Friday, September 26, 2008

story problem


Was in this:

Which was in this:

Which two items were stolen last night between 7am and 7pm?

It was the diaper bag I made (I take pictures of all my sewing projects) and the camera (stock photo, Kim! You're right!). It could have been worse. And even if it was, I still have a sovereign God who has purpose in every trial.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

confession # 14 - third child = lower standards

Yesterday, I put some McDonald's vanilla milkshake in a sippy cup.

I can't believe I just told you that.

I used to make fun of people who put junk drinks in a sippy cup.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Step right up! Getch'yer Hooter Hiders right here!

Update: $25 is the going rate, my friends.
Lori, I'm in!!
Anyone who is interested, email me at .

Okay. It's not an official Hooter Hider. I made it! And because of that, it's more affordable. And it totally rocks because it's REVERSIBLE! That's right ladies! When the proud owner of this nursing cover-up and I were shopping, we simply could not decide on one fabric. So we decided on TWO super jazzy fabrics! So, you want one, right? (It makes a great practical and attractive gift, too!) Well, if you're in the market for one, let's talk...or email...or comment!

Do not give me credit for this. I didn't write it.

Hope this blesses you. God met me in this poem today. It comes from a blogger on the east coast, Jenn, at Life in Return where you can see her original post.


Though the darkness is thick and heavy
Though it suffocates me so
Truth shall hold my hand tightly
And lead me wherever I shall go (Psalm 43:3)

Though brokenness knows me well
And pain be far from me not
I shall press to speak to my soul (Ps. 42:5)
And take captive every thought (2 Cor. 10:5)

Though sleep evades me nightly
And tears flow with no end in sight (Ps 22:2)
I shall pour out my heart to God
Whose song is with me in the night (Ps 42:8)

Though it seems no end’s in view
And the doldrums my daily path
I shall take comfort in the reality
That eternally it won’t last (Rev. 21:4)

Though the darkness is thick and heavy
Though it suffocates me so
Truth shall hold my hand tightly
And lead me wherever I shall go (Ps. 43:3)

confession # 13 - Give it to me straight doc! How long do I have???

Yeah. I'm kind of a hypochondriac. For instance, I had a pain in my foot for a few weeks. It was really bugging me because I'd wake up in the middle of the night with a small sharp pain on the top of my foot along the first metatarsal bone. (The reason I know the term "metatarsal"? I slammed the door on Neely's foot when we were little and broke her metatarsal bones. And, it helps that my mom is a retired Registered Nurse...which is a major contributor to the hypochondria problem, I'm thinkin'...)

Anyways...back to the CANCER foot pain. So, after a few weeks of self-diagnosing questionable pain, I visited my podiatrist. He asked me a few questions about my foot and finally asked, "Do you wear flip-flops?" Heck yeah, I wear flip-flops! Does THAT cause cancer? No, I'm kidding. I didn't really think that. But, you have to know that on my way to this appointment, I was half-convinced that I had some form of cancer which had metastasized to my bones. I refrained from sharing this concern with the Doc.

So. Flip-flops (which should never be called "thongs", by the way).

Conclusions: 1.) Apparently, lots of women suffer from the same pain during the Summer months from that pesky strap that runs between your toes. 2.) I'm not worried about my foot anymore.

FYI, I woke up with a killer pain in my left shoulder this morning which means that I'm probably having a heart attack.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Avery gives us the quote of the day

Brent, Avery and I are sitting at the dining room table.

Jenna to Brent: Do you think Avery needs a haircut?
Brent: eh...are you thinking it's a little too much, you know, business in the front/party in the back?
Jenna: I was thinking the sideburns. But, now that you mention it, I think there is a bit of a party going on in the back.
Avery: What are you talking about?
Brent: We're trying to figure out whether you have a mullet.
Avery defensively: I don't have a mullet! But if I do, I like it.

what has two thumbs and turned eight yesterday?


Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of our first born son!!! Having him has stretched us and grown us up. He has given us so much joy!!!

I love when you...
help me carry in the groceries
laugh with me
make ME laugh
kiss your sister good-bye in the morning
speak tenderly to Miles
call Daddy your hero
dust yourself off after a hard fall
recite the Bible verses
...and so much more!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

i heart my cub

Last night, I went out to get some bread, cream cheese and salsa.

I do half of my grocery shopping at "ghetto Cub". That's how it's known around these parts. I love it. It's so different than the strolls I used to take through the beautiful Dierberg's of Wildwood. I'd like to paint a picture for you of this shopping experience.

First of all, I am usually in the minority when I'm there. Many times I am the only caucasian in sight...and the only English-speaker in earshot.

But, ghetto Cub doesn't offer merely ethnic diversity. It offers the occasional drag queen. Now, at the heart, I know this is a symptom of deep spiritual sickness. But, in the moment, I'm simply mesmerized. Is it a she or he? Last night I saw two dudes dressed like two chicks. One of them had man hands, a close shave and breast implants. The other was the same without the implants. It's so hard not to stare...and wonder how much it cost...and what the pre-op appointments were like. I totally got caught staring and gave a friendly smile as if to say, "Hi...Just two gals...picking out fruit".

Many of you know that I'll talk to anyone. Last night, I noticed a Somali woman loaded down with 15 pounds of fruit and no cart. "Do you want me to watch your stuff while you go get a cart?" Yes!! She took me up on my offer. It's wasn't a big deal, but I find it hard to connect with Somalis, so it felt like a little breakthrough. As I was waiting, I turned to a Hispanic lady, "Do you know how to ripen mangoes? Do you think I can put them in brown bag like pears? Or should I just let them sit out?" She just looked at me and smiled and said, "no. no." dang. I wish I was bilingual.

Another bizarre thing about shopping in the ghetto: I can have my three kids hanging on me, proving to the world that I'm a worn out mom and I'll still get the up-and-down-yeah-dats-right-gurl-work-dat-thang look. It's bizarre. Baby on hip, people. Looking like death. This is where people shop who have extremely low standards.

Okay. Moving on. Did I mention the cop parked out in front? Almost perpetually?

Children at my Cub. They are rarely monitored. Often, I catch little boys stealing from the bulk candy bins. I usually give them a stern and slow head shake as if to say, "I am the secret police...and God is watching...". But, then there's the parents who have different values. I've watched parents WATCH their children steal from the bulk candy bins! I give them a look like, "oh. that's cute. stealing isn't one of the 10 commandments." And one time, our friend Tanya, saw a little boy doing the pee pee dance. And then a second later, she saw his mother holding him up to the trash can to actually relieve himself in it. Yes. I'm serious. And...I still like shopping there.

As I'm leaving, there is ALWAYS someone talking on the payphone stationed in the entryway. Always. always. That's strange. every. time.

Last night, after paying, I realized that I forgot the bread. typical. I was bagging my groceries across from a girl who had three loaves of bread. "Can I have one of your loaves," I joked. And then she offered it to me! I laughed and explained that I was just kidding. And as I was going back for the bread, I wondered, "How homeless do I look?!!!" Seriously? At this ghettolicious place, I don't stick out as someone...not ghetto? Oh no.'s good to be humbled like this.

I packed up my car and then heard, "Do you wanna buy a tamale?" huh? Not feeling threatened, I stepped closer. He was standing with an older Hispanic lady who was pedaling homemade tamales from a Coleman she kept in a shopping cart. She was selling them for a dollar each. It was almost 10pm. I bought one. I don't like tamales as far as I know. But, I liked her. I liked the randomness of it all.

I love the whole ghetto Cub experience.

Why? Because it's nothing like my home or my culture or my values. I'm familiar enough with the experience of upper middle class America. (I don't know what class I am technically. But, I know where I've shopped.) It's good for me to get this perspective at least once a week.

Coincidentally, as I was googling to get an image of the "I heart my Cub" bumper stickers, I found that there is an essay contest about "Why I love my Cub" going on right now?! I don't think I should enter mine, do you?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I was thinking about Jillian's constant request for more food and remembered this video. (You'll want to pause the playlist music. It's found on the right a little ways down.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

confession # 12 - I've been botching lyrics to songs as long as I've been singing.

The latest song added to the playlist is Jimmy Soul's "If You Want to Be Happy".
Always thought it was,

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life,
Better make a pretty woman your wife...

Boy, did I have that wrong! Very common occurrence for me.

The worst is when I botch hymns and find myself singing heresy. I just hope the people in front of me don't hear. I know the Lord has an automatic "Jenna-speak to Good Theology" translator...right???

Thursday, September 11, 2008

for a limited time only - some of my favorite 80s music

yep. Kelly inspired me with her comments. I'm adding a few 80s tunes. Any requests? I'll add up to 10. And I started with "Borderline". I think that's my favorite by Madonna. Which leads me to ask, "What's your favorite hit by Madonna?" (And don't forget to make a request...preferably something more obscure, but that we'd all know and think, YEAH, I loved that one and totally forgot about it until this very moment!!! no pressure.)

confession # 11 - "if you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try again"

Sometimes...I don't answer my cell phone....because...I'm dancing to my ring tone.

What happened in the 80s should have stayed in the 80s

No one consulted me, apparently, when they decided to bring back the 80s. This decade was to style what 30s were to the economy. Let's call it The Great Depression of Fashion. I'm quite taken aback when I see the oversized shirts & leggings combo. And the metallic

Here's a sampling of things I have yet to see that I really think should stay right there tucked away in nineteen-eighty-something...

Big. Chunky. Funky. Plastic. Face-dominating. Glasses.

What's this? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next: Frizzy. Big. Hair. And even more specifically: The Side Ponytail!

Unfortunately the side ponytail is back in, however, I'm seeing it down, smooth, and flowing, and not up, loud and obnoxious. I can deal with that.


Remember the stenciled borders around the walls? Mmmm...let's keep her right there under a few layers of paint, shall we?

Ahhh. The tapestry vest. I had one of these. Did you? I don't even think I liked it when it was cool. All this needs is a loose-fitting turtleneck.

Do you remember the lace collars that the ladies would wear with a tight knit sweater? Yep. This is what it looks like. This couldn't come back, could it? (It hasn't actually left for some!)

There's more, but I really shouldn't be doing this right now as explained in my previous blog post.

Although, I firmly believe what happened the 80s should stay in the 80s, I do have an appreciation for some of its offerings:

The Karate Kid
Humongous Cell Phones
Tapered jeans. I seriously can't wait to unveil my tight-rolling skills when it makes a major comeback!!
Commercials for feminine sprays. Seriously? They were parodies waiting to happen.
Mr. T
Hubba Bubba

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

how DO you bloggers DO it?

get you mind out of the gutter and stay with me here.

I thought I'd have loads of time to blog since the boys started school. I don't.
1. We're in the middle of a house usual. (It's our kitchen if you're wondering.)
2. I have a bottomless stack of papers to go through.
3. I have to prepare three meals a day for most of my family. Jillian eats so much, I want to set her up with an IV that will pump her full the calories she needs to get through her rigorous routine of pulling books off the shelves and climbing on the toilet and systematically emptying all of our kleenex boxes.
4. My job requires the much-loathed trips to the grocery store (where I always forget something crucial and have to go back without a list and impulsively purchase $37 more).
5. Laundry, bed making, bathroom straightening, dishes, LIVE this. you know.

The list goes on and on. I do NOT think I am any more busy than anyone else.

So, fess up, bloggers. What do you sacrifice to write your blog posts. Shower? Sleep? Homemade dinners? Fresh air? Friendship? Bible Time?

Or is there another way?

How DO you DO it?

Monday, September 8, 2008

WAIT?!!! I wasn't done with Summer yet!

This is so not cool! I cannot keep up with a blog. I am sorry. Really. I am totally unqualified to write a blog. For one reason, my grammar skills are very low level. I don't even know how to use a semi colon. Another, I can't even keep up. Major events happen and I just don't even mention them on the blog. Lastly--and this one kinda relates to the second point--I don't even know the identity of this blog...the flavor, if you will...I mean, is this a Christian living blog? A "hey! look at my kids blog"? A "here's a funny story blog"? I really don't know. So, part of why I don't keep up is that I don't know what's bloggable anymore.

So regardless of the blog-a-lisciousness of this post, here are some things that were personally noteworthy from our Summer.

Bear with me as I grab the flux capicitor and get in my DeLorean and go back in time a month or two so I can hit some major highlights.

1. June 27th! (i think that's the right date?!!) We welcomed our second nephew into the world. Brent's sister, Marla and her husband had their first baby, Bryan Joseph! We long for the time when we can see him and kiss his cheeks!

I don't know this woman holding Bryan. But, there's our little nephew!!!

2. Steve Hughes is one of the coolest people you could ever meet. He is Mr. Hit Your Stride, a comedian, a loving father, a doting husband and a pirate. Well, not really, but he was the only one in our church directory (back in the 'Lou) who dressed as one...with a parrot on his shoulder and everything. He was in town on business and stayed at our place and entertained us and bought us DQ. Rock on, Steve Hughes.

Miles calls him nothing short of 'Steve Hughes'. Not Mr. Steve, or Mr. Hughes...he goes for the whole enchilada. (just a note: I couldn't tell you which month Steve visited. little bonus confession for you! no clue.)

3. Another visitor was Brent's Aunt Carol. We LOVE her. She's a wonderful Christian woman who is so much fun and so cool and loves us just as much as we love her! The boys cannot believe she is single because they think she is like the best thing ever! (So if you know any prospects...) She also brought her long time friend who she met at Moody, Maureen. We've heard about Maureen for years so it was so nice to finally meet her. The boys thought she was the coolest because she likes crazy rollercoasters and even let them tickets to go on a few rides themselves. Thanks, ladies, for giving us such a special weekend.

Aunt Carol takes on the whole crew! They love her to pieces!!

Maureen is clearly lots of fun!

4. The Minnesota State Fair is huge here. We took Youki and her friend, Komi to the land of fried cheese curds and a pork-chop-on-a-stick. We didn't try the latter, but hardly got my fill on the former. Here are some self-explanatory (which I chose to explain anyway) pics from that fun day!

Milking a cow was not as fun as I thought it would be. I didn't have much milking talent and it felt gross to me.

I can't believe how many hours Brent carried Jillian on his back. It doesn't feel good.

The girls were so sweet to buddy up with each of the boys. They were so fun and helpful!

Brent is a child sometimes.

Boys love tractors. Parents love to watch boys on tractors.

Jillian tans like Brent's side of the family. I always hoped that if I had a daughter, she wouldn't have fair skin like me. It's a curse, I tell ya!!! I spend all day outside and all I have to show for it is a red nose and probably some cancer cells, too.

5. I think that's all I can remember right now. I'm toast, friends. Just toast. Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008