The Grateful Life

How to Get a Moment Alone…or Not April 16, 2013

Filed under: Stories — Nicole Welle Nere @ 9:12 am
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A re-post of my blog from yesterday on Diva Connection News.

How to Get a Moment Alone…or Not



The Morning Light March 4, 2013

Filed under: Stories — Nicole Welle Nere @ 4:57 pm
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Every night we say our prayers with Caelum, which usually includes the bedtime prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  Watch over me through all the night, and wake me with the morning light.

He does a nice job of alternating the lines with us – we say one, he says the next.  It’s a good routine.

In the mornings, Chris usually gets the boys ready, so he opens their door about 10 minutes before he wants them to get up, so that they start seeing some light and hearing some noise.  Caelum is usually pretty reluctant, putting the quilt over his head and stating, “I’m still sleeping!”

Last night at bedtime, Caelum said to Chris, “Daddy, tomorrow I want you to wake me with the morning light.  I don’t want you to wake me with the door.”

I knew he didn’t like his door being opened!


Belly Buttons February 26, 2013

Filed under: Parenting,Stories — Nicole Welle Nere @ 10:23 am
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I was home alone with the boys over the weekend.  After bath time on Saturday night, Caelum and I were talking about belly buttons.  I explained how everyone has one, and it’s where we used to be connected to our mommies to get food.  He was enthralled.

He went to bed pretty well not long after that.  Tucked him in to his bed with Bruce, Chris’ old homemade Cabbage Patch doll.  Bruce is soft and loved, and his head turns 360 degrees, so he’s not always facing forward!  All was quiet in Caelum’s room for about 15 minutes, so I assumed he had fallen asleep pretty quickly.

All of a sudden I hear his door creak open slowly.  I look up, and Caelum is standing in the doorway peaking out, Bruce under his arm.

“Caelum, what’s going on?”

“Bruce doesn’t have a belly button!”  his terrified voice declared.  Oh my goodness, my heart just melted as I tried to hold back my chuckle.

I rushed over and knelt down next to him.  “Honey, it’s okay.  See, here’s Bruce’s belly button!”  All it took was a little turn of poor Bruce’s head so that he was facing the right direction again.  Poor Caelum had been lying in bed all that time, searching and agonizing over Bruce’s lack of belly button!

“Ooohhhh,” he said with a slight smile, and immediately he turned and headed back to bed.  All was okay again!  Love it!


Acting Crazy January 14, 2013

Filed under: Stories — Nicole Welle Nere @ 5:16 pm
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We were squishing three adults and two car seats into Chris’ car this weekend.

Chris informed Caelum, “Mama is going to ride in the back between you and Everett.”

“So we don’t act crazy??”

Yes sir, that is EXACTLY it.



You Rock January 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nicole Welle Nere @ 4:28 pm

Caelum is learning letters at daycare.  He knows that his and daddy’s names start with a C, and he knows there is a C in the middle of my name.  I received a magnet from the Fargo Marathon, trying to entice me into running a race again this year.  It is personalized and says my name in place of “Fargo.”


Caelum was looking at it yesterday, and I helped him find my name.  He asked me what the other word was, so I told him “Rocks.”

This morning, not long after waking, he of course was standing in front of the fridge, contemplating his first course of breakfast.  He pointed out the magnet again and said, “Mama, this says you.  You.  Rock.”

Yes, my darling boy, I do.  And please don’t forget it.


Eggie Muffins January 8, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — Nicole Welle Nere @ 3:57 pm
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½ red bell pepper, chopped

½ green bell pepper, chopped

½-1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped

1 lb. ground beef

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

¼ c. shredded cheddar or Marble Jack cheese

2 tsp. seasoning salt

9 eggs

¼ c. plus 1 Tbsp. milk

¾ tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Brown hamburger along with onions. Drain and rinse hamburger. Return to heat and add seasonings, peppers, and broccoli. Cook for a few minutes, then remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs, milk, and baking powder.

Lightly spray or line muffin cups. Spoon out the hamburger mixture evenly into each cupcake.

Sprinkle a few shreds of cheese over each cup.

Ladle or pour the egg mixture over meat and cheese. Fill to the top, but be careful not to overfill.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.


  • I give all the veggies a rough chop together in a small food processor or with a hand chopper.
  • Frozen broccoli florets work as well as fresh.
  • This makes 12 regular-sized muffins, plus some. I got 12 regular plus six minis out of a batch. You could put a little less meat into each cup and get probably 18 regular sized.
  • Consider placing a sheet pan underneath your cupcake pan to protect your oven from any possible overflow. If you’ve overfilled them at all (which is easy to do), it will burn on the bottom of your oven.
  • Works with any meat or veggies you would enjoy in an omelet – breakfast sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.

Adapted from Six in the Suburbs.


Lazy Sunday Stew January 1, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — Nicole Welle Nere @ 8:05 pm
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lazy but delicious

lazy but delicious

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 can tomato soup (from Grandma MaryAnn)
1 can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
1/2-1 c. water
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained (could sub lima beans)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper

Brown hamburger; keep it in larger chunks.  Drain and rinse, add onion, celery, and spices to brown.  Added remaining ingredients, simmer for 30 min. or until sweet potatoes are soft.