Saturday, July 28

What's that noise Mommy?

Last week, we heard a loud grinding sound outside our place. When the kids asked what it was, we looked outside, and right away I knew that this was going to be a fun morning for them.

We had tractors right next to our place! And the best part was that we were quickly able to see that they were going to be fixing the HUGE pot hole that has been in our alley since before we moved here! It's an alley by definition of the word, but it is mostly used as a tiny road for a few of the houses here. We actually share a parking space with our neighbors (in the duplex) and so this is where Jeff has pulled in after work everyday. It is so nice that the hole is gone! That will also make this winter easier for getting rid of the slick ice.

But back to the kids. It was really fun to sit down with the kids and watch them enjoy seeing the construction workers. We talked about the tractors and how the men were all working as a team. Talk about teachable moments!

Wednesday, July 25

Who Am I? (part 2)

To finally be back, and do something I needed to a few weeks ago, maybe just a couple weeks. Here I am. This is Sendy. A special friend made a request to hear more about who I am, and Jeff as well (I suppose). Hopefully I can get him to agree to get on this blog and do a little writing himself someday. But for now, to go into a deeper answer for my friend. A long time ago, my hearts desires were to just have fun and live a happy life! Those are still pretty much the same, but a few things have changed, well, sort of. Keep reading to hear about the interests and hobbies that have made Sendy who she is over the years. It ended up being a long entry, but each part is equally important.

Something that used to be HUGE in my life and still is in heart and in my thoughts, track. I ran track in middle and high school. Those years were disrupted by stress fractures my junior year. I finished running track shining, though, and always thought that one day I'd be back in the thick of it all. For now, that is not the case. As you all know, my life is majoring in family!
My interests were also in the culunary arts. I didn't know it then, but I loved and do love to cook and BAKE! Adding the kids, though, has made it tough sometimes. But I'm getting back into the hang of it! While I was in high school I remember enjoying the time that I got in the kitchen, not that it was a lot. But when I was there I loved it. My favorites have always been cookies. I found a way to make them really soft while in high school and I love to make different kinds! When I went to college, a dear friend and I would have several late nights in the dorm kitchen (remember, dear friend?), we would spend time cooking very simple noodle or rice dishes in our little rinky dink pots and pans. They were what we had and they worked perfectly! It was wonderful time that we had together and we would have lots of laughs together. Those were most likely the nights that we were staying up working on our papers for the English class we took together. Boy, that was a laugh! We pulled a couple all nighters together and those were so fun. One night, in that very kitchen, I made my very first cake that began my exploration into cake decorating. This particular cake was for Jeff. He was turning 20 and several of our friends and I planned a whole surprise party for him. I didn't have the money to buy a big cake for him and I wanted to MAKE it for him anyway - I guess a way of showing LOVE. It wasn't that pretty, but I made it and it was fun, everyone thought it tasted pretty good too. After Jeff and I got married, my cooking went into high gear and I discovered that I love the kitchen! A couple years later, I discovered a cake decorating class and realized potential in the confectionary arts! However, before getting any further down either of those roads, real quick, heading back before being a mommy or even a wife, I'll go into another interest - or I guess hobby that I was into.
Pictures and SCRAPBOOKING! I have always love photography and during my freshman year in college, I was introduced to the world of scrapbooking. Fell in love with it! For as much as I liked it, I only have one real scrapbook and I've yet to finish Jo's first year! I quickly discovered that it could be an expensive hobby and one that I ought to put off for a while. It is so fun and I truly enjoyed it. We have a very good size shoe box full of pictures that need to be organized and later on put into scrapbooks, but that is going to have to wait! But now, fortunately we were blessed with the gift of a digital camera shortly after Adie was born and my love for photography has exploded! One day I sat in the kitchen with Adie in her chair and I think I took nearly 50 pictures of her in 15 minutes! I was experimenting with the different ways the camera could be used and just capturing every smile or adorable look I could. Thank you Richard and Eva! Now, I've discovered the fastest way to get my scrapbooking done. Granted, it doesn't have all the cutsie little stickers and fun stuff, but for now, I'm keeping up with what's going on and we have books to go back and reminisce with. But I love going to imagestation and uploading our photos and then, in time I've been able to make two awesome books chronicling some great times in our life! Currently, Jo and I are working together to make Adie's first year book. He's loved looking at his (what I've got of it), but he wants to see his sister's! That's one thing I'd like to finish before baby boy is here! Let's see, photography and scrapbooking are done.
Ah, back to cooking - I've done a lot of experimenting in the last seven years and have found some great things to make. Jeff and I often find ourselves watching the Food Network, learning neat things. We both really want to start perfecting our grilling! I'd love to get back into making chili. During our first year being married, I entered a chili cook-off at the OC apts. It was really fun to get involved, but Oklahoma was not ready for the chili I made. See, where I come from, chili is not all about the meat and beans. It's about GREEN CHILIS and the red ones too! Mmmmm...Mmmmm...Mmmmm...Mmmmm...Mmmmm! Those are some good things and they are hot! So, I spent some time figuring out what I was going to put into my "chili". When I finally figured it all out, Jeff and a friend of ours told me that it was pretty good! I even thought it tasted okay. So, I was ready for the big day. It came, I cooked all afternoon and then we headed over to the Nowlen Center. I was so excited! I couldn't wait to see and hear what people thought! The way it all went down, everyone there to try, got in line and tried all the entries at first, then they took their tickets to what their favorite pick was to get a whole bowl. As the line went by, a few tried ours, and we got several interesting looks. Not even one person came back for the "Greenjeans Chili". I was pretty embarassed and a little sad, we packed up as soon as we could tell it was over and took it home. We did go back to hear who the winners were, but it hurt just a little. That's the sensitive side of me I guess. My first mistake - the name. I hadn't thought about it, but they asked the name of our "team." I thought, okay, well, this is Jeff and me, we are the Greens, why not go with Greenjeans! That was something Jeff had told me about. I think that kind of weirded people out and they just weren't sure of it. A bunch of people who know about Cowboy chili - seeing "Green" in a chili cook off! Hmm...interesting! My second mistake - not taking this chili to NM! After telling my mom about it, she said that NM would have eaten it up! Ha! Maybe, I don't know. After that day, I just forgot the whole idea of making chili and forgot the recipe. Now, I'd love to get back into it!
About a year and a half later, somehow, the idea of decorating cakes came to mind. Jeff let me take a class at the local hobby store and I knew right away that I found something that would stay with me for the rest of my life! Since then, I've made and experimented with several cakes. What makes it great is that I get to create something fun or beautiful and I get to watch people smile and enjoy it! I love the way my children squeal when they see their birthday cakes. I've also been priviledged to make cakes for a couple of friends. One asked me to make one for her friend's wedding shower. What an honor, I thought! I couldn't believe that someone thought my cakes were that nice. It was also a great challenge, building something that took more than just a pan and cake mix. Now, the greatest challenge came when another friend called me and told me that she wanted me to do her wedding cake! I was extremely honored, but at the same time I was so nervous! 100+ people would see this and possibly eat this thing! What a challenge and what an honor! I loved baking that cake for my friend and I would do it again! Definitely a learning experience too! After those two big events and a few other small things I've done personally, I know that one day, I'd love to be in the confectionary business! A friend of ours even helped me come up with a name and Jeff has helped me make a logo! Now, I just have to have everything else in order - years from now! Ha!
Now for TRACK. Just the word tugs on my heart. It brings back so many memories. I thought that I would run track forever. I had a huge plan of going to the olympics one day (that was a dream that I spoke of many times in 7th grade and thought about for many years). But perhaps there was a reason that those stress fractures entered my life. Without that day the doctor told me that running was out for a while, my life might be very different right now. And I love the life I have! My thoughts were also in having a great training program one day with my dad. Well, with the way my family moves around these days, there's no telling where we will end up and there's no way my parents are going to move around with us! So the dad and daughter idea kind of left the house a long time ago. I thought that track was out of my life forever. Until a year ago, I guess. One day, I got on-line and did some searching around. I discovered that, just a couple hours away, there is a place that I can go to and take some classes (I think in just a couple days time) and become certified to be a coach! There are quite a bit more details than just that, but it got my gears moving in that direction again! Then, several weeks ago, when our family started walking at the track just down the street from our house, all the emotions hit me again. Track is in my blood and I just don't know how to explain it. There is just a feeling that comes across my entire body when I think about it. When I walked up that hill for the first time, as the field became visible, all I could do was just look at it for a minute. As my feet touched the track, every emotion from my track days came rushing in. Everything I saw, felt, and heard at the track meets and during practice surrounded me. With every breath I took I could hear the running, the cheering, I could feel the air speeding by as I ran, I remembered the adrenalin rush and I even remembered what the track smelled like when I was in the blocks. Track was my life for so long and when I entered that field that evening, those days came back to me. I know that one day it will be part of my life again. It is who I am. I will never run like I did again, but it will never leave me. And now, an extra exciting thing for me, when we go, my little Jo loves to just run and run! He's been running two laps each time we've gone! Who knows, maybe I've got a little runner in the making! We'll see what he decides to do!

Well, as I sit down to write today, I am nearly in tears. I just finished reading an email from the school district. It was pretty much just a newsletter. I cannot believe that we are at this point in our life already! The thoughts filling my mind at the moment, for who I am is a mother, am I really ready for this? Are we going to be able to handle all that comes with school? My baby is not a baby anymore, where has the time gone? This week is enrollment, supposedly we've already filled out most of the paperwork, but I've got a few things to check on. My nerves are in high gear, almost as if I'm getting ready for my first day of school! I hope I get it all right. What is his teacher going to be like? What about the kids in his class? Are they nice? Will he be okay? He's going all day long, what will I do with him gone? Is he going to lean on what we've spent so much time teaching him? What if he gets scared? What if he gets lost? I won't be there, I have to let go. Oh, my, I just don't know if I can do this. Okay, the flood gates have opened, and the tears are rolling. MY BABY IS GROWING UP!

Who am I? It's actually quite simple! Sendy. A wife. A mother. I am a student of life. I am a teacher to my children and hopefully sometimes to those around me. I've got a past with many memories and I love to remember. I've made many mistakes, but I try to learn from each one! I have many, many, many interests and I've had a few hobbies. As I learn and grow each year new things enter my life and my experiences expand! I am stubborn, sometimes hard-headed, and extremely passionate about some things, but I always have love in my heart. I've got a few friends that I've been able to hold on to for many years and with each new place we move to, I gain more. All of the people in my life contribute to a piece of who I am and I'm forever thankful to you all! I hope that you have enjoyed this little peak into the bigger portrait of who God made me to be.

Thursday, July 12

And the word is...

What a wonderful time we had yesterday! The appointment was in the morning at 10 am. Jeff was able to come along and so we had a family affair! It was so fun! Jo couldn't wait to go and find out if he is going to have a brother and up until we got in the room, Adie was just enjoying the family time. When we got to the hospital, both kids were asking about the hospital. What kind of place is it? What do those words say? Is this where our baby is? It was quite cute. After waiting for just a few minutes, we headed back to the room and Adie got very interested. She was curious about the monitor and started looking forward to seeing a movie of her baby! When things got started, they both thought it was pretty cool. Jeff and I were just amazed at God's creation. It never fails. Every time I've seen our children on that screen, my heart just gets bigger! I love that day. Everything looked perfect, the head was beautiful. The profile was exactly like Jo's and Adie's. The heart was perfect. We even saw a little wave of the hand! I just can't wait to hold this hand in mine. All the way down to the legs, everything was perfect. The two feet were absolutely adorable! And when we saw who this will be, our hearts were elated! It was such a mystery for so long, this day was such an anticipated day for us all. Adie wanted to know if she will have a little sister to have tea with and Jo wanted to know if he will have a brother to play sports with. Jeff and I just wanted to know which way our life is headed! We had the strongest feeling in one direction and we were so sure that this would be. What is it? Oh, what is it? When she zoomed in and we saw that our son is on his way, the whole room was filled with joy. Even Adie had a smile on her face. She seemed a little surprised and even had a few funny comments to say, but now she can't wait to meet her little brother! Jo is extatic and has already planned out the next five years of sports. He's ready to teach his little brother everything. Adie is still planning on having tea and sharing her toys with baby brother. Jeff is thrilled as well. He's looking forward to all of their boys times, the games and workin on the yard together, getting out and camping, everything that boys do. My intuition was correct. Everything inside of me was telling me that this is a boy and I knew it from about the sixth or eigth week. It is so fun for us all to have our dreams and our plans. Life is great! Now, to get ready because the next four months are going to speed by! And we also got official word on our actual due date ~ Nov 22 Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, July 11

What Shall It Be?

Today is the day! Today is the day! In just over two hours we should be in a room looking at a screen with the image of God's beautiful creation! It won't be long until the mystery is revealed! What will we discover ~ boy or girl? Can't wait to find out!
Better get ready!

Monday, July 9

Thoughts about the lesson yesterday

Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

~ I've always known this as the "Great Commission" but how much have I thought of this? This lesson was a great one to get me thinking and do some searching and more learning. Now, I understand that most people who might one day read this may already have realized these thoughts I am about to express, but I felt it important to share anyway.

Apostolic - most of the time, we have assoiciated this with more charizmatic groups. But in the lesson, we were shown the Greek meaning of the word: Apostello - to commission or send. God is a sending God! He sent Jesus who sends the Spirit who then empowers the church for mission! We were given an example of the apostolic nature of mission - Ministry in Samaria.

In John 4:3-5, it was pointed out that Jesus "had" to pass through Samaria. John 4:6-8, he sat by a well. John 4:9-26, he crossed barriers (social, racial/ethnic, religious, and moral). John 4:27-38, this was his food and drink. Jesus went to where people were! He got involved with the people and made connections. He connected the water that she was drawing out of the well to the living water that he could give to her. He got to her level. He showed is care and he shared.

God calls us to consider ourselves, how can we be apostolic in all we do? In 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, Paul lists several spiritual gifts and he never mentioned evangelism. The question was asked - WHY? It is part of who we are! It is not an option, it is part of our identity! We have been sent by God, that is our responsibility.

~ Now personally, I have not been comfortable with just talking to anyone about my faith. I've been frozen in what to say before and caught off guard without knowing what to say. People had blown me off. It has really broken me down. Most of the time, my words just don't come out the right way. When I take the time to organize things and get it onto paper, it works out great! But when I'm put on the spot, I freeze. So, after these experiences, I started telling myself that this was just not one of my gifts. It was okay for me to not really talk to people about my faith and why I believe what I do. Now, I have changed those thoughts. It is not okay, God has sent me, I have a purpose to bring people into his kingdom! I've got a lot to work on, and God has some molding to do, but I've got to allow it. I am so thankful that we had this lesson yesterday. It woke me up and gave me an aha moment. Now, to let God's word work and change me more, and give me the knowledge to teach our children to do the same things! What is in store for us now? (Change is always coming! That is the only thing that always stays the same - as pointed out by Scott) It is time to get out and transform the world!

Friday, July 6

July is in full swing!

It is hard to believe that today is only the 6th of July! It feels as though we've done enough for July to nearly be over, but I'm so glad it's just beginning! That means we have so much more of July to enjoy! How exciting!

Tuesday we began celebrating this fun month by making 4th of July necklaces and then we had some fun with "free art" time. I say free art because I set out several things and gave them each a piece of paper and let them be as creative as they wanted to be. It was great to see how different their pictures turned out. They were great and it was so fun!

Wednesday was fantastic! We enjoyed a fun cookout with several people from church for lunch. Then we all took a nice nap before devo that night. After going to church, we headed out to post for the fireworks show. We were all looking forward to it and had some good fun just watching the kids run around in the park. When the show finally started, it was pretty big. In fact, it was the biggest both of us had seen. We loved it! There were a few times that I wondered if it was the end, but when it came, you knew it. We couldn't believe how beautiful it was! Yesterday, Jeff told me that was the reduced budget show! Imagine that!

Yesterday, the kids and I got out and did some walking around down at the Ledgends. That was nice. Then we decided to find out about the T-Bones! They are the local minor league baseball team. Turns out they are having games here this weekend (well, most of the week) so we decided to be spontaneous and try to go to a game last night! It worked. We drove out there, realizing we might not get in, but we did! This was Adie's first game and I think the first one Jo would remember. We took him when he was really little. They both had a great time and Jeff and I just loved the fact that we were able to go and at such a great price! So, we've had the art, fireworks, baseball games, and then...

Today I took the kids to the pool with a friend of ours. It was fantastic! I was really nervous about it, but we did great. The baby pool is awesome. It only goes to 1 ft. So both kids handled it well. I enjoyed getting out with a friend and Jo made new friends too! I think we definitely plan on heading back that way! Jo wants to take Daddy tomorrow. We'll see.

I imagine we will enjoy more of these activities this month and will probably break out the popcicles and ice cream too! Don't forget the cookouts on the grill that we love and the continued trips to the farmers market. Oh, I love July! We also plan on keeping up the walks at the track and trips to the parks, zoo, and even Science City! Wow, it sounds like July is shaping up to be so fun! Yay!

After such fun at the pool today, Adie is sound asleep up in her bed and Jo is chilling with some quiet time. It's great.

Monday, July 2

Who Am I?

Well, a few days ago, a friend pointed out that we do not talk a lot about what I am up to these days: my hobbies, and other activities. After thinking about it, I haven't been spending much time on many aspects of our life here on the blog. Thank you, Amanda! So, for the next several minutes, while I have the chance, I am going to spend some time, well, maybe just rambling about our LIFE here in Leavenworth.
L - living
I - it
F - for
E - eternity

We have concentrated our living deeply in trying to please the Lord. Last year when we got word about the move to Leavenworth, we immediately began our research on the area. We looked at everything, from city events to living arrangements and most importantly the church. We found out that there is one congregation in Leavenworth and they seemed to be a very active congregation with a vibrant youth group. The congregation as a whole seemed to be excited about living the Christian life. We got excited about getting involved and couldn't wait to meet these people that sounded so wonderful in what we were reading! We also discovered that Leavenworth, being fairly close to Kansas City, had a lot of exciting things for our family to possibly get involved in. And, it seemed as though we would be able to find a house fairly easily. Everything was dead-on.
The congregation here is fantastic. The kids were very involved with LTC and in turn, a large part of the congregation was too. It seemed that everyone was so supportive. We are looking forward to getting involved with it next year (actually it will start this fall)! We have made some good friends and really look forward to every time we spend with all of them. More and more we are getting to know more people and they are all so wonderful. I've started to become fairly close to our preacher's wife and I look forward to getting to know her better as time goes on. There are several other women that I am getting to know and enjoy so much. Also, I've been getting to know several of the younger girls too. I'm actually planning on having some of the pre-teen girls over for a slumber party in a few weeks. That should be so fun! They are so fun to talk to and I'm looking forward to having several occasions of fun with them. We have found a fantastic sitter for the kids. She is such a sweet heart and the kids really enjoy her! We enjoy her family so much too. Her grandmother has taken quite a liking to the kids as well and they always look forward to seeing her. We all look forward to seeing everyone. As I'm writing this I'm tearing up a bit, realizing how special everyone here has become to us already. It is so wonderful that God's family can be so close. We dearly miss our church families in OKC, Lubbock, and Killeen. But it is so nice to know that wherever we go, God has a family waiting for us to know and love so deeply. (And yes, I do realize that the tears are also hormones) ;) Back to the church. There is actually quite a bit of property that the congregation owns and it is a fun place to explore. So I am planning on getting several people out for a nature day, bringing lunches and just exploring God's beautiful creation, right out the back door! There is a camp fire area (just like what I experienced in youth group) and a little creek that reminds me of a camp I went to a few times. Jeff and I have also talked about organizing a homemade boat race to have there at the creek. It would be so much fun. We are going through some growing pains right now. Several families have moved out of town because of the military. But we are working on becoming closer and stronger as a group and working harder to reach out in the community. We are going through a series this summer that has really hit me personally. I've heard several application lessons in classes and sermons and I've thought about it. But this series is connected from Sunday morning sermon, through Wednesday night devotional and Sunday morning class. Now, I'm teaching the pre-K and K class on Sundays so I miss that part, but it really has got me thinking about what I'm doing and how we are living as a family throughout the entire week. Not just two days a week. And what we are doing to help the spiritual family here. I believe that we are all in for a good future here in Leavenworth!

There is an overwhelming abundance of cultural events to get involved with, however, most of them are quite a bit more costly than we were anticipating. But the atmosphere is fun. Leavenworth, itself, is a fantastic community to live in. The downtown area is very historical and is very enjoyable. The community center sets right next to the Missouri River and is a great place to go to. It has a nice walking area behind to enjoy the river as well. The historical houses here are beautiful, it is fun for me to dream living in one of them some day. On Saturday mornings and now on Wednesday afternoons, there is a farmers market that we have started going to. A couple Saturdays ago, I got up early and went by myself. That was a joy. I got to talk with some great people and I found some wonderful things to bring home! One thing I couldn't resist purchasing was a huge zucchini. It was actually the smallest one there, but when I got it home and weighed it, it was 2 lbs! It was flawless and I could tell that it would taste delicious. After looking at it, I began to wonder (at home), what in the world am I going to do with this thing, it's huge! Well, we fried a little up for lunch (a favorite past time of mine ~ funny to think of that, I know) and then I still had quite a bit left. I decided to try and make some zucchini bread. What a treat! Jeff helped me shred it and then Jo helped me put all the ingredients together. We ended up with a 9 inch loaf and 12 muffins! It was the best bread I've ever had. Loved it! I'll be doing that again! :) Something else I discovered that morning is that the senior center downtown is a very exciting place to get involved with. I've spoken about Jo's love of music many times, and lately it is country and bluegrass. While speaking with some lovely women, I found out that every 3rd Thursday they have Fidlers and Pickers playing. We can't wait to check that out this month. That will be exciting for us all. Several of them have beautiful tallents in the crafts and sell them at the farmers market. All of it is very professional looking. Well, that was a very peaceful morning for me and a great refresher for the weekend. I'm looking forward to more. We have more to learn about all there is to Leavenworth, but so far, we are absolutely loving it!

Finding a house did prove fairly smooth. We did the research on-line and when Jeff came up right before the move, he looked around at what we had found on the websites. I had a favorite one just from the pictures we could see and it turned out that Jeff thought that was THE ONE. When he came to look at it, he knew right away that we would love it. We live on a street that is a feeder from the main street coming into town directly to the high school so it can get a good amount of traffic at times, but it is not too hectic. We have a great back yard that the kids enjoy everyday. Recently we began going over to the track and walking. That has been a fun activity for us! Tonight at the track, Adie and I walked around twice. However, Jo went three times. He practically ran all three laps! I was surprised to see that. Jeff did a little bit of that with him too. We also saw a deer just grazing on the grass about 100 ft away from us. It was beautiful. I couldn't help but just stand there and watch it for a while. Right in the middle of the city, deer hanging out. What a sight. The other day, Jo even saw one right next to our back fence! And it was quite possibly a young one, he mentioned white spots. That was quite an excitement for him! We have also found several nice parks to enjoy here in town. Today, the kids and I were invited to join a friend and her kids at a pool. She goes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I haven't taken them yet, I've been too nervous, but she said they have a great baby pool that is just fine. I think we might try that out this Friday. What fun! :)

Well, I had planned on writing much more. But seeing that the day is way over, time for bed, and I've written quite a lot (didn't mean to do that), I suppose this is a good stopping point. I will write part II another day. To answer the title real quick, I am the wife and mother in an amazing family. I have been blessed beyond my dreams and I just can't help to spend all my time talking about my family!
Blessings to all who read this and have a good night. Happy 4th of July!