Thursday, December 31, 2009


here is what I would like to see take place this year...

I would like to learn to paint.... and become good at it.
I hope to take drum lessons.. and get a set of drums.. suppose I should get the set of drums first, then lessons.
I want my butt to be smaller... ugh... always on my list.
I would like to trade in my van.. she is getting grumpier in her old age.... but what would I get? not a van!
I would like to make it to New York and Chicago... just for fun. Why not?
I would like to work towards running a 5K with Joel... hahahahaha.. seriously, we would like to ... we shall see if that actually happens.
I hope to make it through my big blue theology book...... I love theology.. need to make more time for it.
I am looking forward to a year of teaching my girls more important life lessons... Nevaeh has such a kind and big heart.... I am looking forward to seeing how much that grows in the year.... as for Jesslyn, she has a ways to go still.... she still thinks the world revolves around her. :)

I am not much of a "goal" oriented person... but love to reflect and look back and am always looking for ways that I can be better as a wife and mother. Hopefully my blog this next year will not have to be full of ranting and raving over stupid people... although sometimes it is the only way I can get out some frustration.

All that to say... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Just taking a little time to look back over this past year.... it was awful in many ways, but in many ways it was a great year.

*My sister and her family are home for the year from Africa~ got to visit a few times, go to Sunriver with them, and they came here for the 4th of July. Many memories made. Precious cousin time that will stay with my kids for many years.
*Joel is working hard at Trader Joes~ we are so thankful for his position and for such a great job.
*My kids are happy and healthy... not one sickness (other than a puke here or two and snotty noses)... not one trip to the doctor.
*Joel and I are loving each other more every day... never perfect, but so great to love each other and to have a marriage that continues to get stronger.
*Nevaeh's reading has grown by leaps and bounds... it has been a struggle for her.... but she is now enjoying it even more than ever... patience has truly paid off for the both of us.

I know there are several other things I can add to the list.... and as of a few days ago, I was not really looking forward to a new year.. but for some reason, this morning I feel as though I am ready. I am looking forward to another great year of focusing on what truly matters in life.. valuing those I love more than the material things around me, teaching my children those valuable life lessons that will help them to love themselves, each other, others, and God all the days of their lives. Many of my friends have lost loved ones in the past two weeks, which is never easy .. especially during this season..... but it is a reminder of what is truly important in life. I do not want to live a life wasted... it could be gone from me at any second. I hope and pray that I can focus on the good in this new year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My heart is sad... and there is nothing I can do about it. I hate injustice... especially towards innocent children.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I do not like when Christmas comes to an end. I still want to watch Christmas movies and listen to Carpenter's Christmas. I am not a fan of January. It is too long, with nothing to look forward to.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Morning

Pictures will come in the next few days.... but presents have just been opened, the house is a mess of wrapping and bows, and the kids are going to be content with their toys... at least until lunch.
Yesterday, I took the girls to a church in Cincinnati to watch their Christmas presentation. It was amazing and totally creative and entertaining with a great message. Then, the girls and I headed to ihop for lunch, then to Target for a few last minute things. Then Joel got home from a busy day at work and Uncle Jesse arrived.... we ate Mexican steak and then headed to a local church's Christmas Eve service... then followed by looking at lights.
The girls woke up pretty early this morning... all excited! A bike, a scooter, a thousand DS games, snuggies, and more! Lots of fun... and we were able to do it while ichatting with Joel's parents in Canada... so they could feel as though they were here. Gotta love technology! Well, off to more fun with the family, an amazing Trader Joe's ham... and lots of desserts. MMM.... Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy those you love today!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

While making cookies with the girls this morning, a random thought ran through my head. When I was old enough to drive, or leave the house with friends, my mom would always say to me "remember who you are and who you represent"... I am sure there were times I did not pay much attention to that or even may have rolled my eyes (shame on me).... but this statement is powerful to me. Many people go around life, doing things and making choices without caring one bit about how it makes them look, or how it may ruin their integrity. I know we need to be confident to a certain extent....... that we should not care what people think, but there is also a way that we should deeply care what others think. It amazes me that some people think they have the right to treat others like crap.
I am so glad my parents taught me to respect myself enough to put others first.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I am sitting here, watching it snow a little.... while drinking my coffee. Perfect morning. Now time to read in Luke. Time to really think about why this season is so special.

Aren't you glad I didn't rant and rave over maddening things today?! :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

wah wah wah..... blah blah blah!

Kids are not stupid... they are smarter than we give them credit for. I hate it when people are so sucked into their own lives and self that they cannot put their kids above their own stupid actions. Blah. Bad choices effect so many people.... shouldn't we learn that when we are two....???? why do some adults not know this? I am going to make sure my kids know that when they screw up or are selfish, it effects not just them.. but MANY people. Ugh.. I feel better.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This upcoming week....

I am really looking forward to this week leading up to Christmas. Even though Joel will be working 12 hour days, 9 days straight, the girls and I make the most of it and keep busy with our own little holiday traditions. Here is a few things we always do...
1. make my Grandma Betty's sugar cookies... Jesslyn overloads on sprinkles.
2. decorate gingerbread houses!
3. drive around looking at Christmas lights.
4. they always get new jammies for Christmas eve and open up one gift on that night.
5. we watch every Christmas movie out there..... except for the Lifetime channel ones... they drive me crazy.
6. we read through the book "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
7. we attend the candlelight service at church (which was today) and Santa was waiting in the foyer to give us candy!
8. we always make a batch of my aunt Roberta's white chocolate trail mix!
9. nonstop Christmas music is playing... good thing Joel is at work, he would go nuts.

I want my kids to remember these things as they get older.... and also take with them these traditions as they get older. It will be interesting to see what they keep doing as they grow into adults.

I am glad to say, I am done shopping, done wrapping, and have all the groceries for Christmas day. I plan on baking a lot with the girls this week. Should be fun, and a big mess..... and just for the record, I hate wrapping presents. It always seem so nice. I picture it in my head: music playing, candles burning, wrapping by the light of the Christmas tree.... but it is never that in reality for me. I always end up losing the tape, (usually end up sitting on it), I cut the wrong size of wrapping and have to either start all over again or try and 'patch' it up (which is tacky)... and it never looks as good as I visualize it to look. Oh well, I am done and doubt my kids will even notice.

Merry Christmas everyone... enjoy this week and the amazing reason why we celebrate this season. Remember the wise words of Linus: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
[Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown]
"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Early Christmas

Last night, my family went through the Journey to Bethlehem at a church here in town. It was such an amazing experience. My girls loved it and could not wait to see baby Jesus at the end of the journey. Then we headed to my mom's house for taco soup and to open presents! We gave my sister's kids a Wii.... hopefully that will give them lots to do in Africa the next four years! My girls got a Playmobil animal clinic.... so great. They love it. It was great to get this time with my family... lots of memories made. I am so blessed... amazing family and friends. We are truly having a wonderful Christmas time!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I am in the beautiful and yet very cold Pacific Northwest! I have been here for one week today.... and it has not rained once! Blue skies... and extremely COLD. We are having a great time so far. Lots of cousin time.... sugar cookies.... and Christmas cheer. I love my family. We are quirky and fun. (at least we think we are fun, I guess that is all that matters).

On another note, it came out this last week that Tiger Woods has been cheating on his wife. Nothing disgusts me more than rich men, who do things that should negate them from being called MEN. Real men do not have multiple women and do not continually lie. His sponsors are dropping him, his life is falling apart.... and all for a few moments of pleasure. What a sad thing.

Man, I wish I had an opinion about things.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fa la la la la

This is by far one of the best Christmas movies ever. Joel and I are watching it right now- the girls don't seem to think it is as funny as we do!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Family Photos

Here we go with year two of family pictures by our good friend Jonathan Willis..... we had a ton of fun... the purple was Joel's idea. Sometimes I am amazed at his styling ability! :) They were taken in this really cool art studio... makes me wish I was artistic.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


It is nearing the end of Thanksgiving- what a fantastic day with three of my favorite people. Joel golfed nine holes early in the morning while I worked out to Jillian Michaels. (quite possibly the first Thanksgiving I have ever worked out.).... then Joel brought me home a starbucks... mmmm nonfat cappuccino with two pumps of peppermint..... and then he deep fried the turkey and we ate. So nice to sit at the table, just the four of us. Then we spent the rest of the day watching Cake Boss, Home Alone, football and now Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. I love Joel. I love Nevaeh. I love Jesslyn.... and I love days when we can just hang out... no plans. I have too much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am going to see White Christmas tonight at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati! Totally pumped- loved the movie... makes me feel old though.

I am 99% done Christmas shopping... jealous?

Can't wait to be home with my family the first two weeks of December- lots of fun things planned.... parade, movies, Christmas cookie baking, bread baking, visiting friends and family, spending time with my sis and her family.... and I cannot wait to give them their Christmas present!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Life is good.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I am certain that I have way too many crazy people in my life... and that does not even count anyone related to me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Amazon and UPS

I am totally blasting through my Christmas shopping this year. Feels so great.... I order from Amazon and a few days later, Mr. UPS pulls right on up to my door. I will not do all of my shopping online but most of it. What a great feeling! I love Amazon.

I took the girls to the library last night to learn about search and rescue dogs. The Buckeye Search and Rescue team was there.... with two labs, two bloodhounds, and a beautiful German Shepherd. They taught us how to keep safe and what to do if ever lost and also showed us how they teach the dogs and how certain breeds are made to sniff and search. So interesting and my kids had tons of fun. But now they want a dog.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat

Here are my kiddos on Halloween.... oh wait, only two are mine. The cowgirl and the princess. The monkey is our neighbor's little boy, Logan. We went trick or treating with them... tons of fun. Joel pretty much spent the night digging through Jesslyn's basket to find banana laffy taffy's and flavored tootsie rolls.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Girls Night Out

I have a great group of girls who I am blessed to be friends with.... and we always go out to celebrate birthdays.... so last night, four of us headed out to eat and then met three other friends back at a friends house for a rockin night of RockBand! Oh so fun. I had the chance to sing Bon Jovi Dead or Alive and my favorite..... Metallica Enter Sandman. OH MY WORD. I had a blast and became a person who I am usually not. Headbanging and all. We were laughing so hard.... oh what a great night. Bad news is..... all the pics are up on facebook today. YIKES! It is a scary sight.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


* Christmas is about two months away........ CAN'T WAIT.

* I miss my family more than usual this time of year.

* I am down 11 pounds and am realizing that the days to come are going to be challenging...... baking, cookies, fudge..... you get my point.

* I feel extremely blessed and never want to go a day without thanking God for that..... Even when things are awful, they could be worse. Hell is worse.

* I am a sucker for holiday inspired coffee creamers.... gingerbread, eggnog, peppermint mocha. We go through them like toilet paper around this house this time of year.

* I have been thinking about another baby.... before you freak out...... Joel and I talk about it, tease about it, and that is as far as it gets. I really think we are done, but I am pretty sure I will regret, in future years, not having a third. Sounds so crazy.... you might be thinking, if you know you are going to regret it, why not have one?...... seems to not be that easy because the
thought of having another also makes me want to cry... diapers again.... UGH.

* the thought of swine flu really does make me think of pigs... I know they are not related whatsoever... but still.

* the leaves outside my windows are GORGEOUS.

* I drink way too much coffee.

* Thanksgiving is coming soon- wonder if I will have any visitors?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Annual Trader Joe's Party

This last weekend, Joel and I headed up to Michigan for our TJ's party. We arrived at the hotel- just in time to get ready for dinner. Dinner was good: started off with lobster bisque soup, a salad, and then I had macadamia nut crusted fish and Joel had steak. Dessert was sorbet and chocolate lava cake. Then the entertainment began.... by the Spazmatics! They were dressed up like nerds with fanny packs and all! They played 80's music- Journey and all kinds of stuff! Totally entertaining! We ended up taking our time the next day. Stopped and had lunch, visited a Michigan Trader Joe's, and stopped for coffee. Good to get away. Good to have a night away from the kids.

Pumpkin Carving

I always carved pumpkins with my family out at my grandma Betty's house...... so I have many great memories of carving pumpkins. The girls had fun... but I did most of the work. Nevaeh helped get the guts out- Jesslyn wanted no part of it. I actually think that Jesslyn's favorite part was roasting and eating the seeds. I guess I don't blame her.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Helicopters have been flying over our house today. I said to the girls " I wonder why there are so many helicopters flying over the house today." Jesslyn said, "It is probably helicopter day today." I love that answer. So simple. Makes me smile.

I will be finishing up my last podcast in Genesis today. Looking forward to getting into anther series.

I also just finished up my new John Piper book titled The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. Good read, particularly chapter 4 by Mark Driscoll. He wrote about the controversial words Jesus spoke..... for example:
"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion." Proverbs 11:22

"Sometimes, God's rebuke is incredibly graphic. This is because bad things (like whoring) need bad words (like whoring) and not good words (like partner); otherwise people get confused, especially dumb sheep.' (p. 85)

I love this. I think we have become too influenced by our society of "keeping nice" and not wanting to offend. I also love that this is the chapter that they gave to Driscoll to write. Completely fitting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October is more than halfway over

I can hardly believe how quickly time is flying. Nevaeh is ready to put the Christmas tree up. (so am I... but Joel won't go for that.) I took the kids to the children's theatre today. We do this four times every year and it is fantastic. We saw Beauty and the Beast today. It is always fun heading into the city with my kids. Makes me laugh.
We came home and carved pumpkins. Tons of fun although most of the work is done by me. It makes me think of my grandma Betty... we always used to carve with her out at her house. Every year. She loved it. Makes me miss her a lot.
Pictures will be posted later.
I am still listening to the Genesis series by Mark Driscoll. I have two podcasts left and then I can move on to more of his fabulous teachings.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Still listening to Genesis series. WOW.... what a bunch of dysfunctional people..... I love it. It proves that people have been wacked out for a long time.... we are truly nothing, without HIM.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

We are taking the girls to Disney on Ice tonight.... they are excited, counting down the hours already! We even sprang for the second row seats, partly because last time we went we were nearly at the top and could see nothing! I am looking forward to just being together with three of my favorite people. Pics to come tomorrow, I hope!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I want more for my girls than for them to grow up and be involved in bad, dead end relationships with nothing but a lost soul and an STD to show for it. I want my girls to love themselves, have big hearts, care for others, and love Jesus most of all. I do not want their hearts to grow cold to those around them, not caring about who they manipulate or fool along the way. I want them to strive for integrity, to be responsible, to let their yes be yes, and their no be no. I want them to desire God and His Word. To surround themselves with good, honest, God-fearing people. I want them to avoid big life-changing mistakes as much as possible... to look at the sins and mistakes of others and know to run west, away from sin. I want them to not be superficial, to believe and know that beauty goes much deeper than skin. I want them to follow God's plans, to be great wives, and to marry great men of God. I want them to be selfless, not just striving to do what pleases their flesh. I will not buy into the view that kids have to go explore the wild life and then come back around. I did not. That does not have to just be the way it goes. I know their decision to follow Christ is ultimately theirs, which is why these lessons must be taught now. No time to wait until they are teens..... it is the time to deal with the heart.... daily, making sure it remains soft to the things of Christ. This is what I want for my girls.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


It is pouring here today. We have not had rain in awhile. It is nice and refreshing and my plants really needed it. I also realized quickly that I am truly from the Pacific Northwest. It rains so often there..... hardly anyone uses an umbrella. We just deal with it. As the girls were headed to the car for church this morning, they came in wanting a coat to put on to keep from getting wet. I said "we are from the northwest, we do not used umbrellas or coats..... get out to the car and deal with it". Ha.... they just kind of looked up at me, like I was crazy! They survived. Got a few drops on them.... so what?! We may live in the midwest but some things about being from the northwest will never change about me and I will proudly hand them off to my kids!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Georgetown, KY Apple Festival

These are pics from our trip to Evans Orchard yesterday. It was their annual apple festival and we had a blast. There was a huge play area for the kids to play in, then we went and got some apple cider and fried pies, then we went to the animal land and saw a kangaroo, camel and some other unusual animals. Then Nevaeh rode a pony and then we headed back to the playland. It was well worth the hour drive. Lots of fun and a perfect way to kick of the fall! (my favorite time of year!)

Friday, September 11, 2009


It has been 8 years since that awful day. We were living in Oakland, with our three month old. It was terrible. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have been in NYC or to have actually been on one of those planes. Terrible. I think we can all remember where we were on that tragic day.

On another note, I am totally pumped about this school year! We have so many fun things planned. Art classes, field trips, gymnastics! It is going to be a lot of fun filled with lots of new things to learn.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I have been listening to Mark Driscoll's series on Genesis.... it has been amazing.... and I am realizing that the Bible stories that we tell our kids as they are growing up are quite the stories when we include all the facts.... sure Noah was great, listening and following God to build an ark when everyone else thought he was nuts, but what about when he gets into his tent, drunk and naked. ? haha.
I am realizing even more and more how wicked we are without Christ. I have known this forever, really, but now I feel I really grasp this concept. We think the world is corrupt now, but it has been ever since the fall. Crazy to try and grasp.

I also have some things in life that I have really been praying about. I feel like I am being tested to keep trusting for the plans of the future. I feel like some changes are coming and am not even sure what that means, but I do know, that my hope is in Him, therefore, all of my worries and fears can go to Him. Now if I could just let go of them and actually hand those worries and fears over. Easier said than done.

On another note, President Obama gave a speech to kids today about staying in school and achieving goals. Lots of people were outraged and wanting their kids to be taken out of class for that time. I have a few opinions about it.... I do not feel that the speech is that big of a deal.... and really.... isn't it the parents job to teach the kids to stay motivated? Does anyone think that his 5 minute speech is really going to change the graduation rate from 70% to 100%? Too many of us want others to direct our kids...... being a parent is hard. We must take on that responsibility ourselves to teach our kids to work hard and stay motivated.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Is it a holiday?

It is labor day.. doesn't mean much to me. Joel is working, no family around which means no picnics to go to..... so, I am just taking some time to research fun homeschooling ideas. Field trips to apples farms and pumpkin patches, art classes, and ways to fill up the schedule with something other than book work.
I love this time of year. The weather is a tad cooler, the days are getting a bit shorter (which means it is easier to get my kids in bed at a decent hour), and fun activities for the kids. There is nothing better than a trip to the farm to pick up a pumpkin!
This school year has gone really well with the girls. Jesslyn has totally mastered playing letter games on the computer, and Nevaeh's reading is so much better than last year. I think this will be a fun year of learning and great field trips.
Right now the girls are turning the kitchen into their own little restaurant. This drives me crazy because things get messy, but I know this is saving me from paying for a membership at the children's museum and we also don't have the germs to go along with it. We shall see how long they can play without a fight!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

There are two kinds of people in this world.
Those who love golf and those who hate it.
I hate it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I cleaned out closets yesterday... clothes are headed to goodwill and there were 5 extra bags of trash to put out in the garbage last night. Feels so good.

Joel is in California... I sleep terrible when he is gone. Wide awake until 2 last night and up at 7. I am too old for that.

It is September.... my favorite time of year is right around the corner! yippee!!!!

I am starting to plan our trip to Disneyworld..... hopefully going in January sometime. Can't wait. The girls are perfect ages, they will be ecstatic... and then we will be broke ;)

I am back on track with weight watchers.... had family at our house all of July, then went to visit family for two weeks. This means my diet gets all jacked up... but I am back on track and already 3 pounds down!

I bought the girls d0-it-yourself bean bags... the best $45 I might have ever spent. They love them. Play in them, read in them, watch movies in them...... it's great.

I am thinking about actually making a meal calendar..... planning my meals two weeks out and shopping according to my list... any thoughts on that and if that helps keep you organized and helps save a few bucks?

Well, I am done with my random thoughts I guess. Time to go school my children.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I love this store. I could go every day and still find something to buy. My kids love it too... and the dollar spot has become my lifesaver many times. The girls ALWAYS want me to buy them everything they see and I don't ever feel bad about telling them they can pick something out at the dollar spot. So nice, everyone wins! They get a little something, I pay only a little bit! Today, I decided to spend a lot more than I usually would on a normal trip to Target. I decided to stock up on just about everything. You name it, I bought it. Shampoo and all those other toiletries, tp, paper towels, tissue, cough and cold medicine, cough drops, light bulbs, batteries........ toothpaste...... laundry baskets...... and even though these items seem boring to the average person, this mom who hardly goes and buys anything but groceries, loves to buy these kinds of things. It also brings me some kind of joy to know that my shelves and closets are stocked, and we are set for at least a few months! Joel was shocked at how much I actually spent.... but will be oh so happy to know he has everything he needs to smell fresh and clean in the days to come!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We should be more concerned in making His name GREAT, instead of making our own family name great.

Fools only look toward the weekend, the wise look on toward five and six generations to come.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Here I am, sipping on my coffee, listening to a podcast, watching Nevaeh play on the computer and Jesslyn learn her letters. Lots on my mind today. I have too many people around me dealing with things that are unimaginable. The world around us seems so scary right now. There is no good news out there. I have a verse that keeps running through my mind.... Psalm 16:2....... I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." I love love love this verse. It is so true, yet hard to remember. There are so many things in our lives that can be good. Family, kids, spouses, jobs, etc..... but without God, none of those things are good. None.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Bible

I have been wanting a new Bible for a long time. I did a lot of research and decided to get the English Standard Version Study Bible and I love it. There is so much commentary to go along with practically each verse. I am looking forward to marking it all up.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back from Longview

Here I am, surrounded by laundry, open suitcases, tired children, and am feeling very tired myself. My trip was amazing..... and now I am back to reality. I missed Joel terribly, and I am glad to be back home with him. We first headed to Bend, Oregon and stayed there in SunRiver for a week. Riding bikes, swimming, eating, and family. It was awesome. I love my family and am so thankful we all get along and are living good lives. We then headed back to Longview, and the very next day went out on my dad's boat. It was awesome. The weather was hot, the cousins had fun playing "lifeguard" and the water was refreshing. I then spent the rest of my time seeing family. I am now home and I always feel many emotions when I get back here. I am happy where we are, but miss family and having their support around me. I am so blessed to have the parents I have..... they are the best!

Monday, August 3, 2009


This year is more than halfway over now. What a year it has been. In some ways, it seems like the worst year ever, in other ways, it is maybe the best one yet. I feel like I am being stretched minute by minute. I am discovering things that are blowing my mind. I am being challenged and hopefully will take those challenges to be better. I feel so unworthy. I am unworthy. I am nothing. I have no good thing apart from God. It has to be completely about Him and for Him. Not about me, or what I can do. I can do nothing. I want to compare myself to Him and not others. I want to not care what others think, but what He thinks. If He is pleased, does it really matter what others think? I want His word to be on my heart, deep in my heart. I will not settle for buying in to earthly ways or earthly things. I need to be renewed in my mind... daily... minute by minute. Even if all is crumbling around me, I will stand firm as long as He is my rock and foundation.

Monday, July 27, 2009


We are at Sunriver. One of my favorite places. Lots of memories here. I used to come here as a kid, every summer. Now I have had the chance to take my kids a few times so that they can have some of the same memories I have had as a kid. I love it here. It is pretty, hot and relaxing. The pic is of my parents with the grandkids. We have been spending our days biking, swimming, and just hanging out. I hope the next few days go by slow!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am hungry!

"there is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. in revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. that is a guy i can worship. i cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo christ because i cannot worship a guy i can beat up. i fear some are becoming more cultural than christian, and without a big Jesus who has authority and hates sin as revealed in the bible, we will have less and less christians, and more and more confused, spiritually self-righteous blogger critics of christianity."
Mark Driscoll

My desire for knowledge lately has been strong. I want to know the Word, understand it, and live it. I have always wanted this, but now it is almost the only thing on my mind. I have many things I am thankful for to help me along this path of discovering what the Word means. Many hate Mark Driscoll, but I have found his style and his blunt love for the truth to be so refreshing. I always learn from his sermons, always am challenged, and love how practical it is. To me, the Christian walk is not about chasing supernatural experiences, but about living a practical life in front of others..... it is about calling sin, sin....... and repenting daily of that sin. It is not about having your problems cease ....... life is hard and actually will be even harder with Christ. It costs us, but that price is so worth it.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I have a lot to say... lots of opinions. I will not apologize for my opinions but I now know to keep them to myself.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


My parents and my sister and her family came to visit this last week for the 4th. We had a great time. The kids played the wii most of the time.... tennis tournaments, wiffle ball outside, a trip into Cincinnati, fireworks in the driveway, fireworks in Independence, dinner at Hoggy's..... lots of fun, lots of laughs, lots of memories!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lots of thoughts on my brain again....... here are just a few and they are completely random.

* my parents are coming today... lots of cleaning to do but glad I got groceries yesterday.
* Nevaeh is becoming quite the reader.. She finally is enjoying it and I am thankful it is not like pulling teeth to get her to do it.
* I really have a hard time with completely selfish people. I just want to slap them and their parents for letting them grow to be spoiled adults.
* We just had Nevaeh's 8th birthday party. We had a gymnastics party... it was a hit. Tons of fun!
* I recently went to a NKOTB concert. SHHHH.. don't tell anyone. It was fun... the people watching was worth it.
*I just got Mark Driscoll's new book. So far so good. ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I am looking forward to this month. My mom and dad are coming, my sister, her husband, and her kids are coming........ it is the 4th, which is one of my favorite times of year... and then two weeks after they leave, we will be headed out that way to go on vacation in Bend, Oregon... one of my favorite places. Can't wait!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Perfect Day...

Yesterday was a great day for Joel and I ....... we celebrated our ten years of marriage by getting a sitter (woohoo) and headed into Cincinnati to go eat at Boi Na Braza. It is a Brazilian steak house and is amazing! They have an all you can eat "side" bar.... not just salad stuff but mashed potatoes, rice, mushrooms, vegetables, cheeses, capers, etc. Then, while you are eating, you have a card with one side red and one side green. There are at least ten men walking around at all times with slabs of all kinds of meat on skewers and if your card is green, they will slice some off and put it on your plate..... so, you have to keep flipping your card all night. It was very yummy, and for dessert I had a papaya ice cream/pudding thing... so yummy. Needless to say, we were stuffed when we left. So then we walked around downtown for awhile, saw two drunk men fighting.... (most of you would think that was not really romantic for a date, but Joel and I are the worst at people watching... we love it.) Then I got to go into Tiffany & Co and pick out a bracelet and necklace... so fun and so sweet. ;) It was a great day..... and it started out with our friends who wrote and sang a song at our wedding, redoing it and sending it to us through email so we could transfer it into our itunes and have it always and forever.... so sweet. The picture is of our card... turned over to red because we were STUFFED!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Today I sit here on my deck, drinking my morning coffee... thinking back on the last ten years of my life. Today Joel and I are celebrating our ten year anniversary. Let's see.... ten years!! WOW. So many emotions, so many memories! We started off in Longview, headed to Oakland, CA... then back to Longview, then to Eugene, OR... then to Cincinnati, OH and then Columbus, OH and now back to Cincinnati.. (well, northern Kentucky actually).
It has been ten years of learning, tears, hardships, fights, laughter, kissing, growing closer..... and the list could go on. Not every day has been perfect, and some have been extremely hard, but each day has been worth it. Our marriage is stronger and better than it ever has been and just keeps getting better as days go by. We know one another well, we know how to be married and what it takes to make it good and most importantly Godly. It will never be perfect, and we both know we will always disagree about golf, but if that is okay. :)
Marriage has taught me so much about myself, and the love of Jesus. My dad and mom always told me, "don't marry the one you can live with but marry the one you can't live without." Joel is the one I cannot live without.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Almost Ten Years..........

In one week from today, I will have been married to Joel for ten years. I can hardly believe it and am so thankful for those ten years, even though some were great and some have been not so great. When we vowed to stay together through good and bad, I can honestly say we have stuck to that promise. Here are some thoughts as I think back on the last ten years....

* we have lived many places and met many people.
* when first married, we had no clue what being married really meant. Glad we now know.
* I think we are two totally different people now.
* we have learned to communicate, how to fight, when to talk and when to be wise and be quiet.
* we have two amazing girls, and without them added to the mix, life would be dull.
* I am glad we went through the rough times... it saved our marriage actually because now we actually know what it means to be married.
* each day might not be perfect, but our relationship gets stronger and better as days go by.
* we still have our fights, but if golf is the worst thing we have to fight about, we are doing pretty well.
* as I am typing this, Joel is flying the girls up in the air.......... they are laughing and laughing.... and here I sit and realize that although my life may not be perfect or glamorous, I am blessed beyond what I deserve and can't wait to see where the next ten years take us.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Our trip

Here are a few pics.... of the hotel...... Jesslyn watching tv while taking a bath and the girls standing in front of what looked like a painting but was really a tv...... so cool. We also took the Marta in downtown Atlanta... and I am pretty sure that was the first time Nevaeh had ever seen a grown man wearing a dress.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Atlanta....... and my few days of feeling like a queen

We are back from our quick trip to Atlanta.... WOW, what a great time. We stayed in an amazing hotel. The service was outstanding and every time we went to our room, they had picked up after us. The huge bath had a TV... Jesslyn loved that. I am a bit sad to be back to the real world. We were able to see some family and some great friends. Lots of laughing, lots of walking, and lots of swimming. Now back to reality... laundry, cooking, cleaning, and picking up after everyone. I am truly sad that this had to come to an end!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am angry...... angry at selfish people who are making selfish choices........ is it wrong to wish that those people who are being so stupid would just get slapped!!! I realize this completely goes against what Jesus would have me to do... but I am just being honest.. isn't that what blogging is for?? ;)
I am studying Proverbs..... so much to learn, so practical.......... if we could all just listen and learn to live that way. What a different world it could be.
Things have been crazy for us. Joel's week of working nights is over. THANK GOODNESS!!!! I am so glad. We are heading to Atlanta for the weekend to see some friends. Should be fun and some good family time. (which we need desperately).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Joel's schedule is crazy and I feel like a single mom... I am tired of it!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I guess it is time to start teaching Jesslyn how money works. She has asked me three times this morning if I can go to the store and make money so that I can go to Target and buy her a new toy. I tried to explain the whole job thing and that is how we get money but she was confused and a little irritated that we don't just go to the store and make it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I feel like I have too much on my mind to choose one thing to blog about......
So, I will just throw out some random thoughts.

* I wish I could fix things for people when I see them hurting and I wish I could slap the ones who are making them hurt.
* I feel a hunger for knowledge more than I think I ever have before. Not sure if it is just because I am getting older or what??
* I am a lover of justice... I think to a fault... because when things are unfair, I sometimes about lose my mind.
* I love this time of the year... it is perfect for the park.
* My girls have been fighting a lot lately.
* It cracks me up how everyone things their kids are the best... we all do it, it is funny to me.... unless people go on and on about how great their kids are... that can start to drive me nuts.
* I am so thankful that my husband has a job.
* I really want to take the girls to Disneyworld!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I have been challenged a lot lately..... through my crabbiness of the last few days, it is like my bad qualities have been put under a spotlight..... and I have been humbled. I want to be the best wife and mom I can but somedays I feel like I am failing miserably..... I want my husband and kids to feel loved and cherished...... God help me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Krohn's Conservatory

We took our last homeschool field trip of the year today to see the butterfly show at the conservatory in Cincinnati... we first had a lesson about butterflies and then got to walk into a room filled with flowers and free flying butterflies... they were everywhere. They would land on people's backs and heads..... one landed on Jesslyn's head and she freaked out! It was really cool though to see all the different kinds and pretty colors..... but I have to say, I had my limit of having things flying all around my head. I am just glad they were butterflies and not birds or bats. YIKES!
My kids have been crabby the last few days... and so have I. I am ready to put them to bed early tonight and just relax.

Exciting news! I am trying AGAIN to lose some pounds... and I am one pound away from seeing a number I have not seen in awhile!! YAY!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I would love nothing more than a day on a secluded beach with a few good books and a nice cold drink. Instead, I have fighting children, loads of laundry, and dishes from lunch to wash up.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jon and Kate

So, this family is all over the news... and this brings about many emotions for me......

1. Why do people go on these shows?

2. Why does Kate continue to go on talk show after talk show..... is selling a book that important?

3. I do not think she is very nice to him.

4. That gives him no excuse to cheat... (if he did).... he probably did. Who doesn't now days?

5. Why keep doing season after season?

6. She seems a little off to me........ I think she really kind of likes the fame and money now.

7. She always says it is about the kids...... I don't believe her.

8. Just my thoughts....... ( I used to really like the show, and I know they have done several speaking engagements to profess their faith...... but I think even if this is not true and just horrible rumors..... things still are not quite right.)

9. Ahh..... just wanted to say that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

King's Island

Yesterday afternoon, we went with some friends up to King's Island Amusement Park...... my girls have never done any kind of rides so I was really not sure what to expect... they did great...... We first headed to kiddy land...... where we road a little wooden roller coaster. Jesslyn was smiling until the first dip and I think she had NO idea it was coming... she started to cry, but smiled when it was all over and said she loved it.
Then we went on Planktin's Plunge which is what you see up above. She screamed the entire time and called the ride STUPID! Nevaeh ended up going on an adult roller coaster and loved it, although I know she was scared out of her mind. I am so proud of her for giving it a try. (She is usually our scared one who never wants to try anything new.)
It was a great day..... the girls had fun and it was nice to just walk around, hanging out with good friends.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I just made a quick trip into the grocery store by our house to grab a bag of ice....... I am pretty sure everyone in there was frantically picking up a card and flowers for Mother's Day...... not just men, but women too... it made me chuckle a bit. The last minute money spent and time spent for those gifts we put pressure on ourselves to get...... is it silly?

My day has been great so far.... woke up, drank coffee with my family on the deck, went to church, out for Mexican, and now home to rest a bit before we head with our friends to King's Island Amusement Park..... I will let you know how that goes later. Oh, I also picked up some Dramamine along with that bag of ice.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Annoying Bees

I am really liking this spring weather we are having right now and would really love to sit on our new patio furniture... but the bees are taking over and I am over it.... three bottles of spray later, and they are still around. It is like they just hover over you... staring at you, right in the eye. I know bees have their purpose, blah, blah, blah..... but I like my deck and would like to sit and read out there...... they can go anywhere, just stay away from my deck!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Our big break!!!

So, it has been awhile since I have blogged... and with all going on around me right now, I think this might be a good way for me to just write...... maybe some sort of therapy ;)
From my previous post, you all know that we got our pics taken by our friend, who happens to be a professional photographer. Well, he also does some work for the Ohio magazine and they picked our family to be on the cover of their June issue. So, we spent last Saturday at the Cincinnati zoo, from 8:30 to 3:30 taking pics. We started with hair and makeup, then took some pics.... (I even had a personal makeup lady following me around all day) Kind of nice! ;)
It was quite an experience..... the girls had a ton of fun and we got a little tiny taste of what being treated like a celebrity kind of feels like. The magazine comes out soon and we will have access to the pics after a few months, so I am sure we will post some later!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our first family photo

The Mathews family got their first family photos taken last night. We have a good friend who does photography in Cincinnati and so we scheduled a time to have them done. We met him in an old studio.... in an old building in Cincinnati. We walked up three flights of stairs after entering through a small door on the side of the building. The room was just old dirty wood floors... but was amazing and we had so much fun. The girls do great which I am glad about..... pictures with kids can often be stressful! So, here you go, The Mathews Family Photo...... we are one happy family ;)

Monday, March 16, 2009

I am now 32

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday... it was great. We all went to our first service at church and then Joel surprised me with going to breakfast at First Watch.. one of my favorite places.... then I did a little bit of birthday money spending by myself before heading out to go on a much needed date with Joel. We were able to drop the girls off at our small group and they had a nice chocolate cake there for me!! Then Joel and I went to this place called Reserve and it was amazing. We were the only ones in the place with a guy playing the piano the entire time.... it was great though! My steak melted in my mouth. Then we went and saw Slumdog Millionaire... which was pretty good... not as WOW as I thought it would be. Then we headed back to small group where just a few friends were still there and laughed and ate cake for another few hours. It was a great day. I can't believe I am 32!! Is March almost over.... I just might be on birthday overload!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I have two books that I am super excited to start reading... Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas and Death by Love by Mark Driscoll........ I have not bought books for myself in a long time but splurged yesterday and can't wait to dive into them!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Are people finally starting to wake up?

I am starting to think that people may be waking up a bit to this crazy spending and all the other nonsense this government is up to.... when will enough be enough??? The markets are speaking... no one wants to invest, those who invest are not finding any trust in Obama... yet he just keeps spending and spending our money.. Did you know that some of the stimulus money is actually going to the removal of tattoos?????
I am wondering what will happen when those of us who have figured it out will stand up and say enough is enough!!! I might just have to quit watching the news... I have never had high blood pressure but I just might if I continue.. it makes me so spitting mad!!!! I am not a cursing woman.. but give me a few more months of this and I might be.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My 30's

I am going to be turning 32 in 11 days.... I have to say, the 30's have been amazing for me..... well, if only my metabolism was still like it was in my 20's.... that is my only complaint. Anyways, I feel like in just these last couple of years, I have learned so much about myself, my husband, motherhood, and am still learning about my perception of who God really is. I am learning everyday how to be a wife and a mother...... and how to try and do it to the best of my ability. I guess you could say that I am finally starting to feel like an adult and feel like I have a good grasp on how I want to live my everyday life, who I want to surround me, and what is really truly important to me. I think I kind of knew all these things in years past, but my understanding is better and more complete. I love my life... it is in no way perfect, but I am learning some amazing things along the way and can only imagine what I will learn in years to come.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mark Driscoll

I have been listening to this guys podcasts lately and have really been enjoying them. I love his style, and the things that he has to say. He uses so much scripture and is not afraid to say things that may ruffle some feathers. I love his take on religion and I love how he always goes straight to the importance of Jesus. I love the things that this church is doing for the Seattle area. It's awesome!

Memorial Service

Last week, we headed to Longview to celebrate the life of Joel's grandma, who we call Granny the Great. It was a quick trip, but really good to see a lot of people we had not seen in many years. This is a pic of the cousins at the service... we are missing little Will though.
The service was at our old church.... walking through those doors was a bit strange, and brought back many memories. It was so great to see so many great people and to catch up with those who loved Joel's grandmother so much.
We had a great time thinking about our memories with her and it was also great to hear all the memories of her before I had the chance to know her. She was a great lady.... but the thing I take away most from her, is her ability to be positive in all things. She was great at doing that.... I want to strive like her to be positive in all things.... to "laugh at the days to come".

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Heal my heart and make it clean.
Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like you have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks Yours.
Everything I am for Your kingdoms cause.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Granny The Great

This is the girls and I last month with Joel's grandma.... She had a stroke several years ago and has been in the nursing home ever since. She passed away yesterday and we will miss her greatly. She always had her makeup on, lipstick just right, and was the best at Christmas shopping. We are headed out to Washington to visit with family and attend her memorial. Thanks for all your prayers through this time!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My favorite Voice in Radio

I am sure I have said this way too many times.... but I love this guy. I never thought I would be into politics so much... but find myself more and more interested in it day by day. I find it interesting and maddening all at the same time. I really would like to see Mark sit down with Obama... I would pay money to see that interview! He has this new book coming out next month... I am hoping Joel will not be opposed to buying it for me for my birthday! hint, hint, Joel.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My trip to Washington was great. Seeing my sister's kids was amazing... three years made a big difference... they were all so grown up. I loved being able to see my parents and it was great to see my sister and Matt. We had a lot of catching up to do. The cousins played together so well and had a lot of fun. They are great kids and it was hard for us to say goodbye.... but we are very glad that we will be able to see them again before they head back to Africa. These pictures are of my girls with the three kids.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I am crazy... but just keep getting more interested in it.

alright.. just a few more things on my mind.

1. government does not create jobs..... they take tax money from tax payers to pay others.. That is redistribution of wealth.
2. This stimulus package if full of nothing BUT earmarks.
3. #2 makes Obama a flat out liar.
4. I am not a fan of liars.
5. The message has changed from hope to hate and from change to fear.
6. Obama has been in office three weeks and now after this package will be the highest spending president ever.
7. Recessions happen.
8. This is going to change our country forever.
9. I love how those in positions are not even paying their taxes.... and I don't buy that it was just an honest mistake.
10. Nothing about these men is honest.
11. History proves this will not work......
12. I hope Netanyahu wins the election for Israel.
13. That press conference was the most painful thing to listen to....
14... and I wonder how many Obama supporters even watched it.
15. I really believe he has no idea what he is doing.
16. I love how he is now speaking so highly of the great election that was able to take place in Iraq.
17. is change we can believe in just a repeat of the New Deal.
18. The more they have their hands on, the more they control us.
19. I need to find something else to be interested in.
20. I also think I should buy a gun, while it is still legal.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I hope to post some pics of my trip soon... here are some things on my mind.
* I loved seeing my niece and nephews.... they are so grown up.
* my sis and I had so much fun.
*my brother in law has not changed one bit.... and I love it!
* my flight home was awful.... had only 20 minutes to make my connecting flight and even after a tram, I had to walk at least a mile... with two children.... the plane was waiting on me. A few more minutes and I would have been out of luck.
* I was glad to see Joel again.
* I wish that people took wedding vows seriously.
* I will not watch The View again..... seriously can't stand those women.
* I think people should be able to hunt animals without having crazy hollywood people ranting about it.
*I would like a gun but would be terribly afraid of it being in my home.
* My new drink at Starbucks is a cappachino.
* I do not get how those cabinet members can just not pay their taxes.
* I think that our country as we know it is soon going to change.
* I recently started listening to Mark Driscoll and now question how I really feel about Rob Bell.
* I have a hunger for learning at this current moment in my life.
* I am thankful for great parents and for how much they love my kids.
* I hate how people think the government should get involved in every area of our life.... hasn't anyone noticed that they screw everything up? why would we trust them with more? it is not rocket science........ the government just makes the problems worse!!!!!!!
*I am hoping that we adjust quickly to this time change thing.
*I am ready for spring and a lower electric bill.
* I am dreading the DMV tomorrow. (government owned right?) no wonder it is such an awful place.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My blood is boiling....

I am still at my family's house and enjoying every minute with my family... this time has been priceless.... but, I have had more time than normal on my hands. Since I am not at my own house, I do not have to spend most of my day cleaning, picking up, cooking, bills, etc. It is really nice and reality will soon be slapping me in the face when I get back home and in the swing of life. I also have had more time to watch morning shows..... which I am glad that in my normal life I do not get a chance to watch. I turned on the View this morning and I guess it is just me punishing myself.... and I am sure I have blogged about this show before because I cannot help but get angry.... it is like a train wreck that somehow I keep watching because my ears cannot believe what I am hearing. Those ladies are so ignorant and Elisabeth doesn't ever have a good enough argument.. she could say sooo much more!!!! They are all mad at Rush Limbaugh for saying he wanted the president to fail.... they have no idea what he really meant. He totally believes that Obama's policies will destroy this country and therefore, wants the policies to fail in order to keep this country on the right track. This show really makes my blood boil....... they think Rush does not care about the poor because he does not want the stimulus package to pass.... are you kidding me? it is NOT the governments job to help the poor, it is the church...... charity..... people giving to others.... not the government forcing us to give to others. So then, if you do not agree with them, you do not care about the poor..... aaahhhhhhh!!!!!! I need to just stop.
I will post more pics from my trip soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I am headed to see family tomorrow... can't wait to see my sister and her family. It has been way too long. The girls are asking every 15 minutes when we are going to be there.
The girls were fighting this morning and Jesslyn fought back saying "I am the strongest person in America and you are not!" I could not help but laugh. Crazy and random.
Anyways, I have tons to do to get ready.... I will post again when I get back!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I can't believe that this is my first post of the year.. oops. Good thing blogging every day was not on my list for the new year. Things have been good so far in January. Joel is busy with work of course and the girls and I are getting back into the swing of school. I am usually more than ready to take down my Christmas stuff... this year it was sad to take it down. I am heading to see family at the end of the month and Joel will be meeting his dad in Arizona for a golfing trip. I am looking forward to seeing my family... haven't seen my sister's family in three years. ... and it is always such a break for me with the kids. My parents help out so much.... it is nice for a little break!
I am glad for the new season of 24 to start..... it is going to be great...... We may really need a Jack Bauer this year..........with all that is going on in the crazy world today.
I am also excited for American Idol to start too.... love watching the people who stink! :)