Saturday, December 30, 2006


Aidan's running around outside with a tomato cage on his head.

Teach the children

I guess I have taught a little of a false thinking to Evan. I was cleaning the bathroom this afternoon and he asked, "who's coming over today?" I told him nobody was coming. He asked, "why are you cleaning the bathroom?" LOL

Monday, December 18, 2006

2006 Christmas letter

December 18, 2006
Dear Family and Friends,

The past twelve months have evaporated so quickly that in truth, I’m not exactly sure what happened. Still, I will try to chronicle the events of our lives so you’ll know what we do and how God takes care of us.

Evan is now a first grader at school. He really does absorb knowledge just the way a sponge absorbs water. He likes to draw in his sketchpad at school and build lego creations with his brothers at home. Recently he authored (actually wrote by hand) his first short story “Commander Rocket and the Dynamite!” He also helps prepare the elements for communion at church. During the summer Evan and his mom hosted chess club at our house for a few other children. He had the wonderful experience of learning to ride a two wheeler this summer. He also had the more difficult experience of losing a front tooth due to a bike crash where he forgot how to use his brakes! He fits in nicely in his first grade class. More recently Evan and I have been reading the Henry Huggins books out loud together in the evening. He loves these books!
Aidan turned three in September. He is our only blond-haired child and stands out from his brothers by being gentler, more sensitive, and quite well-mannered. He also tends to get into more mischief-type trouble such as finding a craft kit and getting the paint all over the carpet in our bedroom. Aidan likes to lead us in prayer before dinner and has a heart-warming smile that he hopes will help him get out of trouble at least once in a while.
Tobias is almost 21 months now, and he is a “honey nut”, which is Tara’s nickname for him. He is a unique combination of his two older brothers; for example, his hair is brown like Evan’s but fine and light like Aidan’s. Apparently our gene pool is only so deep. Toby is quite verbal and routinely speaks to the ornaments on the Christmas tree. He gave us a good laugh the other morning when I greeted the boys with “Salve, fili” (Hello, son). Evan said, “Salve, padre” (mixing languages on purpose); Aidan said “Salve, pater” (ever the people pleaser… he knows what I want) and Toby said, “Salve, breakfast!” Somehow Toby makes us laugh just about every day.

As you can see, Tara has her hands full. She stays home full-time and tries to keep up with the needs of all of her boys, which isn’t easy right now, since she’s pregnant with yet another kid! She already looks as though she had swallowed a regulation basketball. Two ultrasounds say that this will be a girl, so we are both excited and skeptical. Right now we are trying to figure out a name and amass some girl clothes before the blessed event at the end of February. Of course, if it’s a boy, we can return to business as usual. Tara continues to serve on the MOPS steering team as craft coordinator, which she enjoys very much. Tara has also joined in the wonderful world of blogging. Her blog can be read at It will hopefully keep you up to date on our adventuresome lives. Well, as much as she can keep up with our adventuresome lives anyway!
So that leaves me. I continue to teach English and Latin at school, which is very fulfilling but still a lot of work. This is my twelfth year at the school, which means that I have the amazing privilege of seeing my first students finishing college and launching careers and families already. I am already anticipating the day when the first second-generation student arrives in my classroom. This fall I directed Anne of Avonlea, which had a cast of 37 (including one teacher) and made me wonder if perhaps I had aimed too high. Through no fault of our own, we still ended up with a great show (the lead had to memorize almost 400 lines!). The school continues to do well; check us out at I also continue to operate my outdoor services/handyman business mostly during the summer. This year Phil, my “foreman,” and I hired some of our high school boys to minimize the load on our aging bodies. The boys were a great blessing and contributed to Friendly Jim’s best season ever.
I also continue to serve as an elder at our church. My term expires at the end of ’07, which is just fine. I’m spread too thin (no pun intended) and church leaders carry a lot of burdens that you wouldn’t necessarily realize. Still it brings me a lot of joy (and growth) to be a part of what God is doing.
A final blessing has been my parents’ move to town in September of 2005. Their proximity has allowed us to visit them frequently so that the boys will know and remember them. On a more painful note, my mom’s cancer has continued to spread so that she now has multiple tumors pressing on her brain stem. In October she underwent whole head radiation, which seems to have slowed the progress of the disease. All of us are thankful for each additional day that the Lord has seen fit to grant her.

Many blessings to you in Christ this Christmas!

Jim and Tara Kluth
Evan, Aidan, and Toby (and baby sister!)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The case for hardwood floors.

We have hardwood floors throughout most of the house. We have a rug in the living room, carpeted stairs and an area rug/carpet square in our bedroom and Evan's bedroom. The last four days I have come to appreciate our hardwood in a new way.
Sunday night: Evan has a bloody nose. I clean blood off his carpet and the stairs.
Monday night: Toby gets the stomach flu. I clean vomit off the living room rug.
Tuesday afternoon: Aidan finds a paint project in my room. I clean paint off the bedroom rug.
Monday morning: Toby untapes his diaper. I clean poo off the living room rug.

Why can't these people mess on the hardwoods?????

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A busy couple of days!

Well, I'm so proud of myself! I've sewn 1 1/2 pillow cases and discovered that I don't like sewing with polar fleece. I do like the end results, but the fleece is so thick that it doesn't go through the machine easily. It isn't a huge struggle, so I'm going to finish Aidan's pillow case and do Toby's tonight.

This morning Aidan and I went to our church's Angel Breakfast. This is the third year for the program and the kids always love it. It is geared for 2-5 year olds, so only Aidan was eligible this year! Next year Toby and Aidan will both be able to go. We do a picture, an advent calendar and have a light brunch. They also have "angels" singing for us and a Bible story. Aidan recognized one of the "angels" as his buddy Anthony and was very excited! Jim took Evan and Toby to the bank and a drive. Then, after the breakfast a family from church took Aidan for a play date. Evan joined him a little while later so Jim and I took Toby to lunch at the mall. We also got out the Christmas tree. Toby loves it! He comes over every now and then to say, "hi, guys" to the angels and ask them what they're doing. Soooo cute! He just came over and said, "nice tree".

One more cute kid story for this entry. :) Last night Jim was talking about watching "Cars" with the kids after dinner. Toby chimed in and said his first four word sentence. "Watch puppies, no cars." He was VERY deliberate and emphatic in getting the point across that he wanted to watch "Lady and the Tramp" and NOT "Cars"!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

More about our day

This morning I took the two little ones to Pipsqueaks, the Rochester indoor playground. They had a great time running around! They were so tuckered out after lunch that they both took great naps! :)

An old high school friend of mine lamented about the great debate most women encounter at one point or another. I want to cut my hair, but I want to let it grow! Yesterday I gave in to the "I want to cut my hair" side and took the morning off to do so. A great friend took care of the little ones so I could go get my hair cut. I was also planning on doing a little Christmas shopping, but since I went to a cosmetology school it took most of the morning to do my hair. Who would have throught that a hair cut could take over 1 1/2 hours!?!? Well, I enjoyed myself anyway.

The guys are doing well and are getting more excited for baby sister. Toby knows that baby sister is in my "be-yee". Aidan knows that baby sister is swimming around and around like a goldfish and then he leaps and flops around the room to demonstrate. Thankfully she is active, but not THAT active!!! Evan knows that he wants baby sister to be named Sophie Rose. He's even looked Sophie up in the baby name book to discover that it means "wisdom". He doesn't get the final vote, but I'll say that Sophia Rose is on the list. Somewhere... ;)

I have an exciting challenge for myself this week. We've been following a budget as suggested by Dave Ramsey in his book on financial freedom. Last week we discovered that we had $16 left for the last week of November in our grocery budget. (Forget that we were totally over on other sections and gave up partway through the month!) Anyway, I took on the challenge to feed a family of five on $16 for the week. We've eaten chili nachos, spaghetti, pork loin and sweet potatoes, potato soup and tonight we're having homemade pizza! No, I wasn't able to buy all that stuff for under $16, but when I took inventory of what I had in my cupboards and freezer, I was able to buy the supplemental ingredients for under $15. I've got tonight and the weekend planned out and will be able to do it! :) It isn't that we don't have the money to buy more groceries, so don't feel sorry for us. Jim told me not to be silly and to buy the stuff we needed to eat. I DID buy the stuff we needed. If it had been a matter of us NOT having the money, we totally could have done it based on what we had in the house. I challenge you all to try to do the same with your menu this week. See how much you can clear out those pantries and freezers. You'd be surprised to see what you actually have when you take a look! (Evan even took money from his own spending money to buy a Lunchables lunch for himself for lunch once this week. I just told him that I would take him to buy it, but that I wasn't going to pay for it!!!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Break to us!

This morning by 8:15 A.M. I was cleaning vomit off the kitchen floor. Happy Thanksgiving break to us.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes

My three year old son Aidan said this morning we should name baby sister "Sweetie Honey with a kiss". Then he switched to "Chapter 63". Then he switched to "yo-yo". Last week he thought we should name the baby "Google". Good thing he isn't in charge!!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Alright, I'll tell....

The DRIEST most personality-less ultrasound tech in the entire world told me yesterday that there are no boy parts visible. Sooo, I guess I'm able to think pink!!!!! We're very excited and are thinking of girl names!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Did you know??

Did you know that after 4 weeks of moaning and screaming Toby is STILL working on getting his molars through?
Did you know that tylenol and ibuprofen stop working after about 1 week?
Did you know that a doctor will not prescribe anything for teething, even if it has been going on for nearly a month?
Did you know that a doc can charge for a complete office visit to tell you these things???

Oh, and did you know that I'm getting another ultrasound next week Thursday?? Did you know I'm buying a 2 liter of Pepsi this week when I go to the grocery store?? No, not to drink the whole thing, but I intend to have a nice tall glass of it before I go in! Woah, Pepsi at 8:00 am. Maybe not...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mommy Bragging Rights

After a rough week last week, we received the following note from Evan's teacher on Friday.

Evan did well today at listening and waiting his turn to speak! He responded well to reminders.
He was especially kind to Hope when she came in crying after recess. He gave her a hug, asked what was wrong, got a tissue for her, walked her to her desk, and pulled out her chair for her! :) Wow! Others followed and surrounded her with love!

Awww. Isn't that sweet!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Yes, this is Toby. Yes, he's only 18 months old. Yes, in this picture he has eaten half an apple, skin, core and all! He even picked out the seeds! What a smart little guy! :) He was sitting up on the counter watching "Eemo" the beta fish and he grabbed an apple out of the bowl on the counter. He started eating it! I decided to let it go and this is how far he got on the thing before he gave up on it.

Here are Aidan (3), Evan (6) and Toby (18 months) reading all together. I just wish I could get one of all three of them looking the same way at the same time, forget about them smiling! Oh well, they're all clean, fresh out of the tub. They're such good brothers. Well, I hear the call of the wild so I'd better go answer it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's A.....

modest baby. That's right. No difinitive answer. For a while there she thought it might be a girl, but then we all saw something that might be boy parts. Fortunately everything measures perfectly and baby is healthy while not very wiggly and "leg spready"!

Also fortunately my doc says that if they couldn't see the parts well odds are that they couldn't see something else well so they may have to do another ultrasound in a week or two. Dang...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Down to the wire!

Well, at this time tomorrow we hope to know if I have to re-decorate the nursery! Check back here late Monday afternoon for updates!!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Dangerous link ahead

Man oh man. I found this link on another blog Bad news, very addicting! My best score is in the 11 second range. What's yours???

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Non P.C. post

Alright, I'll admit it. I want to have a girl. There, I said the one thing any pregnant mother isn't supposed to say! Yes, I love my boys dearly and would love to have a house full of them, but I've had girl dreams, been allowing myself to linger in the pink department of the baby stuff at Walmart and even have a girl's name picked out! I have 4 days left in my entire life to think pink, so I'm going to do it! :) Pbbbbb. :p

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

5 days!

5 days until the big ultrasound!

In other news, I think I dare say that Aidan is potty trained. After three weeks of poop and pee filled underwear, he's been mostly dry all day for several days and zippo for #2 in the unders for several days as well. And to boot, he's woken up dry for the past three mornings! He's so proud of himself. Me too!

Friday, September 22, 2006

The countdown

10 days until I get a little peek at this teeny beanie! :) When Jim woke me up this morning, I felt a little, "morning Mommy" bump. So nice.

I've volunteered my womb to science this pregnancy. I'm going to be followed by a nursing student from Winona State. She'll meet me at my ultrasound and appointment on the second, come to each appointment and be there for the birth. I hope she has a strong stomach since I'm having a c-section!

In other news, Aidan had his third birthday on Monday. He was so excited to be three! Evan's birthday is tomorrow. He's also so excited! I can't remember what age it is that grown ups stop being excited for birthdays. Remember counting down the days? Now maybe you count down the days to your next birthday with a little dread.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My little city boy

We were coming out of Hy vee this morning as they were unloading a van full of hay bales for their pumpkin display. I told Aidan and Toby to look at the men unloading the hay. Aidan asked, "where are the pigs for the hay?" LOL!!

Baby Update

I've been feeling some little bumps and thumps! I'm now at 15 weeks. I have my big ultrasound on October 2 around noonish, so hopefully later in the afternoon I'll let you all know if we're heading for four of a kind or a mixed set! :)

Monday, September 11, 2006


With Finding Nemo entertaining Aidan and Toby in the background, I'll attempt a quick memory of what I was doing the morning of September 11, 2001. Nevermind, Aidan's not entertained by Nemo, he's climbing on my lap. Hang on a sec while I distract him...

Okay now that big brother's legos are employed in entertaining Aidan, here we go!

As for the rest of America, 9/11 started out as any morning. I was curled up in my sweats having my coffee with Katie and Matt, Al and Ann while Evan (then 12 days short of 1 year old) was toddling around playing and waiting to start the day. He'd probably had his breakfast and was just playing around, though the events of the early morning aren't as clear to me as the events of the mid morning. Anyway, I was watching the Today Show when suddenly one of the reporters interrupted whatever segment he was doing to announce that an airplane had just flown into the World Trade Center. I remember thinking, "what sort of dummy pilot would fly into a building?" As I watched the smoke pouring out of the first tower, was getting a little annoyed that they were spending so much time on this idiot pilot and weren't getting back to the story! It was at that time that I watched in disbelief as the second plane hit the second tower. Something in me knew that this couldn't be an accident and Katie and Matt confirmed that suspicion as information came in that this was indeed a terrorist attack. Thankfully Evan was in a stage when he would sometimes take a morning nap, so I snuggled him into his crib and went back to watch more history in the making. I called a friend to warn her to not let the kids watch TV that morning because it was pretty scary. While I was on the phone with her the reports came through that the Pentagon had been hit, then the plane in Philadelphia hit down in an empty field. She suggested that because it was a terrorist attack stemming from the Middle East that gas prices were about to skyrocket and that I should go fill up now before they hit $3/gallon! So, knowing that I could easily become obsessed with the news and the reports rolling over and over and over again, I pulled myself away and turned off the TV. I went to take my shower, got Evan up and dressed for the day and left the house.

As I left the house, I did take a quick look up in the sky. It was a warm fall day, but I was a tad nervous to be out in public. As I was driving to the gas station (I took Kelly's advice!) I noticed that people were driving differently. We were extra cautious, but also friendly. I was stopped at a red light and the person stopped next to me gave a wistful smile. We made a connection, "something scary has happened here, hasn't it."

Like many people, we cancelled our planned activities for the evening and met together with other brothers and sisters at church to pray. We prayed for the rescuers, for the families and for the children whos parents would not be coming home. We prayed for our leaders and we prayed for our enemies.

The days and weeks following 9/11 I flew our flag day after day. As it flapped against our front door, it constantly caught Evan's eye. One of his first words in those days before his first birthday was "flag". I talked to him about the flag, about the colors and about how he is an American boy. I have a picture of him several months later marching around the house waving his little flag and singing, "God Bless America"! (Yes, he was a really early talker!)

Yesterday our pastor reminded us that we are Americans, yes, but that if we are believers in Jesus Christ, we are first and foremost citizens of Heaven. While we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, we need to remember that this is not our ultimate home. Our hope lies in Christ and the work that was accomplished for us on the cross. While we enjoy freedoms here that bililons in the world only dream about (with the exception of carrying lip gloss with us on an airplane) our true home is in Heaven.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mixed day

Well, today is a day of mixed emotions for me. We've hit a cold snap here in MN and I was in the attic throwing some pants down for the kids. Toby will be wearing stuff this winter that Aidan wore last winter! Maybe by next winter they'll be in the same size and sharing a dresser will be that much easier! They already share some socks...

And for me, I pulled out my winter maternity clothes. And started packing away some of my summer maternity things (swimming Shamu suit, tank tops, some shorts etc). I packed them away for what I think will be the last time. We're expecting this to be our last baby, so the odds of me needing them again is minimal. While I am glad to be pregnant and am thankful each day that I am, this pregnancy has been harder than the others physically and "tirednessly". So, it is with some sadness that I pack away the Shamu suit and extra humongeous tank tops.

I will hopefully be sharing my 9/11 memories sometime this weekend. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Keeping up

Well, it seems that my blog is a reflection of the rest of life, hard to keep up with! I'm working on keeping up with housework, taking care of the lil'uns while Evan is off to school. Grocery shopping, getting the kitchen cleaned up after lunch, laundry, laundry, laundry...all of these things seem to take a back seat to wanting to SLEEP! I've been so tired these days. I'll be glad when allergy season is over. Even though my zyrtec isn't supposed to cause drowsiness I can't imagine that it doesn't because I'm beat! Evan's been doing well at school. He rode the school bus home for the first time this year today. He does have to transfer school busses which is a little stressful for Mom, but he got home so I guess they must be looking out for him! That combined with a constant repeating of which busses he takes (ring, carrot) and a few rules (sit with other Schaeffer kids, if there aren't any, sit behind the driver) I think he'll be fine! Since private schools take the public school busses they have to start and let out earlier than the public elementary schools. Then bussing is available. So, he gets on at Schaeffer, rides across town to a public high school and transfers to another bus that services our neighborhood. It seems to be a smooth system and works well since they've been doing it that way for years!

Aidan and Toby are getting used to having Evan gone all day. Toby sometimes will call for Evan or ask me where he is like I've forgotten him when we go somewhere!

That's about it from our end. TK Oh yeah, don't waste your money on berries and cream Dr Pepper. It tastes like cough syrup!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Appointment Today!

I saw my nurse practioner this afternoon. We talked about the pregnancy, how things are going and she measured me. I'm measuring just where I should and even though she poked around quite a bit with the doppler, she only found one heartbeat! I have an ultrasound in 5 weeks which will tell for sure, but it does seem that there is only one in there. Here's a fresh picture of me and "my bump". Enjoy! This is at just 13 weeks. I get really big, really fast!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday Afternoon

Well, since I've received static from someone about how long it's been since I've posted, I thought I'd send out a little update. There's not much to report. Jim finished up inservice for the 12th time. He is teaching English 7, 8, 9 and Latin 9 and 10. He'll be directing Anne of Avonlea this fall as the fall play. They'll pull in talent from the Schaeffer Community in different aged roles, so it will be a great show!

Evan had "Meet the Teacher" day yesterday. We loaded all three kiddos up just before 9 and went to meet Mrs. Sandie Hansen. She's in her 11th year of teaching first grade at Schaeffer. They have two sections of first grade, he got the older of the two teachers. Sandie is really excited to have Evan in class since she's been hearing Evan stories from Jim for the last 6 years! :) I think she's up for the challenge of a young first grader who not only taught himself to multiply, but plays chess and manages to either beat or get into stalemate most of his opponents!

When Evan starts first grade, Aidan moves from pull-ups all day to underwear all day (pull ups in bed only!). He knows this and is excited to get started! He decided to wear pull ups several months ago. He thinks that diapers are for babies, and pull ups are for big boys. I guess underwear are for really big boys! He also got a terrible diaper rash yesterday, so I'm using that as a springboard for how nice it will be when he doesn't get an "owie bum" because he'll be dry.

Toby is plugging along. He's talking up a storm and has lots of friends at nursery. Over the last 2 weeks he's decided it would be okay to go into nursery without crying which is a huge relief for Mommy!

Mommy, uh, I guess, I'm just working on keeping up. I've discovered that if I don't get enough sleep I get sick feeling during the day. I'm almost 13 weeks along and have put away all my non-maternity clothes in favor of long full t-shirts and panel pants. I like the newer shorter maternity shirts, but have so many maternity clothes I hate to buy new ones just for the next 6 months! I'll probably scout the end of season garage sales and try to pick up a few new ones just to freshen up my wardrobe for the fall/winter months!

Well that's our news. I'll write again sooner than 2 weeks from now! :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Babies and Bikes

Many times while watching my babies learn to walk I have had the thought, "Why does God give babies the ability to walk before they have the sense to know exactly what to do with that skill?" You know, babies walk and fall, crash into stuff and get into trouble all at the same time! Well, it does appear that Evan was blessed with the ability to ride a two wheeler much the same way. He rode, fell off, got frustrated with himself, but never gave up and before we knew it he was riding down the sidewalk away from the house. And fell and knocked out his front tooth. So, as you've read, we got that fixed the other day. Now, tonight Jim was watching Evan test out his new skills from the upstairs window. Sure enough, Evan ends up riding down the sidewalk on his face. So, now Evan has a bit of a fat lip left from last week, a scraped up place on his forehead, cheek and eyelid. So, the bike is back in the garage until Evan gathers up enough courage to tackle the challenge once again!

In other, less dramatic news, we had the first meeting of our MOPS steering team this morning! I'm thinking about getting excited for the new year. Once we stop with the training stuff and get on to the nuts and bolts of what the MOPS year will really look like I'll be all geared up and rearing to go! I'm the creative activities coordinator for our group. I initially gave myself the title of "craft chick" but after serving my second year as CA coordinator was promoted by some to "craft queen". Works for me! If you have any ideas for crafts in the theme "Fresh Air: What Every Mother Needs" send them my way! Oh, and here's a shot of Aidan!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Update on Evan

This morning we loaded up the three boys at 7:00. We dropped the two little ones off at Grandma and "Bumpa"'s house for the morning while Evan and I went off to the oral surgeons. His appointment was to be at 7:30, but of course, they were running late (already??) and he went back at 7:45. The doctor talked to him about the different options for anesthia and Evan chose the "space mask" option. (General anestheia by a mask, no injections.) 45 minutes later I had him loaded up in the van on the way home! 45 minutes after that he was on blankets on the deck playing chess with his chess club buddies! He had to take a couple of breaks to throw up, but went right on back out to chess. When he was on the recovery table with his mouth full of gauze his first words were "can I still play chess?" :) My little chess nerd. He's having peanut butter and jelly sandwich, teddy grahams and a popsicle for lunch. I think he'll be fine! :) Thanks for the encouraging words and prayers this morning. The doc said that he did great and didn't fuss and fight like some kids do when they're nervous.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Oral Surgery

Tomorrow (Friday) morning at 7:30 Evan goes in to the oral surgeon to have his tooth and it's root removed. Should be fun...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What an evening

So, Evan's first bike riding freedom ended in emergency dental. He smashed his front tooth in on the sidewalk down the street. Broke it off at the root. I have to call oral surgery tomorrow to have it removed because he broke it up so high in the gum that the regular dentist won't touch it. He has a fat lip and a funny talk, but we think he'll be okay.


We moved into this house in January 2002. That summer I spray painted "boundaries" on the sidewalk. One near the alley so Evan wouldn't ride his big wheel into the alley and one just on the other side of the driveway (a total distance of maybe 20 feet). Each summer I have expanded his boundaries. Last summer I let him ride around the corner of our lot to the front door. Today I expanded his boundaries again. He can go from the line near the alley (since the alley is used for traffic I don't want him in it!), around the corner of our lot and to the following corner down the block. I just looked out the window and saw him talking with a little girl in front of our house that he's already met in his expanded world! He pointed to me in our front picture window then extended his hand to shake the new little girl's hand! They're riding around the boundaries together, him on his bike (with his dorky looking red helmet) and her on her scooter. Sooooo cute!!!! I just found out that her name is Sara and she's 9! I think they live around the block. If they're the family I'm thinking of her dad came and fixed our dishwasher once...

Big Day at Our House!

Well, today was a big day at our house. Both of the big boys had momentous events. Evan discovered that he can indeed ride a two-wheeler, no training wheels! He hopped on it for me and rode right on down the sidewalk. Aidan also got to go to his first birthday party! Well, not exactly his first, but the first one where he was invited, Brothers and I weren't, so he got to be dropped off and picked up later! He had a great time and was so excited!

Well other than that, no new news! I have my next pregnancy check up on the 28th. They should be able to hear the heartbeat at that one. Yeah!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Fun Evening with Friends

Last night we had the Sedarski family over. In an earlier post I wrote about us going over to their house for dinner with their 7 kids! They only brought 6 of their kids because the oldest one was in the Dominican Republic on a mission trip with their church. Anyway, they came over around 6:30 for dessert. I put out an ice cream sundae bar complete with caramel, homemade hot fudge sauce, bananas, brownies and whipped cream! It was a big hit and they wanted my recipe for the hot fudge. You can get it at later today...

We had a great time just chatting and letting the kids play. Their children are incredible. They get along great not only with my kids, but with each other as well. They're polite and helpful and the house and yard looked better when they left than when they got here...and I'd cleaned house before they got here! They'll make good friends.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Summer Days

Yes, we're all still alive here! I don't know how many people read this thing, but if you do, sorry I haven't updated. I had an awful week with morning sickness. I'll leave it at that! Evan had his first BCC yesterday. That's Backyard Chess Club. :) He had a good time, but only one child came. Oh well, it was the first one and we're doing it every Friday in August, so hopefully others will come next time! Aidan just said good bye to his buddy. Today is washing day for his best friend Teddy Bear Blanket. That thing was disgusting! Toby is toddling around like a nut. I think he's teething. He also has a mean mischevious streak in him. Here's a picture of him at his best! He'll go up to Aidan, take away Teddy Bear Blanket, run away and laugh! What a naughty little brother. :)

Well, today I feel well enough to hit Walmart. I haven't been grocery shopping for almost two weeks. I asked Evan if he wanted me to get his school supplies for him or if he wanted to go with me and pick them out. He said as long as I got cool ones and no girl ones I could just pick them out. That takes care of that! :) Leave a comment if you would, I'd like to know how many people actually read this thing! :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A favorite song

I thought I'd post one of my favorite praise and woship songs as of right now and the last 4 years.

Before you read through it all, I'll explain a bit of why I like it. Four years ago right now I was pregnant. I found out right around this time that I was pregnant with twins! Oh my, what in the world were we going to do with twins??? Blessed be your name, in the land that is plentiful. Well, as most of you know, we never found out because they were called back to heaven at just 13 weeks gestation. Blessed Be Your Name when I'm found in the desert place. I certainly walked through a desert place at that point. I didn't spiral down into a deep depression, but I could easily see how it would happen if I didn't have my older son Evan to have to get up and take care of every day. Anyway, fast forward a couple years and my girlfriend was pregnant. This time it was after thousands of dollars worth of fertility treatments. At 25 weeks gestation and just 2 lbs her little boy was born into the world. During the weeks he was in the hospital fighting for his life, we sang this song at church. You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord, Blessed be your name! Well, with much grace and mercy the Lord decided to let Zane live. Blessed be your name when the sun's shining down on me, when the world's all as it should be, blessed be your name! Forward through another couple years and we find out that our pastor's wife is pregnant! Her oldest is in college and her youngest is 11!!! That baby wasn't to come into our lives in a tangible way and I shared how much this song means to me. Blessed be your name on the road marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering, blessed be your name.

I still cannot sing this song all the way through! My voice catches at least once or twice every time I sing it. I hope you're blessed by the Lord and can sing "Blessed be your name" whether you're in a place of abundance or of desert.

Blessed Be Your Name
by Matt Redman
- - -
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Thanks Mom!

I got a large flat cardboard mailer today. Well, I didn't get it, it was addressed to the kluth boys. Inside was a blast from my past, a book called "What Do You Say Dear?" I was excited to share it with the boys who were awake (Toby was upstairs in his closet.). I started out reading it with the same tones and inflections I remember my own mother reading it to me with. Until I came to the cowboy page. I changed my tone and read a little quicker as I came across the following words: "You are a cowboy riding around the range. Suddenly Bad-Nose Bill comes uop behind you with a gun. He says, 'Would you like me to shoot a hole in your head?' What do you say, dear?" I don't remember this book being quite so violent!!! I guess reading it to a houseful of girls makes it a different experience for a Mom than reading it to a houseful of boys!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Baby's in the closet

Well my life started way too early this morning! Toby got up at 6:18. Jim went in to get him out. Jim opened the door to the closet where Toby sleeps and Toby was standing in the pack and play and said, "out!". He definitely makes his needs known!

Why was Toby sleeping in the closet you ask? Well, it is sort of a long story. Toby once slept in his own crib in his own room. Because Aidan wouldn't sleep in his bottom bunk bed, we demoted him to the crib in Toby's room and Toby got to sleep in the pack and play in the big boy's room. For some stupid reason I cannot understand, I thought it would be a good idea to move Aidan and Toby into the same room together and give Evan his own room. So, we scootched the pack and play into the closet (it IS a big closet) and slid the crib officially into the bigger bedroom. Evan has his bunk beds, he loves the top bunk (and Everett got to sleep on the bottom bunk!). Aidan has a toddler bed, but usually ends up demoted to the crib because he won't stay in the toddler bed; and Toby has the closet. Toby loves the closet! When I've moved the p/p out of the closet in an attempt to get him to learn to sleep in a crib or something, he screams his head off and doesn't settle down until we slide it back into the closet. So, that's the story of why my baby sleeps in the closet!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Toby's Poo

In update to the post about Toby eating a fork, it all came out fine. I never did find the piece of tine, but I wasn't really diligent about looking. Would you want to scrape through a diaper full of poop looking for something that used to be white??? No ill effects that we could tell.

Yesterday I took Aidan and Toby to Leah's house for a mini-carnival. It was fun, but took longer to set up than to play! She only hosted, her PCA Jane and Jane's boyfriend set it up and paid for it all. It was very nice of them to do so! My boys got soaked, check out Leah's blog at for an update from her point of view.

Last night Jim and I had our second budget meeting. We're following Dave Ramsey's ideas. He suggests to get an emergency fund of at least $1000 then pay off debt, then save. We're on to the saving part! :) Our only debt as of now is our house. No medical, no library, we never had credit cards, so that isn't a problem. We got through half of the meeting before I started feeling sick and went to bed.

The boys, well, Aidan anyway, are clamoring for breakfast, so I guess I should be a good mommy and feed my kids!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Help Me Mammas!

Ugg. This kid will not stay in his bed! Aidan has a toddler bed (and shares a room with Toby) He gets out of his bed, he gets demoted to the crib (sometimes it is coupled with a swat). Right now, instead of taking a nap, he's up there shouting around and kicking at the mattress. How can I get him to go to bed, stay in bed and go to sleep?????

Just a quick update.

I don't think I have much to report! Evan's been Presbyterian this week, enjoying their Vacation Bible School. Aidan and Toby have enjoyed their time in the mornings, but when we drop Evan off Toby waves and says, "Ebba, Ebba, Ebba" his way of saying Evan. I'm 7+ weeks pregnant and starting to feel it. I picked up Chinese food last night which was fine because I didn't have to cook! Jim's running a garage sale today. He's made over $300, but $200 of it was because he sold a van. That's Jim!

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm back!

This weekend Aidan and I traveled to Sioux City, Iowa. I was invited to a birthday party for an old high school friend. Since Aidan is the easiset to travel with, he came with me and Jim stayed with Evan and Toby.

Aidan and I had a great time. He didn't disappoint me in figuring he'd be a good travel companion. He slept for over 1/2 of the trip down and the other part was a very good boy. He chatted, listened to books on tape and sucked on his fingers and just looked out the window! Grandma spoiled him, which made up for the fact that he was absolutely mortified of their dog! He spent much of Saturday on the back of the couch where he was safely out of the slobber zone of Cooper the beagle. Sunday morning he stayed in the basement where Cooper doesn't go and told me that he would stay there until I went up and put Cooper away!

The party on Friday night was fun. It was nice to see my old friend Claire and get caught up with a bunch of people from my junior high school/high school years. Saturday Mom, Dad, Adam (my brother), Keven (my nephew), Aidan and I went to breakfast at HyVee then on to Le Mars to the Ice Cream Capital of the World and home to Blue Bunny Ice Cream. The tour of the museum was quick and kinda boring. We found some interesting facts none of which I can remember here! Since Aidan had only a doughnut for breakfast and ice cream for lunch, he was literally running around like a tazmanian devil! I grabbed him up and carried him flailing about back to the ice cream parlor (from the play place). While he was flinging himself all over and I was gripping on to him for dear life he commented, "man, you stwong!" :) What a ham!

Sunday we lazed about in the morning which was great because I was suffering from a major allergy attack. Mom took us to Walmart to get some lunch supplies and do a little back to school shopping for Evan. He now has his lunch box, back pack and a few other little supplies. Thanks, Mom! After lunch Aidan and I hit the road. He wasn't the travel companion he was on Friday, but he was still good. We listened to the disney story on tape of the Three Little Pigs about 100 times as well as the songs of Cows and Ice Cream Mom got for us at the Ice Cream museum. When we got back into cell range, I called home. Evan answered the phone, chatted with me for a minute and then asked to speak to Aidan! It is so sweet to see them grow into close siblings! Toby wanted Aidan and Mommy as soon as we walked into the house. They missed each other which was a great thing!

This morning was a very trying morning. Uggg. It started with Evan and Aidan getting into the water outside just 10 minutes before I was going to take Evan to VBS with the Presbyterians. Aidan was soaked, so I had to get him into outfit number two before we could go. (If it hadn't been the first day when I had to get him out and register Evan I might have left him wet!!) Then we got home, caught up with a friend on the phone and arranged to go meet her at the mall for a playdate. Moments before we were to leave, Toby pulled my 2/3 full cup of coffee down onto himself. Thankfully it had been sitting out for two hours and wasn't hot. So, off to outfit number two for Toby! When we got home, the little boys played while I did a little more housework. After a while, Aidan wanted to go play in his room. 10 minutes before I was to go pick up Evan, Aidan came downstairs saying, "Mommy, look at this on my hands". Neosporin. Most of a tube of it. It was smeared all over his hands, legs, clothes and hair. We washed his hands and threw him in the car to go get Evan. Forget making lunch, I picked up Wendy's! After 4 hairwashings with three different soaps/shampoos I was not able to get the goop out of his hair! He did get the third outfit for the day...A little internet research suggested using cornstarch on the hair or mixing baking soda and baby shampoo, so after nap he's off to his second bath of the day!

Phew, well I guess that catches you up on my life for now! Until next time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I think I'm becoming a hippie!

First a cute kid quote: This morning Aidan was sitting on the loveseat watching cartoons. I came over and sat down beside him and said, "I need a good helper to help me unload the dishwasher." He replied, "Evan is a good helper!"

Anyway, why do I think I'm becoming a hippie? This afternoon I spent way too long online looking for homemade recipes for things like laundry detergent, fabric softener, dishwasher soap, weed killer, toothpaste and baby wipes! They all seem really easy, single step recipes with not too odd of ingredients. I think the hardest thing I'll have to do is find glycerin and washing soda and grate a bar of soap!

Has anyone else tried "hippie" recipes for common cleaners???

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'll never learn...

Well, I did it again. About a month ago I got some donuts for some friends who were coming over that morning. Anticipating a possible play date this morning, I did it again. The same thing happened that happened a month ago. Aidan got the box and doled out the donuts to himself and Toby. At least he shared!

I'm feeling pretty good otherwise. Woke up yesterday feeling pretty crummy, but a quick breakfast cured that.

Evan is at VBS this week for 3 1/2 hours every morning! It is nice to have just the little ones, but when we dropped him off this morning, Toby was saying, "Ebba, Ebba, Ebba" wondering where his favorite play mate had gone! Fall will be a tough change for the little ones when Evan is gone to first grade all day every day. Hey, it will be a tough change for me too I think. As much as he drives me nuts, I love that guy.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Our excitement for the day

This past school year we met Chris S. He is the Spanish teacher at C High school, just down the road from where Jim teaches. We ran into him several times at various Republican events and we kept saying, as people do, "we should get together and do something". Well, surprise surprise, tonight we actually got together! We went over to his house, met his wife and SEVEN children. They are all remarkable children and range in age from 16 down to 2.

Dinner was going well, our kids were behaving themselves and acting in such a way that we were really proud of them, until Toby snatched Aidan's fork. We (being a total of 14 people) were using plastic silverware. Toby managed to break off one of the tines to the fork and swallowed it (we assume since we didn't find it anywhere). So, we called Olmsted hospital to see what we should do. You guessed it, just watch his poo to see if it comes out!

The rest of the evening went really well considering all the kids that were there! Our kids and theirs all get along really well, so we're hoping to get together with them again soon.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Here's the family

This isn't my favorite, but since Jim took the camera today I can't get a fresher one of the boys! Toby is 11 months, the big ones are 5 and 2 and change! I really don't have a black eye, not sure what that is all about, but we're all there at the same time looking about at the same spot!
Jim's parents are on the right.

Here's Toby!

Okay, I think Toby is 14 months here. Somehow we had a chocolate something in the house. I had a piece on my plate, but turned my back for just a second. This is the result! Yeah, I posted a picture!!! Watch for more pictures later today...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

How can it be?

Ugg. I'm only 5 weeks pregnant and exhausted! I'm in a stage that I feel like I can't go to sleep, but I can't really wake up either. Leftovers tonight! Good thing Everett came this past weekend. I cooked, so I have a bit of leftovers!

Not much else going on here. Evan's building things inspired by his Lego cataloge. Aidan and Toby are recovering from their long night of marching in the Stewartville parade last night and fireworks. Aidan was scared, but he's scared of his own shadow. He sat with Jim and covered his ears the entire show. Once Toby discovered that he wasn't in danger he would stand up, arms upstretched to reach to the sparks and say, "boom!". Typical for those two! :)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Cute Kid Quote

This morning Jim tried to take a picture of Aidan with the digital camera. He'd just put new batteries in it, but they were really cheapos. I told him that those batteries didn't have enough juice to run the camera. Aidan hopped off the bouncing horse he was on at the time and ran towards the house saying, "I'll go get some juice for yourbatteries, Daddy!" :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

A death in the family.

It is with great sadness (on Jim's part) that we announce the death of beloved pet mouse, Mr. Squeakers. Mr. Squeakers was rescued from a barn by Jim Kluth on Thursday last and was hand fed and loved greatly by Jim and Evan. Aidan was neutral and Tara was against the idea from the beginning. Anyway, we buried him in the backyard this evening.

Monday the third

We just said our good byes to Everett who has been here since Friday. We had a nice visit and the boys enjoyed climbing all over him! We're scheming a trip out this morning, nothing too exciting, but the boys are bored! Oh, but since when am I the activities director????

Sunday, July 02, 2006

My first attempt at a blog

Well, here it is, my own little bit of cyberspace. I'm sort of experimenting here, not exactly sure what to do, but hey, here goes! Today we celebrated Auntie Alice's 73rd birthday. It was fun to be with family, sort of crazy with three little kiddos running around, what can you expect though???

Oh, and if you haven't heard yet, we are expecting our own little baby number four! The new little bundle should arrive at the end of February. Yeah!