How Well Do They Know Me?

I spend every single day with them, week in and week out, actually year in and year out, lets just see how well my kids know me. For mothers day there were a lot of how well do they know me quizzes on Facebook, in Blog World and that kids did in church or school.  I copied Christine’s post questions from A Fly on Our Chicken Coop Wall and asked my family one night.  At one point we were laughing so hard Keith had tears in his eyes.

Just how well does my family know me?
For Reference
Keith:the husband
C: 19
O: 17
R: 15
J: 11
E: 9
A: 5
PS: 1 she cannot talk she did not participate

1. What is something I always say to you? 
Keith: close the gate,
C: remember who you belong to
O: O, I love you more than you know
R: C J R…{calling him all the boys names}  or get your hands out of your hair, but really, peanut I love you
J: you are my favorite, don’t tell the others
E: Go play
A: I love you

2. What makes me happy?
Keith:not having to cook dinner
C:R makes you happy
O: Christmas
R:Sweet tea
J:when we obey you
E:
A:

3. What makes me sad?
Keith: graduation, Baccalaureate, the last of anything
C: I make you sad
O: when dinner does not cook all the way through {I HATE my oven}
R: the beginning of the school year, graduation, and every other event
J:
E:when people die
A:when I don’t clean up my room

4. How do I make you laugh?
Keith: when you are talking and just jump on rabbit trails, or completely miss something right in front of your face
C: at or with?
O: when you try to embarrass me in public {singing in target, yelling out to a kissing couple}
R: your arguing strategy
J: you make good jokes
E: by making funny faces at G
A: you make funny faces

5. What was I like as a child?
Keith: active
C: I don’t know you had a green dog {how good could your childhood have been}
O: apparently disoriented since you are sure your first dog was GREEN
R: conniving since you convinced your sister to eat a banana peel
J: how should I know I was not there
E: I have no idea I was not born yet
A: you were my size and you had blonde hair

6. How old am I?
Keith: younger than me
C: I don’t you know, you are in your 40’s
O: is she 42?  I don’t feel like doing the math
R: 36 for 5 years
J:???
E: 36
A: i think you are??? oh there is a dog in our yard-IT’S A CAT !! MY CAT CUPCAKE {we do not own a cat, it was just walking through our yard}

7. How tall am I?
Keith: to my arm pit
C: like 2 feet tall
O: shorter than me
R: not very
J: taller than me but shorter than R
E: you are 5’4 {I wish}
A: you are so old

8. What is my favorite thing to do?
Keith: blog
C: antagonize me
O: have family time
R: read {To Kill A Mocking Bird}
J: go out on Wednesdays and read
E: spend time with the family
A: to make dinner

9. What do I do when you aren’t around?
Keith: I have no idea
C: sit on FB for 9 hours
O: I am not answering this
R: Facebook
J: clean the house
E: nap
A: you take care of the baby, and you will cry when I go to school, no I am not kidding.

10. If I become famous, what will it be for?
Keith: blogging
C: famous or infamous
O: having a tv show for having too many kids
R: your parenting
J: for having the most kids
E: being the best person in the world
A: you would be famous that I obey you

11. What am I really good at?
Keith: well… laundry no / making dinner no… I know, handling emergency situations
C:
O: trolling Facebook
R: procreation
J: having babies
E: at sewing and making bows
A: you are good at everything but the goodest thing is making lunch and dinner but not breakfast because that is for little kids to make their breakfast

12. What am I not very good at?
Keith: staying on task
C: seeing things right in front of you, using cheese in moderation in recipes
O: arriving on time
R: spelling, following pinterest recipes, punctuality
J: not getting mad at us when we are fighting
E: not breaking glasses
A: you are not really good at spelling wrong things

13. What do I do for a job?
Keith: I have no idea
C:
O: tack care of children
R: parenting
J: take care of children
E: you are a stay at home mom
A: you job is to take care of people, make our lunches

14. What is my favorite food?
Keith: anything you don’t have to cook, salad
C: popcorn
O: abuelos
R: not chicken and rice, and not lasagna ohh, the melting pot, not red velvet cake
J:
E: Chicken Cordon Bleu
A: potatoes

15. What makes you proud of me?
Keith: that you can handle life on your own so I can go and do things if I want too.
C: I am proud when ever you don’t cry on the way to or at an event
O: when your clothes match
R: I don’t know, that is the parents job to be proud of the kids
J: taking care of us when we are sick
E:
A: that you make stuff so quickly for me, that you sew my princess dresses when they are ripped and that you don’t get throw up on us

16. If I were a character, who would I be?
Keith: Honey, {Mrs Forzone,} “I am your wife I am the greatest good you are ever going to get”
C:
O: Molly Weasley, has too many kids, house is a mess, BUT she kills someone to save her daughter’s life
R: the mom from Cheaper By The Dozen ( Tom Bakers wife)
J:
E: dr Seuss
A: a car

17. What do you and I do together?
Keith: go out on dates
C:
O: Wednesday night reading and not talking while we go out
R: I don’t know
J: play games
E: have fun
A: we both get to sew together

18. How are you and I the same?
Keith: we can’t wait till the last kid is in bed, we like date night {alone or with our friends}
C: we are both loud, we are both type A
O: we both love CFA sweet tea
R: I share half your DNA
J: our last name is the same
E: we are both girls
A: we put on pajamma pants on at the same time

19. How are you and I different?
Keith: you LOOoooooooooooooove Chick Fil A and I less love Chick Fil A
C: I’m a lot taller and a lot younger and I am super humble compared to you
O: you like people
R: the half the DNA I share with dad, I don’t like sweet tea
J: you are a different gender
E: you are older
A: you have yellow hair and I have brown curly hair

20: How do you know I love you?
Keith: you tell me
C: we talk
O:  you pray with me at night
R: you say, I love you more than you know
J: you tell us
E: you are my mother
A:  you tell me all the time

21. Where is my favorite place to go?
Keith: the beach
C: the beach
O: the beach
R: the beach
J: chipolte
E: chick fil a
A: you favorite place to go is target

22. How old was I when you were born?
Keith: negative 18 months
C: I don’t know?  what is 42 minus 19?
O: 26
R: 28
J: what year were you born in, I think I need a calculator, you were 28 when I was born
E: 36
A: a mommys age

So there you have it, my kids and husband do not know me as well as I thought, or in some cases know me better than I thought.  Here is a little clarification on some of the answers.

#5 when I was a small child, we had a dog, her name was Penny, and in my memories Penny is green,  I know that Penny was not a green dog {that is from Blues Clues – green puppy) but the kids think it is quite funny that I remember the dog as being green
#7 I am 5’3
#14 Popcorn or Chick Fil A
#21 the beach with target a close second

Go ask your kids or husband or best friend some of these questions and see what they say about you.  We laughed and laughed about all the answers.  I warn you though, if you are super sensitive than don’t ask the negative questions.

Go hug your kids and make a summer memory
jen

What is Your Super Power

11647396_10207856308471880_1623795283_nYears and years ago, when the Incredibles movie came out, I did not buy the dvd.  I should have, it would have saved me years of harassment, my kids quote it often, I would be not be lying if I said they quote it at least once a week.  I used to asked “do we own that movie”  which they replied “no”.  The more they quoted it or when it came on tv they would memorize more of it.  I was sure I had purchased it, but nope, they reminded me every time.  A few years ago I started looking for the movie, I never could find it to buy it.  I think I have looked for two years now, I finally found it online for almost $30.00.  Which was more than I wanted to pay, however, Yesterday at lunch when something was said to set off the “it is for the greater good, I am your greater good”  line from the movie.  R looked at me and said “No, mom we do NOT own the movie.”  I complained how I have been looking, checking yard sales, and resell stores, and could not find it anyplace but online.  C informed me that he saw it on the shelf at Target the day before.  I asked him where in the store he saw it, after he sighed and explained it was in the movie section.  Ten minutes later I took O and J to basketball and ran to target.  Sure enough they had it!!!  I was so excited!  I put it in the cart, then wandered the store until basketball was to end.

That afternoon we watched it.  It was just as good as I remembered!  During the movie C asked me what kind of super power I would want to have.  My reply is the same one I have always given.  I want a Marry Poppins power, you know “spit spot, the job is done…”  The big kid tried to tell me that is not a super power.  But if you are a mom you know that snapping your fingers to have the toys tidy up on their own would be a super power!

I asked my kids what super power they would want to have.  Here is their reply.
PS-signed for more.  I don’t think she understood…
Little A-did not have any ideas
E-speed so I could be the fastest cleaner
J-something with water, maybe freezing it?
{should have asked before we watched the movie…}
R-ummm just one?  then telepathy
O-invisibility
C- manipulation {is that a super power?}
and decided to include Keith into the question…  He wants the super power of spider man to regenerate himself.

So what about you?  If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Go hug your kids, and make a summer memory this week!
jen

P.S. I know in the pic PS head looks flat and weird, but it is not, that is what we call car-seat hair

A Trip and A Project

Keith and O went on a mission trip to Haiti, they went with Mission of Hope and I will let O tell you about it some time soon, but for now I will share the tiny, but long project I worked on while they were gone.  I had great aspirations, I have/had a very old window frame and a plan in my mind, but when I went to grab the window, the thing had rotted apart.  I am very disappointed that I could not do my project and even more when I realize that in order to do it, I will either have to go purchase an old window or wait until Keith gets the old ones removed from the front of the house.  We had a 10 year plan to get the entire house re-sided, we are on year 5.  Two owners back, the person who bought the house, bought it to flip and he did the crappiest work ever.  (whoops J just started following…) He did the bare minimum on the house before he resold it.  I know how much he paid and how much he profited, and those shows on HGTV have nothing on the profit he made from our house.  We bought it from the people who bought it from him.  (follow that?) Anyway, he slapped vinyl over the wooden slats.  And by slapped, I mean he did not add insulation or anything, just pulled off slats in spots and slapped up siding.  You can imagine the affect that has on hour heat or cooling bill.  Five years ago when we added onto our house we had to go before the historic district board, they gave us 10 years to get the whole house to match with siding, we are on year 5 we have the west wall, and a north wall to complete.  Humming right along, in all Keith’s free time.   Since he has no free time for 2 or 3 or 4 more years.  That means I will not get my window for that project until then…  So I have moved on.

The travelers left on Saturday, we drove 3.5 hours away to an airport to save us $600 in flight fees, the way home was much longer…  Much longer. I was not actually looking to repeat the trip the earlier the following Saturday morning.  Our week was busy, C worked and we played, went swimming, and did laundry, I think I did laundry non stop, we also went to the library and had a lunch date with friends.  Suddenly the week was ending and I had no project,  I had the disaster break apart with rot window frame but could not do anything with it.  I was looking around the house and spotted the very long (7 foot) reclaimed board that Keith had clean and sanded smooth for me.  I would work with that board.

I made a giant ruler.  I know you have seen them all over the internet,  I did mine my way.  I needed it to be 7 feet tall, when you have 3 people are over 6 feet in your house you cannot make the 6 foot ruler, the people are beyond the ruler, and 2 of them are still growing taller.

11303482_10207781384558829_592035469_n-1How tall are you?

I did mine in about 30 minutes.  I am sure it was 30 because the man child just chose an episode of Friends from Netflix, I finished the ruler before the show ended.  I realize that if the wood was not prepped then it would take longer, mine had a lovely shaded stain on it, and was smooth and splinter free.  I love the color. 11263736_10207781385838861_347956311_nI used a ruler and pencil to mark 1 inch marks along the length of the new big ruler.11541195_10207781384878837_1482094146_nAll the way to the 7 foot mark.  I kept the inch markings an inch long, and gave the half foot and foot a longer mark.  I seriously thought about marking the quarter foot markings bigger but changed my mind.  If I do decide it needs it I can go back and fix it easily enough.11124261_10207781385718858_28857105_nI bought a pack of alphabet and number templates at Hob’Lob and 2 paint pens, both thick and thin.11418320_10207781385238846_132357075_nI have no reason why I worked my way backwards but I did.  I guess that is how my mind thinks?11637938_10207781384758834_300655663_n-1For now the large ruler is standing against some of the book shelves.  I like it there.  The kids have all taken turns measuring themselves.  This week I will transfer their heights from the kitchen wall (a termite damaged spot) to the new ruler, then when the wall piece comes out or falls apart I won’t be sad about losing the measurements.

What about you, have you done any simple or difficult projects lately?

Go hug your kids, breath in their summer smell, the smell of dirt, sweat, sunshine, and fresh air.
jen

The Best Book Ever! I am Serious!

This is the best book EVER.  As in the best book I have ever read, the best book ever written and the best book to read over and over again.  I know it is just my opinion, of course I am right.  But seriously this is the best book I have ever read.

To-Kill-a-Mockingbird-9780446310789I cannot wait until July for the Prequel/Sequel to come out on July 14th.  Please realize that unless it is of dire emergency I will be unavailable.  And if it is dire emergency, but there is really nothing I can do to help you, I will not be available for you at that point.  I may or may not have considered getting a hotel room so no one can bother me, no one can contact me and I can just read the book.  I might cry with joy when I read it.  Or I might just hold it, smell it and stroke it.  I cannot wait!

I fell in love with Scout, Jem, Calpurnia and Atticus, when I was 14.  My mom, an English teacher, had copies of the book on her bookshelf in her classroom.  The book was required reading junior year.  (Here is a little secret about me.)  My mom worked all week, so on Saturdays we cleaned the house.  I would sit in the bathroom reading a book, until my mom would bang on the door calling out “You’d better not have a book in there.”  I would make a noise of flushing and hide the book in between the clean towels.  I am sure she knew I was reading, how could I not read there were so many books to be read.  I remember reading it holding my breath and feeling such sadness, at the mistreatment of humans, and the shock at treatment of humans, and then the relief at the end of the book.

I introduced my children to Harper Lee’s family of characters when they were infants.  I rocked and read, the loved it!  I often wished that there were more of the family, more books and an answer to what happened next or what happened before.  I wondered about the children’s mother, and why Boo was the way he was.  I wondered if Scout would marry Dill, and what would she be when she grew up and what great things Jem would do.

I have just finished reading the book in preparation for the new release in a few weeks.  Every Wednesday night O and I go out, we sit at a table order something to eat and we read.  Or study, or work on school papers, but I read.  And for the millionth time I read To Kill A Mockingbird.  I laughed, I cried, I held by breath and smiled as I read this book again.  I am ready for the new book and will be occupied July 14th when it comes out.  So please so not have an emergency because my phone will be on silent.

What about you what was the best book you ever read.  Not a good book but the B E S T book ever???
Go hug your kids, and share your favorite book with someone you love
jen

Changes In Our Family (also In Which We See God Is Faithful) part 5

11265629_10205027285494627_176459141662142379_nThrough it all God was and is faithful.  We waited years and years, we went through levels of emotions that we did not expect, we had fears and thoughts that stretched us and drew us to God.  We saw his faithfulness when we took the time to look for it.

G was released from the hospital at 97 days old.  She was released just days before her actual due date.  She came home a whopping 6 lbs and 14 oz.  She was a miracle.  She was not just a miracle she was our miracle!  With every visit back for checks the doctors and nurses are just amazed at her growth, her strength and the things she can do.  Her outcome has surpassed their expectations.

10847876_10203951935211542_4517367397409848396_n4 months old and she has filled a hole in our hearts.
10384521_10204222991467779_5450152127027890138_n5 Months and she smiles for the ones she loves.
11006414_10204415700485384_8430253814648886820_nThis girl is 6 months and is growing both in size and personality.
10985370_10204596255799154_6037183881048190908_nShe is getting stronger and more busy, and a personality all her own.  7 months of love.11165230_10204800086454793_8735431777068825991_n8 months of energy and sweetness.11014272_10204978939886017_3165034530718592800_nCheck out how the princess has grown in her 9 months.  Pink Poodle has not changed, and it is hard to believe that in the beginning pink poodle was bigger than our girl, now she is tossed about, wrestled with, and chewed on.

The whole experience is really more than I can put into words.  It was the hardest, most rewarding thing we have ever experienced.  When I think about the joy of adoption and the words of the judge “as though she came from your body” she is ours.  Everything that we have belongs to her, she has a family history, she has a family name, she has a legacy.  The first few weeks, we held our breath as we learned of the struggle of the bio-mom, and we realized the depth of her gift.  We held our breath as G struggled in the first few days and weeks when she was ours.  We cheered her daily weight measurement as we saw her grow and change. And each new skill is brings our awe and wonder.  She is a mama’s girl, sure she loves her family, but she adores her mama.  She has a bond that will never be unbroken.  Ellen’s adoption journey began 4 years ago, when she presented her idea of adoption to us all.  4 years of uncertainty, 4 years of hoping and praying and waiting.  But G is worth the wait.  We are so in love.11200817_10205028024633105_3352703659022660219_nOne day last month the courts finally recognized what we knew on September 9, or actually on September 5th.  This baby is our baby, this child has our hearts.10982362_10205044258278936_7671181563144385024_nThe Cousins.

The entire court proceedings lasted less than 10 minutes.  GEJ2O had 17 family members at the ceremony.  17 people who have loved her before she was born.  17 people who will be there for her as Beda, and Grandparents,aunts and uncle, and cousins.

I want to encourage you if you are thinking of giving a child up for adoption, that the process is hard, and it is big and it is love.  You are giving a gift to a family that is bigger than imagined.

If you area a family waiting for a baby, know that it really is worth the heart ache, the heart-break.  The love will heal your broken heart.

God has been faithful and we were all given the chance to watch it happen.

Go hug your kids, and wrap your arms around the ones you love!

jen

Changes In Our Family (also In Which We See God Is Faithful) part 4

The Story is not over, that was only the beginning of her story.

September 9th the sun rose, just as it does every day, the moon disappeared into the horizon and people began going about their morning routine.  As the sun also rose over that great Children’s Hospital that September morning, the nurses began changing shifts, they had no idea the greatness of that day.  They scrubbed in and listened to rounds, they patted bottoms and rubbed heads, they moved wires and silenced alarms.  They hooked up tubes and started their daily routine.

J2 had no idea what our great and mighty God was doing, as her day began, under her blue checkered cover, she lay waiting…

God knew that J2’s story was just getting exciting.

We knew the significance of that day September 9th, an hour and 15 minutes away we all woke with a spring in our step and joy in our hearts we knew what a great and wonderful day that September 9th would be for our family.

Ellen and my mother, left for the longest/shortest ride of their lives to an adoption agency in a city not too far away.

10289975_10203521042479493_1975441076469589627_nFrom the agency to the Children’s Hospital they all went with a rush.  When they sent me this picture I sat on stage, painting again, with tears of joy in my eyes.  My sister was finally getting her dream come true!  She was going to be a mommy.  They sent me pictures of Ellen signing the legal papers, they sent me pictures of Ellen walking the bridge in the hospital, they sent me pictures in the elevator and then they sent me the best pictures of all.

10599606_10203323804708672_5141190815445223063_nThey sent me the picture of the new mommy and her baby girl!
IMG_2529Meet GEJ2O
Ellen’s daughter and my Niece.
Ellen kept the J2 as a way to honor the bio-mom.  A connection to her past and a hope for her future.  The bio-mom made a difficult decision.  She is our hero, she chose to show her baby how very much she loved her.  She chose Ellen for J2’s mommy, she gave J2 the greatest gift of all, she gave her life, and she gave Ellen the best gift ever, she gave her the title mommy.  Ellen has sent pictures to the bio-mom, she will continue as long as the lines of communication are open.  We realize the greatness and solemnness of that gift.  We will speak of the bio-mom with honor for she gave us G.

Ellen was not able to hold G yet because she was so frail, but the sweet nurse let Ellen life her up while they changed her bedding.  G was now a whopping 2lbs and 3oz.

Shortly after they arrived and G was settled in with her new mommy, she choked, alarms went off and in a split second Ellen and Grandma, were moving backwards while a team of nurses and doctors showed up to work on our baby.  It was very traumatic.  The amazing Children’s Hospital took a minute to explain to Ellen, that because she was a micro-preemie that would likely happen a lot, to not be alarmed that the staff was equipped to take care of our baby, but it would happen again.10641244_10203324470765323_4636259022832219510_nAfter the room settled down Grandma took a minute to pray for our GEJ2.  Please notice that my mom’s hand is normal (actually kind of smallish) and it covers the baby.  It is really hard to understand how very small she is.10411048_10203324470525317_8084336293161812653_nSaying Goodnight for the night.
They kept the beds humid and dark, just like a mothers womb.

On September 10th Mommy and Daughter were able to spend some time together.10620737_10203345309886288_2426988359149479356_nShe was so small that baby doll clothes would not fit, her hand could not even wrap around her mommy’s finger. IMG_2532So completely perfect and so precious in God’s Eyes.  A gift that no matter what we could never repay the bio-mom for.  We are forever grateful for this gift of LOVE.10616185_10203330199508538_8973521952090113762_nO and I took a visit to see her that first week. She was so tiny and so beautiful.

The months ahead held many ups and downs, G did have another choking episode, she was on a nasal cannula, she was given puffs of room quality air, at that point she did not require extra saturation oxygen, her lungs were strong enough for room air.  Because she was on the nose cannula she was at risk for an eye disease (ROP) that only happens to premature babies on oxygen, the test was quite traumatic for both baby and mommy’s, one nurse admitted it was one of the hardest parts of her job. G began showing signs of the disease But God…  he protected her, her number remained low and went lower as she grew.  She was tube fed until she was strong enough to suck, she was so small and so frail but the more her mommy held her the faster she grew.  The nurses commented on her growth which we claimed was mother love, prayer, and all the books that she was listening too. Ellen was able to kangaroo care with G for weeks and weeks, the more she held her the faster she grew, the faster she grew the stronger she became, and the more they snuggled the greater the bond between G and Ellen.   Daily Ellen left school at 3:30 and drove miles and miles to spend every minute possible with her baby girl., Saturdays and Sundays Ellen was there too,  On Sunday her grandma went along, she sat next to G and whispered payers and songs, she told her stories and how much she was loved.  Here is another gift from God, Ellen was worried about all the cost of driving and filling her tank.  But God…  God knew that Ellen was going to be going that distance every day for months, and God, who does all things well, provided Ellen with gas.  Money from friends or gift cards from students.  Ellen was given the gift of gas so she could save money.  God was such a provider for Ellen.  On weekends mother went along, she sat next to G and rocked next to Ellen, she graded papers and sang sweetly to baby G.

G was in the NICU at that great Children’s Hospital for 97 days.

IMG_2577Baby G 1 month old.  2 lbs and 9 oz.
So small the preemie onesie did not fit and the sticker was bigger than she was.10702225_10203593294965760_1010521021139057104_nBaby G at 2 months a whopping 4lbs.  Which is so small, but more than doubled her birth weight.10434003_10203770743681867_6037223041454068378_n3 months of perfect sweetness 6lbs and 8oz and 18 inches long.
{The size of a full term baby, only she was 3 months old already}

IMG_2208We took a Saturday and went out to see our new cousin.  R was so eager to hold her and was not willing to let her go when his time was up.  IMG_2209O was just as in love with baby G.  She was quite content to spend time in her cousins arms.  She had no idea what to expect from the rest of her cousins.IMG_2205She fit perfect in my arms and I will admit I was not willing to give her up when my time ran out either.  Oh to get that sweet baby home we were ready!

10802083_10203800916956180_8672946299792835471_nFinally after 97 days in the NICU GEJ2O was able to come home, just in time for Thanksgiving.  We are so thankful for this blessing in our lives.

Go hug your kids, and again look for God’s grace on your life
jen

P.S. I think part 5 will bring us up to date on our sweet G