Thursday, December 29, 2011

to do

be unlike you now and then
wear colored socks
take the scenic route
listen to beethoven
watch the sunrise
buy new shoes
feed the birds
call your mother
eat something new
wear a dress
drink wine
walk in the rain
sing out loud
sleep in

Monday, December 5, 2011


man it's been a tough week! we were blind sided by three different sets of circumstances in the last seven days that sent us reeling.

last monday we received an email informing us that havvn was closing its doors. we have been with this company since the very beginning and, with no prior notice that anything was wrong, we were completely taken aback by the news. having been on the products for more than four years we have seen marked results both in our own health and in the health and lives of those close to us. having put so much time and effort into this company and working with people who have such high standards regarding health we are left completely disappointed that things we have come to rely on are no longer at our disposal. we have also had to watch as people close to us, who financially relied on this company, try to decipher what comes next. it has really shown me that there are no guarantees in life.

toward mid week it was brought to our attention that both keith and doug had resigned from the pastoral staff at bridgepoint. the first few days i was in utter shock. that is news that i never in a million years thought i would ever hear. having ministered closely with keith and chrisanna for seven years i know their hearts and i know that this was an agonizing decision to make. sitting in the meeting last night i wept for the legacy that is ending, for the absence that will be so hard to fill and for the friends that we have come to love over the years. psalm 30:5 says ...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. though it's hard to say goodbye, god has a special plan for them and i look forward to watching them write the next chapter in their lives.

and lastly, though not as great as the other hiccups in our week, our car died last night. on the way to my parent's yesterday afternoon the lights on the dash seemed dim. i told rob he should brighten them thinking that they had somehow been turned down. he tried and the radio went off. that can't be good. my parents only live about five miles from us and by the time we made the ten minute drive to their house we had no radio, heat, speedometer or anything else. we were running a little late so took my parents car and decided to worry about the car after church. we got back and rob jumped it but within two minutes it had stopped running. we jumped it again and hurried to try and drive it home but even make it out of their subdivision before we lost everything including headlights. rob's dad helped him tow it home and they think it's the alternator. please please please let it be the alternator.

in the last week things have surprised us and hit us hard but they have not surprised our god. he knew these things were coming and, though we may not know where we go from here, he certainly does. i take comfort in knowing that he guides us and does what's best for us even if it hurts sometimes. a song that we sang a couple weeks ago at church keeps coming to mind so i will leave you with its precious words.

never once

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a penny saved

we have been saving change for about a year now. we've gone to a mostly cash system so we have a fair amount coming home with us. i decided to pull it out and count it so we could use that money for our texas trip. this is what we started out with. a full jelly belly jar and a half full glass jar.

the kids and i separated and stacked and ended up with this.

doesn't look like much does it? we started rolling and adding and we came up with...
can you believe it?! and that was before we added the pennies. we had another $12 in pennies giving us a grand total of

cha ching!

unfortunately on vacation that will last us about 8 minutes, but it's $290 we didn't have to come up with. doing a happy dance!

Monday, November 14, 2011


we have put together shoe boxes for operation christmas child for several years now. this year was no different. we loaded up in the car yesterday and headed to target to buy lots of goodies to fill our boxes.

mistake number 1: my expectations were too high.
mistake number 2: i didn't explain things, very basically, to the kids on the way there. why we do it(although they should already know), who they are going to(there has to be a video somewhere right?), etc.

we get to target and austin doesn't even want to get out of the car. um, what? we have three boxes, three kids, the third box is yours. he didn't want to. i threatened him with death if he didn't get his rear end out of the car and we finally made it into the store. i tried explaining to him who they were going to. the kids around the world that have absolutely nothing. and you know what i got from him? nothing. so box number three was mine.

we started in the dollar section and picked up a few things then went strolling through the rest of the store looking for more stuff. and before i knew it i was about ready to walk out that door and never look back. the only one who was any help was emily. if i let her get everything she wanted we would have had to pack a container and ship it ourselves. taylor was ok until we got to the pens and pencils. he wants a mechanical pencil. bad. the kid put it on his christmas list. he saw several that he liked and i repeatedly told him that we weren't there for him. he could get a pencil anytime. we were there packing boxes for needy kids. so he mumbes something under his breathe and starts sulking. austin is following us around like a lost puppy and only opens his mouth when he sees the new playstation call of duty game.

for the love of pete!

i left that store so disappointed. and it was as much in myself as it was in them. i made my children that way. i've made them self centered beings who want everything and have no idea how to give to others.

how do i fix that? how do i teach them that it's not all about them?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


she has wanted them for a long, long time. over a year. probably closer to two. i had lots of excuses as to why i didn't want her to get them. she has a horrific cowlick, bangs actually have to be done, i loved her hair all one length. she continued to beg. i finally had to give in to the poor girl. we made an appointment with skye's cousin and it was set for a saturday afternoon.

this is my scraggly girl before. please note that i had been gone all morning and got home with just enough time to pick her up and get her there. don't judge me.

 and this is my precious girl after.

how could i ever have said no tho this? her cowlick is still super crazy and it takes some work to get her bangs to lay down like they should but she just loves them and so do i.

Monday, November 7, 2011


a good friend of mine has a great tradition. every sunday night the whole fam damily(as my grandma used to say) gets together for dinner.

i started thinking about my own family and it's lack of togetherness. i lived within fifteen miles of siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles and sometimes we would go months without seeing each other. people were "busy", no one had any time to drop by and see each other so our lives went on solo with no intersection with those that should be closest to us.

i finally decided that it would happen no more. i got together with my mom and aunt and we decided to give family dinners a go. that was over a year ago and we are still going strong. but let me say that it hasn't always been easy. we try to rotate houses but my mom and i have done the majority of them. it's not always easy to feed 25 people every other week or to plan them in the beginning when it's still new and to keep them going when no one wants to host anymore but we have gotten through all of that and grown better for it.

i love the feeling of togetherness. we know what's going on on every one's lives. we laugh, we talk and sometimes we bicker but that is what family is about right? the good, the bad and the ugly. all for one and one for all. we have lost a few people in the process. roc moved back to oklahoma and how i miss having her there each week. jim, theresa and the kids are on their adventure so we don't get to see them like we want to but we know they will be home soon and back in the mix. we gained some too. uncle kelly used to not come at all and now he is one of the biggest supporters. looking back at all the years we were all so distant makes me sad but looking forward to all the years we will have from here on out makes me very, very happy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


i have always loved to travel. go here, see that, then come home. i've noticed lately, though, that it's starting to change. i have the urge to not just leave for a week but to really have a change. i tell rob quite frequently that i would love for him to be transferred for a couple years. and it could be almost anywhere. they have a plant in scotland and i wanted to go so bad that i got online and looked at housing. what fun to know we could leave for a while, have some fun and come home.

 i read a few blogs about families living abroad and, i have to admit, i'm a little jealous. i read about their lives in a foreign land. i read about their troubles and hardships. i read about the adventures and the wonderful times they have. i read about the sights they get to see and the things they get to do. italy, germany, china, france. can you imagine? i certainly can. but if that day never comes i guess i will just keep dreaming.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

by joe i think we've got it

taylor has asked us in many years past if he could play basketball. after the career that rob had you'd think we would jump on that band wagon, but we didn't, especially after he started playing football and lacrosse. those two sports take up so much time that i wanted the couple months in between to be uncommitted. this year there were a couple of kids that he plays football and lacrosse with that were playing basketball together too. their team just happened to need a coach. hmmmm. one of the moms talked rob into coaching and within five days of football ending we were back at practice.

it's been a little crazy trying to get the team together because it was so last minute but we finally figured things out and managed to get in three practices before our first game last saturday. i try to watch a little at practice but end up talking to the other parents most of the time so i've never really seen what kind of player taylor is. i wasn't expecting much when rob finally put him to the game.

boy was i wrong.

he is his father's son.

he got out there and went crazy. he was stealing balls, his defense was spectacular and he hit a fade away jumper that was nothing but net. it was unbelievable. whose kid is that?!

 and to top it all off i couldn't get my camera to take a decent non blurry picture.

note to self: figure out how to work your camera this week.

taylor has loved football from the moment he started playing but he just isn't aggressive enough. he doesn't have the tough mentality for it. if he sees a kid that's bigger than him it's all over.

he loves lacrosse too. he has the speed you need for that game but sometimes you have to get in there and not only throw some punches but take some as well and he's just not quite there in lacrosse either.

but basketball. basketball fits him. he has the speed and he has the ability. he doesn't have to worry about someone three times his size trying to take him down. he doesn't have to worry about getting whacked with a metal stick. it's just him, a ball and a basket. and i can't wait to see where it takes him.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

i love to laugh

remember that song from mary poppins?

i was singing it the other day. i don't remember how i even got it stuck in my head but i started thinking about how much i love to laugh. it's one of my favorite things. there isn't anything much better than laughing. especially uncontrollable laughter.

i saw a print that said something about "there's nothing better than laughing when you aren't supposed to" and i thought how true that was. it immediately brought me to a situation that took place at church a couple years ago. skye and i were at the saturday service sitting in the second row with no one in front of us. she yawned and a button on her sweater popped off. and i don't just mean the thread came loose.

it. went. flying.

talk about dying.

we tried to control it, we really did. but there was no possible way. pastor jeff probably thought we were being so rude but we couldn't help it. it was pure, uncontrollable, shaking, tears streaming down my cheeks laughter. i spent the next twenty minutes getting myself under control and, just when i thought i was ok, i would think about it and lose it all over again.

those are some of the best times.

Monday, October 24, 2011

done and done

the boys had a great season this year. they finished the season 5-1-1, including scoring on a team that hasn't been scored on for two years. we were so blessed to get on the team we have been apart of for three years now. i believe whole heartedly that we have the best coaching staff in optimist football. we also have the best parents. i can't wait to watch these boys as they go through middle school and high school. they rock!

coach buss wanted our boys to be noticed this year. hellooooo green socks! the boys loved them and definitely got them a few looks. waiting to see what next year will bring.

a new thing this year was getting to play a scrimmage during half time of the mountain view game. it happened to be on the 'tough enough to wear pink' night so they were decked out. emily had decided that one year of cheer was enough but after this night i'm not so sure. she loved being out on that field cheering.

this is all the coaches and their kids. pretty great group of people.
from day one they have done this cheer. i love hearing them do it. so simple yet so them, so until next season...
raiders! give yourselves a hand!
(clap clap clap!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


a friend and i went out the other day for lunch and a shopping trip to a new decor store. they have lots and lots of christmas stuff so we went to take a peak. my friend started talking about christmas trees and asking if i put ribbon in my tree. she had no intentions of sounding stuffy but the more she talked about ribbon and birds and color schemes the more i started thinking that i need to put a tree upstairs for all of our current mismatched and hodgepodge ornaments and get a tree for the living room that is themed.

a grown up tree.

a fancy tree.

and then i started thinking about our current ornaments. and how much i love them. you see, those ornaments are not merely random things to hang on a tree. they represent milestones and memories of our little family. they consist of ornaments that rob and i made when we were growing up, ornaments from our travels together and different stages and phases that the kids have been through.
they are snap shots of our lives. pictures that, each year, allow us to take a walk down memory lane.
 and they mean the world to me.

so this year when we put up our tree we will once again walk down memory lane and i will, once again, be thankful for those ornaments and the memories that they hold and i will go to bed on christmas eve giddy with happiness that this hodgepodge tree sits in our living room.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

ear ache

a conversation on the way home from football practice.

emily-what does it feel like to have an ear infection?
jen-your ear hurts really bad.
e-oh, ok.
j-why? does your ear hurt? arm does.

Friday, September 23, 2011

goodbye summer

we didn't get to get up to the lake much this summer but we weren't about to let summer go without giving it a proper send off.
this was the first time emily and taylor had been on a tube. as you can see by their faces they had a blast!

my girl. 

i have to tell you the story of the white shorts. we were on the boat and pregnant skye had to go to the bathroom. really bad. we were stopped so marc told her to just get in the water and go. she stands up and pulls off her shorts and marc goes "skye! where are your bottoms?!" she looks down and quickly pulls her shorts back up. turns out she left her bottoms on the dryer at home and only had on her cotton undies and shorts. we'll be laughing about that one for years to come.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

give me an E!

well there she is. my girl, the cheerleader.
does she love it? no
but she has fun and it keeps her busy during the games. 

they look like a bunch of misfits don't they?
so precise in their technique :O)

 notice the socks?
they are construction worker yellow.
much brighter in person.
so loud.
it was the coaches idea.
he has a thing with socks.
he wanted the team to be noticed.
 they definitely get that job done.

 i just love this girl.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

my little funnies

taylor was upset with emily yesterday because she has been telling a girl down the street that taylor likes her. he denies it vehemently. so he was going on yesterday about emily telling abby that he likes her and emily was reading her book at the counter not paying much attention to him. taylor says "emily, i'm going to school tomorrow and telling luke that you love him". without looking up from her book emily says "he already knows".

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

another year begins

austin starting 10th grade. i don't know what is up with this child. i cannot seem to get him to take a normal picture. he only did this when i threatened him with death. fetching isn't it.

baby girl is starting 3rd grade this year. how the time flies. she picked out this shirt and has been dying to wear it.

and this guy is starting 6th grade. middle school. he was so nervous even though he is staying at the same school he's gone to since kindergarten. he's a funny kid.

and just like that they are gone.

ha! just kidding. i had to race to the school to catch them before they went in. it's tradition :O)
taylor, emily and hailey

taylor and matt
 and we can't forget joel.

Monday, August 22, 2011

emily's special day 8-21-11

emily decided she wanted to be baptized too. there was one more river baptism this year and that was where she wanted to do it. it was so great to have friends and family share such a momentous occasion with us!

emily and hailey

i was happy that austin came to watch her. even if it was from across the river.

the water was a little cold.

we were happy to have keith baptize her.

kiki got baptized today too!