Friday, April 30, 2010

There Is No Place Like Home..

What about your house lets you know that you are at home? For me, after I went 45 minutes away to college the first time, it was Mama J.. whenever I walked in and she was there all was right with the world. Then I put my big girl panties on and moved out on my own with the Hubs and now I know I'm home when screeches of "Mommy!!!" reach me from the door, and Dooley goes all wonky, jumping up and down all over me. That's step one, step 2 is actually getting to see and speak to my husband :)

Keep in mind, these opportunities only arise when I go to school.. I do not go any other place on the planet with out, at least, one of my family members :)

That being said.. here is what happened in my home yesterday:

My children love, love, love to paint. I give them the option of painting a picture, or going free style, free range wins every time.

Sugar Mama started off neat and strong


And what is painting if we don't paint our hands?


The Nugget also started neat and strong...


And then things went horribly wrong :) I shot this before she was done...


But a sink bath is where she ended up...


These pictures shall further prove that having children has changed my OCD :)

The Nugget has a birthday coming up.. this is sure to invoke a sappy post next week, F.Y.I.

Today I am Thankful for:

These Three Wonderful People: My family of 4 has changed my life.. I love them more than I thought I could love one person, let alone three people completely and unconditionally. I'm thankful God gave them just to me, they are my most prized possessions :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hope...

What are some things that give you hope? Kelly Stamps wrote a blog about infertility week, how women around the world long to have children of their very own and struggle with conception.

There are so many situations in this life that make a person seem hopeless, that is nothing more than an illusion satan created to hide the majesty God holds in our lives. I conceived Sugar Mama pretty easily, but I had a very trying pregnancy. I never lost hope, but I do very specifically remember feeling as though I had been betrayed by my own body. As a woman, a mother, my body was designed to protect this little life that grew inside of me, instead it was failing her, threatening to evict her prematurely. I was scared, and angry at time because I was literally at God's mercy... my doctor's gave the grimmest outlooks. I remember once, after many hospital visits, my OBGYN told me that under NO circumstances would I leave the hospital with out a cerclage (a fancy word for sewin' up my cervix). This meant a hospital visit of no less than six weeks, and a much stricter bed rest schedule.... the next morning when they checked my cervix before the surgery they couldn't do the cerclage because mine was to long.

When I had the Nugget I was incredibly afraid history would repeat itself. After 22 weeks of visiting my specialist he took me into his office and told me he had no idea what to do with me because there was nothing wrong with me...

It was as close to hopeless as a person could be.. afraid that this life was spiraling out of control and I didn't have the power to stop the chaos. I had some of the most spiritual experience of my life during this time. I distinctly remember carrying my tiny little 6 lb. baby to a singing at my church, and showing her to my Plemons' for the first time.. the people who had struggled right along with me.. and I could not control the emotions I felt when I saw Mama and Papa Plemons hold my Sugar Mama... I cannot imagine another experience in my life that will top it. :)

So when life hands you a situation that tricks you into thinking that the light at the end of you tunnel has been extinguished, please remember that it's an illusion. When you accept Jesus into your life, he sticks...he never leaves, never forsakes.. only loves and guides, and reminds that he is in control.. it's never hopeless.

Today I am Thankful for :

The hope that he gives: Life is so chaotic and stressful at times, looking at my children and husband lets me know that nothing I do in this life is hopeless. I've never done anything in this life to deserve what I have, but he continues to bless me, which gives me hope for all things.. the present, the future, eternity...

Love to you all!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

For Just a Moment..

One picture that I forgot to post weeks ago was the girls in their Easter Dresses: How sweet are they?!? P.S.- I did not decided to put them in the same dress. Sugar Mama decided the Nugget needed the same dress as her or she would be sad... :)



Our weekends can get really busy. Mainly because we don't get a chance to do things during the week, so we do what needs to be done over the weekend. This Saturday, my girls and I sat in my bed watching cartoons and eating fruit loops :) I heart those days!! Here they are lying in my lap.


On a side note.. with the gym comes added attention to what I'm eating. I have never made it a secret that I love chocolate, but I'm learning some better ways to eat those items I love.. and in a better way...

Here are my English Muffin Pizzas.. they are not original, but in case you did not know about them.. here they are-


You take Whole Grain English Muffins *whole grain is important ($1.50)
Ragu Pizza sauce ($1.00 @ Walmart)
Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese ($2.50)
*Pre-heat oven on Broil setting. Broil for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

They are sooooo good, and my kids love them. We had them today with low sodium corn and peaches in light syrup... it's easy prep, healthy, and I've effectively switched their regular fatty pizza with whole grains, true calcium from the low fat cheese and the pizza sauce has very little calories :)

Today I am Thankful for:

Have you ever heard the expression "It's always the last place you look?" Well God has really shown me these past couple of weeks that I can feel/hear him so much more clear at the end of my rope.. the last place I look. To say I've been stressed is really an under statement, but he has been so strong and patient, I am very thankful he is always in my corner.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Such Is The Life..

No New Pictures... I was going to post some old ones that I've found in their various folders, but blogger is being wonky.

I don't really have anything clever or new to write today either. In fact I'm sitting in my living room, up before my kids usually get up, but today I am sitting with the Nugget, who is not feeling 100%. About 2 weeks ago she had the croup, and a double ear infection, and now I think it's viral, but the further we get from nursing the more frequently she gets sick. *Selfish Thought Of the Day* I wish she would feel better so I can go to the gym... Most days during that hour, I am certain I am going to die.. heart is pumping, sweating profusely, muscles and lungs screaming, but on the other side of that hour I feel like I have accomplished something big.

On another side note.. the past two times I have attempted to type hour, (make that three) it's come out house.. can you guess what is completely consuming my brain :)
I have done nothing but dream about the 100 + houses I have seen over the past couple of months.. interrupted by the Nugget calling me in her sleep, or Sugar Mama waking up to tell me she cannot sleep :) - How can you not laugh and enjoy it?

The fact is that the stress is getting to me. In just 2 weeks I will be out of school for the summer, it's the first "semester" that I have not gone since I started. Last summer I was devastated because I thought I would not get to go... what a difference a year will make :) I am looking forward to this break, which is making the rest of the semester so hard, because I have no interest in it... I can't wait to read a lot of books, play outside with my girls, go to the park/zoo/(anywhere else fun we have not been), take the girls to swimming lessons, actually swim in a pool with them... everything I love about summer. I've just got to keep on keeping on :)

That's my life for the past couple of days/weeks, I can no longer tell :) Sorry it's not very interesting or that I do not have pictures to share for grandparents.. I'll try to take some this weekend.

Today I am Thankful for:

My ever so thin patience: How do you know you have patience.. are you just certain it's there until you lose it? I've noticed lately that the Lord is letting me know that it's running thin and I need to remember my situation before I react. I, personally, am a little overwhelmed and that has nothing to do with my hubs, girls, friend or family.. just life, so I should not take those frustrations out on them. I'm not saying it doesn't happen.. b/c then I'd be perfect and we ALL know that is not the case, but I'm trying to check myself, and I'm sure my family is thankful for that too. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just One of Those Days...

Have you ever had one of those days?.... Where your patience is not only running thin, but you are sure that it is not existent.

That is how I feel today. For whatever reason the Nugget has decided that she would like to go back to the uterus... that is how attached to me she has been for about a week now. When I went to school tonight she cried, actually cried, because I was leaving... What is up with that?

Sugar Mama has suddenly developed a hearing problem... every time I ask her to do something she says "Huh?".. If it's not that, then it''s her doing whatever she wants and then justifying why it was right.. Never mind that I have told you repeatedly NOT to do cartwheels in the living room, or that you just kicked Dooley in the face for the 15th consecutive time, but the most important thing is Because I said so!!!

Another? Sure.. the house search, coupled with the above situations, makes it difficult to concentrate on the 3 tests I have coming up. Life is a little crazy right now and I'd would like nothing more then to eat lots of chocolate and take a nap :)

Fortunately today was a school today, so I went, took a test, and came back with a fresh perspective :) Here's praying that it keeps up for the rest of the week.

Today I am Thankful for:

The last 2 weeks of school: This is self explanatory :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

An Invitation...

First Things First.. Here is a logo that I am playing around with... What are you thoughts?!? Logos (customized) can be very expensive, and quite frankly this business is costing me enough money :)


Today was our Spring Fling at church.. it was scheduled for a couple of weeks back, but re-scheduled due to rain. Everyone in congregation was excited about the fun to be had this afternoon, and got quite the surprise during service. At most Baptist churches you will participate in an invitation at the end of the service. Music is played, it's usually devoid of conversation, and you come to an alter to pray. In our church, since we are not in a sanctuary, but a gym that we use for service.. we do not have an alter. We have steps that lead to the stage. Today, my pastor, gave an invitational.. and we prayed at the foot of the steps in a pseudo-alter.

Immediately a smile came across my face. During music worship I noticed two women silently filled with the spirit. I would never intrude, so I noticed, let it minister it's appropriate place, and kept moving. But this invitational was such a reminder of where I came from... so incredible.

It also got me to thinking about why this means so much to me. It's not about religion.. you can pray any where, any time, and you never have to kneel at an alter to get saved.. but here is what God laid on my heart...

There is no more humble place to be then on your knees. When you seek God to put the desires and burdens of your heart at the feet of the cross, your knees remind you that God is so Holy and Merciful. When I lie down at night, most often, I begin to pray as I am about to go to sleep. More often than not I notice that when I wake in the morning I got "Lord please forgive me for my sins.." out and then it's morning. Don't get me wrong, forgiveness of my sins is important but when I'm in that space it's like I equate myself to Jesus... I'm asking him to heal my friends and family of terrible illness, protect those that I love, give strength to women who council young ladies to not have abortions while I doze off to sleep. That is just not good enough.

An invitational was a surprise at my church today, but it shouldn't be because my praying knees are foreign to the concept. In fact it shouldn't be a surprise at all... he gave everything he had.. his life so that we might have an eternity with him, in his glory, with his treasures. Getting on my knees to talk with him simply reminds me that I am not equal with him... I bow before him because I am in awe of his power.. because I reverence his presence in my life.

Today I am Thankful for:

An invitational that brought me to my praying knees: Ugh, it just felt so good. To get out of my seat and walk up there and put it at his feet. And for the wonderful conversation God and I had about this blog!

Love to you all.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Little To Report...

Tomorrow is Mama J's birthday. Today the Twin and I had loads of fun carrying the 3 girls split between the 2 of us up to see Mama J for lunch. What an adventure :)

First on the way to see Mama J, a driver on the interstate hit a big orange barrel doing about 70 mph and a car swerved to avoid hitting them and almost hit us in the process. We were all doing 70 and the only place for us to go was into the median... we would have all been seriously hurt, but the Lord saw fit to send my mind/body into flight or fight and I pulled my foot of the gas and held onto the steering wheel to keep us as straight as possible. The other driver missed us by inches.. whew!

When we finally get there we decided on a restaurant that has NO highchairs.. seriously no high chairs. Looks like the kiddos will be eating from the floor :) j/k The niece was held and about 2 minutes into the endeavor we discovered that her shot sites were really bothering her and her pleasantness went out with high chairs :)
In the middle of her tude' Mama J attempted to hand her off to the Twin who received one irritated nugget and big ol' glass of sweet tea in her lap. Kudos to her though because her response was "I guess those things happen when you are a mom" :)

After our lunch Mama J took the niece and Sugar Mama out of the booth and went outside while we gathered the rest of our things. The Twin let the Nugget out of the booth before me and as I was getting out she darted outside to find Mimi, who was already walking another direction. I ran and snatched her up RIGHT BEFORE she ran into the street. I seriously about had a heart attack... it was the 2nd time for the day that my system had gone into overload. Once I was sure that I had thwarted the onset of cardiac arrest the Twin and I headed over to Old Navy to replace the pants that indicated she'd had an adult accident :)

Having said all of that... Twice today I faced terrifying experiences. Have you ever had one of those moments that made you stop once it was done and check your emotions because you had officially been scared so badly you thought you might lose it for a second? Exactly how I felt when the Nugget almost went into the street... Luckily I was in public and gathered my composure quickly, but am so thankful that I was able to get to her in time.. the thought of the alternative is enough to send me back to psuedo-cardiac arrest...

On a lighter note, I made it through 55 minutes of non-stop cardio today, for the first time, without feeling like I would pass out :) Huge for me and I am so happy about this mini-accomplishment :)

Today I am Thankful for:

Mama J: Tomorrow is her birthday and I am thankful God saw fit to give her another birthday and that he gave her to my nanny to become mine, the twins, and my brother's :)

Also Mama J is taking an important trip this weekend to a place she shared with my step-dad. It is sure to awaken some emotions that have been stored away in a private place. I am thankful that God has given her the strength, and shown her a way to come back from a loss that could have destroyed her. He is good always, even in the moments when it seems we are alone, he is merely preparing our hearts for what we cannot see.

Love to you all!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Where My Heart Really Is....

The latter part of this week was rough for this household. We've had 2 sick babies because they have super allergies and our pollen count was over 5,000. Sugar Mama had to have meds for 3 days consistently and then on Friday the Nugget woke up with a fever and super nasty cough.. One co-pay, 2 hours, and several meds later... she has the croup and a double ear infection. The steroid they prescribed makes her even more work than normal life.. (sigh :)

Here are both of my worn out girls sleeping in the floor :)


Here are our constant streams of meds...


This weekend was M & M's (my niece) very 1st birthday :) The following pictures give you a glimpse at the absolute fun had by all.

Here is the nephew trying out M & M's bike. Doesn't it look like his pedaling will give him flight and he will fly away over the rainbow in Dorothy's dream?


What is better at birthdays then money... M & M cannot think of a thing :)


What is a birthday without cake. She takes the cake (get it cake, ha! I am so funny) anyways she wins the award for best face plant in a cake, in this family!


The Twin made this cake.. didn't she do a fab job?!?

Meet Mickey Mouse.. he was hanging out at our club house this weekend.


Here is the hubs playing bad mitten with a rake.. can you say cheater?


Mama J and Heather dominating the men.


Here is my dad.. you can look at parents together and tell me who you think I look like :)


More bad mitten.. that's my brother standing next to the ladder that retrieved birdies from the roof, and then Aunt Kim :)


These are the things that are truly in my heart. The best days of my life are when my entire family surrounds us and we are doing things together. You don't see me in these photos (I know, contain your shock) because I am sitting on the porch with my nanny, holding my nephew, while he went to sleep. My mom and aunt said it was the best time they'd had in a while :)

My family has always been this way, and it given me enormous joy for my children to experience it as well. Completely morbid moment, but I swear I think about these moments and hope that my children remember these times years from now.. THIS is what life is all about. It will never be about the money you have, the square footage of your house, or the luxury of your vehicle, but being surrounded by life and love. Actually living life, and having those days when you lie in bed, exhausted, and think "This was one of the best days of my life"...

Today I am Thankful for:

All of those people: even the ones you didn't see. One of the questions I plan to ask when I get to Heaven is how God chose our families. What did my little soul do in Heaven that granted me the opportunity to know, love, and better yet, BE loved by these people. Yet another reminder that his grace is beyond comprehension.

Love to you all!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Pressure Comes From Every Where...

I had a conversation with the Hubs today, on the way home from school. We've talked to death about how nervous I am to apply to the Nursing Program at my school. It is no secret that it remains highly competitive, and I am even more competitive when it comes to grades. Acceptance letters went out recently and I've found that I am comparing myself to the people that I know, who have been accepted. Not a fun place to be.

We are under a lot of pressure to find a house. Time is running out, and we have about 3 weeks to get under contract to receive the tax credit... in the grand scheme of things, not a make or break deal, but enough to light the fire :)

Here is what I realized on the way home from school...

I do not have the power to control anything in this life. I cannot do any of the above mentions on my own. HE on the other hand controls the day to day, literally everything in my life and leads me according to his will. My wants and wishes are granted based on the things that give him glory.

The world will tell you everyday that you cannot do.. (insert personal situation here). And on your own, you may not, but with his help we can do anything.
Here is my achievement for the week. Sugar Mama recognizes all upper case and lower case letters, and we've started on sight words. This past week she read her first sentence. A matter of weeks ago, her preschool said she couldn't go to school there because she wasn't ready, in fact she wouldn't be ready for public school either. My video says other wise. God is good in everymoment...


His presence in our lives is enough. Merely touching the hem of his garment was enough to heal the body. He made the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, even the dead rise. He wept, felt, cared, and was perfect. Even the disciples who walked daily with him, were astounded when he rose from the grave.. conquered death.. not only rose from it, but is ALIVE today.

When the world says you cannot.. remember that when he lives in you, so does his power. When they say it cannot be done, remember it can, because he did it first. We will never be in a situation that he hasn't walked through first, and is therefore he is the master of it to begin with. No matter what happens in this life, he gets the glory for all of it, and when it comes time to apply to the nursing program I pray it happens, and even if it doesn't he will still get the glory.. this is his life, I'm merely his vessel and remain thankful that he let me have even a little part of it.

Today I am Thankful for:

Stress: The kind that gives me pause... makes me panic just a little, then the realization that it was never in my control anyways. He is good, always, never a time when he is not, and I appreciate the not so subtle reminders :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Insert Clever Title Here..

Ha! I'm going to let you call this blog whatever you want :)

Here is a list of my holy smokes moments for the day...

1. Sugar Mama ran into a pole last night at Awanas and has a big ol' goose egg on her forehead. I was convinced she would wake up with at least one black eye.. but fear not, she is black eye free. She does, however, have a nice little purple knot on her forehead.. go figure :)

2. In about 1 month my little itty bitty, monster of a girl, will be 2 years old... seriously where has my time gone? Please understand, with this age comes more independence which I welcome with open arms, but they (Sugar Mama and the Nugget) are a constant reminder that this life is so short.

3. Bigi (my nephew) and m & m (my neice) are growing quickly too. Bigi turned 1 just last week, and m & m will be 1 in a matter of days. Seriously watching their births is a true highlight of my life. I did not watch my own children being born, I mean who wants to watch it when you can feel it? :) But it is so crazy being on this end of children who grow so quickly.

Here is my niece giving her best CHEESE!! :)


OMGeee I heart those teeth :)

4. In about 3 months I will be 28.. that is so, so, so, close to 30... when I was younger I don't think I ever thought past my 20's. Getting married, having babies.. done... graduate college finally is on my list :) it just feels a little weird. I've said before that I never feel older, I still wrestle, and by wrestle, I mean dominate my husband, (if you ever ask him about this and he denies it, which he will, ask him about the figure 4 :) I still get in the floor and play ridiculous games with my children, watch Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, etc. Will all of this have to stop as I get older?!? I hope not b/c I'll be 40 still doing silly stuff and laughing at completely immature stuff :)

Tomorrow is Good Friday. Chris Wang, one of Youth Leaders, taught on What Easter is all about last night...

Here is how it goes...

Jesus was made flesh, he came to this world to save it, not to condemn it. They persecuted him, beat him, bruised him, humiliated him, spit on him, broke his body down to it's most vulnerable.
If that was not enough, they made him carry his cross uphill, and put a crown of thorns on his head, piercing his already broken skin.

They hung him on a cross for all to see, continued to taunt and mock him, telling him if he were the real Jesus he could save himself.
"Father, if it be your will let this cup pass from me...

He accepted a fate that was not his.. he gave up Heaven that WE might experience it. He took the HELL we deserve. And asked forgiveness for those who had beaten, humiliated and broken him, for they knew not what they did...

But it doesn't end there...

On the third day, Mary Magdalene went to look for him, but he was not there.. he had risen. He is ALIVE!! He sacrificed himself for us that we may have eternal life. He conquered death. This Sunday we celebrate that victory and the hope that hung on that cross.

That is what I am thankful for today.

Love to you all!