~Poop On Jelly~

Our Family's Bitter/Sweet Life

Monday, March 18, 2013

Update, Part 2

I love being a parent.  It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. 

I have been home with my kids for 12 years now.  I gave up my teaching career to be with them full-time.  It is something I will never regret... or take for granted.  All of the sacrifices were worth it.  (And, that is what I remind myself every time I get into Nurse Boy's old, rusty, and smelly van.)  My husband was the biggest advocate for our decision to live off of one income.  Truly, he was the one who sacrificed the most.

It was a GREAT run...

However, I am now a working woman.  God started to give me a desire to go back to work in the fall of 2011.  I fought it for awhile, but I ended up applying for a paraprofessional position (think Teacher's Aide in the Special Education Department) at Bruiser's and Sweet Pea's school.  Their principal was so supportive and hired me this past summer.  I love that God brought her into our lives.

I taught 3rd grade before Dimples was born.  It is a different world going back as a Para, but I am simply not ready for all of the responsibilities that come with a classroom of students.  My paycheck is much smaller, but so are my responsibilities. I get to take my kids to school, start working when the bell rings and head home with them when the bells signals the end of the day.  The job has many of it's own challenges, but I love that I am tapping into something I am passionate about.  The one-on-one time I get with the students is very rewarding.  Plus, I get "drive-by" hugs from my kids every day.  They love having me in the building and I love that I get to be a part of their school day.  God has great ideas!

Nurse Boy is still in school.  (Yes, it has been 5 years. 5 long years. Thanks for asking.)  He is on the path to be a Clinical Nurse Specialist.  He is still the Nurse Educator in the GI Lab.  It is his passion.  He is currently acting as the Interim Nurse Manager as his boss and mentor is battling cancer.  He is expected to have a full recovery and Nurse Boy is happy to help out during this difficult time.  Next year Nurse Boy will be in school full-time and working full-time.  He is excited to finish his journey, but he still has a rough road ahead of him.  He is such a hard worker and I am his biggest fan.  I am blessed to watch this man be the best husband, father, and nurse that he can be.  God continues to use Nurse Boy in a mighty way.

This last year has been filled with many blessings and some tough moments.  Cancer has attacked 4 of our friends this year.  While 3 of them are strong and fighting the dreadful disease, one of our friends left this home for his eternal home.  He was a man of faith who left behind an amazing family.  He was our age.  We found ourselves heartbroken for his children and his wife.  We still are.  This year has been a humbling one as we are continually reminded that this world is not our eternal home.  Life is short.  We have struggled, not with our faith, but with the harsh realities of this world.

God is still good.  We continue to seek Him in all things.  We are thankful for our health and we are counting our blessings daily.  We desire to glorify Him... nothing else really matters.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Update, Part 1

Oh, how I miss blogging.

I REALLY miss it.

It was such a sweet time in my life.  The kids were young.  God was calling us to make some huge changes in our lives and I found comfort in jotting down my thoughts during the quiet afternoon nap times.

I miss those days.

And, yet, I love this new season of life just as much.

Dimples is now 13 and in the 7th grade.  Yes, we officially have a teenager in the house!  He is a typical teenager in so many ways: he refuses to wear any type of coat or jacket (regardless of the temperature), he lives in hoodies and jeans, he has become a bit of a slob, his first love is soccer, and he is eating us out of house and home.  But, to my surprise, he is a complete joy to be around.  He still chats with us about everything and even share concerns about his friends' poor choices.  I love his convictions.  He is a social guy but still enjoys spending time with his family.  He also has a new love for the theater.  He even had a staring role in the school play this year.  He rocked it, if I do say so myself.  I love that he is exploring things his father and I never experienced.  In turn, he also has a strong faith that guides his decisions.  Dimples is a born leader and I can't wait to see how God continues to mold him into a man of God.

Bruiser is in the 4th grade.  At 10 years old, he is a very sensitive and passionate young man.  Plus, the boy knows how to have fun!  He loves to show off his hip hop dances moves anytime of the day.  If music is playing, Bruiser will most definitely bust out with some dance moves.  He can also rock the soccer field.  And, for an added bonus, most of his goals are followed by a front flip in celebration.  He is quite the entertainer.  This boy also seeks the truth in all things.  He is a black and white thinker.  Thankfully, he always wants to know God's take on everything.  He is a loyal friend and expects the same from others.  He is the middle child and he seems to always compare himself to to his siblings.  I know God is revealing exactly who Bruiser is to him each and every day.  I love watching him discover his God-given gifts, talents, and abilities.

Sweet Pea is quite the young lady as she counts down the days to her 7th birthday.  She is in the first grade.  It is so fun watching her discover a love for learning.  She loves to read and spends most evenings playing school in the kitchen while I cook dinner.  She wants to be a teacher when she grows up.  She talks a mile a minute and tells us every detail of her day.  (And, I do mean EVERY detail.)  She is such an encourager to those around her.  She adores her brothers and thinks Nurse Boy and I are pretty fabulous as well.  She tells me every day that I am the "best mom EVER."  (I had to get that in black and white because we all know she might deny this in the not-so-near future.)  She loves God and often asks us to pray with her for friends and family who are in need.  I am thrilled that I get to watch God mold her tender heart.

The kids are growing up.  Fast.  They bring us joy, while challenging us every step of the way.  I was so tired when they were little.  They needed me 24-7, in a demanding and physical way.  Yes, I was PHYSICALLY exhausted.  Now, I often find myself EMOTIONALLY exhausted.  Big, tough questions are asked often.  I am so thankful they are asking us the hard questions, but sometimes I just want to curl up in a fetal position instead of educating them on the harsh realities of this world.  My prayer is that God uses each one of them to bring beauty to this world.

(To be continued...)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

See You at the Pole... 2011

Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.  Matthew 18:20

Today students all across our blessed nation gathered at their school's flagpole to pray for their school and
their community.
 Dimples was so excited to spread the word at his elementary school.

 Jesus said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."  Mark 16:15
Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done.
1 Chronicles 16:8
 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.  Proverbs 8:17
Dimples eagerly lead his school in prayer.  Words cannot describe how proud we are of him!  He is confident in who he is in Christ.  May he and his siblings always walk in the knowledge of the Lord!
Afterward, Nurse Boy showered the kids with doughnuts and juice.
 We pray all of the kids from this morning will come to know Christ in a personal way. May He shine brightly through each and every one of them!

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ...  Colossians 4:2-3

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Where to Begin... Again?

I miss blogging.  I miss recording the silly things the kids say and the silly things the kids do.  I miss recording the little things God does in our lives and the big things God does in our lives.  I miss posting my favorite pictures and I miss posting my favorite recipes.  Yep, I miss blogging. 

Alas, it is summer time.  The computer tends to collect dust while the pool and the laundry seem to get my undivided attention.  Every summer I spend far too much time in my least favorite outfit... my swimsuit.  (How ironic is it that I first typed "fat," instead of "far"?  Nice.  Stupid, unforgiving swimsuit.  It always encourages me to spend more time on the treadmill... I guess there is a plus to my least favorite article of clothing.)  All the trips to the pool also lead to lots of quality time with my washer and dryer.  Quality time that I could really do without.  I need another load of laundry like I need a hole in my head.

Last semester was Nurse Boy's toughest semester yet.  And, by "tough," I mean we hardly got to spend time with him.  He was amazing and never complained.  Good thing, too.  I think I did enough complaining for the both of us.  Seriously, it was so hard.  We are still recovering.  This summer he is only taking one credit hour and we are trying to make up for lost time, both as a family and as a couple.

God has been so faithful during this stressful time.  He has been doing amazing things in our lives over the last 2-3 years and this year has been no exception.  He continues to bring amazing people into our lives.  People who have lifted us up in prayer.  People we could call in a time of need, anytime of day.  People that have showed us support and love.  People who love our kids and value our family.  People who challenge us to be better Christians.  I am so thankful for the friendships that God has brought along the way.  Each and every one of them is an answer to prayer, literally. 

Each year we take time to reflect on our priorities and the direction our life is headed.  This is when the rubber meets the road. This is when God challenges us to make some changes, rethink our direction, and seek HIM even more.  This is always so hard for me. I really am a creature of habit.  God is determined to change that.  One of these days I will stop fighting Him.  I think we are at an exciting turning point.  It is always so stinkin' hard for me as we are rounding yet another corner.  We can't see exactly where we are headed.  We know we are suppose to round the corner.  We have to practically close our eyes as we put the pedal to the medal.  The reward is always right around the corner, but we can't see it's full potential until we make the turn.

Yep, we are turning.  Again.

This fall promises to be exciting and challenging.

I am reading Beth Moore's book, Believing God, with a friend.  I'm only on chapter 4 and I already love it.  I found a couple of her quotes to be amazing.  I knew I needed to have them posted in the house as reminders for all of us. 

What's not to love? 

I am off to fold laundry.  And, burn the dreaded swimsuit.  Maybe I'll even go crazy and spend some time on the treadmill...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!

a day late, I know.

But, I am going to dust off my blog a bit and share some pictures of my favorite kiddos.  If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE dressing my kids up for the 4th.  LOVE!  It is finally rubbing off on Sweet Pea.  She planned to wear 4th of July outfits the entire holiday weekend, rocked her flagged bows each day, and spent the morning of the 4th searching for undies that matched her red, white, and blue.  Yep, she is definitely my daughter.  I have trained her well.  My apologizes to her future husband.

We had a bit of a quiet 4th of July this year, but it was kind of nice just spending time with our family.  Hope yours was blessed as you celebrated your freedom.  We are so thankful for ours!!

God bless each and every one of you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Feeling Proud... & Blessed!

Last week was the annual Open House at the boys' elementary school... otherwise known as take home ALL of the wonderful crap your kids have made all year and good luck figuring out what to do with all of it, cuz a good mom doesn't throw any of it away.

As I was going through the enormous pile of paper late into the evening, I came across a gem.  It was one of those moments when you know you must be doing something right as a parent, or that God is watching over your children.  For me, it is all God!  So I give Him all the glory as I share this simple little assignment that blessed me and my mommy heart.

Assignment:  Bio-Poem; All About Me!

Kind, caring, and athletic
Brother of Sweet Pea and Bruiser
Who loves ice cream, family, and brownies
Who feels smart, interested, and fantastic
Who needs friends, family, and God
Who fears criminals, guns, and knives
Who dreams of spreading God's word
Who would like to see where Jesus died, Statue of Liberty, and Mona Lisa
Who loves to eat pizza, mac-n-cheese, and brownies
Who wishes to be a missionary someday

Dimples is quite the young man.  His faith and love for the Lord is such a blessing!  I pray he never loses his faith, that it only becomes deeper and more meaningful to him.  I am so thankful for this young man!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our God Is Love!

HaPPy EaSTer to all of our family and friends! 
May you know the depth of Jesus' love for you on this Resurrection Sunday. 
I would like to share some of our sweet memories and the lyrics to one of our favorite songs by Hillsong.  Today's message is clear; God IS love
A love that is almost incomprehensible.  A love that is amazing.  A love that is forgiving. A love that is healing. 
A love that is YOURS!

Every soul, every beating heart
Every nation and every tongue

Come find hope in the love of the Father

All creation will bow as one
Lift their eyes to the risen Son

 Jesus Savior forever and after

This is love
Jesus came and died and gave His life for us

Let our voices rise and sing for all He's done
Our fear is overcome

Our God is love.
Our God is love.

 Every distant and broken heart

Every prayer, every outstretched arm

Finding hope in the love of the Father

 Age to age let His praises rise

All the glory for all of time

Jesus Savior forever and after

Age to age we will be singing
In the light of all He's done

All the earth, everyone singing
In the wonder of His love

God bless each & every one of you.  HE IS RISEN!!