Friday, October 23, 2015

Hi Ya! One Step Closer to Black Belt

Mr. Paulson, you are a gifted teacher of little ninjas.

Nathan's Golden Birthday - He Turns 8

I can't believe my baby is 8 years old. Of course, all I have to do is look at David and I am reminded of how old I am. Gasp, I have a high school aged son!

When you first born turns 8 you are thinking of how nice it is to have them grow up. When you baby turns eight you look around for the pause button in life. Stop the world from turning! I need to savor some more!

Girls Weekend in the WI Dells

What spells trouble fun with 5 of your best friends? A 2200 Sq foot 3 bed 3 bath condo with 2 fireplaces and a whirlpool tub, that is what!

I will not elaborate at all. What happens in the Dells, stays in the Dells.

Serious fun was had by all. Let's make this an annual thing.

21st Anniversary

The fall colors are in full swing here in WI. I love this time of year. I am looking for any and every excuse to be outside. I don't think I have ever walked my dog this much. She is really loving this!

This time of year is always filled with great memories of our wedding day. It was such an unseasonably warm, full color,fall day. The warm breeze reminds me of arriving at the Rose Garden to begin our reception.

Looking back at our 21 years, I can honestly say that we have had more good times than bad. We are both very different people today, but for the better.

Today our society is so disposable in it's thinking. As a people we are distracted and self centered. Many parents don't even have time to really enjoy raising and mentoring their children.

As the years tick on, I am so grateful to have had many wonderful memories with my husband. We have traveled, started a ministry, raised 3 boys (still), and tried hard to be intentional about investing in each other.

It dawned on my that this year we have been married for exactly half of my life. That is just so weird because in my mind I am still 25.

2015 - 2016 School Year Begins

The beginning of school always brings about much crazy in our household.

This year all 3 of my boys will be going to school on campus. That has NEVER happened before. I have always had at least 1 child homeschooling. Sometimes I have had all 3. Usually, it was a combination of public, virtual, and home school.

This year changed all of that. David is attending the local high school campus. Caleb is at the intermediate school campus, Nathan is at the elementary school, and I am working for JEDI.

With my work, I begin enrollment for my 4 districts the week before the boys go to school.
So the last week of summer break for them is the beginning of the busiest time of year for me.  We have 400+ students to enroll in all classes and meetings with students and guardians back to back.

 I agreed to take 30 students and manage the students who are on campus full time but are taking 1 course via JEDI. I felt a little bit like this when I discovered there were 85 of those single course students - help! :

As the boys enjoyed the last few lazy days of summer, I worked like a crazy lady. But, I got them all enrolled and active.  The first 2 weeks of every quarter are challenging, but the work is so rewarding.
More than half of my students are gifted and talented AP students. I have a handful of "average" students, and the remaining are special needs in some way. (I went back and got my Special Ed. License last school year,)  

The boys all got the teachers we requested and we were thrilled! David's schedule was all that we asked for and we were excited to find that much of his AP English course was based on novels he had already read for entertainment. That will be an easy class for him. 

Here are some pics:

Helicopter Rides and Sweet Corn - The Sweet Ending of Summer

The last event of summer was the Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival. YUM!
The sweet corn is so amazing, It is finger lickin', butter drippin' goodness. Pass the salt!

While we were enjoying our corn, we discovered that helicopter rides were available. Since Nathan has said for years that he wants to be a helicopter pilot, we decided this opportunity needed to be seized.

Here are some of my most favorite quotes:

Caleb: "That was the BEST part of summer!"
Nathan: "I am gonna be a helicopter pilot for SURE!"

I think they liked the helicopter ride at the Sweet Corn Festival in Sun emoticon The corn was pretty amazing too.

Kitchen Flooring is Done!

The house remodeling continues...

After 15 years of HATING the heat vent in our kitchen, it is finally moved.

The heat vent was right in front of the oven. With a golden retriever shedding, this was always unpleasant. As soon as I would start cooking, the AC or the heat would turn on. Then all her dog hair would blow right up into whatever I was cooking. Oh yes... that was infuriating!

So, I was crossing off major house projects on the list and I finally came to the kitchen flooring. I knew this was my chance to get that vent moved! I can't believe I am telling you this, but I happily paid $300 to move that vent less than 6 feet. It is now near the wall and out of the main walkway. It never blows dog hair into my cooking. In fact it does not interfere with our kitchen table or chairs either. Oh happy day!

Then the flooring went in. The flooring itself was easy. Moving that HUGE refrigerator was not so easy. You cannot move the fridge into another room without taking the doors off. It is so much bigger than the doorway on both sides. But after much outside of the box thinking, we discovered that it would be less risk and pain in the butt to take the washer and dryer out of the room and put the fridge in the laundry nook.  Since the washer and dryer both fit thru the doorway and the shelving in there was easily removed, we took it all out and shoved the fridge in there for a day.  It just BARELY fit.

The flooring got done and then I moved the fridge, washer, and dryer back in place. This was such a huge undertaking, but I am so glad it is done. Everything is reinstalled and clean. It all looks brand new!

Here is how it turned out:

I am so happy with the results. The moving of the vent was the best $300 home improvement ever!

More House Remodeling - Upstairs Hallway/Closet

The house remodeling and updating continues. It has been more of a marathon than a sprint.

Our stairs have been refinished and our hallway carpeting was removed. Underneath the old carpet we found hardwood flooring that was painted fire engine red. Why would you ever do that?

We had our handyman sand it all off and replace broken boards. We removed our banister and replaced broken stair nose flooring. Then I finished the staining and put carpeting in the walk in closet. After many years of wanting more wardrobe space, I built the second half of the closet storage. We now have an AWESOME walk in closet and storage space. 

Now it looks like this:

I am elated. Time to go shopping for more clothes. Well, let's be

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Our new ceiling

For those of you who have seen our house this summer, I apologize. It has been a construction zone! We took down the old tile ceiling and broken crown molding and replaced it with drywall and texture and new crown molding. Well, that was expensive and a mess, but I have wanted to do this project since the day we moved in.

Like all old house projects, we found a surprise once we opened the ceiling. Our previous owners had our heating and air conditioning vented with dryer vent tubing. What? My contractor was like: "Ummmm... come and look at THIS!"  That will increase the estimate and delay the project completion date. Yeah, no kidding! Let's make that right before we put the ceiling back together.

 I am so thankful to the Lord that we did not burn this house down with that dyer venting. If you know the layout of my house at all you know that that ceiling/floor would be the absolute worst place to have a fire in here! We would have had to jump from the boys back window (We have a fire safety ladder in that room just in case.) My goodness, what were they thinking? How much did they save by doing that? I am not a violent person, but let me tell ya, I would like to shake those people, while screaming "What were you thinking?"

Additionally, we 'scope creep' the project even more and had an electrician come and wire the room for overhead lighting and a ceiling fan. I am giddy with the result! (I bought 6 different ceiling fans until I found the "right one". I was determined to find one where the blades matched the gorgeous wood work - found it!)

The ceiling is BEAUTIFUL.  I can finally see in the living room. The detail work on the crown molding is gorgeous. I am ecstatic, I should be for what it cost. eek.

Here is the old ceiling as we began to tear it out:

 Here is the new one:

Friday, June 26, 2015

Crescent Lake Bible Camp

Today is our last day at beautiful Crescent Lake Bible Camp in Rhinelander WI. David has been here for 2 weeks, but the rest of the family has been here for one.  We have had wonderful weather with very few mosquitoes.

We have been able to enjoy boating, tubing, biking, hiking, riflery, archery, sports, skits, and some rockin' chapel worship. This place is a little piece of heaven. The counselors are mature believers (college age) who really love the kids. The boys 4-6 grade cabin stinks like teen spirit! Whew.

John and I had work responsibilities that we needed to attend to this week, but both of us are blessed to be able to complete so much of our jobs anywhere there is wifi. So we could work in the early mornings and the evenings and enjoy activities with the kiddos. I have not prepared a meal or cleaned up after one in a week. This is living! I am so grateful for the life I have. I am a blessed woman indeed.

Here are some pictures of the activities for you to enjoy:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A surprise visit

I took a quick drive to Wausau today to have lunch with my amazing grandmother.  For those of you who are grand mothering right now, never underestimate the power of your influence in your grand kids lives. This woman means the world to me. Even though we see each other one or two times a year, I think of her almost daily. I have a great deal of respect for this amazing 93 year old lady. Her life is a beautiful testimony of hard work, true faith, joy that is contagious, and a life well used for His glory. Thank you Grandma Inga for all you taught me, modeled for me, invested in me, and all the countless prayers you prayed for me. I adore you!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy 14th Birthday David

It is 7:41 am as I write this blog entry. It is just about 30 minutes past David's 14th birthday.

Today he is at camp, 4 hours north of our home and we are not with him.

 As I walked by his bedroom this morning I was struck by how empty it was. I reminded myself that each year I must let go more and more as he journeys from boy to man. He is getting there. I miss the little sweet boy he once was. Frequently I hear his 4 year old voice in my mind asking me if I would like to "play trains?" Being a stay at home mom during those years was an amazing gift. I soaked up all the memories I could. I was blessed to be given that gift.

Today I know that he is at camp serving some of my next favorite 4-5 year old boys. Two boys from my Cubbies class are also at camp. They are there for the first time. David and his 2 friends were caught in this picture teaching the little dudes how to use the paddle boats. I remember when I had to help David reach the pedals on a paddle boat at Lake Wingra years ago.

I was just so proud to see that my son, who is away on is birthday, is serving the next generation of boys. Immediately upon seeing this picture I though of the end of the Awana pledge. To reach boys and girls with the Gospel for Christ. and train them to serve Him.  I am so proud of the man he is becoming. I am more often pleased by his decisions than not. That helps me to let go more and more each year. 

Happy Birthday David. I am so proud of you, not because you make great choices, I am proud of you because you are my son.  I bet that is how God feels about us. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Birthday Away - David 14 years

This year David will be at Bible camp for 2 full weeks. We will miss him so much!
He will have his 14th birthday while he is away. That will be so weird for us.

I enjoyed the best 4 hour car ride with him and his 2 buddies from church. Their voices are all more manly than last year. Their topics of conversation along the way were much weightier in subject and deepr in understanding. It was awesome to be the person privileged to drive them. I very much enjoyed the drive with them.

When we arrived at camp, we learned that their camp leader was Matthew. He was Nathan's leader last year. He is a very serious young man who should be a very good match for these guys. 

I giggle at this picture as it is difficult to tell who is the leader and who are the students here. There isn't much time before these boys will be the ones working at this camp

Momma's of young ones: It really does go by so fast!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Birthday and Baptism

Today was another big day for the Baierl family.

John turned 44 and Caleb was baptized.

What a great birthday gift to be able to baptize your son on your birthday.

I am thrilled to have spent 26 of the last 44 years God has given to John.

 I am also thrilled that Caleb has decided to follow Jesus. 

David Guitar - Matchless Aaron Shuste

Sorry it took me so long. Here is the link to David playing the song Matchless by Aaron Shuste.


Nathan's Heart Update

All is well. Yet another year and another trip to the UW Children's Hospital in Madison.
Nathan's levels remain the same.  No surgery is recommended at this time.

Monday, May 18, 2015

David guitar - I haven't posted a guitar piece in a while

David is performing this Sunday at church with his band.

 I caught 2 songs of the 5 he will be playing on video to post here. 

Check it out. 
Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin 

Here is the link:

Matchless by Aaron Shust will be in the next post
( assuming technology did not fail).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It is the simple things

My tulips have arrived. Everyday this week I have been waiting for the tulips to open and it finally happened

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day gift 2015

Yesterday the boys and John spoiled me for Mother's Day.
The best gift has got to go to Nathan this year. Even though David bought me a gift with his own lawn mowing money. (grin)

Nathan made me a book Titled: Top 10 reasons I love my mom!

Here is what he said:

I love my mom because she reads me Magic Tree House books.
I love my mom because she helps me clean.
I love my mom because she makes me laugh by reading me the Book with No Pictures.
I love my mom because she taught me how to read.
I love to hear my mom sing Glorious Day.
I love my mom because she finds time to play with me.
I know my mom cares for me because she feeds me.
I know my mom is smart because she doesn't use a calculator.
I love my mom because she works hard at work.
I love my mom because she is the best mom ever.
Thank you for loving me!!!!!

Here are a few pics:

Isn't that the best? I feed, cook, clean, teach, play, laugh, and worship and he noticed them all. What more can a mom want for Mother's Day but validation like that? I was especially touched by the page that said he likes to hear me sing "Glorious Day". I hope when I am dead they remember that in everything I did,I worshiped in song and in service!

Praise God for the job of being a mom. It is so rewarding!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Dad and Sons' Camp Out!

Thank you Cassie and Joe for the annual boys camp out. I cherish the opportunity you provide for these boys each year. Memories are made with dads/sons and friends.   I love looking at the group picture year after year as the "older boys" grow taller than the dads! Look at Justin and David! How tall will they be in 5 years? They are not even in high school yet. Holy cow!

It is an added bonus that both your family and mine are "all boy" families. I loved having a fright night movie hang out with you while they camped. I could not fall asleep until after 3 a.m. I was so hyper awake from that scary movie! 'Good thing we only do that 1 time per year. Eek!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Caleb turns 10 - Double Digits!

It seems like yesterday that we drove 100 miles per hour to the hospital. Caleb's birth was a scary one. My labor was 1 hour and 22 minutes from first contraction to the baby cry. We live 35 minutes from the hospital and we had a 4 year old to drop off at a friends house at 1 AM after an Awana night no less.

Needless to say, Caleb came on his own terms. Something that is representative of his personality.
We never made it to drop off David.  John almost missed the birth. They had to announce for him on the loud speaker because he was walking into the hospital from parking the van. If there would have been snow, I would have had Caleb in the van. It was a scary (and uncomfortable - Caleb was 9 pounds) ride to the hospital.

Here is a video I made of Caleb's first 10 years. It is a privileged to be his mom. I am a blessed woman indeed!  Enjoy:

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Crazy Hair

Nathan asked for a lightening bolt hair cut. I wasn't sure I could pull it off. Here is the end result. Nathan was happy with it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nathan Finishes Sparks!

We are so proud of Nathan for finishing his 3rd book in Sparks. 
Here he is holding his Sparky Award. 
Both of the other boys have this award in their room and
 Nathan was so happy to finally earn his!

To earn this award,  a clubber must finish 3 handbooks. 
The total Bible verse count is 150. 
That is in addition to all the activities,the Bible biographies,
 and the books of the Old and New Testaments.

'Proud of my littlest man. 
May God's Word forever bear fruit in your life!