Monday, December 31, 2007


Alright - I've talked a little bit about what we've gone through the past year or so on this blog - but I'll recap anyway, bullet point style.
  • Depression
  • Got out of the Army
  • Jobs
  • Financial woes
  • Friendship issues
  • Some spiritual valleys (anybody know the name of a deep valley around here?)
There have been quite a few changes going on in our lives lately. We once again are moving in a new direction (well, not completely new, just new in the sense that it's been a while since we've gone in this direction). So I'm just going to go ahead and share part of an email Jon shared with some of our friends and family.
Now, a year later, Janelle and I have been brought to a point where we have no choice but to surrender our lives fully to God. I know that God has called me to a life of ministry and service to Him. Janelle and I both feel like we have been through the valley and have begun to climb out with a fresh appreciation for what it means to be loved by God. He loves us not for anything we have done or can do for Him- He just loves us.

I have a really exciting opportunity that I wanted to tell you about. As you may know, my brother-in-law Rog works with an organization called Military Community Youth Ministries (MCYM). The organization works with military chaplains to provide a youth program for Junior High and High School students on the military installations. Rog has encouraged me to pursue a job as a Community Director with MCYM. I have finished the Application Process through Youth For Christ (one of the parent organizations of MCYM). I've been invited to attend Candidate Orientation in Denver and Colorado Springs.

I am so excited to attend and hopefully figure out if this ministry is a good fit for me. Candidate Orientation is basically a ten day, two way interview. If I'm invited to join the MCYM staff, I still need to make the decision whether or not it is right for me and my family. I think that between my military service and youth ministry experience, I have a pretty solid base of experience that uniquely qualifies me for this ministry to a very special group of young people.
There you have it.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's the little joys in life

  • Originally posted on Sep 25, 2006

Friday, December 28, 2007

Blogs N Stuff

I have been tip toeing through my Vox blog and have decided to re-post a few of them here. While I'm at it I'll copy a favorite of mine from MySpace too. They will be clearly marked with the original posting date. (I know what sticklers you 3 are for accuracy)

I hold it?

Liam was just sitting on my lap trying to avoid going to bed. PJ's had been applied. He knew what was coming...

As we sat there he made his move - he pulled out the front of my shirt and tried to shove his hand down my shirt. I did the normal reaction - block with the hand.

Liam: I want to see your tummy.
Mommy: Um...No.
Liam: What's down there?
Mommy: "Something".

Liam stops for a second.

Liam: I wanna see the something.

I finally get him to stop trying to grab me when he changes tact.

Liam: Where's your skin tag? (While making a grab for my neck)
Mommy: Ugh.
Liam: Can I hold it?

He did.

Nothing is sacred when you're a mommy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Joy of Christmas

By all normal perception this really should have been The. Worst. Christmas. Ever. Things are tight. When I say tight - I mean tighten your belt, hoard your diapers and be thankful for family and friends who have helped you get by. While we have been living in limbo Jon has been serving at Old Chicago. It has been a blessing in that it has put food on the table but not really a whole lot more than that. *A post is in the works fully explaining what is going on with us on that front.*

What money we had put aside for Christmas found it's way into being the means to the end of Lucas' pain. Last Thursday Luc came to me and told me his tooth hurt. Can you see where this is going? I checked it out and sure enough there was a puss pocket below the tooth. At this point I was panicking - we have absolutely no insurance right now. We do qualify for state care for the kids but that has been one giant mess trying to get all the paperwork done. Somehow paperwork can't get done if it keeps getting lost - strange, huh? I got in touch with Jon at work and he started working the phone trying to find a dentist that was both open the weekend before Christmas and taking new patients.

Let me just take a moment to share with you that God is amazing. Jon made a call to a family that we had gone to church with in hopes that the husband (an oral surgeon on post here) could at least write a script for some kind of antibiotic and pain med. so that we could make it through Christmas. Andy told Jon he would see what he could do and call him back. Next thing we knew Luc had an appointment for the next day with the best peds dentist in town. So one x-ray, a tooth extraction, and a spacer later our boy is back to normal.

So back to my original point. From the outside looking in we should all be pretty miserable. Believe it or not I think this is the best Christmas we have ever had. We actually enjoyed each other. *Our 4 kids are awesome - but I'm sorry - they can also be annoying and loud and messy and... well you get the idea.* There weren't a ton of "things" but there was a lot of togetherness and love and joy.

I hope this post finds you feeling joyous and blessed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Looks like love

So. Have I mentioned how much I love my husband? We had an awesome weekend. Our friends took the boys and Grandpa & Grandma took Laren for Friday night. We went to dinner at Hananoki and had dessert at the O.C. For me that's perfect because 1) you cannot go wrong with steak and shrimp and 2) I love the O.C. because it's comfortable. That sounds a little weird, but I am all about what is familiar and known. Followed by going home to a quiet house. *I also got to sleep in - so YAY!*

Jon was also home for the entire weekend. That doesn't happen very often and it was great to just have him around. Sunday we all went to church and had family over for lunch. *Jon made white bean chicken chili and oh my gosh I love that stuff! My husband is an excellent cook. * We also took a drive down to Christmas on the Cumberland to look at the lights.

Maybe it comes from being an old married couple, but that is my idea of an excellent anniversary celebration.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Today is eleven years

Eleven years ago I married the most amazing man who was meant just for me. Our lives haven't been perfect, but we have been together through it all and we are still standing.

I put up an album of pictures from our 15 year relationship over on my MySpace page.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Day

My day has already consisted of :

-2 um... how to put this delicately, very foul diapers.

-1 grande mocha frappachino... the contents mostly relocated to the carpet in the living room.

-4 loads of laundry.

-1 smelly dog. She's still smelly, but I have to be around to smell her.

-1/2 a Crossing Jordan rerun.

-3 phone conversations I am continuing to put off.

-1 sick kiddo who, in the blink of an eye, swings between adorably charming and something that I would assume resembles a drug addict going through withdrawl.

And my husband won't be home until after 9. Yay!

Some days seem like they will never end. At one point in time not so long ago that thought would have made me cry. I am not in that place anymore. I don't want to go back to that place.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fine Holiday Fun

Elf yourself.

You know you want to.

Friday, December 7, 2007

He's in the room!

So... I decided to share this blog with the masses (which means all 3 of you). That wasn't one of the easiest decisions I have ever made, but I have made the choice to stop being one of those people who just pretends that everything is wonderful and perfect. So here I am: the mom trying to do her best by her kids. The wife who wants her husband to know and realize how amazing and wonderful he is. The woman that is so tired that just getting the laundry done is a reason to feel some accomplishment.

I have been at the lowest point in my life ever. The last year + has been the most disheartening, miserable, ugly I've ever known. We went from excited optimism (we've found our place - church, friends, etc.) to overwhelming disappointment. Last year it started to look like this: Church? Not so much. Friends? Not so much. We walked away from the church we were at. I was hurt. I was tired of putting on my "happy face" for all the other shiny happy Christians. We were burned.

I was done with church. I was done with God. I was just done. I pretty much cut myself off from everyone. The only people I had anything to do with were my kids, my husband and our neighbors across the street. (I didn't really have any choice with that.) When we stepped away from the church we asked staff to just leave us alone for a while. I was in the middle of the deepest depression I've ever experienced.

*Down the rabbit hole* I have had periods of being down over the years. Nothing major, nothing lasting longer than a week. Nothing that ever scared Jon or ever really and truly affected my day to day life. This round lasted over a year. *Surfacing the rabbit hole*

My husband and children have been the biggest casualties from this battle with depression. My husband more or less lost his wife for a year. I was somewhere locked inside myself. He walked on eggshells trying to keep from doing something to send me lower. He kept our family going and most definitely did it without my help. My kids had a mom who slept maybe 2 or 3 hours a night, was so shut down that she didn't have any left over emotion to share with them and full of guilt because she knew what was happening and couldn't stop it.

I am not in that place anymore. I have slowly surfaced over the last 6 months or so. My husband comments on how nice it is to see my smile again. Things are nowhere near perfect. I still have a slightly removed feeling that I haven't shaken off yet. The thing is - I am finally at a place where I can say "it won't last forever" - and mean it.

Throughout this whole ordeal my relationship with God was nonexistent. I wanted nothing to do with Him. The way I described this to Jon was to say that God wasn't even in the same room with me. I know that isn't the way it was or is - but that was the way I felt. I felt like the world was crashing down around us and where was God? We had been reduced rubble.

Last night Jon and I had a talk with his sister and brother in-law. (I just have to say that I have never known two more real people who live life in such a way that you see Him every time you are with them.) We talked about Jon. We talked about the fact that Jon was made to be in ministry. We have been running. We got battered and bruised and disillusioned and decided to go in a different direction - one that hopefully wouldn't hurt so much.

One of the reasons that I had been resistant to ministry again was because I told myself I am in no place to be in ministry. How can God use someone who hadn't even been talking to him for the last year? My sister in-law was able to show me that God can use you where ever you're at. We are all trying to get to the "right place" - but does that mean you are useless to God until you get there?

I don't know where I was going with all of this. I just needed to get this out there. I finally feel like there is hope for my spiritual life. I am able to look back at this last year or so and say that this all happened for a reason. God has us where he wants us and he is here holding us in his hands.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

So I haven't been very bloggy - sue me!

Ha! All you would get out of me would be kids.

We had a busy November. At least that's what you would assume from my lack of blogging. My mom was in town for the whole month so that pretty much ='s lots of shopping. Not so much me as mom. She got all of her Christmas shopping for the kids done. We spent Thanksgiving with our friends in AL and spent a couple of days further south in FL. It was a good time but it was hard to come home.

Part of the reason it was hard is because we are still in "flinging our hands up in the air nobody knows what we are doing" mode. Jon is pursuing a couple of different avenues for work right now and every time we think we know what to expect - it seems that the bottom drops out - but then it doesn't. That really starts to wear on a person/persons/family. We are both stressed out and it is showing in how not patient we are with the kids. I hate that.

I am also in this yucky space right now where I am very much not social with anyone but one really super-duper awesome couple right now. I have never been a "friend collector" - so that isn't that unusual for me. The thing is with so much up in the air right now with how long we will be in this area I'm not really putting myself out there to make new friends or deepen the "friendships"* I already have.

So yeah...
I'm slowly decorating a house for Christmas that I had every hope to be long gone from by this time. That's fun.
I found an entire bottle of a lotion I thought was long gone. So that was cool.
Um. I cleaned my closet. It really needed to be done. The kids couldn't even get into it to use it as a fort.
I'm tapped.

*I use friendships more along the line of acquaintances. The people I truly call friend are very few and far between.