Thursday, June 28, 2012

I got the CBF Scholarship!!!

I woke up this morning to Roger telling me to call the Seminary.  
They were trying to get a hold of me.  
I had gotten a new cell phone with out informing them of my new number.  

So, once I got the kids sort-of-kind-of settled down, I called.
(4 and 6 is an INTERESTING age)

When I reached Debbie she was in the middle of something and asked if she could call me back in a second.

Since taking a shower with 2 children running through the house is HARD and I had JUST gotten them calmed down, I decided to take that glorious second to shower.

I quickly got undressed and turned the shower on, the cell phone sitting close by.... just in case.

Right as I was about to jump in the spraying water, the phone rang, I answered it.  Covered in a towel, the kids banging on the door (anna had apparently hit Paul), Debbie congratulated me on being the recipient of the CBF (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) Scholarship!!!  

 I jumped up and down, in my towel, squealing, while the kids continued to bang on the door.   I was SOOOOOOO EXCITED that I opened the door and yelled  "Momma got the scholarship!"  Which threw the kids for a loop.  They stood blank face looking at me like, "woman, you have done gone and lost your mind?"  

The scholarship pays for a BIG chunk of my Seminary for 4 years AND on top of that, they fly me out to EVERY general assembly AND put me up in a nice hotel AND provide food money.... ALL FOUR YEARS!   It is a WONDERFUL way for me to get connected in CBF life with other future and current women ministers.  I'm no longer going to be the wife tagging along with her CBF preacher husband.  I am going to be Jessica, the seminary student and future CBF Minister. 
How cool is that?!?!?!

Now, I gotta go shuck this corn.  Roger is grilling out MY FAVORITE foods tonight.
It's time to CELEBRATE!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Backyard Resort: Kentucky Style

This afternoon when Roger got home from work he walked into the backyard to find me sitting on the ground, short of breath, attempting to blow up a small family pool that I had found on sale at Target.

I had tried the bicycle pump, that didn't work.

I didn't have one of those handy automatic blowers.

Anna and I were VERY determined to get the pool set up, I just didn't have THAT much air.

Roger, after laughing a bit at our mother/daughter personalities, immediately came to check out the situation.

He suggested that we give the leaf blower a try.


Yes, it was a tad bit redneck but it got the job done and made for some laughs.

Before getting in the pool I needed to clean out a few critters and some grass.

I used my spaghetti strainer for that!

As Roger and I were sitting in the pool, leaning against the side, me content with a good little smile, he started laughing really REALLY hard. 
Me- "What?  What are you laughing at?"
Roger- "I'm laughing at YOU."
Me- "What?  Why?"

He then made a sweeping arm motion to the back yard. "You act as if this is some sort of resort. What it is is a redneck paradise."

Yes, it kinda hurt my feelings a bit. Well, until I looked at our backyard through my husband's eyes.
now instead of that little pool we have a "family" size pool

Then I laughed like crazy.

Well, while I'm at it, I might as well show you the cool garden lights I got at Target for our back deck!

It's makes for a GREAT date night in our own REDNECK paradise!! 

The camping tent has been GREAT fun for the kids and I.  Just about every evening we brush our teeth and climb into the tent to read the 1st Harry Potter book until it gets too dark to see the pages.   

I think after last night Roger has come to like the camping tent as well.  After putting the kids to bed we laid in the tent, looking up into the trees, talking about our day.  Before last night he kept saying "It's killing the grass Jess.  It's killing the grass."  At which I responded. "Rog, that's not grass anyway.  It's weeds."

I guess I have way too much fun playing with the kids in our backyard!

I LOVE summer time in Kentucky!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Morning In the Motherhood

Like I have told many of you, I feel as if I was born an old woman.

I have always enjoyed sitting alone with a good book or my knitting needles, in the early morning.

As a little girl, before taking up reading or knitting, I used to ride my motorcycle out into the field while the grass was still wet with dew, to be alone.

My Papal used to laugh at how long I would go out on the motorcycle or driving in the little toyota (once he taught me how to use a stick shift).  Speaking of the stick shift, he MADE me learn to use the stick shift before ever letting me get behind the wheel of an automatic. I had to be able to start on a gravelly hill WITHOUT turning any gravel. 

 I was too young to drive on the roads so I drove around the shop or through the cow pasture.  That's what you do in the country for entertainment, you drive, with the windows down, the music blaring, and the cows trying desperately to get out of your way. 
I once, in middle school, invited  the whole Volleyball team to camp out with me in the barn loft.  Only one girl showed up. I guess they didn't find sleeping in a loft very fun? 
Joni and I got up the middle of the night and drove the toyota through the field, pretending we were cruising the town. 
My uncle snuck over to the barn once we were asleep (it was in the middle of the field) and scared the living day lights out us.  

As a mother of two children, two years apart, it is pretty hard to be alone. 
Recently, Roger and I snuck away to my Aunt and Uncles hunting cabin.

When I say that it is in the middle of nowhere Kentucky, I do so mean that it is in the middle of NOWHERE kentucky.

The only running water is the creek.
Electricity?  Nope.

You actually have to cross a creek to get there.

You know that old saying, "Lord willing and the creek don't rise"


We woke up the next morning to rain beating down on the tin roof.  It was glorious until I remembered that we had to cross a creek to get back to civilization. 

It was a WONDERFUL get away that I hope to experience again some time soon! 
Thank you Peggy and Carson.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to go to that extreme all of the time to be alone.

   I have learned to lock doors though.  That sure does help keep the kids out of the bathroom while I am showering, however, it doesn't keep them from yelling and banging on the door.

This morning I woke up with giddy excitment about watching 20/20 on  Yes, I am a total 20/20 junky.  LOVE IT!!   I guess I get that from my Mawmaw?  If you happen to be at her house on a friday evening, I bet my bottom dollar she will be sitting on her couch, in her curlers, night gown and sipping some coffee..... watching 20/20.  Other than that she doesn't watch much TV.  With a farm, a business, rental houses, 7 children and 18 grandchildren, the woman is always on the go. 

When I emerged from the shower on this lovely Saturday morning, I noticed that the kids were playing REALLY well together in the living room.  I will say this about my children, they sure do know how to use their imaginations.  They were playing something that involved under the sea rescue.  Anna was a mermaid, Paul was her captain husband.   I took this wonderful little opportunity to grab the computer and hide away in my room to watch 20/20.  There was suppose to be an EXCLUSIVE interview with John Edward's mistress, Rielle Hunter.  Who knows why I am even interested in hearing her story, but I am.  It's like a REAL LIFE soap opera full of drama.   

I don't want my kids watching it with me, for obvious reasons. Heck, I don't even allow them to watch Good Morning America with me.  Is it wrong of me to not want them knowing about the Sandusky trial or  the Travion Martin case or all the other evil in the world?  They're little kids.  I want them to enjoy the world through little kid eyes.

It does worry me a little bit, just a little bit, that Anna keeps asking me to walk her down to the court house in the early morning, she wants to see "someone get arrested!"  She was REALLY disappointed that she didn't see someone in handcuffs when I took her to the court house with me when I went to change the address on my license. She stood in the middle of the front hall asking VERY loudly "where are the bad guys?" 

Yes.  I was mortified. 

Where does she get this stuff?

If she grows up to be a police officer I will NOT be surprised. 

I was all snuggled up on my bed, the computer in my lap, my knitting needles an arms length away, pulling 20/20 up on, when my door flung open.  In marched Paul and Anna, "whatcha doing?"

I closed the computer and sighed.

I went to the kitchen, poured myself a cup of coffee, grabbed the fingernail clippers, nail polish remover, nail polish, and headed to the back door.  The kids followed, as well as the dog.  I sat my coffee down beside the door, as I had too much stuff in my hands to turn the knob.  When I did manage to open the door, the dog bolted out through the small crack, spilling my coffee all over the carpet.  
"SHIT!  well, Damn it!"
"MOM, those are bad words."

Mental note to self to repent.  

I got to work attempting to get coffee out of the carpet.

"there, all cleaned up!!  Well, sort of."

Attempt number two to get out the back door resulted in Anna spilling HER drink.  
It was ORANGE powerade. 

I am happy to announce that this saturday morning in the motherHOOD has been redeemed by me being able to sip coffee on the back porch while rereading Anne Lamott's book, Grace Eventually.  I first read it almost 5 years ago when I was in the hospital on bed rest.  I have grown a LOT since then, as a mother, a wife, a person and a soul, so rereading a book that was a small part of that transitional period in my life has been eye opening to me.  It gives me a chance to reflect and look forward to life.

The kids are currently playing in the backyard.  I have set up a little wonderland for them!  The camping tent is up, their kiddy pool in full, the swing set in cleaned off and a massive amount of outside toys have been pulled out of the garage.   I love hearing their adventures in the background as I sit here on the deck typing in the lounge chair.   

This afternoon Roger's flight comes in about 8:30pm.  I figured I would go to Louisville early so I can fit in a zoo trip before swinging by the airport to pick him up.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Epic Edisto Island Adventure

I saw the Tennessee State line as Alan Jackson was blaring from the car radio.
I had been behind the wheel of the family station wagon for over 8 hours.
The kids were fussing in the back.
The wind blew threw my hair.
I was trying to keep myself awake.
"only 3 more hours left until we're home!"

I slung my hand out the window, playing with the wind in an attempt to drown out the screaming from the back.

The three of us, me and the kids, were on our way back from a spontaneous trip to South Carolina.

"Mom, I feel sick. My belly hurts." - Anna

Within seconds Anna began throwing up.

My heart dropped, and my hand came back in the car window, when I heard the sound.
Between heaves she yelled "it's all over. It's all over me mom. HELP."

I quickly typed in "Family Drug Store" into the GPS. The nearest one was 10 miles away.
I turned all the music off, rolled up the windows and did my best to soothe her from my spot behind the steering wheel, as I kept saying to myself in my head "you've got this. You are going to be ok."

As soon as we made it to the family drug store in the middle of nowhere Tennessee, I drug Anna out of the car, calmly asked Paul to follow and walked into the store.  
I didn't waste any time. I yelled out in my most polite momma bear voice "I need some help please. She's sick. I need a bathroom, some sprite and some anti nausea medicine. I'll pay for everything when I get her cleaned up and feeling better."

Four women ran to my rescue!

I gave Anna a bath in the drug store's kitchen sink, cleaned out her car seat the best I could and placed one of my shirts over the mess.

It was the most appropriate way to end an epic beach adventure that started off even crazier than the way it ended.

I was standing in the living room trying to figure out what I was going to do with the kids all summer, when my good friend Amanda called.  She said she had up and decided to leave for the beach on Tuesday, did I want to go.
I am all about being random and I am all about road trips, so I was immediately on board.

The weekend before was spent getting the car checked out. I knew taking a long trip alone with the kids was a bit nuts so I wanted to make sure that the car was checked and every possible "what if" was thought of.  I even had Roger teach me how to change a flat tire and put an extra spare in the back.

Early Tuesday morning I nervously backed out of the drive.
My biggest fear was getting sleepy during the 10 hours on the road

Amanda and I decided to caravan to the beach since both of us were a bit nervous about driving our children alone that far of a distance.

Turns out caravanning with 3 small children is a bit tricky.
Between emergency bathroom breaks, melt downs and gas station fill ups, we were stopping just about every 2 hours.  In Asheville, NC we stopped for over an hour at a mall so that the kids could stretch their legs.  By that time my crew had been on the road for 9 hours and they were getting super tired of all of my cheesy attempts at entertaining them.

As we were pulling out of the mall parking lot the sky looked ominous.
A little ways down the road the glory came rollin' down.
We were in the middle of a tropical storm.
Every muscle in my body tensed up, my knuckles, turning white, held tight to the steering wheel.
Already that day we had witnessed 3 major car accidents, one in which was a 3 car pile up that I narrowly escaped, and the other in which a semi truck became engulfed in flames. When we passed the semi truck, Amanda called 911 as I felt the heat from the fire enter our car and feared the truck might blow up.

Around 10pm I noticed Amanda's car, which was in front of mine, had slowed down quite a bit and had  it's emergency blinkers on.  It was several miles to the next exit and raining too hard for me to risk reaching for my cell phone to give her a call.

When she finally did pull off we found out that we were in the middle of nowhere, in a tropical storm, and her  drivers side windshield wiper had flung off the side of her car.  We parked at the only thing we  could find, a closed BP station with a small little light out front.  It was pitch black dark and pouring the rain.

When I saw the windshield wiper I had flash backs to my college days in which the same thing happened to me.  The windshield wiper's screw had come loose and the arm extended too far.

I phoned my mom, which probably wasn't a good thing since now she knew I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a tropical storm, with HER grand kids. But my family owns an auto body shop and KNOWS a thing or two about cars.
She told me to find out the make and model of the car and to give my uncle a call.
I was too frightened to call my uncle.  I knew once he found out where I was and what I was doing there, he would give me a tough love lesson over the phone about how dangerous it is for a woman to travel alone with two small children, especially with out a gun.

I was too tired to listen to a love lesson so I called my husband.

Which probably wasn't a good idea either.

me- "hey Rog. Umm, can you look something up on the internet for me?"

Rog- "where are you at?'

me- "listen, can you just look something up for me?"

Rog- "What's going on?"

Me- "don't panic, all is well, the windshield wiper just flung off the side of Amanda's car and it is raining pretty bad. Listen, can you look up how I can go about fixing it?"

Rog- "Where are you?"

Me- "Listen, I have no clue where we are. can you just look up what I asked you to look up?"

When I am in stressful situations I deal with it by not lamenting about how I got into the situation in the first place, instead I form a plan of action in my head which calms me down and helps me to function.

My first thought was that I would try to fix the wiper and if I couldn't we could all pile into my station wagon, leave Amanda's car there and find a cheap, close, hotel.  In the morning we'd come back for the car and take it to an auto repair shop.

That is sort of how things went down but not really.

Amanda was very determined to get to the beach. She tried her hardest to tie the broken windshield washer up to the fixed one with some old fabric, hoping that the fixed one would drag the broken one across the windshield.  I stood close by giggling as she climbed on the hood of the soaking wet car, in her soaking wet clothes.

It didn't work.

They opted to tie the broken wiper to the side mirror and use a BP squeegee to periodically wipe off the drivers side wind shield.

me- "what's our plan of action?"
Amanda -"where going to try to make it to the ocean."

It was STILL pouring the rain, with no sign of letting up, and they were down to one wiper.

I followed behind Amanda's car as she entered back on the interstate.
It was slow going.

All of a sudden her car hydroplaned in a big puddle of water.
I sat behind my steering wheel hoping they could make it to the next exit and pull off.

They did!

We stopped at a small place called the Peach Tree Inn around midnight and lugged our little families through the tropical storm into the warm motel.
Amanda, her mom and little Ada "slept" in a bed, while Paul, Anna, and I "slept" in a bed.

At 6:30 am I woke to find Amanda hovering over me with her cell phone.
She put it to my ear.
me- "hello?"

It was my husband, and he was PISSED.

The last time I had talked to him was when we had first stopped at the abandoned BP station. I hadn't updated him on our current status. He had sat up all night long worrying and calling our cell phones.

Amanda and I got dressed and headed out shortly after that. We left the kids with her mom back at the hotel as we sat out to fix the wiper.
The little auto repair shop across the road from the Peach Tree Inn looked super shady so I mentioned going to Wal-Mart. Little did I know that Wal-Mart doesn't fix wipers.

Amanda was exhausted, the kids were exhausted and I was a hyper little monkey with way too much coffee in her system, so we got back on the road, without having the wiper fixed.

We made it to the beach in an hour and a half.

The rest of the trip was what you would expect; three women trying to juggle the demands of a moody 4 year old, a demanding 6 year old and a very active 16 month old, whilst attempting to "vacation."

For the first day I tried to keep up with Amanda, Ada and her mother but by the end of that day it was clear that my children had other plans.  For the rest of the stay we opted to split up; Amanda, Ada and her mother doing their thing, while the kids and I did ours.
Although I was sad not to get to spend time with my good friend, it worked better that way.

I was able to read Paul and Anna's mood and judge what to do next. (pool, beach, hiking, nap time, lunch, play ground)

Every evening we ALL got together for dinner and a walk on the beach to watch the sun set.

One evening Amanda and I sat on the back porch talking until 1am and one night we went out on the pier after putting the kids to bed. But the rest of the time we were all too tired by the time we put the kids to bed that we took showers and went our separate ways.

On the return trip Amanda and I opted not to caravan.
It was just too hard caravanning with 3 kids in two different cars.

Lesson Learned?
Two stay at home mothers going to the beach with children is NOT a vacation.
It's a business trip.

Family highlights from the trip:

watching a beautiful sun set with the kids and seeing a MASSIVE amount of dolphins swim through

Anna putting her face in the water for the first time

spending the day at Botany Bay, just me and the kids, swimming, exploring and flying kites

Put Put Golfing with Anna and Paul

Sitting at the playground for over an hour reading under a big oak tree while the kids played

Here is a link to Edisto Island

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Epic Beach Trip of 2012

Sorry I haven't updated about the beach trip yet.

Life has been crazy hectic with weddings, 4 year old attitudes, 6 year old melt downs and friendly drama.

I'll write a blog post about the trip as soon as things seem to chill out. 
Will they ever?

Until then, here is my good friend Amanda's version of the trip.


(FYI: my phone broke at the beach so that is why I haven't been able to contact you all)

Monday, June 4, 2012

We're back from our Edisto Island Adventure

The kids and I just got back from Edisto Island in South Carolina.
We are actually at my parent's house.
I stopped here on the way home because Anna got BAD car sick and I COULD NOT drive the last two hours without cleaning the car out.
I'll have to type a blog post about our adventures later.
We had a LOT of adventures.

For now I want to say how incredibly HAPPY I am to be back home.

Yes, the beach is beautiful.
Yes, the South Carolina sun feels wonderful.
 But you know what, I am more of a small little cabin, in the middle of the Kentucky woods, beside a creeek, kind of girl.
I really LOVE our rolling hills.
Yes, Beach houses are pretty to look at and watching the sun set over the Ocean is lovely, but I could never live any where else besides my old Kentucky home.  My heart is here.
When we crossed back into Kentucky this afternoon I yelled out "Well, HOT DOG! We're home!!!"
I love our Kenutcky grass, Kentucky Trees, Kentucky Lakes, Rivers, and Creeks...... and our good old Kentucky people!