for me the past few months has been the aspect of spiritual warfare that goes on within church...not just the 4 walls, but within the people that make up that church. I expect a spiritual battle when dealing with those who do not worship the same God I do, what I did not expect was the battle that plays out among those professing a personal faith in Christ.

I picked up one of my favorite books of all times called This Present Darkness. Because I need a reminder of the battle that's raging. That what I see with my eyes is not all that is going on. And that the power of prayer is crucial in protecting my husband, my family, and others around me from some that seek to destroy them.

Have you read the book?
Any preconceived ideas about Pastors and ministry?
Any one else in a battle?

I'd love to hear your answers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just Reminding Myself...

I recently saw a quote somewhere that said,
"The days pass slowly but the years fly by"
Or something like that. I remember thinking to myself, how stinkin' true.

This pregnancy is kicking my butt. Big time. Each pregnancy of mine was different, but they all had one thing in common...the nausea was not this bad and it certainly did not last this long.

Now, I know it's for a good cause. I keep reminding myself of that hourly. But even in the reminder, I still feel like I'm missing life on a daily basis...or in the very least surviving it rather than enjoying it.

In the past few months...

  • I've barely taken any pictures of anything going on. Many times I've missed out on what was going on, because who really wants a barfing lady sitting next to them? Frankly, I'd like her to go away.
  • I've sent kids to school without reminding them to return books, homework, etc. because just getting them up and fed and out the door was all I could muster.
  • I am so tired of laying on the couch that I've resorted to laying on the hard floor. I think I may have worn the couch out.
  • I have had to cancel 2 hair cuts because I didn't think I could make it through the hour-long appointment. My hair is outta control and my next hair cut...November 3rd. It'll take her 2 hours to cut all this hair.
  • All vanity diminishes in the face of nausea. I have worn sweatpants and t-shirts 90% of the time. Even picking my children up from school wearing the same shirt 2 days in a row. Good times.
  • My husband has had to pick up the slack...big time. He's done a great job, and so have the kids...but I miss doing what I do...which is take care of them.
In the mean time, I've learned a lot about myself. Including the fact that I don't like to be slowed down. And even more so, I hate barfing or the feeling that I'm going to barf more than pretty much anything.

I've also learned that my family is incredibly gracious with me. Nobody has made a comment about the messiness of the house, or my excessive laying around,moaning and groaning. It's as if they instinctively know something that I keep losing sight of...there will be and end to it...and even more importantly, there's a purpose behind it. A little life.

Soon, (please God let it be very, very soon) I will stop feeling like I want to barf all day every day. I will have get the energy back. I will take pictures of them once again. I will be me again...eventually ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oh That Kid...

Jake, our four year old, has been coming up with some crazy stuff lately.

He particularly likes to tell stories...which is a nice way of saying he lies. It's not hard to figure out the difference between his lie and the truth because he always follows up the humdinger with I'm not even kidding.

Here's some things we heard from his mouth just the past few days:

  • I hope we have a baby sister, then she can be my slave. (He's apparently a chauvinist already)
  • I want to go with dad, I don't want to stay home with mom, she's naughty to me. (Which made me utter...I'll show you naughty...)
  • Mrs. Simons (his preschool teacher) lives at the school...she told me. I'm not even kidding.
This is the same kid who won't dress himself in the morning because he just can't... yet asks me not to walk him into preschool anymore because he's too big for that.

He's the kid who comes down the stairs 500 times after being tucked in for the night. Each time with a convincing story and dimpled smile while saying "I'm sawee mama"

He's also quite insistent that "Corn" would be a great name for the new baby.

He thinks he's got me fooled. He thinks he's got me wrapped around that dimpled smile. And he does. For now. I wish I could bottle up his four year old cuteness...even the "story-telling."

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Winner and a Baby

I want to say a HUGE thank you to all you who voted the other day on this post!

There is a little less than a week left and The University of Iowa Children's Hospital keeps bobbing back and forth between 3rd and 4th place...SO CLOSE! Each day you can vote up to 10 times, so please please pretty please keep on voting.

I mentioned a $5 Starbucks card to anyone who commented that they voted. I drew the number the super scientific way of having my 4 year old pick a number. He picked 6.

Ariane, YOU ARE THE WINNER!! YAY! Now email me at ( with your address so I can mail it to you. :) Turns out, Ariane is a real life friend who I went to high school with AND youth group. She also married Ben's sister's husband's brother. Follow that? Yep...we go WAY back. She's also a mom who has spent much time at the very hospital we are voting for. Congrats Air!

In other news...and I'm just throwing this out there, but I should probably let you know that in April The Parsonage Family is due to grow by one more.

Yep, you heard me right. This time we're expecting and it's actually a baby...rather than a 17 year old Norwegian girl.

Pregnant. Preggo. Preggers. However you want to say it. We just told the boys and our church last weekend. News spreads like wildfire around these parts. I debated how long to hold off on the blog...12 weeks seems I'm really good at confidentiality when it involves someone else...not so much when it involves myself.

To answer a few nagging questions I'm sure you have...or at least it's what everyone has been asking me.

1) Yes I am sick. Very sick. Zofran is my new best friend.

2) NO WE ARE NOT TRYING FOR A GIRL. It's the question everyone asks. It's as if they can't help themselves. When someone has 3 boys they are just compelled to say it. I am compelled to not give them my "you have got to be kidding me that you think I would try to have a baby given the 1% chance it might be a girl, and what the heck is wrong with 4 boys?!?" look. I'm working on it.

3) Everyone will have to wait till April to find out if it is a boy or girl.

4) The boys are ecstatic. Although Jake wants a boy and a he's just been telling everyone that we are having one of each. Good times when you live in a tiny town.

5) Julie will be here till the beginning of June, so she gets to be in on the whole ordeal!

6) Remember the 1/2 mary that I couldn't run because I was barfing? Yep...this was the barfing reason.

I think that pretty much covers it.

Phew! What a relief that it's out there now. *smile*

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


1. On an average, how often do you splurge and buy something for yourself?
Generally, waaaay too often. God is working on me to reign. it. in.

2. Are you more like Hall or Oates? Just kidding. Real question: What is the last creative project you began/finished? Feel free to post a pic of it.
I'm not creative. I don't enjoy the process very much. I just like the finished product...which leads me back to question 1.

3. OK, Goldie Locks, do you consider your house too big, too little or juuuust right?
Most of the time I think it's just right. It borders on the small size by most home standards today, but I love small spaces. The downside, is that it makes entertaining others hard because of the space...especially with lots of kids involved.

4. What is your favorite outdoor chore?
How sad that I don't think I can come up with a favorite outdoor chore...does watching my husband mow the lawn count?

5. If you knew that cigarette smoking was not bad for your health but would be a weight loss tool, would you use it? Why or why not?
No. Way. I hate it. Hate the smell of it...hate how it looks, etc.

6. On a road trip, would you rather drive or ride?

7. What do you consider a trivial pursuit?

8. This weekend, we downloaded the movie "Duplicity" with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. Within 5 minutes, I was bored and annoyed, but I kept watching 5-10 minutes at a time hoping it would get better between small chores. I finally gave up and Jorge watched it alone, and then regretted wasting that time because he disliked it intensely, too. So ... how long do you watch a movie or read a book before giving up on it?
We watched 1/2 of that movie and I decided I was going to bed because it was so BORING. Usually I'll stick it out even if it's dumb...but not this one.

9. Is there a song that you really love but are embarrassed to admit because it's not cool or it's racy or because it's by Hall and Oates?
The list of songs that I like that some would deem "inappropriate" for a pastor's wife to like is pretty long. Nothing too racy or with cussing, stuff my kids can still listen too but makes my husband roll his eyes at me ;) Like the other day when Eli, (my 7 year old) told me his favorite song was Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla was a proud moment. Word to your mother.

10. On a scale of 1-10 (10 = extremely) how spontaneous are you?
Probably a 4. Boring. It's not that I'm very scheduled either, it's mostly the fact that I just go about day to day doing the same thing...which I happen to like.

11. Are you a food and/or beverage snob?
Nope. Can someone who enjoys a #3 from McDonald's ever be considered a food snob? I think not.

12. Who/What are you trying to control in your life? (I hear people gulping and see them sweating in anticipation of how to answer this one.)
The shorter answer would be who/what am I not trying to control in my life. It's a constant daily battle for me...handing back over the desire to control stuff.

Head on over to Linda@2nd Cup to see more Random Dozen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Favor and A Reward

I have a tiny little favor to ask of all you nice people.

Remember The Bald Buddies? Who could forget right?

There's a chance for you to join in The Bald Buddies, and you won't even have to shave your head!

Noah & Tate: Self Portrait

The hospital that is treating Tate is called the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. There is currently a voting contest going on and the top 3 hospitals that win receive a game room for the kids. Tate's hospital is currently in 4th...SO CLOSE! Tate and his family, along with so many others spend a lot of time away from home and within the walls of this hospital. Who couldn't use a game room?!? :)

Plus, every time you vote your email in entered into a contest to win an XBox 360. Bonus.

The contest is in the final days so there's no time to waste. Click here to vote for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.

Yesterday Tate and his family found out that the results of his latest MRI showed a decrease in the masses that they are treating, which means the Chemo plan is working and they'll stay the course. Praise God!! Praying healing for this sweet little guy's body, and peace and strength for him and his family.

Tate's mom, who is also a good friend of mine, has this quote on her facebook.

Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a gift.

How true. How easily I forget that.

If you happen to go vote, please leave me a comment letting me know you did (honor system here) and your name will be entered for a $5 Starbucks card! Yeah baby.

Is that bribing?!? Of course not! It's encouraging.

Now go vote.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Help Me...

I woke up in a mood this morning. You know the mood, the one where I'm quite certain that I am the only one in this household that bothers to pick up, clean, move, or remember the needs of anyone other than myself. OK, maybe it's just me...

It's not pretty. It involves me huffing around muttering under my breath about the slobiness of all. I think the word "ungrateful" may have been thrown in as well. Along with the phrase, "WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT *fill in the blank*"

Poor, poor pitiful me.

I do this. It's a cycle. I go for quite a long time cleaning up after everyone, not minding it all that much. After all, my job is to stay at home and take care of the stuff that needs to be taken care's what I choose to do. I reason that the others go to school and to work, so I should pick up more slack. In part, that is true. But the other part....well that's a whole other story. The other part is what causes me to snap every so often. The other part is that in reality, there are not enough hours in the day for me, myself and I to do all that needs to be done around here for everyone else.

The other part is now called Picking Up After Ones Self. Oh, I say it around here all the time. Maybe they just don't know what I mean. They claim they "just don't see" the stuff. *insert eye roll*

I need your help. They need your help. How do you get the family to pitch in without throwing a fit first? :) What are reasonable expectations for them? How do you keep track? How many chores, how often? Rewards for them? Punishment for them? :)

*disclaimer: My hubby does a great job (most of the time) about helping out...but if you have a system that works for husbands, I'd be happy to listen ;) *

Anyone else throw fits? Seriously, I just need to know...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That...

Let me just say that I am a little jealous annoyed that it seems like everyone around me has turned into a fantastic photographer. Some of your blogs I visit and each and every time there is a perfect picture to match your post.

Barf. :)

For awhile I liked to just blame it on my's not fancy enough. But reality has settled in, and it is in fact not my camera but a certain someone named Sarah that operates the camera. It's not my gift. Reality hurts sometimes. As my friend Shanon would say...Buck-Up Barbie.

Plus, pathetically poor pictures are still entertaining, right?!? Good.

Here's a list of some of my favorite things lately:

1) God. Period. And this song in particular just keeps summing it up perfectly. "Even when I'm caught in the middle, of the storms of this life I won't turn back I know you are near. I will fear no evil, for my God is with me. And if my God is with me, whom then shall I fear?" So thankful He never lets go of me...

2) My husband. Watching him love the flock God has entrusted to him is something I can't quite explain. Thankful for the new understanding I have of Pastor's and their calling. Praying each church goer everywhere understands the love and burden their pastor feels for them...he's fighting for you, and he's on your side. Love him, and lift him up in prayer.

3) Believers that I can go to who encourage and offer support and prayer. Over the big stuff and the trivial.


I got his little doohickey at a Scentsy party. It plugs into the wall and you put these little scented wax squares in the top of it and it makes the whole house smell yummy! Genius.


I can't get blogger to flip this picture...imagine that. Our Ladies Bible Study is in week three of this study. Words cannot express how much I love it. Love it, love it, love it.


I bought these magnets in the dollar bin at Target. Makes me smile every time I go to the quite often.


Fake pumpkins and gourds that I cannot kill.

There are also a few things I am not loving...

1) The house goes from picked up to disaster in about 3.2 seconds. If I could just learn how to function well in mess then I would be set. Instead, I start to feel claustrophobic and get crabby.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B: Their version of picking it up.

About three articles of clothing in that pile are actually dirty.


The stuff that used to be piled in baskets on the desk, until I walked past it this morning and my hips knocked it all on the floor.

I guess I've avoided the mess for long enough...better get at it. You can bet I'm gonna be listening to this song while

getting the job done. If I only had a tambourine... *wink*

Happy Thursday!

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