Thursday, May 29, 2008

wardrobe confessions

1. In my wardrobe, I have a pair of pants that I bought when I was 16 and a pair of shoes I've owned since I was 18.

2. I have very few clothes that fit me. Either too big or too small.

3. I still have lots of maternity clothes lingering in my drawers and closet?! What's up? Just take them out and put them in the maternity Rubbermaid container?!!!

4. Finding an outfit on Sunday morning is one of my biggest challenges. It's ridiculously difficult. I change my clothes four times and have come close to wearing track pants to church.

5. I hate shopping for myself. I love shopping for the kids.

6. I have around 15 pairs of Christmas socks. Probably more.

7. If I could wear one outfit, it would be cotton track pants and a tank top.

8. If I could wear one outfit for the rest of my life, I would.

9. I have been known to wear one outfit for 36 hours.

10. Or longer.

checking in

Hey, friends and fam. I'm still here. I have started like five posts (one of which is my next Fabulous Friend!), but I'm not feeling blog-a-liscious these days. I've kind of caught myself pounding my chest in a feeling self-righteousness. (This is unrelated to the "preaching to the choir" post.) And I haven't felt very funny or interesting. I've felt...depraved. I've been reading a chapter a day in the book of Proverbs. Wisdom and folly are continually compared. I'm seeing so much of my foolishness in high definition right now. Anyway....

Here's a Miles quote from lunch time today. It surprised me, so don't think this is some regurgitated lesson from me!

"Mommy, there's two kinds of 'tired'...no, three. There's the 'I'm tired of obeying Satan' and there's the 'I'm tired of working' and then there's 'I'm tired. I need to lay down.'"

"Tired of obeying Satan???"...well, he's got a point.

I think I'm all three kinds of tired.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

preaching to the choir

There was a time, a few years ago, that I was more...fervent? More...excited about my faith? Maybe what I'm trying to say is that I was very willing and ready to talk about Jesus.

Here's the history: I had just recovered from a short, albeit, deep depression. Crying all day? check. Mentally cloudy? check. Reclusive? check. With this depression, came the conviction that I had been ignoring the God of the universe. I had gone to church, yes. And I had frequently talked about God on an intellectual level. But, I wasn't reading his Word like it was my daily sustenance. I wasn't praying like he was my dearest friend and highest king. I didn't cherish God in the quiet of my heart or in my thoughts. Actually, this conviction was happening way before I was brought down low into depression. I remember telling a friend (who clearly saw the signs of depression, based on her advice that I seek counseling and/or medication) something like, "Well, I just don't think I've got my priorities in order. I don't really spend much time reading the Bible or praying." So, basically, I felt conviction for a long while, but ignored it almost completely.

So, friends, I was brought down low. I was as helpless as a sheep stuck on its back. Through uncontrollable tears, I finally immersed myself in the Bible. I read the Psalms mainly. I cried out to God all my waking hours asking him to make my heart right. This went on for only a few weeks before I was restored. I had deep joy and satisfaction in God. My life was revived. And I just wanted to talk to Jesus and I wanted to talk about Jesus who rescued me from the pit of despair...and from hell. And, then I noticed something...

People. Christian people. They didn't feel the same way that I did. Not every Christian responded negatively. But there were enough. And they did not want to talk about Jesus. They didn't want to hear about Jesus. I'd ask deeper-ish questions and it would completely kill conversation. I remember one time finding out that a man from my church had just become a Christian a few years earlier and I asked him to tell me what it was like. I asked, "Aren't you excited to tell people about God's love and His salvation???" And his response? "I was at first. But, then you chill out."

I remember hearing this a lot: "You don't have to tell people the gospel. People will see how you're different and they'll wonder what's so different about you. And then you can tell them."

Seriously??? Seriously. I know, I know. There's that famous quote, "Preach the gospel wherever you go, and if necessary, use words..." or something. But, please. Isn't this often a free pass for us chickens to not mention offensive things like, SIN, JESUS, HEAVEN, HELL, CREATOR?

Basically, months and months of discouragement progressed and I, too, succumbed to "chilling out". But, there's a stirring in my soul and I'm seeking God in his Word daily again. Praise the LORD!!!

So, do you want to know the catalyst for this post???

My friend Holly asked her mother-in-law if she could practice sharing the gospel with her using "the Bridge Illustration". Her mother-in-law is totally into crystals and transcendental thinking. Basically, she believes that God is a leaf or a fish or whatever and everything is God and God is everything. So, she agreed to listening to the gospel message, but first said this in a sweet voice:

"Holly, you don't have to tell people what you believe. The way you live your life is already a witness."

This is so similar to what I've heard so many Christians say. And it came from someone who calls on spirits to heal people, someone who does not revere Jesus as any kind of Saviour.

Don't buy the lie, my Christian friends. And don't sell it either. Let's not rely on merely our good works and outward appearances to win the lost. Let's not rely on merely a well-kept lawn and tucked-in shirts. Let's not rely on merely our smiles and work ethic. Let's not rely on ourselves and, instead, let's rely very much on the actual message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

another random post

1. I've been binging on these:

I'm not even slightly kidding. I started this morning at 6:27 am when I impulsively popped a few down the hatch. And it's continued like this all day. I don't know when it will stop. Please call the authorities.

2. Avery's home with Strep...again...he's on the second round of antibiotics! This is his sick day?!

By the way, I encourage my boys to play outside...a lot. It's good for all of us. Oh. And one more thing. The kids soaked each other with the hose and it's maybe 70 degrees outside today.



3. I really, really, really don't know what to make for dinner...ever. I've been trying to menu plan, but I end up staring at a blank piece of paper trying to make myself forget words like "Chili" and "Spaghetti". I don't want to make the same stuff over and over. It's only been warm(ish) for a few weeks and I'm already in the lets-grill-hotdogs-or-brats-or-hamburgers rut. It's not for lack of recipes. I think I'm avoiding opposition of children. They are great eaters, but they still whine or make comments when they hear a new recipe is on the menu that night. Or, I'll make an old stand-by like Spinach Quiche and they'll cringe. Within two seconds of tasting, they always come around and say, "This is DELICIOUS!" But, I get worn down even at the prospect of whining. That's pathetic. I think the other hold back from making delicious fare is that I loathe grocery shopping. And there's always that key ingredient that I failed to remember to purchase. It's frustrating. Currently, chicken breasts are thawing and I'm not quite sure what I'll do with them. But, I'm guessing they'll be marinated, grilled and thrown on a salad...as usual...

UPDATE: The chicken did not thaw in time!!! What's a girl to do?? Crap! Here come hungry family members!!!!

4. Jillian has four teeth now. And I think she's getting 2-4 more. She's started clucking with her tongue. It's cute. Video to follow sometime soon.

5. Every day this week (so far) has ended up completely different than was planned. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that Avery passed out--yes, FAINTED--at school on Tuesday. I got a call from the nurse, "Mrs. Scheetz. Avery's just not feeling well. He says his nose hurts, but we don't know why. Oh, he's just very pale. I think you should come get him."

I arrive.

"Hey, Avery. What's that on your nose? And this red mark on your forehead? Did you get hurt? Yes?" The nurse leaves and he starts crying. "Mommy, I miss you so much."

Turns out he was on his way to the nurse, he stopped at the bathroom to throw up, but he passed out cold, whacked his nose, forehead and side of his head, he was found by the janitor and led to the nurse who had no idea what was wrong with him and told him (he later told me), "Avery, I don't know why your nose hurts, there's not even a scratch, honey." To her credit, he was incredibly disoriented and had a difficult time communicating. But still. It was the firs thing I noticed!

Anyway, he's all right. Except that he still has strep as mentioned before. It took 48 hours for the throat culture to be positive. So, we were getting ready to leave for school when we got the somewhat surprising call that Avery is indeed sick. Halt. change of plans. again. so it goes...


And before you start feeling too sorry for the poor-most-likely-hypoglycemic kid...remember: This is his SICK DAY?!!

6. I want to go get another handful of Wasabi Peas. Must. Resist. Temptation.

7. I blog in my head too much. For example...This morning I was reading Proverbs chapter one and I was really struck by the fact that a KING was telling his son, a PRINCE, to not hang out with murderers and thieves. One of my first thoughts was, "Murder and thievery (social problems) aren't related to one's wealth (economy)." And before I knew it, I wasn't thinking about it, so much as I was forming a blog post in my head...Blogger has taken hostage of my thoughts!!!

8. Last thing. Nope. I lost it. typical.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

bringing up brits?

Miles and Avery were enjoying saying, "Pahfect, Petah!" (perfect, peter!) while eating toast. I don't know the origin or this silliness, but I joined in and recorded their sweet voices.



Monday, May 19, 2008

friend talkers update

okay. kim totally just wrote about me! and she wrote really, really nice things about me. if you want to read somebody else's take on me, go there. but, you don't have to. i feel kind of funny sending you there. my ego has taken over...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

friend talkers

My friend, Kim, notices things. At her wedding rehearsal, she noticed that I was thrilled to be the third in line of like seven bridesmaids. I was just behind her only sister and her high school BFF and, truly, I didn't think I gave any visible signs of third-place-delight. She also noticed that I guzzle down my beverages. I had ever realized it before she pointed it out, but she's dead on. When she was last in town, she noticed that I love to talk about my friends. She called me, "such a Friend talkers". Oh my goodness. She's so right. I love it. I hadn't noticed it myself, but it's so true. I love to talk about my friends. And since I've been blogging, I notice that I write blogs about my friends...in my head. It's been a long time coming, but I think (notice the lack of commitment here) I'm going to have to do a series of blogs on some of my friends. I can't help it. The love and words are just dancing around my head. And, obviously, I'm starting with Kim.

In an effort to stay focused, I'll use categories. Various categories might come and go, but I'll start with these.

A bit-o-history:

We became friends in college. She can be credited for practically forcing me to audition for and join the Calvin Theatre Company. Her efforts were motivated by the delusion that I could somehow get into the already-casted current production of Animal Farm. Yep. I think she was a goat. She had a solo, but she still hated that experience. Anyway, Kim and I used to "study" together. That basically means that we went to Casey Stengels and smoked cigarettes, drank coffee and gossiped until 3am. One time I actually ordered food. Jalapeno poppers. Really. bad. idea. I threw up. Jalepeno poppers, Marlborough lights and acidic-truck-stop-coffee don't really sit well.

A fun little quirk:

Kim speaks Kim-ese. Here's a few classics. "Decision" is a verb. "Are we going to decision this?" Also, she shortens words. "That's so ridic[ulous]." If she thinks your at all entertained, she'll humor you by speaking in an entire sentence of shortened words. "Le[t's] ge[t] i[n] the ca[r]." It's kind of childish, but I eat it up and start guessing at what she's saying. And my favorite Kim-ism, which I have totally picked up, is calling people something other than their names. It's in the same vein as native American names like "Runs with Buffalo". It's like this: "Hello, Friend-talkers!" "Hello, eyes-filled-with-tears!" "Hello, cutest-youtube-video-singers-evers!" By the way, she used to call me "Big Girl". Can you believe that I didn't even mind?

Something that she probably doesn't think that I think about:

Kim can't say polyurethane. She pronounces it, polly-youth-erane. It's cute. I wish she worked at Home Depot so she'd have to say it all the time.

One way I'd like to be more like her:

She's pretty much awesome with my boys. She's so interested and conversational with them. They love to be around her. I want to show that kind of love and interest in my friends' children.

My favorite pictures:

Kim finds out she's pregnant. hilarious.

Miami 2006...borrowing Kim's clothes!

Okay. Final words on the Fabulous Friends Series. If I don't blog about you, it doesn't mean you're not my BFF. It just means I'm a quitter and I didn't get around to you...yet. If I sense that people (other than me and the featured friend) are absolutely bored with this series, I'll quit and write the friend a gushing letter instead...some day. I am still going to do other posts, too. So, family members, you'll still get doses of the kiddos. Never you fear.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

not cool

okay. i think it was a month ago that it snowed. so, i wasn't fully expecting this to happen when i went to the park yesterday. let it be noted that i was wearing those oh-so-en-trend-jackie-o sunglasses. guess i don't need that plastic clown nose after all!

american idle

I don't usually watch it. And I know I spelled it "wrong". Anyway. I watched enough to hear something that made me want to turn off the tube. The contestant that got booted off last night used that cliche I grew up with in the public school system, "If you believe in yourself, You can do ANYTHING!"

I must confess. Miles was watching. And he said, "Well, not anything. You couldn't fly through the roof of our family room." That's right, Miles. And if you believe in yourself, you can't believe in God. Not the way he tells us to.

That's all I've got. Whatever you do today,don't believe in yourself.

Monday, May 12, 2008

puddin' pop

Giving a baby a freezing cold popsicle might be naughty. But, she does like it. And her expression is just adorable and a little sad and a little funny to me.

video

Sunday, May 11, 2008

white roses

Today is Mother's Day. On this weekend, our church shows love to the congregation by offering white roses to those who find Mother's Day to be painful for one reason or another. Maybe because of infertility, maybe because a mother has died, maybe because a child has been lost. After the service, it seemed every other person was carrying a white rose. I approached a new friend who is seventy-something. "Happy Mother's Day," I said and noticing her white rose, "I also see that there is sadness this day, too." She told me that she had full-term twin daughters who lived only one day (forty years ago, or so). Our eyes reddened and filled with tears. "I still cry," she said.

I had another friend say, "At my old church, they handed out flowers to all the moms. If I had to come this morning to see all the ones with babies on their hips and flowers in their hands, I couldn't handle it." (Oh, Praise God we don't just honor the ones who have children at our church!)

Oh, dear ones. Today, I am overwhelmed with the longing hearts of my friends. So many of you have lost children that you loved so well. Some of you are waiting, waiting, waiting for adoptions. Some of you are waiting, waiting, waiting for a pregnancy. Some of you are grieving, grieving, grieving your missing children. And, some of you are doing all three. I love you today especially.

you're my obsession

Sugar Wafers....mmmmmmmmm....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

fight club

Ummmm...did I say I love my boys? Yes. I did. And, truly, I do. But, seriously. I don't really get into this aggresive man crap. Brent is really gentle when he's being rough with the boys. But, somehow, he always gets hurt. And, of course, I have zero sympathy for him, because it happens every-frip-frappin-time. Avery is always laughing through the whole wrestling match. It's like he doesn't feel pain. No. really. He's tough that way. He'll fall off the bed on his head and start laughing...maybe, because his love for slapstick prevails. And Miles is a beast. An absolute beast. Well, without further adieu, here's a short snippet of our family "fight club".

video

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

perspectives on children

Last night, Brent listened to some excerpts from a speech given by Michelle Obama in the car on the radio. She said something to the affect of, "[Barack's mother] was a single white mother with a black baby, but that didn't stop her from going after her dreams..."

My husband loves children. He loves our children here right now and the idea future children. He's not afraid of having a big family. That said, he doesn't have an agenda to have a big family.

So, when he hears something like the above statement, a red flag goes up. His response? (not verbatim) "Jenna, why do people see children as an obstacle to dreams instead of a dream in and of itself?"

I love this man. He says things to show me that he is happy in this life...with me...with our children. I felt loved just by hearing a bit of his worldview.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

sweet


I love this moment. When Avery was a little baby and would enjoy book after book, it never occurred to me that he'd be reading to his siblings when he got older.

unofficial crazy hair day

life with boys...




i spy...

...some things hidden by a boy:

a pen, some popcorn, a tinker toy

a paintbrush, a lego, a battery, a clip

a used kleenex, a gasket and a guitar pick

*these were the contents found in our couch cushions...gross!





who do i thank first?


Seriously. Do I thank Darrin? All we did was get him and his family here. He labored for nine days with Brent to put in a bathroom from scratch (minus the rough-in). Do I thank my sister and brother-in-law who paid for the flight change when they decided to stay longer to get more done? Do I thank Steve T., Mike, Matt, Steve D. (and more) for donating time and tools to get the job done? Do I thank my city for requiring me to get like five stinking permits to do this? Do I thank my Dad who spent much of his vacation here last weekend to labor with and guide the last steps? How about my Uncle Wayne, who, while here ON VACATION last summer, saw that the floor hadn't been grouted and decided to spend the next morning getting it done? Or, how about our friend, Joel, who has five kids and is in law school who noticed that we were in a slump and so came and mudded and taped after class to reenergize us in the project? Do I thank my husband, Brent, who has spent more hours in this bathroom than anyone of us would have liked, and has had to learn as he went (very painful lessons at times!)? I really can't say enough about my dear husband's work. I'm probably forgetting like 10 people who helped us out hugely. But, can you believe it? Can you believe we have been blessed with that much help? We are blessed. It's ridiculous. Thank you, Lord, for friends who came alongside us to put in this second, yes second, bathroom. (Oh, and by the way, when Darrin and his wife and two boys stayed with us?? We were EIGHT people living in a house with only ONE bathroom! It can be done!!!)

our first youtube video

Um. Today, we met a baby squirrel that was just downright freaky. It didn't skitter scatter away. It ran towards us!!! We were mesmerized by this freakish furball. He chased us in our garage and held us captive until we finally got back and scared him into a corner. Brent somehow got it to climb on a two by four and you can see the rest...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Foody Friday...hoppin' on the bandwagon...

My friend Jenny was one of God's good surprises when he moved us from St. Louis to Minneapolis. She is so funny and wonderful and deep and faithful and I can't really say enough about her...maybe I'll say more another time. Oh! One more thing: She loves food. (And I'd love to have her metabolism...oh well!) So, we're doing this Foody Friday thing. This week the theme is desserts. So, now I find it irresistable to join in. I didn't do much prep for this, so I'm going with something out of season. Pumpkin Cake. But, I always love pumpkin. anytime. So. Here goes...
Pumpkin Cake

4 eggs
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 can pumpkin
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each: cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

Beat together eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir dry ingredients in and mix thoroughly. Spread in 9 X 13 pan and bake at 350 for 30-40 mins. Cool and frost.
Topped perfectly with this frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese
4 T. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese together. Add vanilla and sugar and beat until smooth.

What happened next: