Friday, July 31, 2015

Working It - In the Physical Sense

When Tim and I moved to Arkansas, we were excited to find that they had an affordable gym in the area.  It cost our family of five, $300 for a year's membership to a weight room, gym, indoor walking track, outdoor running track, a small water play area and play ground for the kids, and an indoor fitness room.  In Wisconsin, there wasn't any affordable areas for us to get away and have fitness facilities at our ready.  We had the outdoors, but there is something to making yourself go to the gym and putting money down to use it, you feel compelled to get your money back by its use.  We also rotate our time, he goes in the morning, and I go in the evening after he comes home from work.  We get time away and work on ourselves for an hour or more and are much better at home because of it.  We enjoy outside time too, but it's in the upper 90's right now for temps, and neither of us feel up to going out and killing ourselves in the heat.  I do look forward to some hiking and outdoor activities this fall, and even this winter.  Here they don't get much snow, if any, and that opens up far more outdoor opportunities than we ever had in the north.

As for my own fitness journey, it's a roller coaster.  I truly am fighting a food addiction and dependency.  I use food for comfort, boredom, and for feelings of uncertainty.  I even eat more when I'm tired.  My fitness journey encompasses my mental health, sleep patterns, and finding something that motivates me.  Saying that I am getting healthy for myself is a great start, but it often is not enough to motivate me when I have days that I am "low" and I have a hard time caring enough for myself.  Those are the days I reach out, I get support from loved ones.  My mother inspires me because she is such a beautiful person and she often times can talk me into feeling better about myself and caring.  She has been my best friend and most sincere ally of mine since I was young, and I have always felt I could confide in her.  I am fortunate that I could find that within my own mother, and hope that my children feel that way about me as they grow up and seek comfort in others and need a confidant.  My middle sister is my twin from another birth year.  We look identical, just a few years of distance between us.  She is very fit, healthy, and eats right.  She looks more beautiful than ever because she not only takes care of herself physically, but continually works on herself from within as well.  She is often seen sporting a "can-do" attitude, and almost always has a smile on her face.  My husband is my side-kick, and is also working on his health.  Finding a support system is huge.

Another thing that I am trying new this time around, that I feel is truly going to tip me further into health and fitness is the ability to forgive myself.  This is going to be a life long process.  If I go out to eat, eat a candy bar, or drink a soda, it doesn't have to be the end of my journey.  Did you know that the chosen symbol for depression is the semi colon ; ?  The idea behind the semi colon is that the person with depression chooses to not have depression be the end of their story.  As the author of their own lives, they choose to place a semi-colon, where they could have put a period; signifying they chose to live on and further their story where the could have ended it.  As a person that fits this on a daily basis, I feel this fits not only the depression, but my ability to forgive myself.  I ate a candy bar last night, or maybe I ate two; and today I did better.  One mistake, one piece of cake, one meal at Sonic, or a few bad days does not have to be the end, but perhaps another opportunity to start anew.  I also have decided to give myself the freedom to have some space to eat something unhealthy every now and again if I chose to.  It is very unrealistic to believe that I will never have sweets, as I truly enjoy them.  The key is to not eat as much, and to realize that it can't be what drives all of my hunger and my meals. 

I also refuse to go on a "diet".  In fact from this time forward, I refuse to even mutter that swear word.  The "D" word may make you lose weight, but are often unrealistic in long term health and fitness.  I refuse to spend a ton of money on shakes that make you poop like gooses, meals portioned out for me and placed into a carton for me to eat (that are good until say 2030), or powdered fake protein candy or bars that taste like chalk.  You've got to be kidding me... this is supposed to replace a candy bar?  If I have to force myself to ingest it, how I am supposed to make it into a change that sustains and continues?  I also can't go hungry.  I refuse to sit in a house full of food and remain hungry because my "D" word tells me I can't eat any of it.  Absolutely not!  Instead, as we ate the food in our house, we started replacing it with healthier food options. 

We go grocery shopping about twice a week.  I plan my meals, and at each meal there are tons of veggies, fruit, and a meat.  Then there is always something else, like a roll, rice, bread, baked beans, noodle salad, etc.  Right now I am working on paying attention to portion sizes.  You can literally eat cups full of vegetables and never reach the point of over eating.  I pay attention to portion size so I can better empower and educate my food choices.  So I eat a lot of veggies, because I can.  Veggies also help your gut, they help colonize the good bacteria in there, and if it's a problem, they also help you poop by adding fiber.  Then I eat the fruit on my plate, that's like your instant energy with natural sugars.  Then I eat my protein, meats, etc. for long-term energy.  Then, if I'm still hungry I may delve into carbs, but at this point, I've eaten enough of other things that I am not as hungry so I don't eat much of it.  I allow myself to make my food taste good, so I do use salad dressings (within healthy reason) and butter to eat and cook with.  End result, I lost about 10 pounds in a month just by choosing to eat healthier.  I've eaten occasional junk food in-between, just not every day. 

You also need to start moving, whether it be at the gym, walking, or housework.  To be truly healthy, you should be walking 10000 steps a day. 

Now on the other end of the spectrum, I have been in a "low" for about four days.  I have not been to the gym, because even if I did, I wouldn't last long there before my brain tells me to just go home.  This is my depression, and I fight it daily.  On any given good day I can easily walk 10000 steps and eat healthy, on a bad day I reach maybe 3000 to 6000 steps and will most likely opt for fast food because I just don't care.  This is where the forgiveness sets in.  I've eaten chocolate, ice cream, Taco Bell, and Sonic in the last four days, and I haven't been to the gym.  Today I am starting to feel better, and I refuse to let this define my future, my journey.  I will start over and pick up where I left off, because this is not where I end it; tomorrow I will be better.

I am not on a diet; I am on track for a long-lasting, healthier choice of lifestyle.  (okay so I said the "d" word twice... I forgive myself for that too.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Starting Anew

Life, I have found, comes in waves.  Days can pass and nothing happens, and then life hits you at full force and everything happens all at once.  Life has hit once again.  Our third son was born this April, he is now three months old and growing quicker than the first two it seems.  Everything appears to come and go quicker than it used to.  I often wonder if time continues to speed up as we age; I think it probably does.  But in the past three months the husband received a new forester position in Marianna, Arkansas, we had a baby, we moved, we're working on selling our house (well sorta), and now I'm currently working as a stay at home mom until an RN position falls in my lap.  I have to say, being a stay at home mom is a full time job, and harder than going to work.  Bella is in kindergarten, Landon is going to 3 year old kindergarten, and Dawson, much to my own heart ache, will be in daycare when I start working.  Which means breastfeeding will most likely be out the window, a decision I would have frowned upon pre-baby years.  It amazes me that as you experience things, your focus shifts, certain things become irrelevant, other things more important, and you spend time pondering on things you said that were quite nicely put, bum-hole things to say.  For instance...

After two attempts at childbirth, I realized that with my third, I was my own kind of Wonder Woman and I could do the whole process all natural.  My first baby girl was 7lbs 2.1 oz., Landon my second baby was 8lbs 8 oz.  I was almost ready to deliver and I decided on epidurals.  Me, running my big know it all mouth, stated, "I don't know why women scream through child birth.  I made it to the end of my births and remained silent."  Mind you, the furthest I was ever prior to medication was at 8 cm, I got an epidural, and then had my son a short while later.  So again, Wonder Woman, decided she could do it all by herself.  WOW was I humbled quickly.

I made it to 8 cm... and stayed at an 8 for over two hours until Dawson, my 8lb 9oz baby, entered this world.  That did not occur until after I was refused pain medications because they thought, "She's going to go any minute", as I delivered and passed through the stages of labor with my other two quite quickly.  Because believe me, I was crying and begging for them before the whole process was over.  And I screamed during childbirth, to my utter and complete embarrassed self.  And I became humbled at that point, and apologized to all the true Wonder Women who gave birth the natural way, and did so with far less overall complaints than I gave.

And I tip my Momma Hat to all those "naughty kids" in the store that I used to lift an eye brow at (prechildren years); after all, can't you control your children better?  Have you heard of discipline?  I again, humbled, smile to myself at this.  As it was just a mere two weeks ago... I check out at Walmart, my 2 1/2 month old screaming in his car seat, and my two older children are where?  Oh that's right... they're in the entryway of the Walmart, wrestling on the ground, full force, Landon smiling proudly as he pins his sister on the ground.  Me, quickly sliding my debit card and trying to get out of the store to spare any dignity I had left.  So as customers carefully side step around my two older children, I swiftly grab both hands, pull them off of the ground, place one in the cart, the other I drag out of the store screaming as I hold her hand out to the van, uttering promises for when we get home.  I have a firm, but gentle hold of my daughters hand and she screams all the way through the parking, "Stop, stop, you're hurting me!"  Again mortified, as it most likely appeared as if I was attempting to abduct my own children from the Walmart store.  At that very moment, I probably would have tried to return them to the store, but I think they would have denied me any refunds.  I now vow to only go shopping if absolutely necessary with all kids, or with the husband as my own children are just too naughty to be in public with just me. 

My kids are also the ones that never let me talk on the phone for more than a few minutes without disruption (a sincere apology to my own mother, as I know we did this to you).  They throw tantrums in public places, cry for chicken nuggets from McDonalds (because we do that too), are bribed with icecream to be good through the store or church, and a many other things that I remember thinking that my kids would just simply never do.  End point, life humbles you.  We've come a long way.  I started this blog to express my joy of motherhood, which I still feel.  I still have joy with this very stressful job of mommy life.  But I can now express some of my heartfelt woes as well, and some experiences that will prove that, as much as we try, we are not perfect (as much as Facebook says otherwise).  And really, don't talk unless you've walked the walk, had that baby, experienced that pain, sat through church with kids, and walked through Walmart with three small children.  How, my own mother, are you still sane?

But some new priorities have come afloat as of late.  We moved here for my husband's job, and I hope to support him in this.  I truly hope this experience for him gets him to where he wants to be.  I hope to move into a hospital RN position.  We both want to educate and love our kids to death, and provide them with amazing experiences while we're down here in AR.  Our focus is on our children and to be better parents.  We strive, for perhaps, a more simpler life so that we can focus more on the things that matter.  Before we left Wisconsin, we sold a lot of our clutter, and that was incredibly freeing... you should try it some time... simplify life!  Mostly we want to focus on our marriage, as that trickles down and ultimately affects our children.  Mom and Dad are happy, then babies are will be happy, and as a result, life is good (if only it were that simple).  I'm looking forward to looking into the church down here and immersing ourselves in that.  And as for myself, I have some personal goals.  I have gained quite a bit of weight since marriage, and I hope to find a healthier me.  I want to do so without having to drink crazy shakes, completely limiting my food options, and starving myself.  I want it to be a life long change.  And writing inspires me to work towards my goals, so perhaps you'll hear a bit more from me as I find my way through all of these new and old adventures. 

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The end of a long, long, LONG chapter.

Well fancy meeting you here.  It's been... awhile.  The last two years with the Gremlins have been interesting to say the least.  Landon wasn't even a year old when I got a phone call, "We have you on the waiting list to start nursing school.  Just wondering if you were still planning on joining us this August in our ADN program at WITC?"  Well, that was a shock.  I was pregnant with Landon when we toured the WITC campus, and then it was suggested to Tim and I, while I sit there with a little girl on my lap and a growing bump that I wait until my kids were a little older, as nursing school may be too hard with small children.  I had heard the horrors about nursing school, so I took the suggestion and decided to not to be put on the waiting list for school.  Apparently that memo wasn't relayed, and now there I sat on that summer day with a decision to be made.  "Well you have about a week to think about it, call us back when you decide."  I called my Mom, my sister Lisa, and my husband, a bit frantic about the possibility.  Was it possible that this decision lay before me for a reason.

Well, obviously we took the seat and today I sit here with a nice little "RN" after my name.  It took me 2 years to get here, which doesn't seem like much, but it seems like a whole lot to me.  Two years!  I feel like I missed out two years of my children's life when they were in those precious first few years.  On my son's first birthday, I was studying. My in-laws came to celebrate, I threw a cake together, but had no intention of doing much because I was stressed out studying.  From then on, I took time off for birthdays from studying for at least a little while.  Christmas, birthdays, my birthday, Tim's birthday... well they were kind of put on hold for the last two years.  We went shopping on my birthday after I finished my first year, broke, and Tim picks up a 5 lb package of bacon, "Happy Birthday Dear," he joked.  "Oh thanks," I say sarcastically.  He has our son in his arms, "well we could go get you some flowers?"  I laugh, "defeats the purpose if I have to tell you get the flowers, and you buy them while I'm here."  We settled for lunch out with the family.  But meals out were how we spent our birthdays, we did more for the kids though.  We had too. 

But two years ignoring my kids, 4 to 8 hours of driving each week, the kids in daycare for 11 hour days, my husband being Mr. Mom, and my brain just on the verge of exploding, and wallah! I'm a nurse!  Everyone says it's worth it, you know, going to nursing school.  I think I have to get over it first to feel that way.  I just spent the last 72 hours sick and convinced I failed my boards, and now that I found that I have passed, I'm thanking God I never have to go through that again.  And I don't condone book burning, but man it felt good to burn my ATI books that I've been buried in for the past 3 months.  Almost like I was burning my demons, all the tears spent on nursing school, the time lost away from my family, and all the stress, gone just like that.  And throwing my nursing scrubs in was the icing on the cake.  Don't get me wrong, I love nursing.  But I love my kids so much more, and now I can fall in love with my husband all over again, and we can all get to know each other again.  And when I'm at work, I can take care of others and put into practice all that I have learnt the last two years.  And of course not feeling broke anymore and being the sugar momma of the household helps a whole lot to!  :) 

So to every other little Momma out there with kiddos that are young like mine contemplating nursing school, I have this to say.  Most of my cohorts had kids my age, and that's a bonus.  You are not alone when you are feeling depressed because your kids cry because you have to go to school again, or because they want to play with you and you just don't have the time.  A lot of those around me had little ones and we got through this together.  There are a lot of other experienced nurses out there that also went to nursing school when their kids were little too.  They say it's worth it and that these little ones won't remember this very chaotic time.  What they will remember is Momma able to take time off when it matters, mom not being stressed about money anymore, and proud cause my Momma is a nurse!  Nursing school was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life because I had a hard time accepting that fact, and still trying to.  School was hard study wise, because it matters if you know your stuff, you can't just memorize it and then brain dump the info afterwards because you need to be able to apply this throughout your career (and for boards).  You have other people's lives, loved ones and their health in your hands.  That in of itself is difficult, but from someone who isn't the smartest cookie, I can honestly say its doable.  The kid part was way harder.  But that too is doable, because obviously I just did it.  I'm a big baby when it comes to difficult things in life, just ask my husband.  I complain, and moan, and B****H.  I almost cried the day of orientation.  "What brings you to nursing?"  I say all nervous, "I'm doing this to prove to my kids that they can do anything they put their mind to, but mostly I do this for myself.  Because I need to prove myself wrong, and show myself that I can in fact make it through nursing school.  And boy did I grow in proving myself wrong, and I stand here an entirely different person.  I believe my husband can vouch for that as well.

And thanks to everyone who made it hard, because I can say that I worked for what I have right now.  I'm proud, I'm strong, and I'm an RN!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Freedom has NEVER been FREE

Damien Jackson 1986-2006

Today I go to work decked out in the red, white and blue.  I wear the colors proudly not only for our beloved country as she has her 236th birthday, but because today, July 5th, one day after our the emancipation of country, a hero was taken from us.  So today, I remember him and all of the others who have died in the name of freedom. 

The fifh of July marks the 6th year anniversary of his death and for many it feels as if it was just yesterday he was taken from us.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of our Damien, but time has changed me.  Anger and sadness have turned to love and a sense of pride for having known such a courageous and loving person.  Truly the end of his life had the inevitable impact of changing the rest of mine.

He is the living proof that God only takes the good ones with him.  Private Damien Raymond Jackson was born on July 9th,  1986.  A July baby just like me!  He was a passionate being with a God-given purpose.  He was energetic and athletic and so very patriotic.  He was a PARA and part the 3rd Battalion in the Parachute Regiment. He had been deployed several times and was killed in his final tour in Afghanistan, just a few weeks before he was to come home.

He was a great friend of mine, and a huge part of my heart will forever be with him.  We spent two years of our youth growing up together before he returned to his mother country of England.  About five years had passed by before circumstances would allow our paths to cross once again and it was as if he had never left.  We had kept in touch all of those years and time had not lessened that bond.  Peace reaches my soul because I know that he was happy and loved throughout his time here on earth and he spoke of such. 

His passing has forever changed me, in ways that are very evident and in some ways even I can't quite explain.  I have found a certain amount of peace and patience with God that wasn't there before.  I have learnt to trust in His plans as I have been promised that this seperation from Damien and all of my loved ones is strictly temporary.  Damien has taught me to love life, and to never take one breath of each moment for granted.  But mostly he has taught me sincerity, kindness and a complete sense of selflessness, because that is how he was to me.  I know now that how you treat others has the potential to impact those around you for the rest of their lives. 

His life has been the mold for mine, forming how I approach those around me as I devote my time to helping and giving to others.  I want people to have what I did in knowing Damien.  So today I bleed red, not just because of that rich oxygenated blood within me (here comes out the nurse in me), but I bleed red for England and for America, and for all of those who have gone before us in the name of freedom.  So as we all put our thought and prayers together for us Americans, don't forget the British soldiers who have fought and died for our cause as well.

So in your own words,

Love you babes and I miss you like crazy.

xoxoxoxoxox  :)

RankWarYearsDeathsDeaths per DayUS Population in First Year of WarDeaths per Population
1American Civil War1861–1865625,00059931,443,0001.988% (1860)
2World War II1941–1945405,399416133,402,0000.307% (1940)
3World War I1917–1918116,516279103,268,0000.110% (1920)
4Vietnam War1955–197558,209260.03% (1970)
5Korean War1950–195336,51645151,325,0000.02% (1950)
6American Revolutionary War1775–178325,000112,500,0000.899% (1780)
7War of 18121812–181520,000318,000,0000.345% (1810)
8Mexican–American War1846–184813,2832921,406,0000.057% (1850)
9War on Terror2001–present6,2801.72294,043,0000.002% (2010)
10Philippine–American War1899–19134,196172,129,0000.006% (1900)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Just a Catch Up

The snots been a running, the body is aching and we are all running around like a chicken with our heads cut off.  First me, then Bella and Landon, and now today Tim.  The cold and flu season is in full swing and I am counting down the days until summer.  I am one of those whiny up-north gals, but I am where my husband is and that takes me to the northern winters.  My choice would be somewhere warmer, but not so warm that I can't stand to be outside during the summer.  I guess we can't have it all.  Wisconsin is tired of snow already and everyone else is praying for it.  My family in Minnesota got a dusting of snow and we got 6".  This I know, when I'm older and retired, I will probably be one of those envied snow birds with a house in the south to which I can retreat when the winter months get too cold.

Lately I have been trying my hand at some carpentry.  Tim and I have found our second home up in Rhinelander, WI at the Menard's store.  We seem to spend more time there than anywhere else.  I spent all of New Years Eve putting in vinyl flooring in the kitchen and the dining room and all of New Year's day putting it in the bathroom just to come up short leaving us with unfinished floors.  So off we went, in the horrible 2012 Eve blizzard and got some more tiling so I could finish up my job around here.  The Hubby said he wasn't going to help me with the tile so I can have a sense of accomplishment when I finished.  I am not sure if I believed him, but after the first five minutes of him in the kitchen telling me how to cut tile, I was glad he left me to it.  When all was said and done, my way seemed to have worked because we're both quite happy with the new and improved look of our kitchen.  Now he just has to finish putting all of the trim back in...

Other than that, we have been busy visiting family over the holidays and running after our Gremlins.  Mr. Landon is smiling quite a bit now and such a good baby.  I realized today that his projectile vomiting has slowed down to just dribbles, thank goodness and Bella is keep'n on with being her usual Gremlin self.  She's starting to talk and ask for things now and sometimes it takes some detective work to figure out what she's saying and what she wants.  Currently, her favorite words are snack, milk, baby, Bella, mom and Tim with an occasional no and mine thrown in there for good measure.

It was so great to see all of the family this Christmas and I enjoyed it more than I usually do.  I love Christmas time when all of the family gets together and this year the atmosphere and mood was entirely different.  It was more focus on family and less of gifts, which I loved.  We had a big bonfire at my family's house and I got to see mostly everyone.  The kids went sliding and I got to see Tim act like one of the kids too.  He makes my heart melt when I watch him interact with all of the little ones.  He is a very quiet person but he comes out more when he's around children, and that has always been one of the things that attracted me to him.  He's such a wonderful dad and he's Bella's best friend.  Tim's side of the family all came up and the kids had a blast and they were spoiled rotten by Grandma and Grandpa Frits.  I feel so fortunate that my children have two sets of wonderful grandparents and that they love our little Gremlins so much.  Bella always comes home chipper and gleeful after visiting the grandparents, and that's the way it should be.

My big adventure so far is just starting and maybe I'll save that for another day to write about.  It is getting more difficult to find the time and energy to write but I promise to get back here soon and post more pictures of the projects going on around here and to write about this, that and another thing.  But for now, I hear some children that need attending to.  Funny, that always seems to be what gets me to the end of my blogs, such is the life of a mother right?  Happy New Year and just think only a mere 356 days until Christmas.  :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Puke Face

Just in case any of you thought I was exaggerating my son's projectile vomiting...  :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

This, That and Another Thing

This, that and another thing... and it really is just that.  My world seems to moving in a million different directions each day and it's somewhat overwhelming.  I give tons of appreciation towards mothers who stay home with their children all day long.  I give mothers credit who breastfeed, especially those who push through a whole year, work and never let their tummies be filled with formula.  I give the moms and dads  credit who make a working commitment to stay healthy and fit while raising children.  But most of all, I acknowledge the humbleness it takes to be a supportive and loving house wife that makes her home a haven for all those who seek it.  Needless to say, I struggle greatly each day with each of these. 

With that said, I did attempt to try and run my first session of "Couch to 10k in 13 Weeks"... and I succeeded!  For the fit mom, my running schedule may be pitiful, but for me it was a big accomplishment.  It took a lot of self control to push through being uncomfortable while running and to make myself see that these workouts will be worth it.  And for the day, it was worth it.  I felt great (once I showered the disgustingness off), for the whole rest of the day.  I ate well for most of the day and then disappointed myself and ate recklessly that evening.  I am an emotional eater, and I struggle daily with this.  When things get stressful at home, I eat, when I am sad, I eat; I am working to change this but it is a deeply rooted problem that takes tons of attention.  It's like a roaring beast inside of me that I have to keep watch on or it will be escape and wreak havoc.  It seems where in one area I succeed, such as running, and utterly fail in other, my diet.

For any of you who would like to join me in this running challenge, here is my running schedule at the end of this post.  All of the days when I'm not running, I am trying to find another fun way to work out.

I also made some interesting things for dinner last night.  We went grocery shopping on Wednesday night and bought all of the raw ingredients to make all of our meals for the rest of November from scratch.  Last night was my first attempt at making my own salad dressing and twice baked potatoes.  The salad dressing looked like ranch and was made of out of buttermilk and sour cream, but it tasted more light a vinaigrette dressing, which wasn't really appealing to me, but it did taste fine if that's the sort of dressing you prefer.  The potatoes, on the other hand, were awesome!  Here's how you make them.

Stuffed Potatoes

With 4 large russet potatoes, cut off each end of the potato and throw them into an oven at 400F for one hour.  After that time, remove them and cut them in half lengthwise.  Take out the inside of each potato and mash well with a fork.  Mix the following ingredients in a bowl:

~1 cup of fat-free ricotta cheese
~1 cup of Cheddar cheese
~mashed potato
~1/4 tsp of salt
~1/8 tsp of pepper
~1/4 tsp of garlic powder

The freezer all complete!
Stuff each of the potatoes into their old skins (they'll be packed and heaping), lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake for 15 minutes more.  Wallah!  These were pretty tasty, in fact, we couldn't eat four large russet potatoes, so before I baked them a final time, I packaged four halves up and froze them for another day!  My big sister Tess just gave us her big chest freezer, as they got a newer and bigger one.  My plan is to make homemade meals each day of the rest of November and freeze part of each meal for quick meals later on for when I go back to work and things get more complicated.  Today we are hauling down our new freezer to the basement and we're going sand it down and repaint it with white appliance paint.  It should look brand new when we're all done, according to the husband.  I'm superbly excited for this freezer!

Lastly, yesterday seemed to be such an off day for all of us at the Frits household.  Bella was into the clinic for x-rays on her leg, since she's been limping for almost a week.  So with blood drawn and x-rays, they are working on figuring out why she's gimping around.  Good news is that she didn't break or fracture anything, but since it got a little worse and then gets better throughout the day, the doctor was thinking it is a bacterial infection in her joint.  Common?  I have no clue, nor do I know how a person even gets an infection in their joints.  We have to wait until Monday for those results, but as it turns out she's starting to walk more normally and it seems to be clearing up, which is what her doctor said would happen (because bacterial infections in your joints clear up on their own I guess).

I went to work for training, which was fine.  Had my 6 week post-baby appointment, which was fine.  It allowed me to discuss my plans of weight loss and a breast augmentation surgery in 18 months or so.  If I can get my diet and exercise on track and lose the weight I want, I should be on schedule for those life changes in no time.  But coming home to a tired Dad and a grumpy daughter was tough.  Landon needed attention, everyone was getting hungry, the house was a mess and I was tired (like normal).  So the night ended badly, with me being grumpy and angry at the world.  So as I laid in bed, trying to get my very fussy Landon to take a bottle after he threw up 4 times, Bella started crying.  It's bad enough that Landon couldn't hold down my milk and I resorted to sensitive newborn formula, which had me feeling guilty, but then Bella starts whimpering.  I hate that she doesn't feel good, and I can always tell when that is because she sleeps horribly. 

So I went in and got her, laid her in bed with us and started to nurse Landon after his bottle, hoping he'd calm down and put him to sleep.  In my grumpiness, I said, "seems like the only one who appreciates me is Bella, as she's the only one not grumpy at me right now."  What a pity party huh, it wasn't that bad really, I was letting myself feel bad for myself, which I do often.  So at 12:30 in the morning, all four of us in one bed, and a pukey 6 week old on my lap, I contemplate my day.  And just as I felt like bawling, my cute little daughter puts her little hand on the small of my back and pats it.  She rubs my back and lightly taps it, just like I do for her when she's upset.  That turned my mood around instantly and felt incredibly loved.  Here is my 21 month old daughter who has been feeling like poop for about a week and who has been an absolute Gremlin for the day and terrorized my entire house, and she's comforting me.  And in that loving moment, everything in my heart was healed and I smiled a genuine smile for what it seemed, the first time in that entire day.  So I turn around, kiss her forehead and push back her blond hair and whisper, "Thanks Bella, I needed that," and settle in for the rest of the night.  I went to bed feeling like the luckiest Mom in the whole wide world with a sweet little lady for a daughter.  She may be so naughty throughout the whole day and she make have eyes that speak as much, just saying she is seeking for all kinds of trouble, but she has the biggest of hearts and I am always reminded of this at the oddest of times.

I went to bed, praying and promising that today would be a better day.  A new day, a new start, and as I had heard once before, this is why God made the sun and moon come up each and every day.  With each rising sun, we get to start anew and create a new beginning and forget about all of the failures of yesterday.  And with each glowing moon, comes a promise to an end of a crazy day and that when we fall fast asleep that night, God will replace it with our warming sun, for yet another new beginning. 

13 Week Learn to Run Program
Always walk 5 minutes slow and easy to warm up before each session and again to cool down after each session (this is included in the session times):

Week 1

Session 1 - 34 min. Run 1 minute. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 8 times.

Session 2 - 28 min. Run 1 minute. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 6 times.

Session 3 - 31 min. Run 1 minute. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 7 times.

Week 2

Session 1 - 38 min. Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 7 times.

Session 2 - 31 min. Run 1 minute. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 7 times.

Session 3 - 34 min. Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 6 times.

Week 3

Session 1 - 45 min. Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 7 times.

Session 2 - 34 min. Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 6 times.

Session 3 - 40 min. Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 6 times.


Session 1 - 40 min. Run 3 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 6 times.

Session 2 - 30 min. Run 2 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Do this 5 times.

Session 3 - 40 min. Run 2 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Do this 6 times.


Week 5

Session 1 - 46 min. Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 9 times.

Session 2 - 34 min. Run 2 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 8 times.

Session 3 - 42 min. Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 8 times.

Week 6

Session 1 - 52 min. Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 7 times.

Session 2 - 38 min. Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 7 times.

Session 3 - 50 min. Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 10 times.

Week 7

Session 1 - 54 min. Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 4 times.

Session 2 - 40 min. Run 4 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 6 times.

Session 3 - 52 min. Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 7 times.


Session 1 - 54 min. Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 4 times.

Session 2 - 38 min. Run 3 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 7 times.

Session 3 - 46 min. Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 6 times.

Week 9

Session 1 - 68 min. Run 10 minutes/walk 1 minute; Run 15 minutes/walk 1 minute. Run 20 minutes/walk 1 minute. Run 10 minutes.

Session 2 - 46 min. Run 5 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 6 times.

Session 3 - 54 min. Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 4 times.

Week 10

Session 1 - 72 min. Run 10 minutes/walk 1 minute. Run 20 minutes/walk 1 minute. Run 30 minutes.

Session 2 - 54 min. Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 4 times.

Session 3 - 57 min. Run 20 minutes/walk 1 minute. Run 15 minutes/walk 1 minute. Run 10 minutes.

Week 11

Session 1 - 71 min. Run 40 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 20 minutes.

Session 2 - 54 min. Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 4 times.

Session 3 - 57 min. Run 20 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 15 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 10 minutes.


Session 1 - 60 min. Run 50 minutes.

Session 2 - 43 min. Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 3 times.

Session 3 - 52 min. Run 15 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 15 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Run 10 minutes.

Week 13

Session 1 - 50 min. Run 40 minutes.

Session 2 - 43 min. Run 10 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this 3 times.

Session 3 Event Day 10K: have fun, and take care not to start out too quickly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The First Steps of Faith

Holy Waters...
It was beautiful, they poured the warm blessed water over my sons head and said the beloved words, "I baptise you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit."  And just like that, he has become part of the church, washed from original sin, and without even knowing it, has taken his first steps in follow the faith that we will try so hard to bring him up in

Despite the cold weather, a grumpy sibling of his and my camera dying, it was perfect, you couldn't dampen the day.  And Landon did his best to let the world know he was around and that this was all about him.  He carried on and cried and with his uncanny habit of vomiting at the worst of times, when Father Jerry asked to lay the child so his head was over the pool of water, we all held our breaths and thankfully, he held in his last meal.

I didn't take the role lightly, as a mother, of making sure that Landon and Bella had good Godparents.  We chose Aunt Lisa and Uncle Phil as Bella's Godparents and Aunt Carina and Aunt Jen as Landon's.  My Godmother has played a huge role in the growth of my faith as a Christian and so has my Confirmation sponsor.  In fact, my Godmother is my sister Pam, and her husband may as well be my Godfather, because he too plays a huge role in my spiritual life.  The two of them together encourage me to be a better person, think critically about myself and my choices in life, and make me strive to be a better Catholic.  I always enjoy going for a visit to their house, as I always leave feeling humbled and deeper of faith. 

My Confirmation sponsor is also a sibling of mine, and that would be my youngest sister Lisa.  She has also played a huge role in my life as a Catholic.  She is a one of a kind woman, as she is deep in her faith and is very humble.  She carries all of the qualities that we, as Christians and Catholics, are called to carry within us.  In fact, that is something that both of these sisters have, and I think that is why I am so inclined to be around them.  Lisa helped me through college, when things got really hairy, she was there.  She always provides me with the best advice, often telling me what I need to hear, rather than what I want to and she does so with grace and kindness.
I have a long ways to go to live up to the type of women these two are, but having such role models gives me hope that some day I will be able to call myself a "true Christian".  One that God can be proud of and that He can call His own.  So, I did not take lightly the choice of Godparents for our children.  I wanted them to have people in their lives that would take the role head on as did my sisters, and help guide them in a faith filled life.  I want their faith to be rich and strong, so that when they get older and must face the world.  That hopefully the temptations that dwell within this world won't be so much of an obstacle, because they too will have a good head on their shoulders and will do the right thing and make the right decisions in life.  I am confident that their Godparents will be guiding lights for them, and that gives me peace.
Dragonfly Cupcakes that I made for Landon

I slept well the night before, knowing that the next morning Landon would be baptised.  I was uneasy that we were waiting as long as we were.  I was excited that some of my family could make it to witness this beautiful event with us and that they were also able to join us for the great meal that my family had put together in celebration.  Thank you everyone for joining in our joy and celebrating with us.  As soon as I have pictures developed, I will be posting them.

Jen putting the food out for the Baptism celebration

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Adventures of Gremlin +2

Today was a great day for an adventure.  It was freezing cold yesterday, and as the snow fell I was feeling a bit sad that the warm weather was behind us.  But as the next day dawned, it started warming up.  The snow started to melt and can now only be found in the deep shadows of the woods.  It was a beautiful 54 degree weather day!  So when the energy in the house became maxed, we decided to put that energy outside in the form of a nice nature walk through the woods behind Grandma and Grandpa Frits' house.

Behind the house is a nice little trail that lands on the west side of Deer River, MN.  We walked to the place where pony league football used to be practiced, and where the dreaded season of tennis during the school year was taught (I hated that part of gym).  We walked to the store and each got a cookie to eat on our journey back to the house.  When Bella tired, her big boy cousin, Ethan, carried her so she could catch up.  The Gremlins were full of smiles and beamed with curiosity as they ran through the area.

Ethan, Nolan and Miss Bella

Bella figured out how to roll down the hill, and discovered how incredibly fun it is. A childhood couldn't be complete without such experiences anyhow...

We learnt how to determine the age of a tree.
This tree was 42 years old!

We found that if you talk on one side of a culvert, it's really loud on the other!  So we played a bit of peek-a-boo with the kids and went back into the house with rosy cheeks and a few good memories.

It's fun to see all of the new things kids learn just by interacting with the world around them, hopefully the weather channel is right and we have an even nicer day tomorrow so we can go on exploring more.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bragging Rights Granted

As I had posted earlier, it is with a sense of pride that I post bragging rigthts onto my blog.  The husband has brought home a deer and we now have venison to last us the whole year long!  So without much further ado, here are the men and their deer.

Phil's big doe that he harvest the first Monday of deer season at the Stangler Farm

Grandpa Garry's 180lb Doe shot Tuesday at Deer Camp

My Hubby, Tim's 170lb Spike Buck shot Monday night at Deer Camp

My Dad and his 8 pt Buck shot on opener day on the Stangler Farm
Nick and his 8 pt buck with David and Sarah, his kiddos

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Healing Sense of Home

Bella roaming the earth of the Stangler Farm, with bare feet, just like me!

I wake up to the soft sound of little feet roaming the floors above, the sound makes me smile.  It is still so dark in the far room of my parent's basement.  I love sleeping here, with no windows and with it being somewhat tucked away, it is by far the most peaceful and quiet room to take refuge in after a busy day.  I will myself out of the comfy bed, Grandma had taken Bella awhile back when she decided she was ready to wake up and face the world.  With two Gremlins keeping me up at night, it tends to be much earlier than I am ready to get up.  I take a sigh of relief, Landon is still sleeping; he's not feeling good.  It is such a gift that their Grandmother takes them in the morning to allow us to sleep a few more minutes or a couple more hours and rejuvenate.  Grandma doesn't know how much all she does means to us, both Grandmas.  Coming home is this mother's vacation, as I believe it is for my siblings too. 
Grandma Sue and Natalia Sue
I let my feet hit the old cement floor, one set of toes, and then the other.  I close my eyes and remember mornings of past when I used to do this very same thing.  Waking up for school in the morning or during the summer months, when the world outside waited patiently for me to begin exploring, as I did often in my much younger years.  The feel of the cool, cement floor feels like home to me.  I love this place, it is my refuge.  I pull on my Dad's big fuzzy green robe that they've let me borrow for the two weeks I am home, sweep my angelic son into my arms and head upstairs.

Mitch and Mindy Drotts and I 
We grew up practically like siblings only being 2+ years apart in age.
The creak of the stairs follow my steps, and I can hear my parents talking.  The smell of the sausage and bacon hits me before the sound of the sizzling in the pan to my ears.  Some of my family is over for breakfast this morning, up early for the hunt or for visiting, depending on the day.  Grandma is of course catering to others, as she makes sure each child has a plate of food and a filled tummy before she indulges in anything.  My dad is flipping the pancakes and the family eagerly awaits to homemade breakfast while sitting at the table sipping fresh, hot coffee.  These are my mornings, just as I have been imagining them for the past few weeks, absolutely chaotically perfect.
Grandma Sue, Natalia and Grandpa Stangler
The house is a flurry of conversation and roaming children, everyone is busy.  Mothers are frantic, trying to rain their children in, and fathers sit unknowingly around the house, talking "man talk", completely unaware of the chaos.  People, not of our family, enter the scene and are taken aback.  How do we stand the massive amounts of body in such a small place and the noise, mixed with the umpteen grandchildren running buck wild throught the house?  It is a part of a life that we have grown up with and come to know and accept, as this is our family, where we're from and where we love to be.

I am the youngest of 10 children in the Stangler family.  Three brothers and six sisters, the men are often outnumbered, until lately.  We've had a spurt of male grandchildren born into the family, only after a large run of girls.  21 grandchildren, 11 boys, 10 girls; it's a pretty even mix.  When the great grandchildren are born, making me a very happy Great Auntie, we'll probably have to move into a bigger building for Christmas, not out of want but out of necessity.  We are an ever growing family and this big family is quite the blessing.  Where some people feel quite alone throughout their life, with very few people to support them through their trials and tribulations, I have two parents, 8 living siblings, two children of my own, a loving husband (and his famiy too), and 19 nephews and nieces that have no choice but to love me for who I am and accept me.  Some of these individuals are the greatest and closest friends that I have, becoming more than just family to me, but my confidants.
Siblings Pam, Mary, my Dad, me, Lisa, my Mom, Tess and Barbie
My sister Lisa and I at my confirmation.
She was my sponsor.
When I decided to pursue writing, even though I am still unsure as to which avenue I'll take, they gave me insurmountable amounts of praise and affirmation.  In the words of my sister Lisa, after confiding my fears of writing, she says to me, "where you lack the confidence in yourself, my confidence in you fills the void."  She is truly God-inspired, always full of wisdom and always saying the right things.  What more could ask for in a friend, sister and confidant, but for her to say that in all things that you do, I have full and complete confidence in you.  It's no wonder I love her and my family so much. 

Each day I wake up in this house where I grew up, I feel that the hole within me growing smaller, the void created from the darkness of the world around me is filled.  I am inspired just by being here, to become more of who I am truly meant to be.  I feel a sense of healing that derives only from what a close family and God could provide.  I get to revisit the old trails behind our house, roam through the golden fields that are readying for winter, drive the same paths and go the same churches that I grew up in.  The Saint Joseph's church that I was baptised in, is the same church where I received my first communion and spent the majority of my life learning about my faith.  It is still exactly the same as it was 25 year ago.  It looks the same, the members that still go there are the ones that where there when I was little, it even smells the same.  And even though the massive amounts of incense they insist on burning has always made me physically sick, I still look forward to it and expect it.  It is all part of the process, and it's what makes this place what it is.  When my life is chaotic and completely inconsistent, I at least know that I can come back to these places and feel at peace, as I know they will never change.  In a very unstable world, they provide stability, even if it's in the smallest of ways.
Sarah and David at Grandmas during a hot day.  Grandma filled up this tub
and let the kids dunk in to cool down.  Doesn't get much sweeter than this!
So as I sit in the bathtub, the same porcelain, white tub I was bathed in after I was born, and sip the coffee that my Dad always makes, and sleep in the same room I grew up in, and write this very message, the smell of the outdoor wood stove that has always aromatized this homestead with that beautiful smell of a campfire hits me, and I thank God for bringing me back here.  I thank Him for my family, this place I call home and for the memories He helped to create here.  But mostly I thank Him for the opportunity for my children to be brought home, so that they too may feel that same healing of being here, where the scenes never change and things always feel at peace.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

God Bless the Baby that Sleeps in You - 40 Days of Life

It is in memory of the innocent who have died in the most epic, and by far the most gruesome battle of all ages, that I write this.  None of us are fond wars or the killing of innocent beings, even worse is the killing of innocent babies.  The worst part is that this war is waging in our very own land, the land of the free.  But really, how can we call it the land of the free where we pride ourselves of free choice, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when these values are not given to all individuals equally.  What separates an individual from these basic rights we feel so entitled to.  Does race separate us, or gender, or sexual preference?  How about age?  Some would say that we don't discriminate at all, that we are all truly equal.  I beg to differ.

A life is a life, regardless of what people say, or the way the try to put it.  Nothing can justify the taking of lives, of any age.  Pro choice and being a Christian is an oxymoron.  Like water and oil shaken in a bottle, as much as we try to get them to go together, they simply don't mix.  Have you read Psalm 139:13-16?  It states, "For you formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!  My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you.  When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be."

God knew us even before we were born.  The days of our existence were written in the book of life in heaven.  He had a purpose for us, a plan, and he knew it before we even knew the existence of life that was growing within us.  In fact, he is the one who intricately made us, formed us and made sure we were just as perfect as could be.  He gave us mothers the gift of feeling this life within us, to feel that God given connection.  And while this creation of love formed within us he worked on our hearts and expanded the amount of love we possess so that it could envelop this new precious child within us.

But when we take our lives into our own hands and tell God that we don't want to follow his plans and we are unaccepting of these blessings and miracles of life, we choose to end it.  We choose inequality, we choose death, we choose murder.  Cutting off the connection of God in our lives entirely.  These babies are precious, they are our future and we are destroying our future.  We pray for cures for cancer, AIDS, MS and so many other illnesses and when we don't receive it we cry out in anger and curse God for not bringing us an end to it all.  It is entirely possible that we were given an answer to our prayers, a special being God had formed within one of us, and chose to end that life before that life could even take their first breath.  There is nothing that could justify this war, to make it right.  Abortion is murder, and this war is the most disturbing to hit the world.

I encourage all pro life believers to pray for these unborn children of God, and pray for them every day, especially today on the very last day of the 40 days of life.  If you are a person of pro choice, I challenge you to look into your hearts and search for the truth, especially if you are a Christian.  Ask God for guidance on the matter, so that you too may believe in the value of a life, unborn or not.  Our future, our babies and life depend on it.

If you are pregnant and are feeling lost and buried by the circumstance, I encourage you to look into the Pro Choice Clinic.

"God bless the babies that sleep in you." ~Mason Jennings

Image from: 

Those Fury Brown Creatures that Bring Us Together - Hunting

The house is quiet, not even a mouse could be awake and moving right now as I'm sure I'd even hear them creeping along.  Earlier today, the Stangler Farm House reminded me of the old children's rhyme with the over worked and over tired mother who lived in her shoe with her many many children.  I'm actually surprised that there weren't children hanging out the windows, although I did see Bella trying push through one today.  This house was busting at the seams, with tons of family coming together for deer season.

While the women held onto their better senses, which we almost always do, and stayed in our warm cozy beds with our babies, the men and fathers of the house pulled on their nickers and long underwear with their blaze orange attire and bared the frigid cold of these beautiful November mornings in Minnesota.  I have to give the guys credit for that; seeing the sun come up in God's Country is something that brings peace to your soul and makes it worth it even if you don't see any furry brown creatures trotting your way.  There's a reason they call it God's country and this place right here is why.  People come from all over the world for this, and I'm lucky enough to call it home.

We sit here bundled up and we probably still manage to get frozen fingers, frost bitten ears and a rear that has been permanently fused to the stand just for one more year of deer season.  It may be stupid, senseless or even crazy, yet year after year we all gather for it.  Why?  Because coming together and spending time at deer camp with the guys or at home with family is worth it, frozen feet or not.

I have spent my time out in the deer stand, worrying that my feet would never again regain feeling or warmth, and I can appreciate what the men do.  But five years and two children later I find my favorite place to be is inside with the women.  We spend the day running after our children, walking through the land mines of children's toys, sharing wisdom and stories of our youth, and sitting eagerly for the sound of a gunshot.  That sound brings a sort of joy, relief and pride.  Joy because the men are getting to do what guys do, shoot guns and hunt deer (and drink beer too).  Relief for some of us as an out of state tag comes at a hefty price of about $140.00 and they get to bring something home for it that's worth the money.  And pride because there is that primitive part of us that still exists.  That we, as women of the house, are glad to see these big, strong men come home with their big kill, it's attractive because they are providing for their family.

It was a wonerful day, my husband reported back that no furry creatures had even been seen in their parts, but my dad got a beautiful 8 point buck and we feasted on a huge mid day meal fit for kings and just as big as Thanksgiving dinner.  The majority of our family made it home, we caught up on the excitement of each others lives and the children got to play and terrorize each other.    Home is definately where the heart is here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Gremlins Go Spooking

A few pounds of candy later and some added inches to my waist line and we've had ourselves a great first Halloween outing.  We braved the chilly late October evening with my sister-in-law and her two precious kids, Sarah and David.  Bella trekked around as the cutest little pirate ever, and probably the happiest too.  She took the night on with ease as if she was a pro.  It helped having her cousin, Sarah, along who was the beauty of the bunch, showing off her elegant blue ballroom gown, complete with a crown and a wand to rule us all into glitter and glee in the land of Sarabythia.  Landon was a hungry cow, and made it to one house before he puked all over his outfit and was sent to spend the rest of the evening cuddling Grandma Stangler.  David lasted with us a little longer than Landon and was a pumpkin, which fit his perfect plump complexion.  He's grown so much since we've seen him last and he's going to be a wholesome little boy, perfect for football.  He sports the same gopher cheeks that Landon does now, as did Bella when she was a baby; about the cutest baby feature ever.

Halloween, aside from the crazy, Gothic and demonic stuff that some people follow, is one of the cutest and most precious times when you're children are little (I'll add fun to the list of adjectives when the kids a little older and easier to direct).  At this age, currently, the children think that an open door means we get to tromp into a Stanger's house and start exploring.  Gladly, many people find this curious attribute adorable, as long as it doesn't continue on into their older years... :)  Listening to Sarah talk so intelligently and clear, reminds me that in just a few short months, Bella will be babbling more words and then sentences, making us wish why we were so keen on getting her to start talking in the first place.  But it was exciting to see four different age and developmental levels in the car at one time, not to mention four very different attitudes.  It all makes me look forward to the years ahead of us, when all of us adults can sit back and watch our children play together, becoming the best of friends and growing up close like all of us sibling had.

As much as it's dreaded, I hope that Bella and Landon find themselves in a world of adventures when we go to Grandma and Grandpa's farm to visit.  That with their cousins they'll be climbing the forbidden hay bales, scaling up the tall basswood trees that shade the back yard and running around the fields and woods.  They always, and still in a way, serve as a foreign and exciting land that make all of the creatures of my imagination come alive for as long as I roamed this wild earth.  There's something about this place that makes the kid in me come alive.

So from the Gremlin Post, we give you a Happy Halloween and a of this years little Gremlins in the Halloween attire!  Enjoy and we'll add pictures as we get more!

Starting off our Halloween adventure at Grandma Stangler's house.  Bella the Pirate, Landon the Cow, David the Pumpkin, and Sarah the Precious Princess.

Landon the Hungry Cow

David the Plump Pumpkin

From the Veggie Tales, staring Rachel as Bob the Tomato and Liz Beth as Larry the Cucumber and their special guest Daddy the Policeman (but he really is a policeman)

Brianna the Courageous Lion

The Swan Family - Lisa and Phil and kids Evan, Rachel and Lizzy

Sarah the Princess and her Pumpkin friend David

Natalia staring as Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake's Mother, Mary as a Whoopie Cushion

Miss Bella as the Ardy Ar Har Pirate