Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We're Off...

We are taking off for Minnesota on Friday afternoon and we are so excited. Doug has a 2 week break from school again this year! We love to see all the family and spend Christmas with them. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas whether you travel or stay home this year!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Journey

Everyone has their own journey in life. Everyone has their share of trials and weaknesses, pain and sorrow. When I share about my own, it's not to compare or look for sympathy. If anything, I am so blessed in all that has happened throughout my life and all that is currently happening, that most people in the world would probably envy the bliss I enjoy. And yet, even in my happy and joyful circumstances I feel some pain. I know it is part of the experience of mortality and I embrace it, along with all that is good and right. However, I don't enjoy it. My journey right now involves a lot of unknowns and a lot of waiting. Two of the things I hate the most, which is probably one reason I am experiencing them. I can handle bad news, I can handle disappointment, but not knowing is sometimes more than I can take. And waiting for the unknown is even worse. "When?", is a more pressing question that "What?".

We have a great life. I would be totally content to keep things just as they are. We enjoy our daughter, friends and family. We have so much. The problem comes in with the fact that we know there is more for us. This "more" though isn't handed to us on a platter (does that sound familiar to anyone?:) We have to try and figure it out. I don't like it one bit! My sister has a friend going through some questions right now and she doesn't know what to do. She said, "I wish someone would just tell us the right thing" I can totally relate. There is a lot of work in trying to make decisions.

As I have been contemplating lately about what we are doing, our plans and choices, I am frustrated at how long it is all taking. We feel God wants for us to do foster care. I know it is Him leading us, because even now, I probably wouldn't have chosen this direction myself (and I know Doug would agree). I feel confident and at peace with our decision, and that is another way I know it is God leading us. Through all the waiting, through all the unknown, I find great comfort in God's influence and presence in our life. I know He is guiding us and others. I know that He has His timing and that it is perfect. I know I am learning things through this process I couldn't learn any other way. Although I don't always like parts of this journey, I am grateful for a wise God who has me do things I don't like so I can do the work that He has for me, so I can become the person he wants me to be.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). I have to remind myself that all is well, that all will work out as it is intended, to have patience. As we start this holiday season, I remind myself that God's peace can always be found. One of the greatest gifts of Christ's birth was the blessing for us to be able to receive peace in turbulence, trial and weakness.
My sister-in-law lost her father this last week and we got her and her mother some plants. I always choose a peace lily when someone passes. The gift of peace stills all pain, it allows us to buoy up again to press forward in faith and wait, with patience, for things to come.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Foster Care

Well, we have been going through the process of adoption with LDS Family Services for a year and a half (no leads there), so last May we decided to start the foster care licensing process to see about growing our family that way. There is always a lot of paper work involved and interviews, home checks, special rules, etc. We got locks on everything that could possibly hurt anyone and even some locks on things we don't think could hurt anyone, but by law still have to lock up (ever heard of anyone having problems with laundry detergent?). We met a really great case worker through a series of events that could not have been a coincidence, and got licensed a couple of months ago. We just met a great girl on Monday and she is visiting with us to see if we would be a good fit for her. When children are older, they get to be in on the process to help them have a better experience. The state wants the kids to stay in one home and avoid disruption (which means they move to a different foster home) and this is one way to do that. We feel really great about her and get to meet with her again next week. It's so great to think we might soon be having another person in our family. She's older and it might not lead to adoption, but we have so much to give a child and it seems such a waste to not share it. It is very exciting for us and we pray for the Lord's hand to guide those involved, even if they are unaware they are being guided.
We look forward to seeing what happens in the next weeks and months and will keep you updated!

For Thanksgiving we are having our great niece Katie here, Megan another great girl and BYU student and our dear friend Steph. We love having the girls here and will miss our niece Jill who is off with a girlfriend for the holiday. Ellie loves having the girls here and has been waiting all week for them to come (which is a long time for a 3 year old!) She tells me they take too long. Katie came yesterday and it's already a party! I love to entertain and have good food, games and fun with my family. Thanks for coming girls! Doug is off for 5 days and it's awesome! Life is good. We are happy and trying to find ways to make others happy too.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Catch Up

Well, it's been a long time since I last updated! We had an amazing trip to North Carolina to visit my bro and his fabulous wife, and had such a great time! It was so fun just to be together and hang out. They were great to me and Ellie. Doug met up with us in D.C. and we visited his parents and his brother and family, too. We saw lots of sights and had great visits with them too. We have traveled a lot this year and will be going to Minnesota for Christmas for 2 weeks. That makes my total time away from home this year 3 months! Crazy, but very fun!

I was just called to be the Primary president in my ward and it has been very fun. I am learning a lot and enjoying it.

My mom has been here for a long visit and we have been sewing and enjoying being together.

I can't believe it's already November and look forward to Thanksgiving. We are having our niece and adopted nieces here with us and can't wait for the fun to begin. We love having them around and love seeing them so often!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Salad of the Year!

Today I made my new favorite salad. Maybe it's now my favorite because it's new, but I have to say, I have out done myself. Yum! You might not think these ingredients go together, but let me assure you, if you like salad, this one's for you:)

Lay a nice bed of fresh spinach on your plate
top with...

julienne carrots (this is a really nice texture in the salad)

finely sliced red onion (you don't want to over power any other ingredients)

Also slice:
cucumber
avocado
Strawberries

I made a nice, light red wine poppy seed vinegrette to top it all! Super Yummy!
Red Wine Vinegar, Agave Necter (or honey) and a little olive oil and poppy seeds. Make it pretty sweet. It's delicious on so many salads. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer Fun

Wow! We have traveled so much this summer! We are back again from another vacation. My sister Jamie just finalized her adoption to her daughter Norah. It was so great and I am so glad I was there. As long as we were going to Minnesota we decided to stay a couple weeks. It was a long time away from Doug, but we really enjoyed seeing so much family! It was awesome! We saw Doug's sister Ann and her family, Doug's brother Tom and his family, my parents, sister and her husband and Norah, my aunt and uncle, cousin and husband to be, grandma, great uncle Billy and his granddaughter Danielle and my sister's brother and sister in law and daughter, and mom/dad in law. Whew! It was a blast. We went to mall of America, Como Zoo, Oxbow Park, played with friends, court date for finalization, games, and lots of fun. It was definitely time to come home, but we miss everyone already. We love MINNESOTA! We look forward to our time there as a whole family at Christmas.

We have more fun coming up as we plan for our trip to North Carolina and Washington D.C.


Norah! So stinking cute! She is a messy eater though! She is so happy all the time. Sweet baby girl. We love baby Norah. I just want to kiss her every time I see her! Love those cheeks!
This is Ellie and her friend Isabelle walking in a park. We love Belle!



Grandma and Grandpa Arlander at the zoo with El.

Como Zoo was beautiful. Ellie wasn't too interested that day, but we still had fun.


Ellie loves cotton candy!

Rochester Fair on the rides!

Mall of America with Grandma Dawn, Aunt Diane, Ellie and Carson
Jimette and I took a self portrait. It was so great to visit.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Family Names

Doug isn't big on naming people after people, but I like it. I tried to suggest naming a child Valborg (after my grandma) and he hasn't let me forget it! He tells people all the time what a bad idea that was. Who has the name Valborg? My grandma, that's who! It's not a pretty name, I admit, but I love my grandma. So, I lost out on that one, but we have other names. My sister Jamie and her husband have given nicknames to Ellie and their daughter Norah, both have the same ones as my sister-in-law Sonnet. Ellorie's nickname is El "Bean" and Norah's is "Peanut". So, there Doug! We have a family name for Ellie!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Schoonies

I normally don't blog to just one family or person, but Ashlie, I didn't get your email and I don't know how to get on your blog... so here's my newest email, which you might not have! theforsgrenfam@gmail.com
Look forward to seeing all that's going on. I wish I'd gotten it sooner!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good News!?!

I don't know what this means yet, but I think it might be good news! I check our profile on LDS family services web site for birth moms to view every so often. I just like to see if someone could find us with specific criteria or how many people have viewed us to see if we are ever looked at. Tonight I was frustrated because I typed in criteria that should have brought us up for people to see. But no matter what I put in (eventually I just put our names) there was no profile to view. A light clicked, "hey maybe we're on a soft hold!" That just means some one is considering us and so they don't want someone else to pick us so two girls don't choose the same family. We might not be choosen, so it's just a soft hold. A hard hold is that we are choosen and when that happens they call. No call, so I am thinking maybe it's a soft hold! It's encouraging just to know people are considering us. I don't know if the reason we are not able to see our profile is because of this or not (when they did hard copies of profiles in the office they only let one birth mother look at you at a time so that's why I am guessing its the same on-line. Of course, it could be technical difficulties or whatever, so I called and left a message! We'll see:)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Blogs

I know I don't have everyone's blogs! If you don't see yours on my list on the right then let me know! I need Nicole's and Ashlie's for sure... Ryan I need yours too. And several others! Send me your link or email me, especially if you have a password or something in order to view it! Thanks everyone! I love keeping up with blogs!

Adoption Update

Well, we are coming up on our year mark for the adoption process so we need to do another round of paper work (physicals, back ground checks, finger printing, Bishop's letter) and are still trying to find a sweet little one to add to our family. But, we are also looking into another route through foster care. This is a little more scary for me. 1) it is unknown and new for us 2) the kids have had a rough start and come with some challenges they wouldn't (most likely) have if they'd been with us from the start. But, there are so many kids who need families and homes and people to care for them and love them. We have so much to give and just trust in the Lord that he will bring the children meant for our home to us.

We have started the round of paper work for this avenue also and it's pretty easy because we have done most of it before. I still need my physical and have that scheduled for this week and we have to take 32 hours of classes... that I am not so much looking forward to. But, it will be done this month so that is great! We should be a licensed home by the beginning of August. Anyone have rope ladders laying around you're not using that we can put in our upstairs bedrooms? Didn't think so:)

Please include us in your prayers- that the children who need us will be brought to us or that we can find them! We are hopeful and optimistic that all will go according to God's plan and look forward to meeting our next child! Thanks for all your support and love. We appreciate all your encouraging words and offers of help. We look forward to our next update...

Vacation

I love vacation! We had a BLAST the last 2 weeks seeing everyone! We first went to South Dakota, which is the best kept secret. I wasn't looking forward to South Dakota vacation wise, but because we could see family. Grandma and Grandpa Arlander came and my sister Jamie (MiMi) and Ryan with their baby girl Norah. We shopped, camped, toured, played and just had a lot of fun. Ellie had a great time, too! We are going to make a yearly trip of it. I highly reccommend Broken Arrow Camp ground in Custer, SD if you are looking for a trip out there. The wild life, weather and accommadations were amazing! Great hiking, too! Mimi took the pictures because that's what she does, so I have none yet, but will post some later! I know you will all be waiting in suppense.

We then headed to Nebraska for Doug's reunion. Only 3 brothers made it, but all three sister's made it and we had a GREAT time (Doug is the youngest of 11)! We stayed in an old military base made into a state park. We had a huge lodge with rooms for everyone. The forsgren's can be loud, even when there are only 40ish of them around :) But we slept great at night, which is a huge bonus for me! We played, swam, did horse back riding, tubing, croquet, games and visited. The weather was awesome and it was just so much fun! It was such a fun vacation.

We came home and had the 4th of July festivities with neighbors and friends and church today. We will settle back into routine more, but Doug doesn't teach right now and that lets him have time for school, church and time to golf! Plus we love seeing him around the house. The school year is so busy that we love summer! We still have more camping and vacation planned for the summer... Life is good.

First Dentist Visit






Ellie did so well at her dentist visit! She didn't cry and she let the dentist and hygienist do their thing with no complaints. She was a good girl and I think our subsequent visits will be easy to do because she had no trauma!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Discovery

So, I miss living close to my family, but the longer I live in Utah the more things I discover that are AWESOME and help me deal with being so far away. Of course, hiking and camping, mission friends/college friends, food storage supplies, church stuff I need 2 miles away, and now.... A PRODUCE CO-OP! I got all this for $15. Greatest thing of my life!

My Veggies...


My fruit...
For an extra $7.50, an Italian package...

egg plant, fresh herbs, mushrooms, onions, zucchini squash, garlic! awesome!
We eat like Kings! I have to decide what to cook after I see what's in my basket and it's fun to plan a menu like that. If you live in Utah, check out bountifulbaskets.org. You can order every other week and it's on line. You can only order the wednesday before pick up. That will be the 27th for the next one. You pay on line and pick up at the closest location near you. Mine happens to be up the street about 3 minutes. Good Stuff!

Let the Summer Fun Begin!

We took our first camping trip of the year and it was so great! Just the three of us. We all love the water, eating outside and setting up camp.






Funny Story...

So, I love a fire camping. It is camping. I love a big fire! I like to see flames. Doug thinks I'm a pyro, but it is so beautiful and they are just good memories. So, I start collecting a bunch of sticks from around the camp and I put them on the fire to make it have more flames. Even though I know they won't last I still do it because we don't have really in between sizes just twigs and BIG logs.


As I am doing this Doug says to me, "hey, save some for morning". I start laughing so hard! I could barely talk and I say to Doug, "are you serious? Look around camp. There couldn't be anymore wood!" I was laughing for at least a half an hour after that. I even took some pictures so everyone could see the "shortage".




We joked about it the whole trip. So funny. I love making memories. The next day we went hiking to the wind caves. Beautiful! You climb 900 feet in 2 miles, so it's intense, but great. I think we did pretty well for our first hike of the season. This is the last year Doug is carrying Ellie on his back. She's a big girl:) While we were hiking, I of course needed some breaks. I was behind Doug and El and called out to stop and when we were resting Ellie says to me, "mom, my arm's tired from hiking." Really? I feel bad for you kid. That must be a tough ride on dad's back! Ha!

Dress Up Queen

Ellie LOVES to dress up! She wears dress up clothes more than regular clothes! She loves to be a princess and wear dresses. She LOVES shoes, too. We have had to create some rules.
1. No dress up clothes outside to play (we did that once and they were soooo dirty!)
2. No dress clothes when we eat (we did that once and they got covered!)
3. No dress up clothes up stairs. She wants to wear then 24/7. Kills me:)



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Seattle Trip

This is such a beautiful waterfall in Washington. It's not far from Mike and Jessica's place. Definately one of the highlights of the trip:)
On our ferry ride over to Vashon...
The LDS church owns property on Vashon Island called Morningside Farm... 110 acres of beautiful woods and grounds. You can camp and hold events there. There's hiking and a pond and a great play area. I really miss living here and could call it home forever.

Seattle Trip

We had a great time visiting Mike and Jessica in Seattle this last week for Spring break! We took a ferry over to Vashon Island to see where I worked for BYU Idaho on Morningside Farm. It was as beautiful as I remember and we loved it so much!
It was such a nice visit, just hanging out, seeing the sights and being with family! Thanks for taking such good care of us Mike and Jessica!
We loved meeting the boys... we hadn't met Aaron or Owen before and they are so fabulous!


Riding the ferry over to Vashon Island

Our sweet nephew Aaron....

Ellie loved the boat!

All the cousins having fun! The guy in the front is Owen, a bundle of fun. Like is the tallest one and we loved seeing him, too! Ellie was quite out numbered, but she fit right in the boys:)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Aprons

I love aprons! I have recently been making them and it is so fun. I love the process and the finished product that I can use every day. I like to match my apron to my clothes:) so I need a lot! I am trying new patterns and fabrics. I have a lot I want to make still. I think aprons are so useful and cute. People don't utilize them now a days like our grandmothers did. I am trying to bring them back! I use 30's prints to make them remind me of the olden days... it is great. I totally recommend an apron for your daily duties.



This pattern is called the church ladies apron. Love it!

Love this old fabric! So apronish... don't you think?!


P.S.
Take a look at Ellie's Birthday Pictures! She went with Saydee Lou, her little friend, and they had them taken together.

www.thesmilestation.com
Emily Forsgren
Access Code: LTTT0894111214TAR

Monday, March 16, 2009

Five Fun Treasures

My sister in law, Sonnet, posted an opportunity for 5 fabulous people to get a great surprise. I thought the idea was so fun I decided to do the same... Here's the basics of how to participate.

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It’ll be done this year. {translation: you may be waiting a little while}
4. You have no clue what it’s going to be … it may be an apron, a recipe book, a scarf, a poem, a bookmark, something yummy or a complete surprise to you (and me!) … who knows? not you, that’s for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

I can't wait to see who I will have the chance to make these gifts for! I love gifts, especially homemade ones:) Feel free to do the same on your blog- it's very fun!

Mandarin Oranges

Today Ellie ate Mandarin Oranges for lunch and ate, without too much trouble, a bite of a turkey wrap sandwich, too! Every little food she will try is a success worth writing about! We are so glad she is eating more food...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Ellie!

Ellie turns 3! She had 3 birthday parties! I hope this isn't going to be a tradition... three birthday parties when you turn 3... four birthday parties when you turn 4...

She had so much fun and her friends were sooo nice to her! Thanks Sunni and Rochelle for the parties! This is Ellie with her cake that Rochelle made. It is fit for a princess:)

Ellie is potty trained now, thanks to Sunni and she is eating so much more variety and quantity too, also thanks to Sunni! We love the Ngo's! You can take Ellie for the weekend any time... next I would like you to teach her how to stop throwing fits.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shop til you Drop


Bringing these girls up right! We hit the mall today and got some great treasures, including these fabulous sunglasses for the girls:)

Winter Fun

Girl friends
It's not yellow at least:)
Mylee and Halle
Mylee loves the camera!
Ellie and Saydee Lou

We love the snow! Ellie is happiest playing outside... we are so lucky to have so many friends so close who can play, too!

Saydee is 4!

We had Saydee's birthday party at our house with a bunch of friends! It was so fun!


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our Sweet Girl!

Ellie wears her glasses upside down. Cracks me up every time. I will be sad when she starts to wear them the right way:)




When she opened her cowboy hat at Christmas she did not like it! Ha! But, she loves it now!
Thanks grandma:)