Saturday, May 30, 2009

A day at the pool...

Well, today we went and spent some time together as a family at the pool. It was an amazing time. I took Toby to his karate class and stopped at a couple garage sales. It was one of those dreamy Saturdays where I ignored all I "thought should get done" and just made time for me and the family. The dishes and kitchen are a wreck, my laundry needs some serious attention and my nursery is still not empty and prepped to be painted but it was all worth it.

What did I do you ask?

I laughed with my son while we played with a noodle at the pool. I filled it up with water and he "blew" the water out of it... all over me.

I hugged my husband as he taught my daughter some swimming tricks.

I fed my dog. (man she is spoiled) ;)

I was blessed by a garage sale where I found the cutest diaper bag. (I prayed about finding one) Even better all of the proceeds from the garage sale go to a team participating in the "Relay for Life" and the American Cancer Society. I also found ALL of the onsies I would need in size 0-3 which I was also praying about a beautiful receiving blanket and some baby wash cloths. An adorable bib. Great awesome stuff. Cute decoration for Josie's nursery... I'm pretty much set... for her arrival at least! :) Praise the Lord!

My daughter showed me how she can put her head under water with her goggles on.

I gave my daughter a piggy back ride on my back.

I floated... and felt light.

I ate an ice cream sandwich.

I watched my husband do two of his favorite things.. soak in a hot tub and frequent the sauna.

It's 4:50pm and the kitchen and laundrya are calling out to me. But I'd like to say we had a pretty productive day.

May your weekend be productive... "whatever that make look like." lv, jen

Friday, May 29, 2009


Today is such a beautiful day. I look outside and sun is beating down on the mountains, a cool breeze is blowing. The blue color of the sky is just amazing. From our bedroom window we have this amazing view of the mountains. Joy comes in the morning for me today. The minute I lifted my head off the pillow. I felt it. The Bible promises that joy comes in the morning and today it has. Thank you Lord for the joy I feel in knowing you more loving you more and learning all I need to know from you.

My family attends a "small group" with a few members of our church. It's weird to call it a small group because everyone in this group are friends of ours. So really we just get together with friends once a week to hang out. Sometimes we read a book together and study it, sometimes we play games and sometimes we just laugh the whole time. Either way it's really a good time with some of my favorite people in the world.

There are times in my life when things are just moving along normally and I have a "moment." A tender moment when emotions overhwhelm me. When I get a sense that someone is hurting when I feel compassion for someone or look at someone and see their pain or see they are struggling. In most cases, I ask the person if I can pray for them. If I forget I talk to them about it later to see if they are doing OK. I reach out to them and let them know I am available.

For some reason my husband stood out to me last night in our group. He was tired, he had a long day at work... (up at 6am home by 5)he came home and even though exhausted grabbed a baseball glove for himself and the kids and ball and took our kids out on in the yard to throw a ball around. He's a great Dad. But I had a compassion for my husband and a conviction in my soul that blew me away.

Sometimes I can get so clouded by my own selfishness and own "me" syndrome. I forget to "see" where my husband is... does he need prayer?... does he need rest?... does he need me to just be quiet and listen? What would bless him? Have I paid attention? Am I helping him "lead" our family or am I the boss and mother of everyone (including him?) How am I supporting him as a wife?

There is a part of me that God is working on... I definately am an outgoing extrovert. I like to "tell it like it is." I appreciate honest conversation and am very passionate. I take the bull by the horns, I am a doer. If there is a goal, I set it and pursue it. If I see something is broken, I like to fix it. Sometimes I walk through the day like an EMT in my own life. Watching for what needs fixind and getting it done. I have tunnel vision. I need to control it all.

God is showing me a side of me for my husband that is reserved only for him. A side of me that needs wisdom, needs growth and discernment. I am so thankful God is showing this to me. There is a part of me that desires so much to have "BK radar" a radar that is able to minister to him on a dime. A part of me that despite my tunnel vision can see the needs of my husband and act on it. A part of me that is sensitive, peaceful joyful. A joyful part of me reserved for Bill. Man... he would love that... wouldn't he?

I would be a wife who instinctively knows how to bless her husband daily and be OK that it's not about me. If there is one person who deserves my discernment, my love, my attention in this area it is my husband. Giving constantly and not expecting. Loving him despite myself.

I did not post a thankful Thursday. But today I am thankful for conviction. I am thankful for God showing me a part of me that desires to be more for the man I married, the awesome father of my children and the love of my life. Thank you Lord, may I never be the same... only better... In You.

PS. Regarding this song... I love it. It makes me cry everytime I listen to it (hormones?) But it touches my heart.. it reminds me of how much God loves me... and how much my husband loves me. Bear with me and my 1980's roots... enjoy :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bibs... and I'm not talking the kind you drool on...

OK... so today I donned my first pair of prego bib overalls. My awesome friend Tiffany gave these to me recently. They are a khaki color and are made of light material so they are perfect for springtime wear.

When I lived in Minnesota and had Toby and Grace I LIVED in bib overalls... I wore them all the time. Billy who is 99.9 percent of the time complimentary of any clothes or hairstyle I wear told me one time he was not a fan of my bib overalls. I wondered why.

But then one day I was walking by a full length mirror and saw how they did ABSOLUTLEY nothing to to show off my strengths and hide my "problem areas". My booty was a problem area, I had no waist to speak of in my bib overalls and they were too long so I looked a little shabby dragging them everywhere....(I'm laughing as I type) My poor husband... I love him so.

So after that realization I never bought myself another pair.

But today it is different. I put these suckers on... and I am loving life. Nothing is pushing against my belly, I have freedom in the leg area of the pants, my booty looks huge and my belly is ginormous... these are a great length so they don't drag on the ground! I have earned the right to wear my awesome bib overalls, I am so comfortable, I just might even wear them to bed... (lucky billy).

Thought I'd post on the "lighter side" today.

Peace. Out Friends! Love you all! - jen

Monday, May 25, 2009

This Crazy Busy Family - On Memorial Day

There is something about a "day off" that is so appreciated in this family. We have been so busy lately that BOTH Bill and I forgot that this weekend was Memorial Day and that we both had the day off. It was kind of a blessing in a way... because we both forgot... we both did not plan one thing to do! So, we decided it would be a family day, a day of rest.... and day to just hang out together, relax and enjoy each moment together.

We started the day with a trip to Billy's favorite bagel shop, Durango Bagel. Grace is not a big fan of bagels, Toby thankfully obliged and Bill got me hooked on their Cinnamon Sugar bagel toasted with walnut maple cream cheese. (dee lish) In the car we talked about what Memorial Day meant. Grace asked questions about what "the military" was and all about soldiers. She wanted to know more about this great country and what was so cool about our freedoms. I remember having this conversation with my own parents and not really understanding the importance of freedom. I didn't get it that other countries were bound by the opinions, and laws of the government. I didn't get it that the people in those countries did not have a "say" about their own lives. That they couldn't pray to who they wanted to, that they couldn't say what they wanted to read what they wanted to etc.etc. Freedom is one of the most awesome blessings God gives us and to recognize those people today is an honor. God bless our military, soldiers and families who have served to keep these freedoms alive.

The kids are home with me this summer. They are not going to "kid camp" or other programs. Like I have said before, I love spending time with them and next year they will both be in school, so it pains me to send them somewhere for the day when I can be home with them while I work from home. I can snuggle them on the couch on my lunch breaks. I can watch them play in the yard while I work and make them lunch and get them started on fun projects all while I work. I love summers with my kids. It's too much fun. THEY LOVE sleeping in too.

So... this morning we went to Wal Mart and picked out a nice trampoline... it's 14' and has one of those cool guards on it. Plus a pad to protect them from the springs. We had a trampoline when we first moved in and the kids adored it. Grace was 3 years old and Toby was 1 1/2 years old. It had no guard and no padding... it made me a nervous wreck. We would only play on it "with them" . They would jump and play and laugh... it was so fun to hear them playing.

The weather is not cooperating with us... BK and the kids began to assemble this fun new toy and we are missing ONE spring to finalize the net being attached to the frame. So, I am saying a little prayer that when I go out there to look for it (I took a nap while Billy finished assembly with the kids) that God will help us find our missing spring and if we don't find it that the spring get here in record time. I have two eager children who want to bounce and play.

I hope you all had an amazing day off to spend with friends and family. God bless America.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Grandpa...a great man

My Grandpa "Don" with some of my awesome cousins

Today I am remembering my Grandpa. He died yesterday. He lived a long life left an incredible legacy and is now standing with my Grandma and Jesus in heaven... he was an amazing man.

In my preschool years I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. My Grandpa was the guy who could take the mundane of life and make it spectacular. He knew a couple of magic tricks and would amaze all of his grandchildren with the cool things he could do. He would dress up for Halloween, pursue what he wanted and most of all he would love my Grandma with all his heart. He was in awe of her and it was so obvious.

My Mom and Dad were married when I was five. So when they went on their honeymoon, I was able to go with Grandma and Grandpa on a road trip to New Mexico from Milwaukee. I remember always feeling so safe with my Grandparents. I remember sleeping in the back of the car and when we stopped to stay at Motels all I cared about was whether or not it had a pool. We would drive along these long desert roads and my Grandpa would ask me if I could see the cowboys and indians riding around in the desert. (to get me to sit up and look around)

My Grandpa would express his love with an instant hug and you could feel his heart from across the room. If he didn't know you, he'd get to know you with a smile and a handshake and a hearty laugh. He was one of those people who knew people by name in the grocery store and would greet them with their name every time he was there.

He loved horses. When I was older my Grandparents moved to New Mexico from Wisconsin. And when we would travel there to see them, they had a nice doublewide mobile home on a plot of land in Deming. Their land was nothing but desert. They built a fence to corral a couple of horses as my Grandpa loved the west and everything cowboy. When I would visit their home I would go back home thinking I had just visited The "Dallas" ranch... in my young eyes their house was palatial and their horses were thoroughbreds. My Grandpa would teach us about horses about loving animals and about how to respect animals. He was kind and gentle and the thing that made him the most proud was his wife, his family and his grandchildren.

My Grandparents relationship was one that I was in awe of. It still baffles me to this day a little bit. My Grandma was humble and quiet, she was a servant of all she was unselfish and rarely spent money on herself. My Grandpa was the spender, he mostly like to spend money on horses and computers so he could do things for his family like make family calendars and have his grandkids over to ride the horses. He absolutley worshipped the ground my Grandma walked on. She respected him more than he could have ever imagined. They were my example of "husbands LOVE your wives... and wives "respect" your husbands. My Grandpa knew that even if my Grandma did not agree with him.. she respected his opinion. So in turn... my Grandpa spent his life loving her with all his heart.

He always had a story to tell and I apprecaited them all. He would give you a glimpse into his life with his army stories, his stories about his family and his stories about raising his children. He respected others, therefore was respected but the whole time letting you know that his heart was soft for you and that he loved you.

Today I rememeber my Grandpa, who is in heaven with his loving wife and Jesus. I love you Grandpa I miss you... but thank you so much for the awesome example you gave me in my life and the incredible family legacy you have left behind.

Jennie (I laugh as I type my name because he used to spell my name wrong all the time... it used to bug me but now it looks kind of cute! ;)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another Grace story...

Today we went to Grace's school they had an "Author's Tea". Grace wrote a short story and she read it to all the parents and her classmates. We went on our lunch hour to hear her read her story and it was so cool.

The story went something like this...

The title: My Baby Sister

Page One: Dedicated to Mrs. Rhodes - She is a really good teacher

Page Two: My Mom is having a baby.

Page Three: We know that it will be a girl. Her name will be Josie.

Page Four : She will have long legs. I saw a picture of her long legs.

Page Five : When I was reading a story to my Mom, I saw her move. Bump! Bump!

Page Six: The End.

Each page had an illustration in colored pencil. Grace loves to draw and I just think this book is a precious keepsake we will keep for Josie to read when she is old enough. My favorite part is how she says Josie's legs are long. In the ultrasound the picture of her leg is so close... her legs DO look really long. How cute.

Side Note: We played this song at our wedding... I haven't heard it in a long time. I am so glad it was part of our wedding. It represents the journey God would take us on in our marrriage.. here we are 9 years later. God has taken us places we never thought we'd be. What a spectacular adventure. I am so glad I have such an awesome husband. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My big girl... and her crazy Mama

Ariana (Grace's cousin) Grace Marie and Grandma

It's official. Grace has turned seven years old.

We will remember..

The day before Grace's birthday (after my doctor appointment) I wrote BK an email that said, can you believe a year ago at this time I was on my knees pouring my heart to God telling him all the desires we had for a baby... and in 8 weeks we will meet her? I was crying, I was humbled I was am so excited to meet this new addition to our family.

He said, can you believe 7 years ago tomorrow we were in the hospital waiting for the arrival of our first born child? We had no idea what an impact these kids were going to have on our lives. We had no idea how the birth of our children would set us into motion wanting to know more closely this God who created these special gifts for us.

We will remember....
Grace was born into this world and I have to admit I was the worlds "freakiest" Mom. God bless all the friends and family who loved on me during my first baby. They must have thought I was nuts. But no one ever made me feel bad or said anything. They supported me in my OCD weirdness and probably left my house shaking their head going.. that poor crazy new Mommy.

For example, my Mom and Aunt came and helped me with Grace in the very first weeks of her life. I made them whisper ALL DAY LONG. Or at least when Grace was trying to sleep. I could not imagine anyone interrupting her much needed sleep! I tiptoed around the house, I crawled on my hands and knees out of her nursery so not to wake her... or so she wouldn't see me. I hated the sound of her sadness... it was like nails on a chalkboard.

My little brother Austin was also there... he was 13 years old and bored out of his mind. One day I decided we would venture out on a walk. Austin could barely contain himself, we were actually leaving the house! We put her in the stroller after a feeding... and walked with her. It was June in Minnesota.

I broke a sweat at the third house because of all the humidity and bugs outside. After all she was this untouched unscathed perfection that I didn't want the world to harm. By the time we got to the end of the block she was crying and I was freaking out and made my brother walk with me back to the house with her. We went and hung out in the rocker and she was much better.

I remember just holding her and crying and rocking in her nursery. Any CD I had like Kenny Loggins Pooh Corner especially... made me cry. I looked at my Mom one morning and I was holding her and I said, YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH I LOVE HER... it's so funny thinking about me saying that to my own mother... OF COURSE SHE UNDERSTOOD! I'm crying now as I type this because I still feel that same deep amazing love today. That insane, am I really worthy of this gift feeling. Every day I am excited to see her. Every day I look forward to a talk with her, a snuggle, a smile and a hug. God's gift of motherhood is priceless and I was so in awe of it with Grace.

Anyway, on Saturday Grace had and "Art Party" with a couple of her friends, we ate food, painted crafts and they all were able to decorate their own cupcakes with candies and frosting and such. She has also graduated to "dangily earrings" this makes her day. She got loads of them as well as some beautiful new summer dresses. So my girl is set!

So, I play this Pooh Corner song for my daughter Grace. I love you my sweet precious "peach". When she was first born I called her peaches because she had this cute little outfit that had peaches on it... it was my favorite.
Happy Birthday my big 7 year old. I am so excited to see what God has planned for you. Love, Mommy.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Faith and Believing

OK... so yesterday was a yucky day. I blame it mostly on lack of sleep. I am not sure what it is but when Spring transitions into Summer I have a hard time sleeping. I am up and down all night, I hear dogs howling at night, my children are restless. Usually when this type of things happen I walk around my house half asleep stumble to the bathroom shut windows where there is too much breeze and pray. I pray for my kids, I pray for my husband, I pray that the night stop being so restless and that we are all able to sleep better. The bible says, "Joy comes in the morning" and today it has. Thank the Lord. :)

I am reading a book by Beth Moore called Believing God. It is a book that talks about faith and belief as active words.

I have written before about my faith has been deepened so much after moving to Colorado. Bill and I made a conscious decision to seek out what we believed a little bit more when we moved to Colorado. We wanted to understand better the basics of what we believed in our own faith. We both agreed that Jesus died on the cross for us. We knew this to be true. But we also felt in our hearts that there was more. We wanted to know more about it. We had no idea how that simple act of making the conscious decision to seek God more would change our lives, our hearts and has propelled us into an amazing powerful journey that was not planned by us, but by God.

I have a hard time explaining it to my friends and family. My faith is NOT my religion. I think that is the hardest part for people to separate. My faith is that I continue to BELIEVE every day that God who created me did so with a plan and purpose. That he is "active" and working in my life in every moment. That with every breath I take on this earth God is with me and is guiding this life of mine. He wants it for all of us. He draws us near, but many people to not take Him up on his offer. I know I didn't for a very long time in my life.

In college my first semester, I had a roomate named Heidi. To me she was SO RELIGIOUS... she turned me off to faith and religion. She made it seem yucky and like work. She was an overachiever and overbooked, she ran around totally stressed out flipped out and busy. She seemed disconnected from the world. But every night she would sit in her bed with her book lamp on and read her Bible. She would highlight everything in her Bible and it just looked to me like her Bible was just one more thing she HAD to get done on her list of things to do that day. I couldn't pin point what bothered me about Heidi or her religion... or her faith.

But what I wanted to see in her religion was her peace and her joy and I never got to see it. It disappointed me. She never talked to me about it. She never shared with me what was so interesting about her Bible. Why she highlighted everything. Had she shared it with me... and had time for me... and told me the truth maybe my faith journey would have started earlier.

So I write today's blog to tell you this. God wants all of us to BELIEVE HIM. He wants us to believe that he is a willing loving God who is just sitting waiting to hear from us. Waiting for us to ask him to take us on a journey of a lifetime. I don't want to be like my old roomate. Where my Bible is on my to do list and I'm too busy to have a relationship. Where my prayers are mundane and boring. Where I don't tell and show you all the examples of how God has changed my life and given me greater JOY than I ever could want or need.

I want you to know that in the past four years I have been transformed by the awesome love of God. I am going to post a story soon that talks about this cool journey for me. I will list all the examples of how God... not Jen Kline... is working miracles and loving, supporting and blessing this family. I urge you if you have not done so, to pursue Him with all your heart.... and begin to write your own awesome story of how you started believing what your heart has been been telling you. That just knowing what Jesus died on the cross is not enough... but living out your faith and believing every day He is with you is the most powerful thing you could ever do and THEN my friends is when you have a life to be proud of.

Ephesians 1: 18-20

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe."

Excerpt from the book "Believing God" by Beth Moore

"Nothing on earth compares to the strength God is wiliing to interject into lives caught in the act of believing. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul likens it to the stunning power God exerted when He raised His Son from the dead! Can you think of any need you might have that would require more strength than God exercised to raise the dead? ME either. God can raise marriages from the dead, and He can restore life and purpose to those who have given up. He can forgive and purify the vilest sinner. God's specialty is raising things to life and making impossible things possible. You don't have a need that exceeds his His power. Faith is God's favorite invitation to R.S.V.P. with proof.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Giving thanks even when I don't "feel" like it.

I was takling to my friend Jill today about how our hearts follow our actions. There are days when I just don't "feel" like being thankful. It's my own sinful nature. I don't "feel" like being forgiving, I don't "feel" like giving grace and love. But I am reminded by my awesome friend that even when we don't "feel" like it we are called to suck it up and be intentional about our actions and our heart will follow suit. Once we start acting thankful or forgiving or loving or merciful our heart will follow suit.

So even though I don't "feel" like it. (because I need God) Here is what I am thankful for:

1. I am thankful for Godly wisdom. For God's direction in the Bible for Him giving me new eyes to see.

2. I am thankful for my daughter Grace who turns seven years old this Saturday. Who's life blesses me more than she will ever comprehend.

3. I am thankful for my creative, funny, happy son Toby who is creative and thoughtful and totally sensitive like his Daddy.

4. I am thankful for Billy. I've said it before but I'll say it again. I am thankful for a man who loves this family and me more than I understand and who is learning loving and following God in his life (I am most thankful for that).

5. I am thankful for friends who trust me, trust God and are able to take this journey and learn with me.

6. I am thankful for my job and my work. That it brings in the money we need to live in beautiful Durango Colorado

7. I am thankful for all of the blog friends who's stories and life journies inspire me to be a better woman of God.

8. I am thankful for big huge bras... because I need them and they work. (don't laugh... I'm serious about this one) ;)

9. I am thankful my husband likes to bake. He made yummy bars last night when he stayed up lated to make them. He makes treats for us.

10. I am thankful for the sun and the spring. That it represents new growth. Lord help me to grow... and be new... in you... every day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On the lighter side...

My posts lately have felt very deep and soul searching. I like it when I can also post about the lighter side of my heart. The things that are just things that happen throughout the day that I have to journal so I can remember the moments. Here are a couple.

Toby makes up his own words. He's five and very creative. He believes in these words and has used them repeatedly. I don't even have the heart to tell them they are not real. He is like Dr. Suess to me! :)

When we were in the hospital, he pushed on this lever on my bed with his foot, he told me he was pushing the "PEMBER" that helped the bed go up and down. He kept saying you just push the Pember Mom. You push it down to make the bed adjust.

Then he was looking at my back and saw a mole. He told me that I have a "weep" on my back. That he wanted to press the "Weep" he inspected it. He cracks me up.

Another time we were here at the house and he was describing something he was doing his "homework" on the computer. he was going to put a mouth on a snowman he was making and he said the mouth he was putting on was called a "Chimber".

Pember, Chimber and Weep. I have to keep track of these little names he has for things. I am so glad he is creative that way and was created so special in so many weird and wonderful ways.

Grace and I are getting ready for her big 7th Birthday party. She is having an Art party and tried to inform me today that SHE was going to pick out EVERY art craft we were doing at the party. I asked her who was paying for the party... and she realized she had someone to answer to very quickly. Hopefully we're all not too tired it will be a fun trip to Wal Mart. (can that even happen?)

Love you all... thanks for listening! -jen

Monday, May 11, 2009

Trust in the Lord

Bill and I were talking last night about how we have two months left until the scheduled c section and we get to meet Josie. Even though it seems that these last two months could take forever we have so much to do in those two months I think it's going to fly and pretty soon we will be a family of five. The Lord is also preparing me for a new job (more on that later) but as I move into the next season of my life with all the change and all the adjustments I am excited. I have been praying and reflecting on my life recently and really pursuing what God would have for me at this stage of my life. The past four years in Colorado have been a season of establishing roots, community, friendships and service to this area. God has revealed to me that in my past I looked so much to my relationships and people to lead my life... that in this new plan and purpose and provision I am going to be stretched to completely trust in Him. This is a new place for me. I have peace. Some friends of ours just left to SanFrancisco to plant a church there. And before he left he said something that struck me... he said, "If the plans we have seem doable and we're able to do them on our own... then they aren't God sized plans. God centered and God revealed plans are the things we absolutely could not do without Him. It's not about us and what we can accomplish. A God sized plan seems impossible, can be painful, looks impossible. But it burns in your heart and is begging to be fulfilled. The only way it can be fulfilled well.. is with God in the center. Trust in the Lord with all your heart... lean not on your own understanding. I trust you God. Every day help me to fulfill all you have planned and help me to step aside and walk with you in life. Thank you Lord. lv jen

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Mom... the one and only Jeanette

My Mom.....

is fun and funny
Loves to laugh
is emotional
Loves her grandchildren
Loves the Lord
Keeps her promises
Lights up a room with her smile and laugh
Loves music
Likes to dance
Speaks loudly
Loves softly
Has a huge heart
LOVES smoothies
Enjoys the sun
Takes risks
Has good friends
Is an encourager
Cries easily
Enjoys worship
Is an internet junkie
Knows a lot about computers
Loves her kids (all four of them)
Prays for everyone
Takes care of her father
Misses her mother
Loves her brothers
Wanted a sister
Is loyal
Watches CSI and Law and Order
Likes licorice and Good n Plenty candy
Wears Spongebob pajamas
Loves teenagers
Works hard
Had a tough past.. overcame lots
Is up for anything
Loves to travel
Is independent
Loves thrift stores
Four wheels
Can laugh at herself and let's us laugh with her
Loves to play "dress up"
Sews for fun
Makes everyone who knows her comfortable
Reads her bible and journals
Loves her dogs and animals
is a go getter
is awesome

I am so proud of who you are Mom and ALL that you do. I am thankful for you everyday and I am so happy your my Mom. Have a great Mother's Day. Thanks for being you. I thank God for the blessing of you every day.
I love you SO much! XOXOX
Happy Mother's Day!XOXOXO

Friday, May 8, 2009

A week in the life of a 1st grader

The end of the school year is wrapping up nicely. I have to say that I truly enjoy the summer break because I totally love having my kids home with me. I love the sound of their laughter letting my daughter sleep in... fun time outside. Filling up swimming pools, sidewalk chalk, playing at the park, eating icecream and making sure I have popscicles all summer... all of it is good.

My daughter enjoys school and likes her teachers. As noted she talks about her faith at school which I am proud of and like to encourage her in that. She has a gift of teaching at a very young age. She really enjoys explaining things to Toby and processes and ways to do things so he can understand them. She recently taught him how to whistle. She can whistle and Toby was bothered he couldn't. On a drive into town one day she was giving him all of this instruction and by the end of the trip he was making a faint whistling noise with his mouth. She was satisfied. Anyway, my point is that she enjoys her school, but she is ready to be done and take a break.

I was just looking over her weekly "highlights" report for the week and all of the stuff they do in a day. Her teacher at the last conference told us that we would be amazed how quickly kids have to shift gears, learn new things, understand concepts and move to the next thing. She even advised me to let her rest when she got home because of what Grace is learning in a day is very busy.

Here is what they did last week:

1. Finished Dioramas
2. Filled in number chart to 110
3. Learned about food pyramid
4. Practiced fractions, money and place value in math
5. Went to Science Room learned about dirt, sand, fossils, rocks, compost, worms.
6. Made numbers out of place value cards
7. Obstacle course in PE
8. Challenging art techniques
9. Worked on math facts
10. Writers workshop and publishing writings
11. Finished reading book
12. Learned new vocabulary
13. Worked on paper Mache
14. Finished writer's workshop
15. Learned about May Day
16. Made May Day baskets
17. Practiced making the long "i"
18. Spelling sentences

and I bet this is the "short list" there is no room left on the paper to write so I am guessing the teacher ran out of room. To say the least I think after weeks of this pace of learning my daughter is ready for a break. I think I remember in 1st grade we used to eat Saltines and look at how words were spelled.

I plan to spend the summer finding ways to incorporate and apply her faith to her life. To work on daily devotions with her in the mornings. To talk to her about praying and journaling and mostly just spending time with my awesome little girl. It's going to be a good summer and one well deserved break for Grace Marie.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grateful/Thankful Thursday

I am thankful and grateful for so many things today. As I look outside at a little baby Aspen tree my Dad planted in our yard and see the green buds of summer sprouting on it... it's so awesome I am thankful for life.
1. I am thankful for the smell of summer and how the sun feels warm on my skin.
2. I am thankful for my husband and his awesome heart and how much he loves his family.
3. I am thankful for my minivan... even though the windshield is cracked and it makes this clunky noise when I turn the steering wheel. It carries my family safely where we need to go.
4. I am thankful for my daughter's teachers who help her understand things about nature and math and reading and how important it is to learn.
5. I am thankful for God's love every day.
6. I am thankful for family and friends who may be far away but are so special to us.
7. I am thankful for my kids who love each other so much and when they are 7 and 5 still love to play together and laugh with each other and are kind to one another. (mostly)
8. I am thankful for this baby Josie. Little girl... I cannot wait to meet you.
9. I am thankful that God made me a Mommy. That I am blessed with this awesome responsibility, having my children has draws me nearer to Him than I could have ever imagined.
10. I am thankful that I can be a Mom to all kids... a Mom who knows when a child needs a hug, a smile, "knuckles" or a snuggle. What a precious gift.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A scare and a prayer...

My friends and I were just talking the other day about how unpredictable life can be. How one moment your life looks one way and the next... it can change on a dime. So many things can side track our lives. In most cases I believe it is the "accuser" trying to "kill, steal and destroy" our lives. But even in these terrible circumstances we know that God is allowing it to happen, but making "good" things come out of it. Even when we cannot see the good. I heard about a lady that worked in a doctor's office for cancer patients and she said that as a result of someone walking through an illness like cancer... so much good came out of it. Relationships were healed, families were reunited, people poured their love on one another. It just blow me away that no matter what... God promises He will make good in the times we need him most.

Well, on Sunday night I felt SUPER sick. I had been advised that my iron levels were low so over the weekend I took iron 2x per day. I was supposed to go in on Monday to have my levels checked again and they said they wanted to do some further tests on my blood. Sunday night I threw up and woke up with a slight fever and felt nauseous. I was short of breath and felt like every breath I took was a tough one. I tried to nap but my heart was pounding in my chest. I had never felt this yucky.

I talked to BK and we decided to his Mercy Emergency room for further investigation. We went to the emergency room and they admitted me. Apparently being 7 months pregnant and informing them I was "short of breath" and potentially anemic was something they needed to look into further. Oh yeah... my blood pressure was low and my heart rate was high so they needed to konw more.

The doc came in and told me that they needed to do blood tests, that apparently untreated anemia can cause the heart to work overtime. Anemia makes it so your blood does not create enough red blood cells and he noted that my hemoglobin levels were low too. He told me that they wanted to take an xray of my heart and give me an EKG to see if my heart was enlarged or if there was any damage to my heart. They had taken like six vials of blood. I just kept praying that God would make these tests come back OK. I had peace. The doctor kept looking at me to see if I was going to meltdown on him, he was very concerned. He wanted to prepare me for the worst. But I had this total peace in all of it. I know it was the Lord.

In the meantime more blessings were coming our way. For about two hours we had phone calls, texts, and emails to friends who love us calling us to offer to take the kids, calling to offer a meal, calling to support both of us telling us people were praying. In those two hours I believe God was answering prayer. I believe the God who loves me and my family and this baby was working behind the scenes to protect this family. It could go either way... I could be in heart failure and there would be major changes to be made... or life could go on as it was. Either way God would be working in all of it.

After the couple of hours of IV fluids and waiting for tests and an xray of my chest... the results came back. The doctor told me that all of the blood work came back great. He actually appeared surprised that given all of the symptoms I had... his scientific theory was wrong. My anemia was gone. I was at a normal range for a pregnant woman. My blood was making red blood cells. My heart xray came back looking very normal. Apparently this low blood pressure, high heart rate thing was just something I may have to be careful about in this pregnancy. That I needed to take it slow in the next two months. Get lots of rest drink lots of fluids and keep taking my iron. I think I can handle that.

I believe in God. I believe in Him even when I do not see Him. Thank you God for your protection your love and how you are working behind the scenes when we can't even see it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The last trimester and all that comes with it!

The saga continues. I had my last monthly visit to the doctor yesterday. From this point forward we are meeting every two weeks to monitor baby Josie's progress in my tummy. The other day Toby said, Mommy... your tummy is getting really big.. and Mommy... your butt is getting really big too. He didn't say it to hurt my feelings. He just said it very matter of factly. He tells me the truth and I love him. So observant, so honest he just loves me no matter how big or "fluffy" I get. It makes me chuckle. I told him that God made my booty as big as my belly so I wouldn't tip over.

Anyway, the proof is in the pudding. Because I had my "weigh in" yesterday and the doc said I am right on track for the amount of weight I have gained. I took my gestational diabetes test and they drew blood. I was called promptly afterward so they could let me know that my iron levels were "alarmingly low." The nurse told me to start taking Iron pronto. We will check blood again on Monday. Iron and I are not friends. Iron made me sick for three months, it's a tad bit constipating but my trade off will be hopefully some more energy. To be completely honest, the call about my iron levels scared me. I always think about how it might be effecting Josie. I just said a little prayer that God would keep her safe and give her everything she needs inside me. I have no idea how my sugars are in the diabetes test so I'm still waiting on that information. We'll keep you posted.

As we near the tail end of this pregnancy, we have a lot of things coming up, softball season... (BK will play Tuesdays and Sundays) Our big garage sale postponed to the last Saturday in May. Lots going on in Children's ministry and church, Grace's 7th birthday party and my brother is coming back from college in a couple of weeks. We are also looking for a nanny or someone who can help us when I have to go back to work after maternity leave. We just enrolled Toby in a Saturday morning Karate course which I am thrilled about because he loves it. It's called Little Dragons. It's a class for kids 4-6. I missed the ball on Soccer this spring so we thought we'd kick off the season and try this. I think we'll get the kids in swimming lessons again this summer and girl scouts for Grace.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What's next... the days following the conference

So, my friends Jinny, Jo, Jill and I all traveled about 13 hours east to Grapevine Texas to attend a kind of big church called F*llowship church for a conference... Uh... yeah it was big... about 15,000-20,000 members! More members in this one church than we have in the town of Durango.

I knew God was preparing me for this adventure. But little did I know how much He would direct me once I arrived. We were greeted by smiling faces. The Children's ministry at this church is like Disneyland landed in Texas. They truly make church fun for kids and I was totally inspired. They had worship music, incredible speakers and dramas lots of fun. We kind of tag teamed the conference all splitting up to go do different general sessions to learn as much as we could so we could inform each other of everything we had learned. It was great.

I came out of each session with my mouth gaping open... my mind racing of all of the cool things we could incorporate at our church to take our children/family ministry to the next level. Kick it up a notch. Much of what they were talking about was simple principles that Jesus taught us. Make disciples of men. How did he do it? By relationships. Good ones honest relationships that were loving compassionate forgiving and fun.

We spent two days at the conference and by the end of it, we were totally invigorated, but totally exhausted. We made the trip back... and thankfully my awesome friends let me make a bed in the back of the mini van so I could get my "naps" in as I needed them.

I guess the main thing I learned at this conference is that we ALL need to make an effort when it comes to kids and ministry and discipleship. The choice we make to love everyone (adults and kids included) despite our circumstances during the day makes a huge impact and is something I believe is pretty rare in our culture. So, moving forward I am going to make the effort to love "beyond" my circumstances. To read my Bible which will help me stay in that place of understanding and to look to the future and all it holds and continue to ask God to direct my path daily so it is pleasing to Him.

I was so blessed to get this opportunity to spend time with friends, learn a whole lot about what it means to minister to kids and families and listen to the quiet whisperings God has placed on my heart. This journey is going to be a fun... and my best adventure yet.