Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy...

... when my babes unload the dishwasher for me!!!

It's a new thing in our house... chores that is!
When Mommy needs some "Mommy time" to clean the house... the babes get damp clothes and dust for me!
And when the dishwasher is full of clean dishes now... it is their chore to unload it!

Surprisingly, they don't mind doing it! 
Who knew?!
Instead I think it gives them a sense of importance and worth... something I am proud to teach my children.

What kind of chores do you have for your babes?
Or more importantly... what's making you happy today?!

Chat soon,


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Greta Says...

During the babes nightly bedtime routine we do all the usuals... get in our jammies, brush our teeth, pray, and then Daddy and I take turns tucking them and giving them kisses.

After my turn with each babe was done and they were tucked into bed, I went to check and respond to a couple of emails since Daddy was still with Greta.
Turns out, Daddy's time with Greta went much longer than usual last night.

After praying, Greta just had so much to talk about, so much to say, so much to get off her chest, and so many questions to ask.
I over heard her and Daddy talking about angels and why we have them?
Then she asked Daddy where the Devil came from and does he live in heaven?
She wanted to know if God made all of us, then who made God?

For every question, Daddy had the best answers!
He talked about how angels are wonderful and are sometimes sent to protect us... and we call them guardian angels!
He told her the story of how the Devil used to be an angel but then he wanted to be just as powerful as God, so God made him leave Heaven and go live in a new place called Hell since he was so naughty.
And he told her that yes, God made all of us... but no one made God. He just is. He has always been here since the world started.

Then sweet Greta started talking about Heaven and how she wonders when she will move to Heaven.
"Are there animals in Heaven?"
"Will Gus and Walter get to come to Heaven with me?" she wondered.

Then she said the sweetest, most cutest thing I think I have heard in a long time...
"Daddy, I heard in church that there are streets made of gold in Heaven?!"
"But the streets aren't for cars, they are for us to walk on."

To which Daddy replied... "Well, I guess you are right."
"I don't know if there are cars in Heaven, but I kind of hope so!"
"Lots of old, classic, cars for Daddy to drive!"

And Greta said...
"If there are no cars in Heaven Daddy, I will sneak one in for you."

And in that moment, even though I couldn't see Loren's face, I am sure we both had the same wonderful reaction.... the feeling of pure joy. I think both of us can agree, we didn't know whether to laugh or cry!

Our sweet, sweet, Greta may be a tad wild at times.
She may rough house and fight with her brother like she is a boy!
She may scream and shout and get mad for silly reasons like most girls.
But our Greta has a soft heart.
In her own time, when the moment is quiet and just right, Greta always shows such a kind, soft, and gentle side to herself.... and I just love it!

She makes me so proud to be her Mommy!

Isn't it so fun to hear what little kids think about and to see how their mind interprets things like God and Heaven. It's truly amazing.

How about your babes?
Have you had any great conversations with them lately?

Chat later,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Little Boy Named Chanito

About a week ago our church ended it's most recent message series with a heart wrenching and challenging message!

The service was designed to educate all of us on our church's work in a country called Mozambique.

Just so all of this really sinks in... here is a little info on the country of Mozambique....

Mozambique is the world's 35th largest country with a population of more than 23 million. A Portuguese colony for nearly five centuries, Mozambique gained independence in 1975. At the end of their civil war in 1992, it was considered one of the world's poorest countries.

The official language is Portuguese, though a majority of the people speak an indigenous language. The primary religions are Christian and Muslim.
Of the 10 million Mozambicans who are employed, more than 80 percent work in agriculture. Some of Mozambique's exports are: aluminum, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, and timber - mostly to countries such as Belgium, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Our church, Eaglebrook, has been working in Mozambique and partnered with an organization called World Vision since 2006.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. They are dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people.

Eaglebrook found that one of the most effective ways to reach people for Christ was to partner with an organization that was already making a difference.
Through their partnership with World Vision they are able to provide leader development, pastoral education, job creation, the resourcing of Bibles, and efforts toward self sufficiency in one specific community.

In that community, since 2006, Eaglebrook with the help from us as sponsors and all of our churches donations has changed the lives of half a million people within a 13,000 square mile area!
They have sponsered thousands of children, built several schools and medical facilities, and dug numerous wells so that this town or community could have clean drinking water for all of it's residents.

The goal of Eaglebrook and World Vision is to give a specific community the tools and resources so that after 15 years they can become a self sufficient community.

As of about 2 weeks ago, Eaglebrook announced that our first community is thriving and doing quite well for the standards of its country... and they have decided it is time to take a second community under it's wings!

And that is where the heart wrenching and challenging message came in.

Our head Pastor, Pastor Bob Merrit, spoke of all the poverty that is still out there. 
He showed wonderful footage of the community that Eaglebrook has helped set up.
But it was followed by some of the most raw footage of a girl who was homeless, walking the streets of Mozambique...

She couldn't have been more then 5 or 6 years old. She was dressed in a dirty yellow dress, hair a mess, no shoes, and all she carried was a little rolled up mat.
The video footage was stamped 11:13 pm and taped her walking down a street until she finally found a place she saw fit to rest for the night. She laid out her mat carefully making sure all of the corners were laid flat. She wiped her feet at the edge of the mat, then laid down with her hands clasped under her little head for a pillow.

And through tear filled eyes I couldn't help but feel so helpless and saddened.
It wasn't even the fact that this poor little girl was homeless, with no bed to sleep on, it was that she was ALONE.
No hope for her future or a better tomorrow.

And that is when Pastor Bob read a quote that grabbed my heart and has forever changed how I view this life.
He said "Can an accident of mere latitude and longitude really decide whether you live or die?"

Just because of the mere location I was born... I am blessed to have all the luxuries the world has to offer!
Me and my family get 3 plus meals a day!
We have a home to live in, beds to sleep on, and a choice of 2 different cars to drive or 3 tv's to watch!
We have more clothes then we could ever need and countless options of shoes to cover our bare feet.

I began to think... what if Greta or Tuck got sick and I had no place to take them? No doctor to see them or medicine to make them all better?
What if the pure and simple basics that I see fit to live were stripped away, or I guess never there from the beginning?!
What a sad and hopeless life it would be.

And that is when Bob gave all of us a challenge!

In this second community of Mozambique that we are about to take on, there are 2,000 children that need to be sponsored.
If we chose to sponsor a child our money would make sure that that child had food, clean water, medical attention, and the chance to go to school.

For a mere $35 a month... all of this would be possible!

As Bob dismissed the congregation he read a verse...

"To whom much is given, much is required."
Luke 12:48

And as we walked out into the lobby of our church there sat tons of tables with hundreds of little faces staring up at us!

In that moment, Loren ad I realized this was our time.
This was our opportunity to bless someone else like God has blessed us.

And with that,
This was the card that caught our eye...

A little boy named Chanito Bendito, born on January 22nd of 2006.
He lives with his Mom, Dad, and 3 other siblings.
He loves to play soccer.
And his daily chore is to sweep the dirt floors of his home for his Mother.
Because of lack of work and little money, Chanito's family is suffering.

But that was then!

I am proud to say that we are the brand new sponsors of this sweet little boy!
Mr. Chanito Bendito is now apart of the Appleberry Family!

Since us sponsoring Chanito, all of his brothers and sisters were sponsored as well.
And now, this Mom and Dad will get $35 a month for each child.
We will be able to help make sure Chanito and his family have food, clean water, proper medical attention, and that Chanito is able to go to school!

I can not even begin to tell you what a wonderful feeling this is!
To know that we are helping one of God's children is the most heart warming feeling I have ever felt!

Every time I pass Chanito's picture on the fridge I say a prayer for him.
And it's funny how in sponsoring Chanito Me, Loren, and the kids, all feel a little more humble, a little more thankful, and a little more blessed.

Sponsoring a child is one of the most amazing things!

If you would like to join our family and sponsor a child as well you can go to ://

"To whom much is given....."

- Jen

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our Second Baby, Baby Noah.

This is a subject I rarely talk about.
In fact, some people who know me now a days don't even know of this certain life event.
I don't normally talk about losing our second child, Noah, to a miscarriage and I have never even documented one trace of it on this blog.

But today, four years after losing him, I feel like I am in a good place.
And for the sake of telling our families story... I wanted this to be documented so all my other babies could look back on this when they are older and read about the brother that they lost. .... the brother they will meet in heaven!
You see, it was exactly four years ago today, June 13th of 2008 that I miscarried our second baby.

I will take you back to the beginning....

Thursday morning June 12th, at 8:00 am Me, Loren, and Baby Greta (at the time) went to the doctor's office to have an ultra sound for Baby Appleberry. We were supposed to be checking on his or her progress and set an official due date. However... that did not go as planned.
I thought I was going to see the start of our brand new baby, and instead I learned that our baby had passed away.
The doctor came in to talk to me about my options. Options? I did not know I had any. At that point I felt as if all my choices had been made for me. That my say really had no say, and what I truly wanted was something I could not have.
But what she meant was that I needed to decided how we were going to take care of the babies remains. At that point the baby was too far along and too big for my body to naturally take care of. So from there we discussed and set a time for surgery.

Friday morning June 13th, at 7:00 am Loren and I went to Mercy hospital to have our baby surgically removed. - Something no one should ever have to go through. - I was put under for the surgery and woke up hours later in recovery. After I was awake and able to walk they sent me home to rest and recover.

You would think the horribleness ends there but it did not. From there we were asked what we wanted to do with Baby Appleberry's remains. If we chose not to take them after testing was done then they would have our baby cremated and it's ashes buried at a cemetery in St. Paul.
Something about that did not sit right with me.
 If inevitably our baby was going to be buried in the ground then I, his or her mother, was going to be the one to do it. It was my right. I should know where our baby was laid to rest.
So, after testing came back four weeks later, our Baby, Baby Appleberry was buried at Morning Side Cemetery in Coon Rapids.

When testing came back we were shocked!

Not only were we able to find out the gender, that our baby was a boy... but we also were able to get some answers as to why I miscarried in the first place.
They said that right in the beginning two sperm fertilized the egg at the same time. In a normal pregnancy those two sperm would split off into two different eggs, causing twins. But in our case, the two sperm started to merge together causing a disease called Ischiopagus Tetrapus.
Definition: A rare type of conjoined twin that is connected at the lower half of the two bodies where the spines are connected.

It seemed as though our one baby had double the DNA, double the chromosomes, and the start of double body parts... but only one heart.

So if I would have carried full term the two would have become one. We may have been able to do a surgery to separate them or essentially remove the extra growth of limbs... but depending exactly where they were joined, he may have never lived through the surgery. So, at the time, we kept telling ourselves that this  happened for a reason. That possibly it was God's way of taking care of our baby when He knew we could not.

After finding out the gender of our baby we decided it was only right to give him a name.
So we named him Noah. Noah Dale Appleberry.

- We wanted a name with meaning, not just a name we liked. It is different naming a baby you will get to hug and love and make memories with. So you can assume that it is different naming a baby you will never get to see. A personality you will never see develop and fill the name he was given. So like I said, we wanted it to mean something, and that's when we found the name Noah.

Noah: derived from the biblical name and character, Noah.
- God told Noah to build an ark and collect the animals two by two. He said that there was going to be a flood and His people were going to need protection. So against his will, Noah listened to God and built the ark. When the floods came Noah and his ark saved all the people just like God had planned. And after the great flood God sent a rainbow to Noah and all the land, symbolizing that a disaster like this would never happen again.

Sounded pretty fitting if you ask me! I like that God CHOSE Noah to do His works. And I love the part that says...
"a disaster like this would never happen again."
At the time, I believed that and I continually called and claimed that for me and my future babies.


Fast forward three months after that horrible period of our lives, I found out I was pregnant again!

I remember laying on the table at my 20 week ultrasound moments before we found out the gender of this new baby... and I remember praying... "Please Lord give my husband back the son that he had lost!"
And just then we were given the news that I was carrying a healthy baby BOY! 
... a boy that we know today as Tucker Loren Appleberry! 

Amazing how God came through and blessed us more then we ever saw fit!
And Praise the Lord that as I sit here today, I am carrying another healthy baby!
The 3rd or technically 4th babe to the Appleberry family.

I am still terribly sad that I never got to hold my little Noah or see his sweet face... but I know it is all in due time. I will meet him one day. 
But until then I know he is happy, healthy, and being looked after by someone who has a better plan. Noah is in the presence of someone who is truly amazing!


I was never able to have a picture or even an ultrasound shot of Noah.
And to this day I did not take, nor do I want pictures of the day we buried Noah, or of his burial site at Morningside Cemetery.
But I have always kept a copy of a poem I put in the casket with Noah.

And it reads...

"I miss you now more than ever before, but I trust that God will open a door.
And show me how to go on without you, to give me some hope and comfort too.
 For you were my life and I loved you so dear, and it breaks my heart to not have you near.
 But life goes on and I will too, I just wish it wouldn't go on without you."

I can't wait to meet you in heaven Noah.

- All my love, Mommy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Is Here!

Every year the babes and I look forward to summer!
Finally getting out of the house, riding bikes, going to the park, bonfires, and freezies!!!

But we especially look forward to the hot, hot, weather... because right around this time is when Grandma opens her pool!

Yes, if you are new around here... we are spoiled enough to have our own private pool just about 5 miles down the road from us! - no strangers, no pee... it's pure bliss! lol
Every year when Grandma opens the pool you know summer is finally here!

We stalk up on swim diapers, SPF 50, and make sure we had bought enough clearance swim suits over the winter! - you can never have enough swim suits when your very own Grandma owns a pool!

So, just this past weekend we made sure to take full advantage of our own little luxury... and spend the weekend at the pool!

 Funny to think this is my last summer with just 2 babes! ... next summer things will look a little different ;)

And some of our very favorite people spent time in the pool with us this weekend...

... Grandma J with her little fish, Greta.
And "PP" Ms. Paisley Petersen was there splashin' around in the pool with us while her new baby brother took a snooze inside!

James didn't have either of her "summer staples" going on that day... the Cabin or a Twins Game... so she came to take a dip too!

... and Auntie J and soon to be Uncle Kyle were there!
It wouldn't be a true pool day if Kyle wasn't there to spin the babes around and dunk 'em under water! lol
They are the best at playin' with the Greta & Tuck!

Oh, and speakin' of true pool days... it REALLY wouldn't be a pool day if Loren didn't fire up a water gun war with all the Uncles... Branden, Jake, Kyle... and even Greta! lol
(You should see Greta with a water gun, she's a beast! She really has no mercy! haha.)

There really is nothing more relaxing then grabbing a tube and spending the day floatin' in the pool.
With my hubby, babes, friends and family around I couldn't help but feel so relaxed and blessed this weekend.

I get so much joy out of watching the babes swim around and play by the pool!
It is so great to see them grow and mature and become so independent!
And this summer is no exception! ....
Little Greta, who's not so little anymore, just swims all over the pool this summer!
She jumps in, goes under water, swims to the deep end and back. You actually have to really watch her... before you know it she has gotten out of her clothes, changed herself into her swimsuit, and jumped in!

And sweet Tuck, he still prefers to stay close to the steps and/or be right by his Mommy... but he is getting so much more confidence! He will venture off the steps and start to kick his legs and paddle his arms sayin'... "Look at me Momma, I'm swimmmming!!!"
He even went under water this weekend for the first time ever! - he was proud as a peacock as he came up spitting water every where! lol

It is moments like this, by the pool, that make me just giddy about summer!
It really is the best time of year!

Chat later,


Check out some past pool days here , here and here!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Meet My Nephew Cash!

Two weeks ago today, on May 22nd, 2012 my nephew
Mr. Cash David Petersen was born into this world!

It was a wonderful day full of excitement as this is my very FIRST nephew!
You see, I am already thee insanely blessed Auntie of not one, not two, but FOUR beautiful nieces!
But there was something extra special about being there to welcome my very first nephew into the world!

And for awhile there we didn't know how or when Cash would make his appearance!

For days leading up to Cash's arrival, his Mommy, my sister Jes... was walking around dilated from a 4 to a 5! We were sure Cash was going to come any day... but day after day... he stayed snug in his Mommies tummy!
The other obstacle we faced with Cash was the fact that his sister, Paisley, was delivered via C-Section.
And after going through all of the miserable recovery with that, my sister set her mind on Cash being delivered naturally, despite what doctor's and nurses thought.

Now of course as time got closer if a C-Section is what was best for the health of Baby and Mom I know Jes would have willingly scheduled a C-Section... but as long as there was hope for a natural birth... Jes was gonna go for it!

So, the morning of Cash's birth Jes went in for a scheduled doctors appointment to see where she was at.
At the time she was dilated to a 5 and they figured it was time to send her over to the hospital to see if she was experiencing any signs of labor or if they could help that along a little.

After being admitted to the hospital, Jes walked around and around trying to get labor to kick in... and it worked. She started feeling contractions and was back in her room where they broke her water to get the show on the road.
All of that leads up to the moment of truth.

Jes was dilated to a 9 and that is when they got her ready to start pushing.
She knew in her head that they would only let her push for so long before they called a C-Section.
So with me and Mom in the waiting room praying and prayer warrior Grandma Jan praying at work... Jes set out to naturally push baby Cash out!
After an hour or so of pushing we received a text from Dad, Brandon, that said the doctor was going to give Jes 15 more minutes before she called it, and then it was time for a C-Section.

Funny thing is... I think that is the exact hour when God stepped in and arrived in room 463!
Jes got her game face on and knew that it was now or never... and in a matter of about 11 minutes Cash was born NATURALLY on the scene!

I am sure in the delivery room and I know from the waiting room... I huge sigh of relief and "Praise the Lord" shouted from our lips!!!
And from there... the rest is history!

At 4:18 pm on May 22nd Cash David Petersen was born.
Weighing in at 8 lbs. 11 oz. and 22.5 inches long.

Here is his proud big sister Paisley meeting her brother for the first time!

And just like Paisley, everyone was excited to get there hands on baby Cash!
Here are my two babes Greta and Tuck with their newest cousin!

Loren and I practicing what a new baby feels like!
- Come January, this will be us again! -

Just look at how adorable this little boy is!

Proud Mommy...

(so, so proud of you Jes!!!)

Proud Daddy...

Oh Baby Cash...
How excited I am to be your Auntie!
I promise to be the best "Auntie Momma" I can be.
I promise to be fun, be your home away from home, buy you nice presents, and give you lots of treats and kisses!
I am so blessed to finally have a nephew.

I can't wait to watch you grow into the little boy Jesus has planned for you to be!

Welcome to this beautiful thing called life!

Chat later,

Auntie Jen

Wanna learn more about Cash's family?
Check out this post from the day his big sister Paisley was born!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Our First Son Turns Five!

We have always said it and I truly believe it... our pup
Walter George Appleberry... is our first son.

He was one of the first things Loren and I bought for our new house together and he was really the first pet I had ever owned!

He was the first person that solely relied on me and needed me to take care of him.
He was my first baby and my first journey on the road to being a Mom!

It really is no secret, if you know me, you know how much I love Walter.
He is one of us! He's an Appleberry and I would just about lay down my life for him, his well being, and his happiness. - I know, I'm a real sucker!
But how can you not love him?!
He is 12 pounds and 2 long feet of pure adorableness!

Like I said, he's our first son.

So, like we do every year, on June 3rd we celebrate the birth of Walter and how much he means to us and our family!

Here is the Birthday Boy yesterday with his Daddy and his cake!
- all vanilla, no chocolate, low sugar! -

And 5 candles!

After we got done singing to him, and the babes blowing out his candles... it was present time!
I'm telling you, I have never seen a dog go this crazy excited over opening presents!
Walter knows exactly what "presents" mean and he is no stranger to gettin' right in there and opening them up!
Seriously, this boy LOVES opening presents!

After checking out his treats, new dog bone, and a squeaky cupcake toy... Walter got to enjoy a small piece of his Birthday Cake along with his brother Gus.
The boys were in doggy heaven!

After some more pampering, a nice little rest outside as the sun went down, lots of love, hugs, kisses, and some belly scratchin'...
this boy was spent!

Ole' Grey Beard had had a jam packed, fun filled, Birthday!

We tucked him in, kissed him goodnight, and left him to dream of catchin' a rabbit or spendin' a whole day with his girlfriends across the street, Cindy & Princess. :)
What about you guys?
Are we the only one's that treat our puppies like kids?
Or celebrate their birthdays?
*Oh and speaking of birthdays... check back tomorrow as I do a big post full of pictures on the birth of my new nephew, Mr. Cash David Petersen! 
Chat later,
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