Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stella 9 Months Old

Stella turned 9 months on the 20th. I just got around to having her monthly photo shoot in our orange chair. I can't believe how big she's getting. She has 6 teeth and I think she might be working on 2 more!

Krenz Family Update

I can't believe we've been back in The Mitten for a month. We're so happy to be back. We were never unhappy in Chicago, but I didn't realize how much happier I would be once we moved. We're living in a big ol' farm house just a half mile down the road from my parents. I think my dad thought we were moving in with him and mom for the first two weeks. We didn't have our internet set up, so I was down there all the time.

Tim's new shop is doing well. It's not quiet to the level he wants it to be at, but I don't ever think it will be. He always thinks he can do better. Not a bad quality to have in a husband. So if you live in the Grand Rapids area and need any work done on your vehicle stop in at the Midas on 28th Street.

Stella is 9 months old! I'm posting her 9 month photo shoot along with this post. She's a busy little bee, her favorite activity right now is pulling all of daddy's video games out of the entertainment center and then laughing while crawling away when mama gets after her. She's mostly self feeding now, and is still the messy eater I have ever seen! She's usually covered from head to toe after every meal.

My current goal is to become a full time freelance designer. It's really nerve wracking and scary to go after what I would call my dream job, but I know the hard work I'm going to have to put in will be worth it, if it means I have more time with my Love Bean. I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about it as I try to build business and transition from a working mom to a working at home mom.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Little Hope For Them

Since Alexis wrote her hopes for Ruth and Rules for herself, I have been wanting to do the same. I have done it a tad different though;) I someday hope my kids will read this when they are older. So, naturally I wrote it to them.

  • I hope you know you are loved. From the minute I laid eyes on you, I loved you. I want you to know that you will always have my love, even in the hardest of times. Know that showing love to you sometimes means being a little hard on you. 
  • I hope you feel at home when you're with each other. I want you all to have a great relationship and know you can count on each other. When friends let you down, you always have family to lean on. 
  • I pray that you can be yourself. I will pray each day that you will be able to find yourself. I don't want the world or people around you to make you feel bad about being you. In all circumstances just do you.
  • I pray you feel the love of the Big Guy. Sometimes you feel alone. Know that you are not. HE will always be there. He has had his arms wrapped around you before you were even here. 
  • I hope you love. Love is an amazing thing. I pray that you feel, the love your dad and I share. But know that love is not easy. Put your heart into whatever you do. 
  • To my girls I hope you cherish the times with each other. Your aunties and I did not always get along and neither will you. But, when you get older you will be best friends.
  • Gatlyn you are handsome and girls you are beautiful. Nobody can take away that inner beauty that each of you have. Don't let anyone tell you different or make you feel differently. 
  • I hope you have optimism. Look at the bright side of things. I hope that I can be a good example of this too you. 
  • I hope you get your hands dirty. For some reason I feel like this will never be an issue;)
  • I hope you use your imagination and don't worry about materialistic things. Some of the best memories I have do not consist of toys or things. Purely on using our imaginations. 
  • Work hard. Work hard to get where you want. Don't take the easy way out. The best things take work.
  • I hope I can listen and that you would know I want to listen. I want you to know I will not judge. I pray that I can have the unfailing love that my Grandpa and Grandma Brodbeck have for their children. I pray that even the hardest of times I can listen and help you find what you are looking for.
  • Gatlyn I hope you treat your lady right. Open the door and be a gentlemen. Respect and treat them right. 
  • I hope you give compliments. 
  • I hope you pray BIG. 
  • I hope when you fall down that you get up. When life gets you down-don't dwell on it. Pick yourself up and get going:)
  • I hope you can remain calm. It tight situations, don't get worried. Remember there is someone bigger helping you. Don't sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Psalm 4:4
  • Have fun. Take chances on fun experiences. Take life in and enjoy it!
  • Be Silent. Just sit sometimes and listen. Whether you are listening to the silence or somebody, just listen.
  • To my ladies I hope you know how a man should treat you. I hope that Daddy and myself can show you how a healthy relationship is supposed to be. I want you to know that there is a perfect match for you and that you don't have to "settle" for anything but the best.
  • Gatlyn watch your dad and I hope you aspire to be a man like him. You can learn a lot from him. He is a great man who means best by whatever he does. I pray when you become a father you are hands on like him. 
  • I hope that each of you respect yourself. Set standards and stick to them. 
  • I hope you reach your goals. Set goals and reach them!
  • I hope you hug. Hugs can make a bad day into good. 
  • Don't forget to laugh. This is not a hope! This is an order! Laugh until it hurts and then laugh some more! If you ever need a good laugh here are a few movies that get me EVERYTIME!! Dumb and Dumberer, Anchorman(when you're 16 or older of course), What About Bob (your dad HATES this movie, I love it;)), and Best of Will Ferrell SNL.
  • I hope you dance and sing. We always do it now and I hope you do it with your kids. It is priceless to see those crazy moves!

Life is going to come at you. It takes some ups and downs to get where you want to be. Always remember Daddy and I will always be here. Whenever you fall we be beside you to help you back up. We love you three crazy kids more than anything.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Let's get deep: Relationships

Let's get deep. Next three Sunday's will be a three part series centered around relationships/marriage. Not credit given to us because believe us, we are not the experts. We will be reblogging via Joe Martino. Don't look ahead, just stay tuned each Sunday!

What is the one thing?

Sometimes, when I go out to eat I embarrass my family. Well, mostly I embarrass my kids. I love to ask the server one of two questions. And now, I would like to ask you one of those questions. Your answer to this question will impact how you treat other people in your life. Your answer is probably the number one driving force in how you treat your spouse, or how you treat those you love.
Even if you are bad at relationships, and seem to have one bad relationship after another you have an answer to this question and it is effecting your life. Your life is probably more shaped by your answer to this question than any other force in your life, even if you don’t realize it. Are you ready for it? Will you do me a favor? Will you go and grab a piece of paper and a pen? I’d like for you to write the answer to my question down on the paper. If you get more than one answer, I would love for you to write as many down as you can.
Whatever comes to mind, just write it down.
What do you think is the single one more important thing to making a relationship work? What went through your head? Did something immediately spring to mind? Sometimes, people look at me and say that there is not just one thing but that there is actually many things so I ask them to throw two or three at me. In your case, just write them down on the paper. What came to mind? I have compiled an official list over the years of answers I have received from various people. I’ve listed a few of them for you below.
        ◆        Communication
        ◆        Trust
        ◆        Common goals/interests
        ◆        Common spiritual beliefs
        ◆        Trust
        ◆        Love
        ◆        Similar ethnic backgrounds
        ◆        Passion
        ◆        Romance
        ◆        Hard work
I actually think that all these things are great. On one hand it is a fantastic list. A strong relationship will have all of these elements in it. In fact, the healthier the relationship the more these things will be in the relationship. But—you knew there was one coming didn’t you—these things are not the most important thing in my mind. They are important. But there are marriages that all have these things that end up in divorce. What was your answer? Do you know anyone who has had that “thing” whatever it is in their relationship and they still ended up divorced? I know someone who had had at least one of those and sometimes more than one characteristics in their marriage and the marriage still ended in divorce.
        I have a strong connection with many faith communities and the city that I live in is inundated with a high church population. Often, I hear people say that having a similar faith is the key. Sadly, the numbers do not bear this out. Look them up, you will find that people inside the church are getting divorced at the same rate as people outside the church. I have had too many people tell me that they loved their spouse but they had to get divorced—even if they didn’t really want to get one. Love and church do not seem to be a safe insulator against divorce.
        I think that all of these things lead to one thing and I think that one thing is the most important thing. I wonder why we take something as emotional as relationships and take emotion out of it.
What is your answer? Tell me in the comments. I’ll tell you mine tomorrow.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ruthie's 1!

Cant believe how much time goes as I get older. How is Ruthie 1 already?! One year ago I was blessed with this beautiful big brown eyed girl. I remember the doctor saying, "well lets check out these eyes, every baby is born with blue ey..... except this one haha." She has humbled me from day one and has changed my life in ways I never thought were possible. So proud to call her my daughter and so proud of the happy, beautiful, loving girl she is becoming.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pool Day

We spent today at the pool.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Favorite memories of our dad...

- Falling out of the calmest part of the river while white water rafting
- Holding me (Alexis) over tank of dolphins by my belt loop
- "No one deserves anything"
- Turning the music up when we were singing in the car.
- Staying up late playing Monopoly.
- Big pans of burnt chips n' cheese.
- The story of his John Travolta move across the table
- Crossing our fingers, whispering "dairy queen dairy queen dairy queen" when we drove by it, hoping he'd stop. He would always reply, "I would have stopped if you wouldn't have said anything."
- Ghosty, Ghosty (a game we made up, dad was the ghost and chased us around the house when it was dark)
- Goin "crazy" (which usually ended up in just going to check fields)
- Sleeping in his T-shirts
- The day he said "I'm tickled to be here"
-This Father's Day when we were all laying on the living room floor doing a crossword puzzle together
- Our special weekend with him when mom was on the annual Christmas shopping trip
- Him quizzing us on the Easter Story while we colored Easter Eggs
- Playing tickle monster and trying to give him wet willies
- Him walking me (Jamie) down the aisle on my wedding day
- Any and all family vacations; special standout our road trip out west.
- Him telling us Paul Bunyon stories before we went to bed.
- Hearing him yell at me (Mallorie) to hustle in basketball games. Well, obviously I was;)
- The occasional ride in the Mustang.
- Dog N' Suds
- His face before he walked me (Mallorie) down the aisle.
- When the girls run to see Poppy, and he lights up.
- Opening bags of beans.
- Getting grounded and ungrounded in the same night.
- Watching planes fly over us in the fields.

When I think of my dad this verse comes to mind. I believe my sisters would agree with me. "Don't sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent."
 Psalm 4:4

Friday, June 15, 2012

One of those mornings....

Have you ever just had one of those mornings where you just wanted to scream and go back to bed but unfortunately your a super woman mom who just has to keep on smilin' and keep on movin'. Well that's my morning today!

I wake up to the MAAAAA MAAA MA, that I get every morning, but this morning I was begging for just a few more minutes. I am usually not one to whine about the lack of sleep because of Ruthie, because its obvious to me that lack of sleep is what comes along with being a mom and she has always been a great sleeper, but this morning I felt the need to plea too Ruthie for another hour. As you may guess she wasn't up for that, she was ready to start her day! After a good amount of jumping up and down, dancing, and running back and forth in her crib laughing, I pulled myself out of bed.

We go downstairs and of course she has to have a sippy and breakfast right away . . . she might starve or die of thirst or something. So, I put her in her high chair and start getting her breakfast. She eats some bagel, because lord knows she has to eat what I am eating, but that gets old and she starts her "mmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmm!!" (translation: I don't want that anymore, give me something else lady!) I would make her say please but she is already sitting, and sitting like a dog is how she says please (I did not teach her that, so don't turn me in for child cruelty, I blame my mom). Anyways, so I throw a banana on her tray, and go to the bathroom. I come back to find Ruthie squeezing the banana through her hand like a play-dough machine and then smearing it on her tray and then throwing the rest on the floor. Can you say hard to please this morning?? Needless to say I give up trying to please this little diva in the food department this morning and clean her up.

After that we head to the shower. Most mornings we just shower together because its quicker that way, and she usually loves it and does really good. Well this morning she felt the need to climb out of the shower, which resulted in me chasing her to get her back in the shower, then that a few more times, and then gallons of water on the floor to clean up after. Not the most enjoyable shower this morning.

So after we hurried up and got that done I let Ruthie out of the bathroom to rome around free bird. Yes, I know you all are already saying, "you are asking for a disaster." Well you were right, I come out of the bathroom after getting dressed with no Ruthie to be found. I see that the door to my moms craft room is shut and it's silent in there so I know someone's up to something. I open the door to find, I really want to say another word, but poop everywhere and just in time to stop Roo's hand from going in her mouth. It was absolutely disgusting. At least six spots of poop smeared into my moms new carpet!! aHHHHHHH, she is going to kill me!! I start to freak out and grab Ruthie who now has poop everywhere on her and take her to the sink. I wash her up and put a diaper on her and look down so see poop all over my white capris I was wearing. You have got to be kidding me! So I change those put detergent all over them and leave them to soak. Next to tackle the poop room. I do my best to get it all out, I think I did, I am hopping those dark spots are just because the carpet is so wet from me scrubbing it. I call my siblings for suggestions and they just laugh. Except Jamie, of course she's the first to say "HA!, I don't know, let me google it."  But don't tell my mom because she has yet to find out that her craft room was the victim to an almost one year old poop massacre this morning. I might need to break this news to her with some chocolate and wine.

Needless to say, the morning nap came an hour earlier this morning and I am now just sitting here dumbfounded and praying to God that this was just one of those mornings . . .

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

Our little Cowboy has had a rough week.  Number one he can't handle the heat. Which is leading us on a hunt for some sort of air conditioner. 

Unfortunately, Gat is dealing with a cold. Friday during the day we all started to notice how fussy he was, along with a runny nose and heavy breathing. By the way he is NEVER fussy! He is such a good baby. So after a lot of watching throughout the day and a call to Jess and his nurse we decided to take him to ER. So around 5:30 Friday, Gat and I were headed to DeVos. We were quickly taken to a room. The doctor came and seen him and told me they were going to need to keep him overnight. He was breathing way to fast and his oxygen levels were a little low. They wanted to monitor him for a night or two, he thought he possibly could have the onsets of brochiolitis.

As soon as the doctor left the room I had a breakdown. I was not ready for a night in the hospital. It is crazy how quickly you forget that feeling of feeling helpless for your baby. Being home I just shut out what we went through and didn't really think about it often. It is apparent those wounds are still not completely healed. It brought back a lot of hard feelings to deal with. I went in "survivor" mode, I got on the phone (balling of course) and got a plan into place. These were the cards we were dealt, so I was going all in and going to come out on top. I called Jess and he got everything around and got the girls situated with Grandma Cathy and then came up. We hung out and got no sleep for that night. We made the decision I would stay the day at the hospital and Jess would go be with the girls. And my mama came to hang out with me. That afternoon we got the "ok" that we could go home. They were pleased with the turn around and the fact he didn't not need oxygen overnight.  So by 3pm on Saturday, Gatlyn and I rolled home. 

Gatlyn had only been home for 58 days and we already had landed one trip to ER. I guess I forgot how truly fragile he is. He has a weak immune system and cannot tolerate a cold like a term baby. Then there is the slap in the face of how truly blessed we are. He is a miracle. He looks like a completely healthy baby. If you have had the opportunity to see him in person, you know what I mean. Day to day I see constant improvement. 

We need to be more conscious about our daily living. We gotta get back to the way we were when he first came home. Less outings and more time at home. We do not have a physical reminder daily of how fragile he is. He looks healthy, chubby and smiley. Sure he has a backpack that goes where he goes. That does not phase me anymore, it is just a part of him. We don't look at his feeding tube as a handicap or weakness. We love this little boy so much and will do anything to keep him healthy and thriving. 

In that trip to the ER I feel like I prayed more then, than I have in weeks. Isn't that the way it goes? You always pray more when in need, rather than when everything is going great? I shouldn't need that big of wake up call to know that God is in control. I thank God for all he has done for us and Gatlyn has he has been "kicking the odds in the face".

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pantry Challenge Results

We know, we've been MIA for quite awhile now. But, we've had a lot going on! We promise our posts will get regular again soon.


Remember when I challenged myself to use up as much of my stored food as possible before moving? I crossed off items as we used them up. I think I did pretty good. I donated some of the food to the USPS Food Drive and some it I pitched while packing.

  • 5 yellow onions (I tossed 1 bc it went bad)
  • 1 can tuna fish
  • 2 cans great northern beans (Donated 1 can)
  • 1 small jar pimientos (Donated)
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can french onion soup (Donated)
  • 4 cans cream of chicken soup (Donated 2 cans, used 1 can)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (Donated)
  • 1 jar sweet gherkins (Donated)
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 4 small cans green chiles (Donated 3 cans)
  • 2 cans tomato sauce (Donated)
  • 1 individual serving of Velveeta shells & cheese
  • 1 small jar of mayo (opened and went into the fridge)
  • partial box of Minute tapioca pudding
  • partial jar of peanut butter
  • about 2 servings of instant white rice
  • 1 full, 1 partial box spaghetti noodles (Donated 1 box)
  • 1 box of Rice-A-Roni fried rice(Donated)
  • partial box of Cream of Wheat
  • 1 box of cheesy scalloped potatoes
  • 1 bag of croutons
  • 1 jar instant wild rice
  • half box of lasagna noodles
  • partial box Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups instant oatmeal (yes I measured it :)
  • 1/2 container of French Fried Onions
  • almost an entire can of bread crumbs
  • 1/2 container of baking cocoa
  • 1 bottle of ketchup
  • 1 jar of funfetti vanilla frosting (As we were packing, we noticed it expired in 2011 oops)
  • 1/2 bag slivered almonds
  • about 4lbs of sugar
  • about 5lbs of flour
  • about 2 lbs of light brown sugar
  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • large bottle of apple cider vinegar
  • partial bottle of white vinegar
  • partial bottle of rice wine vinegar
  • partial bottle of soy sauce
  • partial bottle of worcetershire sauce
  • large bottle of EVOO
  • partial can of baking powder
  • partial box of baking soda 
  • partial bag of Cheeze-It Snack Mix
  • 1/2 loaf bread
  • 1 hot dog bun
  • 2 partial bags of coffee
  • some popcorn kernels 
  • 1/2 tub blue cheese (It had been in there so long, it was had gone bad)
  • 2 cheese sticks
  • 3 slices baby swiss cheese
  • 10 slices colby jack cheese
  • 1/2 bag of mozzarella
  • 13 slices american cheese
  • 1 tortilla shell
  • tiny bit of yellow mustard
  • about 1/4 bottle of buffalo ranch dressing
  • partial container of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 bottle tobasco sauce
  • tiny bit of mayo
  • partial bottle of Frank's RedHot Chili Sauce
  • partial bottle of chocolate syrup
  • partial bottle of caramel syrup
  • partial bottle of white chocolate mocha coffee creamer
  • partial jar of minced garlic
  • partial bottle of ceaser dressing
  • partial bottle of spicy brown mustard
  • partial bottle of ketchup
  • almost a full bottle of A1
  • partial bottle of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tube tomato paste
  • partial bottle of squeezable pizza sauce
  • partial bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 bottle of honey mustard dressing
  • tub of margarine
  • 1 bag celery hearts
  • 1 can Pillsbury crescents
  • 8 sticks of butter (I've used 4)
  • handful of baby carrots
  • 2 Arnold Palmers
  • 5 bottles of Leinenkugel Berry Weiss
  • partial bottle of maple syrup
  • 2 partial jars of salsa
  • 1 individual yogurt
  • 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • partial jar of applesauce 
  •  2 whole chicken (we've ate one)
  • 1lb pork sausage
  • 1 pack of cheddarwurst
  • 6 chicken breasts (I've used 2)
  • 1lb cheddar cheese
  • 2 packs sirloin steaks
  • 1 pack pork shoulder steaks
  • 1 ham steak
  • 1/2 bag cocoanut
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • plum pierogi
  • 1/2 bag corn
  • 8 1/2 cups chicken stock (I've used 5)
  • 4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 8 ct. pack of tortillas 
  • tortilla chips
  • cilantro
  • 2 jalapenos
  • loaf of bread
  • 2 limes
  • dozen eggs
  • 1lb baby carrots 
  • 1/2lb lunch meat
  • 7 bananas
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce (we've used 1)
Some of the meals we had; hot ham & cheese sandwiches, pan grilled steak, chicken tortilla soup, chicken and white rice in spaghetti sauce, quesadillas, spaghetti, chicken breast and wild rice, chips and cheese