Showing posts with label hosting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hosting. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Julie is Gone.

Julie flew back home to Norway last Thursday.  


April (with Lucy's arrival) and May had been so crazy around here that we all sort of lived in denial about her leaving.  Me especially...I'm pretty good at denial.


It has been a whirlwind of a year here in the parsonage.  As we walked into the airport to send her back to her own country, I couldn't help but feel like we'd just been there to get her.




And at the same time, it was sort of surreal thinking of all that had gone on while she was here.  The last time I walked into that airport as the mother of boys, and this time I walked into the airport with a teenage daughter and baby girl...a baby girl that wasn't on my "plan" list for the year.  I can't help but look at myself in this picture and laugh a little...because that Sarah didn't have a clue what she was in for. :)


I still don't.


Before Julie arrived, you probably noticed *cough* that every other post involved her.  And then August came, and Julie arrived and then she pretty much dropped off the radar from my blog.  Before she came, I remember thinking how much fun it would be to blog about life with a teenager.  And then she came, and I realized, I can't blog about that, not now at least.  Because at the time, no matter how funny, or frustrating, it was just too soon.


It's amazing how some time can give us a different perspective on any given situation.  Over the next year, I hope to look back on the time Julie was here and reflect and learn from those experiences.  


Julie became a part of us.  And saying good bye at the airport that day was much harder than I had anticipated.  Or maybe it was just the fact that I had to come to terms with it...there's no denying she's leaving when you watch her board the plane and lift off.


I learned a lot about myself, having Julie here.  I learned I have waaaay more to learn about having teenagers.  ;)


It was for a time.  I keep reminding myself of that.  So much of life is just for a time.  So much of me  wants to hold on to everything just the way it is.  I look at the boys and I think STOP GROWING SO FAST.  And Lucy...already filling out and growing by the minute, and I find myself sad that it's going so quickly.  Yet...it's supposed to.  They're supposed to grow.  Julie was supposed to go home to her family.  And if I'm sad for too long, I'll miss out on the joys ahead.  


So here's to learning to let go, embracing change...even enjoying it. 




Love you, Julie!  

Monday, April 19, 2010

Julie Goes to Prom!

Friday when I went to the Doctor, she offered to strip my membranes. She was pretty sure it would put me into labor this weekend. I declined. Now, before you go thinking I'm crazy, let me explain.
  1. I've gone that route before and it worked. Too well. Too fast.
  2. It was going to be beautiful last weekend for us and I wanted to just enjoy it.
  3. Julie had prom. How could I miss that?!?
I'm so glad I didn't. The weekend was full of beautiful weather and relaxing. Julie had a ton of fun at prom, and we had lots of fun watching all the couples arrive. Although the boys are still confused as to why anyone would ever want to get all dressed up like that. And Noah is quite ticked that the boy has to wear a tux that matches the color of the girls dress. He thinks the boy should get to pick the color too. He has a lot to learn... ;)
Blogger is totally messing with me and my pictures. I've tried all sorts of things, but for SOME reason it is making the pictures microscopic.


Except for this one. Which Julie is totally gonna love. I made them fake pose for this. At the time she said, "Are you taking a picture of my butt!?!" and I was like "No...well, yeah...sort of." ;) Someday...when she's hours away from birthing her 4th child, she'll look back at this picture and think...Dang, my butt looked good! So glad my host mom took that picture ;) I'm sure she will...


She was the most beautiful. And they were adorable together. (FYI: This is not the boyfriend from before. They broke up a couple months ago. I've resisted blogging about it because my joy seemed innappropriate at the time...it may still be innappropriate ;) This is Nick, a friend from youth group. He seems like a nice kid. And, in my humble opinion *cough* had the best tux of the evening. He is from a different school, so it was very kind of him to escort our Julie...she in return gets to go to his prom in two weeks.


Maybe blogger is just trying to help me out by making the pictures smaller so that I look smaller. I guarantee you that in the real picture I in fact look huger than huge. But I can deal...because people we are counting down HOURS now till the little baby arrives!

Tomorrow (or eventually) I'll post the news! YAY!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Details...

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!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Because I'm a Mom Blogger...

Friday I promised you all some pictures. Let the record show that I actually followed through this time even though blogger wouldn't cooperate with me ALL DAY LONG.

Friday night we totally got our butts kicked on the football field. I say "we" but it was really not me...all I contributed to the game was sitting in the bleachers and chatting while consuming hamburgers, nachos, and various sugary treats. Despite the loss, Julie had fun at her first official American homecoming.



Here's Joe and Julie at the homecoming dance. I was not actually there to take the picture...but don't think I didn't think about it ;) Cute aren't they...poor Joe, I shouldn't be so hard on him. He's not actually done anything wrong...except being alive and a boy and interested in my Norwegian daughter. He did friend request me on facebook, so that earned him some brownie points...it makes spying a tad bit easier...not that I'd ever spy *cough*

I'm sure I'll eventually come around from tolerating Joe to even liking him...as long as he doesn't fail any of my impossibly high standards. And there I have another post...my semi-impossibly high standards...I could also blog about how I hope Joe doesn't know I have a blog. :)

To be fair, I'm not being hard on boys. I have three of them. I will be equally unexcited about teenage girls that come along. Just to prove it to you, last Friday night at the game, a little girl in Noah's 2nd grade class came up to Ben and I to ask where Noah was. Ben started to tell her and then saw my "don't you dare tell her where my sweet little boy is" before we both looked at her and said, "Sorry, not quite sure" Don't judge...it wasn't a lie, I wasn't exactly sure ;) I'm not gonna help the girls find my son...2nd grade or not! Oh I kid...a tiny, tiny little bit.

Moving on...

Ben and Julie before the game...

Seriously, it was adorable. He looks good with a daughter...it's a good thing we borrowed one.

All the queen candidates (Julie is 2nd from the left)
This is Julie and Leika. Leika is the other exchange student in the school.

The End

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm THAT Mom...

Before Julie, our exchange student, arrived I was quite confident I'd be the cool mom. I mean, the math alone is in my favor. With my own children, I'm 23, 24 and 27 years older than them which likely destines me to uncoolness in their eyes...eventually. But with Julie, being that she's not really mine, I get to be 14 years older, making the generation gap just small enough to keep me cool, right?

Wrong. Turns out, the age difference doesn't matter, when you're a mom, you're a mom. And to add to it...when you're me, you're me. :)

It doesn't matter that she is technically not mine.
It doesn't matter that she is smart, and seventeen years old.
It doesn't matter that she is brave enough to leave her family and country to live with strangers...

I still...
  • ask a million questions.
  • ask around to find out the reputations of her new friends.
  • feel the need to protect her from making any choices she might regret.
  • feel the need to dislike and question the intentions of any and all teenage boys, except for the ones where I personally know their mothers, because for some reason that makes a difference.
  • ask what happened during the day...with the who, what, when, where, why, and how following.
  • tell her not to stay up too late.
One day, I even asked her to change clothes. Yeah...way, way uncool. The benefit to her not being my "real" daughter is that A - she wasn't purposely trying to push the limit and B - she didn't baulk or complain, but simply changed clothes. It may have been harder on me than her, because it sealed the deal: I'm officially THAT mom ;)





Monday, August 3, 2009

Julie's Here!


She's here!

I took a video of her getting off of the plane, but as soon as she got closer I stopped so I could hug her. The video is...well...you'll see...

We made her cry. I think it was a good cry...at least that's what we tell ourselves ;)

She had a 36 hour stretch of no sleep from Friday to Saturday so we tried not to overwhelm her too much. I'm not sure we succeeded, but I just keep telling myself she's young and she'll bounce back...without even needing excessive amounts of caffeine. Oh to be 17 again...

Blogging about a teenager is a weird thing. I have a new empathy for all you bloggers with kids who can actually read your blog...or better yet, your kids friends who can read your blog. It's tricky...figuring out what you can share without embarrassing them. Chances are I'll be embarrassing her enough in real life without broadcasting it all over the Internet.

Here's what I've learned from being a mom of a teenager for less than 48 hours:
  • Going shopping with them will make you feel old. Really old. And you may go into the store and grab the same jeans, even the same size, but they will look approximately one-zillion times better on her than you. You will then go back into the fitting room and reassure yourself that you've earned those stretched out hips, thighs, and stomach the hard way, their names happen to be, in my case, Noah, Eli, and Jake.
  • Dropping her off at volleyball camp today with a bunch of girls she didn't know felt the same way as dropping my boys off at school on the first day. A mixture of excitement and nervousness followed with pleading prayers that God makes everyone be nice to her...and that she finds those friends that are gonna make this next school year unforgettably great.
  • You will have to resist the urge to "hover" (I learned that from the Twilight movie ;)
  • It will be endlessly entertaining to ask her how to say things in Norwegian. And every Norwegian name that I've read through facebook for the past 6 months, I have been pronouncing wrong...very wrong...and no matter how many times I try, I can't get it right. Apparently this Iowa girl who never thought she has an accent actually has one...it's called American. It's very thick.
We like her. We like her a lot. God ordained her for us, and us for her for the next 10 months...how fun is that?!?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sneak Peek

I have three days left until our family goes from 5 to 6. I'm busy doing important stuff...like making room in the bathroom cabinets for her stuff...told you it was important.


I don't have much time, BUT I knew you'd need a sneak peek of her room all ready for her.



So it's probably not the most comfy desk chair...but it's so shabby chic and adorable I put it there. :) (Don't worry there's a ugly more comfy one she can replace it with ;)



The hangers are ready...

And so am I :)

Now let's just hope she doesn't hate it...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm Like 90 Years Old...

My Life:
  • Yesterday I had 3 additional boys in my home for 9 hours. That's SIX boys. I just heard you all gasp. The best was when I had to load them all into my little mini van to make a 40 minute round trip to take Odie to the vet and myself to the Chiropractor. Good times. All was going well until we stopped back into the vet to pick up Odie (from a routine procedure that I'll spare you the details of.) Turns out they needed to keep Odie for a little longer.
  • In the afternoon, after the vet had looked at Odie and figured out a course of action for his little "problem" we headed back to the mini van and the 40 minute round trip to pick up our beloved wiener dog. The bill ended up being $28.00, which made me love the vet and Odie even more!
  • The benefit to yesterday is that today my perspective is readjusted. Three boys?!? Easy peasy.
  • Chiropractor: I generally reserve my visits to the Chiro for the special occasions when I find myself unable to move. My Chiro tells me this is how most people are. I wonder if most people also find the word Chiropractor too long? Just thinking out loud...anyways I do have a point...and it has to do with running. For the past month or so I've been having some groin pain on my left side after I hit about mile 5. I've been stretching, and icing, and heating, and drugging myself up with Advil. Last week I decided to head to the Chiro to see if they could magically fix me...like she did when I attempted this brilliant stunt. It turns out that my left hip was well above the right and thus causing me to run funny and put more strain on the left side. After the adjustment I ran 7 miles on Saturday with no pain. Yay! Yesterday's check up was just to make sure the adjustment stuck...and it did. I may even go back and visit the Chiro without consistent pain first, because she gave me some good information that I will spare from sharing with you because I would totally butcher it. Another post I guess.
  • Wow...I'm now like a 90 year old woman who only talks about herself and her dogs old bodies falling apart. Glad you stopped by aren't you.
  • TEN DAYS. 10 days till Julie is at our home. She actually flew into America last Sunday and is spending 2 weeks in Boston at a camp for exchange students, where I'm assuming they teach her all kinds of stuff about how wonderful we Americans are .
  • My calendar for August is already full. Having a teenager in the home is totally gonna rock our little world with activity. The rest of July is sort of the calm before the storm...in a good way. I feel like I did when I was pregnant with my first baby. I planned and prepared, read everything I could get my hands on, talked to countless moms...but nothing, nothing could prepare me for what was in store once that baby arrived. We're excited, and even a little nervous...in a good way.
  • I'm off to go mow the lawn. I think it will make up for the fact that we were supposed to run 6 miles this morning and decided we were just too tired (lazy) and ran about 2 and then walked so we could just chat...because obviously mowing is the equivalent of running 4 miles...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Must See...


I feel the need to share with you my two favorite things for the week...wait make that three.

3) We have the best neighbors. Not only did Mechanic Steve fix our van for a mere $30 (and told me that the other noise it makes doesn't need to be fixed and isn't harming anything...which is my favorite answer ever,) his lovely wife Marlas had a spare package of pepperoni to loan me...it's a long story, let's just say I really needed the pepperoni. (side note to Marlas: I bought a new pkg of pepperoni yesterday, I'll have Noah run it over if it ever stops raining ;)

2) This week I purchased MY MOST FAVORITE BRACELET for a mere $4.50... ready to see it?
I've worn it everyday...who knew a plastic Peacock feather bracelet could go with EVERYTHING. Remember the Little Bit Ugly rule? That totally applies here.

1) Julie...ya'll know who she is. Julie has a super good friend named Audhild. Audhild is adorable. She has a cute blog that I love (even if it's written in Norwegian and I can't understand it.) Back to my point: Audhild posted a video on her blog yesterday that I have probably watched 75 times...it should be on YouTube.

GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!!! For real, it'll make your day. (Audhild is in the middle, and Julie is on the right) And while you're there, if you would be so kind as to thank Audhild for that piece of entertainment, I'd be ever so grateful.

The whole parsonage family is on a mission to learn the Beaver Song...because HELLO tiny town has a unique relationship to Beaver's (I'm not gonna get into it.) I'm just saying...I think that song is gonna spread through tiny town after a certain Norwegian girl arrives...Tiny Town now has a new theme song.

I love love love that God picked a quirky teenager in Norway to live with a quirkier family in tiny town USA. Oh the videos that will be made in this parsonage... ;)

Happy Friday Friends!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Entertain Myself...





Pregnancy Tickers


*Smile*

My ability to find a ticker thingy to show the countdown till Julie arrives is obviously sub-par.

But pretty darn funny though ;)


Monday, June 15, 2009

Classic Me...

Forty seven days left till Julie comes.

The other day a good friend asked me what I was most nervous about as far as having Julie here. It caught me a little off guard, because I'm not really nervous...but the question somehow made me think maybe I should be nervous about something at least.

So I began to make a list of things to be nervous about...because if you're me, that's what you do.

I might be a little nervous that...
  • we will totally annoy her or she will be bored out of her mind at our house.
  • I won't complete the master list I started the day we found out she was coming.
And that my friends, wraps up my worries. Complex, aren't I.

Here is my To Do Before Julie Comes List:

  • Clean attic, take stuff to Goodwill/garage sale - check
  • New bathroom vanity and sink - check
  • re-do Jake's room (for Julie) Paint/carpet - check
  • Bedding for Julie - check
  • New towels - check
  • Caulk tub - check
  • wireless router
  • clean garage
  • Basement organized
  • Pantry organized
  • Paint living room - check
  • paint trim in bathroom
  • paint trim in hallway
  • paint trim in boys' room
  • move Jake's clothes to other closet - check
  • alarm clock for Julie - check
  • hang stuff on her bedroom wall
  • Paint bed - check
  • paint desk - check
  • paint cupboards - check
  • print off memory card pics and sort
  • get scrapbooks caught up
  • paint back door
Notice how most of the things have absolutely nothing to do with Julie coming?!? Like painting the trim in the boys room...I'm guessing she's not really gonna mind if their trim needs "touching up." Or if my scrapbooks are caught up. Sheeesh.

This list is classic Sarah, just so you know.

No wonder I'm a little worried we'll annoy her ;)


Monday, June 8, 2009

Weird Dreams

Towards the end of each of my pregnancies I had weird dreams about the baby. I mean weird.

With my first, Noah, I remember dreaming that Ben and I were at a big stadium for some event and I had to go to the bathroom. I looked and looked and finally found one and as I sat on the toilet the baby just came out, IN THE TOILET. Oh, it gets better. When I turned around to get my first-born out of the public toilet, I was shocked to see that he wasn't actually human, but a baby piglet.
I awoke in a cold sweat, because weirdly enough the dream seemed completely real. I remember being so relieved when I felt my still huge belly, confirming the fact I had not actually given birth to a pig in a toilet at a stadium.

Although, the idea of the baby "just coming out" would have been nice.

Anyways. I am not pregnant. However, I am expecting a teenage daughter to arrive in less than two months now...and the dreams are starting.

How weird is that?

Saturday night I dreamt that she got here and couldn't speak English and I couldn't understand anything she said! And I couldn't figure it out, because we'd emailed back and forth for months and I had understood everything. The kicker though, everyone else could understand her...EXCEPT me!

Last night I dreamt that she'd arrived at the airport but we were having all kinds of trouble getting there to pick her up. Fist we were at the wrong one, then I couldn't get everyone rounded up again to get to the next airport, and then we couldn't find the way and everything seemed to be in slow motion and I just kept thinking SHE'S WAITING AND WE'RE NOT THERE! WE ARE TERRIBLE PARENTS! :)

Did I mention before I got married I kept dreaming my teeth became too large for my mouth and then all crumbled and fell out? Good times.


*image courtesy of google images*

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Refreshed

This has been one of my favorite weeks of vacation that Ben has had in a long time.  We haven't gone anywhere spectacular (except Sonic of course)  but it has been the perfect combination of just hanging out together and having fun while accomplishing nothing off my notorious to-do list.

Refreshing.

Here's the run-down of yesterday.  You thought you were off the hook, but of course you're not.  

  • Billie and I ran 5 miles in the MORNING!  Did I mention it was at 5:30 in the morning?!?  Because generally, we're a little sluggish in the morning, but we're following a schedule now, and somehow, that piece of paper has magical powers over us that make us feel the need to obey it.  
  • Then at about 9:30 AM I went for a four mile walk with another friend...and right now (today) I'm waiting for Billie to arrive for our 2 mile easy run.  Man, that sounds over-acheiverish.  I'll be whining the whole time about my sore legs, so I think that negates it.  
  • All my favorite running clothes are wet because I left them in the washer over night.  I'm wearing all cotton...I hate running in cotton.  Boo.  What a terrible awful life I have ;)
  • I'm starting over at season one of Gilmore Girls.  I think it is my favorite show of all time.
  • I've gotta actually "do" something around the house today.  At least for awhile...
  • There's a video of Julie on her blog today that just MADE my morning.  Three months from tomorrow she will officially join us here in tiny-town.  We're so excited to have her.  Heck, anyone who's spoken to me in the past 6 months is excited to meet her!
  • Can't wait for tomorrow...May...it's one of my favorite months.  But it seems I blink, and then it's gone.  
Tomorrow I'll try to talk about something that does not involve food or running.  I'll make an effort anyways.

Friday, April 24, 2009

To My Pretend Daughter

It is very warm and sunshiny in my neck of the woods...I can't even bear to be at the computer. 

Yard work is calling my name.  Jake and I hit WalMart this morning for all the supplies needed.  (Thank you Marlas for hauling the 10 bags of mulch home in her truck ;)

We also made a stop for a 44 ounce Diet Coke and some donuts...because it makes perfect logical sense to have a diet pop with doughnuts.  (I've been up since 5 AM thus the off combination) 

Anyways, before I blabber on too long and lose you, I wanted to say a big HUGE HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Julie!!!  She'll be seventeen tomorrow!  

Seventeen.  I remember seventeen.  Mine was filled with lots of drama about a boyfriend who went away to college and I was certain he'd find someone else.  Turns out he didn't find someone else.  Turns out I married him...and so began Life in the Parsonage ;)  

If you don't know who Julie is, then this is obviously your first time here.  I need to come up with a "term" for her.  Exchange student sounds to impersonal.  Pretend daughter makes it sound like I'm making her up.  Host daughter makes me think of going out to eat...as in hostess.  Maybe I'll just call  her my Norwegian daughter.  Or just daughter.  And then, people can say,  WOW you look so young to have a daughter that age, and I can say I know, right!?!?  

Either way, I adore her.  And the fact that I completely procrastinated mailing her birthday present so that she in fact will not even receive it until next Wednesday has no reflection on the value I place on her.  It reflects my really bad habit of putting things off until the very last minute while doing other things that do not really need to be done.  For example, her room is all ready for her to arrive...in AUGUST, yet I can't mail her birthday present out on time?!?!  Nice Sarah....niiiiice.

Julie, hope your day tomorrow is fantastic!!  You are completely loved by our family here in tiny-town USA...hurry up and get here already ;)

If you'd like to wish her a Happy Birthday (and you know you do) click HERE.  

YAY for Friday!  

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Call

Guess who called on Saturday night?

I'll give you a hint...she's from Norway. Oh yes she is!

Here's my take on it, a long drawn out version, because after all, I haven't blogged since last Thursday...I have words to use.

Anyways, let's go back to Friday. I finally bought the movie The Passion of the Christ. I know, I know, I'm like the 2nd to last Christian to have NOT seen it. I just didn't think I could handle it...watching and seeing them do that to Jesus, the person who means more to me than any other person just seemed like too much. But this year, I decided I was a big girl, so I bought it and sat down to watch it with Ben. I made it to scene 2, right after they decide to release Barabbas and I was already sobbing so hard I though I might barf...I told Ben I wasn't ready and went to bed.

Fast forward to Saturday night. I decide I'll give it another try. Maybe break it into sections. I started reading the back cover of the DVD case and the same ill feeling crept up my throat. Not ready yet...maybe next year.

So I decide to rent The Secret Life of Bees. Less traumatic. At 8:00 PM I hear my phone ringing from inside my purse and I also hear Jake yelling down from the bathroom that he needs help. I've ignored him before and paid the consequences, so I ran upstairs, figuring I'd call whoever it was back.

By the time I got downstairs again, I'd forgot about my phone so I started back into my movie. Then about 8:45 I heard my phone beeping at me that I had a new message.

The new message happened to be from the cutest Norwegian girl with the cutest accent EVER! (I should mention, that when she called, it was 8pm here and 3 am in Norway)

I came running in to tell Ben and we listened to the voicemail a few times. I listened to it myself a few hundred times ;) I could have KICKED MYSELF for not answering the phone! But it turns out, I kinda really like having that recorded message to listen to :) And I may or may not have let aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, siblings and various others a few people listen to it as well :)


No one tell Julie, she'll kill me ;)

Anyways, Easter Sunday morning I made my first international call ever. It was so fun to talk to her, even for a few minutes...to hear her voice. She is totally easy to understand, her accent is not thick at all, but simply adorable....and I mean "adorable" in a cool sophisticated teenagerish way, of course.

If there was a way for me to get that voicemail into my computer I would SO post it here for you guys because you would just love it. :) But it might also make Julie decide to live with another family... *wink*
Have I mentioned I cannot wait till she's here!

And now for your viewing pleasure *cough* Easter Pics...


Tiny town has an egg hunt at the park...the kids LOVE it.









Hunting eggs at G&G's.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Help Me Out Here

There's two things that every Midwesterner will tell you.


  1. We talk normal.

  2. We have no accent.

Here's what they might not tell you...we're secretly intrigued and jealous of everyone with an accent.


It doesn't matter where you're from in the US, you'll likely entertain us for hours just by talking...because I also think we're easily entertained (we have to be, trust me.)


Now, if you happen to have a foreign accent...well that's even better! We eat it up. For real.


Saturday I posted this video. It happens to be Jake and I talking, and so our future exchange student, got to hear our voices for the first time.


She wrote this:

"AWw. So cute :)I got to hear you speak as well. You speak amazingly well.
Now I'll never be able to talk to you on the phone. I speak nothing like
that...I must sound more like Fez on "that's 70 show"


Love Julie with the horrible accent"


CRACK ME UP! Have I mentioned I love her?!? Because she entertains me to NO end. I love that she says I speak "amazingly" well. It's a relief...after all, I have only spoken one language my entire 31 years of life ;) I'm also guessing that after reading months of my mediocre writing she may have been guessing I'd sound, well...more like an idiot than I did ;) It would have been a logical conclusion.


So, here's the deal. I need your help. I've been telling Julie how everyone is going to LOVE her accent...even if she sounds like Fez from That 70's show...especially if she sounds like Fez ;) But apparently, just like a real daughter, she does not believe me. Imagine that.


Help me out. Tell her how much we love accents. Tell her how disappointed we'd all be if she came and had NO ACCENT!


Tell her I'm right. Because really, real or pretend, moms are basically totally right on most everything most of the time. Am I right?!?


I think I'm right.


Julie, embrace that beautiful accent. Maybe you can try to teach me some Norwegian, and then I can butcher it with my Midwestern-non-accent and entertain you ;) And, don't you dare try to practice speaking English without and accent...I'll be severely disappointed if you step off the airplane sounding like and Iowan :)


Oh, all of you could also mention that she should definitely, most positively, call me on the phone. Soon.


OK, I'm done. For now. Did I mention Julie has a blog? And it's in English? Head on over and tell her hello, or howdy, or whatever it is you say from wherever it is you are.


Thanks so much!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Ones For Julie...

I'm a nester. Not kidding. With each of my boys I think I had the nursery done by the time I was 5 months pregnant. I can't help myself, something inside of me needs it to be ready.

Apparently, I do not need to actually birth a child for this to happen. Remember the post about waiting to find out if Julie would actually get to be the one? Truth be told, I'd already been dreaming of what her room would look like.

Once it was a go, I couldn't wait to ask her what colors she liked (I do, after all, need her input :) She pretty much gave me free reign...I'm sure she'll learn to reign me in once she gets here ;)

Julie's room is actually the room we kicked moved Jake out of. He's now in with his brothers. It seems to be working just fine. By August they should all be totally adjusted ;)

I have some before and after pictures for you. Because I know ya'll like to see some home improvement pics.

The pictorial tour of the new room is for Julie. Turns out, that sending numerous pics as attachments in emails to Norway is S-l-o-w from my computer. So she gets to see her room at the same time you all do...so the commentary is for her, because I'm pretty sure ya'll aren't gonna care about the size of the closet...but a girl's got to know this sort of thing, am I right? Of course I am.

Let's begin.
Jake's room before: Please note the carpet. Yeah. And the broken blinds. And the remains of several jars of miscellaneous goo that he's smeared on the walls in the three years we've lived here. Lovely.
The Process begins...

And after: The carpet was installed THIS morning :) Ben is home with Strep throat...he still managed to assemble the bed for me. Good man.

The bed and new wood blinds. The carpet is tan...it looks like a funky color in this picture, but it is not. I promise. I ordered the pillowcases from Potter Barn Teen...I couldn't resist. They inspired the green for the bed and desk.

Julie, this is the view (from the bed) of the other half of the room. There will be a desk there that will be the same green as the bed frame. The mirror (from my mom :) will be hung up too along with a shelf thingy for you to put stuff in. The picture makes the walls look splotchy, but they're not :)

The closet is near the headboard of the bed. This is the left side view of it. There won't be little boys clothes hanging in it when you arrive ;)

Middle section of closet:

Right side view.

Alright, that's all I'm showing you...the completely finished product will have to be a surprise for when you FINALLY get here!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good Thing It's Not...

I received this in the mail today.


It's a thank you gift from the exchange student foundation we are using.


I immediately thought....They did NOT just send me a fanny pack....


Upon further examination I realized it is a lunch box thingy. *smiles*

There are some things I can pull off. The fanny pack would not be one of them ;)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Speaking Of...

The end of last week and into the weekend are sort of a blur...I've had a bad cold, which has turned me into a total whiner...I'm not even exaggerating.

I woke up this morning in disbelief that it could actually be Monday already. Do you ever do that?!?

Praise God that I have a fresh stock of Dunkin' Donuts coffee in the fridge. Phew.

Speaking of donuts...my bloggy friend Mama Belle is from Louisiana and she had a little giveaway which I happened to WIN! YAY! My odds were good people. She was giving away a King Cake and as soon as she said it was like a big donut I entered myself repeatedly. I heart donuts.



The cake arrived via the UPS man on Thursday.



It took me all of 45 seconds to open the 2 boxes, cut a slice equivalent to 4 donuts, warm it in the microwave and eat it with a cup of coffee. It was delish.



I should mention that as I sliced into the cake, I immediately found this:






It was a little disturbing....until I read the instructions...which then told me this was the baby Jesus and whoever finds it has to purchase the King Cake next year. Tradition.

I did what any reasonable person would do since no one else was around...I shoved it into another piece of cake ;)

I'm no dummy.

Thanks Mama Belle for giving this life-long Midwesterner a touch of Louisiana...and for helping me gain 10 extra pounds. Who can resist a big donut?

Oooh....this makes me think of something Julie said last week. She's a little nervous that she's going to turn into a "giant" during her stay in America. Apparently our reputation for eating junk is loud and far reaching. I couldn't deny it...we do eat a lot of junk...thus my need for the less than enjoyable running.

Speaking of eating...yesterday I took these two girlies out to eat and then shopping :) This is an exciting picture of us waiting to get into the restaurant.


They're the two that are responsible for me wanting a foreign exchange student in first place. They're so much fun that I wanted one of my own :) And now...I have one! Well, sort of. Technically she won't be here for 5 more months, but I feel like I know her well enough to call her my own already :)

And since she's already part of the parsonage family, it is my duty to post this, my favorite of all the pictures thus far...it was made by her best friend, Audhild.





It's how we knew she fit perfectly into Life in the Parsonage.


Love you goofball Julie who reads my blog but hasn't commented for a long time ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Back

It's been awhile since I posted my beloved bullet point lists...and I thought to myself, self, I'm sure your readers are longing for some bullet points...

And I aim to please.

  • I left ya hanging a little yesterday with my deeply profound statement. *cough*  Never fear, I'm working on more of it...but I actually am putting a little effort into it (shocking, I know) It will come...eventually.
  • Church stuff gives me a lot of fodder for posts that would be quite entertaining...unfortunately, it would also be inappropriate.  Boo.
  • Yesterday, a church member stopped by to discuss some funeral luncheon arrangements, as we sat in my living room, amongst piles of laundry (because I didn't know she was stopping) Jake and his friend James were busy playing upstairs.  Twenty minutes or so later I heard the splashing of water.  Turns out they were carrying tubs of WATER from the bathroom to Jake's bedroom (no idea why) and it all ended up in the hallway on the lovely gold shag carpeting.  Needless to say I looked like the worlds best pastor's wife, mom, house keeper and day care provider.  It was a shining moment ;)
  • Jake and James are now banned from upstairs...they get to remain where I can keep my eye on them at all times. 
  • My son is the instigator.  For sure. 
  • Is it possible to miss someone you've never met?  This is a question I've been thinking about after Julie said something to the effect that it was weird that she felt like she missed us, even though we've never met in person. She made my day saying that, because I feel the same way!  We're connected now, through the miracle of technology.  And can't wait till she can be here and physically be a part of our family.  Without a doubt God hand-picked her for this crazy adventure.
  • Life seems to be moving in fast forward lately...I'm wishing there were a pause button so I could stop and take a nap for a little bit before hitting play again.
  • Happy Thursday!