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Monday, November 30, 2009

Ocean City, NJ

What a beautiful time at Ocean City!!! Earlier this month some of my dear friends and I journeyed down to the sea....and it was TOTALLY worth all the "work" to get away! Not much compares to those refreshing moments with those that you feel completely at ease with. We did a lot of sitting around.....a lot of talking and laughing and painting of toenails. A lot of eating and watching movies and walking. A lot of dying of the hair, laughing at cards at CVS, magazine reading. Just a lot of exactly what we wanted to do. I had some precious time alone with my favorite daughter. We took a long, hot, deep bath together. It was peaceful. Jena was our drink maker! This was a delicious something or another with ice cream and whip cream and all things wonderfully smooth! I have so many wonderful memories at the beach with this gal, Kara! We've been visiting the ocean together for over a decade!!! And I hope that many, many decades from now we will be doing the same!this picture says it all......
My forever friends, Jena and Nellie.
Paisley got lots of love and tenderness this weekend. She continues to bring such an abundance of JOY to my life and heart! I've never met a more "smiley" baby!!!!
Thank you to the Bare family for allowing us to stay at your lovely home. I were refreshed and renewed....something that the ocean does to me without even trying. I am so deeply grateful for my friends.

" A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart,
chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."
~Arabian Proverb~

Saturday, November 28, 2009

it's my birthday today!

and it's a delicious day even though i've already cleaned up throw up in my bed, made all the beds, wiped up the bathroom floor, broken up a fight or two, opened my "presents" wrapped in blankets, aired out the house because the wood stove went ballistic, held a 2 year old close because of a bleeding lip, (due to hopping too close to the desk), soothed a hungry 4 year old, (I'll tell you, these boys are a TRAIN WRECK until food gets in their belly)......all this and it's not even 10 am!!!
BUT, I am about to get out of my robe and get in some high boots, jeans and a sweater, drape my SMALL purse over my shoulder, (as opposed to my carry on bag that usually goes out the door w/ me and my 3 chillins) and meet some of my dear friends at a local cafe. I graduated from high school with these two dear girls, Rebecca and Kristina and I anticipate a wonderful morning.

My little purse and I are out the door.....and as my daughter's onesie says,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

one of those days

For the past 10 weeks I've been rising early and getting all of us dressed, fed and out the door by 9:00 am. I've been a part of a Bible study on Esther at my sister's church. I wanted Tyler to be a part of a "preschool" setting as well. I was motivated to be there on time so he could participate in learning the songs for the little program they do at the end of the "semester." We were almost out the door this morning when Luke informed me that "baby has poop on her" of those "up the back" kind that require an outfit change, Mothers, you know what I speak of I am sure! Thankfully I was able to rescue the outfit and we were on our way!

There was a lovely spread of food, a feast if you will. We are so blessed to have food at every meal, aren't we? We do not know hunger. After breakfast the children performed their program, something I was sincerely looking forward to this entire time. Tyler wouldn't go up. I was really upset at first, feeling that this was an issue of obedience, of will.....then I was embarrassed, (seeing as were located in the FRONT seat) and then, after the program was over, I was just sad.

My sweet sisters took Luke and Paisley, (thanks guys) and I took Tyler out to the car. I placed him in the front seat and asked him why he wouldn't go up to sing the songs. "I didn't want to" he said. So, we had a little talk about how he doesn't get to do everything he wants to do and how life isn't all about HIM. "I want what I want", he said. Oh my, out of the mouths of babes! I know how he feels sometimes.....we do want what WE want! I felt like this was a teachable moment because it was. Teachable for both him and I. I WANTED him to go up there. I was truly disappointed in him and I wasn't going to hide that. I could have cared less what the other Mothers were thinking, (although I can imagine they were wishing him up there as all the Grandmothers were thinking, "just leave it be"). It was more the issue of the weeks I invested into getting him there on time, my expectations of how I thought the morning would go. Instead of being angry in that moment, which I think would have generated shame in him, I felt sad and I cried.

I don't think I've cried in front of Tyler before, so he was all eyes! I told him that I was excited to see him sing his songs, that I worked hard to make sure he could be in class on time to learn them and that I was sad because I didn't get to see him sing. He understood what I was saying to him. I'm not sure what a psychologist would say of my actions, but I don't read many books about child psychology, I just live my by Mother-gut. I don't believe it's wrong to tell our children how we feel from time to time, (we know they are masters at telling us)!! So, we finished our talk and he came to class with me, much to his chagrin. The discipline for him not obeying was to sit with me in my class, (another thing I'm not sure what a child psychologist would say about).

I did feel that there should be a consequence for his actions. I know that in a year from now, perhaps even later tonight, it won't really matter if he sang his songs or not, but that's not the issue here, not the TRUE issue. It's a heart thing and I had to look beyond the silly, albeit, sweet, preschool performance and see it for a deeper thing. I could have let it go and for the rest of this day I have been second guessing myself: "Maybe I shouldn't have made a big deal about it", "maybe I should have prepared him more that morning so he understood what was expected", "maybe this, maybe that." Mothers are masters at "should haves".

This morning's class was beautiful. Women sharing testimonies about what they learned in the Bible study and about their personal lives. There are alot of women fighting hard battles right now. My sister has this quote in her bathroom, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." How true it is, there is so much beyond the obvious exterior. What really matters can't be seen.

After Bible study I was on my way to my sisters house. Paisley was crying, bless her soul, she was hungry. My hungry, crying babies unnerve me like nothing else on earth....makes me all jittery and nervous inside until I feed them. I guess that's the way it's suppose to be, makes the Mommy get up and do something to sooth herself just as much as her baby. Apparently I was going to fast as indicated by the flashing lights in my rear view. I started crying, as in, like a baby....sobbing. I'm thinking to myself, "get a grip Janelle", but I couldn't and I didn't. Thru my watery vision I grabbed all my papers and handed them to the officer between sobs. He was probably totally rolling his eyes behind his sunglasses. "Why are you so emotional?" he asked. "I can't afford this right now, " I replied. "But you're driving a Mercedes"....OH.NO.HE.DIDN'T!! "Yes and we just spent $2,000 to get a new transmission" I said. Now he made me MAD and I was already crying, don't they teach these cops anything about women's emotions!? "What year is it?" he asked. "1995" I said. "Is it gray or black?" WHAT? Now I was really hot, "it's charcoal" I said in my most annoyed voice! Meanwhile Paisley is crying in the backseat and I said, "I need to feed my baby." His reply, "I"ll be right back", (which in cop talk means, "see you in 15-20." So I reached back and took Paisley from her seat and fed her.....Mommy and Baby mixing tears!!

He had no mercy at all, in one fell swoop all my Christmas money gone, seriously, $185! WHAT? The boys are totally getting oranges in their stockings this year! Actually, I think I'll go to court so I can at least remove the points from my record and if the fine gets removed, well, then Merry Christmas Jake! I WAS going too fast, but can't a girl get a break?

Especially a girl in a Mercedes!!!

"A true friend laughs at your stories even when they're not so good,
and sympathizes with your trouble even when they're not so bad."
~unknown author~

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pure Delight

I think that's what Luke feels when he's helping me around the house. Is it a middle child thing, I wonder sometimes. I know when I need something done fast and right, I call to him. Not that Tyler couldn't do it as well, it's just that fifty other things would get done in going from place A to place B, therefore prolonging the task for about 1/2 hour. It's got to be FUN for Tyler. And it's got to be GOAL-oriented for Luke. I am amazed at the differences in my boys and I want to treasure and cultivate those differences. I want Luke to know that his worth is NOT in what he does for me. I want him to know that I appreciate him, notice him and approve of him apart from anything he could do for me. Reminds me of Someone Else I know ~ I need to remind myself of that more often. Pure Delight doesn't come from DOING a bunch of "right" stuff for my God, because then the "doing" becomes the god! As I read a few weeks ago a quote by Ray Steadman, "In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to Him." His making me more like Him is a process, a journey. Like the "theme" of my blog, "life is a journey ~ and each day is a gift." How true it is. I feel an awareness in me lately, to really drink this life in. To value the process of becoming the woman/Mother I was called to be. Perhaps it's because last week we buried my dear Aunt Katie. Now what remains on earth is the love she poured out, the legacy of love she left behind. Her funeral service was beautiful, filled to overflowing with the LOVE she gave away, coming back to her in the form of words, songs and pictures. What will be left of me when I am no more? What will be left by you? I know one thing, one promise, that "He has made everything beautiful in HIS time." Ecclesiastes 3:11

And so I'll allow myself to take pure delight in the process of becoming "beautiful", not in the eyes of this carnal world, but in the eyes of Eternity. During this last week the Beth Moore Bible study on Esther spoke of this. She said, "In man's realm, time DIMINISHES beauty, but in God's realm where we will spend forever, time PERFECTS beauty." There's a lie that tells us that we're as good as we look and as valuable as we are desirable....this is not truth. You can learn in first-hand from her.

I'm off to pack for my weekend ahead and possilby clean my house, (why I would do that when my boys are staying behind, I am unsure). I think I would rather invest my time into preparing yummy things for them to eat, the way to man's heart, is, afterall, through his tastebuds!! I'm heading to the beach with some dear friends and my Paisley girl. I'm looking forward to spending time with these women who have learned and are learning what TRUE beauty looks like.


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Monday, November 9, 2009

Monroe, NC

May I start by saying that I am way behind in my blogging world! I have so many fun and memorable things to post from this past Summer. I would still like to write about those times, even though they have been past for months now. Blogging helps me remember them, squeeze the sweetness from the moments. This past Summer was exceptionally sweet; many, many special times with family and friends. So, if you're a regular visitor here, you may have several flashbacks to Summer amidst the chilly Autumn and Winter days.

SEPTEMBER 9-15TH, 2009

For our 7th Anniversary/family vacation we decided to venture South. We stayed at a lovely little home on Talleyrand Avenue, right across the street from one of my favorite people. This is where I did my DTS with YWAM in 2000 and haven't been the same since! It was very special for me to show my family the YWAM base where so much took place in my life. And to introduce them to Todd and Vickie and their children!We headed out around 2 pm and drove straight through, stopping only at Shoney's in West Virginia for dinner. While there we saw this: the biggest rainbow I have ever laid eyes on! We watched it the entire time we ate dinner, it was majestic!
My flip-flop boys grabbing a lollipop from the Shoney Bear belly! I think they look so cute here, just enjoying the little things in life. And I think Luke totally looks like the Shoney Bear!! We arrived after midnight, the porch light greeting us and sweet notes lying on the table. Buckets of goodies for the boys, some sparkling juice for my Honey and I and the most delicious homemade goodies made by Vickie!! Our home away from home!! It was so great waking up at 8 am, knowing that my dear friend was so near! Pajama clad, the children and I made our way across the street. Hugs and kisses ensued!!
Vickie and I had lunch together! I love typing that. Vickie and I had lunch together! The food and company were equally delicious. It was so wonderful to be together again! I hadn't seen her since Luke was a baby, when he and I flew down for a quick visit.
Jake stayed with the children while Vickie and I visited.....and they all took naps!
Here's my "vacation" in a picture. Vickie's homemade key lime pie, Beth Moore's "Esther" Bible study and hot coffee....all enjoyed and devoured on the front porch!!
In the evening, this woman MADE US THE MOST AMAZING SPREAD OF FOOD!! I was so impressed that I forgot to take pictures!
Sweet, sweet Ashley holding Paisley! I had such fun with Ashely as well. We went to Target together for the new Taylor Swift CD, found treasures at garage sales and shared ideas about her dream room, straight from the pottery barn kids catalog. xoxo.
We went to the library a few times. It is HUGE and full of fun things for the kids. This is the statue outside the building. Isn't it NEAT??

One afternoon Todd took us on a Historic tour, it was so interesting and charming....especially this little dream of a house!!
On Saturday morning Vickie, Ashley and I went here for some coffee at Alice Jules Coffee House before our big yard sale run! I ordered a "mr. darcy" and a tall one at that, so my order went something like this, "one tall mr. darcy please!" If only it were that easy right???!!! I already have my Mr. Darcy though and HE'S A KEEPER!!!!!!! We found treasures at the biggest yard sale ever....again, so impressed that I forgot to take pictures!!
***my aforementioned "mr. darcy"***
we all went out for lunch at the blu moon cafe, the same place Vickie and I had dined, it was so good i had to introduce it to my loves.
The boys enjoyed the water fountain. On Sunday we woke up early and headed further south to Rick Joyner's church, Morningstar. We sat in the front row and drank in the beautiful worship and incredible message about inter-generational kingdom building by Steve Thompson. The phrase that stood out to us the most was "our ceiling should be our children's floor!" AMEN!! I want to go higher and deeper!!
Speaking of deeper, here are the boys after our busy morning....sleeping deeply!
We had dinner with the Vengela's one evening.....authentic Indian cuisine! Thank you Chris and Megan for having us! We enjoyed our evening with you. You inspire us. Chris and Jake had breakfast together one's like no time has passed between them, even though it's been 5 years since they saw each other last! We finished our time there by hanging some cards and candy for my niece Lindsay, who will be doing her DTS there as well! SO proud of you Linds!!!
We said our good-byes and headed out for the 10 hour trek home again. All in all the children did well...a few break downs here and there, but it went better then I had anticipated! Our children travel well and for that I am grateful. We got home around midnight. Tyler crawled into bed, smacking his lips, "I love my bed" he said and fell fast asleep! Well put!!
"Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
and be a friend to man."
~Sam Walter~

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy BirthdayMom!!

My Mom was joined by her 8 children,
(and a few grandchildren too) for a birthday breakfast!!


"A mother is a person
who seeing there are only four pieces of pie
for five people,
promptly announces
she never did care for pie."
~Tenneva Jordan