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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Bee Story

Oftentimes, I have wondered what I would do if I was in a crisis. Would I fight or fly? I usually think that I would be the scaredy cat who goes blank and can't do anything to help anyone. When Jason tells me stories of situations in his life and how he automatically responded, I can't help but think that I would never be able to do that. I just imagine myself being weak in an emergency. Then I met the bees....

Before I tell the story, let me point out two things-
1. I cannot kill anything. I catch spiders and take them outside to let them go. I'm pathetic.
2. I am allergic to beestings.

So, this story goes back to our move from Avondale. We were loading up our truck, minding our own business, when suddenly a HUGE swarm of bees came upon us. There were hundreds!! We went inside for a while to try to wait for them to leave, but they just hung around! We had no idea what to do...we had to, I stayed inside and packed and Jason kept moving our stuff. Except, he had to have the door open to move boxes came in!

Within minutes there were dozens of bees in our house. Our house seriously sounded like a soda can with a bee in it. I could hear buzzing everywhere. My kids were running from wall to wall being chased by the creatures. It was like a real, live, NIGHTMARE. I (as far as we know) am the only one allergic to bees, so I wasn't scared for my children's lives, but I was a little worried that I may end up in the hospital myself!

I felt panicked for a few seconds, I must admit! I was flustered and had no idea what to do.But then, I had an automatic "crisis switch" that went off...and I got MAD! I hurried and grabbed my kids, and got a fly-swatter. Then the battle began!!

I couldn't believe my own "ninja skills" when killing these bees. I was a jump-swatting, window-hitting, mid-air, mid-floor, killing machine! No bee landed alive! Soon I had killed over 50 bees. When a bee started flying at me, I didn't run. I braced myself and swatted the thing probably a little harder than I needed to, and then stepped on it a few times to make sure it was dead- (yeah, sweeping and mopping was fun afterwards).

Anyways, my point of this story is...even though this is a relatively small "crisis", I realized that I did have the capability to react and defend myself and my family. It was very reassuring to know that when it comes down to it, I am able to do what I gotta do!

After the war, my youngest (the ham) and I took a couple pictures to remember this day. I love her personality!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Really Hard Day

February 16th was a tough one for me this bitter sweet. I have officially reached the point in Mommyhood that so many women talk about, but I never thought would happen to me. This past week on Feb 16th, my BABY has turned 4 years old. I am getting to the insane mindset that I *almost* wish I could have another baby. I say almost because if I really sit and think about it, I know that my family is complete.

I did cry a little on Sonja's 4th birthday though (ok, maybe I cried a lot). I don't know why, but to me, age 4 just is the threshold to being a "kid" instead of a "baby". I have no more babies :-( I know that each year will hold new memories and great adventures, but I know babies- in fact, for the past 7 years I've had at least one kid under 3 (and at one point, I had 3 kids under 4!). So, this new stage in life is a tad uncomfortable. It's going to be even worse in 1 1/2 years from now when all 3 kids are in school- I'll have another melt down accordingly.

Newborn pics

Sonja was a surprise, to say the least! And I was not too thrilled in the beginning (although I cannot even fathom that now!). BUT, when we had our 2 children and were "done", I kept having a feeling there was another kid around. Like, literally, in our house. I'd even tell Jason, "I take Jayna and Xander somewhere, and feel like I'm forgetting my third kid". Well.....I found her! She was just waiting to be born. And oh what a joy she is!

10 month old cutie

She is probably the typical "baby of the family". She gets spoiled rotten by brother and sister, is pretty easy going, is funny and goofy, and doesn't let her age stop her from doing anything her siblings can do. Except when it's something she doesn't want to have to do- like get her shoes on...she talks a big bro or sis into doing that!

Sonja was feeling left out this day as Jayna got to ride a horse (at 18 months).

She has a 'tude, but she also has the sweetest and most tender heart. She cannot stand to see others cry, she will immediately burst into tears along with them. She LOVES to sing and dance, and her current favorite song is "I'm Running to Your Arms" by Newsboys.

Her 4th birthday we went to her favorite place on earth...Chuck E. Cheese. That girl loves Chuck E.! She is the kid that is always right in his face :). Having a birthday party there meant that Chuck E. spent some time with her, and she was totally thrilled!

she basically had the time of her life :)

She had a Care Bear party, and my Mom made her the most awesome cake

We all love baby Sonja to death and are SO GLAD that God decided to give her to us. What a blessing she is!! Now, as for the baby blues....
I'm planning on making fast friends with some babies' Mamas and having some babysitting time to cuddle them- hey, at least I can send them back before the rude awakenings (literally) take place!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Love story..... 7 years married!!

Ok, so I am not sure exactly how this post is going to go. Usually I have a pretty good layout in my mind before I get going. But this post is different. It's directly from the heart. This post is about my absolute best friend- my husband, Jason.

Picture of us taken right before we started dating. Jason gave me this photo, complete with the saying. Such a keepsake!

We had our first "date" (which I will explain later) on February 4th, 2003- exactly 3 years later (February 4th, 2006), we were married. I made the best decision in the world! I remember that on New Years Eve the year before Jason and I started dating, I was in deep prayer with God and profoundly heard him tell me "Do not worry so much about your life, you will never mess it up beyond repair. You will have a joyful life." I had a lot of things that had happened in my childhood and teenage years that left me feeling pretty rotten at times. But this promise from God was so clear, and I never forgot it.

Oh, and one more thing to add before I get into my story- When I was 13 (and kinda silly), I somehow convinced myself/tried to convince God that the guy I should marry would say Proverbs 13:12 at some point (which ends up being wildly profound both by it's content and by the fact that Jason's # is in fact, 13. The funniest part of this is, I closed my eyes, opened my book, and pointed to find this "destiny verse". I know, it was about as crazy as Gideon's request from God. But hey, it seemed to work just as well!

This is one of our engagement pictures.

So, anyone who has known us for more than 7 years knows that we had some very rough times. I do not really care to get into details on those, but I do want to say that, contrary to what I totally believed once, time (and God), really does heal everything! There are things that don't bother me now that I once SWORE up and down would. I remember a dear friend Lora Henning sat and talked with me my first year of marriage. She told me that the past would fade, but I doubted her. She was so right though. As long as the person has truly changed (and in this case, we both had some changing to do!), time really does heal all! ...and that is all I care to dealve into the "rough patches" (although I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have- email me at! The most important part of the story is God's miraculous match-making despite of trials, problems, and mistakes!

Sooo- February 4, 2003, around 7pm. I am in my college class, English 101, I believe. I get this weird feeling that Jason is going to walk in (this hunk I've had a crush on since the Christmas play). To this day I couldn't tell you how I "knew" he was around. He'd never done anything like this before. We were only friends.

When class is over, I head for my car. I can hardly believe it when the car next to me is a black tahoe that looks awefully familiar.....

Jason rolls down the window and asks if we can talk for a minute. In this talk he says that he likes me, but (and I still tease him about this), he "doesn't know how much yet". He was so nervous! He said "Is it getting hot in here?" a couple of times! It was so sweet. I told him that since I was still 17 (not 18 until July), he needed to ask my mom if we could date. He did, and she agreed. We definitely knew pretty quick that we were perfect for each other. And, case you were wondering- he said Proverbs 13:12 in May, 2003. I was so excited!!! Then in June we started the really rough patch that actually stretches until June 2005- can a 2 year stretch still be called a patch??? The important part is, it was obviously God that brought us together the first time, and it was Him that made it work out the 2nd time as well. This is where the irony of Proverbs 13:12 comes in- "Hope delayed makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life". That was so profount to me once we got back together. "Hope" was in a sense deferred for 2 years, but it ended up being fulfilled.

Jason wanted to get married as soon as he proposed in August, 2005. But I really wanted to have an actual wedding, and after looking at the calendar, realized that our anniversary of our first date landed on a Saturday! So, Jason reluctantly agreed to wait :). I'm not sure what he was SOOO anxious for, as we already had a 6 month old baby (Jayna!!!). Maybe it was just the desire to be a real family, all under one roof (which I admit I was a little anxious for as well).

This picture was taken in April 2010-I unfortunately don't have access to all my pictures at this time

So, we got married. We moved to Awhatukee, and life was HARD! I, admittedly, thought I made a mistake. NOT because of what was going on at the time, but because of the= PAST. Such an ugly word!! I have memories of being in tears and literally vomitting at remissions of past memories. Yeah, the first year was tough. On top of that...I had a miscarriage. We got pregnant on our honeymoon (we decided we wanted to have our children close together), but I lost the baby at 14 weeks (May 10th, 2006). So- between hormones and past issues and first year marriage struggles...things. were. tough. BUT- Jason had been raised so well. When I was ready to run away (think emotional drives up to Payson), and I'm pretty sure he was having second thoughts too (though he'd never admit it), he reminded me that we had VOWS, and NOTHING would seperate us now. I was "STUCK" with him. I will just say it is really good that he had those values- because honestly, as much as I loved God and loved Jason and Jayna, I don't know if I would have lasted without his strength.

So, year one= HARD. But, it only got better from there. We both learned a LOT. We both persevered. We both learned how to be unselfish. And in 3 years, we both had 2 more children!!

Taken in Dec 2009. Family complete!!

At this point in this blog, I need to just let it out and say how awesome my husband is. He has so many attributes that it is kind of hard to know where to start. But I'll just let it flow as it comes. Jason is a hard worker- he has a strong work ethic and has such a desire to support his family. He has a strong conviction that I should be home with our children to raise them. Which is great because I feel that way as well. However, even though I am the homemaker (I have ran a small daycare and/or the office side of the business as well), he does not come home and say "hey, where's dinner", or "why are my favorite pants still dirty, or "what exactly do you do all day??" He is always supportive, loving, and a gentle. Don't get me wrong- he can yell like no other when he is being defensive (and we have gotten into our share of fights!). But every year we are learning more about how to deal with each other and make life easier and better for one another.

Jason is also an exceptional father. Like....really. He loves to play with them (aka wrestle, throw, etc), talk with them, brag about them, etc. He is the all-star dad. He dreams of their future and how he will provide for it. He wants the best for them. How amazing it is to share with someone the parental love of children!! There is nothing else that compares!


Jason is not a "romantic" as many would say...but whatever he does or says comes directly from the heart. I can feel the love he has for me radiating off of him, and that is wonderful. He is fiercely loyal and devoted. Who could ever ask for more??

We have definitely had our ups and downs this past 7 (or 10, depending on how you want to look at it) years, but every year we understand each other a little bit more, and definitely fall more in love. The 7 year itch is no where to be found!!

April, 2010

Jason and I, like many couples, are opposites in many areas. I am the saver/penny pincher, and he is the spender. I want a simple life, and he is more grandious (talking material), I am a over-thinker/ ponderer/ whereas he is very spontaneous. I like my privacy, and he really could care less who sees what. I am emotional, he is not (unless it's a movie that involves sad scenes of the kids or wife...sorry, Jason..but it's so cute!!). I tend to have reserved moments, and he is always outgoing/I wanna talk allllll dayyyy/ let everyone come over/ I love people!! So....we differ. But, we differ in areas that really help us to grow. I in fact envy a lot about his personality. I also learn a lot and have made changes because he has brought to my attention, simply by being himself, a vision of a better "me" that I want to be. Jason likes to say that we are "yin" and "yang"- which seems pretty accurate.

All-in-all, we are a match "made in heaven". There is just too much evidence to say that we were not meant to be, even though Jason and I both think that the "only one person for you" idea is untrue (or, do we???)

Here are a few more random pics of us! I am so happy to be a Ritter (German for Knight, which is where I get the blog title!!)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Reserve Army

I absolutely LOVE this idea by James Dobson of Moms being the "Reserve Army". I really feel like he hit the nail on the head. I have many times been tempted to go back to work, and/or have planned on going once the kids were all in school.


I am now a firm believer that if one parent can stay home, and be the "reserve army", it is best case!
I am very fortunate that I have an accounting degree and can do some bookkeeping from the home, but I don't think I will ever get more than a very part time job at any point.

You know, it's just one of those articles you gotta read for yourself!

Here's The Article