Thursday, December 13, 2007


Have you ever had one of those days when you are absolutely exhausted, but for the life of you, you cannot figure out why? That has been my day today.

Started out great this morning, we were on the ball with school, done by 1 o'clock. But I was on the phone most of the morning with business stuff. Then we loaded into the van and went to the library. We got there and found out that they were closing the library on the 1st, and they would be closed for 3 weeks, due to the expansion and moving and organizing and everything. So Sheila wanted us to check out as many books as possible so she woudln't have to move them all!! Well we walked(staggered) out of there with over 100 books in our backpacks, bags, and 3 grocery bags!! Wow, we have allot of reading ahead of us, no TV in the Anderson house any time soon!! Ahhh, you know what that means?? Blessed quietness!

Michelle turns 12 tomorrow! (Maybe that's another part of my exhaustion?) It is an emotional time for me! #1- it makes me realize I'm getting old! #2- one more year until she's a teenager #3- she's our first born, so as she grows up, we realize how quickly they are all growing up #4- IT MAKES ME REALIZE I AM GETTING OLD!!!!!

I am also very excited for Michelle though! She loves to babysit, and now she is able to do that, without mom watching over her shoulder. She is turning into her own person. Does that make any sense? For 11 years I was able to somewhat control how she perceived things. Now she has her own eclectic style about her that is all her own, she loves different types of music, she likes to try different hairstyles, different styles of clothing. She is turning into a minature adult!!

It is so weird, and not at all what I expected! It makes me understand my parents a little more, and what they went thru when my brothers and I all moved out, just months apart. What they must have felt when they allowed me to marry so young. And then they were grandparents when they were so young! Me growing up so fast must have made them feel robbed. Robbed of their youth. To go from a household bussleing with teenagers, arguing over the phone. To a household of silence, with the kids all gone, it must have been lonely. To watch your child get married must feel like saying goodbye. Of closing a chapter in your life.

Of course another chapter begins, and before you know it, you have a house bussleing with grandkids!! We ahve a few years before all of that!!

It just makes me wonder where the time has gone.... Do you realize in 4 years we will have 3 teenage girls in the house!! It makes me tired just thinking about it!

To look back at the last 12 years, it becomes so clear to see God's working in our lives. I can look back (now) and see that God has always blessed us. Even when, at the time, we didn't understand, it is clear to me now that He has always done what was best for us. What a humbleing thought.

Well I must go, I have birthday presents to wrap!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

To be Content

Have you ever really thought of that verse.... in everything, be content.

Not always an easy thing to do. It doesn't mean to find something easy to be content with, it means in EVERYTHING be content. So when I'm having an awful day, the kids are running around like little lunatics, I am to be content. When I am bored and lonely, I am to be content. It means whatever God has for me I am to be content with. Even when I don't understand what He wants for me, or from me, and I am questioning every little thing going on in my life, I am to trust Him and be content with whatever He wants for me and my life.

This is a hard concept for me. To some it may be simple, but it is a struggle for me. I am not a content person. To sit still and to be quiet is not easy for me, ask anyone who knows me!! I want to see the world, I want to travel.

I have a nomad's heart. I read about people who are able to travel, to go to Africa, to see Spain, Brazil. I had a dream last night that we were able to spend 9 months in France.

Is it wrong for me to dream of this? Does this mean that I am not content in my simple life here in MN? I am fighting against these roots that are deep in the rich MN soil. I dream of exploring.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I've been thinking....

I've been thinking about the most inane things lately

I think kids should come with an off button

I think I should have a robot to clean my house

I think my husband should have an airfreshener in his pants

I think Elvis is dead

I think snow is over-rated

I think we should be driving flying cars by now

I think we should have voice activated microwaves

I think OJ Simpson is guilty

I think Sundays should be sleep in days every week

I think seafood is gross

I think marriage is the leading reason for divorce

I think the 4 out of 5 dentists are lying

I think I'd rather live with being sick than the 17 sideaffects of one little pill

I think having alone time is a myth

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My List....

Do you ever dream big? Sometimes I find myself dreaming about all the things I would like to experience/accomplish in my lifetime. Dennis and I love to dream about what we would do if we had money. From the simple things to the most extreme, like visiting Africa and hunting wild game. To build a big house, have nice clothes, drive nice vehicles, send our children to college, travel, take care of our parents when they get old, own a neat little motel up in the northwoods, remodel the house.... the list is endless, but I believe in dreaming big!!

Visit the White House
Travel from coast to coast one summer
Swim in the ocean
Eat some Jumbalya, in New Orleans
Spend 2 weeks in Costa Rica
Visit Africa, not the pretty parts, the REAL Africa
Go on an exotic hunt with Dennis
Publish some of my photos in a magazine
See all of my children happily married to Christian spouses
Stay in a cabin in the Colorado Rockies, during the winter
Visit Niagra Falls
Be in a play
Meet someone famous
Drive cross country in a 79 Camaro, just Dennis and I
See all my children graduate, and know that I had a hand in it!
Build a new house in the country
Own a neat little motel up in the northwoods
Hire a tutor to help with the kids' schooling
Raise amazing, sweet, well adjusted children
Live simple

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Have you ever felt restless? I can't seem to get back into the swing of things since I've been back home. Sometimes I wish I were stil in MO. Dennis is back to being away from home during the weeks and only home on weekends, I feel like life is passing by and I'm only going thru the motions. I really want to move the kids and I to Red Wing so we can all be together all of the time. Nothing is holding me here.... I expected to feel wanted and needed when we came home, but I don't feel either of those. We would be home on weekends, at least most of the time, and I don't think anyone would really miss us. As long as we showed up for church a couple times a month, people probably wouldn't even know we're gone.

My mind isn't in a good place right now. I'm questioning so much in my life. Why have we chosen to homeschool our children, I have some friends who have said, "see Shanan, if you would just put them in PS, you wouldn't have to deal with any of this." Why do I doubt our decision? I am not accountable to friends for my children's lives, I am accountable to God. PS does not nurture their souls, many times it does not even nurture their minds. I think my heart would break if I sent them to PS, I would feel that I have let them down and more importantly, that I have let God down.

It's been hard coming back to our home church. I miss our church family down south, I miss my friends that I have made. I miss the way the people are on fire for God, how it showers down even to the youngest child. I miss just closing my eyes and listening to the concregation sing, like they really mean what they are singing! I feel out of place. I shouldn't say that, our youth kids have welcomed us back and I still feel part of their lives. I find I have to force myself, and the kids to go every Sunday.

It is amazing how dispensible we are. To the people around us we aren't all that important. Family is different.

I'm struggling right now on so many different levels.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Okay, it's been forever since I've been on. Life seems to catch up with you! Hmmm, have I been doing anything new? Not really. I went to the Ladies Fall Fellowship last Friday, 150 women were there! It was so much fun! The theme was "A Journey through Time", all the table decorations were beautiful, every table had a different theme, and the ladies dressed up to represent different time periods. The speaker talked about writing down our timeline, our life on paper, and in hindsight you may be able to see God's guiding, even though at the time, it may be hard to see God's hand in it all, when we look back at our lives, it is so much easier to see GOD in it all!! She also mentioned the fact that we tend to keep our testimony to ourselves, and not just the time that we were saved, but the trials and triumphs in our lives.
It made me think of the stupid choics I've made in my life, yet God seems to find ways to make it all work out. I think of the teens that have come into my life, made some of the same choices, and they are still struggling. Can my testimony be used in these situations? I know the only reason I have been able to overcome so much is because of my humbling myself to God, repenting of my sins ( again, and again =/ ), and dedicating my children to God. How can God use me? So much of the time I would like to brush it all under a rug, now that I am older people don't notice the age difference between Shell and me. But I wonder if I should be using what I have learned to reach out to other girls in the same situation? How can I be used??
How can I tell others the importance of showing these girls God's love?? We are so quick to judge and turn our backs to them. DO we not see how that only turns them away from God? If they can't find love at church, where will they turn to to find the love and acceptance they are searching for? They are searching for acceptance, not that we should love the sin, but we should love the sinner!! So many of these girls are searching for a way to make things right, they just don't know how to do that. Can I be used??
Pray for me! I have been struggling with this for a long time. First I made the excuse that I was too young. Then I was so busy with all my litle ones... I'm all out of excuses!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

God's children

Wow!! To see 2 individuals come to Christ is amazing!! And to witness the joy in an entire church body when they see that their prayers of 2 years have been answered is tear-jerking.

Sunday morning's sermon was your steriotypical brimstone and fire preaching, it was on the Great White Throne Judgement, hearing about that time to come brings me to tears, knowing that so many people I have met and come in contact with, and even friends and family members are going to go thru that, and the emptiness of knowing that we won't remember them, and the realization that God will even cease to remember them, it makes my heart cry.

When Pastor Vester gave the invitation it seemed like a third of the congregation went forward to pray, I didn't know until that night that they went forward to pray for those 2 individuals, sitting in the pews, that had not yet made that all-important decision. To see one of the women stand up to go back to her seat, and as she turned, she saw her friend, kneeling at the alter, she started crying, and she knelt by her friend and was able to hear her prayer, the friend that she had been praying for for SO long to get saved! Then after the close of the service, to see all of the church family embrace her in hugs and tears, it was amazing.

To see God's working thru this church family that we have begun to call our own, even if it for only a short time, has been humbling. To see them on fire for God and His leading, to see the love that they have for each other and for their neighbors and the unsaved that they work with. It has been eye-opening, the importance that they put on the children, training the young men ( that is what they call the little boys 7-16) to become leaders, to disciple them from a very young age to become soldiers for Christ. To teach the young ladies what it is to have character and to live for HIM. To embrace those who have made some stupid choices, yet have come back to God, because they have witnessed God's love thru this church family.

I am so grateful that I have been able to witness these things. It has been amazing the way Dennis and I have been growing in our relationship to God, and in our relationship with each other.

To depend totally on God and to grow more dependent on each other and not on friends or family, I think that is one more thing that I can say I have learned this summer, my first summer away from home. And hopefully many more to come!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Okay, I am bored out of my mind! I need more space to spread out! The last few days there has just been nothing to do, I think I am just being lazy. Why do I find myself in these slumps? Is this normal? I have been spending more time in our rooms. I find myself reading more and more , and spending less time living. If that makes any sense...
The kids have been great. They keep themselves occupied, playing in their room, or playing ball outside. By the time Dennis gets home I'm so tired, but I haven't DONE anything! Ugh! I am looking forward to school starting, so we are on more of a schedule, but I'm not ready for school, this summer seemed so short!
We still plan on using most of our weekends to see the different sights around Missouri. In fact, we are going to Nashville this weekend!! I am so excited! We plan on visiting the Ryman, and the Union Station Hotel, walking down Music Row, walking downtown, shopping in the different little shops, maybe we will go to the zoo, there is so much to choose from! Pray that we will have no problems with our van! It seems like an on-going occurance for that van to try our patience! It should be a fun weekend! The kids are so excited!
I'm trying to convince Dennis to stop at Cairo, IL. I would like an hour to do some photography there. It is an old town, it was once a very booming river town, Al Capone and his mobsters used to frequent the downtown establishments, but now it feels like a ghost town, there are a few people who still live in the town, but it is very poverty stricken, houses are falling down everywhere you look, huge, beautiful homes, and they are literally falling down in the streets. The downtown area has beautiful brick buildings, banks, hotels, saloons, even a speakeasy, with the sign still out front, but they are all sitting empty, some are crumbling into the streets, others have been vandilized. It is a sad town now. But I look at it, and I see amazing black and white photos in my mind. Hopefully I will have the chance to stop and takes some pics, I'll get them posted ASAP.
It has been an interesting 3 months. I have learned to lean more on my Heavenly Father. How can I feel lonely with my husband and children around me all the time... I realize I was leaning more on my friends and family up in MN, and not on Him, now, after being more isolated, I have found it is easier to lean on him, and not so much on others. It has brought our family allot closer. The kids play with each other, and they have had to figure out ways to settle their differences, they have been forced to, all 5 of them live in 1 room. Eat, sleep and play, all in one room. Dennis has had to put up with my talking, he is the only adult I talk to on a daily basis! I think he has realized I can talk about "nothing" for a long time! I hope and pray we can continue our adventure for a long time. It has been allot of fun, and I am learning so much about myself, my children, and my husband!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Our road trip back to MN

Well, we decided on a spur of the moment to drive the 13 hours back to our house in New London. ( this was on August 17th) . Dennis came home Wed. for lunch and asked if I would mind driving back to MN for the weekend, me, being up for anything, thought this would be a great idea, so we decided to leave Thursday afternoon. Well, we got on the road at about mmm 3:00 or 3:30, all the kids piled in the back, their blankets and pillows piled around them, windows rolled down, and we were off!! We drove thru St. Louis, on the north side of St. Louis, the battery light came on, hmmm, it's still driving fine, so we continue on with only the thoughts of our beds, and homemade food in our heads. We go about another hour, hour and a half at the most, and the cruise quits, then the clock light goes out, prety soon we are coasting along the interstate, looking for a place to pull over! So there we are, in the middle of no where, with a broken down van. Now I know, "use your cell phone", that is what most people would think right? Well, who are you supposed to call??? We have no clue were the nearest mechanic is, or the nearest tow truck... so then what do you do??? Anyway... Dennis started monkeying around under the hood, wiggling this wire, cleaning that wire, unhooking the battery cables, cleaning them, putting them back on, you know, making sure people could see that, yes, we ARE broke down, not just enjoying the scenery! But really, when people are driving by at 80 mph,, it's kinda hard to expect them to help us I guess. Finally a Sheriff stopped, walks up to Dennis, and here ya go people, asks,"so, are you having problems with your van?" Ummm, how do you answer that, aren't we obviously having problems?
He was actually a very nice man, he called a tow truck for us, and when he was on the radio trying to find a garage that would fix the van the next morning, a mechanic called into dispatch and said he could be at our hotel by the next morning and get us on the road. So Dennis had to wait for the tow truck, and the sheriff took me and all 5 of the kids in his squad car to the nearest hotel. Which he said was allot nicer than the hotel a few miles up the road. We get to the hotel and he goes into the ofice to get a key for us so we don't have to wait outside for Dennis, as we are waiting, Brooke pipes up from the backseat, where all the kids were sitting, and says,"mom, this is just like a movie!!!" Now, she is thinking some family vacation comedy, you know the type, car breaks down, very nice sheriff stops to help, they stay in some crusty motel and everything is great, except for the poor father getting attacked by a forest creature, see , ha ha ha, so funny! Now I am thinking.... HORROR FLICK!! You know the type, car breaks down, very nice sheriff stops to help, they stay in some crusty motel, they get attacked by some LUNATIC SERIEL KILLER!!!! Bates Motel, ya' know , that kind of movie!!
Well, we try to get into our room, but the door doesn't totally open, a dresser is in the way. Then we get in the door.... da da da doom... it is so gross! The floors are filthy, the bathroom is filthy, the entry door only has a flimsy little lock on it, I must give them credit for the linens, they did have clean sheets on the beds. So, we sit here, all 7 of us, Dennis is staying in a great mood, the kids think of it as another cool adventure, and I am in TEARS!!! We walked next door to get something to eat, then we all went to bed. Alexis and Brooke decided to slep on the floor instead of squeezing on one of the beds with the rest of us. Bad decision!
The next morning the mechanic is at the door at 6:45 to work on the van, which was wonderful. He got the van up and running within an hour, and he only charged us for the parts! An answer to prayer! So we go into the room to make one last sweep to make sure we didn't forget anything, Dennis opens up the dresser drawer, which by the way, Alexis slept under all night, and it was full of mouse droppings!! YUCK!!! I was so glad to get out of there, but I must say, we met a very nice sheriff, and we were able to talk to a very nice mechanic, who we found out was a Christian!

So I guess we can chalk this one up as another Anderson Family adventure!!

This is all new to me!

Well, I figure this is a good way to ...
1) out every thing down on "paper" so I can remember the details of our journey
2) hopefully keep friends and family up to date on the changes in our lives!

So here goes!