February 25, 2009

Let The Fun Begin

I currently go to a Baptist church.  If someone happens to ask me what denomination I am, I always cringe a little because I'm not sure what to say.  I go to a Baptist church, I don't necessarily consider myself to be a Baptist.  

Growing up we went to many different kinds of churches.  You name it, I've seen it.....except anything involving snakes.  We went to Baptist, Assembly of God, Presbyterian, Vineyard, Non-Denominational.......we were all over the place.  Our family never had a denominational "label", something many find somewhat disconcerting.

I love my church.  It is where God put us, but you better believe that if He wanted to uproot us tomorrow and send us to a Methodist church, we would go.  Please do not misunderstand me, I am not bashing any denomination.  I just know that God can teach me and use me in any Bible believing church He wants me to attend.  There are many aspects of a Baptist church that drive me crazy, and there are many aspects about me that drive a traditional Baptist crazy!  That's ok, as long as it doesn't cause dissension among believers.

All that to say,  I am stepping outside the Baptist box and am observing Lent this year.  I never have, but have always wanted to.  I even did research on it to make sure I understood the purpose and background behind it.  It represents the 40 days Jesus wandered in the desert facing unbelievable temptation from satan just prior to His death.  There is an incredible amount of history and belief surrounding Lent, but for me, it has become about sacrificing something I often prioritize above God Himself to place my entire focus on the gift of eternal life Jesus gave me through His death and resurrection.

After much deliberation, I decided to give up sweets.  I LOVE sweets - of all kinds.  Candy, ice cream, bakery cake - oh I do love me some bakery cake with buttercream frosting, cookies, etc. I get excited about eating sweets.......my marriage has suffered at times because of a promise that we'll "Split a dessert" just to be told by a certain someone (named Scot) at the end of the meal that he is "Too full for dessert, but you can still get one if you want to."  Which I don't because everyone in the kitchen will talk about me so I huff and puff my way out of the restaurant because Scot's "fullness" robbed me of my dessert option........I'm telling you, sweets make me downright delusional!

It is not going to be easy, in fact, it's probably going to get downright ugly at times.  My goal is to be reminded every time my sweet tooth rears its ugly head, that my sacrifice pales tremendously in comparison with the sacrifice Jesus made on my behalf.   I know I'll be a better person for going through it......I'll be healthier in every way.  I would also like to give up about 3 pairs of very comfortable sweats I've been wearing all winter - I'm hopeful the two will go hand in hand.  

February 22, 2009

The Magic Ring

G recently came home telling me that he had to write a composition and that his was the teacher's favorite.  I was skeptical because spelling and overall completing of a writing assignment are not G's forte, but I was excited for him and asked what he wrote about.

He told me that the whole class was supposed to write a paper on a "Magic Ring".  N, my 8 year old, just recently finished reading The Hobbit and is currently working his way, slowly, through the Lord of the Rings series.  Naturally I assumed G wrote a mystical story about a Magic Ring since that has been the theme around here lately.

"I wrote about your's and dad's wedding rings."

I was honestly in shock.  Amazed that he was able to think so outside the box to come up with the concept and touched that in his 10 year old way, he does not take his parent's marriage for granted.

Honestly, I wish our wedding rings were magical.  How fun would that be?  I could aim my magic ring at Scot and force him to do all sorts of things.  Stop snoring, clean up after himself, be a little more impulsive, demand I buy more shoes, etc.  I have no doubt AT ALL that he has a very long list of things he wishes his magic ring could change in me.  

It has been 13 years since we exchanged rings and it has not always been an easy road to travel - not very magical. We have fought, I have wanted to leave on more than one occasion.  We had to learn the hard way how to communicate and have had long periods of being out of sync.  That is our reality. 

Our reality is also that we made up and I didn't leave.  We did learn how to communicate and we became a team again.  We have made the decision to "Do Life" together with God being in control and our boys by our side.  

Are our rings magical?  No

But seeing evidence of our hard work through the eyes of our son.......that is magical. 

February 19, 2009

Tattle Tale

Last night I settled in on the couch upstairs with the boys to watch American Idol.  They had both just had bowls of ice cream - I did not join them becaues I'm in a constant battle with about 20 pounds and I happened to be having a strong moment.  I take advantage of those every chance I get.

I did, however, grab 2 Hersheys Miniatures as a treat thinking it was the lesser of two evils.  G watched me while I unwrapped one (I was determined to suck on the chocolate and not devour it so it would last a long, long, long time resulting in my forgetting the cartons of yummy, luscious ice cream downstairs........but I digress).  He then asked, "Are you on a diet or something?  I don't think you need to diet!"  

Yes, I am now taking applications for this sweet boy to marry your daughter someday.....he'll make a fine husband.

Then N popped in with "Don't get too carried away.  I don't want you to have chicken legs." Sorry, baby, Mama would LOVE me some chicken legs right about now......the figurative ones.  I don't eat meat that is still wrapped around a bone.......again, I digress.  

I wasn't sure how to respond.  You see, I'm in the midst of a major cleaning/re-organizing of our office area.  My mom kicked my hiney into gear with this project that has been hanging over my head for more than a year now.  In the process, I've been sorting through all the artwork and collectibles I've gathered from the boys.  I got completely lost in reminiscing about when they were little.....then I asked Scot if we could have another baby......he said no, but upped the ante from a hamster to a guinea pig!  

I came across many preschool projects from both boys where the teacher had them fill in the blanks about me.  You know, the project that we would like a little notice about so we can coach our kids.

"Now baby, when the teacher asks what Mommy's favorite food is, you say SALAD."
"Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT say margaritas or else you will have to go live with another
Mommy and Daddy who will make you eat asparagus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner."

One time, the "survey" actually asked G what his Mommy did when she was mad.  He said that I "go lay down on my bed", which, all things considered, wasn't as bad as it could have been!  I mean, what were they trying to do??  Is this a new screening process for CPS intervention??

So when faced with the diet issue last night, I knew that any response from me could end up in some kind of composition - 4th grade style.  So I said nothing, because honestly?  I still haven't recovered from my complete humiliation from this precious 5 year old Mommy survey.

Besides being special because "she loves me" and having my favorite food be "honey", apparently I am VERY GOOD at "pooting very smelly".    G's preschool career ended with this survery and I spent the rest of the Spring Cleaning my house because that's my favorite thing to do.

February 17, 2009

Looking Out

On my way to bed last night, I passed by the dining room and this is what I saw.  This is where G was sitting yesterday, unbeknownst to me, watching his friends all play outside.  It broke my heart a little bit...........he's been good about his limited activity because of his surgery and my fear that his ear could fall off.  

Do any of you ever feel this way?  That you are sitting by watching the world go on without you?  I many times feel like I'm on the inside looking out, fearful of what might happen if I leave my comfort zone.  But maybe that's just me.

February 16, 2009

Valentine's with Spicy Garlic Sauce

As you all know by now, my Valentine was nowhere near on V Day.  I think he was in Australia throwing some shrimp on the barbie, matey.  Actually, probably not, but I've always wanted an excuse to say that!

What do a weary mom, a rescuing grandmother, a 10 year old boy with an ear hanging on by a thread, and an 8 year old that has gotten away with who knows what while we've been distracted by older brother......do on Valentine's Day??

Go see Pink Panther 2 (boring with some very inappropriate inuendos for a PG rating) and then out to Buffalo Wild Wings to eat and watch Basketball.  No wait at all!  I guess not many men are willing to take their lives into their hands by recommending a glorified sports bar for Valentine's Day dinner.  For us??  It was perfect!

February 13, 2009

Miss Independent

I have learned some major lessons this last week.  First of all, if my pediatrician tells me that I may want to have something checked out in regards to my boy's health, I will do a better job of listening to him.  G and N can breathe a big sigh of relief....there will be a little less "Rub some dirt on it" around here.

Secondly, I'm not going to rob people any more.  I bet you didn't know that about me.....many of you may think twice before having me to your home.  "Baby, hide the china!!  Keri is on her way over!!"

I am the oldest of 5 kids and very much played the part.  I put myself through undergrad and grad school.  I married a man who has traveled extensively with every job since we were married.  I have listed and sold two homes by myself after my husband has already moved on to the next location (that REALLY went over well around here).  I am independent to a fault.

When the surgery thing was becoming a reality, I had some very sweet friends offer to help.  I told them "no"....I can handle it!  My mom offered to fly out...."No".  My husband offered to postpone his trip......"No".  I am woman - hear me roar!!  

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love nothing more than being a rescuer.  If you happen to be in any trouble, I throw the portable siren on my car and off I go.  I love swooping in to save the day.....my red and zebra print superhero cape is being altered right now, or I would show you a picture.  

I have learned this past week, that by telling everyone "No", I am robbing them of the opportunity and joy of being a rescuer.  I know personally the joy I get when I feel that I have helped out a friend in need, so that really hit home for me.  

Then I began to wonder how many times I've done the same thing to God.  He is there, waiting for me to ask Him to rescue me and Little Miss Independent over here is too stubborn to ask.  I am robbing Him of the opportunity to display His might in my life.  He's not going to force Himself on me......He will wait patiently until I realize I can't do it all myself and then He will take the situation and pour His grace and mercy all over it.  

So, I'm turning over a new leaf.  Rescue away..........this Miss Independent is going to become Miss Dependent on The One that is much better at being in control than I am.  

February 11, 2009

The Newest Fashion Trend

Oh, yeah.  We are rockin' the new head gear.  Looks like a cross between half a Princess Leah headpiece and a jock strap......sorry folks, I have boys which means we all tumble into immaturity at times and flat out think things like jock straps are really funny.

As you can see, my child that had his ear practically cut off, a drill through a bone, two other bones removed, and a titanium plate put in, looks like nothing at all happened to him today.  

I think my husband is in worse shape than any of the rest of us.  He has called all day which makes me wonder exactly when he is sleeping.  He is itching for me to tell him to come home.....he had bought a stuffed bear with G before he left on this trip and sprayed some of his cologne on it so when G woke up from surgery, he would have something to hold to remind him of his dad.  I'm thinking we should have gotten Scot a bear, rolled it in some dirt and nasty smelling football gear to remind him of G.  

I had two wonderful friends with me all day.....Joy and Dana.  They kept me entertained, patted my knee when it looked like I was going to lose it (a hug would have done me in), and provided food for this tired mama.  I will never be able to thank either one of these ladies enough for just being there for me.  I love you guys!!

One more thing......I specifically asked the doctor if G had had the surgery a year ago, would it have been less severe than it was today.  His answer??  Absolutely not.  Apparently this mass has been growing since birth and one year would not have made a difference.  I could feel the guilt rolling away........thank you Jesus!!

Update on G

We are home from surgery.  It took over 3 hours to complete and I was starting to get a little nervous.  The mass was much larger than expected and the doctor had to go through the mastoid bone to get to it.  It had corroded two of the three bones used for hearing so they had to be removed and replaced with titanium.  They don't know if this will result in a hearing loss or not, we'll have to wait a couple of months to find out.  They also don't know if they got the entire mass so we have a CT scan in our future to determine that.  

Right now G is sporting super cool head gear complete with stickers the nurse put on there.  I have lots of bloody cotton and incision fun in my near future.  

I was OVERWHELMED with the amount of texts, emails, and phone calls.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine such an outpouring of love.  Thank you all so much.   I will update more later!

February 10, 2009

The Award For Bad Mother Of The Year Goes To...........

Me!!!  Thank you, thank you........thank you so much!!  I would like to take just a moment to thank a few people.  

My dear Laziness, thank you so much for enabling me to sit around on my hiney and do nothing.  I would write you a thank- you note or even call you, but I just don't feel like it today.

Oh, and Procrastination, what would I do without you?  We'll get back to that another day. 
Pride, it is because of you I know everything......absolutely everything there is to know about kids and how to raise them.  

Wait, wait!!  Don't start the music yet....I still have one more person to thank.  

My dear Selfishness, is it me or is it always about me?  It is all about me.......me, me, me, me, me!  

I wouldn't be here without all of you pitching in to make me who I am today.  I accept this award on behalf of all of you.

Crazy, right??  Not so much.  When G turned 9 I took him in for his well child visit.  The doctor told me that he has a bump near his ear drum that I should have an ENT look at.  Did I do that? Oh, no.........I did nothing, absolutely nothing for an entire year.  I have always had some pride in the fact that I am not an "alarmist".  This comes in handy when you  have 2 active boys......it takes blood or protruding bones to get me worked up.  I'm a "Rub some dirt on it and keep moving" kind of a mom.  Not something I'm very proud of right now.

When we went for G's 10 year visit, the doctor mentioned to me that it was still there.  I was surprised, I'd assumed it would have gone away by now.  I went ahead and made an appt with the ENT and when we were there we quickly found out that this wasn't a "nothing".  The next day we were at a specialist in the Medical Center with the news that G has a cholesteatoma which is essentially a mass that will continue to grow until it is removed.  Best case scenario, an incision behind his ear and an easy removal........in other words, it would have been VERY handy if this had happened A YEAR AGO!!!  Worst case scenario, the mass had already wrapped itself around his ossicular bones behind his ear drum and they will have to be removed to be replaced with titanium.

Tomorrow he goes in for surgery at 7 a.m.  My husband is out of the country right now and is completely torn up about not being here, but he knew we needed to get this done sooner rather than later.  I don't know who exactly reads this blog, but if you would pray for all of us, I sure would appreciate it.  I won't know until the surgery begins what we are facing and I am not a girl that likes surprises.  I am a girl that can't help but feel that she let her little boy down. There is noone else who will watch out for these boys like I will and I sure don't want G to suffer the consequences of me not doing my job.  

I am focusing on a Father that never let's His children down and will always do what's best for us.  Please grant me peace, Lord, guide the surgeon's hands and provide a quick healing for your little boy.

February 07, 2009


Plants and I do not get along.  At all.  Every couple of years or so I get inspired and try my hand at planting flowers......I handle them gently, speak softly to them, give them all the food and water they need and they still die.  It is a conspiracy..........another check on my "I Will Never Be Martha Stewart" checklist.  Right next to the check for ironing linens, regularly using lemon zest, and making handmade bows.  Don't do any of that.  Apparently gardening is not one of my spiritual gifts.

For some reason after taking the boys to the bus and walking the overweight dog yesterday, I decided that I needed to prune back some plants in our backyard that a landscaping company planted for us (that's why they're still alive).  I searched in the garage for some clippers and I went to town.  They almost looked like tumbleweeds - all the brown stems and leaves.  I could hardly see the base of the plants.  Throw in a bunch of weeds and it was an official mess.  I just started cutting at anything I could see.  When it was all said and done, this is what I had left.     
I stepped back and started wondering if I had gone too far.  If I had completely ruined these sweet plants that grow beautiful yellow flowers.

Then I started thinking.  As Christians, we read in God's word about pruning.  Cutting out of our lives those things that keep us from bearing fruit.  How often do I look at my life, see no fruit but see a bunch of brown stems and weeds, and just start chopping away at an attempt to "prune".  I chop out service at my church that appears unproductive, I chop out volunteering because it makes me tired, I chop out Bible study because it's on my day off.  Before I know it, my attempt to prune in order to produce fruit has turned into chopping off the part of the plant that produced the most.   I completely mistook a vital part of the plant for a weed.

I am going to be more careful next time I go through a "pruning season" in my life.  I will do more research by reading God's word so I can easily distinguish between what stays and what goes.  I will be open to the fact that just because a branch is not producing, does not mean it has died, it may just be soaking up the nutrients it needs to be beautiful.  

For now, I am going to pray that my little plants I butchered will survive my attempt at gardening  and that come Spring, I will once again see flowers.

The one smart thing I did?  Wait for the boys to get home and offer them and their friends $2 to clean up the mess I made.  Take that Martha Stewart!!

February 05, 2009

Pick Me

Update:  So I navigated around until I found the official site for the Compassion Blogger trips.  You aren't even supposed to register your name unless your blog gets 30,000 hits a month.  Hmmmmm.........let's see.  That means I would have to find over 1,000 people a day and insist they sit and read my very random thoughts.  I'll start campaigning 6 months early next time.....anyone volunteer to make posters??

It has been a long time since I've been in a situation where I wanted to be "picked" for something. When you get to be my age with kids, there are not many situations that have multiple 30 something moms toting posters trying to win votes.  We even had to talk the two girls that serve as PTO presidents at our school into doing the job.  

Ok, well, I'm kind of telling a fib here.  Last year when I submitted an application to volunteer with Living Proof Ministries (Beth Moore's ministry), I unashamedly begged God for the opportunity.  When I got a call from them, you would have thought I just found out I was nominated for an Oscar I was so excited.  It has been a HUGE blessing in my life - every Monday morning I'm there filling orders for books and Bible studies for hundreds of women.  I love every minute of it.....and no, Beth and I are not BFFs, but it's just a matter of time!  

This morning I was surfing my blog favorites and read Angie's blog from Bring the Rain. Apparently Compassion International is sponsoring a trip to India for a handful of bloggers. Angie was asked to go along with some others.  All of a sudden I turned into a 16 year old again as I sat here and read all about the trip thinking "I want to go" - except you have to add a good 16 year old whine to that.  I went to the link to find out that over 800 "bloggers" seem to feel the same way I do.  

I know some of you are thinking, India??  Really??  Did you people read the story about the baby bunny named Buddy?  I am a girl that is really wanting something to nurture right about now and for some reason the idea of going to India to do mission work and being able to write about it very much appeals to me (more than a hamster does for sure).  My husband travels the world for his job. My sister lives in Jerusalem and travels the area with short-term groups teaching them.  My baby sister has dug wells in Nicaragua and is going to Mexico to do mission work next month. My mom has been to India and Uganda with Compassion International to visit kids she has sponsored.  It's in my blood.......

So I filled in the short application and pressed Send knowing that the deadline has probably already passed me by and knowing that there is not much of a chance I would be chosen.  But I also know that I serve a God that is amazing and does all kinds of cool things to bring glory to Himself, so if for some reason this is my time, I'll get to go.  It has certainly got me thinking about stepping up and expanding my borders.  Better update my passport!

February 03, 2009


Not even an hour after posting about our new family member, I went to spend some quality snuggle time with him to find that Buddy the Bunny has passed away.

I picked him up and ran into my husband.  He was so wonderful as he put down his computer and immediately took the bunny and started rubbing him and talking to him to see if he was really gone.  I was crying and Scot went and buried him in our backyard.  I cried all night long feeling so sad that I was not able to save that little guy.  I told Scot that maybe I needed to have another baby.......he suggested we get a hamster.

We told the boys this morning.  Scot took them out to show them where Buddy was buried and G looked at us with tears running down his face and said, "I'm just so sad that he never got to open his eyes to see this beautiful world."  Good grief!!  That one set me off again!

Then we took them out for donuts before school and everything was all better.

So today I'm sporting puffy eyes, sackcloth, and ashes in mourning for a little baby rabbit that managed to turn our world upside down.

February 02, 2009

Our New Addition

Saturday I was minding my own business with my nose burried in a book......one of my favorite things in the whole world.  Anyways, the back door slams open and N announces that he has something that I just have to see.  I acknowledge this announcement with barely a sound, because this is really nothing new.  Typically it's some new move he's come up with on his rip stick, or a cool looking rock, or a new injury of some kind.  

He yells again, "MOM!!".  I grudgingly got up from the chair to see what he had for me.  He had his two hands cupped together and already I've got chills running up and down my spine. Hands cupped together means he's trying to keep something from escaping.  Something small.....something he found outside.....something undoubtedly with more legs than me.  Lord Jesus, please help me not to scream.....or faint....or beat the creature to death with my just read (and therefore sacrificial)  People magazine while my son is standing right there.

He slowly opens his hand to show me some pathetic little creature I thought was a baby mouse.  Our neighbor had found its nest in his yard.  N looks up at me and utters the killer 4 words every mother dreads to hear:
"I've already named him."

Oh great!!!  I fast forward 20 years when we are around the dining table at Thanksgiving with both my boys and their wonderful wives who insist on spending every holiday with me (it's my dream, right??).  I know N will tell this story with one of two endings.

A.   "I showed my mom the baby and she looked at it with disdain and ordered me to immediately take it outside and let nature run its course.  I've never forgiven her for having so little regard for baby animals......I wonder to this day whatever happened to that sweet bunny I named Buddy."
Then my daughter-in-law will look at me in horror and my visitation with all future grandchildren will be miniscule.


B.  "I showed my mom the baby and she looked at it and immediately took it into her hands while searching for a safe, warm place to put it.  Mom and Dad proceeded to read articles on the internet about orphaned bunnies and ran out to get Goats milk and the tiniest eye dropper they could find to feed it.  The first night my mom got up in the middle of the night twice to feed the bunny before she read that they eat only twice a day (SCORE!!).  Mom and Dad both warned me that the baby might not live without its mommy, but they loved and cared for the bunny as best they could."
Then my daughter-in-law will look at me with awe wondering how in the world her children were lucky enough to have a grandmother like me.  She will be determined to let them spend as much time as possible with this loving, caring, nuturing grandmother.

So, in the interest of this generation of Jenkins boys and those to come, we now have a new member of the family who has managed to survive 48 hours with us.  Am I getting attached?  Let's see, if wrapping it up in something warm after he eats and having him snuggle with me while I watch TV, or cooing over him when he does a good job eating, or showing the boys how well he did going potty means I've bonded.......than yes, I've fallen head over heals for this little creature that has everything going against it.

Like every new mother, let me show you some pictures.......

Isn't he cute??  Honestly, do you think he has my nose?

February 01, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

I LOVE Superbowl Sunday.  It's a bittersweet day for football fans across the world - it is the last day of football for 7-8 months, but it's a fun game with lots of hype surrounding it.  

At our house we do prefer college football over pro ball, this is Texas after all where there are many schools that provide long hours of football entertainment.  (UT was robbed this year....I'm just saying........).  Scot went to A&M for undergrad and UT for his MBA.  Our boys are divided with N being a die hard Aggie and G a die hard Longhorn (orange looks great on him with his hair).  I went to Baylor and the only recognition I got this year was when the Bears almost upset Tech.  The 4 of us were front and center for the College National Championship game and we cheered Florida on to victory.  

In preparation for the Superbowl, we had a family meeting over dinner one night this week to decide which team we would be cheering for.  After some discussion, the Jenkins decided to pull for the Arizona Cardinals.  Why??  Scot does not want the Steelers to be the first team with 6 Superbowl victories, we love Kurt Warner's story, and I am a sucker for the underdog.  Those are good reasons, right?

In a couple of hours we are going to a Superbowl party with the chips and dip I signed up to bring.  I will forego the fun conversations in the kitchen with my girlfriends in order to watch the game, and the commercials, and the half-time show.  I can already hear Born in the USA being belted out now, can't you??  I will cheer for the Cardinals as if I've been a fan for years and I'll hold my husband as he weeps when another football season officially comes to a close. 

I will be strong.

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