Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cyber World

As we were bustling through Costco today, attempting to check off the grocery list before Emmitt's doctor's appointment, I overheard another mother say to her cart surrounded with children.  "No, honey, we're going to try and make some homemade pop tarts.  I saw Anna's mommy post it on her blog and it looked like such a great idea!"

Aw. I smiled, and probably even chuckled to myself.  This is the epitome of motherhood today, right?  It's our virtual world.  The way we stay in touch with other Mommy-friends.  Madi loves to look at Emma's pictures with me... and homemade pop tarts?  Pretty much everyone attempts to be all-natural these days!  (Or is it just the Pacific Northwest? Jess?) I almost stopped her just to ask where I could find the recipe.  Meh, I have google.

What DID moms do thirty years ago?  Okay, okay, besides laundry, and housework, and dishes, and cooking, and grocery shopping, and sewing projects, and attempting to take the mundane tasks of life and teach valuable lessons to their children... I get it! And yes, I'll admit, I'd be much more productive if we didn't have an internet connection at our house, but the thought of it sort of scares me, not gonna lie!  A world surrounded by the walls of my house?!?!  Oh the things I would focus on... or would I?  I'm sure I would find other distractions. It's innate, right?

On that note, I love blogging.  I love that I've created a database of memories that we can scroll through and reminisce about.  I love reading other blogs and seeing friends' pictures or hearing about their life.  I love reading online articles or frugal mommy blogs that share the latest cyber deals or money saving tips!  It feels so natural and limitless.  While tutoring this morning, my student mentioned that he can't wait for when he is older and can say to someone younger, "Yeah, I was alive in 2012" and have them think that sounds SO long ago.  He then informed met hat he was born in 1999 and I explained to him what Y2K was and that I was alive before computers.  Jaw dropped.  Conversation over. Back to the books.

Why do I make myself sound so old sometimes?!?

I'm going to leave you with some of my favorite "cyber" posts lately.  This is why I love the internet! kThey're a bit random, but I enjoyed them all! =)

First off, MamaNatural videos.  Oh. So. Funny.  Fair warning, these may make absolutely NO sense to you, but in the "baby world" these are buzz words! Enjoy Mama friends! =)

A random blog:

I stumbled across this article over the weekend and loved reading it!  Matt's almost done with basketball "season" for the year and I can tell I've been getting less-patient with my kiddos.  I felt convicted when I read this and I was reminded of all I have to be THANKFUL for!

A random article:

A friend posted this on Facebook a couple weeks ago and I laughed aloud a couple times.  I'll admit, I haven't let myself get into Pinterest.  Not because I doubt that it's the coolest thing around these days, but because I know I'd waste way too much time on there!  I have used it twice: once to search for a tri-tip recipe and once to attempt to find a cool way to hang/organize our pathetic packback/school bag disaster-ness... that, unfortunately, was an epic fail.  I got frustrated (I was using the app on my phone) and gave up!

All that to say, this article was a great reminder of a heavenly focus! Thanks, Sarah! =)


So... what are your favorite things to waste time doing at the computer?!?!  Or am I the only one that loves my internet connection?

Friday, February 24, 2012

SIX Months!

It's crazy how fast time flies by!  Seriously, crazy! In just another short six months Emmitt will be ONE! A whole year old! 

I like to think it will take forever to get here, but it really won't...

Until then, we'll savor every moment of this sweet boy's baby stage!  

He's cute.

He's cuddly.

He giggles.

He laughs.

He smiles. 

He glares.

He coos.

He grunts (oh man, does he grunt).

He rolls.

He lunges.

He crawls.

He loves to stand.

He thinks his sister is the funniest thing ever... even when she's "not funny".

He loves being cuddled and he gets nursed to sleep pretty much for every nap (exactly what I swore I'd never do!)

But pretty much, he's just the sweetest thing!

Thanks for all the smiles, Em! You sure do make us smile!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just in Time!

It's amazing how the sun tends to come out at just the right time.  I know I can't really complain much about our weather this winter.  We've had lots of beautiful days, but deep down inside I know that any day now it's going to start raining and never. stop.

Or as Matt puts it, as soon as the first day of track rolls around the faucets will turn on for the next three months.  And he's right. 

Yesterday was awfully gloomy though.  So gloomy that I wasted WAY too much of my day looking for tropical escape packages that we won't be taking.  Cabo San Lucas, San Diego, San Antonio, Las Vegas, anywhere with a lazy river was exactly where I wanted to be.  Good use of time, right? 

Thankfully the clouds broke sometime this morning and the sun popped through just in time for lunch to end and me to tell these two to grab their boots and head to the backyard!

Don't let this guy fool you.  He might look cute, but he has a tail that can hit you at 90 mph like you didn't know what was coming! I overheard Matt say to someone the other day, "If it were up to Jules, she'd put this guy on craigslist and give him away for free and not bat an eyelash, but she knows how much he means to Madi and me."

It's true.  

They're lucky I love them. 

Cause I hate dog hair!

Anyway, it was perfect.  We pretended it was summer and somehow the hose even got pulled out.  I acted like I didn't notice and just kept snapping pictures.  

They're young.

And resilient. 

A little water never hurt anyone!

I lounged on the floor in our dining room and enjoyed the sweet rays with the backdoor open.  It wasn't exactly a beach on the Sea of Cortez, but it'll do for this February day...

Meanwhile, this little guy thought he was pretty funny when he crawled under the table and got stuck.  

I'm pretty sure he can't wait to tottle around the backyard in his big sister's footsteps!

Soon enough, baby boy. 

Soon enough!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oh. How. He. Loves. US.

My heart has been heavy today. I've been tutoring students through our school district since about October and I have been blessed with a steady flow of kiddos ever since I started.  Unfortunately for them, lately, it has meant that they've done something stupid to earn an expulsion.  When I was first presented with the idea of tutoring 7th and 8th grade boys that had been expelled, I cringed. I'm not gonna lie.  I roll-played all the possible things they could say to me and what I would respond with, but much to my surprise I have learned that they're all just kids still.  Kids that made mistakes.  Some of them are resentful, others, not so much... nonetheless, I've identified my role in their lives, and that is to hopefully bring a little bit of sunshine to not-so-sunny situations.  

Today, I went to the office to tutor and bumped into a former student's grandmother.  I've been lucky to know this family since my first year of teaching and I've had two of their kiddos in my own class over the past five years.  Although their situation is far from normal (for lack of a better term), and although choices have brought certain circumstances that are indescribable, I can't help but think about how BIG our God is and how much he cares for everyone of them.  

This Grandma informed me that yesterday, her grandson, who is twelve years old, attempt to take his own life because he wanted to be dead that bad.  Thankfully 24 anti-depressants wasn't enough to make his small body stop working, and evidently he reacted by throwing most of it up, but the idea that his life is not worth living is completely unfathomable to me.  I have no idea what it is like to want to die. I have no idea what it is like to be alone. I have no idea what it's like to be twelve and not even have a mother. I have no idea what it would be like to have gone through a quarter of what he has experienced in his life that is less than half as short as mine. No. Idea. 

What I do know is that this boy is angry. Angrier than anyone I have ever met. Nothing and no one has made him show resentment and he is bound and determined to not give in.  He shows respect to no one, not even his frail grandmother. He is the epitome of a little boy playing tough guy

I asked his Grandma if he was taking visitors at the hospital and she said he was.  My student this morning happened to cancel at the last minute, so I said a prayer and drove up to the top of the hill.  I wanted him to know that someone cares. I wanted him to know that he's loved and I wanted him to know that people are praying for him.  

The most heart breaking part? He was all alone. He lives in a tiny house with almost a dozen other people and he was all alone in a white, cold hospital bed.  He responded almost exactly how I thought he would... barely any eye contact when I first got there.  I just started with some small talk and he responded with a few one word answers.  Within a few minutes he was commenting on things and carrying on in small conversation.  We were interrupted shortly with a mental health employee who wanted to speak with him alone.  I took it as my cue to leave, but made sure to tell him that I'm looking forward to seeing him next week to start tutoring and that I am praying for him.  

And I am.  My heart is pleading with God to work a miracle in his heart.  Because he needs nothing short of that.  I can say with confidence one of three things will happen in this boy's life: 1) He will be dead at a very young age. 2) He will be in prison (for a long time) before he is an adult. 3) God will work a miracle in his life and his heart will soften. 

I pray every time he comes to mind that it will be the last of those things.  Our God IS that big.  He's bigger than every single one of this boy's problems. I'm reminded of my favorite song (right now ;).  I can't find a decent YouTube video of it that's any shorter than this (and the video doesn't do anything, but show the same picture over and over - the song ends after about 6 minutes), but you get the idea. 

 One of my favorite lines is, "We are his portion and He is our prize. Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes." 

I pray he finds this grace!

On that note, I'm hugging my children a little tighter today, and holding them a little longer. I pray that they will grow to know just how much our God loves them, and that they will be able to share that with everyone they come in contact with. 

I can't leave you without any sweet pictures, so here's how we spent our afternoon yesterday!

Don't even get me started on this girl's style these days!!!

I suppose it's pretty minor in the grand scheme of things! ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day (a day late...)

We spent the afternoon (without napping) with Ramie, Judson and Cooper, so I can't really blame this picture on anyone but myself!  Daddy brought Madelyn home a balloon and I don't think he knew how interested in it Emmitt would be!  Oops...

I promise. We'll get him gifts when he's old enough to know! ;)

Madi shared for the most part...

We're working on it! 

Emmitt's officially crawling (slowly), although he's been mobile for quite some time now.  We are teaching Madi to nicely take toys away that Emmitt can't play with yet and put them in a safe place instead of disciplining the baby herself.  

Oh siblings.  I love watching them interact.  They actually play together already and Emmitt is always laughing at Madi.  Even when she's not trying to be "funny", which irritates her and she occasionally spouts off, "It's not funny, Emmitt. No laugh."  Which, in all honestly, is even funnier and generally encourages even more laughing, and thus the cycle spins 'round.  

Anyway... Happy Valentine's Day!  We enjoyed a nice tri-tip dinner with salad, cheese smashed potatoes and brownies!  Mmm... I think it's time to go eat the leftovers!

Oh, and I got a new pair of SHOES!!! =)

All-in-all, a great day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Mornings


I just love them. 

I may not get up early to go to work everyday anymore, but there is still something so sweet about Saturday mornings.  Probably because they're the only morning that we have together as a family so we generally all end up in our bed by sometime around 7:30 pretending that we are really sleeping through slobber, kicks to the face, giggling, "Dada, it's light outside. Time to wake up!", and eventually Dora on the ipad...

Yeah... we're pretty good at pretending. 

This Saturday fell right in synch with many other Saturdays.  When I was done pretending, I made sure the baby was fed and snuck off the bed and locked myself in the bathroom for almost an hour to clean it and then shower! 

Yup, just me and pandora. 

It's amazing the things moms look forward to...

Anybody else need me to come clean their bathroom?  I'm requesting childcare in return. 

Anyway, we had a delicious mid-morning brunch of fruit and quiche (one of my favorite breakfast meals... I'm not sure anything beats breakfast burritos...) and then Matt decided to take Madelyn outside to practice "pedaling".  

That turned into watching mommy and daddy attempt to ride the scooter, which was probably equally entertaining.  

Em chilled on the front step and laughed at all of us.  He was probably devising a plan to attempt to ride it himself.  He's working on his escape method from the exosaucer first though...

*All pictures of me riding the scooter were deleted as they were way too inappropriate.*  

 Madi insisted on bringing a "field journal" along for the ride too.  AKA, her pink Bible...

 Now I'm reveling in silence as both children nap AT THE SAME TIME!

Oops.  Sorry for yelling. 

Matt's at the gym already and we will be headed to watch another basketball game here shortly.  Madi asked me at the lunch table, "Mama, how do we cheer?" (As if she hasn't been to dozens of basketball games already in her short life...)

We practiced things like, "Go Storm!" "Defense!" and "Go Meshmeketa (Chemeketa)!"

Happy Saturday!!! =)

Thursday, February 9, 2012


First of all, I totally forgot how painful it is to watch a five month old attempt to use their tongue...

He thinks it's funny to blow bubbles on his spoon and drool food all over the place.  

I don't. 

My obsessive compulsive, mess hating tendencies come out awfully strong when I can't control situations. 

I'm learning to relax though. 

And I still think he's AWESOME! ;)

In other news around the house, this little girl knows just how cute she is...

As is evidenced by the hands-on-hips pose.

Wearing other people's shoes is a big hit around here.  These boots are Droiy's and she was in heaven!  I think a rodeo is in order for this summer! =)


They're growing up too fast!

Life is flying by and we're trying hard to enjoy it.  Basketball season is coming to an end (que Hallelujah chorus)... I mean... it's about to enter the "off season", but not before hopefully taking home the NWACC title.  Chemeketa is tied for first in league and they have another five games left to play.  

I started subbing a few days a month in January and thus far it has worked out perfect! I don't mind only working 3 full days a month... we have to make a decision as to whether or no I'll be resuming my position in the fall by March.  If you think about it, we would appreciate your prayers!

And alas, Matt's neurosurgeon called last week and reassured us that they are pretty positive that the mass found in his pelvis is an "abnormal muscle growth" most likely due to trauma to this area and/or the way that he walks now.  They would like to keep an eye on it by taking more scans of it in a couple months (MRI - surprise, surprise!).  We were SO happy to hear this and although it doesn't completely solve any problems it does allow us to rest a little easier.  It is definitely a reminder of how this new "lifestyle" enveloped by the medical arena is not over, but rather a way of life.  

I truly believe that our God has the ability and power to heal Matt completely, but I don't know if that is His plan or not.  Time will tell.  I do know that whatever happens we have the comfort of leaning on Jesus to carry us through our days.  Some are full of laughs and smiles, others are less "comfortable", but each day is a new day.

I am constantly in awe of the way Matt has chosen to live his life.  He has so many things he could complain about everyday, but most of the time he chooses to put a smile on his face.  He chooses to crawl down on the floor with his kids and play with them even though his leg is throbbing or his back is on fire.  He chooses to help with the dishes after being on his feet all day instead of resting in the recliner.  He chooses to say no every time the doctor offers some other sort of "pain reliever" or "sleeping pill" because they truly wouldn't fix anything, just mask it.  I have no idea what's like to be in chronic pain, and for that I'm thankful! I'm also thankful that we are promised new bodies when we finally land in eternity.  Life can seem so tough sometimes, but the reality is... it IS short. 

My prayer is for healing, God's miraculous healing, but until then we'll thank Him for each day and enjoy it to the fullest! May our fellowship with Jesus and the light of His presence forever be enough to sustain us each day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

On A Whim

Matt had an away game today and he had to leave at 8:45.  We had nothing on our long. open. agenda. other than getting some groceries at Costco.  


I packed up the jeep with lots more stuff than we really needed to go to Costco and started driving.  

Final destination?

The Beach. 

It was sunny. 

It was warm. 

There was hardly a breeze. 

And it was gorgeous!

Madi ran and ran and ran and then she ran some more.  She couldn't handle how fun it was!  

Her toes were in the sand. 
Her hair was blowing in the wind. 
She was in heaven!

A kind stranger took a group photo for us. =)

Em discovered sand for the first time; and despite my lousy efforts to prevent it, he even got some in his mouth.  I'm sure it won't be the last time...

It was relaxing and we didn't want to leave. But alas, we turned around and ran back in the direction we came from. 

We practiced saying, "Thank you, Jesus for the sunshine. Thank you, Jesus for the beach. Thank you, Jesus for the ocean."

For a concrete-sequential person, this was WAY outside of the box, but it was awfully fun!

I think someone has rubbed off on me just a little bit...