Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jim Kline - my friend

With all that is happening in our lives, new baby, new adventures, the kids getting older I think Bill and I both feel very blessed by it all. Just like most of my "followers" have not seen my kids as babies... most of you never had the chance to meet Bill's Dad, Jim.

I write this blog for a lot of reasons. It is therapeautic and since I can't really afford therapy... expressing myself in a blog helps me to sort out thoughts and funny things rolling around inside my heart and head. To get it out on paper does this body good. I also write this blog hoping that one day I can have it printed into a scrapbook for my kids and their families. So my kids and grandkids know my heart for God, my love for my family and what God planned for me here on earth. My kids have not had the pleasure of meeting Billy's Dad (Grandpa Jim). So I am taking the time in this blog to explain a little about who he was to me and what he meant to Bill and our family.

When Bill took me "home" to meet his parents. I had no idea what to expect. I knew he was from a tiny town (population 1,000) where you could pay your groceries with your phone number and they would bill you monthly. There were two registers in the grocery store and one stop sign in town. It was tiny. If you blinked you've missed St. Ansgar, Iowa. But what I didn't know is what a special place and what special parents I was about to meet.

When I walked into their house, I could smell the faint scent of apples and cinnamon. Bill's parents were both sitting at the kitchen table when we entered the house. Both of them had these grins on their faces like they were wondering what to expect from this girl... from a big city who met and fell in love with their son in college. Being a parent now, I can only imagine that anticipation. They were so laid back. I loved it. We walked in and they greeted me with warm smiles and in their eyes I could see how happy they were to see their son home from college for a visit.

Bill's Dad drove a truck for a trucking company. I think he drove this truck all over Iowa and into Wisconsin making deliveries everywhere. He would honk his truck horn at people who were out their yard doing yardwork or outside. Even if he didn't know them, he would great them with a smile and a wave. I think it made him chuckle to see the perplexed look on their faces.

He had a smile that would light up the room and loved to joke around, be sarcastic and laugh. If he could tell you a joke to make you laugh, it made his day (Toby has the same characteristics). He drank weak coffee that was black... he told me it was because in the army they were serve it SO strong that he never wanted a strong cup of coffee again in his life. He would always ask me why I put all that "junk" in my coffee like cream and sugar (he would chuckle every time he asked me). Jim knew everyone in town.

He spent time in the mornings going to a place called Sportsman's (diner) ... he would play cards with the same guys in town in the morning (it's probably where he got all his jokes from) drink coffee eat some breakfast and just enjoy each other's company.

Jim and I also shared a love of food. He and I were the only ones to enjoy a sliced tomato with salt and eat them like they were going out of style. When we would get dinner ready he would prepare and entire plate and we would eat them in tandem. He loved to cook a big dinner. He would pray before each meal and enjoyed spending dinnertime with the family.

One other thing I remember about him was something he had passed down to Billy. He was great hugger. He let you know in just one hug how much he cared and if you were leaving town... that you would be missed. I love this about my husband and I think his Dad was a great loving man.

Bill would tell me stories about how his Dad would offer up "bean picking" services to go bean picking for a local farmer. Bill would think that he had no plans on a Saturday but his Dad would have a different plan. He would gather upa couple friends, they would wake up at the crack of dawn and go row by row picking beans. And if you talked while you did it... you were "wasting time." He had a great work ethic and instilled the same thing in my husband because of it.

He was not only a hard worker, he had a soft big heart. When Morgan (our neice and their first grandchild) was born, he stayed home with Bill's sister to help her with her first baby. His big hands would hold her so tenderly. She lit up his heart. He would change her and encourage Kathy to get out of the house and take her places. At four weeks we met them at a Perkins for the first time. Grandpa Jim was in full effect.

As I sit and write this blog about this awesome man who raised my amazing husband about six deer are walking through my yard, finches and chickadees are flying around on my porch and trees. I know Jim is in heaven living eternity with the God who created him. I pray that he watches over us and is blessed by what he sees. I know he would be so proud of my awesome husband and the man and father he has become.

Over 400 people attended Jim's funeral. He was well loved and is missed. One comment that stood out to me as people were hugging us and talking to us was that "this town will never be the same without Jim. " He was one of a kind, an awesome man, father, husband and grandfather.... and I am so happy I was blessed enough to know him and even more blessed to have married his son. Thank you God for this great man. Help him to know how much he is loved, how much we miss him and that we never forget him.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Still prego... still... living the dream.

So here I am... week 24... let's see what we can talk about in this stage of the pregnancy. Weirdenss abound.

My fingers are getting smaller.. you know how most women's fingers swell and they have to take off their wedding rings and such? Mine are getting smaller. My wedding rings are totally loose and flipping around on my fingers. It's hard to type... but to the same degree my fingers are decreasing "the girls" are growing... by leaps and bounds. I say this not in a good way, but in a freakishly scary... not sure if they will grow legs and walk away kind of way.

Secondly, when I sleep I spend most nights with the big pillow between my knees (it makes my hips feel so much better) and I have to flip flop throughout the night. I feel like I am baking cookies or pancakes or something. This baby does not like to lay on one side all night.

Finally, I do believe God is preparing me for what it is to be up all night again. With Toby being sick he has been up so much lately during the night it is mind blowing. I am up and down flipping, peeing and tucking Toby back into bed. I believe it is the baby Olympics and I am in training.

Side note: We went to Office Depot today and as Bill walked and I waddled into the store... a lady about to get into her car stepped out, smiled at me and said... you are SO CUTE! I did not know her, I have never seen her before in my life, I was waddling to try to keep up with my long legged husband. But I swear she was an angel sent from God to warm my heart on a day that I needed to hear it. :)

P.S.S My awesome friend Maria called me and told me about a garage sale that was going on Saturday morning. I was able to find a couple of things we absolutley needed for this new baby. Like a bathtub, a beautiful bassinette, some maternity clothes and a sweet little bouncy chair.

Friday, March 27, 2009

1st Grade...conversations about God

My Mom and I have had the discussion about the differences between growing up in Durango and growing up in the midwest. I can tell you that for most of my entire life I thought everyone believed the same thing I did in terms of faith. I thought that everyone knew that Jesus died on the cross. There was no discussion about it. Most of my community or the people in my life were Lutheran or Catholic, we all went to CCD, had our first communion and had confirmation, we believed in the sacraments and knew that this guy Jesus paid for all of our sin on the cross.

It never ever crossed my mind that there was another way. My faith did not teach me that God wants a personal relationship with me through prayer and reading the Bible and serving and loving others. My Catholic faith did not help me to understand the tender heart of God, but I knew he did some things that were good and that God had my back...I had that foundation and God drew me to him as I grew older.

For my children, life will look a little different. We are raising them to know that the God who created the universe also created them for a plan and a purpose. That when God created them inside my body, he did it with more love than they could ever imagine. That he loves them so much he wants to hear from them on a regular basis, that he loves them so much, he wants to hear them sing to him, that he loves them so much he wants them to know his word in the Bible. We want our kids to know that not only does God love them but they NEED God in their lives.

This year Grace asked Jesus into her heart. She understands that sin seperated us from God and Jesus died on the cross so we could have this deeper better relationship with God. I could not be more thrilled that she "gets it" at such a tender young age.

Grace is going to a public school this year as well and here is where the spiritual climate is a little different in Durango. She has only been in school two years and in those two years she has talked to kids about their faith. Innocent conversations of a 1st grade little girl.

She has asked them if they believe in God, she has had conversations with other kids who tell her that they believe "Mother Nature" made them and that they don't believe what she believes. One of her sweetest friends when Grace asked her if she believed in God told her, "not so much".

Recently she asked me if she could take her Bible to show and tell. She has a cute purple bible with rhinestone flap and she loves to read it and look up things(on occasion). I told her that would be fine with me. She just needed to let her teacher know that she wanted to show it at show and tell. A couple minutes later she came back to me and said that she forgot she can't bring her bible to class because another boy in class asked to show his Bible in class and the teacher told him no because not everyone believed in Jesus.

So... I took a deep breath and told Grace I would pray about what to do and that in the meantime she could take her Bible to school and read it at recess if she liked.

The next day she came home and told me she asked her friend Zia if she believed in God. Zia told her yes and told her that another name for God is "Jehovah". Then she asked Zia if she wanted to join her outside and they could read her Bible together. They did... and when I asked her what she read... she said, "Genesis," very matter of factly. (It was kinda cute)

So on one side of this situation I am very aware my daughter, at a very early age is being told by her teachers and other classmates that not everyone believes what she believes.

On the flip side, she has a family at home grounded in their faith encouraging her, She is also blessed with a family at church encouraging and reinforcing to her that what she believes is truth.

One of the greatest gifts given to my precious daughter is to "teach". Partly because she wants to tell you what she knows... but also because she is like her father, patient and bold about her knowledge of things. My prayer is that God will begin to instill in my daughter a heart for loving the kids in her school and "teaching" them what she knows about God. That she would plant the smallest seeds in the hearts of kids who think otherwise and that as she grows up she have a bold confidence in how GREAT our God is. No matter WHAT other people say.

Please pray with me for the kids in Durango who believe and love Christ. That they are raised up to be bold and honest about thier faith and that we as parents have wisdom and discernment to guide them and encourage them and teach them all the goodness of God.

PS. I am formulating an email conversation with the principal of Grace's school (who is Christian)to get her perspective on allowing Grace to "show and tell" her Bible. God gave Grace a boldness... but thankfully he gave his mother a little boldness too! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rolling Thunder what a blast!

OK... so understandably there will be many firsts in the Kline family. But this one takes the cake. BK grew up bowling. He spent every Saturday from middle school through high school bowling in St.Ansgar Iowa. In my book that makes or made him semi pro. We took our family a couple of week ago, to a new bowling alley or should I say "establishment" at the Sky Ute Casino. The name of this cool place is called Rolling Thunder. Here are some pics from Toby and Grace's first time seriously trying to bowl. The things we liked most:

1. The automated bumpers that pop up for the kids when it is their turn!
2. The eighties music that plays while you bowl the ENTIRE TIME! (seems fitting)
3. The $14.99 Large pizza we all shared.
4. The nice new bowling shoes that did not scare me to put my feet in.
6. Spending time together as a family!
7. Daddy showing the kids how to bowl... I could barely bend at all.
8. The joy on Toby's face and his "fist pump" made when all the balls fell down.
9. Watching Grace find me the "perfect ball" not too heavy so I wouldn't hurt Josie
10. My kids kicking my booty! (see score below)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Passion Play... Here we come!

As we approach the dates of the Passion Play of Durango April 8-11, 2009... things are wrapping up nicely. Everyone is referring to me as being married to "Jesus". We laugh about it and talk about how there is no pressure in it. People make funny jokes and bow down to him a lot recently. Bill has been frequenting the tanning bed so he is acquiring a great tan. Monday and Tuesday nights are spent in rehearsal and pretty soon some dress rehearsals will be worked on feverishly.

Last night we went to the rehearsal and the church was filled with people taking part in the play. I was a little overwhelmed with how many people are taking part in the play. I was instructed on how to help Bill backstage during some costume changes.

I watched him during a scene where he plays Jesus praying to God before he is to be crucified and immediately welled up with tears. Seeing my husband pray and cry out to God on behalf of everyone was very moving to me. This is a surreal experience.

I could not be more proud of my awesome husband. He is mostly a sports guy, a stats fanatic and a Sports Center guy. He loves playing, watching and keeping track of all things that have to do with sports. He loves church and he loves drama but taking on the role of Jesus and working on it as hard as he does with all the other things he has going is something I am so proud of. This new passion he has for acting and drama is something that just makes me so happy for him. You would not believe the amount of lines he has to memorize and the "passion" they are looking for from him in terms of all of the awesome personality and aspects of Jesus. It's tough to play a Savior. Very tough. Especially when you want to depict Jesus. Jesus is a tough act to swallow. A sinless loving man... who was paying the price for all of our sins. This play will depict Jesus in a real way to people who may have never heard this story before. It's an awesome oppportunity.

So, next week we will dye Bill's hair and begin his total transformation. We are working on the emotion behind his lines now... and stage direction. I am glad to help him and practice with him. There is still much to be done but I know it will all come together. The set will be built by the end of the day and we will take teh family to practice again tonight. The kids are so excited to have their own costumes too. To participate in the play... to watch their Dad play Jesus. To be completely honest this is all very exhausting to a prego chick, but when I see Billy practicing on the stage and motivated to do this, I am motivated by his passion for this project.

I look forward to the night of each performance. I am excited about the friendships he is forming and can't wait to see all the good things that come from this play. For the people in the play as well as our community. This Easter story is the ultimate story... one that every person should hear. The very reason we celebrate Easter... because Christ died on the cross not because he had to but because we needed him to and he loves us that much.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Her name...

Well, it looks like it's settled... we have a name. BK and I have been going back and forth on names since we found out about this baby girl. BK reunited with a friend on Facebook from college, Billy was telling me about how this guy had a daughter named Josie. Immediately something clicked in my brain and I was like... I LOVE THAT NAME! We love meanings of names, so I looked it up..and it means "God has Increased" to me it was an indication from the Lord that this was to be her name. For quite some time Billy has wanted to increase this family. He loves our kids, he loves being a Dad and he wants our kids to have siblings, he is blessed by children all the way around. Bill had to digest the name and mull it over like he does many things, but after some discussion and talking with friends about it... it stuck for him too. Here's the cool part. We were thinking about middle names and could not come up with one. My middle name is Lynn, but again Billy really liked the middle name Hope. Like I have said before this new little arrival was a blessing from God that gave us a renewed sense of hope and love. But Josie Hope Kline... just doesn't roll of the tongue (as Billy would say).

Then I was looking at babynames.com and the website was saying that Josie is actually short for the full name Josephine. My Grandma Marion passed away this past year and it was very very hard for me. She and I were very close and I love her very much. She was my prayer warrior. She loved the Lord. She was one of the people in my life that without being blatant or in my face she always directed me back to the Lord and my faith. I remember one time I was a teen and perplexed about boys... and she very seriously told me to become a nun... (she wasn't joking):) She very much loved God. She would tell me many times that she would pray for me. Growing up I didn't understand how powerful that is. But I believe that when people are praying for you, there is something that happens in the supernatural that protects you... big things happen.

I remembered today that her middle name was Josephine and ran it by BK... he immediately liked it. I checked with my Mom and sure enough it was Josephine. It's no coincidence that this child is the result of much prayer, and will be the namesake of a wonderful woman who gave me awesome examples of the power of prayer and the love of God.

Her name will be: Josephine Hope Kline

And we'll call her Josie! Thank you God for your revealing of plans.... for your love... for the names you provide us, for my awesome Grandma and for YOUR NAME... which is powerful when we cry out to you and pray. Thank you God for your love for all of us.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Rolling Thunder...

OK... so understandably there will be many firsts in the Kline family. But this one takes the cake. BK grew up bowling. He spent every Saturday from middle school through high school bowling in St.Ansgar Iowa. In my book that makes or made him semi pro. We took our family a couple of week ago, to a new bowling alley or should I say "establishment" at the Sky Ute Casino. The name of this cool place is called Rolling Thunder. Here are some pics from Toby and Grace's first time seriously trying to bowl. The things we liked most:

1. The automated bumpers that pop up for the kids when it is their turn!
2. The eighties music that plays while you bowl the ENTIRE TIME! (seems fitting)
3. The $14.99 Large pizza we all shared.
4. The nice new bowling shoes that did not scare me to put my feet in.
6. Spending time together as a family!
7. Daddy showing the kids how to bowl... I could barely bend at all.
8. The joy on Toby's face and his "fist pump" made when all the balls fell down.
9. Watching Grace find me the "perfect ball" not too heavy so I wouldn't hurt Josie
10. My kids kicking my booty! (see score below)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Cleaning and my Clutter catcher...

I have yet to post about this because I am still in a little shock that we actually did it, but about a week ago we had NEW carpet put in our home. We rent from my Dad and Mom and we are so blessed to have this house to live in because even though we rent, my parents have told us we can do what we like with the house. Paint, improve whatever. This home is intended to be in our family for generations and we plan to be here for a while so while we're here we're making some improvements. It's all good.

For those of you who are "lurkers" and do not know me personally... I am not the most organized person on the block. I am definately not "type A" where everything has a place and everything is put away nicely. My husband has had to contend with my weakness in this area for quite some time and I have to say that he has been very patient and loving through it all. He looks to me for guidance in this area... and I look at him cross eyed because I have no idea how to lead the family in this area.

I blame it on the clutter catcher. Growing up, each of us had a clutter catcher. It actually seemed like a good idea at first. It was a small 8x10 box that we were told if we didn't know where to put things, to put it in the clutter catcher. Then we could go find it later. We would clean out the clutter catcher at the end of the week and then it would help us be organized for the next week. The "clutter catcher" became my crutch because instaed of putting things away in their rightful place I would just place it in the box AND I would not empty it weekly so it just became a pile of who knows what.

Now that we have the main areas of the house emptied and all of the clutter is in boxes or in our office... we are only putting things in place that make sense for organization, for the space we have and for how we live our lives. (I've watched many an episode of CLEAN HOUSE... and am learning a thing or two!)

For example, when I cleaned out what used to be my "upstairs office area" I was able to throw away about THREE garbage bags FULL of clutter! I'm talking things I haven't looked at needed or wanted for the three years we have been here! Paperwork, McDonalds toys, magazines, brochures, bills, you name it... I stored it...

I have boxes and containers in closets from college, from old apartments and things i have never gone through. If I were to guesstimate.. I think I have about another 3 garbage bags full of clutter I can toss before I am completely done cleansing this home.

There however is a part of me that wants to be "neat" and "organized". I want to teach my children what "order" looks and feels like. I think there is a certain security and safety in knowing where things are and where they are supposed to go. Especially for kids. And now that we are adding one more to this awesome family of mine... I think for everyone's sake, we need a little organization and understanding of how that looks. I will begin this journey with decluttering my life, getting rid of any clutter piles, boxes or containers and starting fresh. Letting go of the old... and welcoming in a new season of our lives... a season of organization and clarity. Can I get an Amen?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Give me your eyes...

I am not sure if it is that time of the year where the seasons are changing and we are in transition of some sort, or if this is just part of God's plan, but as we transition into warmer weather and new seasons and prepare for the Passion Play and the celebration of Easter I feel like I am being "stretched".

The Passion Play gives me a new perspective on what Jesus did on the cross and most importantly afterward. I am learning about why he did it and how thankful I am he did this for me because of my sin.

This pregnancy is teaching me about thankfulness and trusting in God. We wanted this baby so much, God heard our prayers and answered them I can't wait to meet this little girl. I will tell her for years and years how she was an answer to our prayers. That when there were days we had no hope.... God provided and we were renewed with an awesome sense of hope and love.

Both of our kids are growing up.. Grace is in 1st grade and is at a point where talking with and having conversations with adults is fun for her. Growing up she has been kind of quiet, but I am noticiing that she has a new interest in the relationships around her. My relationships, her friendships people in general. Appreciating them, learning from them, watching them participating. She is learning about her gifts, her talents she is learning to study for things, organization and planning. She is growing up and I am so proud of the little girl she is growing up to be.

Toby is about to enter Kindergarten and with that being said, I am excited for him, but at the same time a little nervous. He has been my "baby" for 5 years and now he too will begin a journey of self discovery and understanding of who he is and what he stands for. My prayer for both of them is that they know that they are supported by BK and I always and that they understand that the God who made the mountains that surround us is always with them, loving them and watching over them. I pray they have that peace.

I am watching my husband take on big "roles" more responsibility, he too is learning about parenting "young kids" and not babies. He is leading this family, in all aspects. understanding the awesome and good responsiblity God gives a father and a husband for his family. God is changing him inside and out. He is healthier than he has ever been in his life, stronger...emotionally and physically.

Sometimes in the midst of these things I am noticing I have questions, I have confusion, I have frustration and doubt. I feel helpless, I am not in control and I would love to know what the future holds. I have a greater awareness of my own inability to control every aspect of my own life... and it is not the most comfortable place. But in this way I am being stretched to see my life as God sees it to see it with new eyes. To be changed... to move into it trusting that God who knows all is in control of it all.

Thanks for these new eyes Lord. Thank you for it all.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Yesterday, we went to our friends land to have a barbecue. They had a "disciple" party for Jesus (my husband and the people who will perform as disciples in the Passion Play. Grace and Toby have made some very special friends through our church and so have we. Caden is Toby's age and Haley is Grace's age. Teri (their Mom ) and I talk about how similar they are... yesterday as I watched them play together, I realized how important these new little relationships are. Believe me, these kids don't get along 100% of the time, but they are learning at a young age how to communicate to each other. They are learning how to be friends and I just get the biggest kick of watching them grow up.

One of my favorite all time movies is the movie Stand by Me. The boys in the movie "scrap around" together. My brothers and I could quote lines from this movie we watched it so many times. Pete and I even danced to this song at my wedding.

I advise my kids to make good choices in their friendships, to "use their words", to ask and give forgiveness and ask I speak these words to them, I am reminded to do the same in my own relationships. Be kind, use your words, give and ask for forgiveness and be gentle. Relationships are so important, so fragile and so much fun. Thank you Lord for all of them. Thank you Lord for the sweet friendships my kids have in their lives, protect them, watch over them... and make them what you would have them be.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Toby's Got Mail and other thoughts...

The day Toby turned five, my eyes were opened to so many things. One of the things I realize about this sweet boy of mine is how absolutley different he is from his sister. What I am beginning to see is how his "differences" are so cool and God given. Toby has an incredible imagination and memory. He brings up times we've spent as a family from over a year ago and talk to me about specifics of those moments. He can memorize a movie after watching it once and tell you lines from it and replay it over in his head. He is curious, he wonders about things. He is verbal. He seriously woke up this morning at 6:00am started talking and did not stop having conversation with me until an hour later. I am realizing that while I am barely awake and am drinking my coffee and he is talking to me about anything and everything on his mind that I have a very special son. These things that set him apart from his sister are unique and special and as a parent I need to foster his creativity, look at his gifts... and watch them blossom. This is what I love about parenting. It starts with the birth of your child, but as they grow through the years, you learn about yourself, you learn about them, you are challenged, you are blown away by what a cool person God created for you to have in your life. The blessings just keep coming. I love an adventurous and spontaneous life and recently I realize that parenting is one of the best ways to experience adventure. Having this family is an adventure of a lifetime. What a blast! :)

PS - Toby received this pic from his good buddy Kale for his birthday. He literally screamed when he received the piece of mail. And kept saying how much he loved it... it was AWESOME! And the picture is hanging in our kitchen so he can look at it while he eats dinner. And of course... he talks about it ALL the time!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Thank God for Josie

So Thankful this Thursday... (this song was playing on the radio when we got back from our ultrasound)

This week the Kline family has so much to be thankful for, we stand in awe of the awesome things God is working in our lives and just give praise now. We remember these times because we know that sometimes life is not always like this. But today... I am humbled by God's goodness in everything.

1. Thank you Lord... for this child inside of me. Thank you that she is a gift to this family. A precious life that you have created for us to enjoy and to love and to take care of.

2. Thank you for ultrasounds that can show us the progress she makes as she grows. That confirms she is on schedule to meet us and shows us the creative intricate work of your hands... as you knit this child together for us.

3. Thank you for her health, that all of her organs are forming well, that she continue to grow healthy and strong.

4. Thank you that she is a girl, that as she grows up we will learn about her heart and your plan for her God. Thank you so much for the good plan you already have in place.

5. Thank you for the doctors who will deliver her and the hospital that will help us bring her into this world. Thank you for people who love babies.

6. Thank you for sleepless nights, that I will spend time feeding her, taking care of her though exhausted... I will treasure this special gift.

7. Thank you for her Daddy who cares about her already. Who's tears of joy were directed to you Lord... he is so thankful for this precious gift.

8. Thank you for her big sister who is already planning on sharing a room with this precious girl.. and who kisses my belly because she loves this baby.

9. Thank you for her big brother, who's heart is sweet who will show much love to her.

10. Thank you for answering my prayers. Thank you for hearing the desires of our heart. Thank you for this miracle of life... one we prayed for... and you delivered. Thank you God.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Toby Tobias!

Well, today is our "baby boy's" 5th birthday. There is something about turning 5 that takes a child from being "little" to being "big." Grace got her ears pierced on her 5th birthday. After she did, she looked so much older to me. The same thing happened today when Grace and I walked with Toby into the Elementary school. He looked taller to me, I bigger and more like my big boy than my baby boy. I think it's God preparing my heart for each passing year.

This boy was such a joy to have Billy literally jumped off of the little stool he was sitting on when I had my c section and the doctor informed us he was a boy. The minute I heard his voice... I was totally in love. He is a soft hearted smiley, sensitive boy who loves to laugh. But the cool part about him is that at the very same place he is soft, he can switch on a dime and wrestle you to the ground. I can't keep up with him... but I know his heart which is totally precious to me.

For those of you who have never seen Tobias as a baby. I'm posting some pics. We are so proud of the boy he is growing up to be. We are so in love with him. I can't wait to see what an awesome big brother he is going to be.
This song is called Spoken For by Mercy Me. We played it at Toby's baptism in Minnesota. It is special to me and his Daddy, because God has an amazing plan for our little boys life... we are so excited to watch it unfold. The second song is the Flintstones theme song... one of Toby's favorites.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What fills my love tank.

BK and I read the "Five Love Languages" book some time ago. I always thought my first love language was affirmation and quality time, but as I am very honest with myself and have more children I have to say that what fills me up MOST is "acts of service." I love it when BK finishes projects around the house, makes improvements, folds laundry, I can actually feel my heart swell as I think about him doing these types of things for me. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with him, but if he wants to knock my socks off with a massive dose of love... acts of service is where it's at.

So, in honor of my husband I play this song. Yesterday he installed a brand new toilet in our home and for our family. To most this is something that's pretty standard, but during this pregnancy I spend much time emptying my bladder and in the first three months of this pregnancy much of it was spent in the bathroom. The toilet we had was ok.. it functioned, but it was old and the enamel on the inside had worn off so it did not stay clean for very long. I emailed BK yesterday with the thought that it would be great to replace our toilets... and to see if they had anything at work that he could price out. It was funny because he had a lot of different ordering questions like do you want a round or elongated toilet white or creme and finally comfort height?!? He's so detailed. I emailed him back and last night, he brought me home a potty an installed it downstairs. I love that man of mine.

So with my love tank full and feeling very proud and in love with my husband. I dedicate this "old school" Tina Turner song to my coolest toilet installing husband Billy Kline :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Let's go fly a kite

Some friends of ours watch Grace and Toby while BK and I do a date night on Sunday's. We alternate weeks so the next week we will watch their three children. It is fun and an awesome way to get some much needed "Mommy and Daddy" time.

Our friends bought the kids two kites. I think Grace's is a Barbie kite and Toby's is a Buzz Lightyear kite. The kids have been begging us to fly these kites since they received them. Grace and I have failed a couple times at attempts to make these kites fly without enough wind (picture 5 month prego chick running through her yard) trying to get a kite into the air.

Well, this Wednesday Dad and some nice wind made it all happen for our kids. He's a super kite flyer. Grace got her kite up and flying and was elated. Once the tail was fixed on Toby's kite... Toby did too. It was fun to watch them enjoy the day with Billy. The wind kept up, the kites were flying and the kids thought it was the coolest thing that the kites stayed in the air. This day off for him each week has turned out to be an incredible blessing to us.

I just thought I'd post some more recent pics of my awesome kids and husband.

We can't wait for Spring to finally be here for good. Some are predicting one last snow storm... Uh... no thank you! :)

BK trying to fix a broken kite tail.

Toby enjoying the warm weather

A random pic of Tid Bit

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This one goes out to you...

There are some times when I am blogging I feel so excited that I get to share my thoughts and my perspective and my faith online. The fact that someone somewhere may be touched by my words totally blesses my heart. It fuels me. So while it's fun to post funny stories about my pregnancy (with gorilla pictures) and my family life, I really enjoy blogging and writing about the biggest part of my life, my belief, my love and my desire to live my life totally following God's will for this life of mine.

I was driving home today from the grocery store... and I heard this song. I started to think about all of my friends, all of my family all of the people in my life. Everyone who reads this blog. All of these relationships came to mind. I just feel blessed by every single one of you. But when I think about all the things my friends are going through, I want you to know that Jesus is at the very center of it all loving you every step of the way. I want you to know that no matter how hard, how difficult, how confusing frustrating or horrifying life may seem right now. There is the God of the universe who made the mountains, the oceans, rainbows, right there with you sitting next to you and reaching out to you. Just be still and listen, open up your heart, be humble, weak and sad if you have to... but pray and let him work in your life a glorious miracle.

My encouragement is that each and every one of you are so special to me in some way or another. I see the beauty God has created in you and I am so blessed by your lives, your stories your struggles because I know I am not alone in life. I am here with you... working it out, living each new day to face the next and joyfully expecting God to show up in all the cool ways he does. So, don't expect God to come into your life in big and grand ways, look for Him in the little things. He wants to take care of you. He is your friend who cares specifically for you. Whether you feel it or not. He is there. He always will be. Because he loves you.

Thanks friends... for being so wonderful and a gift in my life. Have an awesome rest of the week and know that I think you all are totally stinkin cool.

lv, jen

Monday, March 2, 2009

How much do I need God?

Well, BK and I attended the marriage conference and just as expected I was blown away. We were both just touched and learned so much. I was totally excited we spent the day listening to awesome speakers teach us about marriage from a perspective that glorified God in it all.

One of the speakers who was 69 named Gary Smalley got up and spoke from his heart. He said if he could pick a "last thing" to preach about.. this would be it. I've heard speakers talk of this topic before but it never hit me like it did on this particular day.

I consider myself a pretty good Christian girl, living for God, loving God, teaching kids about God. I know how to serve God... I understand that other people hurt and we are to have compassion and love for others... but the thing God revealed to me on Saturday through this speaker was HOW MUCH I actually NEED God.

I think one thing that turned me off to Christianity is this premise that we are SUCH sinners... so bad, people are horrible, hurting, angry, selfish, etc.etc. It's a hard pill to swallow because there are a lot of good people in this world. But even "good people" are hurting. Hurt is all around us, wounded people are all around us, you can tell by the amount of people addicted to drugs, alcohol, prescription meds, sex, lies, pride, jealousy all of it... it's everywhere. But as a person who lives in this wounded world... I don't like to admit... exactly HOW wounded I really am. How much do I need God?

Gary Smalley talked about getting up each morning as if he held up a cardboard sign to God (picture someone standing on a highway holding this type of cardboard sign). In big black letters it said, HELP ME HELP ME... Every morning he pictures himself humble, before the Lord asking him to take this day and help him in all of his imperfectness get through the day. He speaks to God from a place of humility a place that recognizes how truly messed up we all are.

Now believe me, there are days when I think I have it all together. I don't feel messed up, I don't even look messed up, but by the end of the day or end of the week... I am a royal mess.

Maybe it's because BK and I have been reading lines from the Passion Play but it was like I thought I had it all figured out and a light switch went on in my head. God sent Jesus to die on the cross because he KNOWS how much help we need as sinful human people. Jesus is the antidote to my sin in God's eyes and He is my friend.

I used to wake up and think... what can I do today to make this life feel "happy and comfortable" what can I do to make things OK for my wounded heart. How do I wake up every day and put the puzzle pieces together? What's on my to do list... that is going to take me one step closer to happiness? What three things can I do that will make my family happy? What will make me feel prettier today? And when Gary held up the cardboard sign and talked about waking up every day and confessing to God... humbly frankly and honestly that he needed help. I totally and completely agreed with him.

Why do I wake up every day thinking I've got it all figured out? Is it my pride? It's ok to wake up and be humble and not know it all. It's ok to wake up and completely rely on God. It's ok to know that I totally and completely need Jesus and I can be so thankful that he died on that cross for the thing I struggle with every day. My sin.My imperfectness. He will take it from me. He will bear it for me. He will wipe it clean when I come to him in humble repentance. He will make me new, change me, give me strength and encouragement when I need it. But what I need to accept the most and realize the most... is that HE will give it to me. It is by his grace and love for me that I will be better.

What a load off of my life... what a concept to swallow. So now everyday my eyes open on my bedroom pillow after a nights sleep. I wake up and tell God in my humble sleepy state. Lord, help me. Help me in all the areas I need help. I'm so glad I have you Jesus. I'm so glad you died for me. I love you.

Hosanna! Hosanna! - The Before...

My very hairy and very soon to be "Jesus" looking husband.
I have to laugh because everytime my Pastor sees Bill at our church, he bows down to him like, "I'm not worthy"... it cracks me up. Bill thinks it's funny too... but you just wait until our "after" shot... he will be transformed. Inside and out! :)

I cannot believe how long his hair is and I cannot believe how long his beard is becoming. Please keep in mind... on most days.. he shaves his head to 3/8" with a razor... so he looks very different to me. He also has to keep the beard scraggly because I'm pretty sure in the holy land.. they did not "trim beards" the scruffier the better! He is one big ball of hair.

The plan.... color his hair a tad darker to match his beard. Color his beard to cover the tiny bits of grey. Get him TAN!

We have been practicing lines every day. He seriously has so many lines, but a brilliant memory to remember them all. He is diligent and hard working in preparing for this part. I am proud of my rather hairy husband and love the fact he is working so to reach this goal. The goal is to have all scenes memorized after March 5th and after that point... rehearse rehearse rehearse.

Pray for this awesome man of mine. He is incredible! :)