Who Told You?

The other day, I had the rare opportunity to go out for coffee with a friend. This is big stuff in mommy world. You know, one of those events where you take all of the diapers out of your diaper bag and pretend it's a purse? Yes. That big.

But this blog isn't about how *exciting* it is to get in and out of the car without having to buckle/unbuckle anybody.

My friend shared something with me that impacted me, so I thought I'd pass it along to encourage you today. She was telling me about a person in her life who is a Christian, but has battled depression for a long, long time. My friend has been trying to be more active in speaking faith into this person's life, and one of the things she said went something like this:

When Adam and Eve fell in Genesis, they hid from God in shame because of their nakedness. One of the first things God said to them was, "Who told you you were naked?" So I'm asking you: "Who told you you were depressed?"

The obvious answer is "the devil told me." God didn't tell this woman she was depressed. The devil told her and she believed him.

Immediately, I knew this truth resonated with me. Who told me I was frustrated? Who told me I was angry? Who told me I wasn't beautiful enough? Who told me I wasn't doing a good job as a wife and mom? It certainly wasn't God. It wasn't anybody in my life. It was the devil lying to me, and I chose to believe him. But I'm gonna tell him to shut up from now on. ;)

Happy Birthday, Gideon!

March 24th was Gideon's first birthday. What a difference a year makes.

Gideon Then...

...and now!


Rosie -- 6 months

Our sweet little Johnye Rose is six months old! She is *almost* sitting up on her own now. She can do it for a while if she has pillows around her for support, or if I'm sitting nearby to catch her if she starts to tip over.

Rosie has become very vocal recently. She's constantly singing, squealing, or verbalizing in some way, regardless of whether or not she's gumming and gooing some poor toy to death, which is her other favorite pastime.

She continues to be joyful and smiley, and I thank the Lord for three easy babies in a row.

Here are some photos I took of her the other day, and a link to even more for your viewing enjoyment.

After taking and uploading the photos, I realized they were all really "noisy," which is photography lingo for grainy looking. After consulting with one of my professional heroes (who also happens to attend my in-laws church), we figured out that I had the ISO set WAY too high on my camear. Don't know what ISO is? Neither did I. See, this is how I learn! Now I know, and now I can take better pictures! Hooray for learning from our mistakes.

Anyhow, thank God for photo editing software which salvaged many of these photos. The ones that do look grainy are still kind of cool in that old-school film look sort of way. I can't wait for spring to arrive so we can get back to taking pictures outside.

I love this one of her grabbing her feet -- she does this all the time now. My favorite part is the rolls of fat on her tummy.

The letters she is playing with here are actually bookends made by my Aunt Anita years ago. You may recall Anita passed away about a year ago, so these pieces are very special to me.

And just for fun, I did a couple "behind the scenes" photos to remember these sessions by. Moms never seem to get to be in the photos since we are usually the ones behind the camera. I want to make sure to get in a few so I have them forever.

You can view more photos by clicking here.



Tonight I made JP a wonderful dinner of pork chops, baby red potatoes, and a garden salad with ranch and catalina dressings. When JP saw the catalina, he asked if it was "still good" or too old to be eaten. I said I wasn't sure, but it was probably fine -- those things never really go bad, right? :)

He checked the expiration date and it said 2009! Wow! That's gross. So, I went back to the kitchen where I knew there was another bottle of catalina waiting in the fridge door. I pulled it out and checked the date, then nearly threw up a little bit in my mouth.


Let's put that in perspective, shall we?

In September 2006, I...
...had been married for only one year.
...was 4 months pregnant with my first of three children, probably not even "showing" yet.
...still lived in Brooklyn Park.
...still worked at WCCO-TV.

Somehow, that bottle of Catalina dressing survived two moves and multiple fridge "cleanings" unscathed.

How about you? Do you have any expiration date stories you'd like to share?


Take Me Away From Here

We needed a break from the white and gray tundra-like landscape, so last Friday we met up with some friends at Como Zoo and Conservatory. It's such a beautiful place, and such a welcomed relief from the cold and monotonous days Minnesota has to offer this time of year.

I'm not sure I had ever actually been to the conservatory during the winter before. It was really nice because there were barely any crowds to compete with. The kids could get right up next to the displays and take their time looking.

The gardens are all stunning, but my favorite is the sunken garden. The room is always bursting with color. There were stargazer lilies as big as your head and roses that looked like they came straight out of Alice in Wonderland. Of course it made a beautiful backdrop for some beautiful subjects...

...whether or not they decide to smile! (see previous post "Quotes from Rae" for a better shot of Rae from the day.)

Perhaps the most amazing part of the day was when we left the gardens and wandered into the zoo area. Como has a new polar bear exhibit, so we headed there first. Right when we got there, one of the polar bears jumped into the water and started doing flips. He would shoot straight up like a rocket, right in front of the window, then place his giant paw on the glass and push off backwards into a back flip. He did this over and over again. It was amazing.

Did I mention how MASSIVE he was? His paw was the size of Ruby's torso.

Rosie enjoyed most of the views from her car seat. This pictures melts my heart on the coldest day.

Hooray for Como! Fun, free and refreshing!

Quotes from Rae

I'm starting sewing lessons soon, so the girls and I stopped by the fabric section at Wal-Mart the other day to see what options they had for making summer dresses. We were picking out designs we liked and finding a few that were really cute. Finally we came across a brightly colored tie-dyed one, and I asked Rae what she thought of it. Her response was so "Rae."

"No offense, but the choices we have are sophisticated."


And then a couple minutes later...

"What does sophisticated mean?"

Gotta love that girl!

Natural Toy Giveaway

The hilarious and very fun blogging mom at Life in a Shoe is hosting a natural toy giveaway. Check it out!

How cute are these Castle Blocks? Or this house?

Click here for the giveaway



We've had an eventful week or two since I last updated. Most notably...

...my car broke down. Thankfully, my parents were headed out of town the day after my car died, so they let me use their van for about 5 days. What a life saver. JP was so busy with work, he wasn't able to even look at the car until a week later, but then was able to fix it pretty easily. We did, however, miss out on a few fun activities, including a long-anticipated trip to the planetarium in St. Cloud. Rae was so sad!

...my brother Micah graduated from Special Forces training (US Army) and received his GREEN BERET! Oh my goodness, we are so proud of him. They found out they will be stationed at Ft. Campbell in Kentucky, but first he's decided to go to Ranger school as well, so they'll be in North Carolina for a few more months yet.

...Ruby got sick AGAIN. I changed her sheets five times between 2-5:00 am on Sunday night and did three loads of laundry in the middle of the night. By Monday night she was back to herself, so I'm grateful it wasn't nearly as bad as last time.

...I've been keeping up with the "30-day Shred!" I'm still trying to do every other day, although I skipped Monday after the middle of the night barf escapades. ;)

A little Rosie Love for YOU!

Fairy Tales of a Dream

The other day, Rae told me she would like to write a book. She brought me paper and markers and wanted me to be her scribe and illustrator. She told the story, and I wrote it down and drew pictures.

I wish I had taken more time with it, because by the end I was cracking up. She is just too funny for me! My penmanship is the worst you'll ever see it, and I only passed art class because...how are you going to fail a student in art?

Nevertheless, here it is in all of it's glory: Fairy Tales of a Dream by Rae Charlebois

You can click on the images to enlarge them.)

"Once upon a time, there was a beautiful heart. It had golden sparkles on it, and it also had a beautiful, big, red jewel heart that shimmered in the moonlight."

"But one day, a very big planet came to Earth with a space alien on it, rolling over the mountains and over the beautiful flowers, and it floated in big lakes. It made people really sad."

"Then there was a big castle. It was made out of playing cards, and the playing cards had hearts on them. And a very beautiful princess lived in it. She had sparkling earrings, a sparkling dress, and even a sparkling crown."

"The alien jumped on the heart. Then one day, the big planet rolled all the way to the princess' castle. The princess was outside. When she saw the planet coming, she ran inside. It almost broke the princess' earrings."

"The princess sprayed fire right at the planet, and then the planet kept on getting farther and farther away until it could no longer be seen. The heart was broken into one piece, but the castle was saved. THE END!"

I love you, Rae Rae! You make every day bright!