Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends and fellow readers! May the birth of Jesus resound within your hearts as we treasure the company of those near and dear to our hearts this Christmas!

And a baby makes three!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My really good friend Steph and her husband Luke welcomed their first child into the world on Saturday the 20th of December. Beckett George is so adorable~I was able to get through the snow to visit Beckett and family at the hospital and everyone is doing great. It was so nice to hold a baby again, especially one as adorable as Beckett! Congrat's Shogren's!

a little holiday hello...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

we have been so busy...but so blessed by friends and family:) it's been awhile since the last post, and in the past few weeks, things have been pretty normal around our house. here are some glimpses into our lives... -after thanksgiving we have been decorating the house for christmas and shopping for presents; as of today all gifts are bought...yea! -my mom was in town the first weekend of december and i hosted a table at our church's christmas much fun and a great kickoff to advent -work, work,, shop, shop...plan, plan, plan -this past weekend Alex and I headed back to Appleton for my family's christmas...a christmas party with all the siblings on much fun:) i love seeing and interacting with all the family we don't see that often...all those 12 nieces and nephews have grown so big, not to mention my little brother who has now surpassed me in height and weight at age 14! saturday we spent the day with my dad and stepmom, watched rv at their house, finished up christmas shopping for my mom, and ate at Frank's pizza with baskin robbins for dessert...yum! sunday my brother chris made us a pancake breakfast and we headed back to minnesota after picking up alex's birthday present at macy's a great weekend and a great december...we can't wait for more!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! We were so blessed to have fmaily around our table and in our lives for Thanksgiving. We so enjoyed the day with Alex's side of the family for Thanksgiving. The day started out with the Macy's Day Parade on tv, an annual tradition, prepping dinner, as we hosted, and getting all the last minute things prepped. It was a great day, full of food, family, and fun:) Thanksgiving night my Dad and Teri headed in to town with my brother Matt and his friend Nick for some Thanksgiving weekend fun. It was so nice to have them in town, one because we don't get to see them as often as we would wish, and because it's always fun being around all of them. We hit up the MOA on Friday via the light rail for some post-thanksgiving shopping, the Holidazzle parade, and Fogo de Chao for dinner. According to Alex, that was the best meal he has eaten in a very long time! While we were walking to dinner a fight broke out on the other side of the street. The looks on my 14 year old brother and his friend's faces were priceless...a little different from Appleton:) We laughed at how cultured they were getting!

All in all a fabulous weekend and we have so much to be thankful for.
Things we are thankful for: -Jesus, his saving grace in our lives, though we are so undeserving, He is so gracious -Families, their presence in our lives makes life filled with joy -BBC, our church, the people we've met, the teaching -God's provision through our most difficult and stressful year of marraige -For each other, the joy Alex brings to me...amazing -The food on our table, the roof over our head, the clothes on our bodies
Oh that we would be more giving and thankful the rest of the year!

Recommended Reading

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ever since the school year started, I have been reading non-stop. Isn't that funny how I still think of things in terms of the school year:) Well that might be because I am still nannying and a perfect, free activity is visiting the library weekly.
In the past couple of months, I have read some really great books I thought I would share.
Reading right now:

Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble

-really good, emotional, and intriguing

Have just finished:

Rain Song by Alice Wistler
great, set in the south, funny, cute
Rebecca's Reward by Lauraine Snelling I love this series; totally laura ingalls wilder but more grown up One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling really good, but sad. about organ donation
The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi really cute, good read, and just really good, there's slight romance:)

And the winner is...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Last night we attended the COTY awards hosted by NARI the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The COTY awards stand for the Contractor of the Year. Basically you choose a project and present it as a nominee and a committee judges the binders. This was our third year at the COTY's but our first year submitting projects. We submitted two, one in the category Additions over $200,000 and the other in the category Whole House under $250,000. We were up against some really amazing projects and we WON in the Whole House category. We actually submitted our house on the lake that Alex remodeled. It was such a fun experience! Yea...Alex and South Face:)

Thanks Grandpa!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today is veteran's day...and i want to thank my favorite grandfather.
He fought in World War II, was shot twice in the leg, hit with shrapnel and manned the bunker where the others were killed. He is brave, loving, kind, and he fought for our country and our freedoms. Thank you so much...for what you sacrificed and the job you did.
One other interesting fact, was that while Grandpa was away fighting, Grandma was "Rosie Riveter" in the factory. So they both contributed and I am thankful for them both!

A day at the Park

Saturday, November 8, 2008

colin playing with a stick
the two of us
conner tickling colin on the tire swing
me taken by colin
those boys again

Happy 60th wedding anniversary!

Friday, November 7, 2008

In late August we headed to Appleton for Labor Day. Not only did Alex and I celebrate our Anniversary early but we celebrated Grandma and Grandpa's 60th wedding anniversary with the whole family in Manitowac. It was so special to spend the day with them! They look great and are doing well at 96 and 93.
mom with her parents
alex and i with grandma and grandpa
G&G with the trips and aj
the whole fam
(from l tor: chris holding kate, alex, me, luke, grandpa, jodie, mom, aj, grandma, jack, jen)


Thursday, November 6, 2008

We *heart* Madden's resort in Brainerd, MN. Last year we headed there for our 1st anniversary and had so much fun golfing, playing bingo, roasting marshmallows, and riding the tandem bike. Because we loved it so much, we decided to go again in the fall last year for their halloween celebration. Though we don't love halloween, we do love the amenities and watching all the adorable children dressed up in their costumes. They are the cutest:)
So this year after all the house stuff was finished we needed a break and where better to go than to Madden's. So for the cheap rate they offer we were able to get all our meals, lodging, free unlimited golf, use of the pool, and enjoy each other's company all for one low price. Though we didn't head out on the bikes this year, we still had a blast just letting loose and getting away from the everyday stress we seem to carry.
Here are some pics from our fab weekend away!
Us after dinner on Saturday night!
On the golf course
me trying to keep myself entertained while I walked along:)
Alex looking oh so professional
the golf course in all its fall glory

Our belated anniversary!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On September 2nd, Alex and I celebrated our second year of marriage. I am so blessed to have such an amazing husband... A for amazing, authentic, awesome, athletic L for loving, loves to learn, laborer E for energetic, enthusiastic, enjoyable X for extra caring, extra gracious Along with these he is a hard worker, generous provider, faithful, filled with Jesus, and he's my best friend. These past two years I have been so humbled and challenged as a wife and fellow believer...I'm thankful God chose Alex to be my husband and fellow sanctifier. The second year was different from the first with its own challenges and blessings. I can't wait to experience all the years to come. We spent our anniversary at Kincaid's for dinner and celebrated with m&m cookies. Here are some pics from our wedding two years ago!

the venue, a vineyard in stillwater mn
our engagement pic courtesy of our friend Neal...thanks!
our first dance
at our rehearsal dinner, Buca of course!

Election Day...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Well today is the day...GO OUT AND VOTE! I believe it's our duty in a democratic society to voice our vote through elections for those things we feel strongly about. At the same time, my beliefs assure me that it is not up to us but to the Lord. He's sovereign...the new president will not be a surprise to Him...He knew before time began who would serve our country...O God that you might lead our nation to know You. If you vote here is what awaits you: -Free cone at Ben and Jerry's -Free 12 ounce cup of coffee at Starbucks -Peace of mind...priceless

Birthdays, Fall, and Fun!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I have been so behind on posting that I thought I would add in some pics from what we have been up to in the last couple of months now that it seems like we have all the time in the world. After our trip to Europe, Alex and I were basically working around the clock to finish the house. We would leave our house in Prior Lake around 6am and work until 8pm then head the 30 minutes back home, crash, and then do it all over again. Good thing this didn't last too long, only about 3 months. Believe me it will all be worth it. But in between all that work we actually did take some time to have a break, enjoy family and friends, and relax. Our niece Macayla celebrated her 5th birthday in September, along with my mother's 60th, and Alex's parents birthdays as well. September is a busy month with birthdays. October held the Remodeler's Showcase where 500 people went through the house. It was amazing. Also in October, my mother, sister and her son, brother and his wife and their triplets all came to visit the cities for a very full and fun-filled weekend. Also I gave Alex his first haircut...I have to say it didn't turn out too bad! So here are the pics of the happenings from July forward.

The first haircut...oh what a kitchen scissors can do:)
Lauren, looking a little concerned
Happy 5th birthday, Macayla!
Macayla and her Barbie cake, isn't Patty talented!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wow, it's been awhile. Things with us are as good as can be. We are finally finished with the home in St. Louis Park. We started the remodel in May and finished in October just in time for the Parade of Homes Remodeler's Showcase. The house is now finished and on the market.
We have officially moved into the new house, leaving our house on the lake up for sale as well. Reasoning behind the move, location and a break from commuting almost an hour each way to work. I'd say it has been well worth it...though the change from 950 square feet to 3500 has been a little difficult. Raising our voice is now necessary to catch each other's attention in another room, no more whispers:)
Here's the house...
the master bath
the 4th bedroom
the 3rd bedroom
2nd full bath
living and family room
master bedroom
kitchen with dinette area off to left/mudroom through doorway on left
dining room
living room
family room

Skin safe are your cosmetics?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My friend Rachel tuned me into this site Skin Deep where you can view how safe the cosemetics/lotions/etc. you use are for your skin. I wasn't sure if I was going to like what I found, but I actually didn't fare to bad! Growing up my mother only used one thing on her face for face lotion, Oil of Olay. I have tried multiple other brands in my years growing up, but I love this one. Just their original little bottle, the cheapest one on the's great. It's Olay Complete Defense, SPF 30. Just a note, I never use anything but water and a little bar soap on my face if it needs to be cleansed. That was my dermatologists suggestion! The other brand I am quite loyal to is Dove, not only because I love their products, but also because of their advertising. I love that they target women, all kinds of women, to feel comfortable in their own skin. As a former gal with body issues, I love feeling good in my own skin! The ratings on skin deep are Here are the products we use and how they rated on Skin Deep: Product: Rating: Oil of Olay Moisturizing Lotion 2 Dove Gentle Exfoliating Beauty Bars White 3 Dove Antiperspirant & Deodorant Ultimate Clear, Fresh 4 Dove Shampoo and Conditioner 5 Dove Firming Lotion 6 So all in all, they fall within the low to moderate hazard category. Will I change? Doubt it. Maybe if they were off the charts. But always choose the sensitive skin version of the product, it's always better...b/c hey, we all have sensitive skin:)

My Amazing Mother...

Monday, September 22, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, Alex and I headed back to Wisconsin, where I grew up, to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday. I must say that my mom is not only my best friend, but an amazing woman who loves Jesus, cares for others, gives of herself, and loves her family. We love her too! This mother of mine has endured life well...having lived through divorce, remarraige, step-mothering five new children, and the death of her husband, she is strong and full of faith. I love that my mother has not allowed adversity or challenges in life slow her down, instead she oozes love! My mom not only volunteers at our local hospital and church but she is also a Red Cross volunteer. She helped with disaster relief after Katrina and the flooding near Madison, WI, and after Ike hit she was deployed again for almost three weeks to help those who have lost so much. She drives the ERV, the truc that delivers the food...GO MOM! Here is an update about the typical life of a relief volunteer! Hi All: I am in Sulphur, LA staying at the Maplewood Baptist Church. The Southern Baptists also have the kitchen set up here and they are preparing all our meals for delivery right there. We were on the early entrance to this area and see many people in need. Many have had their entire homes flooded. One area is just now being opened for damage assessment. I stay extremely busy making two meal runs per day. We get up at 6am, staff meeting at 8am, get our assignments and stock our ERV for delivery. Around 10:30am we drive up to pick up our cambros(large containers) full of food. For example, yesterday noon meal consisted of pulled pork, green beans, and fruit cocktail. Evening meal was ravioli, green beans, and pears. At first we were only serving MRE meals (heater meals that don't require a stove). We served over 1000 of those at our site alone. No water to dispense at this time - hard to come by. Our normal load of meals is about 500-600 meals per mealtime. We go out for our evening run about 4:30 and arrive back around 7pm. Then we have to off load cambros, etc., clean the cambros and ERV and attend another staff briefing at 8pm. Then showers in a portable shower trailer and finally rest. Lights out at 10pm. There you have it. The life at this time on the Red Cross deployment. I am scheduled to be out until the 28th of Sept. We expect to be here another few days and then move out to another area. My ERV partner at this time is Leo from Albuquerke (sp?). Working good so far. Well, we had a moment this morning for me to get onto a computer at the local library so I am sending this to you all with my good wishes. I am tired already but remain in high spirits. God is so good! Love you all, Bonnie We love you mom and we are so proud of you!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My mother sent me this prayer as part of an email. Rather than sending it on, I decided to post it, because I was well, touched! May God bless your day today! Dear Lord, I thank You for this day, I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning. I'm blessed because You are a forgiving and an understanding God. You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me. Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought that was not pleasing to you. I ask now for Your forgiveness. Please keep me safe from all danger and harm. Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude. Let me make the best of each and every day. Clear my mind so that I can hear from You. Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things. Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over. And give me the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits. I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart. Continue to use me to do Your will, Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak... Keep me uplifted that I may have Words of encouragement for others. I pray for those that are lost and can't find their way. I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood. I pray for those who don't know You intimately. I pray for those that will delete this without sharing it with othersI pray for those that don't believe, But I thank You that I believe that God changes people and God changes things. I pray for all my sisters and brothers, for each and every family member in their households. I pray for peace, love and joy, in their homes; that they are out of debt and all their needs are met. I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God. Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight. I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees itIn Jesus' name. Amen!

Are you there God?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Do you ever wonder if God is hearing you? Why He has brought you where you are? Why He is being silent? Somedays are better than others, in fact most days are really good, and then others are blessings as He takes us deeper than we've ever gone before, taking hold of our hand and carrying us to places we've never experienced, places where we have no choice but to trust His sovereignty and His Promises. Every day, whether I experience the presence of God or not, He is there! God is there, ready to help us out of every trouble, despair, minefield of life that at times can threaten our faith and sanity, but in all things He is faithful. I will Glory in My Redeemer...

New Photos of the New House!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

After the past few weeks, so many changes have happened over at the Kipling house (the one we will move into in August)! The garage has been built, everything has been framed, the master bedroom is finished, the soffits and fascia are being done, the roof is on, windows and skylight are in, and the new front porch is being finished.

Alex will be taking the next three weeks off to finish up the railing on the stairs to the lake and some landscaping at our house in prior lake. After that the drywall and such will be happening at the Kipling house, we will leave for our trip to Europe (yea!) and when we return all the fun things will be happening, paint, cabinets, etc.

Things have been moving along really smoothly with the houses. If only that were true for our cars. Two weeks ago I was rear ended and a couple of days later the alternator on the jeep went out. Thank the Lord that we have a work van so we could get around and that we did not have to try and figure out how to get a new car. The alternator is replaces, jeep is running well, and the honda will be finished in about a week. The rental car we have though is great...the little hyundai gets great gas mileage!

Enjoy the pics!

Skylight installed in the new mud room

New garage/access from the alley

New soffits/fascia

View of house from the alley


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