Sunday, December 23, 2007


MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....I hope this finds you healthy, happy, and ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus! I had been feeling kinda blah about his whole holiday thing until today. When I walked into church this morning, the spirit hit me! It wasn't about the shopping and the wrapping, and the baking, but about the birth of our Savior! Church was covered with beautiful red poinsettias! I wanted to take a picture while the candles were lit, but out of respect, I waited until services were done! It was truly beautiful! I can't wait to get back there tomorrow for the big celebration~! I felt the peace!

I hope that you are all feeling it too!

Merry Christmas!

from the Ullmann family to yours!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I'm so EXCITED.....

I just can't hide it!.....(Oh dear, now I have that song in my head!) Last week I was FINALLY given some AWESOME news! I saw the Neurosurgeon and found out that things are going well with my back, and that I should be able to start to wean out of my brace NEXT week. What a wonderful Christmas gift! It will still take another 6-8 months to fully recover!

The same day I found out that I made the Creative Team at Scrapbook Doodle! I have met alot of wonderful, talented ladies at this scrappy site, and can't wait to contribute to their team! Congrats as well to my scrappy friends Janice and Jodi for also making the team!!

I am SO thankful that for once in a very long time things seem to be looking UP!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Dad, can you taste them? Get your coffee ready!...

TODAY was the day! We made 12 dozen doughnuts! Oh, I am sorry, that was a mistake....only 2 dozen (then I don't have to send so many to NM!) Since we have lived in MN for the last 9 years we have always gotten together with my Gram for this project! Last year we got in a flour fight, and Gram got really upset because she thought we were wasting flour! So, today we were trying to be good, and Tay just tested the water a little bit, and flicked some at her! I said "oh no, you are wasting flour!" Gram chimed in saying "Oh well, it is just flour!". Amazing how things change from year to year! The boys felt well enough to pitch in! So we doubled the recipe and away we went! Once we were finished I of course HAD to have one! So I got my insulin needle all pumped up, so I could! The hardest part was not being able to eat any of the dough while mixing it together! That is sometimes better than the finished product! We rolled, cut, and sang along with the Christmas music on the radio! It is a time of year that I will ALWAYS cherish, as will my family!

Today was supposed to be Tay's Christmas program at church, but when he woke up with a temp of 103, we decided that a solo in the program was not on his agenda for the day! Sad to miss it, as he is growing up, and only has one more year left in the Children's program!
Gram and I also enjoyed staying warm indoors yesterday by putting together a FUN Rudolph puzzle!

Blessings ....

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Good Ole Days....

Yesterday Gram Onie arrived to spend some time with my family, and to take part in our annual doughnut making! We might even get a little holiday baking done! I know...I can't enjoy the goodies, is not about the doughnuts, but more about the time spent with Gram. At 89, she is still so spry, but the day will soon come when she will not be here to do these things with! The whole family jumps gets the dough ready, the others cutting them out, and Dennis at the stove deep frying them! I will definetely share some of the goodness via the blog tomorrow! Today, before we went out shopping for my cousin Scott's twin girls who live in Arkansas, we took a couple of simple pics of Gram by the tree. We are going to print them and put them in with the girls' gifts, so they know who Gramma Onie is! They are currently 3 1/2 and Gram has not seen them since they were only a year old!

Taylor's classroom is in a competition with another classroom for a movie day at school-depending on who brings in the most goods for the food shelf! Tay's class is currently trailing, but he insists on doing what he can to get there! We gave him $20 at Target the other night and told him to shop! He did so awesome! He had several bags of goods, which will be beneficial to a family out there! He had everything from pancake mix, to veggies, to baby cereal. He compared name brand to generic to see what the better buy was. We were so proud of his thought that went into it! He has also emptied our cupboards of everything I cannot eat anymore! He has until the end of next week to get their numbers above the other class!

My diabetes...has definetely been a challenge. I am trying to do the best I can in accepting it. Now with insulin, I have experienced a couple of episodes of "bottoming out"! It is somewhat of a balancing act, but have high hopes of it leveling off at some point! I have one of the best doctors, who also happens to be a friend. We appreciate all that he has done for us over the years we have been to MN! I do have to take my blood sugars a minimum of 7 times daily, and have to inject insulin atleast 4 times daily. I can't wait until I can get the insulin pens!

I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend-stay warm, and dry!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

December Challenge

Okay, so my scrappy friend Janice put out a challenge to take a photo a day for the month of December! Well, I am getting off to a little bit of a late start, but hope to make it up in no time!

What a 10 day stretch it has been! Unfortunately, my pancreas has other things in mind, and is not producing any insulin, so my Diabetes diagnosis has gone from a Type 2 to a Type 1! Which means I am not only counting carbs, but needing insulin as well. I am getting used to the 7 blood sugar checks daily, and the 4 shots of insulin. Taylor even gave me an injection! It is important that the kids know what to do if need be! I don't know why God decided we needed more on our plate, but we will accept it, and move on. Or like our friend and Doctor said...we must be doing something right that the devil is really trying to get in our way! I did meet with the dietician this afternoon, and she gave me the go ahead to make homemade doughnuts with my dear Gram this weekend! I can have ONE at a time, but will have to take insulin for it!

Beyond the Diabetes.....

Last Thursday Josh had a basketball game against Sartell........their biggest rival! Well, he fell just right on it, and the piece on the top of your shin-just right below the knee came away from the bone. So, he is hobbling around here on crutches, waiting for the swelling to go down. He sees a Orthopedic Surgeon on Thursday morning!

I actually think we might have a REAL winter this year! The last several years have not produced very much snow, but we are on our second snow storm of the season so far! Tay has been a TROOPER.....shoveling the drive and sidewalk. He loves it outside!

So, with all that said....Here are my four pics for the first four days of this month!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Handed Down Heaven....

My Grandma H used to make Tea Ring each year during the Holidays! It was the best tasting sweet bread that one would ever eat! I cherish the recipe that was handed down by her. Dennis graciously steps up to the plate to make this goodness each year! Yesterday our family had signed up for fellowship hour at church...and Dennis decided we should share this wonderful tasting bread with our church family! He and Taylor woke up early on Saturday am, and spent the whole day making 6 "tea rings" from scratch! Our friends Doug and Joy have a double oven, so when it was time to bake, off to their house we all went!

The bread turned out fabulous, and tasty as I was told! Unfortunately, I was not able to eat any as Friday afternoon I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, with my blood sugars in the 400's! Just as I thought my back was progressing, and life would be less complicated, we were hit with this. I just have to pray that Our Maker will get me through this, as He has done so many other times in our life!

So, needless to say, our family will be undergoing a major lifestyle change. The worst temptation is all the "goodies" during this time of year! We will all learn to eat more healthy, which is a good thing! Today my afternoon snack was carrot sticks, which was not typically me, but will do!

We did get our tree up this weekend as well, and are trying to get into the Holiday spirit in our house! The boys want the impossible: a Nintendo Wii.........hopefully, we will be able to get our hands on one!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Someone pinch me...

WOW WOW WOW! I got this wonderful email from Dawn at KMA/ telling me that I had been chosen to be their Guest Designer Girl for the month of November. When it rains it pours! I feel so honored, and can't wait to submit some layouts for them this month!

Here are some recent layouts that I have completed....

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Colorful Times!

Dennis and Taylor were troopers this weekend, and made our white walls colorful! When we bought this house a little over a year ago, the previous owners had painted every room in this house very nicely. They forgot ONE room though.......the living room! The room you walk into when you walk through the front door! All you saw was WHITE walls. I have decided over the years that WHITE walls are not a favorite of mine. So, we took a little spin to Home Depot, and came home with 2 gallons of Sequoia Grove. Obviosly, painting was not on my list of things to do with my back, so my trooper of children (Taylor) jumped right in to help his Dad! Josh and I made a short trip to Barnes and Noble for yet another book, and returned to this on my wall in the living room! They were working hard at having fun with a mundane task! I love the new color on my walls now! I feel more cozy.......and hope to make guests feel more welcome!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Filled with Excitement!

There is this wonderul scrapbook site that I frequent many times daily, where have have met many wonderful girls who all love to scrapbook as much as I do! Well, during the month of October I submitted a layout using Cosmo Cricket products to enter into the running to be a Guest Creative Team member for the month of November! I was thrilled to find out that I was chosen for this! Here is my LO that I submitted! It is from our NM visit in August. When you have time, go by and check out!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Doctor's Report!

This morning I saw the doctor, and found out that everything is stable with my back. They did an x-ray, which showed that the screws and rods are all aligned properly. I misunderstood, and thought that they would be able to tell me if there is re-growth or not. The doc says it is too early to be able to tell that. I do have some pain and inflammation in my SI Joint, and will consider a cortisone injection into that joint if the pain doesnt subside in the next couple of weeks. That is normal for someone who has had this kind of surgery on the lower vertebrae. It can cause the pelvic bone to shift some, thus the irritation. He sent me home with more "happy" pills and said he would see me again in 6 weeks. At that time we would also consider doing some Physical Therapy. In between now and then I should just walk as much as I can for exercise. It is too early for anything else! Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers....They are much appreciated!

Dennis' siblings were here over the weekend, in which we all had a wonderful visit! I wished that I wasn't down and out, but that is the way it is. I was able to laugh with them....and they are one crazy bunch! The boys really enjoyed visiting their uncles and aunt, and Dennis was able to reconnect with his siblings-We both hope that it is not another 10 years before we see them again!

Have a wonderful week-enjoy the fall activities!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Weekend!

Wow....hard to believe it is Friday already! I just wanted to ask for some additional prayers before my first return to the doctor on Monday! We will find out if the bone has started to regrow or not! My days are dependent on my activity! More activity=more pain, less activity=less pain. So, I do the best to try and lay low.

This weekend will be an exciting one at our house! Dennis' siblings are all coming to town! He has not seen them in 10 years-2 brothers, and 1 sister! He is hopeful that they will be able to start fresh, as their relationship has been somewhat strained! I am so excited for Dennis, and proud of him for stepping out of his box, and making the effort to invite them all here!

Tonight Josh has another school dance! It is so fun to see the excitement that goes into a night out for these teens! This time around it has not been so much about the girls as it was last month! My mom chaperoned last month when she was here with us, and had to make sure that there was the right amount of space between each couple while they were dancing! Grandma won't be there to keep her eye on things this time, but mom and dad are trusting his judgement, and the judgement of the other parents chaperoning this dance!

Tay and his friend Spencer are going with Dennis and I to Alexandria for a suprise 25th anniversary party for my aunt Janell and uncle Gary this evening!! (hopefully she doesnt look at my blog in the next 4 hours!) This will be my first travel, and am just thankful that I am able to go and make my breif appearance!

Wishing you all a wonderful fall filled weekend!...I will update Monday afternoon on my doctors visit! Thank you all for your concern and prayers!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So much to tell!!!

Does that surprise you?? Me....have something to say??? Each day is getting better for me. I am still taking pain meds, but make progress each day! I have had the boys put the walker in the crawl space (woohoo!), as I don't need that to get around anymore! Other than my back there is so much afloat here at our house!

Josh is taking part in a Haunted House with our friend Doug. Josh agrees with Doug now that it is much more fun to scare someone than to be scared. He wears a mask, and said the best part is scaring people that he knows, but they don't know it is him!

Tonight is conferences at school for both of the boys! I anticipate that they are both doing well. The hard part is to keep them both focused. Seems that Josh is involved in so much, I don't know how he stays on task most days. Dennis and I have begged him to slow down, but he says he wants to do it, WEB leader, Student council, band, jazz band, volunteer at local nursing home, etc.

Last weekend the boys and Dennis planted shrubs and a couple of trees in our bare naked yard! They say Fall is the best time to plant, and what a wonderful gift from my MIL! Now, to just wait a couple of years for them to fill out, and it will look wonderful!

I have been happily playing with my scrap goods, and will share some of my recent layouts with you....

Hope that you all have a wonderful week!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Give Thanks, With a Grateful Heart!!!

Hello Dear Friends and Family! I am sorry for the break in between posts, but we are trying to keep up around here with out Grandmas!!!

First of all I need to say THANK YOU to SOOOOO many of you for the beautiful cards, phone calls, emails, flowers, meals, jammies, and SO much more! I got a couple in the mail today, and each day they humble me! Just thinking about how much love and concern that I am surrounded by is overwhelming. I have gotten cards from friends of friends, friends of my parents, friends of my grandmother.....some who don't even know me! The prayers and kindness of those is SO much appreciated right now!

I would like to shout out to the following people:

All the girls at Scrapbook Doodle who have sent wonderful pieces of art!

To my KMA friend Lizette for a beautiful bouquet of flowers!!

Dr. Bell and staff(my mom's office) for the beautiful flowers!

Apperts Foodservice (Dennis' employer) for the beautiful flowers!

Friends Doug and Joy-for graciously keeping the boys overnight while I was in the hospital, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and a wonderful hotdish!

My Aunt Janell and Uncle Gary for the Beautiful flowers!

Friends Julie and Grace from church-for the beautiful flowers!

Friend Linda- for taking me out to eat a couple of nights before my surgery and bringing me a fuzzy friend and balloon at the hospital!

Friends Dan, Sherrie, Mitch, and Ashley-who kept the boys overnight while I was in the hospital, and bringing me the cutest "cow jumped over the moon" jammies! Gosh, and I can't forget the yummy apple pie!

Diana and Dawn-from the local Christian radio station who sent a Yada Yada Prayer Group book!

My friend Denise for a wonderful meal!

Friends Joe and Sue who brought yummy fried chicken for dinner one night, and also a gorgeous mum for outdoors!

For friend Rachel (our pastor's wife)- who spent a morning with me doing laundry and keeping me company in between our mom's!

To my previous co-workers at Comfort Keepers who brought a lovely sloppy joe meal on Monday!

To our pastors-Pastor Jon, Pastor Nelson and Pastor Dare-for the hospital visits phone calls, and many prayers! Oh-and Pastor Jon-you make a wonderful Enchilada casserole!!

To our wonderful friends Jen and Rich-for spending time at Let's Dish making wonderful meals for us! Also the extra meals that you made-meatballs and meatloaf! To Jen for picking my mom up at the airport and bringing her to the hospital! And for bringing all those scrumptious goodies to the hospital! Andes Mints and Cheese Puffcorn-my favorites!

and of course to my mom and my mother in law- for flying in for a week each, and keeping our household afloat! Their jobs weren't always fun ones!
To my 88 year old Gram who also came to spend the week here when my mom was here-who brought me breakfast in bad each morning, and kept me company throughout the day, made wonderful banana bread and ridded my house of the dust bunnies before she left! She is one of my bestest friends!

and to EVERYONE who has thought about us in the last month-I thank God for you each day!

How am I doing? well.....aside from during the night, I am able to get around the house without my walker. Today I managed a shower on my own (with Dennis standing right there just in case!) I have been playing a little with my scrap goods (smiling profusely)! I don't see the doc until the 29th-in which I will have an x-ray that day to determine if the bone has started to regrow! Until then I will just follow his orders and lay low!

The boys.....are still being boys! They have helped out SO much around here! But, we have made sure that they continue being kids!

My limit of 15 minutes of "sit" time has passed, and therefore I should find myself back on the couch!

Thank you all for your continued thoughts, prayers, and support!

Monday, September 24, 2007

One grandma just left Sunday and my other grandma is coming Tuseday night. My mom is still walking with her walker and wearing her back brace, and will be for a while. She is reading the Yada Yada prayer group books from the girls at SPRIT 92.9, and can't wait to scrapbook. My brother and I both made student concil at our schools.
Grandama was a really big help to us this week she was here, she cleaned, cooked, washed clothes, and took us shopping. We will miss all of her help!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Today is a sad day for me, I (Missy's Mom) will be returning to Albuquerque. It has been a full week of getting Missy organized, making her comfortable, doing household chores, and help keep a good mind set. Missy has come along way since returning home on Tuesday. However, she still has a long road ahead of her. It has been my pleasure to have helped her and her family out during this very difficult adjustment. You don't know how important the calls, cards , flowers and visits have meant to Missy. She still needs your continued support in the days to come too.
As her mother I wish I could do more, but living so far away makes it very difficult. That is why I felt good now being able to spend these last eight days with her and her family. Now, Dennis' Mom will come and take over which is still needed for Missys care and well being. I Love you very much, Missy, and hopefully when we see each other again you will be more pain-free. You have a lovely family too, you all have a good mind set, just keep it up!......................I will miss our daily chats and laughs, but mostly miss taking care of you and making you happy and comfortable! Love you bunches.................MOMOM

Saturday, September 22, 2007


This has to be the fastest entry ever....but, it really is me! I just gave my mom the eyes to find a way to my basement, and the puter. I just want to say that things are going well....each day gets easier! But, I am so moved by ALL the cards I have recieved in the mail...and many from people who only know my through the puter! What an awesome feeling it is to have to much love coming from all over! Today there was a knock at the door with BEAUTFIL Gerber Daisies! Only Dennis knows they are one of my favorite flowers! Upon opening the card...they came from a computer scrappin friend Lizzette! Boy, she made my day!!!! I SO miss my scrappin, and chattin online! Gotta go....shouldnt be sitting! Miss you all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

She's Home!

Just to let you know that Missy (Melissa) is home.....finally today. Her bowels FINALLY woke up!!! LOL Dennis and I (her mother) brought her home mid-morning. Just trying to get settled in and making Melissa comfortable. Missy's pain is much more managed and she seems to be doing better. These last three days were very miserable for Missy. She is now adjusting to her back brace which is a huge adjustment. Tomorrow she will attempt a shower. Missy and Dennis live in a 4 story house, therefore, we were all taught by her physical therapist to help Missy up and down the steps with her walker( from the side) tricky, but it works. When Missy's
grmarma came yesterday for a visit, grma "Onie" made Missy smile-laugh for the frist time, a great sight. Bye for now..............

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Update: Not Home Yet

Mom is okay today, but is still in the hospital. :( She's had an on and off fever, and the nurses have almost tried every trick in the book to get her bowls to move. Hopefully she can come home tomorrow. Our Grandma from New Mexico arrived Saturday to help with Mom's recovery. Thanks for your prayers for our family through this time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday the 14th. Last night was a long night. A lot of pain and discomfort, topped off with Nurses that do not communicate very well with each other or the patient!
Doing a bit better today, we got her up and walked again, and may work on steps this afternoon. Doctor has been great, reminds us that this is NOT a race and we need to take our time and be patient.
More Later.......

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My mom has finally got out of surgry and is sleeping in her hospital bed. The doctor said everything went well and no problems. In a few days she will back at home in a few days and we will keep you posted if anything changes.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Vacation, Birthday, School, and Sadness...

I am not sure even where to start with this post! So much has transpired since my last post! The boys and I had a wonderful vacation visiting my family in New Mexico last week. Coming home meant the boys had to head back to school, and I have to prepare for upcoming surgery! We were able to do a few touristy things, bu mostly just spent time around the pool in my parents back yard. We had our favorite eateries that we couldnt miss out on while we were there...Quarters BBQ, Dions Pizza, Cherry Limes from Sonic, Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, and of course authentic mexican food!! My father turned 61 while we were there, so in celebration he and my cousin Larry took the boys (Josh, Tay, and my nephew Nolan) golfing! I think my Dad had the numbers mixed up...thinking he was 16 he was doing cannonballs off the diving board that afternoon! All the way around it was a wonderful trip! Of course the boys and I were happy to get home to Dennis! I missed him!

On Tuesday not only did the boys start school, but Taylor also celebrated his 11th birthday! They are getting so big before my very eyes! Tay started 5th grade and Josh started 8th! Josh loves school, so he was happy to be back, but, Tay was sad to see summer end!

While we were on vacation my dearest of friends, Jenny, called to say that her FIL had been hit by a truck while walking. He was airlifted to our area hospital. My heart breaks knowing what her and Rich and their family has been through in the last week! He was called to his eternal home last Sunday! Please pray for peace for their family during this difficult time! During this time have I been able to reflect on the friendship that Jenny and I share....We have known each other since elementary school...and she is the dearest soul! She is more like family to me! We are seperated by about 100 miles, but manage to talk on the phone daily. When our families get together we ALL enjoy every minute together. Jen, you make my heart smile!

Monday, August 20, 2007


Awhile back my scrappin friend Lucy put out a challenge on her blog about summer calmness! Hard to believe we are winding our summer down! This pic is my sister and my neice enjoying the calmness of the lake when they were visiting MN in June! The other pic is of my son enjoying the calmness of the lake as well...very deep in thought!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just a little FUN!

Our family shared a fabulous weekend with friends and FUN!...lots of it! Friday night both of the boys had friends spend the night. Those nights we usually do not expect to get much rest! I was quite shocked when four boys were awake by 9:30 the next morning! Tay and his friend have been spending alot of time playing "cowboys"! His friend gave him his old cowboys boots, and he has been wearing the denim vest that his Papa sent him!

Sat. evening we went out to celebrate our friend Dan's 36th birthday! We started off by miniature golfing with our families, and then out to a favorite bar and grille for dinner. Josh kindly babysat all the kids to allow the adults to go "out on the town". (that meaning changes as we get older!) We enjoyed some great laughs! But, getting home at 2am was rough on this body, especially when we remembered that we had to have flowers on the church alter by 7:30 for our anniversary! Thank goodness we have a local grocery store that stays open 24 hours, and has a floral department! So, after church naps were definetely in our plan!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Winding the week down...

On one hand I am so glad that it is Thursday, on another it makes me sad. My dear hubby will be leaving at 4 am tomorrow am with 13 youth from our church, Pastor, and another youth leader to Orlando Fl for 7 days for the Youth Gathering. I am so proud of him and the work that he does, but from a selfish perspective, I sure will miss him! This week will end many of our summer activities. Dennis has played Men's church League Softball, and Tay has been playing soccer. These activities are a wonderful way of spending our summer, but can't hardly believe they are winding down, and soon we will be looking at school supplies. Here is a LO that I completed this week and posted at

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Family Fun Night....

Last Friday night our family rerteated from the every day hustle and bustle to a favorite flower garden/park. We pulled together a few sandwiches, drinks, etc..a blanket, a book for each of us, and relaxed under a ginormous(this word was just recently added to the dictionary!) shade tree. The park is situated on the banks of the Mississippi, which always provides MANY photo opportunities for me! Tay even tried his hand at some floral shots, while Dennis and Josh read quietly while sprawled out on the blanket! Tay and I eventually found ourselves on a swing along the path, while Tay read a few pages of the 4th Harry Potter book to me! I have never read the books, but my whole family has, and insisted on joining the other 1,996 individuals at Barnes and Noble at midnight for the release of the final Harry book. I pleaded with them to save a couple of bucks and we would get up and 8am and get it from my favorite.....Target. They kept telling me that wasn't the point. So, I surrendered, and joined them to get this last final book. We arrived at 11pm, and had the book in our hands at 1:15am. Josh thought he would pull and all nighter and read, but the counting sheep took over soon after. He has started and is at roughly page 300 out of 700 some pages. He has been threatened to not ruin it for the others! I couldnt resist having the camera in hand....

I challenge you to be spontaneous, and do something both comfortable, and uncharacteristic with your family! It is truly worth all the shared smiles!