Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm not sorry to see it go


It has been a rough year for us.

My eldest girlie turned 14 in January...

The top of the year brought surprising orders out of the desert and into the big city. Which brought the loss of our lifestyle, our ranch, all that we had known for 3 years abruptly to an end. With any major military move, it also brought the loss (or changes) in many of our friendships much to our dismay. And I wish I could say after being married to a military man for 15 years... that I get used to it. I never have.

With heavy hearts we headed to the coast of CA. The beautiful warm sunshiny coast. We LOVE the area... in fact for me its safe to say I could live here forever... but God may have other plans so I am afraid to get to comfortable.

The 1st 6 months we struggled finding and fitting into a church... and in the midst of that the news rolled in late spring that my dad had stage 4 terminal lung cancer.

By the end of June he was critical so I flew back to NC fully anticipating to bury my dad... and yet I was haunted by an ache. The ache of knowing he had never trusted Christ as his Saviour. And while I watched my dad in the hospital, a man who at first didn't even recognize me, day after day...he seemed to get better. He beat the odds and even came home... I do believe God let him live for that 2nd chance and he took it.

Once I flew back home life was a whirlwind of kids, undone assignments,Kiah turned 5, another homeschool year to plan for and a baby arriving in the fall...

and in the midst of that we got a call that we had gotten base housing... so now yet another major move. We found a church to call home....HOORAY!!! And then a monkey wrench. My parents were about to lose their health insurance AND their home.

so being an only child, and doing the only thing I knew to do, we moved them in on October 2nd. At first my dad seemed pretty ok. My mom was angry, bitter and a whole flurry of emotions from leaving the past 12 years of her life behind, all her animals, her cars... everything was packed into 6 bags...everything else left behind.

I packed as much as I could in for my dad (as much as I could without health insurance that is) social security appointments,Micah turned 8, medicare/mediCal appointments, appointments to the clinic,MaryRachael turned 3, trips to the ocean, the pier, anyplace dad still wanted to eat. I cooked a turkey with all the trimmings...knowing he may not make it to thanksgiving...

And then Aaron arrived. The glimmer of light in this year. He was * 8 lbs, 15 oz the biggest baby I ever delivered. But I didn't even know his name when I went back in for the 2nd surgery... because he was yet another c-section... and I they didn't think I was going to make it. Once they stitched me back up they couldn't stop the fact the very last thing before I fell asleep tot the anesthesia combined with the lightheadedness from the loss of blood) I heard was ..."I dont think she's gonna make it..."

When I woke up I was in and out of a daze. My husband was there..the next hours are a fog. And over 6 hours later I met my youngest son Aaron. Oh what a doll. He is just so precious...

He got to come home and meet his grandpa.

There were challenges that 1st week though. like a slightly high bilirubin, which had us feeding him every two hours per the hopitals "recommendations" so on the Sunday morning following his arrival when he was listless and unresponsive we called 911. And off we went. A flurry of tests. I remember telling the doctor, just save my son... I am about to bury my dad I cant lose Aaron too. And after a 48 hour stay in the Naval hospital I got to come home ...just in time for Justyn to turn 10.

It was a rough day. By the time I had arrived home my dad's condition had gone from bad to worse. He wasn't really even here anymore. During Aaron's birth I had an incredible nurse who called social services and they called a local hospice company who took my dad on as a compassion case.

But on November 4th around 5 am, my mom came into my room in tears. My dad was gone.

Then came trying to get back to a new normal... whatever that was. I was emotional and postpartum, and simply trying to maintain my house with a newborn and 5 children, a husband and a mother who clearly did not want to be here.

Then the holiday season was upon us. We all got the stomach flu for thanksgiving, so that got postponed. Then the flurry of the Christmas season, trying to keep Christ as te focus for the season.

AS the holidays have come and gone, there have been yet other challenges. A close friend of mine lost her newborn baby girl, which has laid heavily on my heart. Aaron has had issues nursing and just this last week my milk supply has been danger low...

But I am going to continue to do what I have done ALL year through. I am going to trust God, and continue to put one foot in front of the other and trust that God has it all in control... and no matter the outcome. I will choose to praise Him.

I don't know what 2010 has in store for us. I don't want to put a bunch of unrealistic expectations to anything. I just want to live to serve God and glorify Him, not matter the circumstances in our life. I want to be a beacon of light in this dark world, I want to be different, set apart. I want to capture the moments that are so precious on my camera, I want to pray without ceasing, I want friends near and far to know I love them, and if everything seems to go wrong yet another year, I want to choose to praise Him through the storms.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The stockings were hung...

I am an only child. That said, Christmas in my house, for me, was always awesome. Lots of baking to do...some with mom,some with grandma's, sometimes with Aunts... weekend shopping trips with my dad...lots of them, presents to wrap... I dont ever remember a Christmas where I didnt get pretty much every single thing I had asked for.

As I got older I wanted to make those kinds of christmases happen for my children. the big tree, lots of cookie making, craft making, Christmas card sending, and lots of presents under the tree...

And I KNOW that is not the point of Christmas. NOT.AT.ALL.

We don't even celebrate the man in the big red suit... he has a place in history, and my children know of the guy, but they also know our Blessings come from God.


We still put up a tree...

Do Lots of baking....

wrap bunches of beautifully clad packages....

make wonderful homemade crafts...

send cards to friends near and far....

But do I do ENOUGH to let my children know that it's all about Jesus?

Would it be enough to gather Christmas morning in the living room and sing Praises to our God and Newborn King... if there was no tree? no gifts? no Christmas dinner? no special desserts, no cards sent or received...?

I strugle with this every year since coming to a saving knowledge of Christ. My kids do know the true reason for the season... but would even they want to celebrate if I served hot dogs and chips? and there was no present... not even 1.

Would it even feel like Christmas to me?

Honestly, I would like to say yes... but I just don't know.

Each of my kiddos are getting one thing they asked for, and while we started out trying to stay small, stockings are filled to the brim, 15 different kinds of cookies are in the house, gifts are in abundance, its not all at once. Its a little here and a little there... and all of a sudden it is bigger than I thought it had gotten.

I dont want to be so focused on the things that if we took them away, Christ wouldnt be enough. Because HE is. At least, He ought to be.

But here I am at 2:45 am blogging about what CHristmas should be.... and if I answer honestly ... why I am up.... it was because I was wrapping those oh. so. unimportant gifts.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A line in the sand

well I did it this time.... I have laid it all on the line... and discussed with my mother the possibility of her moving out at some point.... and I suppose we will find out how she took the news over the next several days....

but she seems miserable here. She hates being here all the time. On almost a daily basis she tells me how trapped she feels, how worthless her life is here... and I just can't fix it for her.

and when she brought groceries home today I helped her unload them and I was hit in the face by a smell I have come to loathe.... cigarette smoke. I have suspected, even gone so far as to ask her if she was smoking again. She adamantly denied it. Before my parents even stepped on the plane they were both told they had to completely quit smoking to move in with us. Smoking outside and coming in was NOT part of the equation. And as I leaned over to grab the bags I saw it.

The ash tray in my dad's car was 1/2 full.

I came in and asked again. She lied straight to my face. I could still smell the lingering smell of smoke on her clothes.

It was all I could do not to lose it.

I told her she has a choice to make.

She does.

I will not tolerate a smoker in our home with our children. If she wants to put herself in the ground by smoking those horrible cancer sticks I will not support it.

I do not know what to do. I suppose I wait and se if she chooses to move out.

Let me say this. I am not throwing her out or asking her to make a choice with no income. Last week she went to SSI and applied for widows benefits and she has already received her first check - and it is more than half of what Frank and I make monthly. SO she can afford to live on her own, should she choose to do so.

and try not to listen to the sound of my dad's voice in my memory saying... "but you promised to take care of her"
And I did... but that promise was made that I was not moving smokers into my home. They had agreed to COMPLETELY quit. And yes. I knew I was asking a lot.

How many people have to suffer for her choices under our roof?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I stopped biting my nails 15 years ago, but then

my mom moved in.

I never realized how stress free life was (yes folks- my life- and I said stress FREE) until my parents moved in. At first I thought that stress was both my parents, and I suppose to a degree it was, but I have come to realize it is mostly my mom.

And absent I have been, unable to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, because to be honest the shiny happy days are not here, and adjusting is hard. Not so much about my dad's passing. I mean, he had lung cancer and we have known for months, and it was terminal. I suppose I had come to terms with that. And while his passing hurt, in some ways knowing the pain for him was gone was almost a relief for me.

But my mom, who does no more than get angry with my children, who wont even hold the baby, who hates everything about the life I live, who cuts me down about being a stay at home mom at every opportunity she is presented with... yeah. for me ...that has been a challenge.

and I dont know how much to "talk" about.

so.... yeah. Do I allow myself to share our real life struggles here? Frank would say yes. But I don't feel like I am doing such a good job juggling. ANyhow... i HAVE started a half dozen other posts that need finishing (and time to finish them) I am trying to run our household, begin homeschooling the children after a month long break, and get our life a little more back to normal... whatever that is:)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

still here

I am still around. We have had a sweet baby boy and dad's health took a nosedive,birthdays and even my parents anniversary have been celebrated... Baby Aaron had a trip to the ER which led to another hospitilzation, and we said goodbye to my dad... and while there are many GOD stories on the journey and I will write them down for HIS glory ...

just not tonight.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's a choice

My dad is sick. but you guys, if you have ever been to my blog have known that. But each and every day he lives as if he is dying. There is no life in him, the man that fought so hard to get back up on his feet since his arrival has sat in a chair or a bed watching tv 24/7. And it's not because he can't. It's because he won't. And that makes me really angry. I have watched Heather fight against her cancer. But she fought to live and gave me a new outlook on my very own children. A reminder of why each and every day is precious, and we have to fill them ALL with memories. The only memories my children are going to have of my dad is that he came to California and quit. He laid around watching movies they are not allowed to watch because of the violence and they were not allowed in his room. They are going to remember a grandpa who stopped eating and didnt care- and there is nothing I can do to change that. And that hurts. He isn't even trying. I guess I had hoped my dad would come to CA and live- make memories with the kids, give him a reason to fight, but instead it has seemed to have the opposite effect... and I just don't know how to handle it all...

My mom on the other hand is very angry, and bitter that she is here. Although she doesnt think she is. She too is devestated by my dad giving up on everything. There have been many many challenges for both of us... for instance she does not see my being a homeschooler or a stay at home mom as a "real job" and that I have been wasting the past 15 years of my life... to say the least that has brought just a wee bit of tension to things.... She does not enjoy her grandkids.... Not the way some grandma's do, from a distance the grandkids are great, but daily- yeah well not so much.

I knew there would be challenges. I have honestly been afraid to post about any of this. But I am barely hangin on to the end of a rope just kinda danglin' but so far Jesus is keeping me hanging on.

To top it off I am a few days PAST my dues date. The little turkey in my belly says he is not "done" yet. I am scheduled to be induced on Monday at exactlly 41 weeks if he doesnt come on his own before then...

The little people in the house are rolling out of bed, which is my cue to head down and start some breakfast.... ya know, another "worthless" job I have come to accept in my life. One I wouldn't trade for the world!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Back in the saddle again.... or not.

So this week has been a week of MAJOR changes...

mom n dad have moved in a little over a week ago

no baby has arrived...yet.

school lessons are running, although different than usual, in a new way we are adapting to...

getting my dad to dr appointments/ signed up for MediCal and other stuff, celebrating an 8 yr old and 3 yr old's birthdays.... life is NOT dull...

and saying that I have had very few moments to even sneak online and read blogs, much less write on mine. Which leads me to the conversation I had with my husband this afternoon... which went something like this...

" I think I am going to shut down my blog" to which he quickly replied " Why on earth would you do that?" " You have more stuff to share now than ever before, ways to show God's hand through a storm..why would you stop now....?"

the answer is I don't know.

I don't know any answers... I only know God is in control. I know the minutes of each of my days are quite busy now- and that will be even more true once this little baby of ours makes his grand appearance...


I AM here. but not as often as I would like to be.... much like the hours I am at church. I feel distant and removed from so much right now... a season where my first ministry must be at home. It is a time of self sacrifice and loving in a way I would have never expected I would need to. It is a time of ministry to my parents... a ministry I barely even understand...

I feel so detached and alone some days, and in many ways I am. But Jesus is still walking beside me each and every step of the way...

as far as my blog, for now, I guess it stays

and the direction in which it is headed ... well I guess I will be in prayer about that for now...

Friday, September 25, 2009

MOVING time again....

The packers will be here first thing Monday morning... and again Tuesday to load our house on a truck.... we pick up our keys at base housing on Tuesday morning... and have it all delievered on Wednesday. Thursday the kids and I will be busy unpacking as much as we can... and Friday afternoon I head to the airport to pick up my parents.... all the while I am now on bedrest ...yeah ok. well as much as can be possible during a major move. so we will be offline a few days, other than checking in on my phone (which will still have internet access) hooray! Have a great week! And I'll try to post once we are a little organized at the house...

for now though, you're more likely to see me on facebook for the next week than here!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Let the Brown Leaves Fall...

Whether I like it or not, summer will end soon, as as it does another season changing will begin- in our lives - as well as in the weather. My parents are out of insurance. This week my dad's former employer informed me that his FMLA expired and the company as of Friday would no longer carry my dad's insurance.

And since I have been praying for doors to either close in front of us or open wide that we would know God's will as we made each decision... well, it certainly made buying the tickets easier.

Dad's cancer is spreading. VERY quickly. Praying for more time at this point - just to get them here. But not knowing what our future holds regarding their arrival. The doctors are saying "at the very very best" you may have 3 months. But currently - despite what is happening on the inside of him- he is still walking, and still fighting. He hasnt given up.

So On that note, once we get moved- 2 days later my parents will arrive to live with us personally. I need to get a hospital bed (cheap!) and probably a walker and a wheelchair. WE will be amidst a myriad of boxes, unpacking..and what seems to be... life as a military family. A life my parents have never really known, but I am certain they will get a VERY quick initiation.

As far as homeschooling the children. We plan to do just that. Many people have called me crazy for even considering it. BUT we will be temporarily changing our approach, much like yet another changing season. I am an avid KONOS mom. And we have continues with a modifies KONOS approach even with all the moves, but KONOS is mom labor intensive, and we are taking a season away from this wonderful way of learning. I have been praying about what avenue to take. We have tossed around the idea of a full Switched on Schoolhouse approach, but don't have the number of computers we need ( with the right processing speeds for the program) to effectively pull that off, we have discussed paces (School of Tomorrow) so the kids can do self paced work and simply continue moving ahead as the changes blow in, but after much prayer and weeding through my bookshelves before a move we are going to try a more frugal approach.

I have made copies of many of stuff I had on the shelf yesterday ( and will finish hopefully today) and put pages in their notebooks. For history Micah will be using Dover coloring books to learn about the life of Abraham Lincoln, Justyn will be reading an Abeka textbook and doing his history more conventionally, and Arianna will be reading the Light and the Glory (for adults) and writing about what she reads, for Science Micah will be studying nutrition and hygeine, where Justyn will be learning about the planets and the scientists who discovered them, And Arianna will be using a 10th grade ABeka Book in Biology... and for someone who doesnt use a lot of textbooks ( for more than anything as a reference point) this will be a big change. But it means we can continue school despite a baby's arrival, despite the changes that come with moving my parents in, and for now it is a trial period for a season. I plan to try this through Christmas, at which point we will decide whether we can go back to more of a KONOS approach or whether we should continue this path.

pray for us as the winds of change are blowing in with Autumn,

Friday, September 18, 2009

pebbles in my pocket

Yesterday I was reminded of a story my pastor in NC used to share....

when we have troubles in our life, they are very much like pebbles in our pocket, as we come to the Altar we need to lay our pebbles down, problem is often times we have grown so accustomed to how those pebbles feel in our pocket, we are so reluctant to leave them all behind that we pick one or two back up as we walk away from the alter instead of leaving them at the feet of Jesus.

My life at the moment is full of pebbles (Frank says they are boulders)

The size of the rock however is not what matters. What matters is whether or not when I lay the trouble, burden, load at the feet of I truely leave it there? Or have I grown so accustomed to how the rock feels in my pocket that I slip it back in my pocket as I leave the alter?

Monday, September 14, 2009

moving again....

well, last week it was official. We will be moving into base housing here! ANd while I never thought I would be excited to announce another move I am.

I can see how God took care of us by bringing us to live in the apartment for the last 6 months, but I can also see His timing is perfect. There have been many challenges with the apartment complex: the boys bikes getting stolen the first few days we arrived, countless parties, not obeying curfew hours, having the pool closed since June 15th, having bb's shot at us while we are grilling, boys stalking my daughter as she walks the dogs, known gang activity, and neighbors that like to watch my children in what feels like a very unhealthy way, just to name a few. But God's hand has protected us during our time here despite our trials.

We pick up our keys to base housing on the 29th of Sept :)

and our household will be packed up sept 28-29 and then delivered on the 30th.

I am just hoping the little baby boy inside my belly hangs on and waits til AFTER the move to make his grand appearance.

Still lots to do to prepare for a move, but here are some things I am certainly looking forward to: less traffic noise, people who actually obey the rules, not smelling all the smoke from all my neighbors houses from the courtyard, feeling like my daughter can walk the dogs safely, a safer environment for all the children, my own washer and dryer back inside the house(no coin operarted machines), about 500 more sq ft of space AND a garage, much much closer to the beach, and so much more!

As far as my parents moving, I simply need to remember the God knows the details, I will simply keep praying and try to remember that God is in control of it all. Dr's should be calling and discussing the move details with me this week- my parents should be getting a full picture of the spreading of dad's cancer late tomorrow afternoon.

and keep breathing...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

it's the little things that drive me crazy

as I checked my email this morning, I had a lovely message...

my dad had tried to hack into my AT&T account to apparently "check the balance" except he had almost successfully changed my password, at least to the point where I couldn't access my accounts.

now back in July I bought my parents phones and put them on my plan.... and they are not supposed to be paying for any of it, but how do I explain this to them. This is actually the 2nd time my dad has done this since he got the phone....

any ideas?

the account is resecured, and I have access to it again- but this is crazy stuff!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dad's cancer is spreading

DOn't know a lot of details... yet.

waiting for calls from the dr's

additional CT scans have been ordered. so far we know the cancer has spread into both lungs now, that there are 5 pollups on his liver (which would explain his lack of appetite), and that he is having severe pain in his tailbones. so...

now we wait for additional tests and calls from the dr to find out

1. if he is even well enough to travel to CA
2. if not what are our other options?
3. what happens to my mom if the house if forclosed upon and she does remain behind in NC?

feeling like my hands are very tied from 3000 miles away. They have sold bunches of stuff BUT they need that money to move out here. and if they use it to remain behind there wont even be enough money to bury my dad when the time comes.

my prayer is that God shows us each and every step clearly.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Season God Prepares us For....

funny how God creates a message entirely just for you and sends it through the pastor... and that was the crux of my morning.

After enjoying a breakfast fellowship in Sunday School, a great lesson, wonderful worship - as God's Word was opened to Galatians 6:1-4

"1Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

As the pastor was teaching, words my mom said to me just last night resonated in my ears.... " jen, this is going to be such a burden to you all" to which I replied "mom, we want to help, let us share your burden with you"

life is filled with change right now, lots of uncertainty, but one thing is certain. Jesus is in control of it all. I creid theough the invitation knowing that the trail we have faced in the last 12 months were in preparation of the things to come. To give us a starting point in which to minister to my parents during this very uncertain and frightening season in their lives. I cannot imagine walking through seasons in my life without Christ at the center, and yet, that is precisely what they are doing. If my dad did accept Christ a few weeks ago like he told me the other day, then he is just an infant in his walk with Christ. Pray for my mom, this move has filled her with much bitterness and a desire to be far from the Lord.

Each day I just keep walking forward, I pray CHrist can use our family as a beacon of light in my parents life throughout it all.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

moving, my dad, homeschooling my children and other complicated issues....

the thought of "what would you do for a klondike bar" came to my head as it started pounding this morning. Not that I particularly even eat that kind of ice cream bar, just that my head had started pounding with all the complications of the day....

last week we received unofficial news that we should have a slot in base housing in the very near future. problem is, that offer is not on paper, and without paperwork doesnt completely exist. last week I had mentioned it to my dad who, jokingly said, now we can come live with you in California- a commitment I had tried to get them to make in July when they adamantly refused. joke is- we changed housing lists in August from a list for a 5 bedroom to a list in a 4 bedroom BECAUSE my parents refused to come. so over the weekend , apparently they discussed it among themselves and decided to move in with Frank and I. so we were "notified" that they have about 45 days until their house will be foreclosed upon- at which point they want to move in with us. That concerns me as it is days away from when the baby is actually due to arrive... so I told them if they plan to move they have about 30 days to get things sold and move out here.

then there is the issue of their pets. Moving into base housing we are alloved 2 pet. and no more. My family has lost so much this year. All we have left is 2 dogs. the horses, cats, goats, ducks, chickens geese are all gone. The sting of that, while fading, is still fresh when the subject of finding a home for our dogs came up. My mom wants to bring her mini-poodle. He is not up to date on his shots, needs health certificates to travel, a new crate and plane fare- none of which I have cash on hand to do. so what do you tell your mom n dad who are leaving everything they have known for the last 12 years behind, including a large portion of their independance, to come and live with you. The poodle is cute and has a great dispostion with adults. He has never been exposed to children of any age... and I will have 6 children. A dog who may not like one or all of them, in my life, is simply not an option.

Then there are issues like medical coverage. We discovered today that while my dad's previous employer has been taking care of his insurance premiums and has agreed to do so until his medicaid is approved - uses an insurace company that is inclusive to NC. Because both my parents have pre-existing cancer conditions finding a company that will carry insurance for them month to month is simply not affordable. And while I can sign them up for medicaid/ mediCal out here we will be starting that lengthy process from the beginning again. I have found a local clinic where they can go to been seen and get prescriptions BUT it is certainly questionable whether or not my dad will be able to continue any type of treatment out here until/unless he gets on medicaid- which is a 3+ month process.

I am overwhelmed. The thought of having a baby very soon, moving, moving my parents to CA, continuing to homeschool, are wearing on me. I have many doubts if I can do it all... and wondering if I can't what are my options. I do believe we as a family are called by God to continue homeschooling. I believe that more today than I did the day we began. I am scared however that somehow I will fail in one or all of these areas, or fail my parents or fail my children.

To top it all off Frank works a full marine corps week and then is enrolled in college. It is hard. I am not looking for easy, I am just praying that the Lord will direct our steps each and every step of this journey.

I am bringing my dad to CA to care for him as he dies. And while it could give the children an opportunity to know a man they barely know, is it fair to ask them to continue to homeschool and share their life with their grandma and grandpa- or do I offer a choice....send the ones that want to to public school on base- and pray for their days. I dont know the answers. In my heart i do not feel like we are supposed to stop homeschooling.

Please pray for us.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

tails: California

well to say the very least it has been an interesting week.

my parents are moving to CA to live with us. Details are still shady but I am counting on the fact that God will take care of all the details.

please pray for this transition in all of our lives

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Parent's Prayer

a lot of "Stuff" has happened this week. And last night as I got a drink of water from the kitchen I looked up at the prayer that hangs upon my wall above the sink. Today, I would like to share that prayer with you.

as I live this day,
renew in me the ability to laugh
at my childrens antics;
the time to share
their moments of pride;
the need to praise
their seperate strengths;
the faith to trust
their growing judgement;
the patience to understand
their changing moods;
the virtue to forgive
their disrespect;
the openness to learn
their ways and styles;
the ears to hear
what they are saying;
the insight to embrace
their doubtsw and fears;
the tenderness to understand
their broken dreams;
and the wisdom to accept
that their lives are built
just one day at a time.

May I be reminded of that each and every day, that I have only been entrusted with their care. Never let me hurt them or take them for granted- they are for God's glory not mine. Help me to be a godly mom and show them Christ's love no matter what else happens in our lives.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August days are flying

SO, hello out there... as usual we are - have been - busy busy busy. My photos won't upload here but I have been posting them on Facebook.

We have been studying the attributes of God the past few weeks, learning words like eternal, Holy, Sovereign, Omnipresent, Omnipotant, Omniscient, Immutable, Just and Loving and what exactly that means in relation to God's Attributes. We have been busy memorizing scripture, learning about clay, making some fun (and some interesting) forms of clay- some have been edible while others...well not so much.

We have learned about china and pottery and written two papers so far (not bad for only 2 weeks into the school year), this week we are studying StAUgustine, his life and his work and whether or not his life was an honor to God...

We have been to the beach (a few times), visited with friends, celebrated a 15 yr anniversary, prayerfully are considering finding a different church home, talked to parents back on the east coast, spent a day in Balboa Park visiting the Natural History Museum, and spent some extra time on fetal monitors in the hospital because the mama isnt handling stress as well as she would like this time around...

Homeschooling is going...

life is happening...

dinner menus are planned and eaten...

a trip to the desert is in the works....

life is busy. but good.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

candy dough sculptures

Candy Clay

Here's what you will need to make it:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) margarine, softened and cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
different flavors/ colors of Kool Aid
large bowl
mixing spoon
small bowls

Here's what you have to do:

1. Check with a grown-up before you begin.

2. Wash your hands.

3. Put 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup of corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 stick of margarine, softened and cut into pieces, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract into a large bowl.

4. Mix these ingredients together until the dough doesn't feel sticky. You may need to add more powdered sugar to make it less sticky - from 1/4 to 1/3 cup - but add it slowly and stop when the dough feels dry. ( I did have to tweak it a bit by adding more powdered sugar til it was more clay-like)

5. Divide the dough into little balls and put each ball into a separate bowl.

6. Add a few sprinkes of Kool Aid to each bowl. Make the dough in each bowl a different color.

7. Mix the food coloring into the dough with a spoon (or fork) so you don't stain your hands. Once the food coloring starts to blend in, use your hands to really smush it in.

8. Now sculpt your craziest creations out of the candy clay. You can use them to decorate cakes or cookies, but be sure to eat them pretty soon after you make them. Candy clay sculptures turn into candy rock sculptures after a while!

Now You too can make your very own candy creations. We mixed up 4 batches so there was plenty for everyone! And the best part is they are completely edible!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

School: Day 2

so far, two whole days into this years school year....

I have failed to get up on time.

and I am wondering how we are going to survive this school year with my inability to sleep at night, coupled by the fact that noone but Hezekiah is a morning person... and I have been the one that has trained my children to sleep til 8am...

I think later this afternoon it is OFF to WalMart to buy a few alarm clocks and get into gear!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

holding patterns

Do you ever feel like life simply is...?

I am frustrated a lot lately. Frustrated by my children's antics, lack of obedience, lack of discipline, and their friendships here since our move.

Frustrated by my home, the apartment complex, the lack of upkeep the staff does to the property, the often ghetto like mentality of the people that live here...

Frustrated at our church situation. While I truely love the Pastor and his teaching- I do not feel like we "fit in" anywhere. It feels lonely- even though we atend several services a week, there just doesnt seem to be a real "connection".

Don't get me wrong..I am thankful for all the blessings in my life, I am just having kind of a hard time seeing what they are right at the moment. We start school on Monday and I dont feel like the kids even care that we homeschool, the sacrifice, time and energy it takes, the faithfulness to a calling.

Maybe its the pregnancy, maybe I am just tired.

I know we have to continue our homeschool journey.... and a journey it has been. I guess I am just tired...trying to be a wife, a mom, a teacher and now my new role of power of attourney (handing many of my dad's affairs from long distances), a good daughter.... a constant babysitter to the kids in the apartment complex.... missing good friends from every corner of the globe it seems....

my dad is doing ok, been gaining weight and respoding well to radiation...

baby inside me is doing ok, although I do believe he thinks there is a trampoline inside there....

and wondering if I should even post this....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Kiahboy!

AS requested by my newest rider of the Atlantis at SeaWorld - the AMazing 5 year old "Kiahboy"- we are off to SeaWorld for the day (among other 5 yr old requested activities.... I can't believe this guy is 5 today!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

winding down

so, you may wonder what our crew does on a Friday night to wind down....

go to SeaWOrld of course!

but my photos won't upload this morning.... so you"re gonna have to wait for more of them

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Praying for Stellan* Updated

UPDATED: See for yourself, Stellan appears to be doing much better again!

Stellan has been in SVT again for some time now. MckMama & family need our prayers again as they plan to head to Boston.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Planning for a New School Year

I hate planning. I often enjoy being the kind of mom that can fly by the seat of her pants on any given day.... however I have found that kind of homeschooling leaves us in a muddle of rabbit trails that never get completely finished and chasing our tails with no real end in sight... so its back to the dreaded task of sitting down KONOS book in hand and prepapring lessons from AUgust 10th (our first official day back at school) through December 18th (the end of the unit on HONOR.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back Home

Well I did finally come back to California to rescue my husband from my children - My dad is doind tons better- and although his circumstances are still the same God is beginning to change his heart. The day I had gotten the call that "he wouldn't live through the day" he had stage 4 lung cancer, complicated by pneumonia and a heart attack. He is on the mend though for now. He was released from the hospital on the 16th of July. His job now is to continue getting some of the weight he lost back on, so that his oncologist will,once again, consider beginning chemo. They are continuing with radiation for now because of how well his tumors have responded to it.

WHile I was ready to head back to my family out here, in many ways coming back was bittersweet. If something changesel for the worse I will not be able to travel back until after the baby is born and I clear my post partum check ups. I am thankful for the time I did have with my dad and that he even accepted a Bible from me as well as opportunities to share Christ's love with Him. Keep praying... he is more open to a Gospel message than he ever has been before in his life.

Friday, July 3, 2009

demons and angels

I believe right now at this very moment there is a spiritual battle for my dad's soul. He has still be heart hard to the Gospel, I think he knows in his head that Jesus is God, and has yet to accept Christ in his heart. That truely scares me.

He keeps telling me about a dream he keeps having. My mom says its " just the medication talking" but what if it is not? He says he is in a stone jail chained against the walls, bound in chains both his hand and his feet, and these "things" that he describes at this point sound an awful lot like demons are on each side of him, laughing at him, mocking him and then he says each time as they are about to kill him he wakes up.

a coincidence? the drugs? maybe.

but honestly I think he is so weak, and he is surrounded by so many of your prayers that there could very well be demons by him torturing his unquiet mind. He is not open to hearing the Gospel from me. They are at a point where the cancer is progressing much faster than they anticipated, he may have had a heart attack last weekend- but on Tues they didnt think he would make it through the day. but he did.

but there was something about tuesday that WAS different. On Tuesday a pastor I had spoken with stopped by and prayed for him. And everyone else is saying that after he came, things started to improve but their reasoning is that it was because by then he knew I was coming and a guy that is like a son to him was on the way too. I dont think that had anything to do with it. I think for just a moment, on a day when he should not have breathed for another 5 hours - the bondage of the enemy was broken for just a few minutes because of your prayers.

My dad asked me to stay with him last night, so I have slept at the hospital tonight. He said that once I came and while I am there his "dreams don't come back" and he can sleep. A coincidence? I don't think that whatever thing he is battling can stand in the prescence of any true believer in Christ and that because God has allowed me to come and I am standing in the gap in prayer for my dad that somehow, someway those creatures in his dreams flee in the presence of the light of Christ. yesterday afternoon while I was gone the pastor had also come to visit and dad shared that those visions were gone while he was there too, but it felt like at all other times that they were still there holding him down in chains.

keep praying. There is an enemy and he is very real. In the quiet you can almost feel the spiritual warfare surrounding him, but I am still here praying for his salvation. Please join me and keep praying!

By the way, since Tues he has had a remarkable turnaround and while he is still very sick he is eating again and has gained some limited movemnet in his legs again. The doctor said he could be here another few weeks or even a few months with how much better he is doing. I think God has given him one more chance to come to HIM. Just because God is that good. Salvation is a gift- pray my dad accepts it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


heading off to NC, unsure how soon I will be able to post again. follow me on facebook for updates. pray for frank and the kids while I leave them here-
my dad is dying. his hear is only working at 20% capacity. pray for him.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Dad

about 2 weeks ago I got a call from my mom.

"jen, your dad has lung cancer"

a million questions swirled in my head...
what stage?
should i go to NC?
how long til I should travel?
has mom applied for his disability?

so I went into marine corps wife mode and starting finding the answers...

went online looked up his symptoms and determined approx the stage of his cancer

got mom and appointment with social security

found the numbers to the nurses at the hospital

got all of dad's doctor's numbers

talked to his lung cancer doctor...

that one was the real eye opener:

he said he would be surprised if my dad lasted another 10 weeks.


and that he is "gravely ill"

Saturday he went home after a week long stay at the hospital, only to be returned to the hospital early Sunday morning after having a mild heart attack. tomorrow they will decide if a bronchoscopy is safe... and while a dangerous procedure- it is further complicated by the heart attack from last night and the fact that my dad has pneumonia.

I need to go to North Carolina.

pray that my dad finds salvation before it is too late.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Our Father's Day in photos...

I need to share the happy times today. I will post an update about my dad's situation soon. please just pray for him to find Jesus before it is too late.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

another storm blowing in

I am not supposed to know. so for what I am not supposed to know, there is a fierce storm blowing into my life. pray for me, my family and mostly for my dad.
he won't tell me what is going on. and until he does I will praise God in the storm...
its the only way I can deal with it all from 3000 miles away

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

for me. tonight, this song says it all.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

a new Bible study & 30 days of prayer

On June 1st I begin 2 very different endeavors
For the next 30 days (beginning tomorrow) I will be praying for my husband. A chapter a day & additionally keeping a prayer journal to give to him at the end. I have joined a huge group of women who are doing this through the month of June - there is still time to join us! check out the link on facebook or you can pop over to Amy's link at her website if you don't have facebook....

ok, so I can't get this one to format properly. I think we found a church (yeah!!!!) and the women are just about to begin thier summer Bible study. They are doing Stepping up by Beth Moore for their 7 week summer study and my biggest little girl wants to do it with me. I am so excited to do a Bible study like this with my daughter. We will be studying the psalms and I am so excited to see what God is going to do through the next 7 weeks!!!!!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

what have we come to?

yesterday as I was checking facebook a friend of mine posted a link... a very frightening link. This link was to a news article right here in San Diego, where a pastor and his wife were forced to shut down an in home Bible study/fellowship. You can read the full article here:

If our rights as believers are taken away in our very own homes with people that willingly come and are in no way forced to participate, where is this country headed? To underground assemblies? It's crazy! Please pray for this family as they fight this case! You can help them out by signing the petition here:

To me this is absolutely frightening, but also a sign of things to come. Jesus himself tells us about the last days, and they don't get prettier. If we are not willing to stand for Him, we will be standing against Him. In the last year I have seen firsthand, a myriad of wolves in sheeps clothing. A grim reminder that loving Christ isn't hard, but standing with Him sometimes is.

I am not ashamed to say I love Christ.

What frightens me is where the world is going. Especially here. If it starts here in San Diego, the area we moved to, then what is next. Pray no precedent is set. Pray for God to be victorious. please, just hit your knees..and PRAY!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

organized I am not

I am sitting here today doing one of the tasks I dread and dislike the most... lesson plans.

don't get me wrong I can do it. I can sit down and put on paperthe assignments/plans and chores for a few weeks at a time... but often I think I would be a much better homeschooler with more doing and less planning and yet if someone shows up at my door, while I could simply pull out the work they have done for proof it is simpler on many levels to have one sheet on which to place those assignments and pull out as a reference for the kids on what they have done, still need to do, and as a record of their work.

but. it is one of my less than favorite jobs as a homeschool mom. but necessary.

so back to work, finishing lesson plans for me....

Monday, May 25, 2009

a few more photos....

so, off to a park we went, in search of homeschoolers

once we found them we shared a picnic lunch

mrk found the new park delightful

Ki went swinging with daddy

there were things to do for all...

except one. this pretty girl made the best of it, even if she was the oldest kid there
after the park

we were off to carlsbad for a free skateboarding/bmx/wakeboading demo... complete with a jumper to entertain the littlest kidlets... a free Christian outreach event.

after a while some r&r

drinking flavored water with her favorite guy
someday I am gonna have to break it to her that he is my guy...
but not today

he's starting to look like a bonafide cali kid...

some cool wakeboarding

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

girls night out

It's been over 3 years since we have eaten at a chick-fil-A. and boy did it taste yuuuuummmmmy! Frank let the girls go out for a little bit, boys tonight. A much needed break. we made dinner for the boys and headed out for dinner and a trip to wal-mart. As we walked into chick-fil-A we discovered tuesdays are family night. MaryRachael scored a free kids meal, they handed out balloons and in ful soCal fasion there was even a cow on site. The girls weren't too sure how they felt about that though... after that we headed home...