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Friday, October 31, 2008

What a difference a year makes

My Halloween Dragon

A year ago today I was setting foot in the states after being in Guatemala (and visiting the rest of Central America) for two months.


I had my first Pumpkin Spice latte of the season one year ago today.


And the best part?


Mark was coming home in two days. He was in Kuwait, leaving for the states as I landed. It had been 7 months since we'd seen him, and boy! We were ready to be a family again.


Tate was adorable dressed up in his little dragon sweatshirt. He ran around the airport in Houston spreading holiday cheer. He found an empty water bottle and kicked it around the airport like a soccer ball for about an hour.


When we got back to Sea-Tac my mom ran to greet us. Tate remembered her and it was so good to be back. We went out to dinner with my in laws, and it was perfect. We slept in our own beds and woke up the next morning with a list a mile long and smiles a mile wide.


Don't get me wrong, I loved Guatemala with my whole heart. Love it so much I am going back, probably next year with Mark and the boys.


But no one takes the place of your people.


I've never been enamored with Halloween before, but for me, last year was the beginning of a deep appreciation for the day. Within a week after Halloween, my whole family was reunited.


Tate and I came back from Guatemala.


Mark came back from Iraq without a scratch on November 2nd.


My dad came back from Africa on November 3rd.


We had a celebration filled with joy and love.


I look back on this day last year, and I am amazed at where I am now. We had decided to pursue a domestic adoption while I was in Guatemala. Now that has fallen through and I am pregnant. I am hoping and praying with my whole heart that Guatemala will be within the Hague Convention standards soon, and the program opens up. Then we will be able to pursue an international adoption!


As I reflect on this past year, mostly I am grateful to my Savior. He has brought us through the hardest time in our lives, and held us closer than ever. I know the saying is that he holds us in the palm of his hand, but I believe that I've been in a bear hug off and on since July.


Thank you, Jesus, for my family.

Thank you, Jesus, for your comfort.

Thank you, Jesus, for your nearness.

Thank you, Jesus, for helping me remember.
Help me not to forget.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost...

I've almost posted about a dozen times today.

I have a lot to update on, but I'm just tired. Pregnancy does that to me.

I spent a lot of today cleaning...the kitchen, bathroom, living room and dining room, and even cleaned out and washed the fridge. It sparkles!

I also prepared meals for the rest of this week and next. (Yay! One chore done!)

And now, I'm heading to bed.

Love,
Jenni

P.S. Please keep the C's (Britney and Tygh) in your prayers tonight and tomorrow. Their birthmom is being induced at 4 am tomorrow (Friday). It will be a long weekend for everyone, but hopefully a joyful one with hearts at peace. Thanks, friends!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grandma "Annie"

I just got to spend the weekend with my family in Oregon. It was wonderful. I have all four grandparents still living, and I treasure that. It's important to me that Tate and Sam know where they come from, so I'm going to chronicle each of my grandparent's lives from what I remember. I'm going to start with my Grandma Ann.

Grandma Ann is remarkable. You'd probably miss it, though, if you were to just walk by her in the grocery store. She isn't terribly tall, or short, either. She's slender, but not skinny (in the last 3 years she's lost 75 pounds!!). She graduated from high school, but didn't attend college. She's worked at 'blue collar' jobs all her life. From the outside looking in, there isn't anything particularly remarkable about her, but the old saying "never judge a book by it's cover" is exemplified with her.

She has three kids. The oldest two were born a year and four days apart.

She has been married to my grandpa since they were out of high school.

She has lived in the mountains of Montana in the winter and the desert of California in the summer.

She has sat by my Grandpa's side during 4 open heart surgeries, the first when he was 38 years old.

She lost her brother when he was young.

She lost her dad when my mom was in sixth grade.

She has spent more days out fishing on the Pacific Ocean than anyone I know, except Grandpa.

She took my mom to church every Sunday growing up.

She loves wholeheartedly.

She worries about everything.

She is funny, but you wouldn't know it until she gets some time away from my Grandpa.

She visits her mom (my Great Grandma, where I get Dorothy from) almost every week, and never forgets to bring her a strawberry milkshake.

My grandma is a pillar of love, strength and dignity. She has endured months alone while my grandpa was out on tug boats. She had the State Patrol come and tell her that my Grandpa had died in a car accident only to find out that there was a mix up and he was fine. She sat by my uncle's bedside when he was in a coma. She helps his kids with their homework. She is faithful in going to church. She is amazing.

One of my favorite stories highlights her humor. She's very funny, but not in large groups. She'd prefer to let everyone else do the talking. Anyway, Grandma Ann and I were on our way back from visiting Grandma Dorothy. I knew that Grandma Dorothy never liked my Grandpa (Ted, Ann's husband) and I asked why. I'll never forget my Grandma's response. "Well, Jenni, back in those days your grandpa used to drink. A lot. My folks thought he was a bad influence. That, and he was (is) a Democrat. Come to think of it, they probably could have overlooked the whole drinking thing." I about died laughing. She's just witty like that.

Anyway, I wanted to share a little about my grandma. Hopefully this will spur me on to remember more so that Tate and "Sam" will know their Greats long after they are gone.

I love you, Grandma Ann!

P.S. The only one to get away with calling her "Grandma Annie" is Tate.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quote of the Day


Me: "Tate, I think I may be making you in to a monster."


Tate: "Yeah, Cookie Monster."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Guess what we did last night...


We Voted.
That's right, friends. We sat down, armed with our ballots, our trusty voters pamphlets, our laptop opened to www.procon.org, our black pens, and we voted. We ended up voting similarly (which is shocking!), but not exactly the same.
I'm so glad it's done.
I'm not going to get into who we each voted for and why because...let's be honest. If we agree we'll just pat each other on the back about what great choices we made, and if we don't agree then we'll both spew out our rhetoric as to why 'our' candidate is better but neither of us will change our minds. I trust that if you're voting you've done your research and decided what's important to you.
My blog isn't the place to have a political discussion. I do that on Facebook.
We are now officially blocking out any election news until winners are announced.
***********************************************
In other, non election news, I do have to ask you to not be embarrassed if you saw me Wednesday, yesterday or today.
I am wearing the same clothes.
Different underclothes.
But the same jeans.
and hoodie.
The honest to goodness truth is that nothing fits out of my old clothes, and the maternity ones are all summery.
So I have a pair of trusty jeans.
and a few hoodies.
and I rotate them.
If you have a problem with that...
go buy me some more!
(Kidding).
I'm going to hit up the thrift store here in the next few weeks.
Until then,
Tough Luck.
:)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Crazy.


My husband thinks I'm crazy.
OK, maybe not crazy, but that my world is very small.
Why else would I pick on a beloved fictional monkey?
I admit it.
My world is small.
I'm still getting used to staying at home.
And there are bigger problems in the world than a bad pet owner.
But seriously,
Oh Man with the Yellow Hat-
Could you please put a leash on your freaking monkey?
If I have to read about how you let him run and play with a dump truck;
Who has wheels taller than George;
Again!
I may dispose of you.
Forever.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

No News



I didn't think we'd hear anything right away, so I'm trying not to even think about the house. If I'm being completely honest with myself, we really have nothing to complain about. We've been taken care of in ways beyond my understanding and I'm resting in God's great wisdom. We're even together right now! Last year at this time I was getting back to Guatemala from Panama and Mark was in Kuwait getting ready to come home. What a difference a year makes. (FYI, the house for sale is the one in Virginia that we bought 4.5 years ago and remodeled. We're renting now, and the house is sitting empty).


Tate has been really into the Curious George books lately. We have a compilation one that he especially likes. His favorite stories are the ones that have to do with transportation...the train and the dump truck. I know this is completely stupid, but I get really annoyed with the man in the yellow hat. He is a completely irresponsible pet owner! If you're going to take a monkey out of the jungle and bring him home, then at least watch him so he doesn't take off and make a mess of the entire train station. Or toy store. Or anywhere else for that matter. It just irritates me that he lets George go and get into trouble. If I let Tate run around like that I would either be fined or put in jail. I just hate things that promote irresponsibility. Even if they are cute. (I know, I know, apparently I don't hate it enough to not buy it or stop reading it). And yes, I do realize it's fiction.


We went to the Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze this weekend. Tate was enamored with all of the pumpkins. I think he sat on just about all of them. We didn't actually buy one for him, but he didn't seem to mind. We've set the bar really low for him when it comes to buying things. It's easier to set it low to start and then raise it as desired, I think. I hope.


Well, the little man is taking a nap...supposed to be taking a nap. He's quiet, that's what matters. I'm going to go and get a quick snooze before he's ready to be up and running again. I find that if I don't get at least a half hour down in the afternoon, I'm ready for bed by 8:00. I really do enjoy sharing my evenings with Mark, so I make a good attempt to nap for a bit every day. Some days it's easier than others.


OK, thanks for your prayers for our house. I'll post as soon as I hear anything!


Love,

Jenni

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

House Showing!

Our house is showing tomorrow at noon. Please be praying for the prospective buyer or renter and for the Lord's timing in all of this. We would really, REALLY like to move on, but even more, we'd prefer God's timing.

Thanks, Friends.

I'm it

Alright, I've been tagged by Deb, so I've got to come up with seven things you don't know about me. This is going to be hard because the point of a blog is to share, and that's what I've tried to do! Well, anyway, here goes.

1. I have an insatiable reading habit. Once I start a book I can't put it down. Literally. It's really a problem. Here's a real life example of the problem: Two weeks ago I went to the library. I checked out 8 books, 7 novels, (2 in Spanish, 5 in English) and a picture book in Spanish. I read all five novels in less than 48 hours. (I got about 7 hours of sleep). I also read fast, which helps, but it's still an addiction.

2. I can't stand the grocery store. In order to force myself to go, I make a game out of it. I get through as quickly as I can (I time myself) and try to get the largest percent off that I can. I go through the sales fliers meticulously before I go and plan each trip and which aisles I'll be going down. This cuts down on impulse buys and shaves off unnecessary time.

3. I don't like shopping of any kind. I just don't enjoy it. Maybe it's because you have to part with money and I don't like that. Mostly though, I just don't like the feeling of dissatisfaction or false need that I get when I go shopping and want something. So I try to avoid it most times.

4. I love The Office more than any show on TV, but I still cringe all the time. Mark makes fun of me because I can't help but physically cringe during embarrassing moments. Like, last week's episode when Jan was singing to Astrid during the shower...I almost had to get up and walk away it was so awkward.

5. My favorite color is green. And mixtures of green and blue (Teal). I love dark green colors and all shades of teal.

6. I do not enjoy pregnancy. I think it's great to have a baby, but my experiences with it have been difficult to say the least. Some women love it-I do not. I love the baby, just not being pregnant. Also, everyone knows how you got that way, and while it's not strange, it can be kind of...I don't know. It's just a little awkward.

7. I don't drink coffee. I don't like the taste unless it's masked by Pumpkin Spice. Also, I think I may be allergic to caffeine. It makes my stomach ache and gives me a headache whenever I drink it. I can have a regular serving of chocolate, but a full pop with caffeine or a cup of coffee makes me sick. Strange, huh?

So, there you go. I don't know who to tag since I'm not sure who reads this. If you do end up doing this, leave a comment so I can enjoy your answers, OK?

Love,
Jenni

Monday, October 20, 2008

Normal!

My blood pressure reading was a normal 120/70! Praise the Lord! Tate and I said a prayer before we went in, and after I said "thank you, Jesus" and Tate repeated that the whole way home "Nan oooh Jezzusss!" It was so cute.

They are attributing my previously high reading to working out right before my appointment, and running late for a meeting with my boss right after my appointment.

I'm so glad that is over and done with. **Huge sigh of relief**

I also started doing pregnancy yoga thanks to a suggestion from my sister in law, Kara. I feel like it's helped me with flexibility and calmness (if that's a word).

Ok, off to make lunch. Love you all!

Jenni

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Whew!


What a week.


I'm glad it's the weekend. Praising Jesus for the weekend, actually.


Tate is sitting in his chair right now, waiting patiently for Daddy's Pumpkin Waffles. I am waiting not so patiently on the couch. Mark just told Tate that it will be ready in four minutes and now Tate's counting to four repeatedly. It's pretty funny.


I didn't go in to get my BP checked because we had some issues with the house right before I needed to leave. I rescheduled for Monday morning. I think it will be nice to get it over with first thing anyway.


My back tightened up again last night. It's right under/next to the left shoulder blade. Very uncomfortable. I'm really not supposed to take more than Tylenol, but I was OKed for a few rounds of Motrin if it get's to the point that I can't move my neck.


Ok, off to enjoy my Pumpkin Waffle. Have a great day!


Love,

Jenni

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So...

Today promises to be better than yesterday.

Yesterday wasn't bad in and of itself, I was just sad for my friends. And a bit discouraged about my BP. I had a good talk with my brother, though, and I feel better about it.

So, the big news is that we had our ultrasound yesterday! Sam is healthy and happy, and right on target. I'm measuring about 5 days ahead of where the magic wheel of due dates says I am, but who knows. Sam is about 12 ounces at this point, and has big feet. We were originally not going to find out the gender, but when the ultrasound tech said, "Oh, well, there it is. It's pretty obvious!" we knew that it's a boy! Tate is going to have a little brother!

We're thinking about names, but probably won't publish it until it's time. We got a ton of really 'constructive' comments about Tate's name before he was born, and I kind of want to avoid that this time. I'm sure you understand.

Anyway, I am excited about this new chapter in our lives. Tate says 'little brudder' and is feeding off of our excitement. I do hope to have a daughter at some point, but I am content in having boys for now. When the timing and everything is right, I believe we will have a daughter (we're adopting from now on, if you remember:).

OK, I'm off to get some work done. Today is my first day of school, so I've got to finish preparing my Spanish lesson.

Have a great day!
Jenni

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm sad today

Two of my friends had miscarriages this weekend. I'm very sad for them. My heart breaks for them. I really don't have much more to say about it other than that I'm sad.

Also, my BP is up. I'm hoping it's because I worked out before I went to the dr, but I worked out the last two times, too, and it was ok. I go back in on Friday for a re-check. It's so frustrating not being able to tell my own body to chill out.

That's it. I have some fun news, too, but I'm not up to sharing it today. I'll post again tomorrow.

Love,
Jenni

Friday, October 10, 2008

Further Proof That He Is, In Fact, Mine.

HE STABS...

HE LICKS...
TAKES A BIG BITE...
CHEWS...
AND SCORES!!!!

He very well may be the spitting image of his daddy, but his love for Ketchup is all me!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ahhh...Quiet

It's so nice to be able to sit down and enjoy the quiet after a long day. It relaxes me completely. I have the candles burning (just like every other day) and I really love the occasional wiffs of Pumpkin that I get as I walk around the house. Gosh, I love FALL!

I am back in 'full on creative mode' again. I am making my niece and Mark's second cousin their Christmas gifts. I love creating gifts because I am able to pray for them while I'm working. It's really a lot more fun for me than it will be for them, but that's ok. Someday they will appreciate the work that went into their gifts. The color scheme is pink and purple, so I know they will like that. When I'm a little farther along I'll share pics and explain what exactly I'm doing. The problem is I have a hard time conveying my vision until after the project is complete, so until I'm done I get a lot of 'uh huh' and blank stares. It's ok, I know what's in my head.

We haven't heard anything from the lady, so I'm assuming that she doesn't want the house. It's ok. She didn't go inside and that's really the best part! God has been so faithful in providing for us and I am really enjoying learning to lean on Him more during this time of financial...I don't even know what to call it. It's not a crisis, our needs are being met and we are growing closer to God. I guess I would call it financial dependence on God. It's sad that it took us until now to get to this place, huh?

The pregnancy is going well. We go in on Monday for our big ultrasound. I am really excited. I am praying for the baby's health and mine as well. I have also started praying for the whole labor and delivery part of this shindig. I really want to go into labor naturally, so I've been praying for no complications that would hinder my ability to have a natural labor. I did do a 'natural' childbirth with Tate in that I had no drugs, but I was induced. I am a little more flexible this time. I'm not going to rule out drugs because my back labor was HORRIBLE, and I never felt the urge to push. I hear this is really common with back labor. Anyway, I am 19 weeks pregnant, almost half way! It's hard to believe it.

OK, well, my boys are playing outside. I'm going to go and enjoy the last few minutes of peace and quiet. I hope you're doing well!

Love,
Jenni

Monday, October 6, 2008

Long time coming

So, I've been neglecting a real post for a long time. Sorry about that. Here's the main stuff, all together in one post.

* House: we still haven't heard anything more from the woman who is interested. We're hoping and praying that this is 'the one' and things come together quickly, but we're also trying to be content in our waiting.

* Pregnancy: I am almost 19 weeks pregnant. We are going in a week from today for our big ultrasound. We have decided to not find out the baby's gender, but we are going to have the tech write on a card what it is, and then seal it in an envelope. That way, if we have complications and I have to have a C-Section we will be able to know in advance.

* Work/Navy: I start teaching next week (I will have two classes) and I started babysitting last week. I am not babysitting at all this week, but will a couple of times in the next couple of weeks. It's been a real blessing to have a little bit of extra cash coming in. Navy life is fine, we're still here. It's hard on shore duty to remember how awful sea duty was! We are still planning on getting out in June, but have given the Navy a 'list of demands' so to speak, to meet if we are to stay in. Namely, we want a guarantee on a certain type of sub. We'll see how all that goes. I'm not holding my breath.

* I am loving our deep freezer. It is probably the best purchase we made this year.

* Mark starts using the carpool to get into work tomorrow. I can't wait for our gas bill to go down!

* We are doing a really good job of evaluating our spending and cutting back where we can. Our goal is to be 'untethered' by December, and be able to build up a nice savings base between then and June for when Mark is out of the Navy.

* I've been finding a lot of ways to scrimp and save lately, and I'm doing a lot of DIY Christmas gifts this year. (We're only doing gifts for the Children and we each have a Secret Santa). I've used www.skiptomylou.org a ton and I love the ideas on there. I'll write more on our Christmas plans later, we've changed our ideas surrounding Christmas and this year will reflect that. It's going to get it's own post, though.

I hope you're doing well and I will talk to you later!

Love,
Jenni

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Let the Games Begin

Alright, here you go! Guess if our baby is a boy or girl...this should be fun!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Housing potential

Please be praying!

We've had a hit on our house. A lady is wanting to do a rent to own situation, which we would be thrilled about. As of right now our real estate agent has called the lady back and they are playing phone tag. That's all I know.

Ok, it's Tate's nap time, I'm going to go.

Love,
Jenni