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

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


my friend sara started organizing monthly "girls nights" to get the girls together and hang out, have fun, and catch up. (thanks sara!) so this month she decides we should all try "skyrobics". anyone ever been to "skyzone"? it's this place in chesterfield filled with wall to wall trampolines. (check out their website for some really cool videos of people jumping and flipping all over the place.)

sounds like a blast, right? they have open jump, dodgeball, a little kids jump room, and "skyrobics" - which we all so bravely agreed to try. on their website it claims you can burn up to 1000 calories in just one session! that should have been a red flag to me right there. anything that burns 1000 calories in 50 minutes isn't going to be easy. here again i had myself confused thinking i'm in pretty good shape.

anyway - we all had a ton of fun and were definitely worn out. i have a few pains today (mainly in my ankle because i decided i just had to try doing a flip even though it's been 10+ years since i've even been on a trampoline) but i'm guessing i'm really going to feel the pain tomorrow. i recommend you all check it out - the first "skyrobics" class is free. oh, and a bonus, you get to wear these really awesome high top sneakers with a velcro strap - that brought me back to grade school. i wish i had taken a picture of them to share with you. especially one of me wearing them with crop pants - very stylish!

*note of advice - empty your bladder before you start jumping. especially you ladies like me who have recently given know what i'm talking about...3 of us nearly peed our pants.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

momma's little helper

boden loves to "help" me around the house.

he helped me sweep - this is his favorite...
he also "helped" with the diaper laundry. he put each one in the dryer...
and pulled it back out out....
and then shut the door...
...between every single one. :) it only took about 15 minutes to change one load of laundry. he was so proud of himself though. being a mom takes so much patience!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"feed the forgotten"

over the past few days i have had an overwhelming urge to thank God that he has provided food for my family. i know it sounds kind of silly, but honestly i have been brought to tears more than once over the last few days in gratefulness that i can feed my son. and not only feed him, i can feed him well, and i can feed him healthy food. do you know how many people around the world can't?

i look at his chubby little hands doing the "more" sign as fast as he possibly can (i honestly think he might give himself blisters some days) as his mouth is full of food like a little chipmunk. he eats more than i do, seriously. and when it's time to stop, the poor little guy cries every time. of course i hate it when he cries, but i know in my heart that he has had enough and that he'll have more in just a few hours. but can you imagine what it must be like for the mother who has a hungry child and simply has nothing to give him? and doesn't know when she will have anything to give him? it breaks my heart just thinking about it.

today in church, pastor phil stern shared a video with us about "feed the forgotten", a ministry that he is part of that provides food for lepers in india. there are between 2-3 million lepers in the world and the largest part of them are in india. these people have been excluded from the rest of society and been completely forgotten - basically left to die. "feed the forgotten" brings meals to these leper villages and ministers to the lepers. they love on them and share the love of jesus with them. i knew immediately that God had been preparing my heart to give to this ministry. this is the poem that pastor phil wrote after visiting the leper villages in india:

"see their faces wrinkled deep
filled with pain, sorrow and grief.
limbs distorted, broken down
bodies frail beat to the ground.

yet in their eyes was hope sincere,
a smile of life from ear to ear.
someone's come to dry my tears,
their touch will help dispell my fears.

not with much in eyes of man,
some food, some love and a touching hand
yet to the one who i love the most,
i met that day in the eyes of these.

i heard a voice so sharp and deep,
say will you go be my hands, my feet.
"feed the forgotten" and then you will see
if you've done it to the least of these,
you've done it unto me."

-pastor phil stern

i knew that God was calling me to give to this minstry and the thought popped into my mind - "i can't afford to give enough to make a difference". immediately i was reminded of a verse michael brought to my attention yesterday. many of us know the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. we've learned about it as kids and read it a hundred times, but one little verse stuck out to michael; and i had never paid much attention to it before. Jesus asks his disciples where they will find enough food to feed the people and one of them speaks up and says "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will that go among so many?" (John 6:9 NIV ). here is a boy who has seemingly nothing to offer. what good will 5 loaves and 2 fish do in a crowd so big? maybe feed a couple people? but that doesn't discourage him from offering it up. and look what happened - they all had enough to eat and there were leftovers! (John 6:12-13 NIV)

God can do amazing things when we are willing to just offer what we've got. every little bit helps. in fact, "feed the forgotten" can feed one person for an entire month with just $2.50! who doesn't have an extra $2.50 laying around. skip your starbucks one morning and feed someone for a whole month. i encourage you to check out and pray about it. God is calling all of us to "be his hands and feet"- maybe he's calling you to feed the forgotten as well.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

boden's first bike ride!

we have had the most beautiful august weather lately - mid 80's and sunny - it's been wonderful. so, we decided to try out boden's new bike trailer and go for a ride.

after about 2 hours of preparation (trying to get the bike rack on the car, get the bikes on the bike rack, and figure out how to get the hitch for the trailer on the bike) we were off. and then about 15 minutes from home we realized that i had left the front door wide open and neither of us had our wallets or identification of any kind. i guess we just got so excited when we finally got the car ready that we just jumped in and took off! so we turned around. once back on the road we were ready to go. after taking the long way (ie. getting lost) we finally arrived at creve coeur park. if you live in st louis and have never been to creve coeur lake you should check it out - it's a beautiful place with great trails for walking/jogging/biking and a lake for sailing/rowing/fishing.

anyway - aside from it taking us 3 hours to actually get on the trail for a 45 minute ride, we had a great time. and although boden was not thrilled about the bike helmet, he seemed to really enjoy the ride. i forgot to bring my camera, but the cell phone camera did a suprisingly decent job. hopefully we've got it figured out now so next time it doesn't take a whole day just to go for a bike ride!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

the watermelon

remember the watermelon i told you about a few days ago that boden was so upset with because he couldn't pick it up?

well, i forgot to mention that they did eventually make up and boden even shared his sippy cup with his new friend.

got my computer back...finally!

my new battery charger finally came in the mail yesterday! if anyone ever needs a new charger for their laptop, i highly recommend looking on rather than manufacturer's website. the charger was $50 more from dell! although the whole thing was a little shady (unmarked box with no directions, reciept or packing invoice and a very random shipping time of 1-10 days?) it works and my laptop is re-charged and ready to go!

so here's a few recent photos that i couldn't upload this past week:

playing outside:

his new favorite toy (yuck!):

first canoe ride. he hated every minute of the 1o minute ride. i think he may have enjoyed it if we hadn't been so mean as to make him wear a life jacket.

playing in the water:


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Long Week

it's been a long week here at the brueseke household. michael's been incredibly busy finishing up the summer semester with a big final last weekend and a research paper due today, and this was his last full week of work at boeing.

now that we've moved, we joined our local gold's gym. we've always thought of ourselves as pretty athletic people who are in decent shape...well, apparently we've been lying to ourselves! we started going to the body pump classes and oh my goodness! i used to do these classes in college, and i remember them being a really good workout, but i don't remember it being anything like this. i'm guessing this is because back then i actually was in decent shape. after the first class just laying on the couch was pretty painful and walking up the steps to our apartment was near impossible.

also this past week my little baby has official entered "toddlerhood". i need to order a copy of the strong willed child and read it asap. we've been having little meltdowns whenever he can't do what he wants, whether it's because we told him 'no' or because he physically can't do it. the other day i was putting away the groceries and there was a watermelon sitting on the floor. boden was trying to pick it up, but it was too heavy for him. he had a complete meltdown, tears and all, and even hit the watermelon a couple times. his appetite has also suddenly skyrocketed - he learned the "more" sign right around his first birthday and isn't afraid to use it! most days i think he eats more than i do. although it has become challenging to figure out what he will eat. one day he loves butternut squash, the next day it gets spit out and thrown on the floor. one day he refuses cantaloupe, and the next day he inhales it and begs for more. ahhh, the joys of having toddlers i suppose. for all of you who have traveled this road before me, feel free to share your wisdom...i could use it!

and finally the thing that has been (sadly) frustrating me most...the charger to my laptop has bit the dust :( lately, i've had to fiddle with it a bit to get it to recognize that it is in fact plugged in, but halfway through this week it finally just quit. my laptop battery has been completely dead for a few days now and i've come to realize how much i depend on my computer/internet for everything - recipe ideas, mothering advice, news, communication with friends & family, etc., etc. i haven't been able to upload any new photos or work on scrapbooking either. hopefully the new charger will be in soon, and hopefully that will do the trick. until then, i guess i'll continue to sneak a few moments here or there on michael's work computer when it's available.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

he's listening.

lately i've been in kind of a funk. this morning i picked up my phone to call a friend, or my mom, or one of my sisters, hoping one of them would be able to cheer me up...but i wasn't sure who would be available to talk that early in the morning. i figured they're probably busy with their day, getting ready for work or feeding their kids breakfast and i'd probably end up getting a voicemail.

and then i felt God say “what about me? i’m here. i’m listening. talk to me.” wow. why is it so easy to turn to a friend and forget that God is the one who is always there, ready and willing to talk with me. not just willing, he desires to talk to me. he's there to listen to my fears and worries and then to remind me that he has it all under control. he's there to comfort me with his peace. he has all the answers i could ever need. we will never get his voicemail, or get put on hold, or have to wait for him to call us back. he's there. right now. just waiting for us to call on him and talk to him. he won't disappoint.

"In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears." Psalm 18:6

Friday, August 1, 2008

the pool!

some friends came over today and we went to the pool - one huge perk of now living in an apartment. the kids had so much fun! (and of course us moms had fun too).

we even had a little baby swim-up bar:

once boden found out that hannah's sippy cup had apple juice in it, he wanted nothing to do with his own. in fact, none of them wanted anything to do with their own cup! thank goodness it's not cold season.

a few days ago boden found a tennis ball at the pool...he no longer wants to play with any of his pool toys...just the tennis ball. he likes to throw it out of the pool and then scream until we go get it. apparently its a really fun game.

and one more - i just have to share how excited i am to see boden learning new things. the other night we were at the pool and boden started crawling towards the edge of the pool to get in. michael started towards him to turn him around, but before michael got to him boden turned himself around and went in feet first! we were so proud of him - we have really only shown him how to do that a few times on the bed (he seems to want to climb right off on his head!). the stage he's at right now is so much fun - he picks up new things every day.