Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Major Ramblings

I just finished reading a book that I would highly recommend.  Are you ready for this??  The book of Judges is INCREDIBLE.  Each story within left me going "What the Heck?"  I feel like I have been let down. Why didn't I hear about all those cool, and not so cool, stories growing up.  And why was the story of Samson so unlike the one I heard as a child.  And why did I never hear the story about Jephthah's daughter?  I mean, it is a horrible story, he asks God to give him victory in battle and promises that he will sacrifice the first person that comes out of his home to greet him when he returns from war. Poor Jephthah is heart broken when his only child, a daughter, comes from the house, on his return from victory in battle, dancing and  playing a tambourine.  I would have been like "Hey, get back in that house young child. I'll pretend I never saw ya."  But no. Jephthah is faithful to God and explains to his daughter the deal he had made with the Lord. She is shocked and asks for two months alone in the mountains with her friends to grieve that she will die a virgin, childless. I can only imagine that she went up on the mountain and got completely wasted with her friends. Laughing, Crying, Vomiting. You know, going through all the stages of denial.  Who knows. They don't write much about her in the story. Only that she understands her father's deal with the Lord and offers herself as a sacrifice.  Horrible. Powerful
It got me thinking about how God offered his only son as a sacrifice for us. How powerful it must have been back in the day to see or hear such a thing. Now days we are like "Wow, Christ being sacrificed on the cross is so awesome. It is so awesome that I am going to wear a cross around my neck"   I fear that we don't really understand the magnitude of such a thing. I mean, I have never personally had to sacrifice anyone or anything. So, I will be the first to admit it is hard for me to understand the magnitude. What is even more troubling to me is the lack of good friday participation and true celebration on Easter Sunday. I fear that more, so called, christians would show up to fight for the old law to be placed in a public building than to mourn and celebrate our amazing God sacrificing his son for US. 
But imagine if  you will, if you were a descendant of Jephthah.  It mentioned in Judges that after the death of his daughter the Israelite women would go out for four days every year to grieve over her death. Can you imagine being one of those women?  Can you imagine being told that God is going to, in the future, sacrifice his only child, a son? What a humbling thing. I would be in shock.  The story made me stop and think.  I thought I would share that with you.   Now, on to a confession. Anna has been taking her naps at a different time than Paul so by the time I get Paul to sleep Anna is just waking up and I am EXHAUSTED. The past couple of days I have been getting Anna's baby mattress out of her bed, putting it on the floor,shutting her bedroom door and laying on the mattress, in her room, sleeping while she plays. It is completely uncomfortable and  I have to be willing to get hit in the head every five seconds with a block or a finger up the nose. But it is totally worth being able to lay motionless, with my eyes closed for 20 to 30 min.
On a grieving note. Today is the 2nd anniversary of my grandfather's (Papal) death. I am doing pretty well.  I have no clue how the rest of my family is holding up, especially my grandmother (mamal).  I know she has been suffering quietly inside the past two years. My family seems to have problems with the whole grieving process. I however am a firm believer that you never "get over" a death of such a significant person in your life.  You must "deal with it" constantly.  Cry out loud. Scream. Talk about your grief with others who have lost someone close. The grieving process is a touchy subject, everyone goes through it differently, but I know we all go through it. To hide the process is more harmful than the actual process. To hell with the "I'm strong." statement. That is not healthy. I am weak during this process and reach out to people for comfort. I rely on their strength during these times. 

Ok, the kids are up. Roger is home and I need some caffeine.  The early afternoon is always the hardest part of the day. I heard an author describe it as the noon day demon. It makes you feel like all you have done before that time is worthless, that you are lazy for feeling so drained. And "how dare you take a nap." 

On a side note:  Roger and I got up early this morning!!  I ate breakfast, cleaned the house, took a shower, got dressed and helped Roger put the laundry away. All of this was accomplished before the kids got up. When they got up I fed them breakfast, took them to see a magic show at the library, made a quick trip to Kroger and then cleaned the bathroom.  Now I am EXHAUSTED.  But YAY the house is clean!!!    

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday July 23, 09

Most days I feel like I have gotten nothing accomplished. However, most days I get tons of stuff done. Sometimes when I sit down after a morning full of fun activity I think "I didn't get anything done."  This afternoon I did the same thing. I walked inside around 3:30, started sipping a glass of water while enjoying a quite house full of sleeping children. (ok, so there is just 2 kids)  Then it popped in my head "I haven't done anything to day."  Then I thought "you are so hard on yourself."  So, I wrote a list of things that I did today.

1. got both the kids up , dressed and fed
2. followed Anna around all morning picking up her tornadoes. 
3. cleaned both the bathrooms
4. straightened up the house
5. picked paul up from VBS and let him play in the bouncy thing for an hour while I watched anna
6. fed kids lunch and cleaned up after them
7. took the kids to Lowes to get some pest killer, dirt and mulch
8. read books to the kids and put them down for a nap
9. mowed the grass and trimmed.
10. planted a flower and put more mulch around the bushes
11. sprayed the bushes with bug killer stuff

Now I am sitting here writing this blog so I will no longer think at the end of the day "I did nothing."  It is strange how when you enjoy doing something so much, when the end of the day comes you feel like you did nothing. How weird??  I need to do this more often, write a list. Because sometimes I get that guilty feeling for staying home with the kids. Like all I am doing is playing house. It's hard not to feel that way when I get told so often that I am not using my BA in psychology degree. Hey people, I am totally using those skills that I picked up during all my psych hours. I would not be as good a mom or wife if I wasn't.  

 But anyway I need to pat myself on the back every now and then.  If it weren't for me the house would be a mess, the grass wouldn't be mowed, the kids would never get a bath, the laundry would never get done and the kids wouldn't even know what a book is.

There, I have had my uplifting moment that I so needed.  I sometimes wish that maybe I could get a boring job where I sit somewhere and stare at the computer waiting for the day to end and my paycheck to come.  But, I have been there and done that and I am pretty sure I have the best job in the world. (but doesn't everybody?)  Right here at Jasper n' Jasper. 

 I am starting to think about how my answer to the question "Do you work or stay home with the kids?"will be from now on. I just HATE that question.   It shall be "I work from home."  

"oh really!  What kind of work?"  
"maid, janitor, cook, nanny, landscaper, PE couch, therapist"   

 Holly Crap I totally just cracked myself up.  I love when I do that.  Ha Ha  (chuckle with me)

Ok, I'm sitting here covered in grass and dirt from the landscaper part of my job so I need to get cleaned off before the kids wake up or roger gets home.  He tends to walk in the door and say "Ha Ha what in the world have you gotten yourself into?"  I get pretty messy when I play outside.  I just can't help it.  I don't care about getting dirt all over the place.  I'm also a bit clumsy so that doesn't help.   

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jogging Strollers Rock My World and Bum

This morning at 9:30 I met up with a few other moms and did some major exercising in the park. There were moments when I thought that I was going to vomit and moments that I thought my legs were going to fall off but when all was said and done I did have a great time. The mom who formed the club is a fitness trainer that does yoga and other mom/baby classes throughout town. She is very nice and really knows how to whip your body into shape. We worked nonstop, hard until 11am.  By the time it was over I didn't know if I was going to have enough strength to walk back home (it's in the park by our house).  

This is very exciting for me because I am a fitness fanatic. I love it!!!  I can't explain it. I just love the challenge of fitness. I love getting my pulse up, pushing myself. I am also anxious to meet people in our new community. So, this whole jogging club is PERFECT!!!  We get to warm up together, stretch and talk, then walk a bit while we talk, then start the hard stuff at which point we can;t talk because we are too busy trying to breath. After all the hard work is complete, the calories burned, the muscles pumped and cooled down, we sit together while the little ones play on the park. Fabulous.  Social/ Exercise time for me and social/exercise time for Paul and Anna.  I must admit my favorite part was when we parked the strollers, turned the kids toward us and did crazy aerobics under the beautiful shade tree. "This is a perk of staying at home with the kids!"  

It was a nice morning. Cool, Sunny, just enough of a breeze to cool the sweat. However, I am worn out. Exhausted

On a side note: Paul is VBS hopping. He went to ours last week and this week I am taking him to the churh's across the street.  It works out perfect because they meet in the morning so it gives me a little time to get some chores done before noon. I'm also getting the opportunity to meet people at the Methodist church across the street!  Works out perfect!

Friday, July 17, 2009


I'm sitting here watching Anna do some sort of craziness with the rug and Paul watch Ice Age.  Fridays are movie days at our house. I don't allow him to watch tv or movies much so on friday we veg out.  I wish I could enjoy this veg out experience more but I have a horrible head ache. I think I have taken to many drugs this morning. There is a possibility I am becoming a druggy. I took my normal vitamin this morning. Then decided that maybe I was a little low in iron and that was why I was so tired so I popped an iron pill.  Then later this morning I decided maybe I had a headache because of allergies so I took some allergy meds.  After that I thought maybe I just needed some caffeine so I had some coffee and tea.  Then I took some ibuprofen.  Now I am sitting here in pain, a bit spaced out and feeling shaking from the caffeine. I've really gotta stop the self diagnosing.  My Obgyn has already forbidden me from googling things "Jess, just ask me and I'll tell you all you need to know. You're just going to scare yourself for no reason."  I stopped googling but I didn't stop thinking the worst and popping the meds.  Gotta stop that.  I guess I just need to go get blood work like a normal person when I feel that there is a possibility that I am low in iron. Thank the Lord there isn't such a thing as a take home blood work kit or I would totally be sticking myself all the time.

Tonight is the last night for VBS. I must admit that after the first night in which roger and I both experienced an emotional meltdown, it has been fun. I feel like for 2 whole hours I get to be a kid again, playing make believe. The best part being that I am teaching young ones about Rome: Paul and the underground church.  Including my young one. He is excited to get to learn more about his name sake. It puts a smile on my face.

Alright, Paul's movie is over, Roger just put anna down for a nap and is walking to church, so I better get busy reading to Paul. That's one of my favorite Mom things to do with him....READ.  I LOVE reading and I LOVE that paul loves it as well. We read books for at least 40 min each day cuddled up on the couch. 

Exciting note for the day: I have found a stroller fitness class that I am going to join!! They meet at the park right by our house every monday, work out together and then let the kids play together on the park.  It is so exciting!!!  I'll get to combine my love of exercise, kids and socializing!!!  FABULOUS!! She said "come prepared to sweat. We burn off abut 450 cal a work out!!"   YAY

I'll write about how that goes. Hopefully I don't kill over.  :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer days and nights

Thus far I have had a fabulous morning. I was able to get my scripture reading done in the peace and quite of the morning before the kids got up.  This morning I finished the horribly depressing book of Jeremiah!!!  I enjoyed reading through it but it was just such a downer. Seriously.  I need to read a happier book next time.  Hummm

After the kids got up and ate breakfast we headed out for a lovely morning stroll and ended up at the park. Paul and Anna are having so much fun playing with each other.  I just love watching them interact with one another. It warms my heart. Paul says that God gave him a little friend.  That little friend being Anna. I told him that I agreed. 

Anna is a WILD CHILD.  She is so unlike paul. She is not the least bit shy and she is more than willing to try any and everything. It is so funny to watch her climd up the little stairs and slide down the slide on her belly all by herself. She is HILARIOUS.  She giggles the whole time we are at the park.  And of course Paul thinks that is just the cutest thing.  I sure hope they grow up to be close.  I dream of having a close nit little family. Roger, me, anna and Paul.  

Tonight is the first night of vacation bible school and I would rather eat rocks than go to it. I HATE all the church drama. What I mean is the church politics. I just absolutely HATE it.  I think I need to wear a sign that says "I am NOT the youth minister.  I just married one."  I HATE getting asked questions about this or that. I HATE being told where to go or what to do.  Heaven for bid.  Leave me alone and let me for once passively enjoy something. And PS if you hired Roger to do the job then step back and let him do the job.  AAAAAHHHHHH  I think it best at this point to go into a nearby closet and CURSE.   I never knew church could be so unloving and demanding at times.

Ok, enough about that.  Let me talk about my wonderful week that I had with my little rascals. 

On tuesday I took Paul and Anna to the public swimming pool.  They had a GREAT time and so did I. A woman from church was also there with her two girls so we sat by/in the pool and talked while the kids entertained themselves.  It was going great and I was thinking about just moving in FOREVER until Paul came hobbling over SCREAMING about his foot.  He had scrapped it and blood was everywhere.  Thank the Lord for Beth and her first aid kit or I have no clue what I would have done.  We bandaged him up and ended up heading back home.  At which point we ALL took a nap.

Later in the week paul and I took a bike ride together. Me on my hybrid Trek and Paul on his little red tricycle. WE rode on the side walk, through the alley way, across the street and into a big parking lot. Once we got to the parking lot we rode in a circle for a good 30 min before heading back home.  On the ride back we discussed how his birthday was coming up and that we needed to get him a bigger bike that would connect to my bike so that we could ride faster.

On Friday after taking Paul and Anna to their reading group at the library we decided to randomly pack up and go hiking at the Gorge.  So, we packed a few things, including the camel pack and headed out into the great outdoors, me, roger and the two kiddos. 

Paul insisted on taking his camping backpack with him so I just had to take a picture of him next to the fence that he claimed he built so that we wouldn't fall off the cliff and die  

When we came upon our first clearing paul screamed out IT's BEAUTIFUL!!!!!  AWWW LOOK AT THAT!!!"  It made me smile.  So, we took another picture.

The crazy wild cat Anna also had a lot of fun. She was talking to herself the whole way. It was as if she was telling us a big long story about something. She also enjoyed eating the dirt and tried desperately to sneak a rock into her mouth.

These of course were everywhere and paul thought they were funny looking. That is until we told him what they meant.  I guess he thought the little man was having fun.
After hiking to Chimney Top we decided to hike to princess arch. This hike was a bit nuts with Anna. We had to take turns climbing down and up and handing off the kids. "You got her?'  "YEAH, toss her to me." But I must admit that it was totally worth it. 

When we got back home it started to rain and a really cool rainbow appeared.  

So we put Paul's rain boots on and let him splash in the puddles.
The next day, Saturday, we got up early and went to the farmers market to by some yummy local produce.  Then we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to the park for a picnic.  After paul and Roger played pretend baseball on the REAL baseball field "look mom, the sandlot!" we headed home to rest. On the drive home we decided "Hey, let's go to the drive in tonight."  So, we took naps and baths and around 8:30pm headed out to the drive-in to watch Ice Age. On the drive there we were blessed with a gorgeous sunset.  You know the ones that turn the sky an orange and pink color. "mom, that is the setting sun!!!"   "Yes Paul it sure is!" 
We had a great time watching the kids play under the screen before the movie and cuddling when the big dinosaur seemed like he was coming out of the screen.  Anna thought it was the greatest thing EVER and Paul didn't stop smiling.  

All in all we had a GREAT week.  THis summer has been full of fun little family adventures! 

WE started this week with a visit from Justin and Amanda.  There is nothing quite like sitting on the porch with friends eating breakfast for dinner on a sunday afternoon. They helped to calm our nerves about the upcoming VBS!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cooperative Baptist General Assembly 2009

We arrived in HOT Houston, Texas at around 8:30AM, took our time getting the one bag we checked and looked around for transportation options from the airport to the Hilton Hotel. A taxi was 51 dollars, a shuttle was going to be 30 dollars and the regular bus was $1.25 per person.  So, we opted to take the most common mode of transportation for the working poor in many cities.  The ride took about an hour but was well worth it. I was able to do my daily devotion and scripture reading on a city bus surrounded by interesting people.  We were even able to meet new people and hear several personal stories along the way.

Once we arrived downtown Houston the bus dropped us off about 7 blocks from the Hotel.  So, we walked, (thank you Lord for luggage with wheels).  My first reaction was, "man, it's really not that hot here."  Then after the 5th block, sweat pouring from every part of my body "Umm I am REALLY hot."  

Walking into the hotel was like walking into an ice box. I had instant relief but also I must admit that I had pride in the fact that we took the city bus and walked 7 blocks. After being informed that we were unable to get a room until 11am we checked our lugage in at the bell hop station and took off outside to EXPLORE the city.  That's when we came upon a dog jumping/diving contest.  YES!!!!!  Thank you LORD!!    
We stood outside in the 100 degree  weather laughing hysterically at all these dog people talking very parent like to their dogs.  Then the big shabang happened.  Fido after Fido jumped into the waater.  Hands clapping.  Owners very proud.  The score revealed.  More clapping.  Our response "What the hell is going on here??"  Roger then says "I don't know but this is HILARIOUS." 

Here is a picture of the hotel from the park. We kept looking at it praying that a room would become available before 4pm.
We also happened upon a family of hard core bikers.  They had their WHOLE family on one LONG bike.  The WHOLE thing was connected.  I was like "Oh man, Look at that."  Roger "SHH your yelling and pointing.  stop pointing."
AT 11am, after being up since 3 am riding a plane, riding a city bus, walking 7 blocks in 100 degree weather, and observing some strange dog owners, we FINALLY got our room.  I immediately washed up, put some comfy "I never leave the house in this" clothes on, jumped into the bed and sent Roger out in search of some greasy food.  My nap was so incredible and when I woke up I got to enjoy a yummy blue cheese burger with sweet potato fries. I was in heaven. Needless to say I ate that same meal three times.  It was THAT good.  

The CBF didn't start until Wednesday evening, the main events starting on Thursday. So, Roger and I were able to hang out alone in a huge hotel with very few people. It was so nice. Every morning we would wake around 6am. I would eat breakfast (dry cereal we obtained at a local grocery) while doing my daily devotion and bible reading and Roger would shower off a bit. Then we would head up to the roof with my hot lady grey tea and his hotel coffee. I packed some tea in my carry on!!!  Why?? Because I'm smart like that :)  And I LOVE tea.

It was so nice sitting alone on the roof, looking out over the city, watching the movement of the clouds. We read and talked and read and talked.  Then we would swim several laps in the pool and laugh about how we were "absolutely not olympic swimmers." Then we would lay out in the sun and read some more.  

Around lunch time we would head back to the room to get dressed and then go on a search for a good pub to grab a sandwich and a nice cold adult beverage.  After lunch we would EXPLORE the city. In other words we walked around for hours and hours in the heat, people watching. 

 On tuesday we took the metro train down to the museum district and explored the contemporary art museum, the Jung Center and the Rothko Chapel.  We also picked up a loaf of bread, some peanut butter and some fruit so that the rest of the week we would have a cheap lunch in our room and would be able to go out with friends for a nice dinner.

In the evenings we had a great time laughing alone in the room. I adored the window. We were on the 17th floor so I couldn't help but stand in the window seal and look out. 

 Roger decided that the window should give birth to me.  And I agreed. 
On Friday evening as I was looking out the window ( I was totally doing the standing on the window seal thing again) I noticed a big crowd of people across the street.  "I wonder what that's all about??"  Then, after turning on the news, I discovered that a republican TEA party was taking place.  So, we called the Shoulta's and took off to get some dinner at the Lake house (it was totally not a lake. it was a pond that they decided to call a lake but that's a whole other blog) to get a burger.  The lake house just so happened to be right smack dab in the middle of Republican HATE feast.  Lovely.  no really.  LOVELY!!!  We had a blast listening to the poorly put together speeches full of "let the poor be poor.  they have every right to be poor. just like we have every right to KEEP OUR MONEY."  I was like "WOW, such a deep hate down in their soul all because they are greedy and lusting after wealth."  The signs were even better.  Roger of course had a sign pushed into his face and yet again made a great argument which ended in the couple not knowing what to say and lowering their sign.  Other than that we just walked around in amazement taking random pictures.  At one point Val said "Well, I was registered independent but after this I am pretty sure I'm democrat."  my response "yeah, this is pretty eye opening. I believe I need to change from independent as well." 
After going to the CBF general assembly, attending small discussion groups on poverty, peacemaking, human trafficking, and missional churches we alas had to pack up to catch our return flight home.  
We had such an empowering week spent in the presence of people who have that unexplainable inner desire to love their neighbor as their self. I was so happy that I was brought to tears. I can't explain to you how lonely I have felt over the past years.  While everyone around me seems to be, to take a quote from one of the speakers at the CBF, "doing the church instead of BEING the church."  I have felt that I am the lone person.  But no. There ARE other Baptist out there who care about social justice issues AND evangelism. It shouldn't be either/ or.

 The spirit at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was so unlike the spirit I had once experienced at the Southern Baptist Convention.  It was a spirit of true JOY. A spirit of LOVE. A spirit of INNER PEACE. A spirit of UNDERSTANDING. 

On the last day during the last service there was communion by intinction. We stood in line, one by one breaking a peace of bread off of the loaf and dipping it into the cup before placing it upon our tongues. For the first time I felt "This is where I belong.  These are my peeps!!"  Tears of joy began to build up within me that I quickly suppressed.  I left feeling empowered, encouraged, hopeful of my future.  So, I did what any woman who is attending seminary does. I bought a "This is what a preacher looks like" t-shirt from the Baptist Women in Ministry organization.  Yes, I totally felt the LOVE. 

After we arrived in Louisville I marched my little self over to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and had a lovely photo shoot with my new t-shirt and my new found self confidence in pursuing my Master of Divinity degree.  Rog and I laughed and joked and left our rough church past behind.  We will push forward with the help of our new found community. The CBF!!      

PS: One night we decided to walk up 17 flights of stairs just for the heck of it. But after spotting a condom wrapper and some cig butts roger chickened out "it's creepy in here. People are clearly doing dark things in here."  Although I was disappointed that our adventure ended so soon I must admit that I was a bit creeped out as well.