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.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brooklyn--She's cute no matter what!

Last week at Brooklyn's school, they had the opportunity to dress up each day according to a particular theme. Monday was Crazy Day. As you can see...my girl can get SOME kind of CRAZY! She has on leggings that are a different color on each leg, a boot on one foot, a flip-flop on the other, shorts, shirt, scarf, hat, headband, 2 diff. earrings and a wild hair do.

Tuesday was Nerd Day. We really didn't think we were going to have anything good for this day, because of course, none of us are nerds around here (ha ha)...but we managed to do her up pretty nerdy, I think!
Wednesday was Retro Day and again, we were unsure of what we could possibly use for this. But....I remembered I had this shirt in my closest that was a bit retro-y and Brooklyn had gotten these cute "shag" boots recently. Then we found this cute short jacket in her closet to top it all off. We did her hair flipped out with a big "bump-it" in the back and she looked like she came straight out of the 50-60's! SO cute!
Thursday was BY FAR our favorite!!! PROM DAY! There was no question about what dress she would wear...the delimma was HOW we would do her hair! (If you don't know this about me....I love doing hair!) Anyway, I did her whole head in ringlet curls and then we pulled it over to the side and I pinned it up on top and put a rhinestone pin in..then covered the whole thing with silver sparkle hair spray! She looked GORGEOUS! I went up to the school that day and had lunch with her (so I could spy out all the other prom get-up) and I could quickly see that I was a bit over-the-top with her hair do. Some of the other girls had pretty dresses on....but no ones hair looked like they were ready for ACTUAL prom, like Brooklyn's. ha ha...we don't care. We had FUN! :)
Lastly, Friday was Spirit Day. It was all about getting as Orange and Black as possible. We weren't allowed to paint her face or color her hair...so we were limited....but I think we still did pretty good! I got an old pair of her white canvas shoes and painted one black and one orange. She wore one orange sock (with the black shoe) and one black sock (with the orange shoe). She made herself a choker necklace and a bracelet out of orange and black beads and put on a black lace finger-less glove. We put ribbons in her pixie pig tails and she was ready to Rock It!

I think I had more fun fixing her up during this week than I have since she was a baby and I could dress her up and put bows in her hair! She was so cute and aggreeable to let me do whatever I wanted! One thing about my girlie...she's got style! :o)

Monday, October 04, 2010

So Many Pictures!

I finally pulled the SD card out of my camera and downloaded all 67 pictures!!! to my laptop. Even though I've been downloading them to my regular PC, for some reason Blogger won't let me upload them from that computer (??!!??)
Anyway, now I'm finally at a place where I can do it....so forgive the MASSIVE amount all at once...but at least I'm finally posting them! :)
These first 2 pictures are of Brooklyn on her first day back to school after having her tonsils out. I know she REALLY did not feel like going.....but I hated for her to miss any more days. After I saw how miserable she looks in these pictures, I wished I had let her stay home one more day. Oh well.....
Here she is with her girlfriend at a football game. They learned a cheer and were going to perform it at the pre-game show.
Just got out on the field!

Here they are with the varsity cheerleaders performing their routine....so cute!
Grant watches the game while he sips on his Coke.Here's one of me...all ready for the game!

Brooklyn wanted me to paint her WHOLE face for the ballgame this time!!
Grant just wanted a little bit of paint....but ORANGE hair!
This is one of my BEAUTIFUL BUDDY Rene!! I love her!
This is a gross one for ya! This is a pic of a Black Widow Spider that I killed in our garage. This is the 3rd one in the past couple of weeks!! CREEPY! And do you see all those "sacks" of babies? One time when I went to kill them, babies started going everywhere! There will millions!!

The Secret Keeper Girl Live Tour was back in town, so of course, we had to get all glammed up and go!! Here is me and my SKG!
Emily & Booklyn all dolled up!

The 4 of us: Brooklyn, Me, Emily & Tammy.

Here's a really interesting one for ya...my lunch! ha ha...I took a picture because it just looked SO healthy...physically and spirtually. Love feeding my spirit man while I feed my body! BTW: That Sonic cup is full of WATER! :)

This is another no-real-reason pic. I was cooking dinner one night and realized I looked a wreck...I had 15 minutes to "get ready" before Matt would be home from work so I slapped some make up on and ratted out my hair. This was the end result. I love being able to faux-get ready in such a short amount of time. I remember a day (back in my teenage years) when I would have required at LEAST an hour to be presentable (or so I thought! ha ha)
Lastly, here is one of Brooklyn and her buddy at the hometown rodeo we all went to a couple of weeks ago. They looked so cute!

At the end of this week (hopefully) I will post a really fun photo shoot of Brooklyn from every day this week. It's Crazy Week at school and my girl can GET SOME KINDA CRAZY! Today was "crazy day". Tomorrow is "Nerd Day". They are also having prom day, spirit day and something else that I can't remember right now because it is about 2 hours PAST my bedtime! G'night y'all!
Ps. If you haven't been to my blog in a while, be sure to read the last post I did called "Personal Letter" to catch up on the happenings of our lives currently! :)

A personal letter...

This morning, I sat down and typed out this letter to a very precious someone in Matt's family. As I read back through it, I realized it was a pretty good summary of what is going on in our lives at this point. Also, I know that I have been somewhat neglectful in keeping this blog updated....So....I have decided to post this very personal letter on here for my friends and family to read. I hope that the person I sent this to doesn't mind that I shared it...!!?? (love you!)

I'm kind of sad to say that our contact with everyone in XXXXXX has been dwindling to less and less. It's not intentional, but it seems like we are all just so busy and no one (us included) makes time for leisurely phone conversations anymore. :-(

I am working very hard to change that aspect of my life. Over the past year, I have read a couple of WONDERFUL life-changing books that have really altered the way I live. I have pulled out of ALL of my volunteering at the church, school, etc. and took a "break" from it all during the summer. In the process, I have been able to figure out WHO I am (which is a different woman than the girl I was when I signed up for all this stuff!) And also, and more importantly, who GOD is calling me to be. I realize now that while a particular job is good and helpful, it is not always good and helpful for ME to do it. Especially when I try to do TEN good things and end up dividing myself into so many different areas that I'm only able to give 10% of my attention and effort to each one (and even less of me was left for my family!) Now I realize that I want to do the things that matter the most and give them 100% of me. :o)

Right now, I am absolutely positively certain that my "Calling" is to be MOM. There is no greater or more rewarding or more important job for Jennifer Jones right now..than that one. The kids are at a crucial stage in their lives, especially Brooklyn, where her values are being formed and she desperately needs me there (and focused, not scatter-brained) to help guide her. As you know, she's a special young lady who has a "mind of her own" when it comes to some things and while I LOVE that about her...I also see that without some firm,loving direction...she could very easily go the wrong direction. She is so precious to me and she deserves a mom who will care enough to show her the way.
And Grant...he's no longer my little, sweet baby. Nope. He's Mr. Big Guy now and has started hastily wiping off mommy's kisses and refusing my hugs. Boo hoo hoo!!! Makes me want to cry. I knew this day was coming, but I HONESTLY did not think it would be THIS soon! His personality seems to have changed (and matured) a lot over the past year. I know it's a good and needed thing, but I just don't know exactly how to be mom to him right now (instead of a smothering mommy!) ha ha That is why it is so good that I am seeking God for wisdom in how to turn this little guy into a Godly, respectful young man. I am completely confident that as long as I stay focused on the task at hand (and don't start volunteering for a hundred different things again) I will be able to be the best mother to him possible.

In addition to the wonderful things that are happening with the kids, we have tons of other GREAT things to report. Like the fact that we are now completely debt-free (other than the house)! We were actually able to re-finance our house from a 30-yr mtg. down to a 15-yr mortgage. Because the interest rate dropped SO much, it only increased our payment by about $75/month. Praise the Lord!

Also, we have been doing the Dave Ramsey style of budgeting now for about 8 months and in that time, we've been able to save up enough money to (almost) buy a new vehicle CASH! (not a brand new vehicle...but a much newer, nicer one for us). That is such a huge testimony! Before this year, we were barely making ends meet, but now that we have "buckled down" on unnecessary spending and have honored God by handling our money wisely, He has blessed us so abundantly. Never in a million years would I have thought we could SAVE up this much money (and still pay all our bills and have all our needs met). God is truly SO AWESOME! Even now, as I type this, I'm in awe. In the natural...it just doesn't seem possible, but with GOD...as we know...all things are possible!

Another great thing is that since we aren't spending as much, I'm not shopping as much which means that I am home more...which means that I hardly EVER stress out about all the cleaning/laundry/ etc. that needs to be done. Since I am home almost every day, I am able to stay on top of it and make nice, healthy meals nearly every night. I know my family appreciates a clean house, clean clothes, a nice dinner AND A MOM WHO DOESN'T GRIPE all the time!! :o)

There is so much good that has happened in our lives over the past year, that I wish I could somehow share it with all my girlfriends who are still running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to do a MILLION things for everyone and not having any time left to give to the most important people in their life--their families. But...sadly...I had several wonderful people TRY to tell ME this for the past couple of years and I just couldn't grasp it. It wasn't until I came to the "end of my rope" with it all and surrendered control to God, that I was able to have this life-changing breakthrough.

On top of ALL of that, Matt and I are more in love than ever. As we seek God first, our marriage just gets better and better. I can honestly say that there is no one on EARTH I would rather spend my time with than that guy. He is the sugar in my kool-aid!! :o) I know you don't get to be around him too very much, but you would be SO PROUD of the man he has become. Even though I didn't know him back in his "wild" days, just in our 12-14 years of knowing one another, he has grown so much. He is actually taking some night classes at church to help him discover what his calling from God might be. He is unsettled in his job and knows there HAS to be something else for him, something more fulfilling and rewarding, that God has for him to do with his life. The tough part is being patient while it is revealed to us. Still, we praise God for such a wonderful job for him that pays so well.

I am still doing my medical transcription job, even though it was supposed to have ended exactly one year ago. The doctor I work for gave me my "notice" that he had purchased a new system and would no longer be needing me soon...and for some crazy reason (for which I give God all the glory!!) it just keeps on being prolonged month after month! I have recently re-written our budget to where we don't depend on my income any more, just in case it actually does happen that my job ends, but in the meantime, I am SO GRATEFUL that he is dragging his heels about switching to the new system. Even though I don't make a lot, it really is the difference in us having to count every penny, being EXTREMELY strict and tight...OR.. having a little breathing room. No matter what happens, I have total peace that God is our supplier and that He has our world in His hands!

I have developed a very strong passion recently for helping other young moms/wives discover these wonderful things that I have figured out recently and I have a feeling that in the future, that is how God is going to use me, which I am thoroughly excited about. TOO MANY of our girls get married at the young age of 20 (or younger!) and have NO IDEA what it means to be a wife or a mother or run a household or live on a budget. Even in the area of sex, I think there are WAY MORE young women than we realize that have never been taught about their bodies. I know I wasn't, and that was a horrible part of our marriage for the first SEVEN years because I was so insecure with my body and didn't have any idea how things worked. God has worked nothing short of a MIRACLE in our marriage in that aspect too and I want to help these other ladies who think (like I did) that there was something wrong or broken with them.

Ahhh....I could go on and on. :o)
I was just telling Brooklyn last night how priceless it is to me that not only did I get her AWESOME DADDY when I married him...but I also got 2 more fantastic grandmas and another mom and dad, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. I love you guys just as though you were my family from birth and I can't imagine life without you.

I know this was a long e-mail, but since we don't get to talk often enough, I hope you enjoyed reading through the things that God has been doing in our lives.

I look SO forward to seeing everyone at the holidays! It just can't get here soon enough! :o)