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


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 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........"


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.


 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


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!!! 


Monday, December 20, 2010

Fairy Tale Land

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


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. 
(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


Hello Friends and Family!

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



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. 



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


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.


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.


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.

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!