Thursday, June 30, 2011

Full Weekend

Okay so over the last two weeks I have lost my motivation to blog....not sure why but I am hoping the weekend will bring more material to write about.

Tomorrow we are going to a BBQ with some family.

Saturday is Graces 6th Birthday. Woohoo....three cheers for rainbow cakes, organized chaos and one more year on this planet for Grace. Sidenote....can't believe my baby is going to be 6 where does time go.

Sunday we are hosting an outdoor movie night at my parents house. Thats right folks nothing like watching Sandlot under the stars. The evening will also include a weenie roast, smores, popcorn, ziplining and kiddos galore....woo hoo! This evening will end with my family of four nodding off in our family tent all snuggled up like bugs in a rug. Camping at my parents is super fun!

Monday is the Fourth of July and while we celebrate the country we live in, we also enjoy family time complete with fireworks and more weenies probably.

Yeah for full weekends surrounded by family and friends. Can't wait to share all the pictures with my blog friends.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Eight is Great!

I have decided that year eight may be the greatest age yet. Elliot will tell you that he had the best birthday ever. I am here to say that I am pretty sure he is not exaggerating. He was so thankful for everything, and was just all around excited to spend the day with his buddies from the neighborhood. It was a great day!

We started the day with breakfast in bed, which was his request. I think everyone should get breakfast in bed at least once a year. I always get breakfast in bed on Mothers Day. It is the best, I am not going to lie. So I made Elliot Cinnamon Honey Whole Wheat Waffles, Breakfast Sausage, Watermelon and Bananas, and milk of course. He was ecstatic however the first thing out of his mouth was I forgot it was my birthday followed by you remembered I asked for breakfast in bed:) I love the little dude all the time but the mornings are the best:)
We have a house full of Josh lovers....Elliot made sure to spend some time holding Josh on his birthday. He spent most of the time asking Josh to open his mouth so he could see if he had any teeth. I assured him that not only did Josh not have any teeth but he couldn't follow commands yet.
I made a snake cake this year. I will tell you it was a piece of cake to make however it takes a ton of frosting. The spots are reeces pieces, the tounge is made out of fruit roll up (didn't know where to find these in the grocery store by the way and the clerk laughed at me, Lea is probably laughing too, guess it goes alongside the casserole category?) , the eyes are marshmallows, the mouth is made out of ding dongs. So there you go. Oh and I used a bundt pan to make the cakes and then cut them in half. I made two cakes, for Elliots it was ginormous. Elliot loved!
Eight year olds get pocket knives in our family. All of Elliots buddies were highly impressed with his new freedom to whittle sticks.
The kids celebrated with a ginormous water fight. By the way I do feed my child despite what it looks like. He tells me his going to be a lean machine like my Grandpa for his whole life:) Time will tell I suppose:)
Elliot I love you my dude. I am so happy I get to be your Mom. It is a complete priviledge to watch you grow, to watch you learn, to watch God work in your little heart. I pray that you will always have the vigor and drive to do what you need to do, to get you through tough times, and help you enjoy all of lifes moments to their fullest. You are a bright, smart, funny, charming and wonderful little man. Eight is great and I can't wait to see you through eight more:)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yesterday Was A Long Day......

I started the day off with bootcamp, after waking up to the sound of birds instead of my alarm I realized my alarm had malfunctioned. Thankfully at 4:45 am I I still had plenty of time (15 minutes) to get out the door but waking up like that does not make for a good start. So anyway I finished out bootcamp and followed that with a long, extremely hot shower. Next thing on the list was a dentist appt at 8am for Elliot to fix his teeth. You see in his attempt to fly out of the tree in our front yard he fractured several teeth and killed one of them as well so after three weeks the swelling had subsided enough to allow for the dental work to happen. After that I took the van to Zylstras because Saturday night I got a flat tire.....all I have to say is lovely. After that I rushed home to pick up Brians car and get to my rheumatology appt, followed by xrays and blood work. Then birthday shopping for the E-man. After that I had to go for another test at the hospital for my gall bladder, unfortunately the test didn't work so after an all day fast with nothing to eat or drink (this makes for a crabby Jessica) it is being rescheduled for a later date when they can try again. Needless to say I was a little discouraged and a lot tired and even more hungry after my crazy day.

But I got to come home to food on the grill with cantalope and green salad. What an awesome hubby I have. I will not lie though, after dinner I crawled into my bed for a two hour nap only to awaken for TV night with the Bajemas.

What did my lovely family do all day without their mom you ask?
They were quite busy as well. Brian finished up building my raised beds and putting the new dog house turned chicken house up on stilts for me. He also fixed the inflated ring at the top of the pool:) Somewhere in between he took the kids to the library, for lunch and read them stories at home. Have I told you how wonderful he is!

I still need to paint the trim on the chicken house....I think its pretty cute though. The city will let us have three chickens so that is what will get. My mom has the chicks and we will probably be able to bring them home in a month or so. They won't start laying eggs until winter.

On the raised bed front, I will probably plant mostly tomatoes and zucchini this year maybe some carrots, heck if I know myself at all I know I will probably try to start a lot of things that I should have started months ago.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Smalls Update.

Smalls is Joshua's nickname.

So once again I am a head over heels ball of mush auntie and with this little guy as a new addition to my long list of adorable nieces and nephews who wouldn't be? But you be the judge!!

Lots of smiles and hiccup giggles for Auntie Jess these days.

At first I thought he looked so much like his Dad but more and more I see my might be the nose? He totally has me and Emilys nose:)

And he is pretty fond of Gracer too. Until he starts getting fussy, then she tells him he needs to keep his binky in his mouth or she will think he is naughty;)

I am in love can you tell? I sent my sister a text proclaiming my love and telling her I was completely smitten.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anticipation and Fear All Rolled Into One

Today marks the last day of school for my Kindergarten girl and Second Grade boy. And as I am very much looking forward to the break from routine and hustle and bustle to get to school every morning, I am afraid. Very Afraid. Now if you don't have school aged children you may not know what I am talking about, however, it takes me a good week or two to get into my groove of having everyone home. I cringe as I write this because someone reading this will take it the wrong way. I love my kids, I love being with them, I love being able to do fun stuff.

So today is a day that I have looked forward to with great trips, the pool, lazy day picnics and camping. But also today I am approaching with a bit of fear for what tomorrow brings, the days when everyone is bored, the days when we are crabby, and the days we can't get along...they happen to us, maybe we are the only ones:)

Today also is the end of a chapter as next year I will have two full time school aged kids....seriously how did this happen to me and who pushed the fast forward button on my life. But I am so blessed with two very bright and healthy and most of the time kind children who love the Lord and are becoming smarter everyday in an environment that encourages putting your faith into to action instead of just sitting on your gift.

So heres to all you Moms that are looking towards your own anticipation and/or fear. Its going to be a great summer I just know it, we already bought a box of otter pops and having been moving right through them;)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bellingham Bells Game with Gma and Gpa Boat

Gma and Gpa Boat took us to the Bells game on Sunday night and spoiled us to the max. About an hour before we left I told Brian I wasn't sure that going was going to be a good idea because everything was making Grace cry that afternoon. Turns out my worry was for nothing because we all had a good time and the kids were both well behaved and enjoyable to have out in public;) They both got baseballs and Elliot was able to get several autographs on his.

The whole experience was great. The team has done a lot of work to clean up the park and everyone we interacted with was super friendly and helpful. And Hot Dogs are only $3 which I feel is super reasonable for an outing such as this. They have tons of activities for the kids to be involved in during the game to keep them occupied, which were very exciting;)

Brian and Elliot...not sure what Elliot is doing with his face.? I do know that he has a new air about him in his last month of being 7, my mom says he has a swagger:)

Elliot and Grace with Dinger the Mouse, the team mascot.

After our experience I would totally recommend this activity for a family to attend. So fun...I am hoping we get a chance to go again!

Thanks Gma and Gpa Boat!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Meanwhile Back At The Ranch

Life is getting back to whatever normal is. Our focus seems to be back in the direction that I like it to be, meaning the four of us and our large envelope of regular responsibilities.

This week I heard that Gungor (a christian band that Brian and I love), was going to be playing at church in Mill Creek on Friday. So on a whim I asked Brian if he would want to go, of course he did. So we asked my mom to watch the kids and off we went. Now i know we just had an overnight away, but this was our first date in a long time, just the two of us, sneeking away, doing something out of the ordinary. I am just not the kind of girl that likes to "waste" date night on a movie or concert, I would much rather go for dinner and partake in an activity and talk without kids. But this was going to be an exception to my rule, and I am so glad we did it.

Now a little back story is, I have been missing a lot of church lately and not because I am not there every Sunday but because I teach Sunday School almost every week during the service and if I am not teaching we are leading worship during the service, wah wah (please don't feel sorry for me, its what we do and we love it). However with the last month going the way it has I have needed me a good old fashioned church service with a challenging message and no distractions or responsibilities. However I didn't realize I could get just what I needed attending a concert, with loud loud music and millions of youth groupers giggling and jumping around. I really should know better by now that God reaches you on His terms and in His time, doesn't matter where you are. And he reached me there in that place last night, it was the most beautiful worship I have experienced in some time. When I first got there my mind immediately thought we should have brought the youth group kids with us (this is how I get myself into trouble always thinking of a way to work and to serve). But little did I know God took me all the way to Mill Creek with the love of my life and and blessed me right there.

I love Gungor for many reasons. One- they do what they want, I mean they have a cello playing with a rock band and they use weird instruments like the melodica and bells and chimes, its amazing. Two- they are self proclaimed hippies, no need for explanation you know I love myself some hippie time. Three- they are authentic to themselves and do not stick to any one style its amazing, God is using them to bless others in a big way and it is so apparent. Four - They are a husband wife combo and I love that, Brian and I are able to worship God together side by side and lead our congregation and it is one of the greatest blessings in our marriage, not that we are anywhere close to as talented as they are, it all in the experience. My first time hearing them was after Brian attended a worship conference for leaders in Bellevue this past fall. Gungor was there to teach a session Brian attended and he fell in love. He came home and showed me this video I was hooked. We immediately learned the song and sang it for special music at church. Minus the leaves and twigs unfortunately. Beautiful Things (I have been listening to this album like a fifteen year old girl with the newest Taylor Swift Cd) is the name of one of their albums and I totally recommend picking it up, its great. Another song they wrote is called Please Be My Strength, I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to this song in the last 6 weeks, it has been a strong point for me, and when they sang it last night I weeped, God has used that song to bless me so much. Michael Gungor introduced the song by saying sometimes you breath out out out so much that you forget to breath in. I couldn't have pinpointed what I needed better than he did in that moment and the song took on a whole new meaning for me. And once again I was reminded of what a roller coaster my faith can take me on sometimes. I will share the lyrics at the end of the post it is a beautiful was a beautiful concert and I can't believe for only $15 I was able to experience that.

Readership is down on the blog lately....I know it has probably been a depressing place to come and read lately. I am not going to apologize...this blog has been a place for me to be real and hold me accountable for what my life is really like. There are a lot of things that I can't say out loud, there are a lot of things I can't share with my kids yet, and isn't it always easier to say that you are fine when you are not. I don't want to forget I went through these experiences, I don't want to forget how God pulled me through, I don't want to forget the things that have shaped me into me, and some day whens its time I want my kids to read this and realize that I had struggles too. So I can't promise to write about happy fluffy things all the time, I can promise to be honest though and as authentic as possible and true to what God is doing with me and for me. Life is full of seasons and chapters, so happy, some sad but all great and full either way.

At the end of our wedding ceremony we sang the doxology, I was reminded of that last night. What a constant theme the words have been for me in our little life. However the blessings don't always come from the places you expect them to because God is so much bigger than that and his plan is so much more vast. We are a blessed people even in our suffering, and if you take the time to slow down and take the time to breath in once in awhile it doesn't take to much time to realize that!

So that's my soap box for now. Hope you try out Gungor they are amazing. But more than that I hope that you can find God wherever your are at in your journey in this crazy world, and get to know the promises he has for you, faith in Him He is the only one that can offer you new life.

Please Be My Strength

I've tried to stand my ground
I've tried to understand
But I can't seem to find
My faith again

Like water on the sand
Or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short

So please be my strength
Please be my strength
'Cause I don't have any more
I don't have any more

I'm looking for a place
Where I can plant my faith
One thing I know for sure

I cannot create it
And I cannot sustain it
It's Your love
That's keeping me

Please be my strength
Please be my strength
I don't have any more
I don't have any more

And at my final breath
I hope that I can say
I fought the good fight
Of faith

I pray your glory shines
This doubting heart of mine
And all would know that You

You are my strength
You are my strength
You and You alone
You keep bringing me back home

Oh, You are my strength
You are my strength
You and You alone
Keep bringing me back home

It's You and You alone
Bringing me back home

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What We've Been Up To.....

The end of the school year is almost crazier than the beginning of the school year and this year has been no different from the previous years. When have been living life like school is already out, with lots of last minute fun and less worry over what needs to be done. I am not sure why this happens but with Memorial Day always comes the jump start for summer to me. Rain or Shine I am learning not to care, or maybe not to notice the difference.

A week ago I started a fitness bootcamp. This has been a big stretch for me seeing as it starts at 5:15 am. I am by no means a morning person. I don't mind getting up in the morning but I am normally pretty quiet and contemplative in the morning. I really don't enjoy the company of others or to much excitement first this has stretched me because it includes all of the above. On top of it, there is a very in shape women running me ragged for a good entire hour:) I secretly love it though and it is a wonderful jumpstart for my day. The reason I am doing it is to build my endurance so I can hopefully start running distance again. I am convinced this will accomplish that very thing.

So enough about the what how about some pics of what we did over the weekend.
No we are not making him wear a helmet all the time after his accident. It just seems that once the sun comes out his bike just becomes an extension of his body, so often he is on an off his bike so much I think he forgets to take the helmet off:) This particular evening we ate dinner on the front porch and let the kids kind of come and go from their food, while we watched them and enjoyed the warm sun. Sometimes life calls for a change int he norm, this was totally that.

Not the greatest picture...however, Grace is riding her bike everywhere. She even rode to Second Chance on Tuesday. That is actually quite a ways for her first time off the block without training wheels. She did great!

We had an impromptu BBQ with all of the uncles, plus Auntie Sarah and Jessie. We must have played four square on and off for hours. We also had a baseball tossing, football throwing and a game of bocce all going on at the same time at one point. WE had fun!

Uncle Luke and Elliot. Nice Guns Boys:)

And no BBQ would be complete without a Bajema sighting.

On Monday we went to Silver Lake with our neighbors to celebrate my friend Treasas birthday. It was wet and overcast but warm. We still managed to have a picnic, roast marshmallows, fish, play on the playground and have an all around good time.

Emma is Treasa's niece she is growing up so fast. She also happens to be head over heels for anything having to do with Grace.

This would be Zachary, when we moved into our house he was 6 months old and he has had me wrapped around his finger pretty much since then. I love this kid! He had no interest in casting but if I casted it out he would subsequently reel it right back in and ask for me to repeat the process. Sometimes you just go with was a truly lovely day. I asked Brian on the way home if I could celebrate my birthday the same way this year:)

We may not have caught any fish but we did find a snail to make a pet out of for the day.

So whats up for this weekend you ask? Gungor concert tomorrow, Meat Feed for Bri, Chic Feed for me, a baseball game maybe, a parade and who knows what else. Oh and speaking of parades, I will say it in advance parades in our town make me crazy and I will be parking the van in the front yard to avoid being hit by all of the people that think they can parallel park a suburban in a space no bigger than a smart car.

Not sure why a couple of these pics are sideways, can't get them to post right in blogger even though they are the correct way in photobucket. So sorry in advance for your crooked neck:)