04 September, 2013


Drum roll please...albeit 3 months late!

Thomas Robert Boerschinger!

Born May 24th, 2013 at 2:10p weighing 6lbs, 9oz.

My smallest baby and my easiest so far. He's sweet and snugly and Mama's little tank.

He is named after Kevin's grandfather, Thomas the courageous apostle, and two holy men in our lives: Bp. Robert Morneau and Fr. Tom Hagendorf, Opraem. He has some great saints to follow and be inspired by and we can't wait to see him grow.

He sister and brother adore him. John Ross is the best and most hands on big brother and Thomas loves to hear him sing. Clara loves to give him nicknames and play with his feet.

Mama is doing well, albeit tired. Easiest recovery so far!
And if that wasn't enough, my brother-in-law brewed me a celebratory batch of beer with dedication label and all! Only in our family, but who could possibly feel more special and blessed than to have such a labor of love dedicated to them? Thanks to Andrew and Alida, 2/3 of Thomas' Godparents!

The beer label reads:

If you like tasting marshmallows or just enjoy a charred juicy steak, then campfire stout it your cup of tea – or should I say, your cup of beer.

This beer is dedicated to the newest member of the Boerschinger family, because when a pregnant, future mother of three asks for a batch of beer, you comply!

Congratulations to Amber and Kevin!

The Women Raising My Children

 Color hands by 4lexandre on Flickr

I intended to write this post months ago, but how does one tackle a topic so close to one's heart in a blog post? Here I will try.

I’ll admit it. I’ve watched “Sister Wives” on TLC. You know, the one about the 4 wives and 1 husband and their very blended family? Now, before you judge, I’m not proud of my choice. After the first season – there isn’t much on TV for 2am feedings and Netflix is SO convenient – I stopped watching because the whole concept of polygamy and their lifestyle left me feeling uneasy.

That being said, there was definitely a draw to the concept of parenting my children with other women. There is nothing like the perspective and extra hands of other mothers. It made me step back and reflect on my own mothering experience. I realized that in many ways, I share the job of parenting with many other wonderful and blessed women. I share them with you here.

My Mom, Sheila – As I’ve shared in the past, my mother is a foster mom and my brother was adopted into our family. As such, my mother’s “parenting” years have been extended. From my mother my children learn that family doesn’t begin and end, it is constant. From her they learn unconditional love and acceptance as we share the lives of so many unique children. They also learn in a special way the difference between a mother’s love and a grandmother’s love. Only a grandmother would spend time running around collecting items my 4-year-old insists “mom is out of.”

My Mother-in-law, Pat – My mother-in-law is legally blind and has been most of her life. You wouldn’t know it to meet her, however, as she has learned to thrive in her disability. My children have learned perseverance, attentiveness and acceptance. They see in her a wicked independence. They don’t know Grandma any different than she is and they love her all the same. John Ross has learned to sense her needs and respond to them. It brought my heart great joy to see him lead her into church with her cane the other day, carefully maneuvering her through the doorways and around the pews. And just like any other grandma, I find myself coming to grips with the spoils of a visit and the sugar overload aftermath.

My Sister, Alida – When my family is together there are so many children that we just parent whichever one is closest to us. My children see my sister as an extension of myself. She loves them all fiercely and goes out of her way to make sure they know she loves them. She and I share a similar life stage and she keeps me sane. At the same time, she thinks of all the fun “aunt” things to do. I’ll never live up to the bonfire and toasted marshmallows visit.

My Sister, Johanna – My sister Johanna is my respite. When “Ana” is around, you know the kids will be out of my hair. Ana spent much of her teen years helping my mom with foster babies and our brother Matthew, many of whom had special needs. As such, Ana is very creative and inventive when it comes to entertaining the kids and reducing parental stress levels. Strangely enough, she is the best and most loving disciplinarian I’ve ever met. Even without kids, I look to her for ideas and support when it comes to keeping my kids happy and in line. She doesn’t put up with nonsense, but knows the art of distraction best of anyone. She has a love and passion for life that inspires and lights up my kids and for that I am eternally grateful.

My Neighbor, Ann – Ann is a dear friend. I don’t think there are many people who can say they have as good of neighbors as we do. Ann greets our children regularly, waves to them from the car, and invites them to swim in her pool. When she stops over to visit she gives them hugs and asks them questions about their small person lives. With 2 girls of her own, she regularly drops off hand-me-down toys, bikes and equipment. She praises them for their politeness and encourages us as parents. Clara always prays for “Miss Ann” first during our night prayers and we thank God for her as well.

My Nanny, Jeannine – Jeannine gets it. When I needed to hire someone in home to care for my children, I long for someone who could be an extension of me. While we are very different, Jeannine is just that. She loves them like I would. She gives them experiences and joy like I want to. She challenges and holds them accountable. With 4 children of her own, she is a skilled teacher and guide. During a very difficult time in my 3rd pregnancy when I was suffering from debilitating depression, Jeannine made holidays and birthdays something special. Not only is she another mother to my children, but she has become a support for me too – sharing our lives and helping to keep my house (and more importantly my head) in order. It took us a lot of time to find her and we would be lost without her.
My children’s Godmothers – We don’t see these women as often as we’d like, but perhaps that is why they make good Godmothers. They are called in a special way to support us in prayer, both the kids and us as parents. Without their prayers, we would be lost. We count on them to be spiritual warriors and resources for our little ones and we count on their prayers to protect us as we ride the crazy parental rollercoaster.

These women and I don’t share a husband (thank goodness), but these are the women helping me to raise loving, fun, and passionate children. These are the women who help me to be a better mother and live in the example of our Blessed Mother. Clearly, we share a heavenly Father and we are all responsible for the little lives, hearts and souls entrusted to us. So with great humility and hope, I say “thank you.” I hope someday to be as pivotal in the lives of other children as the women in the lives of mine.

Who cares for, teaches, and inspires your children? How have you thanked them?

21 May, 2013

Favorite Quotes of the Week - In Memorium

The past weekend we lost our beloved priest Fr. Tom Hagendorf. He was an excellent teacher and compassionate man. He took such joy in our children and was scheduled to celebrate the baptism of our 3rd. He will be deeply missed in our lives and in our community.

The past week has left me some really serious quotes to reflect on in light of what this life calls us to do. As I head into yet another phase of newborn-dom, I hope to spend some time discerning what exactly God wants me to do with His wisdom.

Sermon from the day after our pastor died from his fellow Norbertine brother and prior:
"I want to be one of those scooter priests..."

"Jimmy, I want to go out with my boots on."


Father Tom always used to say to Kevin and I, "My mother always told me that children making noise during the Mass was in return for all of the services I ruined for her as a child. I figure, I can always talk louder than they can."

Hmmm...really thinking hard on this one from Pope Francis:
"We cannot become starched Christians, too polite, who speak of theology calmly over tea. We have to become courageous Christians and seek out those (who need help most)," he said.

Clara Ann Turns 3

I’m within the month so it counts, right?
Clara turned 3. My little wise-woman is 3. Amazing.

She was laying in bed with me after her nap yesterday and she was all curled around my 9-month-pregnant belly rubbing it and talking to it and I realized, “This little girl is my big girl now.”
In the past year, Clara has really amused us with the little lady she is becoming. She is really sassy, spunky, and all her own person. Just a few phrases from her lingo as of the past year:

“Avocado, are you okay?”
“I’m going to crack you like an egg!”

“There’s a veggie fry in my baby carseat!”
And yet, this edgy little beauty has a deeply emotional side as well.

She regularly despairs over the deceased animals in our family, wishing desperately to go to heaven to see them.
When we were watching Disney’s Fox and the Hound she had an all-out, crying, sobbing, meltdown when Todd the fox was being taken away from his home to the wildlife preserve.

She is notorious for wailing for the parent that she isn’t currently at odds with and often insists, “pat my back, pat my back” before bedtime.
Though very fond of her mother, she is a daddy’s girl all the way. She loves to tell him all about her dreams and makes sure she enjoys all the things he does including hockey.

We have come to believe that she possesses her daddy’s gift of “super palate”. To help my readers understand, Kevin can taste all nuances of things in his food and beverages including when a beer has been poured into glass which previously served a bloody Mary drinking patron – something about the celery salt. Clara will try anything and usually like it. She loves kalamata greek olives, horseradish, salsa, lemons, vinaigrettes, whole grain mustard, and smelly cheese. She regularly smells food on our breath and can identify it.
“Daddy, I smell peanuts on your breath.”

“Mama, I need some chocolate too.”
Her love and curiosity for the Lord and the Blessed Mother continues to grow. She desperately wanted to be involved in my Girlfriends in God art project that involved the Blessed Mother and was tickled pink when I gave her my little compact mirror from the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross. She memorized the imprinted quote almost immediately.

“May you be the face of Christ to others.”
Then she asked me if we could go visit St. Francis and when I told her that St. Francis was in heaven, she was heartbroken. I offered that we could go visit the sisters and in typical Sappa fashion, asked if we could have breakfast with them.

She is the epitome of emotion and independence inherited from Kevin and me. I love and admire her more each day, but am definitely getting my payback for everything I put my own mother through.
Happy birthday Sappa-Lou! We love you!

09 April, 2013

I Love Rainy Days

I know...I live in Wisconsin. It snows here for 6 months out of the year and we crave the warm sunshine of spring. How dare I laud the week worth of slop headed our way?

I don't know. I just know I love rainy days. There is something clean and comforting about the wind and rain. There is something extra special about spring rain. It's cool and wet.

My daughter was born on a rainy night. There was nothing more comforting than the cool breeze coming in from the cracked window and the sound of pouring rain on the rooftop.

This morning as I drove into the office, I came upon our iconic church steeple. This morning was different though. The steeple was there, but the cross was buried in the low clouds masking any identification with Christ.

I'm not sure where that leaves me, but it seemed significant in some way.

Today is one of those days where I want to sit by my windows and watch. Better yet, open the window a crack and just listen...

14 March, 2013

Welcome Pope Francis!

I know that I have an experience bias here, but the image attached is so powerful to me as we learn more about our new Holy Father.
Can you imagine being dressed in little more than a hospital gown with an archbishop sitting at your feet just days, perhaps hours, after you've given birth? The last thing I want to look at after birth is my feet even if I can finally see them - they are swollen and aching. I am at perhaps my most vulnerable moment of life and I am exhausted. And yet, this holy man humbles himself to honor me as I hold my newborn child, the cool water soothing my feet and a deep sense of annointing flooding over my soul. Can you possibly imagine the way this woman's life and vocation may have been changed by this encounter with the very hands of Christ?
This is our faith. This is the faith of our Church. These are the most blessed and welcome hands of Christ. Let us pray for Pope Francis.

12 March, 2013

My Very Own Preschool (M)ad Man!

My son has become a linguist. In fact, he loves bigs words and phrases and learning how to apply them. I love this little part of him because I am fairly well convinced that he is going to be an engineer or architect someday with the way he loves to build and construct.

However, just to keep me humble, I'll share this story.

This weekend, Kevin was teaching John Ross the concept of "making do" alongside one of John Ross' favorite words, "improvise". John Ross had a hole in one of his socks and we were moments from leaving for church. Kevin said, "John Ross, I have a new phrase for you. Make do - it means when things don't go the way we expect, we just make them work until we can fix them."

John Ross thought for a few moments and said, "Dad, I have a new word for you. More-do."

Curious, Kevin asked, "And what does more-do mean John Ross?"

Without a moments pause he replied, "More-do means when something breaks you go buy a new one."

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the message and messenger I am up against...:)

05 January, 2013

What We've Been Up To...

While I may very well be proud of how often I've managed to post this year, the past month has been a bit abysmal. Admittedly the fall was really rough. 1st trimester paired with moderate depression and 2 small children was not easy. I'm now 20 weeks, back on depression meds, and feeling much more like myself.

For the first time since September, I've had the desire to spend a morning in the kitchen! I wanted to share some of the fun with you.

Zuchini bread pancakes - We substitute 1/2 carrots for Zuchini and double the recipe because Kevin and the kids ADORE these! Healthy, inexpensive, and so good! I don't even eat mine with topping they are so good! We call them our family super food.

Oatmeal breakfast bars - much like Quakermand completely customizable.

Six Sisters Stuff, 8 freezer crock pot meals in 1 hour - we tried these in bulk for 4 families over the New Year's holiday and so far no duds among them! Took about 2.5 hours for that many though!

I even cleaned our inside freezer and pantry! Next weekend I hope to tackle the holiday decorations, but I'm battling some respiratory gremlins that wouldn't like the dust right now.

It's been a good weekend so far and I'm grateful. 

04 January, 2013


Baby Boerschinger #3! At least in the womb...See you in May Baby!

Despite some initial concerns, the specialist thinks the baby looks great. Baby is about 11 oz. now and about the length of a banana. The main reason she thinks I can't feel a lot of movement is because baby stays pretty curled up on one side. Pike position or knees tucked up with arms across its face. It moved a lot on the ultrasound, but I didn't feel any of it. Heart and blood flow looks great.

Little face...long forehead like John Ross!

Long toes! It's a Krogh!
My favorite...little legs crossed up so sweet!
The kids were with us and excited to see the baby "wave" to them!
John Ross' forehead, Clara's little cheek bones!
It seems to be pretty shy. Maybe a quiet one???
Never had 3D before. It was pretty neat!