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This weblog is our online journal. It contains updates about the Foede Family. A link to our website can be found below, and has further information about the kids, our travels, and more pictures.

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Thursday, November 15th, 2007

It hasn't been the best couple of weeks at the Foede household, to say the least.  We've all gone through our slight colds, but Dylan took the hardest hit.  For a week he had the typical runny nose, and then it progressed in to a wheezing, hacking cough coupled with a slight fever.  And he is miserable when he is sick.  "Mom, Mom, Mom! I need medicine.  Tell me a story.  I need a movie.  Wipe my nose.  I need juice."  Lather, rinse, repeat.  He is better now, though for a while when one of us simply couldn't accommodate him in his demands right away, he'd get extremely upset.  In doing so, he discovered that if he got mad enough, he could make himself vomit.  And then he'd run around in circles yelling "I puked.  It's gross!" (Pronounced pooked, by the way, so that we had to try to hide smiles, while cleaning the 'pook'.)  The good news is that he is potty-trained finally.  But he insists on wearing his underwear backwards because the picture is then on the front.  He has a point, but how uncomfortable must that be?  I think I'll introduce him to boxers (or underpants without Cars characters on them!)  It did serve it's purpose  though, because he refused to urinate on Lightning McQueen or Mater.

As expected, Mark kept his job at Boston Scientific.  He reports that the severance packages were so good that those that did leave left with smiles on their faces.  He has one co-worker whose wife got a job in Chicago, and he we has going to put in his two week notice, but decided to wait to hear how he fared.  Sure enough, he was let go, and instead of job-hunting, now has the next year in pay, bonus, and medical at his disposal.  This is a picture of a sunrise we took outside our kitchen door.

About a week ago Zach was complaining about his mouth hurting, and pointed to a bottom tooth.  I didn't see anything wrong with it, and noticed that his 12-year molars were coming in and suggested that perhaps that is what was bothering him.  The next day he complained about a top tooth, and I peeked at the took, checked to make sure the bracket wasn't coming off, and didn't see anything.  I didn't hear anything about it again.  I noticed that he wasn't eating well, and he was more lethargic than usual, and finally two days ago he said he wasn't sleeping well because his mouth hurt.  So I checked his gums, and sure enough they were swollen and red.  We tried a day of brushing well and rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash, but it didn't look any different.  I suspected, because it was most swollen above the tooth he chipped 5 years ago, that the trauma finally caught up to him and had him see the dentist this AM.  Sure enough, the tooth is infected, dying, and needs a root canal!  He's pretty scared and wishing that he never climbed on the counter to reach something in the cupboard. Step one of the root canal is on Monday.  Step two is going to be a few months away...they want to watch the root and see if it closes on it's own (apparently it has an opening which is unusual) before permanently sealing it.  It's not supposed to disrupt his orthodontics (but who knows!)  These teeth that have root canals often get brittle without the blood supply, and have to have crowns.  But his dentist says that will have to wait until his braces are done.

Gabby has been busy finding new friends and being invited places.  It's fun to see her thrive here, and not have to drive so far to get her to a friends house.  Alisabeth is a little envious, and I asked the Mom of a little girl if we could set up a play date.  She agreed it would be fun.  I did make a faux pas though.  My first Sunday someone introduced herself to me, and then introduced her granddaughter that she brings.  I thought Alisa's friend was this lady, and said something about her granddaughter.  She made a face that made me immediately realized my mistake, and I said "She's not your granddaughter, is she?"  Nope, sure enough it's her daughter.  I apologized and said that I met so many people on my first Sunday that I was confusing them, and we speculated on who it might have been.  Mark says "Nice recovery" but I feel awful about it!

Reese is doing well. Her 4 month well baby checkup is next week (at 5 months!), and I'll update her page then.  In a nutshell, she is sitting well, but chooses to slide on to her tummy so that she can get around, grabbing everything, loves the sound of her fingernails raking things, and cute as a bug!

Thursday, November 1st , 2007

Every year, after the Christmas Holidays, I tell the kids "Wow, only 9 months until Halloween!" or "Hey, we're half-way to Christmas already."  So I don't know why November comes and surprises me that it's already here, that I have 4 weeks until it's time to put up the tree and lights (which is questionable this year.)  But we are all glad that the bees seem to have begun their hibernation, and are hopeful that the Box Elder bugs will soon follow.

We had a fun Halloween.  Zach decided to not dress up this year, and to stay home trick-or-treating.  I decided that if he gets to take a break after 12 years, so do I!  So we made Reese's outfit, put her in it for all of 20 minutes, and then relaxed as Mark found a neighborhood in the city limits to take the kids.  I was a little sad that I'd miss Dylan, but told the other kids I wanted a full report.  When they came home they told me that he rang the doorbell to every house, said 'Trick-or-treat" and 'Thank you" and then turned around and jumped from the front stoop to the sidewalk, sometimes losing candy on the way down.  Alisa wasn't sure what she wanted to be.  First it was a witch.  Then it was a ballerina.  Then a movie star.  Then an indian (to which I told her she was not allowed to dress up as an indigenous person, and recommended that she change it to Kaya, the Indian girl from the American Doll collection, or Sacagawea, the Lewis and Clark guide. Then we found a really good costume from Grandma Bonnie's suitcase of clothes that would have made a perfect Professor Delores Umbridge, but Alisabeth took umbrage (ha, we love how JK Rowling tied some of her characters into their names...Xenophilous is perfect for the man who loves strange things!) Finally in the end she decided on being a movie star.  Ethan decided on being an outlaw, Gabby a Gypsy (we made the dress, the shawl, and the head band out of our satin sheets that we didn't like because the caused the the bedspread to fall right off the bed, they were so slippery!) Dylan was a clown (a costume Mark wore as a child, and each of the children have, with I think the exception of Gabby who was really stubborn about not wearing it!)  Pictures can be found HERE.

Zach is having a blast with his new scout troop, though he misses his old one.  Last Saturday they went fishing at Lake Mille Lacs and he caught a 20" walleye.  Mark went with and caught a 17" one.  Unfortunately, the slot limit for walleye's on that particular lake is 14"-16", so neither one was a keeper.  Zach is going skiing in December, and next weekend has a camp out.  He was called into his quorum's presidency as the secretary, and now just needs a leadership role in scouting so that he can continue to work towards his Life rank.  We are skipping band this year, because school had already started and he didn't want to join in late, but he will practice on his own so that next year he can fit right in.  Ethan is enjoying scouts as well.  Alisa and Dylan both have made lots of friends, though Dylan misses his good friend Payson, and cries every time we pull into our garage for 'Grandma's house'.  Gabby has made a ton of friends, and went to a halloween party, but emails her old friends every day. 

We did pictures of the kids on our own down at the Rum River.  You can see some of them in my new 'signature' at the top of the blog.  I'll have to look into having them printed on quality paper, and not just stuff you buy at Office Max, as a replacement for going to a portrait studio. The kids finished one Primary Program, and have their other one in 2 weeks.  They have their parts memorized and know the songs forward and back.

We have a lot of deer around here.  I don't like to drive at night when they sit on the side of the road.  I always envision them like the squirrels on the car insurance commercial who high-five each other after causing an accident.  Today 4 adult does ran through our backyard, and 5 minutes later 2 young deer followed.  We could see the tops of all of them congregating over the small hill behind the house before prancing off.  It's fun to watch them leap!

Mark is doing well at work.  He doesn't anticipate being part of the massive lay-off that is looming (though he says with the severance package they are offering, some of his co-workers are hoping they are involved...it's that good!)  I am fine.  I feel so honored to be in a church ward where two of my heroes attend church (though I know they would dislike being called that if they knew.) One for how she has raised her family, and the other for being the most brilliant person I know, but so kind. This is the type of person who could reprimand you over a comment you make or an opinion that you held that was unkind or unfair, but she'd say it so gently that you wouldn't realize it until about 3 days later. I've grown up some since I've been in a ward with her, so let's hope the reprimands are no longer needed, and I can just soak up her wisdom and knowledge instead! Anyway, Reese is crying to go to sleep, so I should sign off.  Until next time! (Top)

Friday, October 12th , 2007

Happy October, one of my favorite times of year (besides the extreme activity of the bees and wasps at this time of year, yuck!)  I hate going shopping with the kids and have a bee by our groceries in the cart.  I am sure we look completely sane as we all stand by the car waiting for it to go away and then shout 'Hurry, get in the van, shut the flipping door, oh no the bee went into the bag!'.  Glad it's almost winter and we can look forward to snow and bee-less shopping outings!

The kids are home from Arizona and had a great time.  Ethan and Alisa want to go next.  We were going to all go to pick them up from the airport, but the airplane was delayed by a couple of hours.  Before knowing that, I asked Alisa if she wanted to come with to pick up Gabby.  She said, in a scared, quiet voice, 'Will you come with me?'  I said 'Of course I will, we'll all go!' to which she responded 'Should we pack our suitcases now?'  I said 'Why would we pack suitcases?' and she said 'To fly to Arizona to pick up Gabby!'  She was relieved that we'd just be driving to the airport, and not actually flying.  Because they were so late, she didn't see Gabby until the next morning, and immediately jumped on the poor sleeping girl and hugged her.  Alisa faithfully prayed for Gabby everyday, and sent her an email card (she sent one to Zach to, but only under duress!)  "Please bless that Gabby is having fun, and that Gabby is safe, and that Gabby knows I'll miss her, and that Gabby can fly safe.  Oh and I guess bless Zach too.  Alisa is turning out to be a pretty funny girl.  At grandma's house, on first seeing the bear rug hanging on the wall, she ran upstairs and said "Mom, grandpa caught a bear, and it turned into a rug!" or when Zach was going to make apple crisp but we needed more apples I told her "Alisa, I'm running to the store to get more apples" she said "So grandma already has the crisp here?"  Dylan went through several phases as well, such as the "now" phase where ever sentence ended with "now" or the "it...a" phase ("I love it a hair, Gabby...I love it a juice, Mommy"..."Give it a Legos to me, Ethan".  Now he is repeating the word 'the' as in "Give it the the the the the the juice to me."

Reese is doing well, and her updates can be read HERE.  The kids are doing well in school.  We are back into the swing of things, although we can't seem to find the time to do French through the library system like we should.  I bet if I could find Harry Potter in French they'd be fluent in no time!  I think there is a French-speaking woman in our new ward, as I was walking the halls with Reese I heard her tell her son that they needed to get back because sacrament meeting would soon be done (apparently 4 years in high school and 1 year in college will do something for you!) Perhaps I could hire a tutor instead. (On second thought, with a mortgage now doubled, perhaps her French speaking son would like to come over and play and only speak French!)  We like our new ward.  They are taking a trip to Nauvoo next week, but Mark is out of time-off, due to the cruise, the baby, and moving.  Tomorrow the ladies are having a 'ladies night out' that I am looking forward too.  And my brother Brendan is home from Iraq for a couple weeks, and my family is having a 'Christmas in October' for him, where we can all get together.  So life is good.  Busy, but good! (Top)

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

We are back online!  In our rush to move out, I didn't update the blog about the house we purchased (which was none from the previous entry) and instead sent out an email with the details.  For those who didn't get the email, I'll paste it to the end of this entry.  After living with Mark's parents for 5 weeks, we closed and moved into our house in Princeton.  Their generosity and patience is astounding!  With the exception of Ethan's pack meeting on the 26th  (where he will get 2 yellow beads, his Wolf badge, 1 gold arrowpoint, and 3 yellow arrowpoints!) the Primary Program that we've been asked to attend in Hutch on Oct. 21st, and the Christmas Program on the 15th, we are ready to begin attendance in the Princeton ward.  I took Zach to a youth temple trip, so I wasn't there on moving day, but apparently 25 people showed up to help move (or play with our toys, as it were) and the missionaries and 2 women have stopped by to say "Hi!"  Mark was released from his calling during branch conference on Sunday, and though I wasn't released, my name was called for re-sustaining of all presidencies.  So far we are loving the house.  We'll love it more when the basement is finished though!

Ethan's baptism and Reese's name and blessing went very well.  Thank you to all who came and supported us, sent a card/email, or thought of us on that day.  Pictures of the event can be found HERE, and updated Kid pictures can be found HERE.

Alisa is going to take after me with her emotions.  Gabby is gone to Arizona with Zach and Bonnie and Gary, and she cries every day about missing her.  And just now, she said "Aw, Reese you are so cute!" and then she started crying because she would miss her looking like a baby when she grows up.  I tried to tell her that you think you'll miss that, but that each age is so special that you never want to go back to an earlier one.  Speaking of Reese, I know I desperately need to update her page, but I have to find my notebook where I wrote down all her updates, and it was packed with the other homeschooling notebooks. In a nutshell, she LOVES her Mommy and won't let anyone else hold or touch her without crying, she scoots on her tummy, she is gorgeous, is 15 pounds, 25 inches, scoots out of her car seat and bouncy seat, loves her exersaucer, loves to stand on my lap, and smiles and squeals. 

So Zach and Gabby are in Arizona.  They flew out on Sunday.  I used flightaware.com to track their flight, and took a screen capture of when I was able to relax and smile.  I think Saturday's flight will be a lot easier on me.  Mark will  pick them up at the airport late, so I won't be there to see them come in, so that the other kids can get to bed at a decent time. I've talked to them on the phone each night, and so far it sounds like they loved the flight, loved the Grand Canyon, and were looking forward to Red Lobster. There's nothing like those two being gone to remind me how much I appreciate all they do for me!

Zach had a great time at scout camp, and at his court of honor the following week he received 4 merit badger (camping, emergency prep, wilderness survival, and ???) and his Star scout award. Gabby loved Valley Fair, said the new rollercoaster is awesome.

The day of Zach's temple trip we also went and saw the I-35W bridge collapse site, and took the time to see St. Anthony's Falls, the UofM campus, but most importantly (eh?) Dinkytown, which the kids thought was a hilarious name.  Wonder what they'd say if I told them there's a Frog Town too?
Coming off of the 10th Ave. bridge reminded me why I chose the virtual frozen tundra that is Duluth as opposed to the cities campus.  What a zoo!

(email excerpt)
As far as purchasing a house, we've put an offer on a house (and it was accepted) in Princeton.
They started off at $279,000, and have dropped to $249,000, where they were going to stay.  They bought the house in 2002 for $229,000, and have put in around $30,000 into appliances, the deck in front, and partially finishing the basement.  We went and saw it and loved it, but just could not comfortably afford $249,000.  A few weeks later, their realtor contacted ours to see how we liked it (I guess a common practice among realtors) and said that the owners of this house have a conditional offer on their dream home, a foreclosure, and that 6 other offers were pending on it, but that all offers were contingent on the sale of their home; so whoever sold theirs first would get the house.  He said that they were willing to come to the table breaking even.  So they dropped the price $22,000 and are paying our closing costs ($5,000).  We are getting their house, with all updates, partial finishing of the basement, appliances, and their supply of drywall that will finish the basement, for $2,000 less then they paid for it, thanks to the equity they made in mortgage payments in 5 years! We are supposed to close on September 10th, but it's still contingent on the homeowners getting their dream house (which I'd love to see).  No idea when I'll get the final word.


Wednesday, August 1st,  2007

The house is sold!  It has passed it's inspection, and we just needed to add a lock to the upstairs door for the FHA appraisal.  We are set to close on August 28th at 10:00 AM.  We are excited, but it is SO soon.  The housing market is really awful around here, and we were warned to expect at least 9 months on the market.  We fasted and prayed that God's will be done, and 2 months later we are scrambling to find a house to move in to.  Last weekend we looked at over 20 houses (and thank goodness for the internet, I can't imagine not being able to weed out houses by pictures...it would be HUNDREDS!)  We came up with a top 5 that we like.  We called them by their code names.  #1 was Brady Bunch.  It is in Big Lake, in the Sand Dune state forest on 4 acres (mostly wooded.)  It looked like the Brady Bunch house.  The woods had some suspicious plants (leaves of 3 leave them be AND berries white run in fright!) and the house would need some finishing to make a 5th bedroom and a family room.  #2 was 4Bed4Bath in Zimmerman which was really cute, had an office that could be a non-conforming 5th bedroom on 2.5 acres.  It had a deck in back with a screened in porch underneath.  We would have needed to bid 10% lower, and they had already reduced by $30,000.  10 % would have given them no profit.  #3 was fruit tree, also in Zimmerman.  Cute older home on 4.5 acres that had lots of trees, some of them fruit trees in the front.  Needed updating in the kitchen, and needed a storage room to become a 5th bedroom.  #4 was knotty pine, which was a typical split level on 2.5 acres in Princeton.  The basement was finished in knotty pine, but would have had to have a bedroom added.  #5 was a CUTE house in Becker on 2.5 acres.  It was perfect, but was on a pond, backed up to a major road which was loud, and was a longer drive to work for Mark. 

But the house we like the best we didn't expect too.  It is a quick-sale from a bank before having to foreclose on it.  It's only 3 bedrooms and 1 bath.  The price listed on the internet was more than $60,000 less than what it started out as, and it needs a quick closing date.  And it is subject to 'bank approval'. (We thought that meant the buyers...apparently not!)  So we put in an offer at what it was listed at + closing costs and the bank said they wouldn't take it for less than $30,000 more than that.  We asked our realtor how a realtor can get away with listing a house at a price that the bank didn't know about and apparently that is where the 'bank approval' comes in.  You can get it for that price if the bank says it's okay (but they likely won't.)  Heck, why not write $1, subject to bank approval?  Anyway, they came down $20,000 and we agreed to go up $18,000 and closing costs, and then our realtor asked them to come down $2000 more (without consulting us!) so we don't know where we stand right now.  It's also a split level (which I really don't like, but this is okay because it has fairly good sized entry and a mudroom to make if feel less like you either have to go up or down.)  It has upgraded cabinets and appliances, so that is nice.  We'd probably have enough cash to finish the basement before we move in (adding the deck and the screened porch like on 4bed4bath would have to wait though!) The bedrooms upstairs are small, so it will be interesting to see how we could finish the basement (hmm, fireplace?  built in fish tank?  whirlpool tub?)  (Did I mention it's in Big Lake on 2.5 acres, about 5 mintues from Brady Bunch?) There is no landscaping (other than sandburr plants (which our realtor called jumping cactus') so we'd have to work hard at that) and the well water is SUPER rusty so we'd have to figure out how to resolve that. It's common in Big Lake, if seeing red stains all over buildings accounts for anything!)  If this one didn't work out, there is another cute one in Princeton, but it needs kitchen cabinets, appliances, central air, and a furnace (and I think the owners took all that with them, because it looks like it used to have cabinets in it.) Or we could go for Brady Bunch and try to get rid of the poison ivy (if that is what it is...maybe it isn't!)

In other news, Mark was summoned to jury duty, but we won't be living in the county at that time so it's a moot point.)  Brendan's wedding was lovely.  I am attaching a couple of pictures (removed for space.)  I've been trying to learn vignetts on Photoshop and these (along with Reese's on her page) are my first efforts. The picture of Brendan and Amanda originally was outdoors with my brother Kirk praying between them. It took some work to erase what I didn't want and put it on a black background.) Anyway, it was nice to be invited and for Brendan and Amanda to work hard to make it possible for his family to be able to witness it (can you imagine not being invited due to space?  Or worse yet discovering that only one side was invited for whatever reason?)

Zach passed his scout camp swimmers test. He leaves next Saturday and will be gone a week. Gabby went to Valley Fair with the Girl Scouts.  Ethan and I went to Harry Potter #5.  Alisa can't stop singing the 'spider pig' song from the Simpson's movie comercial, and was delighted to simpsonize herself at simpsonizeme.com.  Dylan is not only a rugrat, he is dangerous.  I woke up this morning and smelled something funny in the dining room.  After searching I discovered he had gotten into a LOCKED closet, got out the iron, plugged it in an outlet hidden behind a chair, put it on high, and left it there all night.  I about passed out! We could have all burned.  It was leaning up against the plug in for the baby monitor, which now has a corner that is brown and melted (at least it was a crappy monitor from a garage sale and never really worked!) That child is a menace, and obviously a simple hook lock isn't going to work, we'll have to get an actual lock to store potentially dangerous things.  I got on my knees and thanked God for His protection first thing!  (Top)


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