We said good-bye to a good friend today.

It's been a while since I have posted (we don't have internet at home).

But today was a sad day as we said good-bye to our dog, Lincoln.

We're not exactly sure what was wrong with him. A few weeks back we found a lump on his nose. We took him to the vet to get it checked out and they thought he might of had a broken nose.

We left him with the neighbors while we went away on vacation. We were managing his pain with pain meds. Well he got worse so they took him to the vet to have X-rays done. It turned out that the lump was tears, his tear duct was plugged because the bone of his nose was deteriorating. We're not exactly sure from what...the pathology report was due back at the beginning of next week. There was two possibilities.
1) bone cancer - which is somewhat uncommon in young dogs (Lincoln was only 5.5 years old). -or-
2) blasto (a fungal infection) - Thinking back on it we think this may of been it (all the sneezing and hyperventilating type noises). We think that he might of had this (which we thought was just allergies and so did the vet). There really is no way of knowing whether your dog has it without a pathology report.

Well today we got a call that Lincoln was in a lot of pain and not moving or responding much. We talked about it and decided to have him put down.

He will be missed, he was a great dog!


The Last 13 Days!

Wondering what we've been up to?!

Well I'll tell you all about it! :)

As you have heard Miss Kendra Mae joined our family on August 1st. Miss Kendra and I came home on August 2nd. I was going to post some pictures from the hospital, but realized they are all on David's computer.

I was very glad to come home. However it was short lived. ;) David and I stopped at the house so that he could show me the new carpet (they labored over my carpet the same time I was in labor)! ;) We were looking down the basement stairs and noticed that they didn't lay carpet at the base (which we were a bit bummed about). Than I noticed some water (not really thinking about it I said, good thing they didn't lay carpet down there, there is water down there. To which David said, "What's the water from?" Good point I never thought of that.

So down we went....and the basement was full of water and the window was out of the sill. We have NO idea at this point what happened (thankfully the window was not broken). So we went to the neighbor's house to pick up the other two kids. Boy were they excited to be home....they were bouncing off the walls and SUPER hyper. Which normally if daddy was here wouldn't of been a problem, but daddy needed to figure out what happen to the window.

Daddy later called a man in our church who must of known something that was going on. Well we found answers. The man was not there at the time, but told us basically what happened. You see it rained TONS while I was in the hospital (Tuesday, the day I was getting out). David had gone home Monday night and stayed with the kids and I stayed at the hospital on my own. Well that morning David went into town to run a few errands (we had had some awful wind and storms earlier that morning, in fact David said there were trees down everywhere in town).

On to what happened at the house. I'll just start (and finish) by asking a few questions.... ;)
1) Do you know how much water a window well can hold? Like how many gallons?
2) Do you know what happens with LOTS of water and water pressure?
3) Especially up against a window?
4) Guess where all the water went when the window popped out of the sill?
5) Guess who had to spend all evening trying to figure out what to do and fix the problem so we didn't get toads or other animals in there to ruin our new carpet?
6) Guess who was home alone with a newborn (just 24 hours old) a 4 year old and a 2 year old (who were bouncing off the walls)? ;)

Yep that pretty much sums it up!

Other than that...we're doing good! We're still trying to figure out how to fix the problem, sounds like gutters on the back of the house might be our best bet!

Back to what's going on here:

A few fun quotes from when the Annika and Van met Kendra.

Donovan- (Saw her for the first time) "Hi, Sweetie." Now he always asks me to put her down so "I can hold you." or "Can we snuggle." He      was doing really good with her, but I think he's starting to get a bit more jealous.

Annika- Walked into the room (not a "hi mom") this is the conversation I have with her...
Annika: "What's her name?"
Me: "Kendra"
Annika: "Couldn't you pick a prettier name than Kendra? Something like Anna?"
That child! :) She likes the name now and has named one of her baby dolls Kendra and has given the name Anna to her puppy! :)

Oh and if you're wondering...Kendra is a pretty good baby! She sleeps great! Goes to bed around 10:30 pm wakes up around 3:30-4 am to eat than back to sleep until 7 am!

Here's a slide show to show you what we've been up to (not much)! ;) But I'm going to bed! Enjoy!


Yep they are related! :)

All these pictures are within 2 days home from the hospital! 
Annika (7lbs 15oz - 21 inches long)

Donovan (7lbs 15oz - 20 inches long)

 Kendra (7lbs 3oz - 19.5 in long)


Bundle of Cuteness!


Look what bundle of cuteness now lives at our house!!!

Kendra Mae Stertz
Born Monday, August 1, 2011 (2 weeks early)
She weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long


I've been a bad blogger!

Wow, I've not done to well on keeping up have I??

Things have gone from busy to busier! ;) But I think they may start slowing down!

A couple of weeks ago David took 5 teens from our church to camp at Northland, so it was me and the kiddos for the week. We spent all our time at home (since the breaks went out on the car on my way into town on Monday, no one was hurt we were on a back road when they went out so nothing to horrible happened). But we did spend time helping Grandma Gabi with Vacation Bible School decorations!

Just this past Sunday-Thursday we finished our Vacation Bible School.

So an update on us:

We are all doing well, keeping busy (as "seen" read above).

The kiddos have been enjoying the warm weather and playing outside a lot!

I'm doing well, ready to be done with this pregnancy...hard to believe I only have about 2 weeks (give or take a week both ways). I had a doctor's appt. last week and my midwife wasn't sure I'd hold on through out this week, but I did...although I guess I have a few hours left in the week). ;) I have another appt. on Monday we shall see how I have progressed at that one. I've been getting contractions on a pretty regular basis now (especially when in a car).

On a side note while talking about babies: between David's family and mine we were blessed with many pregnancies and births. My cousin (Ashley) had her first baby in June (a girl), David's cousin (Joelle) and her husband had their first baby (a boy) in July (in fact a few days ago), I'm due in August (as you know), my sister (Sheila) and her husband are expecting their first baby (a girl) in September, and David's sister (Elizabeth) and her husband are expecting their first baby (a boy) in October! That's a lot of babies in a short time and I can't wait to meet them all!

As for the house...we are getting VERY close to finishing! The trim is all done!! All that is left is:
1) Sheet rocking the garage ceilings (hoping to get this done this week also).
2) Finishing the duct work for the heating system (this is happening this week).
3) Getting the carpet in the bedrooms and down the basement stairs (this should happen on Monday).
4) Finish up the siding on the garage (not a whole bunch left).
5) We have lots of dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping to do also.

Other than that I think we're ready to go. We locked in our interest rates today and have 45 days to close on the house (which means it looks like we will for sure be moved in to our house in 45 days...although we'd like to be in sooner, which is a huge possibility). I've been packing little by little (but we don't have much storage space for boxes).

I think I'll close this post up now (w/ no pictures)...I'll come back and add some tomorrow if I have time. For now I think you got enough information from me! Although you'd probably rather see the pictures than read the posts! :)




Donovan Turns 2!!

Although if you ask him, he tells everyone he's going to be 5! :) Not sure where he got that from.

You can see more pictures from his party here

Looking back on last years Birthday post of where he was at and to where he is now...wow! It's amazing what a little person can learn in a year!

Over the last year he has learned:

 * to walk! :)

*to recognize the alphabet (capital letters he's got down, we are working on lower case letters now, he misses a little under 1/2). We were rather surprised that he knew these, I haven't worked with him at all on the alphabet.

*shapes (the names to the shapes on the tupperwear shape ball, even the difference between a pentagon and hexagon).

*colors (these took him a bit longer, but he's got them down for the most part)

*Alphabet Sounds (he and Annika have been learning these together).

* He talks in full sentences and sometimes too much! Annika told us the other day that he must be a girl because he talks so much (she than said she was just teasing).

*He has also learned numerous songs which he sings when he's in his crib.

*I'm sure I'm missing some!

His Likes:
*slides (playgrounds in general, but loves slides)
*coloring with markers
*chocolate cereal w/ marshmallows (we ran out and he's been asking for it since)
*Thomas the Train (I think he might be moving out of the princess stage)
*hide and seek
*singing...he LOVES music
* throwing stuff down the stairs (much to the dismay of his parents)
*freeze-y pops
*pop (he's definitely his daddy's son). If I ask him what he wants to drink he says, "how about pop?"

His Dislikes:
*bed time
*nap time
*when daddy leaves (this makes him very sad)

Fun Facts:
*he's wearing last years summer clothes this summer (size 12 months)
*he loves playing with Annika's blue princess (Cinderella)
*when I asked him what he'd like to drink, milk or water he would answer, "how about some pop?"
*is new question is (since he's moved out of the "how about...'fill in blank' stage), "Should we...(fill in the blank)?" Like "should we have some cake, mom?"
*he ends every sentence with the name of the person who he is talking to (see above "should we..." question.
*he sleeps with a knit (or crocheted) blanket, it doesn't matter what color or whose it is.
*if he even sees a knit (or crocheted) blanket and he's tired his fingers (pointer and middle finger) will automatically go into his mouth (indicating that he's tired or wants a blanket).

Birthday Photos: (I didn't post the one of him sleeping at the top b/c I thought you'd like to see his smiling face).

June 26, 2009 - 12:35 a.m.

June 26, 2010 - 12: 35 a.m.

June 26th, 2011 - 12:35 a.m.


Some Happenings at the Stertz Household!

We've been pretty busy around here (I think I say that in every post....I'm not sure life is about to slow down anytime soon)!

The house is coming a long...the kids are growing more rambunctious by the day...and I'm just growing (bigger)!

I'm so thankful for outside play time! :) My kids fall into bed at night (although not so much lately as we've been having some late nights with Menards runs...the best thing about Menards runs is 49 cent cones at Mc. Donalds!

It's hard to believe that we are down to about 50 days until this new little girl joins our family!

Here's what's been going on around our little part of this world:

Cities: Annika's is on the left, Van's on the right (his city after tornado??)

New Slippers! 99 cents after rebate at Menards!

The sweet girl looking so grown up!

 Who needs a water park??

The boy says, "Look at me mom!" To which I replied, "Get that off your head!" (after snapping a quick picture). On a side note: I don't let my child play with plastic bags, this was after lunch!

The boy says, "Should we take a picture?" After he put on his sister's headband (at least he's wearing it "Rambo-Style"). Oh and yes the purple boots were Annika's also, but he lives in those things!

Ready for church! Annika wanted me to take a picture of her new outfit (my garage sale buy...she's loving the skirt)! Van just wanted in the picture!

Another Garage sale buy (shirt and sweater), she's been posing for the camera lately...she really likes this shot! :) She was able to wear this on Wednesday as it was only about 63 degrees here)! Not sure what happened to summer...

We're hoping for some warmer weather today (I believe it says we're suppose to be up to almost 80 today), yesterday day was a whoppin' 58 degrees!

We're also looking forward to Van's bday party tonight! He doesn't officially turn 2 until Sunday, but Sundays aren't good days to celebrate (they tend to be to busy around here)! So I'll be back Monday morning to share some bday pictures and probably again on Wednesday to update about his appointment (just a 2 year check up) and I also have one on Wednesday.

Hope you have a great weekend!



The Big Girl and The Little Girl...

Annika finished her first year of Kids 4 Truth last night! She did a great job and got all of her patches.
The one thing I absolutely love about this program is the songs that my daughter sings. She often sings these song while she is playing in her room. Some of the songs include:
All Things Bright and Beautiful; Immortal Invisible God only Wise; Holy, Holy, Holy; Amazing Grace; The King of Love My Shepherd Is; Holy Bible Book Divine; Come Ye Sinners

We were able to have our 29 week ultra sound yesterday. 
(profile picture of the her face with her hand up under her chin)

They did in fact double check to make sure she was a girl! ;) Everything looks great. While I still have a low lying placenta (which means my placenta did move a some) a c-section will not be needed (this makes me VERY happy)! Her heart beat was at 144. She did not however like being poked and prodded during the ultra sound and while my midwife checked for a heart beat (she kept kicking). This little girl (if I remember the other two pregnancies) is A LOT more active than Annika or Van! My midwife said to expect that when she comes out! :)


A Month...... :(

Has it really been a month since the last time I posted?!?! I'm VERY sorry (it must be close b/c I have 30 pictures to show to you). I'm hoping once this house is built maybe I will be a better poster (maybe). ;)

A few things that have hindered me from posting more....
1. The house building project - while we are moving along (for a bit it was pretty slow), but now we are making progress. David was able to finish up all the fascia this week, we got the hard wood flooring in, the painting is almost complete (boy will I be glad when this is done...so will my sciatic nerve, however, I have had TONS of help from ladies at church and what a blessing it has been), David did laid tile in the hall closet (he did pretty good for his first time), and it looks like cabinets and counter tops will be installed in the kitchen the next couple of days! We still have a ways to go but it is coming along. I'll post more pictures when they finish with the kitchen.

2. The sunshine! We've been outside a TON lately. The kids LOVE to be outside!! Church softball started up on Tuesday nights (obviously I'm not playing unless I'm the ball). ;) But David is and we've enjoyed going to the first two games. The kids and I have also been going to sporting events of the teens in our church which we have enjoyed a lot. The sad thing is along with the sunshine comes the bugs. Poor Van has bug bites (little gnat bites all over his head). They don't seem to hurt or bother him at all (Annika has a few also, but not like compared to Van), but they are pretty bad looking. They leave a drop of blood behind and bug spray doesn't seem to help. Someone asked me if he had the chicken pox or measles...just bug bites.

3. Pregnancy brain...can I claim that? I honestly just forget. :) I haven't had any appointments since the previous post, but I do have one a week from today to check the status of my placenta previa. We get to see baby again also. Along with this appointment comes the glucose test. I'm not sure if you know what that is, but it's a test I have to go in for 2 hours. I have to drink this orange stuff (which tastes like really flat orange soda, it's rather gross), than they check your blood sugar after one hour and again after 2 hours. I just entered my third and final trimester which is rather shocking to me since it has seem to fly by.

On to the pictures from over the last month (a few back from as far as Easter).


Baby Update

I had an appointment yesterday and everything looks great! Baby is right on track with growth! Heart beat was at 152.

A couple Sundays ago I had a bit of a scare as I had some pretty strong contractions (which isn't good when you're only 23 weeks along). I ended up calling my midwife and she told me to drink some water and rest. Which helped b/c they went away. A little later I ended up getting the flu. But all is good now.

My next appointment is June 1st, I go in for another ultrasound to see if my placenta previa has corrected itself. If it hasn't I'm not sure what they will do (I know if it doesn't by the time baby is ready to come that a c-section is enevitable), but I'll only be 28 weeks so I'm not sure if they will have another ultrasound after that or not. I do know that most of the time it corrects itself (so I'm still not to worried about it).

Baby is moving all the time these days. If I remember correctly this little one moves more often than the other two. I was able to have Annika catch the baby move, she loved it and has asked me since to feel "the newborn" move (yes she calls the baby newborn). ;) I also was able to let Van feel baby kick (or punch). I didn't know if he would feel it or quite get what was going on. Well he did feel it b/c the look he gave me was really cute. I still don't think he quite understands it though. :)


Our Easter...

"...Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen..."
(Matthew 28:5-6)

We had a great Easter here. Started out with David preaching a 9:00 am service than a fellowship time of sweet breads and muffins in between and David preaching a 10:30  am service.

A wonderful couple from our church invited us over after the service for Easter dinner. We had a great time of fun and fellowship. The kids played outside most of the day (Van didn't get a nap until 4:00 pm - way later than normal). Both kids are in bed and asleep. We enjoyed great weather today. 

We came home and watched "Bambi" (a gift from grandma and Papa Dan). Thank you!! 

Here's a picture of Annika and Van in their Easter outfits!

Another blessing is hearing Annika talk about Jesus and how He died on the cross for our sins. We have been really stressing that Easter isn't about candy and gifts, but that it is about Christ dieing, being buried, and rising from the dead and that He now lives in heaven with God the Father.


Time for an Update about what's been happening round here...

Life has continued to move right along:

A note about Annika's drawing (last picture). Daddy and Van both have mo-hawks (can you see David w/ a mo-hawk??) ;) Annika and I are both wearing crowns (appropriately)! :)

We took the kids to the Como Zoo last week, it was nice to spend some time together as a family and the kids really enjoyed it!

Fun Story: If you look in the pictures you can see a picture of Van w/ a sea lion in front of him (Van is leaning off to the side). The sea lion kept swimming up to him and planting his flippers (is that what you call them??) on the ledge of the pool (which is right next to the glass where Van was standing). Well Van didn't care for that very much, he kept scooting further and further away (it was rather comical).

House update:
Things are going good...the priming is done! David and the neighbor man are going to work on getting the ceilings sprayed tomorrow night and we're hoping to get them painted by Friday so that we can get started on painting on Friday. I'm so blessed to have at least 7 ladies offer to help w/ the painting!

We're still a bit away from finishing it but getting closer!

Annika is doing well, she's been into wearing shorts and tank tops a lot around home (which she doesn't wear them outside b/c it's still not warm enough). Did you hear we're suppose to get more snow tomorrow....I think Annika thinks if she wears shorts and tank tops that summer will come (Oh the faith of a child)! She's been such a great helper lately! She got to feel the baby kick the other day for the first time, she thought it was pretty cool and has come up and asked me if she can feel the baby.

Van still surprises us everyday with what he is learning. He's learning in leaps and bounds! He's in love w/ his purple rain boots (hand-me-downs from Annika). He will wear these things ALL over the place (from sun up to sun down). I do not allow him to wear them to the store or library (pretty much the only two places we go). ;) I'm sure you'll see them in the above pictures! :)

David is doing well. Keeping busy. He just finished up a block class at Central last week. He's got a few more weeks left in the semester. He's not taking a summer coarse b/c there is none that he needs. He is keeping busy with church responsibilities (Pastor Cable retired at the end of March). We finally just got our new church blog up www.sunrisebiblechurch.org.

I'm doing pretty well, had a scare on Sunday early morning (think like 1am) as I started having contractions (real ones), they went away after a couple of hours (thankfully, 23 weeks is a lot to early to have this baby) and later that day I got the flu. I'm still recovering, I'm feeling better, but don't have much energy.

I think that about sums everything up! ;)


Baby Update!

It's a GIRL!!!!

Annika was very excited to hear this! When the ultrasound tech said "it's a girl" Annika put her fist in the air and had a big smile on her face!

I have a few pictures to share. We got well over 15 pictures...I believe it was closer to 30 (and a DVD) but baby wasn't co-operating to well so the pictures aren't the greatest (I think that's why we ended up with so many, the ultra sound tech I think felt bad).

A few pictures:




Everything is checking out good! Baby weighs in about 13 ounces and my due date is the same (August 13th).

The only problem is that I have placenta previa. Which is common in pregnancy (although this is the first time I've had it). Basically it means the placenta is in the way of delivering baby and if the placenta doesn't move up than a C-section is required (you can read more if you click on the link, if you want the long version). In most preganacies this rights itself and by the end things are just fine. I'm guessing ours will also, but just in case I go back in at 28 weeks for another ultrasound. I can't complain to much as I've only had one ultrasound for each child, so I'm looking forward to see what baby looks like at 28 weeks. :)

And less you think they could be wrong (since they were with Annika) we'll take a second look than! :)


A Big Boy and New Shirt

I just wanted to share a picture of Van that I took a few days ago. He doesn't look to much like my little baby anymore. :) He's getting so big! He's getting ready to turn 21 months old and he is amazing us everyday with the things he is learning! He's still on the short side (but that's okay so is his mom and she's made it thus far). ;)


This is the shirt I made for him. I wasn't allowed to share it until now as it was in the testing stage (I was one of the testers). I had so much fun making this shirt! It was my first time making a shirt out of knit (stretchy t-shirt-like material) and doing neck binding. The neck binding was A TON easier than I thought (I don't know what I was so afraid of). I have wanted to tackle neck binding for awhile now.

This shirt was really cheap to make as all the fabric you see is from the thrift store (striped fabric was $2 for 4 yards and red fabric $1.50 for 3 yards) except the neck binding. I had a hard time getting it off him and he really liked it!

I have one more made, it's just waiting for some neck binding (which I'm waiting for a piece to arrive in my mailbox from a friend). ;)


Van "Performs" ;)

Donovan took a short nap today (only about 1.5 hours). I'm not sure he was feeling all that great when I put him down tonight. But he had a good afternoon (he actually slept less than his sister...which is saying a lot b/c she's not a big napper, but she's just getting over being sick...the good ole' MN crud...as called by many people near us).

But I was able to take a few videos of him and the things he has learned:

First up is a video of him counting. We are thinking he learned to count from Annika for two main reasons.
1) I know personally I have not worked with him all that much, and...
2) He skips the number 12 when he counts...so does his sister! :)

Next ups is a video of him singing the ABC's (w/ help). But he does a pretty good job! :)

He also loves the Tupperware shape ball.

He's been able to put the shapes in these for a bit now. I love to watch him (and Annika) learn new things. He's definitely learning a lot! Now if we could just get him to tell me he has to go potty BEFORE he goes! ;) But he's still little still! :)


Look Who Turned 4!

Born at 9:33 am, March 6, 2007

Taken at 9:33 am, March 6, 2008

Taken at 9:33 am, March 6, 2009

Taken at 9:33 am, March 6, 2010

Taken at 9:33 am, March 6, 2011


A Party Fit for a Princess!

Annika asked me if she could have a princess party with some girls over. I figured that would be just fine. So we sent out invitations to 5 little girls at church. Today all the little girls came over and I had a house full of 6 princess (and 1 prince).

Annika had a great time! If you click here you can see pictures from her party! Than you can click on the first picture and just press the arrow key over to see larger images.


A few Random Pictures...

He matches the couch...well the top 1/2 of him. Not sure what he's looking at. :)

Last Sunday Annika made crowns in both Sunday School and Junior Church. Van is still in the nursery so he did not get one. Annika shared! :)

A Close up: Just when I thought he was growing into his ears! ;)

Something you may not have known about Annika, but she ALWAYS naps in her PJ's. She hates to wear jeans to bed (which I don't blame her). Well last Sunday she came out and dressed herself in these PJ's pretty cute, huh?!?!

Also impressive, check how far she got them zipped up! :) Pretty good for on backwards! :)

Making blonde brownies for the evening service fellowship! 

I got some tags in the mail (mama made tags) to put on my sewing and the Annika and Van LOVED them! It kept them busy while I finished up lunch!
If you can't tell Annika loves these pj's! We got them in a hand-me-down box of clothes and she would live in them! Except at night to sleep in (she gets to hot, so changes and will put these back on when she wakes up and sleeps in them at nap time). I do get them off of her long enough to wash! :)

Seeing this last pictures also reminded me (it was taken Monday after I got back): I went to the doctor on Monday (2nd pre-natal appointment). Everything looks good, heard the heart beat it was 146 (always a sweet sound)! We have our 20 week ultrasound 3 weeks from Monday. 

We (more so me) really are going back on forth on wanting a surprise (not knowing whether boy or girl). We "knew" with Annika what we were having (although they were wrong so we were kind of...or rather really surprised). :) We knew for sure with Van. I think we are more leaning toward knowing so we can plan on what to do about rooms (whether baby will share a room with Annika or Van). Although I guess it doesn't matter since for the first few months baby will be in the living room (mommy doesn't sleep well and adding a grunting baby in the room doesn't help). ;) We tried it with Annika, she was in the same room with us oh for about 3 days. With Van...well we didn't even try. He was in the spare room right next door.

Another reason I want to know....I want to sew some baby things! ;)

Just wanted to share this fun story about Annika and going to the doctors!

I woke Annika the morning of my appointment to get her ready (we had to leave earlier than their normal wake up time), but I asked her if she was ready to go to the doctor. She told me she did not want to go. Annika hasn't been to the doctor much in her life besides her well-baby check ups (which stop at 2 years old). Well she did end up going the Emergency Room. In which they gave her medicine (she HATES medicine...and who can blame her). :) Well she was not to happy about going even when she found out that the appointment wasn't for her but for mommy. So laying in her tent (um...yes she hasn't slept in a bed since she got her tent on December 17th for an early Christmas present), I told her that mommy had to get a shot (really they just needed to do some blood tests - regular pregnancy stuff) and asked her if she wanted to come and see. To which Annika with a smile on her face shook her head...I wasn't sure whether to be pleased that she wanted to go or not.... 

Well she did watch and didn't think much of it. Let me tell you for two small kids in a waiting room, mine did pretty good. Van my NOT shy little boy kept singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and impressed everyone with his counting abilities. He can count up to 13 now (kind of, I noticed that he forgets the number 12...which is kind of funny b/c when Annika counts she also forgets the number 12...guess he's learning from her)! :)