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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Profound Thoughts From Our Resident Four Year Old

Setting: Tate climbed into our bed to snuggle us for a few minutes.  I was brushing my teeth.  He collapsed down on our bed with his arms out and a contented sigh. 

Tate:  Aaaaaahhhhhhhh, God made your bed SO COMFORTABLE!  (quietly to himself) How did he do that?


************
Tate: Look at that!  It looks like a shark!
LT Wonderful: Yep, it does look like a shark.
Tate:  Yep.  And sharks are pretty evil.  They bite. 
LT W:  Typically they only bite when they are hungry?
Tate: HUH?  Then who gets to be evil?


*************
Tate: Mom, do you know what gliding is?
Me: Yes.  
Tate:  Well, let me tell you about it more.  Gliding is when you are up in the air and are moving.  But you're not flying because you can't go faster.  You're kind of falling, but it's not really scary because you can steer.  And Mom?  Flying squirrels glide, they don't really fly. 


I don't think I would have been able to explain it that well...[and perhaps he's been watching too much Go Diego Go]

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thanks for all the Love!

Thanks so much for all the love and sweet things you guys said in response to our big news yesterday.  We are so excited, but so overwhelmed by what we need to do to prepare.  The good news is that we know this is all in God's timing and we feel great about that!


Someone yesterday mentioned how excited the girls must be about this.  And yes!  They are excited!  In May we talked with them about our plans to come down and the relief was palpable when they realized that they won't have to move away from everything they've ever known and loved.  We aren't sure what the whole situation will look like...and we're OK with that.  With the amount of transition that will be involved, we don't want to walk into any sort of expectations.  The plan for "what happens officially with the girls" is to use our hearts, wise counsel from others and a little bit of flying by the seat of our pants to determine the best course of action for all involved.  I realize that some people may disagree with this plan, but since you won't be there you don't really have a say (I'm using my nicest tone of voice when I say that, I really don't mean to sound like a brat).  

So now that you have the 411 on that, I'm going to change directions on you. 

Yesterday we went to a U-Pick raspberry place.  It was me and the boys.  I thought for sure that Tate and I would have a blast and Theo would find something to do to entertain himself while we picked.  

I was totally wrong. 

It turns out that berry picking with a very concrete, rule following four-year-old isn't fun.  Not at all.  Every berry is either too orange, too yellow or too purple.  Or he can't find berries.  He doesn't want to hold up the bushes because he might get hurt by the prickers and thorns.  But he still wants to win, so he's pretty opinionated about where the berries go. 

Theo, on the other hand, just watched as I explained what we were doing and then set off to work.  He picked every little berry in his reach!  I was so impressed.  When we'd get about 15 yards away from our bags he'd say, "Mom, I go get it.  Be right back." Then he'd go haul our stuff to where we were.  He ate a few berries, but really he didn't nosh on that many.  

So, I think Theo and I will go berry picking again for a date night.  He seemed to enjoy it.  Tate can go to the pet store or something (he recently went there and loved it.  I see a hamster in our future...ugh.  Actually we were thinking a chinchilla because they don't smell and don't require the same amount of clean up but did you know they live for 15 years?  Yeah.  Neither did I.  It's not happening). 

That was our week so far.  It looks like summer may have finally decided to grace us with her presence here in Portland (at least, I hope!)

Have a great one (and happy ALMOST FRIDAY!)

Love, 
Jenni

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The [Revised] Plan

Dear Friends, 

There have been so many things I have wanted to share on the blog lately, but in order to share one of those things, I'll have to divulge other information that I just wasn't ready to let out of the bag yet.  No, that's not right.  I wanted to share, but I wanted it to be perfect and I couldn't figure out how to make it perfect so I kept putting it off.  Finally LT Wonderful and I had a long chat about it and he convinced me that I can't make it perfect, it just has to be shared.  So here it is. 

Many of you are probably aware that over the past two years our hearts have become completely enraptured with the Nicaraguan people.  We went to visit the first time thinking that we could be of service to the orphanage and left with our hearts full but broken.  We went to serve and were instead served more graciously than I have ever served.  With that one trip, our entire lives were changed forever. 

Over the past two years we have gone back to visit several times.  We planned on moving down "eventually" but as we've prayed, fasted, sought wise counsel and searched our hearts we have recently decided that "eventually" should be happening sooner rather than later.  Since our trip down this past May we have been actively pursuing what we believe to be our calling to serve down in Nicaragua as missionaries [I don't feel comfortable using that word yet...will I ever?] to the orphanage and to the Nicaraguan people.  We have nothing to offer but ourselves and our love, so we offer this joyfully without reservation. 

We aren't leaving tomorrow, we are in a process and are unsure of how long it will take to get everything in line.  Our goal (and best guess) is that we'll be transitioning down to Nicaragua sometime next year.  There are several questions that still need to be answered (several more that still need to be asked), logistics to work out and decisions to be made.  But more important than that, there are many prayers that need to be prayed for wisdom, courage and most important pure and steadfast hearts. 

So please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we make this transition.  We are so excited about what is coming, but we're also excited about where we are now!  We don't know how long this season will last, but we're doing our best to be content while we wait for everything to come together.  

Now that the news is officially Facebook/Blog "out", I'll be putting together some more information kinds of posts with where we'll be serving, what we'll be doing, how the adoption falls into this, our budget, school for the boys, etc.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  We love talking about Nicaragua and want to keep everyone as "in the loop" as we can. 

Peace and love, 
Jenni  

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Why


I've been feeling kind of down lately.  I didn't really realize it until today.  I mean, I knew I was feeling kind of off, but I didn't realize that I was feeling sad until today.  I should have known, yesterday just about everything made me tear up.  I got two pictures from Nicaragua from my girl Heather, and my eyes started leaking as soon as they flashed on the screen.  Seriously!

I rationalized my feelings by saying that I started going to the gym this week, so of course I'm extra tired.  Also, LT Wonderful is out of town on a business trip so I'm a little overwhelmed with being a single parent this week.  I've also been staying up later than I should because, well, I can.  Theo has also been feeling a little off...he's running a low grade fever and chewing on everything in sight.  I suspect he's teething. 

I was driving to the store today with the boys, and the car was uncharacteristically quiet.  Tate broke the silence with a poignant question, and he nailed the issue right on the head. 

"Mom?  When do we get to go back to Nicaragua?  I really miss my hermanos.  I think it's time we see them again."

It hit me like a rock.  I'm missing Nicaragua so much it hurts.  We probably aren't going down until November and it's killing me.  I know it's the right choice, I know the long term benefits outweigh the short term ones, but I really want to be there now.  This will be the longest I've gone without going to visit since our first trip.  And I miss it, I miss them, terribly. 

I did get a phone call today.  It was wonderful.  My eyes may have leaked again afterwards just from the joy of chatting with one of my kids. 

So, please bear with me while I work through some of my missing.  I can't promise it will get better, but LT Wonderful is getting home soon, so that will help. 

There is a silver lining!



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cute Story

One of the things that really bothers me about our bathroom (the master) is that I haven't done anything with it.  It's not our house and I don't plan on doing anything big, but it would be nice to have some basic homey touches.  Like a toothbrush holder.  Or bathmats.  Or both.

I was at Target the other day by myself and I decided to browse the housewares area.  [sidenote: it was delightful to browse without little hands helping!]  I found a cute toothbrush holder in a really pretty red, and I thought about getting a teal blue bathmat to go with it.  I like the combination of red and teal, and we have a really picture hanging in our bedroom of sailboats and water...I love it.  It's got teals, yellow and a dark red in it, so I thought it would work well.  The more I thought about it though, the more I decided that I shouldn't.  The toothbrush holder was only $4.99, and the bathmats were about $15.00, but I would need a couple of them.  I put everything back, thinking that I could find a toothbrush holder at Goodwill and spray paint it a color that I like and it will be the same.  As far as the rug, I have a plan but I don't want to spoil it yet.

So yesterday I went to Goodwill.  I was looking for toothbrush holders and I found one that would work.  I was going to need paint, but it was going to be fine.  And it was $1.99 which was a huge win.  As I looked through one more time, I noticed a really pretty red cup peeking out from behind a vase.  I pulled it out and wouldn't you know?!  It was the EXACT one from Target that I had carried around with me in my cart.

The price?  $0.99.

That, my friends, is a HUGE win!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh Theo

Grandma: Theo, do you want some cereal for breakfast?


Theo: Ummmmm...(puts index finger on his cheek and tilts his head) how about ice cream?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yesterday


Yesterday was one of those days....an exercise in patience, so to say. 

I got a gym membership over the weekend [$9.95/month.  Seriously!] and had big plans to get up early to go try it out.  I even went to bed early to make it easier to get up.  Didn't work.  I didn't fall asleep until after midnight.  Somehow I managed to get up and get a workout in, but the day went pretty downhill from there. 

I realized I did not buy the quick oats for my oatmeal.  Not a huge deal, but I made a mess of the microwave in the process. 

I went out to the bus and realized that I didn't have a carseat...so no errands. 

I did five loads of laundry and in the process managed to lock myself out of the laundry room via mop handle covering the door.  Since the door leads to the garage [and the garage door opener is in the bud in the garage] I had to use my amazing acrobatic skills to maneuver through the side door of the garage and over all of the crap in the way.  I managed to succeed, somehow. 

Tate decided to wash my ipod. 

I burned a bag of popcorn [the house still smells faintly of burned popcorn].

I feel like I worked all day long and at the end I had nothing to show for it.  The biggest problem though, wasn't that stuff kept happening, I just couldn't get a hold on my attitude.  This made me feel like an even bigger failure.  And in the end it all worked out OK. 

LT Wonderful ran my errands for me. 

LT Wonderful fixed my ipod [well, him and the oven]. 

LT Wonderful made dinner. 

Do you see a pattern here...?

Yeah, he lived up to his name yesterday. 

I made sure to get a good amount of sleep last night so I can tackle today with a great attitude.  LT Wonderful is gone for the next three days so it's important that I maintain a good attitude. 

So, here's where you come in.  If you have something that you think might make me laugh, send it along in the comments here!  I'll really appreciate it!

Peace and love, 
Jenni 


Monday, July 18, 2011

My thoughts on Love and War



I have tried to be very open about how rough the past year was on our marriage.  Being separated for work, living in polar opposite parts of the world, having two young children…the stressors were numerous.  But those reasons really don't address the crux of the matter.  The real problem was that we stopped making our marriage a priority and allowed all of those things (and many of them were wonderful things) to take precedence. 

So about a year ago we decided to fight for our marriage.  In order to make our marriage a priority we focused on quality time together, surrounding ourselves with people that also make marriage a priority (and hold us accountable), and reading books and taking seminars that will strengthen our marriage.  

When I saw that Love and War by John and Stasi Eldridge was available from Waterbrook Multnomah through their Blogging for Books program, I was thrilled!  I had heard great things about the book from several people so I was ready to start reading it as soon as it came in the mail.  I was not disappointed.  I really enjoyed the two perspectives of the book, it made a lot of sense to me to have the husband and wife team work together on a book. 

I think the most important point of the book is that we can't look to our spouse to heal us, only God can do that.  Putting unrealistic expectations on our spouse causes so many problems!

The bottom line is that a good marriage is work.  But it's worth it to keep going to experience healing and restoration.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sheltering My Kids: A Success Story

There are some words I just don't like.  Most of them aren't bad words, I just can't stand them for one reason or another.  I would make a list here, but I know that someone (most likely my dear husband) would make sure to send me emails with the words listed over and over.

One of the words I detest is [am I really admitting this?  It may haunt me for the rest of my life] fart.  I hate the word fart.  I think it's worse than THE "f word".  I would rather use just about any other phrase for passing gas than that F word.  I just can't stand it.

So the other night we were eating dinner, and the salad had broccoli in it.  Tate and Theo asked for a piece of broccoli and LT Wonderful (who was not being so wonderful) made a quick comment that broccoli makes you fart.  Then he laughed at himself, because he regularly cracks himself up.

[At this point I glared at him from across the table.  As long as I can keep that word out of my house, the better.  Tate's almost five and still isn't aware it exists. ]


Tate and Theo pick up on the laughing and both start laughing themselves.  Then Tate took a big bite of the broccoli and said, "DAD!  You're right!"

Then he started barking.

Yes.  He barked.

"Dad!  Broccoli makes me bark!"

Theo noticed the attention Tate was getting [and he has to get in on any sort of attention getting] so he started barking and saying, "Broccoli makes me bark! HAHAHAHAHA!"

And we laughed until we cried.

I'm going to go ahead and put this one in the win category.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Purging

I have made about a dozen trips to the Goodwill lately with loads of stuff we are done using.  It's been an amazing feeling. 


We are also getting rid of baby things to make way for big boys stuff.  We sold our changing table and some other baby items last week.  [Don't be jealous, Theo isn't potty trained yet.  But at 37 lbs I'd rather have him lay on the floor or couch...hauling him up to the table is a workout!]

I love the cleansing feeling of getting rid of stuff we've had laying around the house just because.  I know it's silly, but it makes me feel healthier and more free. 

Now if I could just get rid of some of my craft stuff I think we'd really be able to see some progress...

Monday, July 11, 2011

This past weekend

LT Wonderful (who could be called LT Commander (select) Wonderful now) had to play Navy this weekend so I decided to take the boys on a trip to Tri-Cities, Washington to visit my new niece, Esther Sue.  On the off chance that she ends up marrying Tate or Theo, I'll just throw in here that she isn't genetically my niece, but the genetics aren't terribly important to me.

The boys were thrilled to be headed to Aunt Missy and Uncle Todd's farm.   The farm is currently home to about 40 goats, a llama, three dogs, chickens and a few cats.  Every 10 minutes or so (during the four hour drive) Theo would sigh and say, "40 goats!  40 goats!" and squeal with excitement.  And the farm did not disappoint.  The boys got to milk a goat, help bring in eggs, chase cats and dogs, pet the llama, and herd and feed goats until their little boy hearts were full.  And I got to snuggle with the sweetest little 5 week old girl.

We were sad to leave (Tate cried and is still talking about how much he misses everyone) but happy to get home to spend some time with LT W.

How was your weekend?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blogger Fail

I know, I've done a horrible job of updating the old blog lately.  Life has been coming at breakneck speed (it seems like) and I can hardly form coherent sentences when I'm trying to talk to someone so writing has been out of the question.

Although, in the past few weeks Tate has managed to say some pretty funny things, so I'll share those with you.


Tate: Mom!  Is there a doctor around here?  Because I need a really fast car!
Me:  [completely ignoring why he would go to the doctor for a car] Well...I'm not a doctor, are you?
Tate: [exasperated] MO-OM, I'M NOT WEARING MY DOCTOR CLOTHES TODAY!

*******

Setting: Tate is playing ping pong at a wedding with a few adults. 
Player one:  Tate, you sure are a cute little man!
Tate: I'm not a little man, I'm a little boy!
LT Wonderful:  That's our black and white boy.
Tate: Dad, I'm not black and white, I'm just normal.

*******

Setting:  In Grandma and Grandpa's boat with Uncle Steve and a bunch of his friends.

Tate: [whispering] Uncle Steve, you should tell everyone that I'm really strong.

*******

Setting: Still in the boat with Uncle Steve and a bunch of his friends, one of them is a girl named Sara.  Sara is dating Stephen's friend, Chad, who is also present.  Tate was not coached in any way. 

Tate:  Miss Sara, do you love my Uncle Steve?
Sara: [pausing awkwardly] Umm...I like him.  He's my friend.
Tate: No, Miss Sara, I said do you LOVE him?

*******

Yes, folks, he's still hilarious!