Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years "Dedication"

I really dislike the term "New Years Resolution." So after checking the thesaurus i found a synonym that I like much better...DEDICATION. After marinating myself in the word for a few moments I realized that is what I was going to do with my next year. I would dedicate it to an idea or goal really that was "God Centered."

Over the last few months I have really been trying to focus on loving myself for who I am as a child of God. Loving what God has created me to conquer, accomplish and do in His name, for His glory and for His people. I have been striving to love others as God loves them. I have been striving to give of myself even when it is inconvenient for me. I want so badly to live as selflessly as possible and at the same time love and embrace the gifts and passions that God has given me. I can not explain how much joy I have felt in living out the projects He has dropped in my lap over the last couple of months. They have seemed so impossible at the start but so miraculous at the end.

So back to my New Years Dedication. Every year my children bring home a coloring sheet from preschool that is so simple yet holds -I think -the key of our purpose on this earth. It says God's Rules, Love God, Love People. I truly covet this little color page it over stays its welcome on our fridge nearly until the next years page comes to replace it. It is such a great reminder of how simple our calling is on this earth.

So this year I am going to dedicate myself to this simple calling. I have learned that the simple calling does not always come with the most simple jobs or responsibilities, however if Gods will is in it I know he will continue to bless me beyond what I deserve with joy and a feeling of true fulfillment. I know that in loving Gods people I am ultimately loving Him. I prayed last night and gave myself completely to Him saying, "God, here I am us me as you see fit." And now I am going to hold onto my hat because I am sure there are many journeys ahead of me this year and many of them will probably include feeding others. Boy am I excited!!

I will leave you with the simplest prayer of thanksgiving, one that we pray often at the Jager House. Thank you God for providing us with all that we need and some of what we want too!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

How Was Your Christmas? Ours Was Great!

I had a hard time getting into the Christmas "spirit" last week. Things were crazy at my house. My house was torn apart, my husband was in and out (mostly out) with crazy holiday hours, and I couldn't seem to finish anything I started (probably because I didn't even know where to start).

By Tuesday I decided I was no longer going to try and clean around the construction, rather I was just going to live in the construction. I made myself at home among the torn up flooring and newly laid flooring. I got used to dust flying through the air and decided to embrace the fact that my white bathroom floor would be a constant shade of gray. This made me feel better for a few days.

Well then Thursday rolled around and the reality of Christmas was upon me. I realized that in a matter of 24 hours the wrapping paper would be flying, toys would be strewn across the living room floor and there would be a feeling of controlled chaos entering my home. So after a spilled glass of egg nog all over the newly laid, only clean piece of flooring in my house I decided that vacating the premises for a bit and returning with a fresh outlook would be my only chance of surviving. So thats what I did. When I returned all of the things that seemed like big deals were small and the chaos just seemed normal (which it is). I cleaned all surfaces as well as the kitchen and the dirty bathroom floor, made 2 dozen dinner rolls, homemade bacon onion dip and packed up for the evening. I was on top of my game and God had renewed my spirit.

Friday morning was great I looked around and attempted to forget about all that still needed to be done and decided to focus on what Christmas is really about. At this very moment I realized how much I love this life exactly for what it was in that very moment. My kids are healthy, my husband loves me, my house is warm, there is food in my cupboards and I have HOPE. And the reason I have hope is because my God gave his Son for me! And He loves me even when I lose sight of what really matters!

Here are some pictures of the kids enjoying Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Post With No Name?

This post has no name! I wasn't sure what to call it so this will have to do. Seems incredibly wrong to not name because the contents are so great however it is what it is.

Four years ago the Jagers entered the great big chapter of "Preschool." We tried a preschool in our neighborhood for three days only to find out that it was not a "good fit" for us the teacher or anyone else involved. I was pretty much convinced that preschool wasn't going to work for us at all after the teacher did everything short of tell me that my child was a mutant:)

Well after many tears, a phone call to the first preschool we tried explaining maybe not so nicely that we would never be returning there and a letter to the preschool explaining my disappointment in there actions, we were onto the next step, looking for anew school. Well here we were school had already started and most places were already full as well as had active waiting lists, it was frustrating. My Mother-in-law (I hate referring to her this way by the way, it seems to carry such negative baggage with it however I will save this rambling for another post) suggested I call Leslie DeJong I half thought to myself yeah right everyone in their dog wants to go there I will never get in. I called anyway and wouldn't you know she had an available spot.

I was quite nervous in dropping him off seeing as our first experience was nothing short of well disaster is a good word:) But everyday I would ask her, half waiting for her to let me have it, did he do ok? One day she finally looked me in the eye and said you know Jessica he is just a normal little boy with lots of energy and lots of love he is great! Be still my heart it still makes me cry. I needed to hear that so badly and I repeat these words to myself even still on days that I feel like pulling my hair out.

Well Leslie has been the gift that has kept giving for the last four years. I can not picture a better place for my children to get there preschool foundation. Last week Grace had her little Christmas Program. It is always so cute and at the same time so amazing to watch them all give Leslie their attention and respect as she leads them in 6 or 7 songs. She is always sure to praise them on the littlest things such as how quietly they are able to put their jingle bells away in the box. After they are done singing she calls them each back one by one to pick u there present they have made for there parents, we all open them at that time and praise our children for how beautiful their tiny creations are. This year I was sure to tell Leslie how much I appreciated her for what she does with the children. She shared a story with me in return. She told me they had had the Elders of their church over for dinner and they were all sharing stories of spiritual highs over the Christmas season. Do you know what this dear woman said hers was? Singing Christmas Songs with the 4 year olds in her preschool. She said this is when she sees God the most. As shes telling me a tear comes to her eye.

I can not explain how much I love this woman for loving my children, for teaching them about God's love and for allowing God to work through her in a way that most miss out on. My children are truly blessed and I am truly thankful!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Joy of Christmas in Music and Song

This is an opportunity to enjoy some Christmas Caroling with your family right before Christmas. On the 23rd of December there will be a concert held at 3rd Christan Reformed Church here in Lynden. They will also be taking a love offering for Carl Haan. Carl is a friend of mines Dad who was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma. There will be Hot Cider and Cookies served as well. Its a free evening with the opportunity to give.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I Think We Jagers May Be Crazy?

Who decides to rip up all of there flooring in their home roughly 10 days before Christmas? Oh yeah, The Jagers.

My Husband was super crabby yesterday and this morning and so this morning I decided to ask what the matter was. Well it turns out that Mr. Jager was feeling like he had a lot of projects to finish. So being the wife that I am I offered to vacate the premises in order for him to get some work done. No problem he said he would work on some of the new flooring we had purchased. Great, I had some baking to do so I went to do it at my Mother-In-Laws. In returning to the house you see from the pictures what I found. I have no words.

By the way, do not mistake this post as complaining because I am very thankful for all of the things my husband is capable of however.....Christmas is next Friday. And my tree is not decorated and we don't have the proper flooring that we want for the kitchen.....ahhhhhhhhhh. Just going mildly insane this evening. I know he will complete it but as of now I can't even cook in my own home:(

May I add that I have not really been in the Christmas Spirit and so I have been praying a lot about this lately. Two days ago I really felt like God was telling me and trying to show me that Christmas is so much more than the tree, cards, presents and what not. And it is so much more about giving of your self and Giving of your spiritual gifts to others that is important. So maybe allowing my husband to do this right now without totally freaking out is a way I can give a gift to him this Christmas Season. Hopefully this is the final chapter in my study on what it means to have Christmas Spirit....I am not sure I can bear much more construction:)

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

So happy to report that we finally secured a Christmas Tree. And even happier to report it was snowing when we got it. My Dad promised it would be snowing and it did. We go to the same lot every year it is secluded in the middle of the woods and operates with an honor box. The greatest place ever I tell ya. They don't charge by the foot here folks they charge by the type of tree you buy. Borrow a saw from the wood shed and cut it down yourself. I can't imagine going anywhere else and did I mention how beautiful it is up there?

This year was a bit different though....I actually was realistic with the size of tree I bought. Almost every year I choose a tree that hardly fits through the door let alone fits within our ceiling limits. But I did it I think it made Brian a very happy man:) Really people have you seen Griswolds Christmas...that is much what it is like at our house every year. The tree looks so small at the lot but once you get home you end up being able to keep only top pf the tree:)

We also played in the snow yesterday at my mom's. They have a big pond in there backyard at it was frozen solid. My dad said we could walk on it. I was a bit of a skeptic but after everyone else went on I followed. I will admit it was a bit strange to step off of the dock onto a sheet of ice. But it was much fun to build a small snow man and do snow angels on the pond. How bazaar right?

Long story short it was a fabulous day! And I got a tree however the next post will show you why it is still not decorated.

P.S. Notice Graces snow pants.... I picked them up at a garage sale this year. They are from a girls only store but they happen to be blue which matches her jacket. The man at the Christmas Tree farm referred to her as a boy. Note to Mr. Christmas Tree man girls can wear blue and she also has a pony tail and a pink ear warmer on...Hello.

Bon Bon Part Deux

On Saturday night we went to Graces Ballet recital. The first half of the show is always a rendition of the nutcracker. This is Graces second year however at this age they take the same class twice which means same costume two years in a row. She did choose a different color this year though.

It was so cute to watch her dance this year. She is still learning a lot obviously, however this year she knows she also serves a purpose on stage other than just looking absolutely adorable. She followed along very well. Before going on stage she tugged on my hand looked me straight in the eyes and said,"Don't worry mom this is going to be great!" I love her!! She is the most confident little lady I know!

The Young Messiah

To preface this post I am now declaring a blogathon. I attempt to avoid this type of event however, its been a busy weekend and there is a lot to report.

Well, Friday night was Elliots Christmas Program. They chose to do The Young Messiah this year. Elliot was pretty stirred up about the fact of having to wear a costume for half of there performance. When asked about the sort of costume he would be wearing he told me he was going to be a shepherd. I explained to him all of the wonderful aspects of being a shepherd and told him his costume would be sort of like a bathrobe with a headdress of sorts and it would probably prove to be quite comfortable. (Now you see Elliot truly dislikes anything dressed up, puppets honestly terrified him as a toddler as well as anything pretending to be anything else.) So not being able to leave well enough alone and being the over achiever mom that I am I ended the conversation with at least you don't have to be a sheep that would be really silly. Well wouldn't you know that the kindergarteners were sheep. Nice!! So any mom of a kindergarten child that may have been teased by my dear sweet boy please accept my apology I was only trying to help my child:)

Anyway, all of that aside it was a wonderful program. Elliot did awesome!! He was a little distracted by his teacher from last year sitting in the audience though. He must of spent 5 minutes making sure she saw him winking at her;)

And the costumes were quite adorable. I wish I would have gotten better pics but there was a very tall person sitting in front of me and by the time I got back to class he had his costume off:( Another photog mom was there snapping away and was nice enough to take some pictures for me so maybe I will have some to post on a later date.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dear Snuggie Marketing Team,

I just wanted to to take a moment to express my opinion on your success. You are very smart in how you advertise on some of the major television networks for children. My children and I am sure many others, have been very excited about the prospects of receiving a Snuggie for Christmas. You may laugh however every time your wonderful commercials comes on our living room is filled with squeals and talk of which color one thinks the other will receive. And now you have added the dog Snuggie bless you for thinking of such a wonderful and much needed item in our home.

Now my visits to Costco, Target, and many other retailers has become a game of avoid the aisle where this item may be housed. Otherwise our entire shopping trip is full of excitement related to your product as well as not so gentle reminders from my lovely offspring that I "promised" I would get them one.

You will be happy to know my dear grandmother went out and searched for the kids size Snuggie which is a rare stock item for retailers. After 3 trips to 6 different stores my children will now find pink and blue Snuggies under the tree.

However the dogs will remain freezing because your development team forgot to think of the Daschund market and they are much too short for our long variety dog.

Heres to hoping next year does not include a new and improved Snuggie product.

Not So Excited About Snuggies Mom
Somewhere, NW WA

Just a random post of what has now been a daily topic in our home for the last 2 months.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You know you have a 6-year old boy in your house when....

you find this on the back of the sheep in your manger scene. Yes folks that would be lego dynamite or if you ask Elliot lego C-4. Poor sheep never had a chance.
Not much to say about this.? I will admit to a half smile and a bit of giggle when I happened upon it though. What about you?
P.S. this is the only piece of Christmas decoration you will find in my house at the moment other than a piece of mistletoe hanging in the kitchen.(can't resist the mistletoe. I keep it next to the peanut butter in the cupboard so I won't lose it among the other boxes of Christmas goodness.)Hopefully I will find sometime to decorate more this week.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hope For Olive Olie Bollen Wrap Up

First off I must tell you how blessed I have been in the process of trying to bless precious baby Olive. My little tiny idea turned into something a lot bigger than I ever dreamed of. Once we decided to go with Olie Bollen we had a lot of needs to be met so no one person was pulling all of the weight. I never thought I would have so much help and support. There were quite a few times when I was confused and a bit worried that things would not be pulled off in a pleasing way. However thats when God took the reigns and showed me that he was the one that had things under control. I had to trust a lot(which is difficult for me) however each and every time the need was met with something more than I had planned on.

My guardian angel(Jan) and her friend(Coleen) organized all of the making of the olie bollen batter and we had 9 bowls full of batter by the time we got started frying. This was enough to make 970 olie bollen.

The restaurant space was donated so we could fry it all up. So we pretty much fried olie bollen from 5pm - 1am. It was fabulous!! God kept on bringing more people to help with frying, so as some left more showed up. Thanks to all who helped fry, sugar, shake and bag up all of the balls of fried goodness. You will never fully know how much I appreciate you!

The night of the sale I was again met with many familiar faces to help sell the olie bollen and hundreds of cups of cocoa. Thanks to everyone who froze their tushies off with me. I think the chapped cheeks and lips were worth it:)

And last but not least those of you who donated supplies such as but not limited to bags, cups, signs, napkins, cocoa, heaters, prayers, etc. I love you all, you are amazing and every little thing helped make my job so easy.

And not to be forgotten, my husband. He held down the fort a lot this weekend while I was running around. I am so thankful for you babe!! I couldn't do any of this if you weren't so supportive of my passions and crazy dreams. You are truly the best!

I will never be able to express to any of you what a blessing you have been to me in the last few weeks. However I will say that I prayed prayers of thankfulness for each of you by name this week.

So now I am sure some of you have scrolled to the bottom to see what we raised. And drumroll please....God brought in $1500 for sweet baby Olive.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Newest Bargain

I would like you new meet my newest bargain. This Monday Brian and I went shopping for flooring for Elliots room. It is the last room upstairs to be finished and boy was I excited to finally finish it. We got to the store and in looking we found a bit of flooring on sale for 17cents a square foot. This is really cheap people like ridiculous cheap. Well we made a split second decision and decided to get enough to refloor the entire downstairs as well. Woohoo. I can not tell you how excited I am. After three storess and many miles on the car i have secured enough flooring to complete the project. And do you know what the best part is. Wait for it....Wait for it......It only cost me $140. Are you kidding me?
Now to get it installed. I think we have some back labor stored up in a few friends:)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Three types....

So the following is some form of a wrap up of my thoughts over the last 24hours. As many of you know I am working on 2 very large projects right now. I too them on after much prayer and did choose on my own and after Gods prompting to to them both and although I am a bit stressed I am at complete peace this morning with both projects. Lots more still to be done, however God has assured me that if I continue to let Him take the lead that the path would be laid smooth before me.
After that little tangent I have come to the realization that there are 3 types of people that you come in contact with when taking on these types of projects. None of them are bad however some are better than others.
The three types are the Well Wishers, the Hand Holders, and the Neigh Sayers. Maybe you have found yourself in one of these categories before I can relate to each at one point or another.
The first type the Well Wishers are in my opinion the best at times. I do not reside in this classification often however I hope that I can learn to occasionally rest here a bit. They are the people that have boundaries, know what they can handle, are often extremely great at supporting in prayer and encouragement. They just jump in to projects with both feet but do let you know that they are cheering you on. They know what they are able to take on and are very good at noticing when their plate is full. They know how to say no and have no problem with that.
My final comment for you Well Wishers is....I sure hope I can learn a thing or two from you over time. I admire your greatness!
The second type is the Hand Holders. Bless these people they have full plates all the time and have earned their buffet size plates from even bigger hearts. They often are able to multi-task, are not afraid of a challenge, know how to manage a very full schedule, and love to help others. They are not good at saying no they may not even know how to say no, they often have a hard time with boundaries,they love to come alongside and help with whatever they can, there is often very little that freaks these people out. They often jump in with both feet and often end up over their heads in work but when God is with them it always seems to work out.
My final comment to these people is.....I am so thankful for you, people view you as a constant blessing but maybe we could learn something from the Well Wishers balance is good.(Balance is something I struggle with at times)
The third type is the Neigh Sayers. This type is the hardest for me to deal with however the serve their purpose in this world. These people are great at seeing every little thing that could go wrong, pointing out where you mess up, and overall putting a negative spin on everything you are doing. They are not good at giving you advice that is beneficial because they wouldn't dare tell you what they really think, they are not good at offering to help out because they want to see you sweat, and they are not good telling you they were wrong when you turn out to be a rock star and prove it had nothing to do with you anyway because God is in control of your life.
My last comment to these people is.....Thank you for being who you are, you make me work harder and cling more to what really matters because I want everyone to see what gives me strength at the end of the day.
I know this was a bit random but it was something I needed to get out of my mind.
This is my 300th post by the way. Thanks for reading.