My Weight Loss Journey

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008.... A Year of Blessings and Changes

Our House In Spooner, Wisconsin we moved into our beautiful new house in August of 2004....My Husband build it with his strong hands and God given talent...I am so BLESSED to have such a HANDY man!!! We both loved our home, our yard and flowers.

As I reflex on 2008, it was a whirl wind year filled with God's power and timing . It all started in the Fall of 2007. I was sitting on our front porch pondering our situation. After 18 years of managing a cranberry marsh, the marsh my husband Brent managed had sold and he lost his job in the spring of 2005. He went to work doing what ever he could find from construction to logging, we even bought a sandblasting business trying to get some kind of stability and steady income in our lives again. The sandblasting was too seasonal and winters are too long. We soon realized that it would not be the answer for us.

As I sat on the porch that day, a thought came into my head. We need to put our house up for sale and if it sells, God will direct our steps...and if it doesn't we are suppose to stay where we are and God will provide. But I felt that selling our house was the key to God moving us on and out of this situation. Brent came home from work that day, we sat on the porch together and I shared my thoughts with him. To my amazement he had been thinking the same thing. We knew that that was conformation so we listed our house a week later. The selling agent said that the way the market was he was doubtful that it would sell (and of course I was silently hoping he was right). It was a big house and houses that big in this area don't sell if they are not on a lake. (Well we serve a BIG God so hang on....that baby went quick).

A View of the Front Porch, this was in Spring 2007 ...I LOVED my flowers and plant baskets

Our house the Fall of 2007

Brent building our sun deck

Our back yard......we wanted to dig a pond back here someday surround by lots of flowers

Anyway, we had a few showings the summer of 2007 and even got an offer...but the buyers needed to sell their house first and they were having a hard time doing that so the deal fell through. I was some what relieved I will say. I was not really wanting to move...but if that is what God wanted for us I wanted to be obedient. Well, in February 2008 a wonderful christian couple with 4 beautiful children was shown our house and they fell in love with it. They made an offer and we closed on April 25, 2008. As Brent and I were packing we both would look at each other and say or should I say yelled out loud.....WHAT HAVE WE DONE!!!! But we kept on believing God had a we kept on a packing and believing.

The Entry Way going into the Living Room
and the stairs going down to the basement and up to the lofts

The Living Room and a partial view of one of the Loft.....There is a cat walk that leads to another Loft on the other side

A better view of one of the Lofts. I had my sewing room in one loft and an office in the other was soooo awesome. I could work up there but still be part of the goings on in the home

My sewing room

The View of the living Room and Kitchen from the Lofts

The Dining Room

Our bedroom all packed up...through the french doors is our bathroom. I went dark wood in here...I LOVE the contrast and I think I would do more dark wood next time we build

A partial view of our bathroom

Our Kitchen, Brent and I designed the kitchen, we were so proud if it...Brent did all the wood work in our house

My sister helping pack up and clean the kitchen...what a trooper!!!!

Our living room and kitchen view, we were in mid-packing looks pretty bare without our furniture

Our Kitchen after packing :(

My first big clematis flower....I was soooo proud

One of my perennial gardens....I LOVE FLOWERS!!!!

We closed on April 25th, 2008 and were officially homeless. From there we rented a house in Spooner until we knew what direction God would have us go. There were many doors that closed for us during this time. We were going to build a smaller version of our house but things just didn't fall into place like we thought they would so we started wondering if God was going to move us on and I mean really out of the area. I DID NOT want to think about that but I did say I wanted what God wanted for us so I had to stand in FAITH and trust Him. This meant that I would have to leave my precious family and quite a job that I dearly LOVED....could I really do this?

Brent and I decided that maybe he should try to get a marsh job again seeing that growing cranberries is his passion and he has missed it everyday since he lost his job 3 years ago. There are not many marshes in the Spooner area so we always knew that if he was to grow cranberries again, we would have to move. He called around to some of the growers he knew and got 2 names of marshes that were possibly hiring. With in 10 days of making the phone calls he had and interview and got the job here in Wisconsin Rapids. We sold our sandblasting business and he was here working on the marsh the end of May, 2008. I stay in Spooner until the 1st of September because my daughter was home for the summer from college and I wanted to be with her pulse we were looking for a place to rent here and it took time...Brent came home on weekends, it's a 3 hour drive, but he faithful showed up every Friday night.

The rental we moved into in Spooner after we sold our house, I really enjoyed living in this house

My sister and daughter Kara helping us move into the rental....our family really pitched in and helped us move, we could not have done it without them...thanks guys, we love you!!!

The view of the back yard of the rental in Spooner.....I LOVE it!!!! It was so peaceful. I did a lot of stitching while relaxing on the back deck soaking up the sun and looking at this beautiful view.

So as I sit here in Wisconsin Rapids on this New Years Eve night and reflexing on all that has happened this past year, all the packing and all the moving and all the head kinda spins but there is one thing I know for sure.....I will keep trusting in my God. No matter where I live....No matter if we have a job or not....No matter what the economy looks matter what the politicians say and don't matter what things looks like....God is in control and HE is our STRONG TOWER!!!

Our rental here in Wisconsin Rapids...Brents bosses are going to build us a new house on the marsh either this summer or next..I can't wait. We are hoping they will use the plans we have already drawn up which is a smaller version of our house....wouldn't that be awesome...we get our house and a job....WOW...only God could make that happen.

The Kitchen and Dining Room of the rental here in Wisconsin Rapids

The Front of the rental here

We serve a awesome God and I am excited to see what He has in store for 2009. I don't make New Years Resolutions anymore, I am only kidding myself when I do. I have learned that each day is a gift and each day is a new start. I pray that God gives me the strength and wisdom to be a good wife and mother and to serve Him in a way that brings Him glory.

Happy New Year Everyone and if you are struggling with something right now...don't be afraid to lay down what is precious to you....give it to HIM...and believe He is big enough to restore and redeem....He will not let you down!!!!!.......God Bless....Rhonda

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Time Has Come and Gone

My Beautiful Daughters....Alyssa and Kara. They are still best buddies at 20 and 25 years old. When they were little, Kara mothered Alyssa to death. It does my heart good to see that they love each other and love being sissy, sissy, sissy, sissy, sisters

Christmas In Spooner, Wisconsin

Another Christmas has come and gone. Brent and I had a different kind of Christmas this year. My daughter and son-in-law hosted Christmas this year. They did a fantastic job!!!!! Usually we have Christmas at our house, but seeing we don't have a house anymore.....Kara and Trav were so gracious to have the whole family over Christmas Eve.

We started our evening by going to church, it was beautiful to reflect on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Then it was off to Kara and Trav's for a fun filled night with my brother, Derrick, and his family, my sister, Sheilda, and her family, my son Kasey, my daughter, Alyssa, Brent and I and our special host and hostess Kara and Travis. Kara made Shrimp Lungine and Lasagna. We all contributed to the meal by bring a dish...we had plenty of GREAT food and treats. We played games which has become one of our favorite things to do during our Christmas Eve gathering. We used to go sliding when we were little. My dad would make a huge campfire and we would spend the afternoon sliding and enjoying the winter wonderland. But, we are not so willing to go out in the cold weather and sliding is not one of our favorite thing to do anymore....I know we are getting old . So it's now playing games, which can also be dangerous because they are gift stealing games. My sister is the planner and she does a GREAT job. She is very competitive and LOVES games. We had a BLAST laughing and just being together as a family. Thank you Jesus for my family, every memory I have with them is precious!!!!!!!

Kara and Trav's Christmas tree along with their cat big Ern

Alyssa has been looking forward to her 2nd trip to Spain all summer. One day, I came home from work unexpectetly early and she was at the computer with her friend Samantha. They both looked like they had been caught with their fingers in the cookie jar. I said "what are you two doing, you both have guilty looks on your face". They froze and then told me that they were booking tickets to Spain during their 3 week Christmas vacation in December. Alyssa went to Spain as an exchange student (she is going to college to be a Spanish teacher, she is a junior now) last year and LOVED it. I am glad that she loved it but, I was worried pretty much to whole time she was gone. So she knows how her traveling out of the country brings stress to me. So when I caught her booking tickets, she knew my blood pressure would go up :[ So anyway, I have turned her traveling over to God and pray for her every day. I am glad she is having fun and maybe someday I will travel to Spain with her. She keeps me young and there is always an adventure when she is around.

Lord Jesus, please keep my daughter, Alyssa, save as she travels and watch over her as she learns and grows into the beautiful woman you created her to be. Guide her footsteps and please let her feel your presence as she enjoys the sites and sounds of this beautiful world you have created. Bring her home safe to me!!!!!! In Jesus name I pray....Amen

Alyssa all packed and ready for her trip to Spain

She will be hauling around this back pack for 3 weeks, enjoy that..LOL

Here are a few pictures of our Christmas. I am ashamed to say that I dropped the ball this year and did not take many Christmas pictures. I was helping Kara and things were so busy that I just spaced it out. I am hoping that my step-mom will share some of hers with me. Is she does, I will post them.

Alyssa and grandson Carson....not a happy boy here

Kara, Alyssa and Carson

Brent's daughter Mandy and her husband Leighton had us over for breakfast Christmas moring. We had a wonderful time and Mandy and Leighton are great cooks. They have a beautiful son Garrett. He started walking a few weeks ago and he is on the move. He is a happy busy boy and has such a cute personality. He is always smiling and loves everyone.

Leighton, Mandy and Garrett...what a beautiful little family

The 3 cooks in the kitchen posing for a pic

Brent and Mandy cooking away

Garrett waiting for his breakfast. It was so cute, everytime I pointed my camera at him he would just stop and smile. I think he has had his picture taken a few times :)

Grandpa and Garrett

We had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed every minute of it, hope you all did too.

Love and miss you all...God Bless.....Rhonda

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Baking

Today I decided to start some Christmas baking. I have waited as long as possible because seeing I am coming home to Spooner for Christmas, I will be bring my kids favorite Christmas cookies with me. And if I started too early I would be too tempted to snitch so it was for my own good that I put it off as long as possible.

Here is one of my kids all time favorite. I got this recipe when my daughter Alyssa was in pre-school (she is now 20). Everyone had to bring in their favorite recipe that year and the teacher put together a holiday favorites baking book for us all (I still have the cute little book). This was one of the recipes someone submitted. I whipped some up that year and they were an immediate hit with my whole family!!! They have been a Christmas tradition every since.

Krispy Krunch:

1 12 oz bag of butterscotch chips
6 Tablespoons of peanut butter (you can use crunchy peanut butter if you want nuts in them)
6 cups of cornflakes cereal

Melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter together
add to the mixture 6 cups of cornflakes, stir until cornflakes are coated but not crushed

Pour onto wax paper or tinfoil and let them set up in a cool place
after they are set up, break them into bite size piece and ENJOY

Another one of our Christmas traditions are Russian Tea Cakes. This is Nanna's recipe and every time I make them I think of her. She was a wonderful woman who we all LOVE with all our hearts....we miss you Nanna!!!!!

Russian Tea Cakes:

Cream together
1 cup butter
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Add to creamed mixture
2 cups flour plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon ice water
2 cups pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Roll dough into bite size balls, arrange on a cookie sheet
bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes

roll balls in powdered sugar immediately after taking them out of the oven

I took a few pictures of some of my favorite Christmas ornaments. They are all pictures ornaments of when my kids were in school. Every year while they were in grade school, they would make ornaments for me for Christmas. I loved them then and every year when I bring them out it brings back wonderful memories of yesteryears.

My Son Kasey Margraf Kronlund , who is now 29 years old

My son Kasey and my daughter Kara

My daughter Kara Sheilda Kronlund Britenfeld, who is now 25 years old

My daughter Alyssa Rhonda Kronlund, who is now 20 years old

My 3 blessings all grown up

Thank you Jesus for my beautiful children. They have given me so much joy and I will forever be thankful that you allowed me to be their mom. In Jesus name I pray.....Amem

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and build lots of memories together with your family. One thing I have learned that life is always changing, you just have to go with it and enjoy the jorney. Love you, Rhonda

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Tradition...The Ladies Tea at Church

I was blessed to be able to go home to Spooner for a couple days this week and I enjoyed it so much. Every year at our church, we have a ladies Christmas tea. I have traditionally went for many years and enjoy it every time. It is a beautiful time to reflect and remember in a quite and festive atmosphere the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This year my daughter Kara, her best friend from high school Leah, her mom (who is my best friend) Rox and I all went together. It was a night of treats, fellowship and testimonies. We have so much to thank God for this Chirstmas season. God BLESSED us all by sparing Leah's life.

Leah was in terrible car accident a couple of months ago and it was touch and go for a couple weeks. She was in a coma and they didn't know if she would make it and if she did pull through if she would have permenant brain damage. But GOD, in HIS mercy protected her!!!!! And she is recovering day by day. Leah has an awesome gift of drawing people in. You can talk to her for a minute and before you know it, she makes you feel loved and special. I KNOW with out a doubt that God has an awesome PLAN for Leah's life.

Leah and Kara....friends forever

Sarah, Leah, and Kara

Rox and I

Shirley and I....Shirley is a special soul that is so innocent and precious. She is always happy and gets excited about everything.

I enjoyed spending time with Kara and seeing all my friends and family. I am looking forward to coming home again for Christmas next week!!!!!

Merry Christmas and God Bless, Rhonda