II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Better late than never right???

I am FINALLY going to post the pictures from my birthday (July 10th) and from our river rafting trip (July 12th). Also, a few pics from my week "off" when we went to a family night at the bowling alley, camp and my back. (yes, you read that correctly--my back) :o)
First of all, on my birthday, my mom, aunt and the kids and I met a couple of my girlfriends at a waterpark nearby for some water fun. Here I am with Rachel (on the left) and Rene (on the right).
After our fill of the sun, I went back to my mom's house for dinner. She made me my FAVORITE "Hot Chicken Salad" and "Pear Cake". YUM! (sooooo not diet food though!) Here I am blowing out my candles. It was good enough to lick the plate--literally! One of me and my sweet girl! The kids (with grandma's help) had gotten me all kinds of fun gifts!

The next morning we left for our river rafting trip. There were 15 of us in all and it was so much fun! I have TONS of pictures, but I'm going to try to narrow it down to only a handful. Here is one of our whole group. I look kind of goofy becuase I was putting my camera on the 10-second timer on the back of my brothers pick-up truck and then RUNNING to get in the shot in time!

Here is one of Brooklyn before we left the house that morning. She looked so cute I had to get a picture!

I thought this was a fun picture of the rafts as they were being brought back up from the river for us to get on.

Here is one of both of the kids waiting in line to get on our raft. Aren't they so cute when they're not fighting!?!

Me and Matt on the bus trip down to the beginning of the river.

The water levels were really low, so it hardly ever got any more than waist-deep. In several places we had to either get out and pull the raft or else use the paddles to try to get un-stuck. Thankfully Matt and I pack some mean guns!

Lastly, here is one of the mountainside. Isn't it just glorious?

The next day, Sunday, we went to a Family Bowling night at our bowling alley. For $9.99 we got a lane for 2 hours, free shoe rental, a large pizza, drinks for 4 and a $5 game card to the arcade!! We had a LOT of fun! (and what a bargain!)

This past Friday, we sent Brooklyn off for her first ever week of summer camp. She was soooo excited, but it was a little sad to say goodbye and watch her drive off away from us! She ended up having a BLAST for the first 3 days and then we made the HUGE MISTAKE of going up to visit her. She cried and begged (called home 4 times!) for us to come get her and bring her home. We decided to make her tough it out, which in hindsight, probably wasn't the best choice after all. She's had a tummyache and been in bed since she got home on Tuesday. She hasn't eaten hardly a thing and she doesn't want me out of her sight. What have did I do to the poor girl?? I hope I didn't traumatize her for life!

Here is one of Brooklyn and one of her best friends, Fallon--about to get on the bus.

Saying "Bye" to Daddy. sniff-sniffLastly, I'm going to leave you with one of me I took today of myself. I explained WHY I took it on my other blog, but I just wanted to say to those of you considering P90X---that my back looks like this BECAUSE of doing that program. I can help you get in this kind of shape in 90 days---just click HERE to check out my website!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Don't wish away what you'll someday wish for!

I was just reading one of my good friends' blogs and leaving her a comment about something that happened to me yesterday.
My friend has just given birth to her second child. She posted about how her sweet little Audrey (who is now about 7 weeks old) loves to be held while she sleeps--and while she and her husband are enjoying it right now, before too long little 'A' will have to start learning how to sleep in her own bed.
My comment back to her was "Ohhhhh, how I would LOVE to have a night cuddling with a 7 week old infant in my arms!"
Yet, I am positively certain that when my kids were 7 weeks old, I was WISHING for a night without them so I could get a full night of SOUND sleep. Not that there is anything wrong with that...but how much of our time do we spending wishing away what we will evenually wish so desperately for?
I don't want another child...yet I would give almost anything to feel that amazing feeling of a child kicking inside my belly again! How fabulous it would be if we could somehow take travels back in time to those precious, priceless moments with our children in the different stages of their lives. I would LOVE to have Brooklyn at 2 years old again, when she was waddling around in a diaper yet talking with the personality and vocabulary of a 5 year old! There was NEVER a dull moment then! What I wouldn't give to be back in that hospital bed holding my baby boy again--the son that I couldn't imagine loving as much as I loved Brooklyn--but who INSTANTLY had me wrapped around his little finger from the moment he arrived.
I remember one time when he was about 10 months old, rocking him back to sleep in the middle of the night slightly aggitated that I was missing yet another night of rest, when it suddenly occured to me that I needed to FREEZE this moment in my mind forever. It was like a sense of urgency came over me and reality hit hard and fast that in the blink of an eye...this would be gone. I remember analyzing EVERY detail of his face. Holding his tiny fingers in my hand and tracing every nail and every knuckle with my eyes. Staring at his delicate ears and neck and kissing every square inch with tears in my eyes because as bad as I wanted to...I knew that I would never be able to remember EXACTLY how he looked--how he felt there in my arms. There is no way to caputure it completely. It was bitter sweet.
As I type this right now, there is a gigantic tear running down my left cheek. Even right now, Grant at 5 years old and Brooklyn at 8, I find myself growing weary with the stages that they are in. Always thinking "boy I'll be glad when ____________ is over."
But will I really?
The "thing" that I mentioned happened to me yesterday was just a simple little conversation, but it sparked a flame inside of me that I hope just grows stronger and stronger with time.
I was at Wal-Mart getting a long list of groceries. Grant had been chitter-chattering NON-stop for hours asking questions and commenting on any and everything. He hardly stopped talking long enough to take a breath. While his personality was adorable and almost everything he was saying was cute and funny, still...there came a point where I was said "GRANT! You are about to WEAR me OUT!" (not in a mean way...but with a big sigh...like WHEW!) At that time a sweet-looking older lady came over to me with a warm smile and said "To a grandmother, that is the sweetest sound ever. Someday you'll miss it!"
She is SO right! Sometimes when I wish my kids would just SHUT UP....I remind myself what a mother who has lost a child would give to just hear her beloved child's voice one more time.

We really should make every effort we can to enjoy these moments. You'll never regret it if you do. I promise you--no one ever looked back at their life and said "I wish I had spend less time enjoying my kids."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Motherhood is...

Finding out that your daughter used BUBBLE GUM to post all her art work up on the walls!

Finding eaten-up peices of nerf darts in your dogs BM!

Dipping spiderman underwear up and down in the toilet to try to release the turd that is adhered to them!

Picking up your 7 pound dog to find that your son has attached a heavy pad-lock to her collar. Who knows how long that poor puppy has been hauling that thing around on her neck!

Finding a 2-week old baggie of grapes in your daughter's sleep-over bag!

Opening a coffee can in your sons room to discover a gigantic LIVE frog inside!

(and that's all in just one morning!!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Outta Here!

Hey Peeps!
Just a quick note to tell you I'll be gone for the next week. No phones, no computer, no facebook. I have LOTS of pictures from my b-day on Friday and our river rafting trip on Saturday to show ya'll...but it'll have to wait until we are back from our little vacation. Hope ya'll have a great week! Just choose to and you will!
Love ya!

Friday, July 10, 2009

All the present I need!

Psalm 138:8 says:
"The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever--do not abandon the works of your hands."

I want to thank the Lord for sending this scripture to me this year on my birthday! I don't need material things. This year, I just want to let God fulfill His purpose for me. No gift wrapped up in a box can compare to that!

If I were going to create a birthday list, here is what would be on it:
1. Salvation of my family.
2. Victory over fear. (ie. courage)
3. Insatiable hunger for the Word.
4. Enormous increase in my finances entirely for the sake of being able to GIVE.
5. And if God was feeling extra generous, I would LOVE a text-message from Him every morning with a to-do list for the day, so I could be sure to be walking in His perfect will at all times. :-)

I can't leave this post without saying this: God really has already given me (and you) all of this already, I just have to adjust MYSELF so that I can receive and walk in the fullness of it!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Old Fashioned Fun

We are officially declaring Monday evenings as "Game Night" in our house. We've been doing this UN-officially occasionally anyway, but I decided that we might as well make it a rule. It's special time for the kids to get our undivided attention and surprisingly, we enjoy it maybe even more than they do! One of our FAVORITE new games we've gotten is Cadoo. It is seriously the funnest game I've ever encountered that very young children AND adults can both enjoy equally. If you don't know what it is...well, it's kind of like a mumbo-jumbo of lots of other games. There are trivia questions, charades, drawing, go-find-the-article-in-30 seconds, make something out of clay, etc. For instance, the other day Grant got a card that said "You have 30 seconds to find 2 things in the house that have strings you can tie together." It's harder than you think!! One of Matt's cards said "Using clay, make a Big Toe". He has like 1 minute to make it and then we have to try to guess what it is. The trivia is fun stuff like "How many omlets could you make from an Ostrich egg?" and they're usually multiple choice. Anyway, if you have small children, I highly recommend you get this game!! Sorry I didn't take a picture of it. If you want to see what the box looks like, leave me a comment and I'll post a pic. Here are the ones we played last night though.
Last night though, we got out some games that the kids had gotten for Christmas this past year. The first one we did was Twister. Man! I had forgotten how fun and HARD that game is! Here are a few pics from our workout/giggle session. We found ourselves falling down equally as much from laughing as from losing our balance!
If you read my P90X blog, sorry you're reading about this twice and seeing the pics twice...but I just couldn't choose which blog to put this on!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Mellow Yellow

Yesterday morning as I got up and got everyone "around" for church, I realized that by coincidence, 3 out of the 5 of us (Matt's dad is here visiting) were wearing shades of yellow. I couldn't help but "happen" to pick out yellow clothes for the rest of the group (shhh...don't tell the guys that I premeditated this!) so we could take a group picture. Before church would have been a better time to snap the shot since at that time Grant's shirt was still tucked in and Brooklyn still had her shoes on...but...we all know that doing anything "extra" before church is out of the question. It's a miracle all in itself to get everyone ready, dressed, fed and in the car on time--let alone trying to capture it on film. So...after church I gave the orders "No one gets in the car until I snap a picture!"
Here is what we ended up with. Not too shabby!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


A friend of mine sent me this link yesterday and asked me to watch it. And as ashamed as I feel to say this, my initial thought was "I really don't have time for this." My guess is...you're thinking the same thing.
Well, I'll tell you what: It's worth it. I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes throughout most of it. Not sad tears...just tears of identification. Happy tears really. I know...at this point you have no idea what the subject matter even is.....
Well, the title of it is "Being A Mom" but really, it's so much more that just that. It's short and I guarantee it will encourage you.
Then when you're done watching it, you'll be hooked enough to want to watch the next one "Being A Mom: Part 2" so I won't even bother trying to talk you into that one!
Be sure and let me know what you think!!

What's been happenin...

Last Thursday, one of my good friends offered to have BOTH of my kiddos spend the night at her house! It was Grant's first time to ever spend the night with anyone (other than grandma). I wasn't sure how he'd do, but apparently he did just fine and definitely didn't want to come home early (I checked in with her before we went to bed for the night).

Anyway, since it was just the two of us, we decided to see if my parents wanted to join us for a double-date. We hardly ever get to do anything with them without the kids because 99% of the time, THEY are the babysitters. I had heard about a great deal going on at Zio's where 4 can eat for $19.99. It included 4 salads, unlimited bread, spaghetti-n-meatballs and chicken parmesean served family style. I was a little concerned that it might not be enough food since we were all very hungry (and I thought it might have been talking about 4 people=2 adults, 2 children) but WOW! We all ate until we were stuffed and then had enough to bring home to feed my whole family dinner the next night! Since we all drank water there..our total bill for all 4 of us was $ 21.67. LOVE A BARGAIN! After that we went to the movies and saw The Proposal, which was cute but not making it to my favorites list.
On Saturday Matt had to work ALL day (17 1/2 hours straight) so me and the kids loaded up some lawn chairs and went off to our town's freedom festival. They had a petting zoo and Brooklyn and I both decided to HOLD a SNAKE! The look on her little face is priceless! The whole time it was in her hands she was saying "okay, take it take it take it!"
Me on the other hand, I look like one of the girls off of The Price is Right like I'm posing with the fabulous prize! ha ha I promise, I wasn't enjoying it nearly as much as it looks like! So...in other news, I'm about to climb another rung on the ladder of age. 8 more days until my 31st birthday. Crazy! Either I've matured a LOT over the past year...or I just don't care anymore, but turning 31 is totally no big deal to me this year. I think once I hit 30...the whole "oh you're so young" thing was over instantly and now I'm just "in my 30's". Whatever. I'm just happy to be happy with who I am. God has CERTAINLY been busy in my life over the last year and I wouldn't go back to 29 for anything after what all I've discovered in the past 365 days!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Anyone know God's e-mail address?

I wonder if God reads my blog...? Wouldn't it be awesome to get a comment from Him? I could do a whole post on whatever crisis I'm going through at the moment and then He could leave me a comment saying "Jen what I would suggest you do is ___________. "
Just the thought gets me giddy inside. A clear, concise answer from God Almighty! Who DOESN'T want/need that???

Go with me here. I know that I am being somewhat "carnal" minded in this post but I'm fairly certain all of us, even the most spirtual ones, have at one time or another just wished it was as simple as getting a comment or text message from God about what to do. I know that God has given us his Word---basically the instruction book of life. I know that He has given us the Holy Spirit---our teacher, counselor and friend. I know that He sent His son Jesus to live and die for us, giving us healing, forgiveness and rightousness. As a matter of fact...there is nothing else we need that He didn't give us. The problem is: We don't know what do do with it.
What good is a tool bag full of the best tools if you aren't familiar with them, how they work and what they are used for?
I can just imagine a new carpenter beginning his first job. He's excited and ready to go. He reaches into his tool bag and pulls out something that he know's he's seen before...but just can't quite figure out how to use it to get the desired result.
That is exactly how I feel right now. I know I'm equipped with everything I need. I am totally excited and ready to 'get to work', I'm trying to use my tools (the Word, prayer) the best way that I know how...but for some reason (which is extremely frustrating to me)...it seems that nothing is happening. Or even worse...what IS happening is that I'm making the problem bigger.
Oh me, Oh my.

I know this post is probably somewhat of a mish-mash of thoughts and words that may not make any sense to any of you...but the bottom line is this: I know I am at a crossroads. Some choices have to be made. My life, for the past 30 years, has been preparing me for this moment--this time--when I will step out in the calling God has on my life, whatever it may be. I'm not satisfied to 'just exist' anymore. I want it more than life itself (to be living out my destiny) and yet I'm stuck in a state of confusion. I'm not afraid to 'step out of the boat', I'm just not sure which direction to step out.

If only it were as simple as a quick text message up to Heaven saying "Hey Dad, what was it again U wanted me 2 do here?"

Anyone else feel like this sometimes?