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Friday, February 26, 2010

Cranky

I'm feeling a little cranky this afternoon.

I think it's because my grandparents are moving into a retirement center, and I've kind of avoided thinking about what that means.  I don't really want to admit to myself that they are old enough to live there.  But, since we'll be helping move them I can't really avoid it any longer.  Ahhh, denial, you were wonderful while you lasted.

The boys both have ear infections.  We learned that at their well child check ups today.  They aren't that bad and we don't have any antibiotics for them, but a good decongestant will work wonders.   I really like their doctor and was surprisingly not judged for being nearly 10 months behind on Theo's vaccines.  I'm sorry, not judged by him.  The nurse was pretty snippy about it.  We're not following a protocol or anything, I just prefer delaying vaccines and not having a bunch of shots all at once.  That, and with all of our nomadishness this last year, I just wanted to avoid all the paperwork that goes along with first appoinments. 

But I don't like snippy nurses, and if she says anything next time I may have to growl at her I mean kill her with kindness. 

But I would rather growl.  People don't really know what to do when you growl at them.  It's weird and unexpected and since the doctor already signed the forms today saying that we're good candidates for adoption, it's OK to take my crazy for a spin in the doctor's office...right?

Ugh. [rolling eyes] I promise I'll be nice.


Peace, love and a little bit of cranky,
Jenni

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2010 Craft Goal

Project #7:
Multi colored throw for the couch!
Crocheted.
Started February 12th, finished February 25th.


So here's the skinny: Our house is great, we are blessed to be here!  The only downside is that there isn't a lot of color, the walls are a beige color and our couches are as well.  I've been looking for ways to add more color to the house when I realized just how many "ends" of yarn I have.  By themselves there isn't much you can make, but I put those together with some other random stuff I have and was able to make this!  The only thing I had to buy was 2 skeins of black yarn for the borders. 

The colors are kind of wild and crazy, but I think it suits us. 

I had a hard time deciding how to do this...I was wavering between the Granny Squares (which is what I actually did) and stripes.  I'm happy with the squares.  The colors really work well with some other art pieces in the house. 

And, as a bonus, I think I used up about 6 ends!!!

(This project also has a "sibling" that I hope to finish this weekend.  It's over half way done.  Keep your eyes peeled).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mean Girls

As I've mentioned before, I'm doing a Bible Study on Esther.  I liked the first two weeks, but I didn't really feel like they hit home.  Last week concentrated on physical beauty (as well as other things) but I don't really struggle with this.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I'm a natural beauty, I know very well what I am and what I am not-and unfortunately the words "beautiful" and "great complexion" will never be used to describe me.

What I am saying is that I've never really been that caught up in looks.  My last two years of high school, I wore sweats and a sports bra (under my baggy tee shirts-not just a sports bra) to school every Friday...and no make up.  Trust me, my complexion was a LOT worse then.  It wasn't that I was trying to prove a point, it was that I just didn't care.  I knew what was important to me, and I knew who I was.  I wasn't trying to impress anyone with my looks because that's not what is great about me.   I have known that from a young age and I am very secure in that.

This week's study, though, hit me right here. 

Yes, right in the middle of my poorly complexioned face (is that even a word?  Complexioned?)  And don't click on the picture.  Trust me, just don't.  You don't need to count my pores.

This week's topic was on meanness. 

Yes, it was on mean girls. 

Typically I consider myself a pretty nice girl, but there are times that I am just down right nasty.  One of the points that Mrs. Moore made was that meanness always has a history, a root.  Sometimes we just respond to things in a way that is so awful that it blows our mind.  We get done reacting and then think, "Whoa, I don't know who that freak show was back there, but she was definately NOT who I want to be.  Is that ugliness really inside of me?"

So this week I'm going to be focused on the root of my meanness.  When I'm mean, why am I that way?  What insecurity triggers this response?   Romans talks about how stupid it is to compare ourselves to one another, so that's the first thing to go, for sure.   I was created in God's beautiful image...not in the image of someone else who was created in his image.  I'm still an "originial" copy (oxymoron, I know) but hear me out.  I'm not a copy that's been copied so many times that I'm losing my integrity.  I'm the direct likeness of the all powerful God who formed me.  If I try and be someone else, I will fail at being the crazy lady I was created to be.

So I don't need to be insecure when someone questions my beliefs, my priorities, my attitude, my abilities, my ideals, my ideas, my intellect, my physical abilities-NONE of it.

I'm just me.

I'm the me that God created, and I'm OK with that.



Peace and Love,
Jenni

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You give me Fevuh

...in the mornin'...

Well, Tate had a fever this morning.

And I'm feeling all stomach achey tonight. 

I really thought we were almost over this thing.  I even went to the gym tonight.

But after nearly losing my lunch on the treadmill three times, I decided to call it a night. 

Hopefully we'll be better tomorrow.

[For the record, we're all feeling better, just having a hard time kicking the last bit of this ick.]

Monday, February 22, 2010

2010 Craft Goal

I decided to scrap my juvinile project.  Not sure if I said that earlier or not, but it's now official.  The idea was to make a flower scarf along the lines of this but without the chains, just all flowers and leaves.  Well, since I hate doing applique work, it was a bust.  But, since I do have a bunch of flowers already made, I've decided to put them to use. (And if I already said all that in the last post, I apologize.)  So, here is:

Project # 6:
Another hat, similar to the last one.
Crocheted.  Started and finished within  two hours.


I may endure the wrath of the LT tonight after he sees that I posted a picture of his son in a flowered hat, but I know he'll forgive me.

And I'll go ahead and ask for Tate's forgiveness tonight so that if he ever sees this when he gets older I'll be able to tell him that he can't get mad, he's already forgiven me.

Yes, that's how we roll. 

Sorry I didn't edit the pictures all pretty, I'm fighting some sort of cold and just didn't feel like spending the time on it. 

Peace and Love,
Jenni

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tate Quote/My Bad

 Setting: In the car on the way to surprise Mark at work on his birthday.  We're running late and I realize that I didn't save his boss's phone number right and the call wouldn't connect.

Me: ARRGG!  CRAP!!!

Tate:  Mom, where's the crab?

****

EDIT:
Since we're on the subject of arthropods, I thought I'd add that Tate calls lobsters "Lumpsters".  This is a mix between "monsters" and "lobsters".  He originally just called them "monsters".

Pretty accurate, no?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!


To my Beloved Lt. Wonderful,

You're wonderful.  I think you already knew that, but it's true.

I am so glad that Mariners Spring Training has started for you.  I know how happy that makes you.  You're just like a little boy again when you talk about it.

You're a fantastic father-very involved in our boys' lives, and never intimidated by even the grossest task (I'm thinking about Tate's unflushable poop incident last week).

I love you very much, and I hope that 31 is your best year yet!

Love always,
Your doting wife

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not feeling well

I've got a bug of some sort. 

It's a ache-all-over-throat-hurts-ears-ache bug.

Is that the flu or not?  I used to only call it the flu if there was vomit involved. 

Now I'm not so sure.

Either way, I hope I feel better tomorrow...it's P/T Lt. Wonderful's 29 and 24 months birthday!

Have a great night!

Peace and Love,
Jenni

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tate Quote




Tate: Mom, do you see those flowers?

Me: Yep Buddy, I do.

Tate:  Mom, those flowers are just for you.  They are from God.
 He made those flowers for you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The House

If you've known me for a while, you know about the house.

If you somehow managed to miss it, or haven't known me for that long, I'll give you a rundown.

In May 2004 Mark and I bought a fix-r-upper in Portsmouth VA.  We spent the next two and a half years getting the house the way we wanted it: new kitchen, refinish the originial hardwood floors, redo the bathroom, add a second bathroom, tear down wall paper and re plaster, new HVAC, new windows...you name it we did it.  We put it on the market in October 2006 until January 2007.  That's the worst time to have a house on the market and it just sat.  In December 2006 we moved back to Washington State with the Navy, so the house was just sitting empty. 

In February we were blessed beyond words when some of our good friends moved back to VA and rented the house for 18 months.  We were very concerned about the friendship staying solid, and I'm pleased to report that it did.  They treated our house so well, and while we were thrilled to see them move to Hawaii, we knew that finding new renters that were as good as they were would be impossible.  We also knew we wanted to sell the house, so we put the house on the market again, and at the same time we advertised the house as a rental. 

After several leads not working out (ie the people flaked out) we finally had a couple move in at the beginning of March, 2009.  They paid rent for the month of March and part of April, and then nothing.  We knew we'd have to evict them, and doing that long distance would be difficult, so we hired a property management company to take care of it for us.

In June the squatters were finally gone, and we put it for rent again (per the contract with the management company).  We had several people inquire about the house, and the managment company chose a military couple.  They signed a year long lease and moved in the first week of July.  We breathed a little easier at that point, we wouldn't have to worry about the house for a year and then when we did put it back on the market it would be summer, which is the best time to sell a house.  We felt like things were finally going our way after a long drought of difficulties.

When we went to cash our August rent check from our property management company, the check bounced.  We were concerned.  Concern turned to frustration when we called the company and the mailbox was full-we couldn't leave a message.  Frustration turned to rage and then defeat when we found out that our property management company's assets were frozen by the IRS and that they were being charged with embezzeling over $430,000 from one of their clients.  We were out a few months rent.  Not a lot compared to the $400k, but a lot for us.

Imagine our surprise when we found out that the military couple was leaving in December (this past one), and even worse, they had never planned on staying there the entire time...he only had 6 month orders, and they were just going to use the military clause to get out of the lease.  After a long battle that ended with us hiring an attorney, we reached a compromise with them over the deposit (I could do a whole series of posts on this, but I'll just say that even under Soldiers and Sailors, you have to sign a lease in good faith.  If you're only going to be there for six months and there is little to no possibility of staying there, you can't sign a year long lease and expect to be covered.  That's not signing in good faith).

At this point we decided that we'd put the house on the market and wait it out.  We don't want to be landlords anymore.  Even with renters in the house we are losing a significant amount of money every month and the hassle is just not worth it.   We've long since decided that we were not supposed to buy this house in the first place, that we made a mistake and went against God's will in purchasing it.

Toward the end of December I started feeling like we needed to be open to whatever God had in store for the house.  I talked to Mark about it, but didn't do anything.  I just waited.  A couple days after our talk I got an email from Believers Church about someone needing a house to live in.  I was interested, and emailed to get more information.  Nothing came of it, but we were told about a potential opportunity to bless someone with the house in January. 

Mark and I talked it over and felt peace about the situation and decide to go for it.  We took a step of faith, keeping the house on the market, but also letting it be used while we wait.

On paper and according to nearly every professional, we're making a huge mistake.  But the peace we feel in this situation is indescribeable.  I know that I know that I know that we are doing what we should be doing.  And I know that in the right time, the house will sell to the right people.  I have peace and rest well at night knowing this (every time prior to this time, when the house sat empty I literally would be up all night worrying about making ends meet).  And between now and then, we just patiently wait without stressing, because it's no longer our problem-we've handed it over to the Great Real Estate Agent [aka God-please don't think I'm being sacreligious, I'm not meaning to be].  

I was on the phone with one of my close friends this week and she asked me a question that really got me thinking, and ultimately got me to write this post.  She asked me if, contrary to what I earlier thought, maybe it was in God's plan to buy the house and the whole point of this exercise was to learn to rely on God fully to receive his peace.  Maybe we were supposed to learn to be a little less self reliant and a little more reliant on God.  Moreover, if we hadn't bought the house in Virginia, we probably would have bought a house in Kingston and would have been in an even worse situation!  Perhaps God really is taking care of us through this house, even if we can't see it or don't particularly want to be refined in this way.

This has absolutely revolutionized my thoughts about the whole situation.  I know that everything we have is God's and I'm just a means of dispersal, and that conversation really drove that home.  I felt encouraged and excited.  God really is working in me and molding me into a better version of me...his version of me.   And even though I still hope for the house to sell, my prayers about it aren't desperate-I'm not desperate.  He's got the whole world, even my little house in Virigina, in his hands. 

When the time is right, the house will sell. 

**And a huge thanks to Nate and Heather Carl.  Nate is our real estate agent and both of them are counted among our closest friends.  You guys are incredible and I hope that you will be blessed though the sale of this house, too **

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tate Quote

Setting: Sunday morning.  7:00.  Tate stumbles out of bed.  Usually he's very cheerful, but this morning he looks like he's been hit by a bus.

Me: Good Morning, Tate!  How are you?

Tate: [sighs heavily] Mom, I'm just not going to be happy today.

Me: OK.  Thanks for telling me now.

Tate:  Of course.

****

Sunday afternoon.  Tate sees Miss Kaeli (his crush).  He runs up to her in the hall at church and gives her a big hug and does his little flirting thing with her.  He comes back to me with a smile on his face.

Tate:  Mom, I'm a little happy now.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I thought...

...my mistake.

I pulled up my blog home page because I thought I had something to say.

It turns out that I do not. 

Have a great night!

Peace and Love,
Jenni

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2010 Craft Project, #5

Project #5

 2 Crocheted hats!



The hats are different sizes, an adult (seen in the top picture on me) and a smaller infant size, about 0-6 months (it's too small for Theo, but he does have a gigantic head).   The smaller hat has a little flower on it.  The larger hat does not.  I decided that crocheted flowers lose their appeal at age 24, and since I'm 25 I just missed the deadline. 

The color is more accurate in the top picture, but I wanted to try and show some of the detail in the bottom. 

Best part?  I used up the rest of a ball of yarn I had laying around.

And no, this is not the juvenile project that I was working on.  I kind of lost steam on that one.  I wonder why?

So, that's 5 projects finished, 25 more to go!

[These hats were designed and made by me on February 8th and 9th, 2010]

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meatless Monday?

Lately I've been trying to go meatless at least once a week.  I've been choosing Monday simply because of alliteration-Meatless Mondays-it's easier to remember this way.  I started this after we got back from Nicaragua the first time.  The idea of not eating meat every day was revolutionary to me.  I can honestly say that before we went to Nicaragua, I had never gone more than one day without eating meat.  Deciding to go without meat wasn't anything official, but just something I thought we should try occasionally.  Then in January we went for 3 weeks without meat.  I was a little bit skeptical about not eating meat for three weeks...I'm not really sure what I thought might happen.  Whatever it was that I thought would happen, though, didn't.  I didn't even miss meat.  Allow me to say that again:

I didn't even miss meat.

Yes.  Shocking, I know.  I went back to our old eating habits, more out of habit than desire, but couldn't shake the feeling that I was eating stuff I didn't need.  So, slowly, I've begun going meatless.  I'm certainly not a vegetarian, I don't know that I will ever take that leap.  But I do know that I don't miss meat when I don't have it.  So, I've simply begun not having it as much.  I'm learning how to season food with spices (not salt, I don't do much salt, either) and I am really enjoying this practical use of chemistry!  Last night I made a bean, rice and lentil curry dish.  It was INCREDIBLE!!  I loved it!  Very filling and very good. 

So where does this leave me?  and Mark?  Well, it leaves us with a little lower of a grocery bill as I incorporate other types of protein into our diets.  It leaves me with a little more time in the kitchen trying to prepare food-and that's ok.  I'm enjoying it.  It leaves me wiggle room to figure out exactly what I want, and frees me from the expectation that I have to prepare meat every day, but it also gives me the freedom to eat meat when I want to without feeling guilty. 

So, here's to a meat free dinner tonight-simply because it's what I want tonight.  And tomorrow, if I want meat, then I'll cook it up.

Buen Provecho!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Skipper is a Moron


Skipper ran away yesterday. 
Stupid dog. 
 It cost $54 to get him back.
His mug shot is funny, though.
And did you notice the "markings" section? 


What happened is this: Our gate is hard to close, so we thought it was closed...but the moron (I guess he's actually pretty smart to be able to open it but whatever) was able to open it and then he ran a few miles down the road.  He spent the night in the house of a dog lover, and the pound picked him up this morning.  Since he's microchipped they called us immediately and we got to spring him from jail.

So, we are $54 poorer, but still have the dog. 

And, it's a good thing it wasn't Mara that ran away because we'd still have the $54 and I'd have to explain to Tate how doggies sometimes go on "vacation" [that's a Forrest Gump reference for all of you who've known me forever].   Skipper is our favored dog, even though he is a fool.

...on second thought, maybe we're the fools...hmm...


Friday, February 5, 2010

Fat Burnin' Friday

I'm officially back down to the lowest I've been, and within a half pound of my goal.  I'm thrilled!  However, I probably could have been at my goal if I'd not eaten ice cream several times this week. 

It was one of those weeks, you know?  It seems like we go for several weeks and everything is great, and then we have a couple of "those" weeks strung together.  I just hope we're near the end of this string.  We have a relaxing weekend planned, and I am hoping that we get to enjoy that without any form of Mark's work interrupting (Navy or otherwise).

So, a great week to celebrate overall, but I need to do better about sugar.  Maybe I won't make those brownies afterall...

********************************************************* 
Pounds to go: .5
Pounds to dream goal: 6.5


Bring on the sunshine!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bullet Points

Because they're easier than a real post!

  • Tate told me that God lives in his heart last week.  It melted my heart.
  • Theo is cutting another tooth.  He has a rough time teething.  We both have a rough time when he teeths.
  • I've been working on running.  It's more of a mental battle for me than a physical one.
  • Mark told me that the project I'm working on for my 20+10 crafting challenge is "a little bit juvenile".  My immediate thought was "you're a little bit juvenile" but I managed to refrain from actually saying it because that would be a bit, well, juvenile.
  • I love cooking with gas.  It's way quicker than electric.  That said, I've managed to severely handicap half of my cooking utensils by leaning them up on the side of the pot or pan I'm using. 
  • Mark's working late tonight (he's on swing shift) so I'm getting to know Dr. Temperance Brennan and Special Agent Seeley Booth tonight. 
  • If you have no idea what that means, I'll solve the nerd puzzle for you.  I'm watching the first part of season 2 of Bones.  I really like this show!
  • I finished some more paperwork for the adoption today.  If we can get those files from our old computer, we'll be almost done with paperwork!  We still have a bunch of appointments, but it's going by pretty quickly!
  • The credits are done.  I'm off to the next episode!  Have a great night!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away...

It's sunny out. 

I love that.  More than loving that it's sunny, I love the juxtaposition.  I love sunny days in the winter.  And the occasional rainy day in the summer.  It reminds me that I'm not the one in control, and that God can do whatever it is he wants, thankyouverymuch.

And I'm glad that today, in Portland, Oregon, God was in the mood for some sun.

Because truth be told, so was I. 

Yesterday was a blah day.  I did get a workout done, but I also had a bowl of icecream. (or maybe two-not back to back).  The kids were fine, but it was just a blah day.  I didn't have the energy to really the desire to go anywhere or do anything.  I just wanted to sit on the couch, play with the boys and nap.  I got to do all but the latter.  My PT LT. Wonderful was, well, wonderful and brought home daffodils for me.  He knew that it was a blah day, and he knows that daffodils are my favorites. 

Is there anything more cheerful than a daffodil? 

No, no there isn't.

So, today I sit here, enjoying the sunshine, enjoying my daffodils, and knowing that just by running the dishwasher I was more productive today than yesterday.  Planning dinner and picking up the house are just like little bonuses.

I really don't like those blah days, but I guess they serve a purpose.  I feel more accomplished today.  I like that feeling.

Love,
Jenni

PS Got our fingerprints turned in for the adoption!  One more little thing done :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just Doin' It


I have committed.

I am doing our Women's Bible Study (Esther, by Beth Moore). 

This is my first Beth Moore study, and I've heard they are pretty intense.  I'm excited.  And a little anxious.

And, did I mention, that I'm doing it in Spanish?

Yeah, that's where the anxiety comes into play.

My book is in English, but my friend Daisy asked me to join the Spanish table.  I told her I was unsure of my skills and such, and she said that she really felt like I should do it.

So I thought about it for a week, and then signed up.

I don't mind talking to kids and teens in Spanish, but I really don't care for talking to people my age and older.  Mark is really encouraging about it, but let's be honest-I'm not a native speaker.  I'm rusty at best,and a bumbling idiot at worst these days. 

I trust that I'm going to learn a lot...about Spanish and about life.  I just wish sometimes that learning wasn't synonymous with discomfort, stretching, growing, and even, sometimes, failing.

Anything worth having is worth sacrificing for.  I want to have the ability to be comfortable expressing myself in Spanish. 

I guess I'll just have to sacrifice some of this wretched pride to get there.