Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas time was so special this year. 
We had our first little family christmas all by ourselves. 
In the years past we have gone to see family. This year we wanted to start our own christmas traditions, just me, Rog and the kids. We felt the needed to break away from our families a little bit and form our own little unit. 

It was fabulous.
We have turned to quite an adorable little family!!  Or so I think :)

The Beginning:
December 19th Roger and I woke up and started cooking really early. My family (mom, dad, jacob, john, shannon and shelbie) drove up for an early Christmas with us! They brought all the desesrts, a side and we provided the drinks, a side and the christmas Ham.  It was the first time Roger and I had ever cooked a ham or hosted a christmas so it was really exciting. It turned out to be super easy and fun!   We LOVE cooking together! He really teaches me a LOT about being patient.

On Christmas Eve we went to the eve service at our new church. Roger, along with severeal parishioners, led the beautiful candle lit lessons in carols.  It was beautful, emotional and a little nuts with two children crawling all over me as I tried my best not to catch the building on fire with the lit candle. At one point I whispered to Anna "stop picking your nose." she looked up at me right when it was silent in the church and screamed out "I NEED TO CLEAN IT OUT. IT IS MY NOSE!"

When we got home after the service all 4 of us enjoyed a fabulous herb chicken dinner that we had put in the crock pot, along with some carrots, potatoes and onions, before the service. We then sat around the tree, lit the advent candles and explained to the children that "baby Jesus would be born tonight and tomorrow we will have a party for him." They were so excited about listening to the stories!



On Christmas Morning we gathered around the tree, lit the advent candles again and got super excited about lighting the Christ candle as Roger placed baby Jesus in the manger and read the story. We kept the Christ candle lit all day!  We exchanged one gift at a time, opening each toy to play with it a while before going on to the next gift.  It extended the gift opening time because we only get them 2 or 3 gifts that they REALLY want!  I want my children to really truly get what christmas is about. A celebration of the Christ child. 


The Christ Candle
The rest of the day we were super lazy!  It was wonderful.  We napped. We watched a movie. We read books. We played games with each other and put a puzzle together! We made an unspoken rule to not leave the house and to cuddle as much as possible.





The day after Christmas was Roger's birthday ( It is EVERY SINGLE YEAR!! (ha ha))   His parents had planned on driving up for church but were snowed in until later.  They came up and took us out to lunch, refusing to let us cook them a meal or prepare a cake.  We then sat around opening gifts and talking.

On Monday Roger took off work since he had been working through Christmas.  I got up, went to the gym for a quick run( LOVE IT!), made a mad dash to Kroger to pick up some stuff before rushing home to shower and jump back in my bed to read read read ALL DAY LONG.  Well, I did knit a little and played air hockey with Paul but I mostly read read read.  It was FABULOUS!  
the scarf I am making Roger
At around 5pm on Monday we started getting ready for friends to come over. 
Roger put the Pork Tender Loin in the oven after smothering it in a delicious assortment of herbs and spices, while I picked up some toys and vacuumed.  I tried to get Anna to get dressed put she insisted on staying in her new monkey pajamas.

Friends started arriving about 6pm.  
We were having a big dinner for Justin and Amanda because they are flying to Africa next week to live for who knows how long.  It was super fun to see all our college friends together in one place ( I think there was 12 of us) but that sad feeling of why we were together kinda lingered in the room.  We are all going to miss Justin and Amanda so much. Thank heaven for facebook and skype!!!

roger, becca, colt

Jarrod, Tyler, Amanda

Melissa, John

Justin, Roger, Becca

Colt, Jarrod, Tyler
It was really neat to see how much we have changed over the past year.  John and Melissa are expecting their first baby girl. Matt and Danielle are expecting their second child, we got to meet their first child, little 15 month old Harrison. And Roger and I have two children.  Pretty soon when we get together there are going to be 5 little kids running around maybe even more.  That is so exciting and so strange. We are starting to take over the world and populate the planet! That is quite scary.

This morning (Tuesday) we bid farewell to Justin and Amanda as we handed them some boxes to use for packing. It didn't really hit me until they pulled away how much I am going to miss those two. Over the years they have become our go to couple!  Our children are in LOVE with them!

Now we are back to the real world.  Friends are gone, Family is gone, Roger is gone and I am back to work watching the kids by myself.  They are currently pretending that they are dragons and Anna is ripping a poinsettia plant apart, as I type this, saying that she is a "mean dragon." Oh I really liked those poinsettias. I guess you can't keep nice things for too long when you have children.


after a cold walk on a snowy day

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Precious Moments Not so Precious

I know one day I will miss chasing Paul and Anna around the house trying to put on their massive jackets, snow boots and gloves. 

But today it was EXHAUSTING.

Then the car seat and booster seat adventure with the massive jackets.  "Hold on I know it will lock in if I just squeeze it a little harder. Let me take my gloves off and give it another try"  As they scream out "THIS IS TOO TIGHT"

Every now and then my two year old attempts to put herself into the car seat.....with the massive jacket, snow boots and gloves. Why is it that she always does this when it is raining? Here I am standing in the FREEZING rain, trying to remain calm as I say "why don't you let mommy have a try?"  

This is why mothers of small children look like they have been in a fight. Because they have!

This was my day:
get the kids dressed to go outside.
help anna in her car seat
help paul in his booster seat
shut all the doors
drive to location
help paul our of his booster seat
help anna out of her booster seat
shut all the doors
go into the destination to finish task
help anna back into her car seat
help paul into his booster seat
shut all the doors
drive to location
help paul out of his booster seat
help anna out of her car seat
shut all the doors
go into the destination to finish task
help anna into her car seat..........
............................... on and on

My arms hurt.....my nerves are shot......and I am so tired of saying the same things over and over again "yep, mommy has one more little thing. WHY?  well because........"


AHHHHHHHHHH

The simple pleasure of getting in and out of a car is taken for granted until you are a parent. There is no quick trips. I hate how every time I need to go somewhere I end up opening and shutting EVERY SINGLE door on the car before starting it. (anna's, paul's, mine and the passenger side to put their stuff)

I understand the mom VAN.

I NEED IT!

 most of the trips I make take FOREVER and I always leaved confused.

for example:
I took paul to get his hair cut today.
he refused to get up in the chair
Anna screamed to get up in the chair "I WANT MY HAIR CUT."
I was like "well, umm, ok"
Honestly I just wanted to leave but didn't want to fight to get her out of the place and into the car seat.
11 dollars later I am walking out of Great Clips with one child that really needs a hair cut and another child that you can't really tell got a hair cut, both enjoying sugary suckers

CONFUSING.





Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Classic Christmas Recipe, from our family to yours

I'm not really that big of a cook.

Cooking kinda drives me nuts. 

I am very impatient and forgetful when it comes to mixing ingredients together. 

However, when I do make something it is AWESOME!

So, I'm going to go out on a limb here and share my FAVORITE Christmas Recipe with you all:

First you are going to need a bag of oreo cookies (double stuffed is preferred) and about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of milk.

The first thing I like to do is gather about 5 oreo cookies in my hand. Be careful not to crush them. Sometimes they crush if you hold then too tightly. Be gentle with the cookies.

Then I pour myself about 1 1/2 cups of milk in a large glass. 

Make sure the glass isn't too narrow. It needs to be a wide glass. A glass that you can fit your hand in and touch the bottom. I prefer a coffee mug.

At this point I usually put some Christmas music on and plug in the christmas tree lights.

Once again. be careful not to crush the oreo cookies.

Once all the ingredients are gathered and the mood set, take one oreo cookie at a time and hold it in the milk for a count of 5.  

If you hold the cookie in longer than a count of 5 you run the risk of the cookie becoming too soggy and breaking off in the milk. 

No one likes it when a cookie breaks off into the milk. 

If you hold the cookie in less than 5 counts then the milk isn't given a chance to sufficiently permeate the cookie. Leaving you with nothing more than a wet cookie.

After holding the oreo cookie in milk for a count of 5 I slowly place half of it into my mouth and bite firmly. At which point I typically return the cookie to the milk having rotated the cookie 90 degrees. 

I am always sure to place my fingers near the edge of the cookie to maximize the milk to surface area ratio on this last dunk.

This recipe is a great hit at family gatherings. I always hear "HEY!!!  who brought the double stuffed oreo cookies and milk?!?!"

Hope you enjoy this classic christmas recipe from our family to yours!!! 

 MERRY CHRISTMAS!





Monday, December 20, 2010

Fairy Tale Land

At 2 years 7 months Anna Catherine has hit the super imagination stage!!

I LOVE THIS STAGE!
It is my favorite.

Everything is so magical, super exciting and eye opening. 
She plays pirates, princess, tinkerbell, little mommy, blues clues, space girl, monkey girl.........on and on and on with the imagination.


Today she had on one of those adorable pink ballerina skirts, some pink christmas stockings and her snow boots. I wanted to just eat her up she was so cute.

She has been a mommy's girl the past couple of weeks. She follows me around all day asking "can I help you momma?" and runs up to give me massive hugs at random times. Yesterday, as I was cleaning up the living room she said "oh momma I am so proud of you!" 

Paul Calvin has been a LOT better. I believe it to be a combination of him maturating now that he is 5 years old and the diet we have him on (organic milk, very little sugar and nothing with red dye). He has been a lot happier and calmer. I am VERY thankful to people helping me figure out that diet!   

With Paul being calmer and not throwing as many fits and Anna having this burst of imagination, our house is like a fairy tale land at all times. 

I just LOVE that. 

 I love being in this magical kid world.  It really has been GREAT fun jumping around the house in crazy clothes pretending that "captain hook is trying to capture us lost boys!" or taking walks around the neighborhood while pretending to be explorers. My favorite is when we pretend the car is an airplane and fly to distant lands (the mall, Target or the church)


Paul and Anna have really become GREAT little buddies (most of the time).  They run through the house yelling crazy commands at each other "Anna grab the blue lever for the rocket ship while I get all the equipment ready!"   or "Paul the fox and the mouse are trying to grab my pony tail. help me brother HELP ME!"  

It cracks me up!

While I was putting Anna to bed tonight she started looking through her new christmas clothes and saying "oh this one is nice. Yep! I want to wear this tomorrow afternoon mom. Can you put this on me tomorrow afternoon?  oh it is so nice!"

I have been told by several people that you have good years and bad years with kids. It seems as if 2011 is looking to be a good year. I sure hope so!  I could really use a GREAT year!





Thursday, December 16, 2010

An ICEY Mess

WOW

It is completely gross outside.

A couple of days ago it snowed a couple of inches.

Schools were canceled.

Then it melted a bit.

School was reopened.

Last night it rained, froze and then iced.

Schools were closed.

As of now it is a raining out.

Yucky, Cold and Wet

Tucked inside the nice warm house are two small children with runny noises and a mommy with a sinus headache.

This week has been an adventure!
 We have played pirates, hide-n-go seek, church(they take turns being the preacher and it is hilarious) and the traditional games of chutes and ladders followed by candy land. 

ANY and EVERYTHING to keep the kids from destroying the house or the world. 
They have SO MUCH ENERGY.
(Side note: that is why I am so glad I gave birth at the young age of 21 and 24.)

The game that they love the most to play and that annoys me the MOST is "hide stuff from mom." They sneak in the bathroom, grab the toilet paper and hide it somewhere in the house. I walk in the bathroom to go pee, find that that there is no toilet paper,"what did you two do with the toilet paper?" They proceed to giggle until they fall over in a fit of hysteria while I run off in search of the magical white roll. 

They also play this game with my chap stick, my hair brush, my knitting and my book.

Most of the time I find all of the hidden stuff in Anna's closet.

Speaking of Anna's closet.

Have I mentioned that I found her in the closet a few days back, with a bag of chips, munching away like we had been starving her to death?  

I still haven't managed to find my chap stick and I am so aggravated because I keep buying chap stick and the kids keep taking it from me.  AAAAAAHHHHH

This morning Anna was so crafty! 
She made her very own lotion. 
Roger said "umm we have a problem" which is code word for "your daughter has made a mess and I want you to come deal with it." 
I walked in the bathroom to find snotty noised Anna with an assortment of lotions squeezed into her hand. She smiled and began rubbing it all over the place before I could think through what I was seeing. 

It was a combination of lavender, french vanilla and petunia. 
It actually smelt quite lovely!

And to think that it isn't even really considered winter yet. WOW. 




Sunday, December 12, 2010

Milestones

Hello Friends and Family!

Today was a special day because little 2 year old Anna hit another milestone in her development.

SHE CUT HER OWN HAIR!

YAY FOR ANNA

So, I am being a little bit sarcastic. 

I knew this day would come. 

I tried my best to avoid it but the smart little monkey found the scissors and chopped a big chunk of her bangs off. I'm just glad she was so excited about her accomplishment that she yelled out "YAY I just cut my hair all by MYSELF!!!"   or I wouldn't have found her until she had hacked up all of her hair. 

Roger took the scissors and said "now anna. you are not suppose to cut your hair. you haven't even been to beauty school yet.  you can't be doing that."

I had to then explain to Roger that she is 2 years old and has no clue what beauty school is.
then I looked anna right in the eye ball and said "DO NOT EVER CUT YOUR HAIR EVER AGAIN. DO YOU HEAR ME?"

now that that milestone is over with I am super excited about the next 16 years!



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christ Mass

Things are pretty intense in our little family at the moment.  The kids are super hyper, we are completely exhausted and life keeps spinning madly around us.

 I feel like I live in a ball of anxious tension. 
I have to force myself to take a couple deep breaths, grab some hot tea and try to calm my mind. 

In such a small amount of time I have gotten a new pacemaker, had my appendix taken out, moved towns, bought a second home and put Paul in preschool all while taking a seminary class. 

Honestly I just want to skip Christmas. 

Not Christ Mass but like the whole commercial hoop la of the Holidays. I feel the need to escape to a monastery, sit quietly in the corner and meditate on life while chanting the psalms. I just might try to squeeze in some monk time before the new year. We aren't very far from the monastery now! Maybe I can sneak away!

I have been locked in my bedroom all day researching and typing my last 12 page paper for class. 

Roger watched the crazy kids. 

At one point I walked out of my study cave to find Roger trying to mop the kitchen while the kids decorated the living room with my pads, panty liners and tampons. I just took a deep breath, giggled and walked myself back to the study cave. 

I have been a parent for 5 1/2 years now and all of those years I have been in school. College and Now seminary. I am tired of the juggling, the stress, the locking myself in my room all day while me kids stick their fingers through the opening yelling "mommy why wont you play with us?"  

After this semester I am stopping the schooling extravaganza. I'm going to wait until Roger is finished doing his school extravaganza and then I'll go back. By that time the kids will both be in school and I'll have the day to study and take classes.  

plus, my home is a GREAT lab for my future counseling career!

I LOVE going to school. 

I LOVE writing papers and researching. 

I LOVE LEARNING. 

BUT

My family is so important to me and right now I just can't give both 100%.  It stretches me too thin. I am frustrated when I can't study and I'm frustrated when I am studying and have to ignore the kids.

I can go back to school anytime. I can't go back in time and tend to my children.




Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kenya

Our friends from college, Amanda and Justin just informed us that they are moving to Kenya......Jan 4th, 2010.  Click on Amanda's name to read her blog about what they will be doing.

Amanda and Justin are the couple in our group of friends who LOVE to travel and LOVE to do humanitarian work. We always knew they would probably one day fly away to some distant land.

Before they were married Amanda worked as a missionary for a couple of years in Bangladesh and Justin lived in Morocco as a short term missionary. 

Right after Justin and Amanda got married they both traveled to Turkey to work as ESL teachers.

For the past couple of years they have been living in the United States working on their masters degree from the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy.  Amanda has also been helping refugees resettle in Lexington for the past two years.

They both graduate this month (december 2010) with their masters and then fly to Kenya.

We were told in October that she applied for a job that would force them to move to Kenya. We all knew in our heart of hearts that she would get it and they would move. Let's face it. They are Justin annd Amanda!

We are a terribly sad that they are leaving the States but SUPER excited for them.

We are already planning and saving for a trip to Kenya to see them!






Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snuggle Buddies

I was sitting on the couch after just putting the kids to bed when I heard the sweetest little squeaky voice coming from Anna's room "mommy mommy mommy. I need to pee."  

 I yelled out "I heard ya baby. I'll be there in just a second." 

Roger walked in Anna's room to get her out of the crib to go to the bath room.  As he carried her through the living room she said "I also am going to need some water to drink because I thirsty."

I couldn't help but think about how much she is growing up and how much I love to hear her squeaky little voice. I was also pretty amazed that she used the word "also" in a sentence. WOW

As Roger was helping her to the toilet Anna declared "when I get done peeing I want to go hold mommy for a little bit."  

She ran up to me, held out her arms, tilted her sweet little head to the side and gave me the biggest smile "mommy I want to hold you!"  

My number one rule as a mommy is to never miss a chance to snuggle!  As I held my sweet little daughter in my arms she looked right into my eyes and said "mommy. I WUV YOU!!!!"  





Monday, December 6, 2010

We are buying our second home

Tomorrow at 11:30am we will be the extremely nervous owners of two homes. 

Let me explain.

Well, there isn't much explaining.

My husband was called to another church, we packed our bags and moved.
Leaving a house and a for sale sign behind.

House #1 is still sitting completely empty with no offers.

Now we are getting ready to buy house #2 before house #1 sells.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Warning to the people on our christmas shopping list.  You are probably going to get some homemade gifts this year or some soap. Do you prefer Dove or could you make do with some Suave?

In all honesty we are really doing pretty well!!  Going through college with an infant taught us to SAVE SAVE SAVE and how to live on beans and rice.  No kidding. We still eat a lot of beans and rice, peanut butter and jelly, and the oh so yummy potato soup.  My all time favorite is grits!!  Fry you an egg and warm up some grits and you have yourself a cheap YUMMY dinner!

Life is starting to finally slow down. I know it kinda sounds nuts but it really is slowing down. 

This is coming from a girl who by the age of 24 had a husband, a college degree and two babies. 

It is slowing down!

I guess you speed life up when you have a rare heart condition. 

You never know how long you have to live so why do the "oh I'm just waiting until I figure out who I am before I settle and have children." I knew I wanted to get married. I knew I wanted to have children. I knew I wanted to get a psychology degree.  

I just did it and figured myself out along the way.

Back to the subject at hand.

HOUSE #2

Yep, tomorrow we go in with all our savings and walk out with nervous excitement, tension and another house.  Please pray that we sell house #1. I have already promised Roger that when house #1 sells that we are going to go out on a REALLY REALLY REALLY nice date!  

Tomorrow when we buy house #2 we will celebrate by enjoying a yummy peanut butter and jelly sandwich!





Saturday, December 4, 2010

Confessions of A Young Mother

On the drive home yesterday I heard the news dude on the radio declare SNOW was in our future. 
I got sooooooo excited. "I LOVE snow" I thought out loud.

From the back seat I heard two little squeaky voices yell out "WE LOVE SNOW TOO!!!"

Then I felt the mom chills roll up my spine "oh no" I thought in my head "that means they are going to make me go out and play in the small amount of slush the news dude in predicting that we are going to have."

This morning I got up bright and early. I ran to the nearest window. Looked out. SNOW!!! SNOW!!! SNOW!!!!  I started jumping like a little kid around the room.  Then I jumped to the bed to wake up Roger "THERE IS SNOW OUTSIDE!!!  IT REALLY SNOWED!!!"

I had BIG plans for the day. I was going to make myself some hot tea, sit on the couch in my jammies, read and knit while I looked at the snow through the window.  

As I was preparing for my day I heard the THUMP THUMP THUMP of five year old feet running down the stairs.
"MOM MOM MOM LOOK LOOK LOOK. IT SNOWED!!!  IT REALLY REALLY DID!"

Then I heard a squeaky little voice from the back bedroom yell "MOM MOM MOM I want to see the SNOW!!!"

Then came the dreaded question "Can we go play in the snow? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE?" 

If you are NOT a parent you are probably thinking "oh they are just being cute little kids. they want to play in the snow with their momma. HOW FUN!!"

Let me explain......... 

First of all it was 7:30 in the morning......on a saturday.

Getting kids ready to go play in the snow TAKES FOREVER.

LAYER AFTER LAYER of clothes to keep them from getting wet and cold.

It takes about 30 minutes to find and put the clothes on.

Then you'll have that random snow boot that you can't manage to find because your child insisted on wearing them all summer long and missed placed them now that the snow is here.You spend 20 minutes looking for the snow boot and finally give up looking for it even though your son is in a puddle of tears screaming "MY SNOW BOOT. I CAN'T PLAY WITHOUT MY SNOW BOOT."

Then you have to calm them down ( "Im HOT. I'm burning up.") while you get dressed to go out in the snow

that takes about 15 min of sweat and tears.

Then you walk out in the snow and they immediately grab the the slush. The screams start up again "I'm COLD!   I'm wet. I want to go inside"
  
You insist that they play for just a little bit more so that all the time that was spent getting ready wasn't spent in vain but finally give up and take them inside.

You spent about 5 minutes actually outside in the snow.

You walk into the house. Fight with them to take off all their snow gear. Look up at the clock to see that it is already 8:40am.  You haven't showered. You haven't eaten breakfast. You haven't sat in you jammies, in front of the window, sipping tea and reading your book. 

Then it hits you.

I am a parent!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good Grief

sorry I haven't been able to update this blog in a while.  The end of the semester is here, Thanksgiving just past and Christmas is right around the corner.

Man ALIVE it is nuts.

I'm trying to remain calm but I have a MASSIVE amount of work to do for class.

yesterday I finished my 15 page paper right before I had to leave for class.  yep. I typed the last sentence, threw myself into the floor in a state of relief before getting up, jumping in the car and driving ONE hour and 45 MINUTES to class........IN THE POURING RAIN.

In class (pastoral care and counseling) we talking about grief, depression and suicide and how to counsel those going through such horrible things. The air in the room was tense and everyone seemed depressed by the end of the class. I mean, for real. we talked about helping our clients go through the most horrible things.

When class was over I looked at Dr. Rowatt and said "man, that was depressing. Now I have to drive all the way back home in the dark rain having this on my shoulders"   It made me think "jessica, can you REALLY be a pastoral counselor because you are going to have to conduct sessions with people who are grieving, suicidal and depressed?"  

I jumped in the car and thank the God Lord, my escape song was on.


So, I danced off the depressing class.  Yep. I sat in the dark, rainy parking lot and danced off the tension from the grief, suicide and depression class!!!  

I'm thinking I'll be ok to see clients with such tough issues as long as I can dance in my office as soon as they leave!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Super Cleaners to the Rescue

Friday night as Roger and I were settling in for the evening, kids in bed, I looked at him with exhausted eyes and said  "i am so glad tomorrow is Saturday. I totally need a day of rest!"   

RING RING RING went the cell phone

It was the Realtor "a couple wants to look at your house in winchester tomorrow at 1pm! Is that ok?"

What you need to know is that we moved last weekend from winchester to Etown and the house for sell in Winchester is a wreck. You know.....the normal bumps on the wall, dust balls all over the floor, random trash here and there, that happens when you abandon a house quickly

"Oh my gosh Roger we can't let someone see that house like that." -me

We called Roger's mom in for back up. She agreed to drive up early to watch the kids for us!

Saturday morning Roger and I left Etown at 8am to drive to Winchester to super clean the house before the couple arrived at 1pm. It was NUTS. I cleaned the house (toilets, moped, the yucky refrigirator, the yucky laundry room gunk..........) while Roger walked around touching up the paint, and fixing little nail holes.  At one point while i was on the floor scrubbing the laundry room floor (you know how those can get so yucky) I yelled out to Roger as he was painting the living room "how are we doing on time?" He yelled back "ummm we need to be out in like 1 minute.  We have one minute. hurry!"

****SCRUB*****SCRUB*****SCRUB***

******MAKE A MAD DASH TO THE CAR WITH ALL THE CLEANING STUFF****

*******HIDE ALL THE TRASH BAGS*****

*******PUT ALL THE PAINT BACK IN THE BASEMENT****

*****BLOW OUT THE SENTED CANDLES WE LIT WHILE WE WERE CLEANING******

******JUMP IN THE CAR BEFORE THE REALTOR PULLS UP******

****** PRAY IN THE CAR BEFORE WE DRIVE AWAY "dear Lord please sell this house PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE." *********

WOW that was a close one. We left the house 5 min before they were suppose to arrive. I sure hope they liked it. I really hope they liked it. I hope they call us any minute now and say that can't live without it. ;)

Before heading back to etown we stopped in to eat lunch at our favorite winchester spot as a way to say "bye bye winchester."  

When we got back to Etown we loaded the family up and headed to The Whistle Stop to celebrate that the house was clean!  Paul and Anna even got to see the train go by and I got to window shop a bit before Anna decided that the antique store we were in was a playground.  Paul -"wow mom look at all this junk. Now this is some cool junk."  He loves antique shopping. His eyes light up when he finds some cool old toy! Anna loves to try to sit in the really old chairs as I scream out "no no no no don't sit in that oh no no no"  her response "but why?"

Ok. I am exhausted. Now it is church on sunday followed by Thanksgiving at my parents. Is it me or are the days going by faster and are even more crazy?  

Im going to bed at 9pm tonight.

Paul quote of the day:  "Come on mom. Let's get a farm. We can plow the back yard and grow some corn on the cob so we wont have to go to the store to get it. We can even get some cows and melt them. (he meant milk) Now, we are going to need a trailer to take them to the slaughter store so we can eat the meat. Yep! I'm pretty sure that back yard there is plenty of space for our farm mom! Hey mom, how do you melt a cow? (he meant milk)"

now this makes me giggle EVERY TIME

Friday, November 19, 2010

A non nagging marriage


This morning started off just like every morning in this crazy lovable family. Roger and I were woken up to a "DING DONG" of the door bell at 7:40am. Our alarm hadn't gone off so I rushed to the front door in my night mask, pjs and no bra while Roger hopped around the room putting pants on. We were told that a guy was coming to fix our window around 8am but Roger had set our alarm for 6pm instead of AM. I know, we have all been there. Snuggled in our beds only to realize that WE ARE LATE.

"Umm mommy are you going to take me to school?" was the next thing that I heard. As I stood in the living room half awake I yelled out "well, crap. today was suppose to be Paul's first day to see his new school," as I took off in a mad dash to the bathroom. Roger just gave the "go ahead. don't worry. I'll fix the kids breakfast" head nod.

We managed to snap a "going to a new school for the first time" picture. Paul is holding his preschool application. He looks super excited here but he was rather sappy on the way to school "but mom. Best friends are suppose to hang out together and have fun. You're my best friend mom. I love you. Why are you taking me to school? i'll miss you forever."  My response "I know it is scary Paul. I am terrified about you going to school. however, it is just for 2 1/2 hrs a day and I just know that you'll love it!"

 He did LOVE IT even though he refused to go in the room. I stood in the door while he peaked around the corner "checking things out."  His little eyes lit up when they started working on math "hey mom. I know that stuff. ya see mom, 5 minus 2 is 3!!!! I know this stuff!"  He waved at several of the kids in a "hey! I'm super paul" kinda way. He was AMAZED that his new school had its own library, gym AND computer lab.  "WOW mom. Now that is pretty cool!"

When we got home Paul and I took our very first bike ride around the neighborhood! He rode his big boy training wheel bike and I rode my trek. It was wonderful to be able to giggle with him all afternoon! 

Now, beware, Roger just might be horribly mad at me for writing what I am about to write but I am willing to make the scarafice for all you lovey wives out there. Ok, here I go.

This afternoon, as I stood in the yard looking up at the roof I couldn't help but think "you know what, I am going to clean those gutters......right now."   So, I got me a chair to reach the gutters and started to clean them out with my bare hands. yuck? oh no, ya see, I LOVE to get my hands dirty. I love doing jobs that have that nice satisfaction of "I did that and it is done."

Well, my husband came out to check on his crazy wife only to find me trying to figure out how to climb up on the roof to sweep the leaves off.

 "oh no. you don't need to do that. Here let me do that" -Roger
I helped him get on the roof and handed him a broom


 He even ended up finishing the gutter cleaning project that I started!
 I grabbed the rake to start cleaning up the leaves on the ground and he said "oh no. you don't need to do that. here let me do that."
At  first I was a bit offended "hey buddy just because I'm a chick doesn't mean I can't get my hands dirty or climb up on the roof." I was raised that if you want something done then do it yourself. but then it came to me "I don't have to nag my husband to do stuff. Instead, I just start doing it myself, he feels bad sitting back watching me and decides to do it himself!"   THIS IS AWESOME!  Roger does this stuff all the time. i start something and he finishes it. 

Maybe that's why we don't have that nagging relationship? I don't know. 

But I do know that I am no longer going to be offended when he steps in and takes over. I used to get so mad when he looked out the window, saw me mowing the grass and demanded in a loving way that I let him finish the yard work. "Listen buddy, I can push this lawn mower just as well as you can."

I totally need to take advantage of this new found knowledge. I'm glad it only took 6 1/2 years of marriage to figure this out!!!!  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Making a House a Home


One of the major things I was looking for in a house was a big front porch that could hold my swing! One that I could sit on with a nice warm cup of tea while the kids played in the front yard. 

The second thing was a big back yard for the kids to play in!




The third thing was TREES! I wanted lots of trees!


The forth thing was a peaceful neighborhood!

 The fifth thing was a garage to store our outside toys, bikes and cars.

The last, and most important thing, was that we find a house near the church. ( it takes me like 3 min to get there)

I never really thought I would find all of those things in a house that we would ever be able to afford. 

But I still prayed for it. 

And then a house fell out of the sky into our laps. 

We have so much space that I feel like I am living on a farm. The kids are able to ride their bikes in the drive-way, around the neighborhood and chase each other on their little electric four wheelers in the yard! Just yesterday I took them for one of those "brave mommy" walks where Anna was on her little electric four wheeler and Paul was on his big boy bike. I walked between them yelling "paul stop at that fire hydrant" and "Anna stop driving into the grass. Stay on the side walk." It sounds stressful but it was rather pleasant because I didn't have that fear that they were going to get run over by a car. All the cars that drove by were going really slow and everyone waved!

Here is an adorable picture of Roger working hard to put the blinds up downstairs with the help of Builder Anna. Builder Paul was eager to use the electric drill but we informed him that he "was not to ever touch it."  Can you imagine if builder Paul got ahold of a screw gun?  oh boy.



Paul quote of the day :   "You know mom, an apple pie a day keeps the doctor away!"  me -"son if that was true your daddy would be one healthy man!"

Paul quote of the week: "ARRRRR I'm the grumpy old troll. the only way you can cross my bridge is if you saw my griddle."   Roger - "what?  umm what? excuse me?"    Me- "he doesn't mean anything dirty he means to say..... solve my riddle."   Paul -" yeah, that's what I said.....you gotta saw my griddle." Anna -"yeah we are the grumpy old trolls SAW OUR GRIDDLE!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Where is Hardin County?

Guess what!!!  

Roger happened across a magazine (The Hardin County Magazine) at a local bank, started to look through it a bit and found an article titled Sheer Joy in Old Ways.  The article is about a woman named Luna who left her job as a teacher in New Jersey, moved to Kentucky to live in an old from house that dates back to the 1800's, bought a bunch of sheep and started spinning her own yarn. 

The article was fascinating to me because near the end it describes this darling little yarn shop that Luna has opened up. She not only sells her yarn but also teaches knitting classes and offers support for those who knit and crochet. 

I put the magazine down, sighed a bit and said "man, that is so cool. I wonder where Hardin County is and how far away that is from our new home." Roger laughed really hard and said "Jess, you live in Hardin County. The yarn shop is down town. You live down town. You are right by it."



And God has once again shinned his amazing light down upon me!! 


I can't wait to go to blueball mountain spindle and needle works to pick up some yarn, chat with the ladies and make a few knitter friends!!  

How exciting is that?!?!

I'll have to check it out tomorrow! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Etown Livin'

WE ARE MOVED IN!!!!     

I know!!!  

I can't believe it. 

We are moved into the new house.

I LOVE it!

I'm in love with EVERYTHING!

I am stunned by how at home I feel here!

Friday morning my mother in-law drove up to Winchester to help us finish the last of the packing.  Together we worked our tails off to get every thing in some sort of box or (my personal favorite packing object) trash bag!

On Saturday (November 13, 2010) a group of 6 men from Living Faith Baptist Fellowship showed up with a MASSIVE rental truck and placed all our earthly possessions neatly into the back in less than 2 hours. It was great!


Then we all loaded up and drove....

........AND drove.

.........AND DROVE

We finally made it to Etown where we were greeted by a house full of lovely smiling faces with a massive amount of food!

YUMMY!!!!

MMMMMMMMM COOKIES!!!!

ME NEED COOKIE!!!

"It is like the movie It's a Wonderful Life in here!" -Roger

With all the people working together the WHOLE MASSIVE truck was unpacked in 45 min.

CRAZY FAST!

SUPER FAST!

OH MY THAT WAS FAST!

Then the unpacking started.

Roger, my mother in-law and I unpacked from about 6 to 11pm before we called it quits.

We all were walking around the house in a gitty zombie like state before we all agreed...BED TIME!

It is now Sunday afternoon and I am sitting here in my reading chair watching Roger put our tv together while Anna "helps" her Daddy and Paul "swims" in his "brand new bathtub that my church family builder man built" for him.  (that is a Paul quote).

I feel so blessed.

So at peace!

WE ARE TOTALLY UNPACKED!

I can't believe it!!  

After church today my mother in law and I worked hard to get the last of the "random crap" marked boxes unpacked. It felt so good to unpack that last box. "Check me out everybody! ( I shouted through the house) I am unpacking the LAST BOX!"  We all clapped and said "YAY" as I did a little dance in the kitchen.

Then we tackled the leaves on the back porch (we have a lot of old trees with a LOT of leaves) before totally crashing on the couch!

Thank you to all the people who came out to help on Saturday and dropped by to welcome us home.

Thank you to Curtis for letting us know about this darling little house he was working on and for working so hard to make it absolutely PERFECT. When we first saw the house it had been completely gutted and was in horrible shape. However, I was convinced that God dropped it from the sky just for us!!  Now I am POSITIVE that God dropped it from the sky. 

So positive that it gives me chill bumps to even think about it. 

Thank you to my in laws, my parents and my grandmother for watching the kids for us while we moved!

Thank you to Scarlette (my mother in law) for packing AND unpacking our kitchen and for following me around the past couple of days while I barked orders "put that there and that there."

Also, thank you to all the people that have kept us in your prayers.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

"my room! my room! it is my little pink room!" -Anna

"I just LOVE my new home mom. I sure do!" - Paul

"I am so comfortable here! It is as if I have been living here my whole life." - Me

(house pictures to come soon)





Friday, November 12, 2010

If I die young

Roger and I went out with some friends last night and I was telling them about the thoughts that were going through my head while I was in the emergency room, in excruciating pain, and the doctor told me that he was certain that it wasn't my appendix. ( they later discovered that it WAS my appendix!) They had done a CT scan, and ultra sound AND blood work with no luck of finding what was causing my pain.

I yelled out "then what is it because I can't live my life in this much pain? please don't stop looking"

I started thinking....oh gosh....I am going to die.....this is it.....this is the end....and to think that I always thought this stupid heart condition was going to kill me....well, at least I have had a good little life...well crap.  Then this song came into my head and it still hasn't left my brain.

Never Grow Up

As I was packing this morning this song came on pandora and brought me to tears.

Don't fool yourself. I know you also have those songs that just seem to touch you at random times. The songs that bring back memories of love and loss. Those songs that remind you of the precious things in life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Moving On

I am currently sitting on the couch resting from the packing extravaganza that we have been having for the past two days.  I say we, but Roger was not involved in the packing of the kids room yesterday. He got out of it because he had to be at the church.

Speaking of packing the kids stuff. OH MY! OH MY! Toys galore! Toys in boxes. Toys in bags. Toys in baskets. MY OH MY.  Packing my children's precious items is so EXHAUSTING.  It makes my brain hurt.  Even though I have been weeding out toys since they were born, they still have a massive amount.

This morning before the packing began I enjoyed some tea and a good book. I am currently reading the Autobiography of St. Theresa of Lisieux. I have a crazy obsession with mystics, saints, monks and well, pretty much any classic of christian devotion. I just eat them up!

Most of those types of books I have read in like 3 days.  My favorites so far are St. Julian of Norwich, Thomas Merton, Imitation of Christ, and St. Theresa. I have also read a biography of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and LOVED it.

Have you read The true Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers written by Maria Von Trapp?

now that is a GREAT book!!

 Even though Maria left the abby to become a wife to an earthly husband she still ran her house as if she were living in an abby.  They even had a chapel built into their home and had a personal family priest that traveled with them.  It is a wonderful book about faith, hope, love and interestingly, about being a refugee in America (Amanda M might love this book)  Actually most of the book is about them being refugees in America!

 I would say that it and Thomas Merton's Seven Storey Mountain are my all time favorite!

Back to the topic at hand. My mind wonders around so often. Sorry

WE ARE MOVING!!!

yep.  Last week I had a body organ taken out and this week we are packing up our house. Such is life but t is a good life!

The new house is done!!!

Some ladies at the church are not only going to clean it for us before we arrive but they are going to have food waiting for us as well!!!

Also, a bunch of people from church are coming on Saturday with a massive truck to move us!!

How incredibly kind is that???!?!?!?!?!  

Roger and I are busy packing, packing, packing while our children play at Mawmal's house with the cousins. Once we get their rooms ready we are going to get them. Moving is often times too traumatic for the kids so we figured we would set up house then bring them in.

I will be setting up christmas as soon as we move in because, well, I am going to!!!

Just another thing that the church has done for us........they not only got us a bunch of boxes but they even bought bubble packing stuff, tape and scissors!!   Man oh Man.  I'm telling you this is the best moving experience we have ever had!

I fear that they are ministering to us more than we are ministering to them. I hope we can repay them some how.

 Our worst moving experience was when we moved to Winchester (this house). Only one loyal friend (colt) showed up to help with the move and he had to go to work at like 2pm. Roger and I loaded and unloaded several uhaul trucks,  in the SNOW, until we finally had to give up at 2am so that we could get up to go to church the next day. It was NUTTS how much my body hurt for days after that experience.

Ps: I was the one who had to drive the uhaul in the snow because neither Colt or Roger were comfortable enough to drive it. I told them to "move over boys my Papal taught me to drive these big oh trucks!"  I must say I did a WONDERFUL job backing up with the mirrors and driving in the snow and ice.....I didn't kill anyone or crash into anything!

OFF SUBJECT AGAIN.  Back to the subject

 Moving day is here!!  Well, it will be here saturday but WE ARE PACKING!!  I was a little sad yesterday. As I was packing the kids rooms I started crying but then I realized I wasn't crying about leaving the house I was just crying because I was missing the kids and that my hormones are all out of whack.  I sure do miss those sweet little faces that sometimes make me madder than a snake.

I'm actually pretty excited. Honestly....do you want me to be honest.....I really don't like Winchester.  This town is too small for me and too, how do I say this without being rude, it is too clicky. It is like one big high school drama that no one ever grew out of.

 However, I have worked my butt off to enjoy living here and I have met some wonderful people!

I am ready to go though.

Etown is close to all the wonderful things that I adore...The Abbey of Gethsemani, Bardstown, Louisville, Taget, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, Freeman lake, Wonderful fitness center, The laker, .........I am so excited to get to know other places to enjoy!  EXPLORING HERE I COME!!

Ok, I feel the need for some chocolate before I get back to packing!!!!   MMMMMMMM

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Family Clusters: big and little

Confession time:
Last night I was starting to feel really lonely and sad so I convinced my husband to let me go for a long walk in the cold. 

There, I got it out. 

At around 7pm I put on my running shoes, my massive sweat shirt, my small can of protective mase and declared 
"I have got to go for a walk and see some people or I am going to go crazier than I am." 

 Being aware of my feminist personality, my loving husband didn't say a word. Instead, he put on his shoes and grabbed his coat. 

We walked
and walked
and walked
I was rather surprised by how well I was doing!

My favorite place that we walked was downtown Winchester. The city has already put their christmas lights up on the beautiful old light poles downtown and the store fronts have all their christmas stuff up. Even front of the court house has a big black mail box that reads "letters to Santa."  As we walked downtown we window shopped and talked about how much we love how alive the downtown is!  

It was FREEZING at 34 degrees
But I didn't care.
It was nice to feel something other than sick and lonely.

After about 45 minutes of walking I started feeling like I was going to fall over. I had Roger walk close to the road so if I fell over I would hit him or the grass instead of falling into a car.

Once my balance became a bigger issue my husband cleverly suggested we start walking in the direction of our house 
"are you cold? wouldn't it be nice to sit my our fireplace and warm up a bit? Yeah. Well, why don't we start heading back so we can do that?"

Once we arrived home I had a better idea!

"Let's go get a giant soft pretzel somewhere" I screamed out through my frozen lips

We jumped in the car in search of my deepest wants and wishes.

By the time we found one, ate it and headed back home, I was so sore and sick that I felt sorry for not obeying the doctor's orders. After all, they gave them to me for a reason. 

As I was walking up the stairs to our bedroom Roger kept trying to help me so I wouldn't fall. I kinda got a little mean and stated loudly:
"stop babying me. I am capable of walking up the stairs. stop it." 

He stopped and I tumbled over toward the wall. his response: 
"now will you let me help you?"     

I accepted the help.

Once upstairs I popped a pain pill and watched couple of episodes of the Dugger's Tv show and fell fast asleep.

This morning (sunday) has been my catch up day. I have a massive amount of school work to get caught up on and I have been so stressed about it.  This morning has been spent READING, READING, READING, and more READING.  What am I reading?  Ahhhhhh I thought you would never ask:

Basic Types of Pastoral Care & Counseling: Resources For the Ministry of Healing and Growth by Howard Clinebell

I highly suggest anyone in the ministry to read it. It is an incredible source to start with. I have really learned a lot about the different types of situations a minister is placed in and ways in which he/she can help those in certain situations cope, learn and grow. It isn't necessarily specific in regards to types of counseling, it is more of a brief overview of specific types of pastoral care situations that lead to specific types counseling or referral. 

Basically it has helped me to realize the importance of having either a pastoral counselor on staff and/or a highly skilled pastoral care team within the church that consists of several people that are assigned specific individuals within the church to make a "family cluster." 

No single individual  should be charged with the task of caring for a flock alone. Each person within a congregation carries with them a unique amount of hurt and guilt along with certain skills in which they use to cope and grow. Caring for one another (both physically and emotionally) is a huge portion of what it means to be a church and I fear that a lot of our churches are lacking in those caring skills. Honestly think about the last time you where in a major crisis. Who did you reach out to? Did you feel like you had some support network within the church to reach out to? Wouldn't it have been AWESOME if you had a small "family cluster" within the church that you met with on a monthly bases so that when the crap hit the fan, you had a group, that you were comfortable with, that you could go to for help?  

This isn't a novel idea by any means, but it is one that is most often over looked by small congregations as a lesser priority. There is a reason why mega churches are so popular. I wonder if when  we get past the theatrics of the "christian concert" and the lack of any bible based teaching, if the popularity has anything to do with the "cell group" phenomena?   Hummmmm? 

 For that matter, you can also take a look at the popularity of house churches. What is it that people are SEEKING in house churches and mega churches alike?  Is it the "we want to make you feel good about yourself/lack of true bible teaching mantality?"  Or are they seeking a small group of people in which they can feel comfortable enough to share their deepest hurts with?  Is our generation just looking for what every other generation has looked for? Connectedness. We WANT and NEED to feel that deeper connection with other human beings.

Robert Leslie- "It is rather ironic that the church is often the last place where people talk with freedom and openness about the concerns that touch them deepest."

"Many are finding  a fresh baptism of the biblical experience as a small, honest group becomes a channel of God's grace for them. There is no doubt that the small group is a powerful factor in the recovery of the power of personal growth and social transformation" clinebell 351

"Church historians have noted that the use of small groups has been a dynamic factor in every major  surge of new spiritual vitality in the church." clinebell 349 

A great example of this small group phenomena is John and Charles Wesley!


Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla   and on and on and on I could go BUT....

Anyway, I guess I should get back to SCHOOL SCHOOL SCHOOL AAAAAHHHHHHH READING READING READING READING



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Litany that spoke to me

Here is a short litany that was given to Roger by a church member.  I think it is something we can all relate to.  I sure can.

Call to Worship

On a day that marks the end of a long work week, and the beginning to a new one,

We show up.

While a warm bed and a long to-do list calls to us,

We show up.

We show up tired, we show up to see our friends, we show up because it is just what we do.

We show up.

We show up broken, we show up with questions, we show up expectantly, we show up occasionally.

We show up.

We show up empty, we show up full, we show up dressed up, we show up dressed down.

We show up

And in this simple act, a lifelong pattern for some of us, we proclaim our oddity! We choose to be here.

We show up faithfully.

Sometimes it is about God, sometimes it is pure habit, sometimes it is pure love.

We show up honestly.

And so we gather today.

As family, as strangers, as travelers.

May God bless this simple act, and may we find what we need today.  

I enjoyed reading this because it reminded me of the simple act of showing up and how much that means.  Just showing up.  

This past week has been the worst my depression has been. For the past 3 years I have been in a down ward slump. I have scars all over my body as proof to the amount of crap that I have been through physically (open heart surgery, pacemaker, emergency c-section, appendectomy) and scars deep inside that I am trying my hardest to let heal. 

 I want to say thank you to all of you who have taken time out of your crazy hectic lives to sit with me during some of the roughest times I have ever been through. The simple act of you just showing up means so much to me. 

Thank you also to those who made us food, to those who drove the food 2 whole hours all the way from Etown to Winchester. 

Thank you to Lee for driving food over to us on wednesday and driving Roger to pick up our car.

Thank you to mom and dad for driving all the way to lexington in the middle of the night to be with me at the hospital. Hospitals are scary places when you are alone.

Thank you to Scarlette for driving all the way from Somerset to Winchester in the middle of the night to be with our kids so that Roger could go to the hospital with me. 

Thank you to the Jaspers for watching Paul and Anna all week long so that I could start recovering.    

Thank you so much for the emails, cards, flowers and phone calls that have lifted my spirits.

Thank you to Karen, Madge and Ruthie for driving all the way from Etown to the hospital in lexington to check on me the day I had my surgery.  

The church isn't just a building and showing up doesn't just mean when the church doors are open. Showing up means taking care of THE CHURCH, the people. Showing up when the people need you the most.  We, as christians, are the body of christ here on earth and have the responsibility to care for one another. To show up when one is in need.  I am humbled by the amount of people who have simply shown up for me in my time of need.  

Even if that was to simply sit and talk!

Thank you!