Monday, October 31, 2011


Well I haven't blogged in awhile so I thought I would take a few minutes just to fill in what we have done since my last blog. (Good thing I have a planner that I write everything down in or I could never remember) ;-)

Lets see Ivan and I had a date night on Friday Oct. 21. We went to Chili's for supper and came home a watched a movie I believe... Ya we are very exciting aren't we?!

I had a garage sale that Saturday. It wasn't a great turn out! We didn't sell much... I found a few good deals on clothes for the kids that's about it. Then Alex had a soccer game that night. He did great and so did his whole team! I love watching him play, he has such passion for sports!

Sunday we went to Church 1st service and then spent the day as a family at Oakes Farm Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. Alex's friend Sam and his family were there also so that was quite an awesome coincidence!

Monday I took CPR for at least the 15th time in my life thus far! BLAH... but it was quick and easy so it was all good! We also sold Alex's car bed!! Woo hoo (one less thing to move)

We carved pumpkins on Tuesday night... Foofa and the red angry bird! Ivan does a great job carving our pumpkins! We also ordered Marco's pizza because it was 1st grade night and all the 1st graders decorated pizza boxes so we got Alex's box!!

Wednesday was C.O.W and Life Group. All the men met at The Kluemper's like normal but the women went to a woman's house who is dying from some unknown health issues. We cleaned and organized many areas of her house, and brought her food. It was great to help someone in need.

Friday it rained and rained and rained so we did NOTHING!! Alex spent the night with Uncle Dennis to go hunting for youth season on Saturday. Ivan went to work Saturday morning from 6-11am. Then we took the girls horse back riding in the Smokies! It was a lot of fun! Then we went to Kendra's for a Nerf War. We stayed there for 2 hrs or so. Then Kendra and I went shopping... and we SOLD the van! THANK GOD!!

Sunday we went to Church 2nd service, we ran a few errands and I helped Cheyenne with her school project that is due this week!!

Besides all the many things we have done in the last week or so I am trying not to be overwhelmed or stressed by the stuff I have to get done... including packing our entire house in 3 weeks and moving it to storage and moving into my sister's. Also I have very mixed emotions about moving. I can't wait to see my family and friends and get my RN and know that I am obeying God's plan and following his path... but it is hard to think about leaving Knoxville (our home, in our hearts), our Church and Church family, and just everything that we love... to go to Iowa in the middle of WINTER, in Moscow in the middle of NOWHERE, in a trailer next to the railroad tracks with NO TV (let alone DVR)... Yes to me this will be roughing it, but if anything this just shows me exactly why God wants me to move... to see that I can DO without!! I need to focus on school and what is important... Christ and my family!
Ivan and I have been laughing and saying I do not know how we will make it thru the winter there when the kids and I both have said how cold we are when it is between 40 and 50 degrees!! UGH!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This is HIS plan not mine

This morning as I lay in bed and it was as if what alot of people have said to me in the past few weeks had just came racing back to me and as I put it into perspective I felt like I just had to say a couple things... maybe make a statement on my behalf... (not that anyone said anything wrong)
I just have to clarify that I am not going back to school for myself. I am doing this because I know its what God wants FOR ME and for my family. I personally have NO desire to sit back in class for hours, do clinicals on weekends, or study for tests and most of all I do NOT care to miss time with my beautiful family... but it is a sacrifice I am willing to make so that God can use me for His good and to benefit my family in the long run if God so desires. This is also why Ivan made the decision that we have made because he feels the same way... Not him sacrificing his job for MY happiness. This has nothing to do with MY happiness. I am perfectly content with my life right now, but when God opens doors and calls you out of your comfort you HAVE to follow Him.... because HIS plan is so much better than our own plan!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Audacious Living

This is the way I want to live my life. It started over 2 years ago when my husband and I prayed about moving to Knoxville, TN. We lived in Iowa and have most of our lives, all of our family and friends were there, but we knew in our hearts God wanted us elsewhere. So as we prayed God told us Trust me and I will provide. So with our 3 kids we moved, with a u-haul full of our belongings and nothing else, NO jobs, No money... just FAITH! God has done nothing but provide ever since. Matt 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Ivan and I have trusted Him in every area since.
In Sept. 2010 as we prayed God told Ivan to quit his job and stay home with the kids and had me work full time. We didn't know what this would look like and it was definitely a switch in roles but it was exactly what God wanted. He provided financially and in turn I had to give up some control and see that certain things were not that important, and Ivan had to realize what it was like to have different priorities and had to learn patience with the kids.
A couple weeks ago at church we gave the shoes off our feet to give to people in need. It was actually harder than it sounds. I was wearing my favorite shoes and Ivan was wearing his brand new shoes, but in the end God said "They are NOT yours, they are mine", as is everything we have. He is the one who allows us to have what we have. It was very humbling. When we told the kids what we had done they didn't think twice about what shoes were on their feet, they took them off, and put them on the alter... To have child-like faith and to live Audaciously without even knowing it!
I got the opportunity to be a small group leader at the Esther Experience last weekend. To say the least it was out of my comfort zone, but I put my faith in the Lord and He did amazing work through me. I can take No credit because it was the holy spirit working through me and speaking through me. I in my flesh could have done none of it!
If you looked at my finances, you would laugh... you wouldn't understand how I pay my bills... if you looked at my check book you wouldn't understand the balance. I know I don't but what I do know is that it can only be God because nothing else can explain it.
A couple months ago I was prompted to call my old nursing adviser back in Iowa where I went to school. To my surprise she said I could get right in next semester. I couldn't believe it but I knew instantly it was God opening a door. It is the very last semester I can get my RN without retaking everything! Ivan and I prayed alot about it, as its another huge decision and overall leap in Faith! Our main prayer was "God continue to open doors, show us where you want us, or shut them if you don't want us to move" I can't lie I had mixed feelings, I still do. We absolutely 100% LOVE IT HERE! We love the area, we love our family and church family, our church, kids schools, and our jobs.... but there is that tugging when you know you just HAVE to do what God is saying, we don't know All the reasons but we do know its whats right, for right now. Well God does continue to open doors for us so we have decided to go forward one day at a time and just let God do the work. Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
When you live Audaciously you see Results... Things happen... your life counts!! The reality is, and we have experienced this by many, when you live this way people don't like it, it makes them uncomfortable, they just don't understand! When you live Audaciously GOD gets the GLORY! Why, do you ask? Because anyone can see that none of THIS would be possible if it wasn't for HIM!
So... Are you willing to live Audaciously anyways? Even when people and other Christians don't agree?? I AM!! I expect people to think I'm crazy.... because if my life made sense I'd be worried... and I would know I'm just living safe and for myself... and WHO would get the glory for that?
Daniel 6:1-22 is a great example of someone who lived Audaciously for the Lord and didn't compromise his Christianity. Though his very life was on the line, he chose to remain true to himself and true to God. Now its your turn to stand up to the pressure and live to please GOD alone!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oh Hadley... and the game of Life!

This girl just never quits with her funniness! I can't remember everything that she said today but man oh man does she crack me up!
We went to Dollar General to get some Mountain Dew and she grabs some donuts and says "mom I would like these donuts please" She really never asks for anything and I was planning on getting her a little candy or something so I was like whatever... I asked if she wanted a ring pop or any other snack and she goes "nope I just want donuts". I was like well ok then. So we come home and I gave her a donut and then I ran upstairs to do a few things. I came back down and she said "mom I got another donut out all by myself" I said "well that's good". We were only home maybe 20 minutes. We then left to get Ivan and ran some errands. We came home and sat down for supper and Hadley barely ate anything. She kept saying she wasn't hungry which whoever knows her that just isn't normal.... So as I am cleaning up supper I look in the donut box and see that 4 were gone!! They weren't the little ones either... She ate 4 regular donuts in 20 minutes... no wonder she wasn't hungry... LOL
Hadley loves to play with her "fake" cell phones. They are our old ones but they don't work. She gave the phone to Ivan and said "grandma Shell wants to talk to you". So Ivan is pretending having a conversation with my mom and he is making it sound really good... "well we are going to walk our dogs now, Oh that's what you are doing to? Yah I bet shorty and penny like that, yah I have been short a penny or two myself" Oh my gosh I thought I was going to die laughing... that boy is funny!! (most of the time) So then we go out to take a walk and Hadley had her phone in her pocket and we are just walking along and all of sudden she pulls it out and says "Mom someones calling you" It was hilarious!
Oh here's another good one but this one is all ALEX... I guess while I was gone this weekend Cheyenne and Ivan were having a conversation and I can't remember all the details but it had to do with how tall something was... and Ivan said, its so many feet tall... and Alex says "your feet or Cheyenne's feet?" bahahaha
Cheyenne, Ivan, and I played the game of Life tonight. Lets just say we laughed until we cried many times. First of all I can't see the writing on any of the tiles so as I am trying to read one I said "something about feeding the bunnies" and Cheyenne and Ivan are laughing so hard cuz it said "you find a buried treasure".... Um that's close right?? lol .... Then Cheyenne is trying to put those little people pegs in her car and she's like "Man I'm sweating inside my shirt trying to do this" we were both like well where else would you sweat?! .... Then throughout the whole game we couldn't help but laugh at Ivan. In the game he started out going to college which you have to borrow $100,000 and his career was a computer designer for $50,000. So he gets a mobile home for his starter home, ends up going back to college and paying $50,000 only to end up getting a teacher position for $40,000 (so he lost a ton of money). Then he has to change homes which costs him like $300,000 for a RV and double wide. We are laughing this whole time cuz he's like I can't afford this stuff... Plus he kept landing on every pay tile there was. First he landed on buy and SUV which I said "Isn't that your whole salary?" ;-) He landed on the redecorate your home tile and had to pay $85,000... Of course I laughed and said now isn't your wife worth that? He goes " the whole house wasn't worth that, I could have bought a new one"! Then he landed on hire a maid and butler service pay $65,000... by this time I can't take anymore... He's like "Really? I live in a double wide!!" I was like "Man your wife is HIGH MAINTENANCE!!" lol It was a great time!! Oh and Cheyenne beat us both.....

Monday, October 10, 2011

Esther Experience Make War

I left for Etowah, TN on Thursday afternoon to attend the Esther Experience, this time as a small group leader. I was a little nervous about leaving my family for 72 hrs or so and about being a small group leader since that is quite a bit out of my comfort zone. I prayed about it for months and knew it was just of Satan to tell me I wasn't adequate enough for the job and would have nothing to give these women.
Thursday was getting settled in, figuring out where everything was, setting up from stuff, and meetings to know what the tentative plan for the weekend was. Also getting to know all of our small group leader. There were 15 of us.
Friday was up early which was a little rough since none of us slept Thurs night due to being in a different place and hearing every move we all made. We had to get everything set up for the nights events. There was a lot of prep work. We also made our journey to the cross after lunch. Participants showed up around 6:30 and I believe we got to bed around 11:30 that night.
Saturday is the day that feels like 3 put into 1. We were up early to get the day started. Had many sessions. It was a powerful, humbling day...... we got to bed late... midnight or so.
Sunday was the last day and we were up the earliest. We had our final sessions and finished up around 1 or so. We had an overall amazing beyond words can explain weekend.
Our theme for the event was Make War. It was based on 2 Corinthians 10:3-4.
I learned many things and God told me so much this weekend and once again showed me just how faithful He is, as I prayed so many things and He answered them all! The words he gave me this weekend were discipline and obedience. I won't give away any details of the experience because I believe EVERY woman needs to attend this retreat! It is Life changing! .... So attend Esther Experience and figure out just what is you are going to do to CHANGE YOUR WORLD!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The day before Esther

Thought I would try to do a quick blog tonight to try and relax some before bed. I have been very overwhelmed and anxious the past few days in preparation for the Esther Experience. I am super excited to be going and doing God's work and just can't wait to see what He has in store for all of us. Saying that though it is very hard for me to leave my husband and kids. I just don't do it very often so it is definitely out of my comfort zone. I know that I really need this and it is what God has called me to do, and I know everything will be fine while I'm away, but it is still not easy! It is also out of my comfort zone to be a small group leader so I am lacking in confidence right now but I know God will get me through it.
The theme for this Esther is "Make War", and let me tell you, we have! Satan is NOT happy at all. He has thrown us many curve balls and obstacles but He will not win, our God is Bigger and way more Powerful!
So to end my blog I just ask anyone reading this to pray for us this weekend. Pray for Ivan to have patience with the kids, to have a wonderful time and to just enjoy every second with them and give him a whole new light on how blessed he is to have such beautiful, smart, healthy wonderful children. Pray he takes some quiet time to read the word and hear what he needs to.
Pray for me and all the volunteers at Esther to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to hear what He wants us to. Pray for the participants that they will be receptive to what He needs them to hear and what they need to hear this weekend, and pray for a hedge of protection around my family and myself while I am away and that no illnesses will get worse!
Thanks and Love to all! Can't wait to blog about everything when I return on Sunday, it is sure to be AUDACIOUS and Amazing!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday, and my sweet, funny girl!

First of all Ivan and I went out last night to dinner and a movie with some good friends of ours. We had a great time and the movie was amazing! Had such a great message, made ya laugh, made ya cry (many times).... We got home late which in turn went we all went to bed late!
We had to get up early because Ivan has to be to work by 6, kids on the bus by 7... and then Hadley and I off to daycare and work. Well Alex woke up with full blown croup. At 7 1/2 yrs old (dealing with it for 7 yrs now) it's just getting plain OLD! I'm totally over it... (but thankful my other 2 don't have a problem with it. So I sent Cheyenne off to school, not knowing whether or not Alex would be able to go. Gave Alex meds and some fresh cold air and monitored him until 8. I brought him to school on the way to prayer walk with some great ladies at Northstar.
When we got there Hadley said maybe 2 words and then sat in her stroller so good and eventually fell asleep (cuz 7:40 is way to early for her). I was very impressed by how good she was. It was a very relaxing and blessed morning. On the way to her daycare she said "mom I have my fake doggy with me" I said" oh do you?" Then she says " yah and I have a fake pool at my fake house too" (I just love her imagination) When we were almost there I heard her chatting in the back seat... I said "Hadley are you talking to your fake doggy?" She goes "yah" I said "what is he saying Hadley?" She goes "Mom she's a girl dog not a boy" Oh well Sorry Hadley my bad! "What is SHE saying?" Hadley says "She wants to come to school with me"
She was in the bathroom tonight and I said "Hadley is that a bug bite on your cheek?, let me look at that" So I look at it and said "How in the world did you get that bug bite on your cheek just now" She goes "Um from the bugs".... Thanks for stating the obviously!!
Hadley was playing pretend tea party with her babies, so I went ahead and got out a tea set that Cheyenne has had for like 5 or more years now. She absolutely loves it! I got my camera out and was taking some pictures of her playing and she kept moving every times. I said "Hadley you aren't giving me very good pictures here, come on" So she finally sat still and smiled and said "let me see", So I showed her, her picture and she goes "ah that's my best cheese mom" LOL
Oh this girl is something else!
As Hadley is playing "tea party" She brings me some pretend cake. I pretend eat it. She says "mom you forgot to use a plate" oops sorry I thought with pretend cake we just pretended everything else! I wanted to take some more pictures of her so she had to set everything up just so... I went to take a picture, she yells "WAIT we forgot the SUGAR"... what was I thinking, we can't take a picture without the sugar!! She just ran in as I was finishing this blog up and said (in all seriousness) "I am out of sugar" I said "oh my, you are?" She said "yes, I don't have any, there is none in my cab-in-et" then adds "my fake cabinet mom" I said "Oh" She says"well do you have some?" I said "yes I think so" Hadley "well where is it" I said "in my REAL cabinet" I then added " just pretend with it Hadley ok?" .......... I am pretty sure I could keep this Blog going all night!! ..............................................and with that said I go into check on Hadley and she was NOT pretending with the sugar, she had it everywhere... and was licking her fingers. It was pretty dang cute, I can't lie! (see above pictures)

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Our Pastor is doing a series on Audacious: The key to God sized living. Today was week 3. The first week was all about audacious prayers like in Joshua 10:1-15 when he asked God to make the sun stand still. Our Pastor challenged us to pray an Audacious prayer, something daring, reckless and bold... (There was a lot more to this message)
Week 2 was about Faith and he talked about who God said had the greatest faith he ever saw. It was so shocking after you hear all the stories in the bible, that it was a Roman Soldier (Centurion) in Matthew 8:5-13.
This week was being Audacious with our actions which we can do when we are walking in a close relationship with our Father. Our Pastor told us of one man's idea that God laid on his heart, to open a Church at the Cotton Eye Joe (which is a country night club). A Church where people who would normally never set foot in a church could go... who are lost, broken, etc.
Our Church helps with many ministries such as Water Angels and Team Guatemala. There biggest need is shoes. There was a man in Guatemala who got his 1st pair of shoes at the age of 78 yrs old. Can you imagine never having a pair of shoes and walking bare foot 24/7? or worse yet can you imagine your children with no shoes, esp here where it gets really cold? Needless to say we all gave the shoes off our feet and they will be sent to people in need... At first it was a little hard, Ivan was wearing his brand new shoes, his first thought was "I bet Heather wishes I was wearing my boots today" LOL ... (I'm not a fan of his boots) and I was wearing my favorite shoes as well, but as we prayed God specifically said, " They aren't yours", and Ivan and I agreed, everything we have is HIS and the only reason we have what we have is because HE has blessed us with it.... It was such a humbling and bittersweet moment at Church this morning... especially when we got our kids from their class and they asked where our shoes were, so we took them to see the alter and Alex sat right down to take the shoes off his feet without any hesitation. God has big plans for that sweet boy...
(The alter was full of shoes all the way around and that was only the 1st service... there are 2 more to come! )

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Love

Well I thought since I have pretty much blogged about my kids I better take the time to blog at least once about my hubby (don't want him to feel left out or anything) ;-)
Hmm... Should I start at the beginning or will that make for a really long blog? yah I guess I will but I better make it short and sweet.
Ivan and I went to high school together. We became friends mainly because we had mutual friends (as in he was friends with boyfriends' of mine). He never made his feelings a secret but I didn't want to risk our friendship by dating. I called him and talked to him about everything (even things I am SURE he never wanted to hear). He loved me for who I was from the very beginning. Towards our senior year I realized I wanted to date someone who made me happy and not someone I had to pretend with. So we started dating in April 2000. By May 2001 we found out we were having a baby (needless to say we were both surprised) Ivan wanted to get married right away, he had no hesitation (like it was nothing) I on the other hand, had to do much convincing to myself and my family. I of course loved him but was one who DID NOT want to get married for a long time. I figured Cheyenne deserved this so I did it, for her... Little did I know that God would use that for His good as He does everything. I know looking back I would never have stuck out ANY relationship if it wasn't for having my kids (and later coming to Christ and realizing what a marriage was really about).
We have had MANY ups and downs but it is ALL so worth it. I can't imagine how many memories and great times I would have missed without him in my life. He is honestly my soul-mate, my better half, my everything!
I still get butterflies when he calls or texts me, I blush when he says sweet things, we still miss each other when we are away, we have amazing talks, laughs, and just overall so much fun together!
I respect the man that he is and the man he wants to be more and more. I love that he always wants to be better even though I love him for who he is. I love that he wanted to marry me even with all my flaws and knew so many years ago that I was worth waiting for when I didn't notice him for who he was... I love him for the dad that he is and the dad he wants to be. I love that he breaks out in whatever song is in his head at the time... (so funny and glad he can hold a tune cuz I can NOT) I love that he can handle cleaning up vomit cuz I can NOT... I love how silly he is and how much he makes me laugh...I just love HIM... (there is way to many to keep listing)
We have been married 10 yrs now and together 11. Have 3 amazingly beautiful children (and yes I would have more if he agreed but he does not), and God Willing I can't wait to spend many more years with him. I just know God has some great things in store for us!

It is what it is...

Alex had a soccer game today. I just can't believe how much he loves sports and how much I love watching him play them.... Just the joy on his face is enough for me! I love taking pictures of my kids and the action shots of soccer are awesome! He has great team spirit also...
This morning Alex walked out the back door to feed the dogs and said "Brr it feels like winter out here"... Funny because it was only about 60 degrees out! lol Again, that boy is going to have a long winter.

After his soccer game I had to go to work. I picked a shift up in Sevierville. So I left the house early and got off the exit around 5:10, it took me 50 minutes to get to my job. I was in stand still traffic almost the whole time and I REALLY had to pee. So needless to say I was stressed to the max (I really hate being late). I get there right at 6:00, walk in, and realize there was another nurse already there to work. We then both had to call our bosses on call to see who stays and who goes.... I was the one to go home (get paid 4 hrs for showing up)... All that stress and worrying for NOTHING!! Moral of the story is: #1 there is no point in stressing about stupid things that you have no control over and #2 everything happens for a reason and God will use it for His good! .... SO it is what is and let it go!

Ivan and Alex spent the night together watching the new Transformers Movie, Hadley went upstairs and went to sleep, and I took time alone to write my cards, balance the check book, and BLOG! When I am done I will spend some time with my love (which will lead to my next blog), go to bed and get some sleep (which I would not have gotten if I worked)