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Archive for March, 2008

I found a site that made me smile–Father’s Forum Online: The Online Resource for Expectant and New Fathers.

With sections like Pregnant Dads and The first 12 months of Fatherhood, a bookstore,  birth planners for the expectant dad, health and doula information, resources, and more than 1200 members of the Father’s Club, I was ecstatic!

There’s not so much “out there” for the dads, mom gets all the attention during pregnancy and after baby is born. This is a great site to toot around on and maybe even have your spouse take a peek at too.

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Last night I went to a meeting at our public library. A developer who is proposing 103 homes on a tract of land at the top of our street invited anyone within 500 feet of the site to come ask him questions. More than 100 people attended and bombarded him with questions, statements, and verbal pitchforks.

I went feeling hopeful and left feeling sick to my stomach and doubtful. Were his intentions good or philanthropic, I think we would be behind him. But he is proposing that he be allowed to deflower an eco system complete with marshland by clearing vegetation, wildlife and re-routing water and run-off just so he can make a few bucks. And he basically stood in front of the incensed townspeople and said as much. It was sick.

In other news, I learned that another good friend is moving away in a few months. I wonder if I am on earth to help people transition. No one really comes into my life and stays for any length of time. I have learned to be so very OK with that. I think that might be my ministry niche. And although it makes me so selfishly sad to lose these dear friends, I’m excited to send off the creme de la creme. Knowing they are going to bloom where they’re planted.

Today we had half of a Sudanese family over to our house for the morning. A 5-year old to play with Liam along with his mom and newborn sister. It was an experience. It was wonderful to have so much in common. Love for God. Love of Africa. Love of family. Talking about things like food, rent, work, kids, driving, needs, church, God’s amazing provision. It was just beautiful. I wanted to help so much more than I can imagine how. But I think just being in their lives today was the best thing I could do. God’s taking care of them, and I have to remember that. I always want to take everyone and all of their needs onto my own shoulders, and that’s not my job.

I bought a tub of store-baked chocolate chip cookies tonight. Because I am exhausted from the day and “the boys” are coming over for men’s group tonight. They aren’t nearly as good as homemade, but I knew I was too tired to make my own. I ate two and probably won’t eat any more. Food snob, I know. I’m looking forward to watching the BBC version of Emma tonight and a few more pages of Poisonwood Bible before falling into a deep, peaceful, rest-restoring slumber. I hope.

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THRIFTY THURSDAYS FLAT header

L: Mom, what’s for dinner?
J: Cereal
L: That’s not dinner, that’s for breakfast.
J: Sometimes we eat breakfast foods at dinner time. It’s fun to change it up a bit, do something different every now and then. When mommy was a little girl, Lou used to make pancakes for dinner sometimes.
L: Oh, OK. Can I have Lucky Charms?

Yes, folks. Eating breakfast for dinner can save you money. Things like cereal, oatmeal, fruit, and pancakes are often less costly than the meat, canned veggies, applesauce, and prepared biscuits we tend to buy to throw together a meal.

This week some General Mills cereals are on sale at our local grocery store for $1.88 each. There are coupons right in the cereal aisle for 75 cents off 2 boxes of GM cereals. Coupled with returning a few of my brother’s soda cans and my re-usable grocery bags, I paid about $3 for two boxes of GOOD cereal that would have normally cost $8! (The NEW Cheerios with oat clusters are normally $4.29 a box)

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you know. Even if it’s at dinner time!

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I’m thankful to a friend for submitting this artful piece depicting her experience with depression.

Once again, I heard the pitter-patter of little feet running down the hallway. I cringed and shut my eyes tighter. My husband sighed, groaned and got up to help get them get breakfast and help get them dressed while mommy lay in bed. Unmoving. Again. Unable to get up.

Don’t wish it away, Don’t look at it like it’s forever
Between you and me I could honestly say that things can only get better
And while I’m away , dust out the demons inside
And it won’t be long before you and me run to the place in our hearts where we hide
And I guess that’s why they call it the blues… (Elton John)

I lay there thinking myself into a headache. If I were to try to describe my headache, I would say it started at the crown of my head and spread forward making it hurt behind my nose where the postnasal drips and even going so far as to make my back teeth hurt. No amount of caffeine or Tylenol even touches these kinds of headaches. They’re not “real”, they’re imagined so I can mope around feeling sorry for my lot and nurse my fake-ache. Don’t get me wrong, they physically hurt, but there’s no real “reason” for them.

With my eyes still shut, I analyzed my body position. I’ve always slept on my stomach. During pregnancies I switched to sleeping on my left side. Now, I find myself waking up on my back, with my arms wrapped around my mid-section. Hugging myself tight. Just the way they my arms would be if I were wearing a straight jacket tied in the back to keep me from hurting myself. Is there something in my subconscious that is hinting that I am crazy and is trying to send me cruel clues through my own body language?

I determine that despite what I am thinking or feeling, I must get up. So I start to wiggle my toes. Must pump the blood up through my body. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, now rotate my feet from the ankles. Must exercise my body and fight my sedentary brain. Now my calves are flexing up and down, good, get the thighs moving in the mix. Wiggle my hips from side to side–keep working the blood up from my toes to my brain. Belly jiggle and chest inhaling. Now my arms move themselves out from under the covers and stretch above my head. I yawn and rub my eyes, then fold my arms behind my head and lose all momentum. I’m still not ready to be up and want so badly to go back to sleep and wake up with everything right with the world.

I’m slowly losing ground and slipping back under the thick waves of slothfulness when my little one comes into my room, puts her face right into mine and says, “MUH-MEE!” at what feels like a million ear-splitting decibels.

Now I have a living breathing audience awaiting my first step onto the stage. Now I am on. I must say my lines and so that we’re off and running. The show has begun and I must play my part.

I yearn for the day when it isn’t like this. I miss whatever it was I once had that propelled me out of bed even before the alarm went off eager to greet the day. Anticipating the events that would unfold with the rising of the sun. Rather than calculating the hours and minutes I have to drag myself through before I can escape on the fragile wings of slumber once again.

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Tonight we just sat and rocked and talked what B called “mommy talk”.

It was nice.

We’ll have to do that more often.

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Lee Deckrow had to re-schedule her session on “Mommy guilt and how to deal with it” due to family illness. I appreciate her not wanting to share her germs with all of us!

I’ll gather ’round the rockers and get out the bottles of water. If you want to come hang out and chat, please feel free. But if you’d rather enjoy some time with your hubby, read a book, take a bath, or go to bed early, by all means you have my blessing!

~Jenna

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a time to rest FLAT header

My husband is uploading photos of our kids in their Easter outfits as I type this. Our church has a Saturday night service, so we decided to go to that rather than brave the mob scene that Sunday morning Easter services will afford.

Three dressed up!

Tomorrow Dan has to go to work, but the kids and I will sleep in (well, that might be a pipe dream). We can stay in our pajamas, laze around, and watch the Veggie Tales Easter Carol. We decorated eggs, but aren’t doing an egg hunt (thank you snow).

We’re not doing baskets or candy. Easter just kind of snuck up on us this year, and our kids don’t expect it (yet) so we don’t bother.

I am, however, committed to a traditional Easter dinner. Made simple. I splurged on a spiral sliced ham, have 1/2 a pineapple in the freezer that I can slice and put over top the ham while it bakes. Mashed potatoes, organic frozen green beans will health up the green bean casserole a tiny bit, and the most preparation but the biggest bang for my buck will be the Resurrection Rolls (we heathen call them Magic Middle Muffins).

It’s just nice to know tomorrow morning won’t be a flurry of egg hunting, “don’t eat too much candy”ing, “it’s time to get dressed and get to church”, etc. I found a great resource for telling the Easter story (non-bunny version) to kids and may even go so far as to print out a a coloring page.

I’m looking forward to their help making the meal and just taking it really slow and easy tomorrow. Reflecting on the most amazing event that caps the cornerstone of my faith.

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