Saturday, July 30, 2005

Lots of Leftovers

Well after our dinner on Tuesday night, we had quite a bit of leftovers. Sam came over to help on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, we left to take Keith back to the airport in Minneapolis at 3 A.M! I can't make him feel too bad about that because the poor guy was still in Orlando at 9:00 that night! Yikes! However, we also had a ton of people over for leftovers on Thursday evening -- Tia, Christo, Melissa, and Karuna, Dave & Lesley, Ajit & Patty, and Sam. Hopefully I am not missing anyone there. Last night (Friday), JB rented the movie City of Joy with Patrick Swayze -- very good. He also had English make him one of the biggest and best dairy queen double oreo and fudge blizzards with chocloate ice creams I have ever seen!!! He actually owes English more money for it because it cost a lot more than he was expecting. We had a really nice night! We woke up early, and we are doing a bunch of things around the house before the medical school picinic this afternoon. Actually, JB snagged 2 used bikes for us and is cleaning them up at Ron & Ebbys -- they were cleaning house in our bike racks in the condo and we are friends with the head-of-the-bike-committee! Christo took some great pictures at the dinner the other night and loaded them onto our computer during leftover-night so I thought I would share those.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Kit. $5 Dinner

Last nite we had our Kit. Dinner. I have no idea how many people were here -- somewhere close to 40. It was a great time and Keith got to meet all of our friends. Thought I would share some pictures of our fun nite! Keith leave tomorrow morning very early which is dissapointing. We have had a great time. Took him to our favorite restaurants and showed him around Mayo. Wish he could stay longer!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Keith is visiting!!!

So excited! Yesterday, Keith came into town. So wonderful to see him.

We left our house at 6 a.m. to go down to Minneapolis. Some friends from our church who were in our bible study were moving and so we offered to help until we had to leave to pick up Keith at 11 a.m. About 10:30 a TERRIBLE rain storm developed and we got stuck in the garage for quite some time before we could run through it. We shouldn't have been in such a hurry. Keith's flight was delayed in the air for almost 45 minutes because of the rain. They almost diverted him to Rochester! :) That would have been hilarious!

Afterwards, we took Keith to a hole-in-the-wall thai restaurant and then went to the Mall of America for a couple of hours. Afterwards, we came back to our place, and Ben Sanderfur, a now second year medical student who also went to WKU came over and we all went to our favorite Dutch restaurant Pannokoken (sp?)

Today, Keith wanted to go tubing so we took him tubing in Welch village. Now we are waiting for our pizza to arrive and watching Sneakers. Going to join them. I'll try to post pics tomorrow.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Hangin' with friends

Well, yesterday was a beautiful Minnesota day. My office manager at RLS had us sign up for the contest through K-ROCK Radio to win free lunch at Panera. I won it! So they brought lunch for five people which was really nice. After work, JB and I came home and cleaned up for a bit as Keith comes in tomorrow. Then Christo, Melissa and Karuna came over around 6:15 to hang out for a bit. We hadn't seen them in over a month as it was Christo's summer break and they did some traveling. Then we all went upstairs where Ajit and his girlfriend Patti joined us for sloppy joes at the Jones'. Very good. Later that evening we watched Billy Edison with the Jones, first at our place, and then when JB's computer got overheated, we continued it in their place upstairs.

Two bits of information going on in our lives right now: (1) Valvoline is going to pay for all the damages to our car and get us a new compressor! Awesome! The old manager who was there when this happened just got fired so the new manager agreed to clean up his "mess". (2) Please pray for Mrs. Rome, our upstairs neighbor who I help with her compression hose in the evening. She isn't doing very well, and we are really concerned about her. She is 86 or so.

Well, it's Saturday morning. Going to help some friends in Minneapolis move and then pick up Keithy from the airport! Yipeeeee!!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Stuck in the rain

This morning, JB and I woke up at 6:00. For the past three weeks he has been on a neurology rotation that has required him to be at St. Mary's Hospital everyday by 7:00. If we have wanted to run we have had to go in the evenings. But today he didn't need to be in until 8:00 so we decided to run.

There has been very little rain in southeastern Minnesota but this morning that all changed. The sky looked a little dark when we left our house, but we thought a 30 minute trek would beat the storms. That thought process was incorrect.

Halfway out, the sky started to let loose. To make things worse, last night I upped my medication to 3 1/2 pills (1/2 more to go before I am back at 4 again) so I started feeling sick midway through my run and had to stop and walk. So the two of us walked the more than a mile back to our house is the pouring rain. This was not a light rain mind you. It was absolutely POURING! We were worried it was turning into hail because of how hard it was hitting our faces.

By the time we got home, we couldn't have been wetter had we jumped into the pool. So we took a picture of each of us to share with our fam! Not sure if you can tell how wet we are but we thought we would share them anyhow.

In other news: OUR CAR!

After work today, we went to pick our car up from the Saturn dealership. About two weeks ago, the air wasn't work so Valvoline filled it with freon (is that how you spell that?) Apparently, they filled it two-times as full as they were supposed to and our compressor broke. Saturn said it would cost $1000 for a new compressor! We decided NOT to get it fixed. After all, we only need the air in our car a few days a year! But Saturn told us when we went in and paid the $150 for labor that Valvoline should pay for this. So if you think of it, shout a prayer out that we will have favor when we go by there and try to convince them that they broke our compressor. Yikes.

We finished off the night with Chipotle (LOVE IT!) and JB is now studying for his neurology "shelf" exam. At the end of every rotation, you take a test on what you learned. He should do fine. Then Monday he has a week of rotation time. This is good timing because my brother is coming in on Saturday! YAY!!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Aaaaah to be a kid!

Last Thursday I decided to send a card to my niece Grace. When I visited her in Florida this summer, I noticed she loved "mail". She would draw pictures and pretend they were delivered and then deliver them to me and then take them back.

So I sent her a card with some stickers and a picture in it. But I made a mistake. I TOLD Grace the letter was coming. I didn't think ahead to the struggle her mother would have when she tried to explain why the letter did not come THAT day. Grace was only thinking about one day at a time.

I talked to Grace the other day. She talked to me for a number of minutes. I have no idea what we talked about, but I know it was frivolous. Her whole life is frivilous! How wonderful to be three again. To be three and have your clothes changed, your meals made, your hair brushed, your teeth brushed, your nose picked, your bed made ... Wow to be three.

Gracie was upset because I sent her a letter, told her I sent her a letter, and then the letter didn't come right away. She only thought of the moment.

So that started me thinking. What was I doing when I was three? I pulled out a few photo albums that my mother passed along to me a few years back and found a few pictures that reminded me of what I was doing when I was three.

Today, I look back on being three! The pictures say it all -- I am only concerned about that one moment ... and I want to strive to do that everyday.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The great outdoors

I thought today would be a good day to share with you my experiences in the Minnesota wildnerness. I had the pleasure of spending 5 days and 4 nights in the boundary waters in Minnesota ... right near the Candian border. John, his youngest sibling, Robbie (who is now 16) and myself went up to Orr Minnesota and took a canoe trip through the boundary waters.

It was absolutely one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. It was also one of the coldest experiences I have ever had. Apparently it was an unseasonably cold snap that left us with some forty degree nights and fifty degree days. I basically wore my long johns, sweat pants, and rain pants (at the same time) and long john shirt, fleece, and rain jacket over the top of that. I told John before we left that I didn't need a rain jacket or rain pants. They were very expensive, and well, if it rained, no biggie. I just want to say now that that rain "outfit" was my best friend on this trip.

We fished, played lots of cards and yhatzee, and after Robbie and I got stuck in the middle of the lake one time, didn't go out without John in the back streering us. John brought amazing food (no surprise there) and packed everything we could possibly need for the trip. We had an absolutely fabulous time even though I am not in a hurry to get back!

On the way back, we got stuck in a rain storm and Robbie and John -- they are the MEN! They paddled AGAINST THE CURRENT for over 12 miles back to where we started our trip. WOW! I sat on the bottom of the canoe to keep it balanced, and froze my toosh off! Here are a few other pictures of us to share our canoeing adventure :)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Erica Van Zuidam

I know some of you have been following the story of Erica Van Zuidam. To recap, Erica is my cousin Josh's wife Sarah's cousin. (Did you get all that?) She was diagnosed with bacterial meningtis about 2 months ago. She has had to have one foot amputated and will have both her hands amputated today! Her family is in need of our support (financial and emotional). You can follow her progress at:

I also wanted to share a new song that my cousin Josh wrote for Erica. You can actually listen to the song at:

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Busy Weekend recap

It WAS a busy weekend. Friday was Summer's birthday dinner, Saturday was a day at Hans' house, and today, after church, we went over to our friend's Calvin & Karen for some dinner. Dave and Lesley and some other people we didn't know were there and we had a great time. It is now 7:00, and JB and I are planning to sit down and watch Out of Africa upon recommendation from Roy VanWyck before jumping in to another week. He has call tomorrow evening so I wanted to spend a little time together before we moved into the real world.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

When Karuna Comes to Visit

We have some very great friends here. One of those couples includes Christo and Melissa Philip. I was browsing through my pictures and came across some pictures from when we babysat for their daughter, Karuna (supposed to be pronounced with a rolled "R" but good luck!).

Christo is a first year medical student. We were put in touch with Melissa and him before they came to Mayo. They were a little nervous about coming so far from family and wanted to "hear it out" from a couple who had done it.

John started emailing Christo, I started emailing Melissa. Melissa was due to have Karuna only weeks before they would arrive. She was also a school teacher, and they were fantastic Christians. We ended up picking out and doing all the walk throughs for them on their new condo. We took digital pictures of every nook and cranny. When they got here, we became instant friends.

Christo and Melissa definitely win the award for bite off so much I don't know how they don't go out of their minds! Last year they decided to become foster parents. This meant that after Christo sat in class from 8-5 each day, on Thursday nights, they would go to 4 hour parenting classes. I, however, loved Thursdays, because Karuna came to visit.

Karuna, only really likes to do one thing when she comes to visit and that is, sit on the couch next to JB and hit his computer. This doesn't work well when you are studying for boards. But JB and Karuna came up with a good plan to comprimise. She could try to hit all she wanted. He, however, could block as much as he wanted. This realationship went on for hours. These pictures were taken over the course of a few hours on one on the nights. Well, maybe not that long. After a certain period, JB's right arm gets cramped and he says I must find something else that Karuna likes to do. I haven't found it yet.

I am dissapointed that foster-parenting classes are over, but Christo and Melissa assure us that they will find something to do on Thursdays nights that will allow me (and JB) to continue to bond with now one year old Karuna!

Friday, July 15, 2005

What the Weekend Holds

I am midway through my day right now. In the morning, I went to my job at the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation (RLSF). Now I am home for lunch where John is watching Lord of the Rings on DVD. He usually watches something for 30 minutes or so during lunchtime. I need to leave in about 5 minutes to go to other job at Mayo. I enjoy having the two jobs, but sometimes it is difficult to shift gears. Depending on what time I get to RLS in the morning, I can get anywhere from an hour to two hours off at lunchtime. This helps me move into the other "persona". I do completely different things at both places.

At 5:00 we will head down to Cabella's about 30 minutes away. JB has a bunch of stuff to return there from our camping trip with Robbie last month. I will share about that experience soon. Then, we are going to go to a birthday dinner for Summer at her favorite restaurant "Whistle Binkies" (weird name I know but she likes it because that is where she met her boyfriend!). Tomorrow, I have a mystery shop at LensCrafters I need to do and then we are going to the Sviggums! This is a favorite event for a lot of people in John's class. It is a LOT of fun. We play all kinds of Minnesota games like trying to throw a beanbag in a hole for points (this game does not have a name -- I have asked) and "Bochi ball" which is another strange game where you throw balls around the whole yard and score points if your's are closest. We also play volleyball and sometimes go for a hayride and eat very good. The Sviggums ALWAYS have jello and usually a few different kinds.

Hans is a great friend of ours even though he sold us out and moved out of Rochester Towers and bought himself a house 5 blocks away. His dad is the Speaker of the House. Here is a link to his website:

So you can check out where we will be tomorrow for our picinic.

Okay, gotta go to work. That's my life today. I am enclosing the picture of my niece Grace simply because I love her so much.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

JB was right (the first time!)

Today, since work was very routine and nothing too exciting happened except for a short lunch meeting with "Hearts Like Hannah" infertility support group, I thought I would write about the canoe trip we took with our friends Dave & Lesley, and my mom & Dad when they were here last week.

Kristi said that in order to have a good blog I had to have pictures. So, I am enclosing pictures from the canoe trip to Lanesboro. I wanted to talk to you about lessons. We learned a lesson that day. We learned that JB, is, unfortunately right fairly often.

Before the trip started he told us that he didn't think my mom, dad and him in one canoe was the way to go. Dave and Lesley are "little" people. When I say little, I mean not, Huisman-size. So putting the three smallest people in one canoe, was, according to JB, not a good idea.

But we talked him out of it and, as you can see from the picture with my dad, my mom, and JB in one canoe, we went forward with our plan.

Now you can take a look at the next picture if you will. You see that in that picture I am in the canoe with my mom and JB. I will let you use your imagination when considering the series of events that took place prior to that switch. But I will tell you that it involved a tipped canoe and a wet set of parents and husband.

That's all I will say about that. I will also not say JB is always right.

Nite all!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

First Blog Entry

Well I am giving blogging a try. Just 10 years ago, I was getting on the internet for the first time, and now I am writing a blog. Just 10 days ago, I didn't even know what a blog was.

My main reason for starting to blog is for my mother and my mother-in-law. I also think of my grandmother (Medema) as I truly do not think Grama Huisman has ever been on a computer. I thought it would be nice to be able to document what I do every day.

John's first thought was that his mom wouldn't like this. "She'll be upset that we don't email or call as much." Well, truth be told, I am already bad at that.

The one thing I am fairly decent at is writing.

So at the moment, it is 6:50 p.m. and I am sitting in front of a VERY sunny window as it won't get dark here for nearly three more hours. You'll be happy to know, Mom, that John finally put the shade up in the bedroom so we aren't woken up at the crack of dawn and so it isn't light when we go to sleep. Summer days are so long here. But I am not complaining. No one around me is allowed to complain about the weather until there is white snow falling.

Okay, so Blog number 1 is here. I hope to update this everyday for you.

I love you all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Who we are

If you have wandered into my blog, please don't wander away! This is the blog of JB and Wendi. Most of the posts are by me (Wendi), however, occasionally, my dear husband will blog hijack. His posts normally related to nutrition, cooking, nature, or farming -- basically anything to do with food or nature.

I started this blog in 2005. We had made two big moves and were dealing with some health issues. I also love to write so this blog seemed like the perfect way to combine the need to share news with a lot of people and my love of words.

So who are we? Well to tell you that (and I update this often to keep up with changes in our life), I should go back to the very beginning.

I was born in 1977. That makes me 32. JB was born in 1976. Ouch! Now 33! JB was a family nickname mostly used by John's dad. However, somewhere, midway through our marriage, I picked it up and now very rarely call him John unless I am talking about him.

We both grew up in the suburbs of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and attended the same Christian school (Fort Lauderdale Christian School -- go Crusaders!) from the time we were in elementary school. When I was a junior in high school and JB was a senior, I finally talked him into falling in love with me. It was about time!

Here is a picture from the first year we were together. This would have been in 1994.

In 1994, JB graduated from high school and received a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, a two year program. In 1995, I graduated and made my way to Bowling Green, Kentucky on a full basketball scholarship.

In 1997, John graduated from the Art Institute with an associates degree and, tired of long distance dating, decided to move to Kentucky. He got a job as a graphic designer and eventually started his own graphic design business, Kit. Design.

In June of 1998, the summer between my junior and senior years of college, we were married in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It seemed odd to some people that we didn't marry back in Florida, but we had made a lot of friends in Kentucky, and I also had a lot of family in Illinois, where both my parents grew up, so we opted for the central location.

In 1999 I graduated from Western Kentucky University and took a job teaching high school English and coaching basketball and volleyball in a town about 30 minutes south of Bowling Green. After one year of commuting, we decided to move to this town of 8,000. John had started taking some classes at Western Kentucky and was running his graphic design business out of our home. We thought we would save some money in this cheap little rural town for a few years before returning to south Florida.

However, John's few classes suddenly turned into the decision to become a doctor. In 2003 he graduated pre-med from Western. He was accepted at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, and we moved 12 hours north to Rochester, Minnesota.

Since we were in Minnesota when this blog began, I named it LIFE IN THE POLAR NORTH. The flakymn is for the three states we lived in, however, the fact that I only realized it spelled "flaky" after I created the address, probably tells you a bit more about my personality than I would like to share.

As John started medical school, I took a job at a public school about 30 miles from Rochester coaching and teaching yet again. Near the end of 2003, I was diagnosed with an ovulatory disorder, and we were told that in order to have children, we would need to begin intensive infertility treatments (more on that below).

This news led to me quitting teaching so that I could be closer to home with a job that was more flexible to make daily appointments. My search for a job actually led to multiple jobs for various locations. I began working at Mayo Clinic, the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, and for a few freelance organizations doing writing and editing including Rochester Women magazine.

In 2007, John completed his final year of medical school at Mayo Clinic and decided to be a family medicine doctor. He is also in the Air Force -- a reverse GI bill of sorts. They pay for medical school and he commits to be a doctor for them for four years when he graduates and finishes residency.
On June 4, 2007, we moved to northern Florida where he will complete his residency at Eglin Air Force Base.

Upon moving to Eglin AFB, we suffered our fourth failed IVF attempt -- losing our 9th, 10th, and 11th little babies. We decided to put infertility treatments on hold and proceed with an adoption from China -- sure to bring us a daughter and not a disappointment. We officially got on the waiting list in China in April 2008, however, we would soon make the difficult decision to remove ourselves from that list.

The reason for the mind change with China began to unfold in late 2007 when we realized our family would grow sooner than we thought. Not only did we add a puppy: Scrubs, but we received a call from the junior bridesmaid from our wedding. Seventeen and pregnant, she wanted us to parent our son. Isaac John joined our family on May 7, 2008. He is the light of our lives.

And then, after ten years of marriage, God showed us He knows best. We found out, when Isaac was just six weeks old, that we were eight weeks pregnant. Elijah Luke entered our arms on January 31, 2009. Two years later we would find out that a third miracle was on the way. Isn't God just crazy?!

Okay, so that should be enough to orient you on who we are if you a just a random visitor. If you are a friend or family member, you probably know all this anyway and wouldn't bother to read it so I am not upset if I bored you.