Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fitness Buff

Since working out at gymnastics 17 hours each week isn't enough, she decided to exercise at home tonight.
She asked if I could find some exercise on TV. I chose Denise Austin because I know she dresses somewhat modestly.
I took pictures.

And then helped myself to another cookie while I watched.
Just Kidding! (sort of)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Silly Gator Poem

Two boys all snotty-nosed
Dressed head to their toes
in Gator clothes.
A helmet on top
Their feet had Crocs
But their diaper and train tee
Lacked any Gator colors...oh me.
The last picture just can't be beat
It shows you that on Zane's feet
is the way to wear your shoes
if you put them on by yourself and you're two.

Philippians 2:14

Remember a few days ago when I posted about the One Word Prayers I'm going to pray for each of my family members this year? Remember that for Eli, I wanted the opposite of COMPLAIN? Well, today I was reminded of what Paul said in Philippians 2:14 "Do everything without complaining or arguing." (NLT) So, I'm thinking that maybe rather than having just one word, Eli will have a verse that I pray for him. This verse.

The real reason for this post though is because of what I found while searching different versions of Philippians 2:14. Read what The Message says for verses 14-16:

"Do everything readily and cheerfully - no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I'll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all this work for nothing."


I think the Lord just showed me an entire passage that I need to be praying.
I don't think its for Eli though.
I'm thinking its for Eli's mama.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bird Food

Today at childcare during my Bible Study, the boys made bird food. They were so excited to bring it home and put it outside for the birds to eat.
They decided to sit it on their picnic table.

Because it was really cold outside, we immediately came back in. They watched patiently at the window waiting for some birds to come.

After a few minutes with no activity from the birds, Zander got unhappy....

He wanted his bird food back inside.
I told him no and immediately got an arched-back show of displeasure.

This was a battle I chose not to fight.
So now there is one container of food left outside for the birds.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


By now I know that when the boys are awake but quiet, that it usually means trouble. Quite often its Double Trouble. Tonight was no exception.

When I found them, they were sitting in my bedroom floor with the contents of a bag dumped out. Inside that bag, they found several tubes of "yipsticks."

And they put it on. Just like they've seen Mommy do.

They were so proud of themselves.
I was so proud that it wasn't all over the carpet.
Emmy Kate helped clean them up by using a makeup remover cloth.
They weren't fans of that.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Reflecting on 2010

Somewhere in bloggy land, I found some questions that dealt with reflecting on the past year. I printed off the questions I liked and had Eli and EK answer them, as well as myself. (I didn't even bother asking Philip to answer them. I knew he would think it was stupid. But, I think I'll enjoy looking back on these in a few years.)

The question will be in bold. Answer in regular print and my thoughts in italic.

Starting with EK:

What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Never did times (multiplication) before
What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
My birthday wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. (really? Cause I sure didn't know that. I thought you thoroughly enjoyed taking 3 friends to Shogun and then to a Gymbacks meet. Humph.)
What dates from 2010 will remain fresh in your memory and why?
When I got my iTouch in August.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Winning the Santa Meet (which mom will add was her highest score ever!!)
Did you suffer illness or injury?
sick at the family reunion
What was the best thing you bought?
Christmas tree (She's referring to the new white Christmas tree we bought for her room in December. However, I didn't realize "she" bought it. Pretty sure I paid for that.)
What did you get really excited about?
When I won the Santa Meet
What song will always remind you of 2010?
Your Love (by Brandon Heath)
What do you wish you'd done more of?
Played on my beam (interesting because I recall you playing on it almost everyday. When else would you have liked to have been on it?)
What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eat unhealthy stuff (also interesting because you don't eat much of anything)
How did you spend Christmas?
went to Grandma & Grandpa's
What was your favorite TV program?
Big Time Rush (I had never even heard of this until I looked at her answers. I asked her what it was and she said "a show I watch at Grandma and grandpa's house." ohhhhh. that explains it.)
What were your favorite books of the year?
Puppy Place (this is a series of chapter books about animals)
What was your favorite music from this year?
Gotta Go (a Toby Mac song. She should've just put Toby Mac in general)
What were your favorite movies of the year?
Facing the Giants (its true. even though its not a movie from this year. She ALWAYS picks it to watch when we go on road trips.)
What were your favorite pieces of clothing to wear in 2010?
black peace pants and gray jacket (yep. pretty much everyday to gym she has those 2 pieces of clothing on over her leo)
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
7 and we went to Shogun and watched the gymbacks!
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
a hampster (she asked Santa for one and he told her he couldn't bring it on his sleigh)

Now for Eli's answers:

What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
learned what Pi (3.14) is
What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
an iPad
What dates from 2010 will remain fresh in your memory and why?
Oct. 15 & 16. My birthday party on the 15th and my first 2 TD's and 2 extra point in football on the 16th
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
being selected to go to the State Math Olympics testing
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I threw up 9 times. (yes, 2010 will go down as a year that we were plagued with the stomach bug 3 times. I didn't realize he kept track of his vomit though)
What was the best thing you bought?
I did not buy anything. (so true. this boy has more many saved than I do. He does not spend.)
What did you get really excited about?
my iTouch
What song will always remind you of 2010?
Gotta Go (Toby Mac)
What do you wish you'd done more of?
gone swimming
What do you wish you'd done less of?
twisted my ankle
How did you spend Christmas?
What was your favorite TV program?
What were your favorite books of the year?
Ramona the Pest
What was your favorite music from this year?
Gotta Go (same as EK. he should've just put Toby Mac in general. They listen to his music over and over and over.)
What were your favorite movies of the year?
G-Force and Ramona & Beezus
What were your favorite pieces of clothing to wear in 2010?
my Tim Tebow jersey (he does love a good jersey!)
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to a corn maze, played night time dodge ball and had a silly string war. I was 10.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Going to DisneyWorld or the beach (definitely agree with him on the beach part!)

Now for my answers:
What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Drove 1,976 miles by myself with 3 kids
What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
What dates from 2010 will remain fresh in your memory and why?
Family Reunion Trip (1,976miles), going to Las Vegas in May, my trip to FL in June to see my besties, and Eli making the All-Star Team in June/July
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Losing 35lbs.
What was your biggest failure?
not being as dedicated to prayer as I wanted to be
Did you suffer illness or injury?
we passed the stomach bug around our house 3 times.
What was the best thing you bought?
What did you get really excited about?
trips to Las Vegas and FL. and the boys starting Mothers Day Out in August.
What song will always remind you of 2010?
anything Wiggles because the boys became obsessed with them during the last half of the year.
What do you wish you'd done more of?
spend time with God and blogging
What do you wish you'd done less of?
How did you spend Christmas?
5 day trip to Texarkana and then Piggott.
What was your favorite TV program?
American Idol
What were your favorite books of the year?
not sure if I finished one.
What was your favorite music from this year?
anything by Chris Tomlin, music from Glee (even though I've only seen a few episodes), and from the country genre: Love Like Crazy by Lee Brice, Water by Brad Paisley and Rain is a Good Thing by Luke Bryan
What were your favorite movies of the year?
Blind Side and Letters to Juliet
What were your favorite pieces of clothing in 2010?
boots in the winter. workout/stretchy clothes in warmer months.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It was Easter Sunday. We went to church in Texarkana and then drove home. I was 34.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A full-time person to pick up/straighten up/clean the house. (maybe not full time but about 12 hrs/day.)

That's 2010 wrapped up for the 3 of us. It was a lot to type, but I'm already so glad I did it!

One Word

I'm going to jump on this "One Word" thing I heard about in blogland. I found this on Ali Edwards blog (which I don't even follow), but thought it sounded neat. Basically, I choose a word for myself to focus on for the year. As soon as I decided to do it, one word immediately came to me. JOY. But not the joy that the Holy Spirit gives us. I like to think that I've got a good dose of that. The JOY I'm talking about is actually an acrostic J.O.Y.

I want to get back to being a Jesus girl. Loving him above all else.
I want to think of others before myself and serve others before myself.

As I was pondering this "One Word" thing, I came across this post from Lysa TerKeurst. She sort of takes the concept of one word per year and puts a spiritual twist on it. One Word Prayers. For her children, she is choosing one specific word for each of them and will make that word a focal point as she prays for them.

I have decided to do that for all 6 of the members of my family.
  • You already know that for myself, the word will be J.O.Y.
  • I have chosen the word for Philip, but I'm not going to tell all of bloggy land what it is. The reason? I don't want him to know what it is. If my prayer for him happens, I want it to happen because the Lord moved his heart to do it. Not because his wife pressure-prayed him to! I will tell you though, that I was led to his word from a song I heard. It's a beautiful picture of what I desire.
  • For Eli, the word is not so easy. For him, I want the opposite of COMPLAIN. Ya'll, that boy complains about everything. I've looked up antonyms for complain. It gave me rejoice, applaud, approve, praise. I don't feel like I should pray for him to rejoice, applaud, approve or praise having to do schoolwork, unload the dishwasher, etc... But one of the antonyms that did strike me is "be content." Its not one word. But I like it. It seems to fit.
  • Emma Kate's word has been a bit of a struggle. It may change as I start praying it for her. CONFIDENCE. She lacks it. I definitely don't want her to be arrogant, boastful, proud or cocky. She is none of those. But, I do wish that she had confidence in herself. Not only now as it would relate to her in school and gymnastics, but in a few short years when she is faced with teenage peer pressure. I want her to be able to say no when needed because she is confident enough in herself.
  • For Zane & Zander I've chosen just one word: POTTY. Does that make you laugh? It does me. Don't know if I'll actually pray that. But, I could. Scripture tells us that God cares about the small details too. Hopefully in a few weeks, I'm going to embark on a 3Day Potty Training session for both of them. I bet I'll be doing a lot of praying during those 3 days!
If any of my words come to your mind throughout the day, feel free to pray them for us too. That may very well be the Holy Spirit prompting you. :-)

2011 Goals

I don't like resolutions. Maybe its just the word itself. Resolutions. I don't know, but I'm not gonna use that word. You can't make me.

Instead, I choose the word goals. Ahhh, doesn't that sound much more appealing and inspiring?

I don't always make a list of goals. And if I do, they certainly don't have to be made just because its a New Year. But apparently all good bloogers do that, so I'll jump right in.

Fellow Providence mom, Jenny, actually inspired this post. She just thought of hers off the top of head without writing them down and pondering for days. {Gulp} So I'll do the same.

  1. Read through the Bible in 2011. I actually did this in 2009 only because Bridget peer-pressured me to do it. Ha! Just kidding. Sort of. It was good peer pressure though, right? This time, I am doing it through our churches Tuesday Morning Ladies Bible Study. So with a renewed vigor, I am jumping in!

  2. Be a better blogger. Not as in get more followers or make money from my blog. I'm not into that. I strictly blog to preserve the memories of my precious family. So I want to be better at keeping up with the blog. I am so very very far behind in posting. Like months and months behind. Its a little overwhelming really. So, I'd like to not do that to myself again this year.
  3. This one goes right along with #2, but I want to get caught up on my blogging. You may be thinking its exactly the same as #2, but hold up. In #2, I said I wanted to get better at keeping up with the blog. That is keeping it current. For #3, I want to get caught up. I started blogging in 2009 and have not yet blogged all of that year. For 2010, I still probably have 1/2 the year to blog about. Its a big task, but I know if I do it, I will thank myself someday.

  4. Keep working on my weight. Not that I like to publicly talk about this. What woman does really? But, I made a commitment last March to get the extra weight off that I'd been carrying around for far too long. I was very disciplined for about 5 1/2 months and lost exactly 35lbs! I think I was within 7lbs of my goal when I just couldn't make myself do it anymore. I took one month off, which turned into two months, then 3, 4, 5. And here I am now in January. A few pounds have attached themselves back to my mid-section. (that area and my face are their favorite places to hang out) Its time to get back with it. I'm just lacking any motivation right now. I'm hoping by posting this that I'll be forced to get back with it.

  5. (stealing this one from Jenny. But its a good idea.) Take a picture of the 6 of us together once a month. That will be hard. And you know they won't be good pictures. But, these children need to know, when they get older, that they had a mother and a father. 1/2 way kidding, of course, but really, we're in very few pictures.

  6. Start video-ing more. I do good at getting pics of the kids, but I've been getting worse and worse about videoing them. I even have the handy dandy Flip video which makes it sooooo easy. And they LOVE watching themselves after I've video'd them. as a sidenote* I'm not talking about videoing sporting events, spelling bees, etc.. I usually always get those. But really, who wants to sit around and watch those for hours on end? I'm talking about capturing them day-to-day being the fun happy kids that they are.

  7. Get better at washing the dishes the same day that they get dirty. I'll be honest, I'm not excited about this one. But, if I don't do them that day, they sometimes sit for a day or two several several days.

  8. Get better at menu planning. Not talking about those bloggers who link up every week to meal plans. I can't commit to that. But I do know that when I take the time to make out a menu, we are less likely to just go out and grab something. And its good for me to have a plan. I like lists.

  9. Yell less. I hesitate putting that out in bloggy land because I don't want anyone to get the wrong impression. I do not frequently yell at my children. But, there are times when I'm at the breaking point and I yell at one (or more if the incident involves multiple children) of them. It does not make me feel good when I do it. Nor does it set a good example for them.
  10. This one is more of a desire than a goal, but I need to end on the #10. (not because its the rules but because that makes it nice and rounded. Eye appealing.) I would like to go to a conference this year. Since 2004, I've attended one or two conferences every year (either the MOPS Convention, Women of Faith or D6 Conference). Last year I didn't go to a single one. Its nice to spend a weekend just getting my spiritual life filled up. Its like a car who has no gas. A weekend at one of those, puts my tank on FULL!

Happy 2011!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Chalkboard

My brother-in-law is skilled at finding junk and making it look good.

So I thought when I asked for a homemade Christmas present from he and my sister, I'd be giving him something enjoyable to do.

I think I was wrong.

I wanted a big ole chalkboard with an even bigger frame around it.

I envisioned him finding an old frame on the side of the road somewhere and then fixing it up.

As the story goes, he spent many hours and a couple of do-overs making my chalkboard.

I felt bad that it turned out to not be enjoyable for him.

But, I couldn't be any happier with the finished product.

Here it is just after I had "primed" it to get it ready for writing...

and then later, with a verse I heard at Bible Study....

Now, a week later, my same verse is still on there but lots of other writings and verses have now appeared. Looks to be the handwriting of a 10yr old and a 7yr old.
I love that we have a family message board now. I am frequently using it to write verses or thoughts from my Tuesday morning Ladies Bible Study.
Emma Kate used it earlier this week to let our household know that her mouth was hurting.

But another day (when Philip had left especially early for work), I woke up and found this written on it:
Such a thoughtful Daddy.
He wrote this becaus Eli was participating in the school Speech Meet later in the day.
Eli loved finding it when we woke up!
So dear John (that is my brother-in-laws name...not the beginning of a sappy love letter), I truly didn't mean for my Christmas present to be such a pain for you. But your work is much appreciated. I absolutely love it and its already a huge hit in our house!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

School Supplies

Looks like a little boy (or two) wanted to do homeschool today like his big brother and sister. He must've just needed a few school supplies to get started.

A Victory for Mom

You may remember that last Wednesday, one of the things that made my day extra challenging was Emma Kate's attitude toward wearing normal clothes to AWANA. She wanted to wear her favorite clothes that she wears every Mon,Wed,Fri to gym. Which is this....

(you may also remember that these are the clothes she listed as her favorites from 2010 in the Reflections post I did.)

I told her that those clothes are fine for going to/from gymnastics, but not for other places. Well, she didn't get to go to AWANA because of the fit she threw.

So tonight when it was time to get ready for AWANA, I reminded her of our little incident last week and that if she didn't choose something matching tonight, that I would pick out her clothes. I also threw in that my choice would most likely be something she didn't like. (that may have been a little on the naughty side. Not sure. But I still said it.)

I'm happy to say that she came downstairs wearing matching clothes! And she was even smiling about it.


A victory for Mom!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1st Snow Day of 2011

Less than an inch of snow really doesn't seem to be enough for a snow day. But apparently the roads were a bit slick in the wee hours of the morning, so the public schools cancelled for today, which means that our school did too.
Hooray! No complaints from the Jackson fam!

The kids and I had a great day playing both inside and outside.

On the inside we played games. One of which was this... We were still playing this when Philip got home from work (Boo...He doesn't get to take Snow Days with us.).
While he was playing with us, one of the challenges for Emma Kate was to get a mustache and glasses drawn on her face with makeup. She chose her Daddy to do it.

working on the mustache

All finished.
This picture just makes me laugh. Not quite sure what she looks like.

It was bitterly cold today.
When we first woke up, it was 9 degrees with a wind chill of 5 below.
Naturally the kids wanted to go outside to play in the little bit of snow that we did get.
I told them we had to wait a few hours until it "warmed up."
Around noon when it was close to double digits, we bundled up to go play outside.
The big kids dressed warmly in layers and hand-me-down snow clothes from Aunt Karen.
It took me 10-15 minutes though just to get those 2year olds all bundled up.
When I got done with them, they sort of looked like weeble wobble robbers.
Can you even tell who is who?
Zane is 1st picture
Zander is 2nd.

Emma Kate didn't care that she was basically making a "grass angel."

And even with a tiny amount of snow, Eli still thought they needed to get the sled out....

Emma Kate tried pulling Eli, but it didn't go so well....

Then Zander wanted a turn on the sled...

But Zane was content to just sit back and watch...

Emma Kate looking ever-so-much like a janitor enjoyed shoveling the snow....

We are ready for another Snow Day. But next time we want more snow please!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Modern Mission Laser Tag

Our friends, the Finks, are starting a new business here in NWA. Modern Mission Laser Tag.
Very fun concept. Its like outdoor paint ball but without any of the hurt or the mess. They invited us out for a "guinea pig" game before they officially open their business. Since it was during naptime, I stayed home with the boys while Philip took the older 2.
Becky said that we should dress in camo if we had any. Thanks to Aunt Karen who gives us lots of hand-me-downs, I found some things for Eli and EK to wear.

Emma Kate with her headband and gun. Ready to go!

She's "hiding out" behind this trailer....

Eli is crouched down behind that tree. Can you see him?

Coming out to get an opponent...

and off he goes to get away from an opponent...

Thank you Fink's!
We had a great time at Modern Mission Laser Tag!
We love hanging out with your fun family!

Photography Class

Philip hosted a men's photography class at our house yesterday. Mindy from MJW Photography was the instructor. 6 guys listened to a woman for 4 hours. Can you believe it? Eli was here also. He was the "model." He got to play football outside, ride his Ripstik and Pogo. He was in heaven. And he didn't even mind the fact that 6 cameras were in his face.

One of the action shots Philip took:

Not an action shot, but I LOVE this one. Love it enough to blow it up into a BIG picture!
Then this morning before church, Philip played around with settings on his camera and got these shots:

Poor Zander. Got left out of this post. Philip actually got a really good shot of Zander smiling. But it was blurry. Hmmm, might need another photography class?