Thursday, October 28, 2010

Embrace The Camera...

Affection is hard to come by in the Jackson household these days.  I practically have to tackle my children to get hugs or kisses from them.  Hear that?  It's the sympathy violin playing in the background.  Just a phase?  Oh, I hope so.  So, here are my feeble attempts at embrace the camera this week...

Take one:  The little Miss screaming and squirming to get away...


 Take two:  Breaking free from my grasp...and screaming to get away.

Oh, well...we tried.  Now, it's your turn!  Swing over to Emily's adorable blog, grab a button, take some cutie pics of yourself with your kids and link back to her blog! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yum, Yum, Humble Pie...

I've been eating a lot of humble pie lately.  Hot.  Cold.  Lukewarm.  When the little Mr. serves it, I eat it.  He has been the eyes and ears of justice in our household.  He may seem to be innocently playing during my phone conversations...but, really he's gathering evidence for his case to bring up later at dinner.  Oh, and that little incident at the grocery store?  Yeah, he'll make sure to report on that too.  Losing my temper...he reminds me that I'm to be patient.  Car rides?  Oh yes...Big Brother is always watching and listening.

So, it shouldn't come as any surprise that this information would not stay in our household.  I mean, what's the point of being the eyes and ears of justice if you're not informing the masses?  And by masses I mean "Share Time" at preschool.  Nothing is off limits.  And so far, he's not running out of material...dang it.

Ethan's teacher, Miss M., has commented on numerous occasions that everyone loves his stories, and even hinted that he shares a lot...great.

Fast forward to this week.  I had e-mailed his teacher to discuss an earlier issue (it involved some bean bag diving while the other students sat quietly at their tables...).  She informed me that he's a great student, fun, cooperative, sweet, imaginative, kind, and a fast learner (yes...I was glowing).  So, basically all was well, and I felt like we were super-awesome parents raising our son and making an impact.  Oh, I made an impact.

She signed off the e-mail with a 'p.s', and wanted to share with me a story Ethan told during Share Time, that she was sure I would appreciate and find "funny."  Oh, no...Lord please help me.

E stood his little self up in front of the class and told this story:

"This morning my mommy said we were in a big hurry cause' we were gonna be late.  When we were in the car mommy yelled at the lady in front of us and said, 'Hurry up and make your turn lady!  This isn't a parking lot!' I told her that being inpatient was a no-no and she should say I'm sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me."

In my defense, I mumbled for her to hurry up, I didn't yell...but, I DID have a bad attitude, and the little Mr. heard me.  Did I find it funny?  Well, somewhat, but really I was convicted.  Not my finest moment.  Even worse is that patience and kindness has been a huge subject in the Jackson household, and mom was the biggest offender yet.  This incident was such a reminder that while I was worried he would pick up a few bad habits at school, he's probably picking up a few at home as well.  I don't remember where I read/heard this statement, but I've really been thinking about it a lot recently, "Your children are like a mirror...they reflect you."  I so wish that on that day I would have been showing grace, mercy, kindness and self-control, not just because someone was watching, but because that's the heart attidtude I should have had.

Friday, October 22, 2010

(In)Courage Guest Post...


I don’t do change well. I get all twitchy, cranky and nervous at the thought of giving up the known for the unknown. I’m not the type of person to get a wild hair and rearrange furniture, switch to a different brand of deodorant or color my hair. It’s just not going to happen and I’m okay with that. I know that there are programs out there to help people like me. But, because it would require me to change my view on change, I avoid them.


Now, before you think to yourself how incredibly boring I am, I should let you know that my attempts to avoid change have not been successful. I’ve been dragged (kicking and screaming) to live in different states, changed jobs, and of course, living with two toddlers brings lots of daily change.

Change has visited my life in various packages. Some have been positive and others very difficult. I can honestly say that every circumstance, good or bad, has been a gift from our gracious Heavenly Father. But, circumstantial change has been a minor detail. As of late, God has been focused on heart change...

Want to read more?  I'm over at (In)Courage today!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen...

You were a trusted, steady, steed.  You were our first major purchase as a married couple.  You took us across state lines as we accepted a new adventure, and you bore through snow like you were made for it when we endured our first Iowa snow (14 inches)... 


 You never put up a fit and you were always strong and reliable.  You safely carried home our wee ones from the hospital, and we had to spell out your name whenever we spoke of you in front of Stella...oh, how she loved you; probably the most of all... 


Our family piled in you for lazy drives and trips to get ice cream.  We loaded you down for holiday travel and family vacations... 

You expertly put crying babies to sleep and we cranked your sound system when the kids demanded to listen to Elmo...


Mr. J packed you with lumber, tools, and hardware as we remodeled our home. Later, as he pursued various artistic endeavors, you were needed to bear the load. You are more than 'just a car'... 



You were a part of our family.  You gave it a good run.  We said we would drive you until we couldn't anymore, until you were beyond repair.  And we did.  You accomplished a lot in your thirteen-year-life...
So, adieu old friend...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doers...


When I was a teenager my mom once told me, "You can count your true friends on one hand."  Of course, at the time, I thought the more the merrier.  As years went by and I matured I began to understand what my mom meant.  There are friends, and then there are the friends you do life with.  It's with these friends you experience love, birth, pain, joy, celebration, loss and sometimes even death.  These are the friends who  rally the troops around you to pick you up and carry you.

This is the face of our small-group at church.  We have laughed together and shared with each other our burdens and sorrows.  We have helped one another through trials and shared scripture and quiet moments in prayer.  Every Friday night we gather together, share a meal, laugh, dive into God's word and I can't help but be reminded of the first century church. 

My husband and I have been greatly blessed during a trying time as these people (as well as some, who cared for us anonymously) have come beside us to minister to our physical and spiritual needs.  They are doers. They give freely and ask for nothing in return.  We are often left speechless as we experience God using them in our life and we feel completely humbled by the manner in which they surround us to bring words of affirmation and hope.

In doing life together I've been reminded of this verse calling us to care for one another:

1 Corinthians 12: 25-26
"...so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."

My husband and I have had many opportunities to reflect, and we both have come to the same conclusion:  we are forever changed by each of these people.  God has left his imprint on us by using them in our life.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The One About Quiet Times...

Having a quiet time with God is so important.  There's nothing like cracking open your Bible and spending much needed time before the Lord, reading scripture, praying and reflecting on HIS precious words.  It's humbling to read HIS word and realize that every word HE breathes is a gift to us providing instruction, comfort and a plan for HIS relationship with us.  Wow...inspired much?
If you need more inspiration to kick-start your time with GOD, then tune-in to this little homemade PSA brought to you by my sweet little miss:


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So, maybe she doesn't want all the pressure of setting an example, but have you had your quiet time today?  I'm going to go have mine now...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Say Cheese...


You may remember from a previous post that I wrote about my photographer-genius-friend Nicole. Well, that was almost a year ago, and now, she's worked her magic on our family yet again!  This time, Nicole joined forces with Deb (who happens to be her thirty-something looking mother!) to form Urbanwings Artography where she and Deb continue to turn photos into works of art you will cherish forever.  These gals are fun, laid back, engaging and can get your family to do anything!  If anyone can turn a frown-upside-down, it's these ladies.  They spent the morning with our family playing with the kiddos, capturing candid moments, and making us feel so completely comfortable.

Here is a little sneak peek of our session:




There were so many pictures and I wish I could fit them all on this page...but you can hop on over to Nicole and Deb's website to check out their amazing work, and while you're at it, check them out on facebook too! I know they are filling up quickly so RUN don't walk to book a session with them soon!

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'd Pick You...

It's 6:30 am. It's dark and most households are still sleeping. Not ours. We're pondering life. The little miss sounds the alarm that she's ready for some face-time, and the little mr. is echoing her sentiments. I gather her in my arms and the little mr. follows after me the short distance to our room, his bare feet padding against the hardwood floor, George, his side-kick monkey in tow. We pile in our bed, boy-girl-boy-girl and snuggle tight under the blankets.

In these wee hours the little mr.'s thoughts are turning, mulling. He poses question after question. Why did God make us people and not fish? How come it's morning but it's not light? Is 10 big or is it still little? Our minds and our voices are still foggy as we answer each question the best we can.

Then he asks, "Why did you pick me?" He asks in a way that makes me think he is picturing a giant kid emporium, with babies and kids lined up and parents strolling the aisles looking for the right one. B answers him, "We didn't exactly pick you. God blessed us with you and HE picked you for us. HE knew you were perfect for our family. " The little mr. thought quietly for a bit, but before he could speak B quickly added, "If I could have picked I'd still pick you." He emphasises his point by gently tapping the little mr.'s forehead. A smile spread slowly across his sleepy face and we know this answer satisfies him. His questions turn to the breakfast menu and it's off to start the day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Boy or Girl...

We love that the little miss is learning new words and using them properly...most of the time. Her newest word is "Boy". I've been showing her books with pictures of boys and girls and pointing out which picture is a boy or a girl. Then I'd point to Ethan and say, "boy" and point to her and say, "girl". You know, just a bit of life application. Somewhere along the way, there's been a breakdown in our communication...

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