Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Brueseke's

So this christmas isn't looking the way I thought it would originially - all three of us are terribly sick with a stomach bug since Monday, we've now passed it on to Michael's mom & step dad who were kind enough to help take care of Boden when we couldn't (so sorry about that), and now we're likely going to have to delay our travel plans to Nebraska :( I'm not sure we're up for the drive and I certainly don't want to pass this nasty thing on to anyone else. But, thank God, it's just a stomach bug and nothing serious and we'll all be well again soon.
Here's the christmas letter we sent out this year - if you didn't receive one, you can find out all about what we've been up to in 2008 right here:

Merry Christmas!

We hope you are doing well and enjoying the Christmas season. For us, this Christmas is shaping up to be the most memorable. This past year has been fulfilling, challenging, exciting…basically we have run the gamut. We’ve had many changes this year and we are so thankful for our faithful God who has been along side us the whole way. We encourage you to remember the reason we celebrate this season and how Jesus coming to the earth provided a way for us to have an abundant life that is not in any way dependent on any natural circumstances. We have had an incredible 2008 that included changes and experiences we could have never expected. Here’s an update of what we’ve been up to this past year:

Michael spent the first half of the year very busy and juggling more than he knew he should. He began seminary at Regent University in 2006 and continued taking classes part time through the beginning of 2008. He was also highly involved in volunteer ministry at our church and working at Boeing in the contracts/finance area. These three things, on top of being a husband and father, kept him VERY busy! Early this year we knew there were big changes coming our way. Michael was confident that God was calling him to leave his corporate job and pursue his Master of Divinity degree as a full time student. In the spring were given an apartment offer on campus at Regent in Virginia Beach and we began making plans to pick up and move east in the fall. God had a different plan though. Just days before we had to make our final decision on accepting the apartment in Virginia, Michael was offered a position at our church that would allow him to enter full-time ministry and continuing seminary. So, in August Michael left his job at Boeing, went on staff at Destiny Church, and became a full time seminary student! He is currently serving on the Equipping/Pastoral Care team and is excited about 2009 and what God has in store.

Megan continues to enjoy being a stay at home mom. She stays busy trying to keep up with a toddler! She also continues to do a little accounting on the side (when there is time) and this year Megan has started a small business sewing nursing covers for nursing moms. She also is very active at our church – helping to lead the Mom 2 Mom group, organizing meals and gift baskets for families with new babies, and volunteering in the church nursery. This fall, Megan was sworn in to the Saint Louis Family Court as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to help abused and neglected children who are in foster care. She has a heart for hurting children and is excited to have found another way to be a part of the solution. (CASA is a wonderful program that is nationwide - if you want to learn more visit their website-

Boden has grown from a baby into a toddler this year and he loves to talk. He’s grown so much and, as any parent would probably say, we are amazed at the things he is learning. He had his first birthday in July and loved getting to eat his birthday cake! He started walking just shortly after his 1st birthday. We had wonderful experiences this year taking him to the park, the playground, the swimming pool, the zoo, and to playgroup (Michael did not go to the playgroups J). He is a bright little boy who is picking up on new things every single day. He’s learned some sign language and is also beginning to talk – a lot! He’s a very independent and driven little boy; strong willed child, yes! Right now those things can make life challenging for us, but we know that those are great traits for him to have in the future.

This year we moved again! This is our 4th zip code in 4 years! We are working at becoming professional movers J. We’re very thankful for lots of help from our family and friends. We found a great apartment that is much closer to church/work so we can spend more time together and less time commuting.

This year also brought a good amount of travel – in March and October we traveled to Virginia Beach, VA for Michael to attend week-long classes at Regent. He will have to do this 3-4 times a year for the next 2 years as part of his degree program. Boden and Megan don’t mind tagging along – especially when the weather is nice! In October we got to enjoy some beautiful weather at the beach. Boden loved playing in the sand with his shovel & bucket. He also had a little fun splashing in the (very cold) waves with daddy. In December, we took a trip to Lake Tahoe with Michael’s Dad. The mountains & lake were beautiful. When we arrived there was hardly any snow, but a few days into the trip a big storm came through and Megan & Michael were able to do a little skiing.

We’re excited for a new year and new adventures! We’re so thankful for the blessings we have received and for all of our family & friends. We pray that you will be blessed in the new year!

Michael, Megan & Boden Brueseke

Saturday, December 6, 2008

blues! blues! blues!

a couple weeks ago, michael's dad had a suite at the st louis blues hockey game for all his employees and he invited us to come along too. we'd only taken boden to one hockey game before and it didn't go so well. he was only about 7 months old and as soon as everyone stood up for the national anthem he freaked out and started i spent most of the rest of the game wandering the halls.

we had hopes that this would go much better since it was a suite and he could roam around and eat lots of yummy food - and it did! he had a great time, as did we all. even though he stayed up nearly 2 hours past his bedtime, he didn't even get fussy. he had lots of attention and one of dean's sweet employees, nena, even brought boden a truck to play with - thanks nena!

by the end of the night we had boden cheering - "blues! blues! blues!" ("let's go blues!" is a little tough for a 16 month old :) ) it was adorable - he'd shake his little fist and say "bwooz! bwooz! bwooz!"

thanks grandpa - we had lots of fun!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"crash" the vandal

Boden has earned himself a new nickname - i think we'll start calling him "crash"

In a matter of just 5 days he managed to smack his forehead and cut the inside of his lip while taking a dive at the dishwasher door, bruise his cheek on the corner of a coffee table, and cut his face by falling on a pen. And these are just the injuries that are visable on his face! Poor little guy, I think he got his momma's gracefulness (or lack there of)
He also began a new art project....on the toilet lid! Our first vandalism of toddlerhood. at least this one washed off easily!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

7 prayers a day

you may have noticed the little button on the left of my blog that says pray 7x7. i found this idea on another blog that i read, bring the rain, and i wanted to share it. basically it is a challenge to pray 7 prayers, 7 times a day, for 7 days (or more!) over your children. it is incredibly important that we are continually praying for our children, and it is such a privilege. this is a great way to get started, especially if you're new to praying scriptures over your kids.

are you up for the challenge?

here are the prayers (copied from angie's blog, click here to go to her original post):

1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (child's name) word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show (her/him) the way (she/he) should go, for to you (he/she) lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 143:8)

2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help (him/her) bear with others and forgive whatever grievances (he/she) has against others. Help (him/her) forgive as the Lord forgave (him/her). And over all these virtues, help (him/her) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)

3. While they are eating: "Teach (child's name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach (him/her) that (he/she) can do everything through him who gives (him/her) strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)

4. When they go out of the house: "(Name of child), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)

5. While they are taking a bath: "Lord, give (name of child) clean hands and a pure heart, and let (him/her) not lift (his/her) soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let (him/her) receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God (his/her) Savior. Let (him/her) be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob." (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)

6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (name of child) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he/she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he/she shines like a star in the universe as he/she holds out the word of life-in order that he/she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)

i put these prayers on notecards and taped them around the house in a place that would remind me to pray (over the changing table, on the bathroom mirror, by boden's crib, on the door going out of the house, etc).

i challenge you to do the same.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Interesting - Family & Civilization

I read this last night and had to share it. The chapter in the book I'm reading is talking about the downward spiral of our character and how it happens so slowly that we don't notice it's happening. That was all very good, but what really stuck out to me was the discussion about the downward spiral of cultures throughout history.

Here's what it said:

"Sociologist and historian Carle Zimmerman, in his 1947 book Family & Civilization, recorded his keen observations as he compared the disintegration of various cultures with the parallel decline of family life in those cultures. Eight specific patterns of domestic behavior typified the downward spiral of each culture Zimmerman studied:

1. Marriage loses it's sacredness - it is frequently broken by divorce.
2. Traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony is lost.
3. Feminist movements abound.
4. Increased public disrespect for parents and authority in general.
5. Acceleration of juvenile delinquency, promiscuity, and rebellion.
6. Refusal of people with traditional marriages to accept family responsibility.
7. Growing desire and acceptance of adultery.
8. Increased interest in and spread of sexual perversions and sex-related crimes.

The last one generally marks the final stage of societal disintegration."

-taken from The Quest for Character by Charles R. Swindoll

This totally blew me away. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone maybe a recap of the last 50-60 years of history in America? Notice, he wrote this in 1947. Kinda make me wonder where we're headed as a society.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

fun with nana & poppa

nana & poppa (my parents) came to visit last weekend. we had a great time, it's always nice when we have a weekend together without many "plans" - we were able to just enjoy each other a bit. boden showed off all his new tricks and they read many books - his new favorite thing to do. he will just bring you the same book and crawl in your lap over, and over, and over... i'm happy that he's developing a love for books.

unfortunately, we also had to make a trip to the pediatrician to find out that boden had a double ear infection while they were here. thankfully he wasn't too bothered by it, he just slept a lot more. one day last week he took a 4 1/2 hour nap! i was sad that it meant he was sick, but boy did i get a lot done! (normally he only sleeps 1 1/2 hours, maybe 2 hrs if i'm really lucky

friday night we went to the fall festival at church. it was so fun to see all the cute little kids dressed up. boden dressed as a fireman and of course he was the most adorable of them all ;) I made him a little t-shirt that said "Brueseke Fire Dept". we didn't stay too long since we didn't want to push it with him having the ear infections - but he seemed to have a great time with the carnival games and just running around outside.
"brueseke fire department"
boden & brody wondering why the other one looks so funny
playing in the duck pond

learning the itsy bitsy spider with poppa

playing outside with nana

reading with nana
daddy, momma & bo at the fall festival

thanks again for coming to visit nana & poppa - we miss you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


this will probably sound a bit unorganized…i’ve had a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head for the past few days/weeks and have just been unable to put them in words…but i’m going to give it a shot.

i’m sad. i’ve been trying to figure out exactly what has been causing this feeling, but i don’t think i really grasped it until last night. this election stuff has really been getting to me. i’ve always disliked politics – mostly because i hate lying and i feel like that’s mostly what is involved in political campaigning. i read an article after one of the debates that basically went through and took each point that the candidates talked about and explained the actual truth. in nearly every point they made they exaggerated or twisted something the other had said or what they voted on previously, etc. it made me wonder – why even bother watching the debates and the ads if we’re just going to have to then go figure out what the real truth is? does anyone in america even care about truth anymore?

but i think what has really upset me about this election is the way so many americans are putting their hope and trust in a man. this doesn’t have anything to do with which man, but just that as a nation we are looking to a man to change the world, rather than to God. as we were watching the celebration in chicago on tv last night i saw people sobbing and crying and full of excitement and i thought (and I think I even said this out loud to Michael) “did Jesus come back and no one told me?” i was obviously being sarcastic, but really – why are so many putting so much hope and trust into this one man? he is only a man just like all the rest of us, why are so many acting like he is the savior of the world? Psalm 146:3 says “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.”

i feel like we are just like the israelites who didn’t want to look to God anymore – they wanted a king – a man to lead them. trusting God just wasn’t enough for them. that’s where our nation is. we don’t want to take the time and effort in prayer and study to find out what God has to say – it’s too difficult – we want a man that we can see and touch and watch on tv. in fact – i wonder how many “Christians” even prayed and asked God what he thinks about the political issues or who they should vote for? sadly, i think many just looked at what they think would best serve their individual needs and desires.

a friend of mine, kari, posted some thoughts regarding a sermon series done at her church regarding politics and what God has to say about the issues titled Politics, Religion, and the Word. I have listened to 3 of the 4 messages so far and the pastor talks about some very sensitive issues such as the sanctity of life, same sex marriage, war, terrorism, etc. in my opinion he does a very good job of presenting the facts and then comparing them to God’s word rather than someone’s opinion. i think many people, christians included, get our views on these subjects from our friends, family, politicians, and even celebrities, yet never take the time to see what God has to say about it. and if they do see what God has to say about it and they don’t like it, they just decide he couldn’t have possibly meant that, and they skip over that part, yet continue to call themselves followers of christ. i overheard a conversation between two women just a few days ago (one of whom calls her self a christian, the other I’m not sure about) talking about abortion. one (the christian) said – “well, I’m pro-life, but i think women should get to decide if they want to terminate a pregnancy if they find out the baby is sick…that’s just such a commitment and so much work to raise a sick child.” i thought to myself – how in the world is that “pro-life”? does that mean that if (god forbid) my 15 month old became very ill or was in a bad accident i should have the option to kill him because it is just a “big commitment” and “a lot of work” to raise him? do they really think God doesn’t know what it takes to raise a child like that and that he must have just made a mistake? i’ve got news – GOD DOESN’T MAKE MISTAKES! it's these thought patterns that just break my heart and make me sad. what are they saying to unbelievers about what it means to be a follower of Christ? kari said it well, so i’m just going to quote her - she said, “why don't they just say, "i guess i don't really believe God or His word since i obviously think He is being unfair in His ideals and doesn't know what's best for our world." that would be a whole lot better than them giving christianity a bad rap because they say they believe one thing but act in the completely opposite manner.”

in the end – what God says is the only thing that’s going to matter. one day i will stand before my creator, as will we all, and have to give an account for my life, and i certainly don’t want to hear God say “why did you choose to ignore me? you listened to your friends/family/politicians/celebrities and valued their opinion more than my word.” i really encourage anyone who has questions about what God has to say about certain issues to listen to these messages (this link will take you to kari's blog where there is a link to the messages); they are not condemning, but instead full of truth and will definitely give you a different perspective on “the issues” than anything you’re hearing in the media. i realize that it’s too late for anyone to change their vote, but it’s not too late to change your heart…and that’s what matters most anyway.

one final thing – it’s probably pretty obvious that i didn’t vote for the candidate who was elected our next president – but i will be supporting him and praying for him, as we all should. our nation needs to unite and support our leaders, whether we agree with their views or not, and place our trust solely in God – knowing that no matter who is in what office – He is always on the throne.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

more vacation pics

you can see more of our vacation pics here you don't have to have a facebook account to view them. there's just too many to post on here.

we had a great time. boden did wonderful on the long car ride. we got to spend a wonderful day at the beach and found some fun parks in the area too. michael's class went really well, he got great feedback on his sermon, and learned some invaluable things through the pastors & professor. we stopped over in west virginia on the way home. thanks to dad for checking hotel reviews for us while we were pulling in to charleston - saved us from almost staying in a total dump. the hotel we did find was very nice, but i'd be much happier with it if i hadn't left my brand new memory foam pillow there :( About an hour outside charleston i started looking around for my pillow...i was not happy to find out it wasn't there. but, at least we know it has company....we're pretty sure michael's black belt is there too. lol.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

we made it!

many of you know that we were driving to virginia beach, va for the week this week and i wanted to let you know we made it here safely! it was a long drive...we were thinking it would take about 14.5 hrs, but it ended up being about 17! saturday night after church we finished packing and got the car all packed up. we slept for about 3 hours and then took off from st louis at 3am. i think boden was pretty confused when i got him out of his crib and stuck him in his carseat.

it really was a beautiful drive...west virginia was absolutely breathtaking - the trees were so many vibrant colors. i tried to take some pictures, but pictures from the passenger seat, through the windsheild at 70 mph don't really do it justice. we're going to actually stop on the way home and take some better shots.
tomtom (the gps loaned to us by deronda & myles - thank you!!!) was very helpful. although, it's a pretty straight shot...from st louis you actually take I-64 all the way. but tomtom was very helpful in finding restaurants and starbucks all along the way....and reminding us how much farther we had to go... tomtom says 5 more hours to go!
michael never did sleep in the car - he tried for awhile - but just couldn't get comfortable. so as of 8:45 pm est when we arrived, he had only had 3 hrs of sleep. that starbucks is good stuff. boden did really well in the car. the last hour he was a little fussy, but nothing a half a bag of grahm cracker snacks couldn't cure (does this make me a bad parent? :) )

anyway - we made it! michael has 4 full days of classes ahead and boden and i are off to explore. i think we'll hit up the boardwalk & beach tomorrow, it's supposed to be in the 70s. michael found out he doesn't have class on friday, so we're going to leave on thurs and split up the trip back... i think we'll stop somewhere in west virginia overnight and enjoy the scenery.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

pumpkin patch

we took boden for his first trip to the pumpkin patch yesterday. it was lots of fun. he liked the pumpkins and the farm animals, but mostly i think he really enjoyed the dirt and rocks. he loves getting dirty - i guess it's my fault that i dressed a 15 month old boy in khaki pants to go to the pumpkin farm. who does that? :) we eventually found the perfect pumpkin. I think I'm the only one who is excited about getting it home to carve it - I love roasted pumpkin seeds! maybe i'll attempt a 'real' pumkin pie too. we also got some yummy homegrown veggies at their farmer's market. we ate them for dinner last night and they were so good....i'm thinking about going back for more.

(yes, as usual, i took entirely too many least the grandparents will appreciate it :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

the zoo

we decided to take advantage of the incredible october weather and head to to the zoo for the afternoon the other day. we had only taken boden once before, at the end of may. he was so much more interested in all the animals this time - he loved it! it was a fun day just hanging out with the family and nice relaxing break for michael (except for the part where he pulled out his greek flashcards and tried to study while pushing the stroller - lol)

i think boden's favorite animals were definitely the penguins. they kept diving into the water right in front of him and he would squeal and point - he got very excited. it was so fun to watch him. in one of the photos you can see michael trying to teach him to throw a penny into the fountain - he had absolutely no interest in letting go of that penny, he had a death grip on it and was not letting go.

Friday, October 3, 2008

picture update

we've been pretty busy over the last couple weeks. michael is a bit overwhelmed with school right now, so he spends a lot of time studying. if i didn't mention it before, he's taking his first greek class this semester and it is really tough! after only about 4 weeks he was expected to translate a full page of greek! crazy. and of course he's busy with his new job as well, which he is enjoying. it's been a big adjustment for all of us, but we're figuring it out. we also started a parenting class at church called "growing kids god's way" - so far we're learning A LOT and loving it. boden and i have been spending as much time as possible outside. i've also been working on some more sign language with boden - he's picking up so much right now and starting to say a lot of words too. he surprises me every day. i was working on teaching him "please" last week, which is rubbing your chest. i mistakenly said "rub your belly to say please" when i wasn't really thinking...well, for the next day or two when i would ask him to say "please" he would lift up his shirt and rub his belly! he makes me laugh every day.

here's some pictures of what boden has been up to lately...

riding his scooter all around. he finally figured out how to get on it by himself, he really only goes backwards though, he hasn't figured out forwards just yet:

hanging out in his rocking chair. this was michael's rocking chair when he was little. boden loves crawling into the chair and just hanging out, drinking his milk or playing with a toy.

reading a book...he's finally starting to get interested in books for more than just chewing on them :)

trying to eat rocks...we have been spending a lot of time outside since the weather has been so beautiful lately and boden loves to be outside, exploring - in fact he screams every time i make him go inside.

more outdoor exploration...

Friday, September 26, 2008

i won! i won! i won!

check out my new clutch - isn't it so cute? i'm so excited - i don't think i've ever won a drawing before...ok, well, i probably have at some point in my life...but not recently. anyway, i won this fun new clutch from peas & carrots. she makes the cutest bags and some baby stuff too. check out her shop on etsy.

we're going through a season of life right now where we don't purchase much unless it's a necessity...and all of you women who have been through a season like this before know just how hard it is to not shop! winning this was such an awesome reminder of God's love for me - reminding me that he knows just what i need and sometimes will even find a great way to sneak in something i want just to make me smile. isn't God good?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

eat a little each day...

i just wanted to post a quick link to michael's blog, and encourage everyone to go read what he wrote about "eating a little each day". i know there are so many times i feel like the time i spend with the lord isn't long enough to really make a difference just like I sometimes feel that the things i'm teaching boden aren't sinking in...but this is a really good reminder that even though the transformation isn't immediate, change is still taking place, and it's very important that i keep on pushing through.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

my handy little man

i decided that i finally needed to go ahead and put the child locks on the cabinets in the kitchen. we were trying to just teach him not to open them, but that wasn't working out so well. i felt like i was just saying 'no' all the time and he would have my pantry empty if i would turn around for five minutes (see the 'busted' post a few weeks ago). anyway, while i was trying to get the locks screwed in to the cabinets, and boden was watching very intently....when i got up to read the instructions again, i turned back around to see boden had taken over my job. poppa will be so proud of him. maybe i should think about some plastic tools so he doesn't poke his eye out.

*you may want to pause the music (at the bottom of the page) so you can hear the video

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

first haircut

boden's hair was getting a little scruffy and starting to get into his eyes, so we decided it was time for a "real haircut" - not mama with the scissors trying desperately not to poke his eye out while he squirms all over the place. we took him to this childrens salon called "the hairy elephant" - thinking that maybe the toys and videos and the professional would do the trick.

we set him up in a cool race car chair, put in an elmo movie, and he was fine. i think he even smiled a little bit:

but as soon as she touched his head he lost it

we tried blowing bubbles to keep him entertained, and they worked for awhile (as long as she wasnt' touching his head)

ah, finally - finished. poor little guy, parents can be so mean :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

the park

we've had some beautiful weather this week so boden and i have been enjoying the park just up the street from our house. it has a great playground, swings, a trail, a lake and horses! he loves the horses! i don't have any photos of him with the horses because if i let go of him long enough to take a picture near the horses he would probably climb through the fence get stomped on!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

the best peanut butter cookie, ever!

i love peanut butter cookies. yum. i found the best recipe for peanut butter cookie on a fun blog called bakerella. once you see the photos she took of them you'll want to make them too. in fact, her blog makes me want to bake everytime i read it, and i don't really even like to bake that much.

they were easy too - only 5 ingredients. so i made some and took them to mom 2 mom this morning - i didn't hear anyone complaining about them :)

here's a photo of the ones i made:

you can get there recipe here on bakerella's blog - be prepared to drool.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


boden's nose has been running since about june. so yesterday he had to have blood drawn to do some allergy tests. unfortunately his veins are tiny and they couldn't get enough blood the first time, so they had to do both arms! :( he was not happy. but he did get a red popsicle out of the deal. he was a trooper.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

family photos

we're in nebraska visiting my family for the weekend and celebrating my grandma's 85th birthday (happy birthday grandma!). while here, my good friend heidi took some beautiful family photos of the three of us. i LOVE they way they turned out - and i've only seen about 10 of the photos so far. here's one of my favorites:

you can see some more of the photos on heidi's blog. she's an incredible photographer who is just getting started with her business. If you live in the area, I highly recommend her for your next family photos (or any other photos for that matter - she's great with the little ones too) and she's offering discounts since she building her portfolio right now. thanks heidi -we had a blast!

Friday, August 29, 2008