28 May 2009


Relentless adj. 1 harsh; pitiless 2 not letting up; persistent.

Thanks to a push from a post by my blog friend, Helen, (and her very cute workout crew) I was inspired and purchased Jillian Michaels' 30-day shred DVD over the weekend.

I am proud to say that I am 4 days into Level one, and although sore, I am not dead yet. LOL When I told a friend of mine about my recent workout endeavor, her response was "Man, good for you; Jillian is relentless."

Being described as "TV's toughest trainer", I'm sure she relishes being described as persistent; maybe not so much the harsh part. She pushes you and gets results; it's obvious by the fact that her contestant has been the winner of the grand prize on the Biggest Loser tv show for the past several "seasons". She knows the results of working hard, not letting up, not taking the easy way out.

While I want to be relentless myself to get the best body I can, I am also struck by that maybe I need to be relentless in other areas of my life also.

Maybe I need to have a relentless attitude toward seeing that my children accept Christ's way for their lives and follow Him. Not to shove it down their throats, but through example, make sure they know that relationship with Him is possible and the ultimately the best way to live.

Maybe I need to be more focused on being the best ME that I can be, so that in turn, I can be a more patient and understanding wife and mom. Maybe it is true that the best thing I can do for my children is to first take care of me and second, nurture my relationship with their dad. Not to the detriment of my boys, but for them. Take the time for an outing with friends, continue to have a Saturday morning breakfast date with Jon. (That's getting to be the highlight of my week, I tell you!) Simply to do what I need to do for ME so that I in turn can give to them.

And all things being equal, I'm really enjoying getting in the tough workout.

26 May 2009

Let the battle begin.

At some point over the last couple of weeks, now that we don't have pool access, the pool "noodles" have become swords.

Normally it's just the two boys who engage in battle; one with the plastic $5 light saber and the other with the 2 noodles. They seem to have fun with it.

The fun increased 10 fold the other night when Daddy wanted to play too. Ya had to sorta be here, but take a look!

There was quite a bit of giggling and screaming like girls! (On Caleb's part, not Jon's-thankfully! LOL)

25 May 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Matthew had a band concert this last week. He did NOT tell me at the last minute that he was playing a special trumpet duet with his band instructor. I of course, did NOT "Woohoo!" incredibly loudly at the conclusion of said duet, to the dismay of Caleb because, "Mom, that was loud!" Not me!

I also did NOT get a little emotional during the marching band preview, seeing my kid in the band. Huh. Maybe I DON'T need to get out more, huh?

My in-laws came to town for the concert. That invokes the tradition of dinner out beforehand. When my mother-in-law made a comment about how much food Matthew can put away, Jon said to her, "mom, don't you remember myself and Scott D. at twelve?" She replied that she did, and "Oh, by the way, you wouldn't know S (his mom? or sister, I can't remember for sure), she looks even older than Lois." (her friend of 25+ years who was sitting across the table and had just bought dinner for all of us....who, btw, in my opinion, while a few short years older, looks younger than her "friend", my MIL.)

I, of course, do NOT burst into hysterical laughter at the look on Auntie Lois' face as she tried her best to feign insult and my MIL tries her best to recover said social gaffe.

Geez, with friends like that.......

Oh, and for the record, I did NOT see the name of a certain blogging buddy of mine* (whom I have yet to meet!) in the concert program and then spend most of the concert trying my best to discreetly scan the crowd for her. Only of course, for it to dawn on me the next morning that I wouldn't have seen her anyway, as she was out of town.....duh.

*(if you know who you are, and hopefully you do, can you PLEASE confirm (or deny) that it was you listed in the program?!? It's NOT been driving me batty.....)

21 May 2009

Lead On

Mornings around here involve three things; showers, breakfast and the news. Now, as of late, the local weather guy has been doing much more than just the weather and he's been getting on my nerves (mostly because he's the only one who thinks his jokes are funny), so we've taken to watching CNN most of the time.

I was struck by a story that aired there this week. A mama duck was leading her babies down a crowded street when all of the sudden, the babies were gone. They had all fallen into the storm drain.

Now, my immediate reaction was to say to Jon, "Didn't she realize that if she lead them over the drain, they'd fall in?" His reply was a flippant "Well, maybe she thought they wouldn't because she couldn't."

But then it hit me. Maybe it wasn't so much that she didn't expect them to fall in when she lead them over the drain as it was that maybe, just maybe one of them took their eyes off her for a split second and they all followed resulting in them having their own adventure, as it were.

Thinking that just maybe they knew best and then discovering that wasn't true.

And isn't that like humans in our ways? Following God on His path for us and then getting distracted by something- something small, sometimes something bigger- that takes us off the path and into the drain.

Just by taking our eyes off of Him for one second. And it can be innocent things that cause us to look away; busyness, worries, day to day stuff.

But if we don't get our eyes back on Him, we can meet our very own trip to the storm drain.

In case you didn't see the story, you'll be happy to know that city workers came and rescued the babies, all while the mama sat right next to the drain and waited.

God does that too, doesn't he? He waits.

He waits for us to come to Him. He waits for us to decide that life without Him is meaningless and that we can't do better on our own.

And when we're done with what we think is a little party in the drain, fed up with all that we think life should be-but it isn't- He is there to lead us as patiently as ever.

That's great news!

19 May 2009

Georgia Stuff on my mind.

I finally gave Caleb his summer haircut. I have yet to get a picture of it, but I will. It's amazing how I got used to seeing him with longer hair over the winter and now his haircut looks so different to me.

I'm headed into town in a bit to do a MAJOR grocery shopping trip. Do you stockpile items like pastas and soups? I do and we are dangerously low. So, as soon as I get finished with this post, I'm off.

Now on to the real reason for such a random post. A couple of things.

Please pray for the family of Louise. She went home to heaven late last week and I just found out yesterday through the wonder that is Facebook. She was a wonderful lady who ministered with her husband in the church where Jon and I were married; and she had bone cancer and was taken too soon. Pray for peace for her husband Dave and for her children Michelle and Danny. I know without a doubt that the party in heaven is greater with Louise there, but it is still sad for those left behind, you know?

And then the family of Brock. He's a guy that I went to highschool with; he was a junior when we were freshman. He passed away on Friday last week and leaves behind a wife and young sons. (I found that info via Facebook yesterday too. What a day.)

Then lastly, but maybe most urgent on my heart is my Mom. She's having the first 2 of 4 surgeries toward her right side reconstruction* done tomorrow afternoon. It's just outpatient procedures and I'm sure that Dad will be with her, but I'm still a bit more anxious than I should be. It's so hard to be 400+ miles away for things like this.

Thanks friends!


Cliffnotes: Mom was diagnosed with estrogen receptive breast cancer on November 22, 2004, just after her 50th birthday. She underwent 2 biopsies and ultimately a right side mastectomy on January 17, 2005. A course of chemotherapy and a hip replacement later, she is cancer free.

There were 2 things that she was adamant about when she was first diagnosed. She didn't want to lose her breast and she didn't want to lose her hair. When it came down to it, both of those things had to happen to keep her alive. But she was also fairly certain that it'd be some time before she was ready for the additional surgeries that reconstruction require.

And here we are. Thanks to ever advancing medical science, reconstruction methods have improved and she's ready. She's been told that the entire process can take up to 6 months and that most women start the process in the fall, due to there being some pretty obvious size descrepancies and what not. But I can tell you that she is NOT like most women, so she proceeds full speed ahead.

Tomorrow's surgeries will be to first insert the tissue expanders on her right side and then to give the left side a lift. She's pretty excited about the left side procedure! She's not sure of the timetable of the rest, but she's not worried- and she's tough!

18 May 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

As for me, while making breakfast for myself one morning last week, I did NOT scream a curse word when my egg rolled off the counter and smashed into the floor. That curse word was NOT the one that rhymes with “quit” either. I was NOT immediately repentant.

I most definitely did NOT find myself watching ‘Alice In Wonderland’ on the Disney channel this last week. Did I mention that I was NOT home alone at the time? ‘Alice In Wonderland’ is most assuredly NOT my most favorite Disney movie. Oh, and I don’t sing every single song in that movie either. How dumb would that be?

I did NOT suggest to Caleb this week that he just use a piece of my exercise equipment as a makeshift table for his dinner plate one night this week. We have NOT gotten into a terrible habit of watching television while eating dinner.

That was NOT ME! that you saw this last week in my flannel pants and ratty sweat shirt getting in my car to pick up my kid from track practice. I had NOT spent most of the day sleeping with a terrible cold and decided that I cared what others thought. Who really saw me anyway besides my neighbors?

I did NOT have a funny, creepy, interesting enlightening moment at the store this week that involved thinking about a post from a certain blogger with adorable hummus eating children and me purchasing said product. Oh and for those who have asked, it was NOT the roasted garlic variety and I did NOT find myself with the tub and a box of wheat thins mindlessly eating and enjoying every minute. No way. Oh, and Caleb's not in love with it either.

Being born in 1974 and being female, I got stuck with the most popular name that year. (At least my middle name has some originality, thank you Mom!) Turns out that it doesn’t really give me any stand-out power in the blogging world. And yes, I’ve always wanted a superpower. There are a million blogs out there signed by “Jen”. Ugh. So guess what? I did NOT change my sign-in name to the name that my Grandpa has called me since I was born. It was NOT the most creative that I felt with this swine flu head cold that I have had for a week. Oh, and for the record, I don't think it really made a difference, but I'm keeping it anyway.

14 May 2009

That's awfully random!

Ya know, this blogging thing IS kinda cool. Recently, since I find myself keeping up with so many blogs, I very recently had an experience which, by association, made me feel a bit crazy.

I was in the grocery store yesterday and while perusing the blocks of Parmesan cheese for the smallest aka cheapest one, I spotted the hummus.

Now, I know people that eat hummus and love it and I also know people who would rather shove bamboo under their finger nails than digest the stuff. I myself have never tried it.

But as I'm standing at the case, I'm thinking "Man....if Mckmama can get her kids to eat this stuff,maybe it is good."

I don't know Mckmama IRL. (in real life)
But I stalk, I mean follow, her blog.
Consequently, I've never met her handsome, hummus loving boys.
The only proof that I have that they eat the stuff is this pic.
And that's all.

Does that make me crazy? To associate something with someone I've never met? I felt a little bit like the men in white coats were going to pop from behind the case and escort me from the store.
Maybe I need a new hobby? Nah.

12 May 2009

Look on the bright side!

Caleb was so excited to give me a plant for Mother’s Day that he had taken care of at school. For days, he hinted that I was “just going to love” my Mother’s Day gift. So imagine my shock on Friday when he emerges from the bus and I see that he is sobbing as he’s coming down the sidewalk carrying the plant in a plastic cup. I don’t even get a chance to ask him what happened; he blurts out “Now I’m afraid that you won’t like it!”

In an effort to make it perfect for me, he was patting the soil down and somehow the one flowering bud snapped off and was lying in the cup. Of course there’s nothing that we can do about that, but I assured him that I did still love the plant and that maybe this other teeny, tiny flowering bud would make an effort; so we’d plant it anyway, flowering blooms or not.

So that’s what we did. Took this tiny, now just green looking flower and dug a hole for it in the window box. We watered it just as much as we would any other plant, and Caleb was all smiles again by the time we finished.

Now, we’ll just wait and see what happens.

That’s what moms do, don’t they? They do their best to make good out of a not-so-good situation. Dry the tears and look on the bright side; it can’t be as bad as all that!

I really hope, for Caleb's sake, that the plant stays alive. He has a pachyderm's memory, so that's best. But if it doesn't; that's okay too. We'll remedy it somehow. It's the thought that counts!

11 May 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Yes friends, it's that time again!

Last weekend, Caleb did NOT discover that his front tooth was loose. After I repeatedly told him NOT to play with it, that's exactly what he couldn't resist.
Monday morning, he "can't eat, my tooth is too loose". We did NOT try to have Daddy take it out the rest of the way to no avail. But I was surprised when he arrived home that afternoon looking like a jack o'lantern.

When I asked him what happened to his tooth, he told me that he lost it at school. Assuming that, I asked where his tooth ended up. I was NOT totally confused when I received the same reply to my second question as the first. Turns out, his tooth had NOT fallen out and his teacher had NOT given him a tooth sack to keep it in. My son was NOT swinging said tooth sack and what do ya know, the tooth did NOT disappear. Huh.

Here's where the NOT ME! part comes in. I did NOT in any way imply, insinuate or otherwise indicate that maybe, just maybe, the tooth fairy wouldn't visit when there was no tooth for her to pick up. He didn't seem very heart broken at this news, but looked me straight in the eye and said, "I'll just have Daddy call her."

I suppose I should tell you that on more than one occasion, Jon has forgotten to put the money under Caleb's pillow, so the first time, I just told him to "call Daddy and ask him to call the TF and remind her to stop by. I'm sure that with so many first graders losing teeth, she was just extra busy last night."

That's worked just fine. Whew!

Oh, and for the record, the tooth fairy did NOT come, but she left the dollar at the dining room table since there wasn't any reason for her to go upstairs. He'sShe's so smart.

10 May 2009


Thanks Mom!

For loving me.

For always knowing that I could do anything I set out to do.

For teaching me about God.

For giving me my sister and brother.

For loving our Dad.

For Shelly, my handmade (by you) Cabbage Patch Doll.

For all the hours you practiced solos with me.

For your work as our choir accompanist all through my high school years.

For not yelling when I had my first car accident in your car, Easter Sunday, 1993.

For letting me come home after a year of partying and not studying in college.

For taking the time to make my beautiful wedding dress and all the arrangements when Jon and I were "not wanting to wait" to get married.

For calmly talking me through many a moment of Matthew's first 5 years.

For being right next to me for Caleb's birth when I was so scared.

For being an incredibly loving and patient and FUN grandma!

For being just as excited for us as we were for ourselves when we bought our home.

For being just a phone call away.

I love you!

08 May 2009

Flashback Friday- thanks Mom!

Mom's(Grandma) talking to Caleb about the "price of tea in China".

Reading "The Monster at the end of this book" to my nephew Sean and to Matthew.

Mom (and Dad) did a great job raising us on a pastor's meager salary. We learned the important things and turned out pretty okay. (ahem. I think...)

Thanks, Mom!

07 May 2009

Happy Birthday!

This post is in honor of my husband's 35th birthday. (Pssss, don't tell him I told you.)

Considering that we have been together since just before his 20th birthday,(I soooo wish that I could show you those pictures!) to be turning 35 together is a big deal! Or at least it is to me. He'd just rather have stayed 34, I guess. You know, cuz 34 is sooooo much younger and all that.


Happy birthday, honey; the boys and I love you very much!

06 May 2009

Wordless Wednesday- the whole tooth truth

**So sorry for the "up the nose" shot!

05 May 2009

Who's holding your rope?

In our tiny, 50+ member church we are privileged enough to have one of the premier Sunday School teachers for the state teaching the adult class. This past Sunday's lesson was particularly good.

Based off Galatians 5:16-25*, we were talking about the tug of war that Paul writes of in the passage; being led by the Spirit or driven by the acts of the sinful nature.

The one has nothing in common with the other. You can't be in step with the Spirit and a friend of the world at the same time. One is going to win over the other always. And you don't have to be in the power struggle with both.

If you give the rope to God.

Once you do, it gets easier to stay in step with Him; not by our power but through the power of the Holy Spirit. And when we hear the call of the world and it begins the tug at our hearts, the best thing to do is to give the OTHER end of the rope to God as well. Then we know that we are not in control, but can rest assured that He is.

Then we can live with the fruit of the Spirit in us, since we have yielded full control of ourselves to God. I don't know about you, but He does a LOT better job at managing me than I can do myself.

Who holds your rope?

*So I say, live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are lead by the Spirit, you are not under law.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissention, factions and envy; drunkeness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-25 NIV.

04 May 2009

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week was tougher than most.

When my parents visited last month, my dad suggested that maybe the buildup of dirt and wood chips around the foundation of our home wasn't the best thing for the nearly new siding. And that maybe our basement would have more light if the windows weren't all covered up by said dirt and crap.

I figured he knew what he was talking about, but I just filed that information into a big. getting bigger. ginormous. little folder called "do in fall". You know, since there are lilies planted in most of the spots and I have so few so many of those.

So, you know me. On Thursday, I did NOT take on the project of digging out the basement windows which was really a project for people who care about landscaping more that just little ole me.

It started out well. I was placing the wood chips into one of those 55 gallon black bags that, according to the Fleet Farm clerk should only be used on a farm...hmmm. Okay, I got sick of that quickly and as you can see, just started making piles of chips and then piles of dirt. And more piles. And more.

Three windows, you know. Each covered by about 3 inches of hard packed wood chips and then about 6" of dirt, some of which was backing up under the siding. Each. Dear god.

Oh, and I did NOT leave said piles for Jon to view when he arrived home. His light-hearted quip was "Either we need an exterminator, or you've been working outside." ha. ha. (So funny I forgot to laugh.)

And for the record, I did NOT count that as my intentional exercise for the day nor did I end up with gigantic mosquito bites in unmentionable places. (How DOES that happen?!?!)

I also did NOT find the following treasures in the dirt while working: a spade (the garden kind, not the card suit), styrofoam chunks, two metal rods and two 4" pots, one of which was labeled "peppermint". Burried IN the dirt. Not me.

Between the two of us this week, Jon and I did NOT end up digging up most of what the previous owners of our home had planted in the yard. Bushes and everything. Not us.

I'm fairly certain that my mother-in-law, who was born in the 1800's with a green thumb will most assuredly NOT have a panic attack when she sees what we've done.

That old "my house, my rules" thing.

03 May 2009

The more things change

On Friday, I showed Matthew the pictures that I posted for Flashback Friday this last week. When I asked him if he remembered me taking them, he looked a little sad.

When I asked him what he was thinking, he sighed and said, "The only thing I remember is that Daddy didn't come home at night until I was in bed. You know, because he was working AND going to school. You remember, right Mom?"

"I sure do," I told him. "And don't feel bad," I added. "Remember that now Daddy barely makes it home before Caleb goes to bed."

He chuckled and left the room.

That got me thinking. As frustrated as I get sometimes that Jon is overworked and underpaid, these days, most nights he *does* make it home before Caleb goes to bed.

In part, thanks to daylight savings time. But however it works, that's a good thing.