Monday, April 29, 2013

A Challenge

Life can become a whirlwind so often. The busyness of work, children, and spouses and other hobbies and fun stuff make each and every moment feel as time passes in a matter of seconds. It seems as though it was just yesterday when I brought my little boy home from the hospital just 2 days after his birth and now, in just a few short sixteen months, he will be headed to kindergarden. Yep, kindergarden. I can't believe it.

In the midst of trying to capture moments of our life story, I take the time to read other blogs and have enjoyed reading the stories of others' lives as they tackle their daily activities. From one of my blogger friends, I have been presented with a challenge. One that will make you come and visit here daily. I am excited about this challenge. Not only will you be able to continue to see what is going on in our lives (because I will continue to post about that as well), but you will be able to learn a little more about me.

Please come back to visit daily and enjoy the musings of me as I present:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Weekend

To start this past weekend off, J-Man spent Friday night with his Nana and Papa. They hadn't seen him in a week or so and I knew I had a cake to complete that would take some time, so off he went. Friday evening, Daddy J and I spent some time together. We had dinner and ventured out to see a friend's house that is being built. Their floor plan was adapted from ours so I wanted to see the changes that were made. Daddy J and I still like our plan best. 

I had already had the opportunity to bake the cake that I had to decorate, so when we finally got home that evening, I iced the base layer and drew out the picture on top before heading to bed for some rest. All of that took two hours. I haven't really ever counted the hours that pass while I decorate cakes and I got a rude awakening this weekend when I did an official count.

This cake was definitely one of the more difficult ones I have done. However, for this little girl - it was worth it. I did her first and second birthday cakes as well so her Mommy is a repeat customer. They are always great to do. Saturday, I started up again at 6am. Made the icing and colored it. Twelve colors to be exact - shown here and I had to make two more to finish it! Whew! I wanted to take a picture of my kitchen to show you the disaster that I make when decorating cakes, but I just couldn't. It is quite embarassing.
The finished product - Dora and friends - Swiper, Boots, and Bennie the Bull. Haleigh was pleased when she saw the cake and her mommy almost cried. I told her she better not - I didn't want to cry too. However, when I got home and saw the catastrophe in my kitchen, I was pretty much in tears anyway. I will say I am very glad J-Man wasn't there. After spending 2 hours Friday night on the cake and another 6 on it Saturday, I realized that I wouldn't have ever gotten it done with him here.
In a few moments of down time this weekend, I did take some time to go bird watching. However, I didn't have to go very far. A bird has taken residence above one of our outdoor speakers and has apparently recently laid her eggs. I have watched her sit on the nest for what seems like hours lately. One day very soon, I hope to get a taller ladder so that I can snap a few pictures of the inside of the nest.

 I am so glad spring has finally sprung. It is nice to be reminded of all the new life that comes with the new season. I enjoy taking moments to sit on my back deck and watch birds, look at all the new greenery in my backyard, and feel the warmth from the sun and the cool wind from the breezes. Gentle reminders that God is awesome through his creations. That he is the ultimate provider of life.
And last but most definitely not least! A "woo-whoo" moment occured this weekend. If you don't remember me mentioning J-Man's chart, you can read all about it here.

He received his 10th sticker this weekend!
Can I hear a "YAY"?!?!

I am so proud of him for working so hard on this. I am glad that we don't have to fight over trying to go. What is even better is that we don't have to worry about tears much any more. He just ventures to the bathroom when I tell him he needs to go try. This is such an improvement from two weeks ago I am glad the chart process is still working!

So, before church tonight we made a trip to the dollar store. It had to be this specific one. I am not sure why, but last week he told me this one was the one he wanted to go to. I didn't dare try to go to an actual dollar store - where everything is a dollar. Sometimes we, as moms, just have to choose our battles and that battle was not one I wanted to fight.
It didn't take too much time to find the toy isle and they really didn't have much to choose from. The first thing that caught his eye? Handcups (or handcuffs for those of you that don't know J-Manese). This set of "handcups" even had a set of keys. I was a little hesitant on those - only because I could see the keys getting lost and someone with handcuffs around their wrists and not being able to be freed. So, I quickly offered - "Are you sure that is what you really want? Did you see this really cool Iron Man and Captain America?" As he was getting ready to look at what I was looking at, he noticed a transformer... and that is what he got.
He told me next time he would get the handcups.

Today started his next round of ten stickers and so far, we are on the right track as he was able to put one sticker on his chart this evening!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Guess who gets first dibs on the clean sheets in our house?!?
In case you didn't know... he does make his own pallet with his paws. He kicks pillows and blankets around until they are just right and to his liking before he plops down and takes a nap.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In His Own Words

Nothing makes my heart melt faster, my face light up brighter, or my smile bigger than this guy:

He is my knight in shining armor, the love of my life and the half that makes me whole. I talk about him a lot on my blog, but never has he provided his own words for a posting. Today, is a first. Today, I am typing his words, but only because I am quicker at typing copying what he provided me.

You see, I saw this idea on other blogs about asking a loved one to provide 10-20 facts about the person blogging. I thought it would be neat to see what would come of my proposition if I asked Daddy J to do this for me. When I first thought about asking him, I honestly thought he wouldn't do it so I was hesitant in even asking him. But, I figured I would just go for it. Since I was at work, I sent him a nice little email...

"Hey Sweetie,
Good morning! I would like for you to do something for me. I will give you a week to do it, so it will give you some time. I want you to write up 10-20 things about me. Whatever is on your mind, fun facts, why you love me, etc... Please?

I know this won't be one of you most favorite things to do, but I would love to read them. You can type them up or write them down, but just remember, you only have a week! ;)

Thank you!
I love you."

I didn't get an email back, but he did ask me what all that was about when I spoke to him on the phone. I told him it was going to be for the blog and that was the last I heard of it. I just knew that my feeling about never getting my response was going to come true.

However, he proved me wrong (again).

You see, I sent my email to him last Thursday. Friday was my work at home day and he happened to be off as well. I was on a conference call most of the day so he was in and out, doing his own thing. I finally was able to get off the phone around 5pm and decided that I needed to get a shower (we had plans to go grocery shopping). I headed into the bathroom (the toilet room) and when I came back out, I glared at our mirrors...
Not only had he shocked me by doing the task, he shocked me in his presentation... and he provided TWENTY SIX items!! I stood in front of my mirrors trying to read all of the things he noted. I ended up in tears. THIS is one of the reasons why I love this man. Romantic things like this don't come often, but when they do, he does them right. Most of the items on the list are reasons why he loves me, not fun facts as I have seen other blogs have, but you know what? That is totally fine. I needed this. I needed the smile. I needed the tears. I needed the tiny giggles while I reminisced over thoughts that were recalled when I read some of the items. I needed the big hug when I went back to him and thanked him with my eyes for finishing the task for me. He knew exactly what I was talking about and didn't have to say a word to him. Thank you Sweetie, again.

And to the point of this post... here are the 26 reasons why my husband loves me (I am sure this is not an exhaustive list!):
  1. Because you love me when I give you every reason not to.
  2. You are supportive and understanding.
  3. You are a great mother to J-Man.
  4. The way you make me feel when you hold me after those long days.
  5. Your faith in Christ.
  6. Your persistence and stalking abilities. :-) (this one really made me smile - there is a story behind it)
  7. Your tender heart.
  8. Your willingness to serve the Lord.
  9. How you can't stay mad, even when you try.
  10. How you like to make up after a fight.
  11. Your desire to have another baby.
  12. You are beautiful to me.
  13. How you feel when I hold you at night when we go to sleep.
  14. Your need for me to love you even though we spell it different ways. (indeed we do!)
  15. The way you want to be a better person/wife to me.
  16. The way you smile at me for no reason (even though it does drive me crazy).
  17. Your partnership in our marriage.
  18. Our late night talks after work.
  19. The way you help provide for our family.
  20. How you like to be playful.
  21. You are smart.
  22. Your touch.
  23. Your kisses.
  24. Your desire to have a better understanding for the Bible.
  25. The way you want to give me everything, even though we can't afford it.
  26. The rest is X rated, sorry. :-)
This will be held near and dear to me forever. Especially on the days that I need a smile. I am so thankful that God blessed me with this man. He is more than I could have ever asked for and love him with every ounce in me. He has been an absolutely wonderful husband and father and I am so glad I can call him MINE! Yes, I did stalk him and yes, I am glad I did.

Monday, April 22, 2013

What You Weren't Told

Becoming a mom changes you. Changes your outlook on life. You lose all modesty. The items that you spend your money on change - oh and say goodbye to petty cash. The stories you tell to friends, family, and co-workers are on all new topics. The songs you listen to (even when you are alone and catch yourself singing) are so much more like: "The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round...". The movies you watch don't have real people in them anymore and are typically filled with animals, songs, and/or characters dancing to catchy tunes. There are so many other changes but one big change is what you get excited about.

When I found out I was expecting J-Man, I got so much advice about being a mom. "Make sure you get all the sleep you can now!" "You'll never know what you did without children when you have them." "Make sure you don't have bubbles in the bottle - they cause gas." "Enjoy every second, time flies in the blink of an eye." "Children are God's most precious gift."...

"You will get excited about poop!" - said noone... ever!

Maybe they should have. Maybe I should have been forwarned about the excitement that I get around poop. For the mother of a child (eh, em - a four year old) that screams and cries for 10-15 minutes about not wanting to go to poopie, that stuff - in all it's glory - seems to thrill my soul when J-Man finally decides to go. I have heard all the excuses I want to hear. From "I am too tired, Mommy", to "I'll go tomorrow", to "I want the doctor to take it out", even to "I don't care if it makes me sick to keep it in", he will say anything to get up from the toilet. I often times have to threaten him with "medicine" (an enema) to make him just try to go - especially when he gives me all the facial cues that he really has to go. He has had to have 3 of these already in his lifetime and of course, as any of us would - he hates them. So, threatening him usually works - I just feel so bad for having to threaten him with it.

I have been told not to worry so much about it. He will go when he has to go. Not my son. Nope! I tried that the week before last and it was 8 days before he went - hence the 3rd enema he has had. I felt horrible for letting him go so long. Daddy J and I were out of town the last 4 of those days and so it was harder to make him try and go when he wasn't at home.

I knew I had to come up with something that would make him excited about pooping again. The reward system does not work with J-Man. If I tell him he can get a toy if he goes, he tells me he doesn't want a toy. The pediatrician told me when we first started training, not to let him go past three days. If he gets to the third day, you have to give him an enema to get it out. I told Jackson that I was going to make him a calendar. Every time he poopied, he could put a sticker on the day that he went. For some reason, he has had a weird excitement about going to the dollar store. So, my wheels started turning. I told him that once he got 10 stickers, then he could go to the dollar store to pick out a prize. Would you know? It is actually working! We are half-way there and every time he poops now, we almost literally have a party. High fives are shared with everyone there, a huge display of stickers are provided for his choosing, and little giggles about the smell and the nastiness of the whole thing will be remembered by all of us!

I am so glad I have finally found something that works. Even though we still get some fighting about having to go, it is not nearly as bad as it has been in the past. And, we haven't gone past the third day yet! Woohoo! Go J-Man! (Secretly doing the poopy dance in my chair at this moment.) 

So, the next time you are at a baby shower, please offer the wonderful advice of this mom of a four-year old... "You will get excited about poop!" Thank you!

Happy Monday to you all!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday from the Word

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24 NIV

At the begining of each month, I search to find a new desktop wallpaper with a calendar for my computer. The one I chose this month is bright and colorful and makes me ready for spring. Hebrews 10:24 is printed in the middle. I have an ESV study bible, so I often times take a moment to read verses in my bible that I may find in another translation, just to get a better understanding.

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,"
Hebrews 10:24 ESV

Then, my curious mind wandered to the whole scripture passage. Often times it is good to see the full context of a verse. I wanted to see where this verse came from and where it was going.

"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:19-31

There is so much in this passage of scripture. I called my mom just after I read it to talk to her about it. Turns out, she has the very same wallpaper, so she was familiar with the verse that brought me here. Oftentimes, she helps me understand scripture but this time, she shed a new light.

As I read the passage to her, I had my focus towards the end of the passage. Verses 29-31 really hit my heart: "How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

What powerful statements.
I don't want to be under God's wrath.

However, her review of it led her to focus more on the middle section. What stuck out with her was verses 26 and 27: "For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries." She reminded me of a posting that I did a few months ago on one of my old blogs - one about glottony. And in her kindest words, she reminded me that even with the words of that post and knowing that glottony is a sin, I haven't made any change to my eating habits. Day in and day out, I continue to fall into the sin of glottony. I know this is a sin... yet, I continue to go about it. And what did this whole passage of scripture just tell me? Yet, I don't want to fall under God's wrath? I surely cannot have my cake and eat it too - no pun intended.

We all have sins as these. Ones that we do repeatedly.
It may not be murder, drugs, or theft, but in God's eyes gluttony, cussing, gossip are the same.

I recently started a bible study with a few ladies in my church. It is one of Pricilla Shirer's titled One in a Million. Last week's homework honed in on the Israelites and God bringing them out of bondage/slavery of Egypt (Exodus 1). As God was getting them to their promised land - to their land of milk and honey, they complained about the food that was being provided. It definitely wasn't the fish, melon, garlic, and good stuff that the Egyptians offered - it was unleavened bread. Honestly, that is the way that I feel when I have to restrict myself on food. I so want that Whopper - not the junior size, and fries (medium size) at Burger King for lunch, but I need to stay at the office and eat the sandwich that I brought with the right portion of chips. AND BE SATISFIED.

God provides the food that I need, why do I worry so much about getting more?

Do we really understand how bad sin is? Do we live like we understand its consequences daily? Would our lives change dramatically if we began to live as though we truly understood how angry our sins make our God? Yes, we are still going to sin. We are human. However, would we be more convicted of those sins that we think are small and continue to cry out to God for forgiveness for those sins as well as the "big" ones if we truly understood how grave each and every sin is?

Certainly something to think about.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monuments, Memorials, and All Things USA

Before our marriage retreat weekend, we took a day to drive up to Washington DC. We stayed in Virginia Beach for the weekend, so spending the day beforehand in DC wouldn't be too much out of the way. Daddy J had never been to DC and the one time that I went was for a pretty short visit the summer before my senior year of high school.

Spending time together, of course, was a highlight of the day for me. We walked until we almost couldn't walk anymore. The rest of this post is best described in pictures, so enjoy.



I'm Still Here...

... and you will find me on blog overload tonight! I have been out of sight since last Wednesday, I believe and boy have I missed it. I have wanted to post something every. single. day. but I was on a marriage retreat with Daddy J and he was definitely more important than pulling my computer out. Don't you think?

Anyways. To catch up, I will start with a beautiful afternoon outside. It was about two weeks ago and we were spending the afternoon relaxing under the setting sun. Bocephus has been doing much better about staying at our side when his is with us outside the fence, so I let him roam a little bit. 

J-Man was playing with a couple of his toys and Daddy J had just finished cutting the grass. Bocephus was panting pretty badly so I pulled the water hose out to give him some water. Once he realized that I wasn't going to give him another bath, he was elated that he could drink some water from the water hose. Well, maybe not because he was getting it from the hose, maybe just because he was getting water in general. He gulped it in as quick as it was coming out. J-Man watched every moment and you know what they say...

Monkey see. Monkey do.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spelling, A Cake, and Our Weekend

I have been meaning to get back on to say hello for a few days now. Time has just not permitted. However, here I am now and I am going to play catch up from the weekend. First up? The spelling error referenced here. As you can see in the below picture, I made a BIG boo-boo! The two people that commented about the error were correct. Yay!! I have now updated my header so I no longer have to have that hanging over my head.

One of the main events of my weekend was decorating a cake. I do some cake decorating on the side when I have extra time. This time was for Maddox, who was turning two. I am very pleased with the way this one turned out. I used Oreos for the dirt piles and everything else is icing (exept for the toy tractors). I was told Monday that the cake was a huge hit. Comments like those make all my decorating worth it!

Saturday evening, we had a couple over for dinner from our church. Daddy J fixed a low country boil and it was awesome. Notice the "Red Lobster biscuts" in the background? They are homemade. Compliments of Momma J! Oh, just kidding. We found the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscut mix at Sam's Club this past week and that was our first attempt at making them. They were EXACTLY like Red Lobster's biscuts and they were AWESOME! In addition to this lovely dinner, we had chocolate covered strawberries made by Daddy J. We had a wonderful time of food and fellowship and a round of Phase 10 until the wee hours of the morning. I actually tied for first place!

Sunday was filled with all things church. Another awesome day in the Lord's house. I hope your weekend was as great as ours! Happy Tuesday, y'all!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Throw-Back Thursday

I have an Instagram account and I often see pictures from the past posted from others on Thursdays with the hash-tag #TBT. I finally figured out what it stood for, so I am going to start doing it on my blog. It was fun looking through old pictures and remembering things that happened just a few years ago. I really wanted to use a picture of Daddy J so that all of you could see J-Man's resemblance to him, but I don't have a good picture. I will have to dig into his mom's photos one day soon. However, for this Thursday, this is what I came up with...

Just taking a picture...
Trying to find the Cheerios he picked up from his tray.
He LOVED bathtime at this age!
These were all taken in April of 2010 when J-Man was just over a year old. He was such a darling baby. I remember often wondering what he would look like at age 5 and we are quickly approaching that time. He really has changed so much but so much of him is still the same. I love this little man and I really don't know what his daddy and I did before him.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Uh oh...

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I have a nickname. What's the nickname, you ask? (It is not Momma J, I just made that up for this blog.) It is "The Grammar Police". However, that doesn't just hold up to grammar, it is for spelling as well. I tend to catch people with their spelling and grammar mistakes quite often. So much so that it seems to have become a joke. Spelling mistakes tend to catch my eye a bit quicker than grammar mistakes.

I don't know why I have this quirk.

Maybe it is because when I was in grade school, my mom would help me study and we would have the best time laughing over the errors in my notes. She would go through and pronounce words just as I had written them, which in turn, made them the wrong words. But, I knew what I meant! We laughed until we cried! I did get some studying done, none the less.

It is just a pet peeve of mine. 

Everyone is in such a hurry these days that they often times don't take the time to read what they have written. And with the age of the internet and acronyms... oh! and crazy auto-corrects, it seems as though people don't care anymore for proper English correct grammar or spelling. It still amazes me what some people will come up with when trying to spell a word. I will be honest and tell you that if I don't know how to spell something, I will rephrase my sentence to use another word before using the sentence I thought of first.

All of this being said, I have to confess. There is an error on this blog somewhere that I didn't notice until just last week. If you want to take a guess at what it is, just leave me a comment. My blog is not grand enough to give anything away (don't have those special sponsors or anything) but for everyone who comments and is correct, you will get special recognition in a future posting. I will give you until Saturday morning at 10 am.

Good Luck!
(Praying that you don't find an error other than the one I found!)

Easter 2013

Our Easter celebrations were pretty laid back this year. We started with a party and egg hunt at J-Man's daycare last Thursday. Daddy J couldn't believe how much junk food the kids ate for their party. If only J-Man would eat like that with his meals, we possibly could get somewhere with his eating habits; and possibly run out of grocery money each month. J-Man does have a best bud at daycare. He clinged to him for the majority of the egg hunt and he didn't want to leave him behind when it was time to go in. They did have to count their eggs to make sure every one got the same amount. Not necessarily a rule that I agree with, but I guess you have to be fair. The only reason why I don't agree with it is because only J-Man's class was out egg hunting at the time (each age group goes alone), so it wasn't like they had 2 year olds hunting with the 4 and 5 year olds. However, I guess I understand why they have the rules - there were two boys that only got 4 or 5 each. J-Man didn't get the most though. I do believe his buddy was the winner until he wanted to give up a pink one to one of the girls.

The Saturday before Easter, we celebrated with our church. We had our annual egg hunt at the home of our children's minister. The kids went in the house to have an Easter message while the parents had the pleasure of "hiding" eggs. As I understand it, there were over 1100 eggs for around 25 kids, so each of them got a plenty! Oh, and each egg had candy in it. Whew! That's a lot of candy. After the egg hunt, we had a nice picnic lunch and had some time to just play outside. It was a beautiful day for egg hunting! 

The young man in the next several photos is J-Man's very best friend. The boys were actually born 11 days apart ("Best Bud B" is older) and they love to spend time together. J-Man had his first slumber party on his birthday this year with this little guy. They had a blast but both were asleep by 9!

Of course, last but not least, Easter morning. I bought J-Man a "big boy" outfit for Easter and he was so excited to put it on. It definitely makes it easier for dressing when he is compliant and wants to wear what I have picked out for him. He even helped me get himself dressed! We had a wonderful morning together. (Daddy J had to work so it was just me and the little man.) I made sure I took my camera to church so that I was able to get some pictures of him as well as his friends. Here are just a couple of the shots I got. I know I am partial, but isn't he so handsome?!?!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter and had some time to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Putting all the fun stuff aside, we were able to take some time to remember the true meaning of Easter and to praise God for sending his precious Son to die for us so that we could live eternally.