Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I think I have posted about Eli's doggie guitar before. This sweet toy that Uncle Chris bought Eli last May. It's a guitar. Shaped like a dog. And has a howl setting so you hear different pitches of a bark. And it plays songs that are funny... like the song about the dog and all the things he ate and the line "I wonder how it'll all pass through." Hilarious. And it has a stop button. And a good volume button. Really quite a well-thought out super toy.

In the fall we started to put away some of Eli's toys for awhile so he would have the enjoyment of playing with a "new" toy when we brought it out again. The doggie guitar had it's turn in the no-play pile for awhile before Christmas. Partly because I thought it needed batteries and I was too lazy to change them. When we returned, I asked Greg to work on the needing-batteries toys. When he added new ones to the doggie guitar, it didn't change the weird sounds coming out of it. So something was wrong with it, very wrong. It would go "aduh aduh aduh" over and over and over again. No music. No songs. It was like it had some sort of short in it or something.

We were all quite bummed. The next day I thought I should e-mail them and see if they had heard about this happening before and if they had any tricks to get it working again. Greg is pretty electrically minded so he thought he could open it up and see if there was something to fix. Nope.

Well the next day I get an email back saying "Hi Heather, We can certainly send you a new Woofer free of charge..." What?! Really? And sure enough it showed up at our door tonight. And my-oh-my we had one happy boy! So entertained with this thing.

Now I will add that I am not one of those "complain to get what you want" from people or companies (minus airlines). I mean I grew up with a dad that would NEVER send a meal back at a restaurant even if it was raw and cold and full of hair. Just sayin'.

I already love this company and all the toys they make (I would buy Every.Single.One if I had loads of money and was way into over-indulging my son). The only toy I don't love is the cat piano... it's not that awesome. They have super funny kids quotes in all their packaging... little pamphlets of adorable kid quotes, what a great idea. Plus great graphics. We have a good bit of solid toys from B.toys and I encourage you to buy from them. They sell them at Target, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and elsewhere. Here's their web site: http://justb-byou.com/

I love seeing a great company do things well. It makes me happy.


Oh and here's an Instagram link to the photo of Eli rockin' his new guitar tonight after bath: http://instagr.am/p/VFnq2uNNBX/

Monday, January 28, 2013

It Depends.

I am very much an "It Depends" type of person. If you were to ask me a number of random get-to-know-you type questions, I most likely would want to start my answer with "It depends..." I don't know what that makes me... high maintenance? detailed? ornery? picky? I'll say I'm just specific.

If you ask me "beaches or mountains" I will say "It depends on what for..." (And truth be told, I'd probably choose the flat land/lake category over either). I'd say "It depends..." for "chocolate or vanilla". Same goes for "rock or classic, "right or left" and thousand other this or that questions. It's hard for me to make a full-on bid for one side when I don't fully know the situation surrounding my decision.

But one "this or that" is really easy for me to make. I completely prefer one to the other. I will always, always choose matte over glossy.

Hands-down. Matte wins.

Glossy is so lame. I really don't like it and wish I never had to have glossy prints made. When I accidentally ordered glossy prints and got them last week, I realized how against them I was. Do you have any of these wildly opinionated thoughts on seemingly unimportant things? Or is that just me?


Saturday, January 26, 2013


We had house guests this past week. They were here taking a class all week so we didn't get to see much of them...but it was still so lovely to see their faces around. They were one of our first couple friends here in Cola. They moved here from TN for Grant to attend CIU. We liked them right away. But I remember the moment Megan said she lived in ND for 9 years growing up. I think I screeched and hugged her and made her become my friend. Can we say homesick? We had fun together and it was so sad when they moved away.

They now live in one of the stans so we only see them every few years. Thank God for technology and being able to connect from around the world. Megan has been so sweet to grieve with us from afar and to share in our joys too. Glad for these friends to share life with and to support in the great work they are doing.

Our spare bed was comfortable enough that they plan to come back again before they head back...and next time they are bringing their two super adorable Irish twin kiddos! What a great family!

We love you guys don't cha know? Emphasis on the "o"...


Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Just goofing off today and thought we'd make you smile...


Sunday, January 20, 2013


Tonight I got the umption to get the photos off my old phone and see what gems I could find. Umption = word of the day! I had umption for the first time this weekend in such a long time... since before we left for ND. I wore my contacts today for the first time in weeks since my pink eye is finally gone and besides a little cough at night, I'm back to healthy! I cleaned from morning 'til night yesterday. Awesome.

Anywho, back to the photos. I have a little tradition to take a photo of us and all our luggage when our driver (ha! sounds like we are rich and famous) drops us off. It doesn't always happen (darn you stressful moments and police laws etc) but Dori managed to get this one in December. Two 50 (okay, 50.5 and 51) pounders, two super plump carry-ons, two backpacks, us, a stroller and an Eli! 

Some shots from our trip to MN in November (it's all about keeping him fed and entertained):

I have no idea where this hat went because he got a reallllly cute one from G & G K. Also, everybody loves cousin cousin Emily! Such a doll.

Here's Eli's new hat. So awesome. Also, overalls are darn cute.

And here is Eli one day a few months ago when he found the laundry pile of his blankies (he's got four). He rolled around in them in pure ecstasy. It was hilarious and a move understood only by other blankie-lovers (like Vivi).

Here's a photo to make you laugh. My dad bought Greg a new air compressor and nailer when he was here in November. He wanted a certain gauge nail for it but couldn't find it. I found this old dude and those two spent quite a few minutes trying to find that certain size box of certain size nails. The funny part is this dude had to have been older than my dad. He was old. And couldn't see. And it was funny. Okay, maybe you had to be there.

But be glad you weren't there on Black Friday at 4:45am which is when my dad and I got there to get our flooring and a new Christmas tree. Thanks, Dad, for an actually fun experience standing in the (SC) cold way too early in the morning! It was my first get-up-early experience and it wasn't bad... we were in and out in a short time and we got what we came for! Us crazy Americans.

And some of the last photos on my new phone were in ND... here's Great Grandma with her teachable spirit showing two grandkids the finer art of sewing! Precious!

And here is THE best doughnut ever: a maple long john from the Donut Hole. Oh man, it was so, so, so good. Lilli had some chocolate number which I'm sure was good but really, chocolate ranks down there with sprinkles in my book (bad choice for a doughnut). Dunkin has a maple covered doughnut that I eat if we go there but it's really a sad, sad substitute for the real deal. Nom.

Now I won't get the joy of looking at random snapshots of our lives every four or five months when I purge the pics from my phone. My new phone takes much higher quality photos, however, and they can post lickity-split. So definitely better than this photo from September trying to take a photo of Greg in the movie theater to show we were the only ones there (can you spot him?!):


Friday, January 18, 2013

Close Calls.

I must tell you about our Christmas Eve day. We got to call Poison Control for the first time ever. Yep, little mister decided it would be a good idea to try out some Comet from under Grandma's sink. Now Grandma mostly uses Norwex (yay!) so there are very few chemicals around but this little can of Comet was in that downstairs bathroom and apparently, begging Eli to eat it so he could sing that annoying Comet song.

Anyway, I found him with the can, a pile of it on the rug beneath him, and it over and in his mouth. No idea how much he swallowed. I was really confused because he earlier refused to eat Grandpa's awesome oatmeal. What the heck, Eli. I immediately washed out what I could, brought him upstairs to consult with Grandma and while Greg called the Poison Control number (thank God they were working), I tried sticking my finger down his mouth (um, not pleasant). It didn't work but they said as long as he didn't eat cupfuls, we just need to monitor him. He was completely fine, praise the Lord.

There was more praising God for Eli's safety when I found him playing with TWO HUGE KNIVES. Seriously. Grandma's (door closed) pantry was not quite baby proof and her knife block was within reach of little hands. I look over from the fridge to see Eli with the two biggest knives, playing some sort of sword game in the pantry. Oh dear, did this mama run. It was almost amusing afterwards. Almost.

Later, an uncle found Eli at the bottom of the stairs laid flat out on his back, stunned and crying. He fell down some, if not all, of the many stairs. This accident made the most sense considering we don't have any inside stairs and he really just learned to go up and down recently. Uff-da.

I know every parent deals with these little close calls (some more than others). But my guess is moms that have lost children are even more keenly aware of the frailty of life. If you have walked in the shadow of death, if you have tasted the bitterness, the unfair occurrence of burying a child, you are more aware of how completely amazing it is when your child makes it through each night, each day. When Eli cries in the morning, I am sighing in relief. I assume all mothers have a bit of that in them. But one of the gifts us baby loss families have been given is a better appreciation and understanding of what we have with our living children. To feel the joy when we know they are alive, what a gift.


Aching with your mommy today, Emily & Molly. Oh how the world is missing out on you two!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Theme Days: Independence Day.

You know how you hear about people having Christmas in July? Well Greg and I decided to reverse that for our theme day. We had 4th of July in December! I think we came up with that so we could do fireworks. But then we found out fireworks are illegal in ND even for New Years. And we were going to do a picnic lunch but 10 degree weather doesn't warrant any outside leisurely activities.

So instead we had some other fun inside activities like a all-around-the-house scavenger hunt, a tossing game, and the most hilarious parade ever. Plus we had a picnic/4th of July type meal complete with a flag cake and we made the kids wear red/blue aprons. Indeed we were quite festive. I'm pretty sure we even sang Happy Birthday to America. I am quite certain we were the only family in America that did that on New Years Eve.

Scavenger Hunt Team One
Part of the hunt was to carry one flag high up the whole time searching...
all I had to do was say "flag" and John's hand would shoot right up.
Team Two
Uncle Greg made up some fantastic clues.

This photo just makes me laugh.
The tossing game was actually a little lame.
All the kiddos in their name aprons and medals!
The Very.Important.Swordsman that began our parade.

Such entertainment!
This captures the parade (and Marian) so well... happy, noisy, running in circles.
Yes. This happened.
Patriotic Cutie!
You can see a little of Eli's "Buffalo, North Dakota 1981" shirt.
We are blessed to live in America so I feel no shame in celebrating our country in December!


Monday, January 14, 2013


I have been forcing Eli to be compassionate, to feel sorry for when he hurts others (or at least have some sort of repercussion for his actions). This is mainly a result of me getting smacked in the face with a hard ball, accidentally bitten, and whacked in the back with a recorder... all within a five minute span of time. Boys.

So I've been trying to teach him to say or sign "I'm sorry" so he knows he physically hurt me. I didn't know if it was clicking in his little head (it didn't seem to be). But tonight, he threw this wooden whistle at Greg's head. Then Greg saw this look on Eli's face like he knew he did something wrong. I came into the room and told him a few times "Say you are sorry to your Dad." It took a bit of internal processing, but then Eli went over to Greg laying on the floor and he lovingly patted him on the shoulder a few times.

It was just the sweetest thing. Greg said it made his day (and plumb forgot about the whistle-at-head thing).

We don't know if his heart had any real change, any real remorse for his ways. At this age, I have to find the balance at correcting his behavior, understanding his development, caring about his soul, and just not going insane. But tonight was a little glimmer of hope that yes, someday Eli will understand he cannot throw toys at my face all day!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Theme Days: Western.

Do you hear it? The tumbleweed in the distance, the saloon door closing, the dust rustling from spurs... the sounds that mean a duel is coming? We heard it much of the day on our themed Western Day. Duels and bandit fights filled our day (along with some western food fit for us cow pokes).

It was a day when some poor folk had to duel this wanted man:

Now this cow poke was uncharacteristically animated about his dueling win:

But no one could beat this ruthless cowboy!

Or out-smart this ammunition-filled serious sheriff:

But the one that struck fear in most everyone's hearts was this one:

It was a dueling day and night and there were many, many casualties (it was hard to escape the red-bandana men):

And in the end, the best won!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Theme Days: Star Wars.

My first sickness of the season happened Christmas night. You have to know I was sick when you find out I didn't take a single photo for almost two days. I don't have any proof of our Mexican Day... which is too bad since it was quite memorable with the little stick-on mustaches and hats. We had a dance contest and a pinata and some darn good food, too.

Greg took just a couple photos and I found this one which shows what I did for a few days:

But Thursday night I knew I needed to at least take a few photos because we were having Star Wars Day! Mary even got in the spirit with the old school Star Wars blanket turned Jedi Robe! Eli thought she was hilarious. As always!

Uncle Chris took us all out to Space Aliens. They have a small arcade. The kids (big and small) had fun!

I guess they sort of liked this stuff growing up.

John was such a sucker for stories of swords and great battles!
Eli is displaying his best "wow!" face. Matt won 1,000 tickets and they printed slowly to add to the fun.

We gave Isaiah this awesome Darth Vader hoodie... I didn't get a good photo of it, but it is so cool!
Do it again, we must!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Theme Days: PJ.

Feeling a tad better today... Greg got to go to work for awhile, I didn't sleep all day and I actually turned on the computer. Hence, blog post.

Our family had Theme Days over Christmas. Yea, that's right. Theme Days. Jealous, aren't you? We had a blast with our days. We had to infringe on Christmas Day in order to have enough days for everyone and it happened that the Browns had that day for their theme: Pajama Day. We wore pajamas all day and had breakfasty foods. Then we went out in our PJ's to drive around and look at Christmas lights while drinking hot chocolate. As it snowed ever so softly. Pretty awesome.

Vivi sandwich!
Our first stop was this insanely decorated house. It had a few moving sleighs on their roof, a ferris wheel for some disney characters, a little pathway to walk, and the list goes on and on. If you are from around there, you just need to see it to believe it.

It's the Griswald Kasowskis!



Monday, January 7, 2013


I know I promised a buttload of photos but life around the K house has not been conducive to accomplishing much of anything. Eli and I both got colds up in ND that went away before we came back. Then after a few days home, we got sick again. And the sickness came back with vengeance.

I went to the doctor today. I have the flu and a sinus infection. I currently have no voice. I really felt mediocre all weekend but today has been the worst. Advil just broke my fever and the drugs are working enough to type up this blog post... Though this will probably be the only thing I accomplish today!

So if you drive by Linda Street, don't judge that my garland is still out (and yes my tree is still up). At this rate, hopefully it'll be put away by February.

For now, here's a pic of the sickies during a happy moment yesterday when Eli realized that was him staring back at himself on the phone. Don't be deceived though, we are complete slugs 99% of the time.


UPDATE: I woke up the next day with PINK EYE. Seriously.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Days Gone By.

Here begins the bombardment of photos... with the patriarch of the K family:

Happy Birthday Great Grandpa Harold! Thanks for the quick visit!
('twas so fun to celebrate together with some super yummy carrot cake!)

Eli loves these two, as he should!
So great to be with this auntie and uncle again!

A quick visit from the Lindvig crew turned them all into carbles fanatics!
Check facebook for a cute photo of us ladies taken by Aunt Barb.

There were a few Bears games to share together!
We won't take about the not-making-the-playoffs and no-more-Lovey stuff.

Uncle Chris' stories were a constantly requested activity. It's all about the sword.
A pretty great duo!
We have agreed that this has to be the best Star Wars shirt ever.

Games. So.Many.Games.

That about puts us up to Christmas Day. My SIL, who is a way better photographer, posted a few more shots if you feel the need for more of us K's.

Coming soon... theme days!