Thursday, May 27, 2010

You Are Missed

Janice, you would have been 59 years old today. You've been gone for a year and a half now. Sometimes it feels like you've been gone for soooo long. Other times it feels like I should still be able to pick up my phone and call you. I have so much I want to tell you.

I have an endless amount of memories from the few short years I had the pleasure of calling you mom. Even though you went to see Jesus when my kids were quite young, they still both talk about you often. Every once in a while Leeann just bursts into tears and says, "I miss Mee Maw". Sometimes I do to.

I look at the amazing son you raised each day, and I am so grateful for your role in making him who he is. The lives of so many others are blessed beyond belief because of him--but especially the kids and me. You have also raised 3 other children who are strong and courageous, and constant sources of blessing to their own families and to so many others. I know I am blessed by each of them, and so are my husband and children.

Leeann and Titus are beginning to grow out of the last sets of clothes and shoes that you bought for them. They are outgrowing (or have broken) many of the toys and treasures you have gave them. The earthly things that remind me of you are becoming fewer and fewer with each passing year. But, the eternal legacy you leave in the lives of your kids, and grand kids, and someday great-grand kids will continue to live on.

I can't thank you enough for the great memories I had the pleasure of sharing with you. I only wish there were more. I wish I would have taken more pictures. I wish I had more of your voice recorded to listen to at times like these. I wish I had more 'things' to remind me of you. I wish I had taken more time to tell you how much I love you and how much you mean to me. But I take joy to think about the fact that there is a little piece of you in all of the people that surround me that I love so much. You aren't here, yet you are everywhere around me. You are so, very, very missed. I love you mom. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Update Central

This is set to be a post full of random updates. For no particular purpose I suppose...

Leeann has 13 days of school left until she's in 1st grade. If every year flies by as fast as this one she's gonna be graduating before I know it!

Titus has new glasses (finally) and talks about Lego Starwars ALL DAY LONG. His brain has one wave-length, and one wave-length only.

Our crossover was not covered under warranty and not only did we have to replace the power steering pump, but the back breaks as well. I miss those Uncle Ben's already.

I didn't leave anything in New Jersey, and I'm proud of myself for that! I finally finished posting about the rest of my trip. You can read about here if you'd like Real Life Pastor's Wife.

I am knee deep (and perhaps in over my head) in planning both VBS (4 short weeks away) and my 10 year class reunion (August 6th). And, on top of that I have this random inclination to totally make-over my world and how I function. I all of the sudden have an intense desire to spend days on end baking food from scratch and cooking to store food in my freezer. And I want to get myself on a cleaning schedule. And I want to deep clean every area of my house. And I suddenly want to organize and re-organize everything. And I really want to keep my eye-brows plucked. I made a list of things I want to do before summer starts and another list of things I want to do before summer ends. And like every other list I make (and I make them often), I now have no idea where it is and may never look at it again. But hey, at least I wrote it down, right?

Today is the last day of our Biggest Loser challenge at church. My final weigh-in leaves me down just over 4 pounds from my starting weight. It's not quite what I wanted, but given my recent lack of discipline I'm just happy to see that I'm not back at my starting weight. I have a goal of running a 5K by summer's end, so hopefully I'll shed a few more pounds in that process. But as for tonight, I'm making some of Pioneer Woman's salted carmel brownies for our small group party. I haven't stopped thinking about them since she posted them. So tonight... I'll make them... and eat them... and enjoy them immensely!

I still need to post about some recent events (or not so recent events), like our trip to Eastern Washington, Leeann's field trip, Rob and Titus's man trip, and last year's Christmas. And the Christmas before that come to think of it...

Why is it that I never manage to blog about Christmas? There's so much going on and no time to blog during that season. I'll put that on my, "Things to do before Summer end's list". If I can find it...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Today when Titus and I got home from walking Leeann to school he immediately asked to play Lego Starwars. I usually let him play for a little while once we get back, while I'm taking a shower or finishing getting ready for my day.

Well, today I told him he couldn't play right away because he spent so much time playing yesterday (the cousins came over for a little while so he'd gotten some extra-long play time). You should have seen the dejected look on his face!

He very sadly stuck his quivering bottom lip out and started to whimper as he lay face-down on the stairs. I sat next to him and encouraged him to play with some trains, cars or lego's. "But I want someone to play with me." he said through his tears. The look on his face was just so sad! I told him he should go pick out a book and he just continued to talk about how he just wanted someone to play with him!

Then all of the sudden I realized--Leeann will be in first grade next year. ALL DAY! That means that instead of needing to entertain Titus from the hours of 8:40-11:15 (relatively simple), I'll be needing to entertain him from 8:40-3:00.

I don't usually need to entertain him that much because he and Leeann play so well together. And, again, she's gone at school for relatively short periods of time. The thing that you need to understand about Titus is that he is an extrovert. He loves being around people. He might even make me look like an introvert in comparison, and that's saying something!

Take this moment in time for instance. He is sitting so close to me that he's practically sitting on me as I write this. He's holding his beary bear and he's just singing and talking to himself. Occasionally he'll ask me what certain buttons on the computer are for. Or he'll stick beary bear in my face and marvel at the fact that I can still type even though beary beary is covering my eyes. Right now he's singing his ABC's to his bear. The boy just wants to be near someone-- or playing Lego Starwars.

I have the feeling that I'm going to have to be super-prepared to keep this guy entertained (and keep me sane) while Leeann's in school full-time next year. Hopefully I'll be diligent enough to make the most of it though, because all too soon he'll be in school all day too, and I'll have to find something to do to entertain myself!

Monday, May 17, 2010

From Panic to Peace

A couple of things have happened to me recently that demonstrate the beauty of financial freedom. If you haven't yet read about my crazy love of Dave Ramsey's method of money management, read about it here.

Or here.

Or here.

Or here.

Maybe here.

Or, read this post.

Bored yet?

C'mon, this stuff is goooooood!

The first illustration is about Titus's glasses. Remember, the ones I broke. Well, as soon as that piece snapped off I almost panicked. Before 2 seconds had passed I quickly added up in my head the minimum cost of an eye exam and new glasses. A minimum of two Uncle Ben's... probably more.

My mind immediately shot to default mode. I worriedly thought to myself, "Can I fix it? Can I find a way to get him new glasses without updating his prescription (though it'd been 1.5 years and he really did need a new one)? Can they just fix that piece? Are there any other options I haven't thought of yet? Can I put this off? Can I sell something?..."

Then suddenly I remembered. I don't need to do any of those things. I have an emergency savings fund. Emergency savings funds are designed for things like this. (Panic begins to subside). Can you hear it? That's the beautiful sound of financial peace!

Then last night our crossover (part car, part mini-van, part wagon... it's hard to know what to call that thing) started to make a funny noise. This morning there was a small fluid leak. This evening there was a fluid gush. When I say gush, I mean HUGE gush. The liquid was everywhere underneath my whole vehicle. Yikes! It only has 44K miles on it... I'm not ready to do a major repair yet. Again, my default instinct is to panic. Luckily the nice guys at Jiffy Lube encouraged me to come in even though it meant them keeping the store open past it's regular hours for me. Since we'd just gotten our oil changed I was hoping they'd just forgotten to do something that they could easily (and without cost) fix.

I pulled into one of those "please don't let me drive my car into that hole and look like an idiot that can't drive' bays."

"I've got a steady red-fluid leak down here," calls the guy from down-under.

The guy up under the hood with the flashlight says, "It's everywhere. Whatever it is is all over everything."

And, before too long I heard words like transmission and power stearing pump. I'm not a mechanic, but I know those words. Those are expensive words.

Then the guy upstairs says, "The power steering pump is nearly impossible to get to in this thing." I know those are also expensive words. That means lots of labor. Suddenly these expensive words are turning into potentially really expensive words.

Those are the kinds of words that used to paralyze me. For so many years we lived with so little margin in our budget that it would take us eons to save enough for a major car repair. Or, more specifically, any time we'd managed to save anything note-worthy a car repair or medical expense wiped out any excess we had. It happened like clockwork. Seriously. Once the bank account went above a specific amount we could almost start counting down the days until the next catastrophe.

Back to today. The man at Jiffy Lube couldn't tell me how much the repair might cost. He said it might still be covered under warranty depending on the date the car was manufactured. It's a 2005 and has a 5 year warranty on these types of things as far as he could tell from the paper work in my glove compartment. So, as of tonight I still have no idea how many Uncle Ben's I might have to depart with on this one. Maybe none, maybe lots?

Either way, I don't have to panic. I am debt free and I have money in the bank for situations like these. Don't get me wrong, we are by no means ridiculously wealthy, nor do we have it all figured out. And a major car repair will still sting, but it won't paralyze us. We are an average family, on an average income, learning how to do as best we can with what God's trusted us with. It's times like these that I'm so grateful that we started working the baby steps to financial peace. I'm truly, truly reaping the benefits of our decision to follow the plan!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Her Voice

Leeann and I are doing some switcheroo-ing of clothes today. Out with the old and in with the new-to-us clothes that we are once again incredibly blessed with!

All of the sudden Leeann looked up through tears welling up in her eyes. "I don't remember what Mee Maw's voice sounds like anymore."

She is so missed...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010



Has anyone seen this boy? I miss him. I miss him so much! This was on our Valentine's Date when he was 14 months old. We started training him young to love Starbucks!

I can't wait to give him snuggles tomorrow. 27 hours!


I get to see my beautiful family TOMORROW! Oh, I miss them so much!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day and I'm 3,000 miles away from the two bundles of joy that made me a mom. I have thoroughly enjoyed being here, but I wish I could be in two places at once! I'm a little sad today. Not so much because it's Mother's Day, but more so because I've been away from them for a week. A couple of days away was good, to be honest. We're now entering the "too long" away category.

Tomorrow will be a fun day though. I'll get to see the big NYC sites like Ground Zero, Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building, Central Park and Grand Central Station. Oooo, and I get to go to the American Girl store! I so badly want to buy Leeann a Samantha doll from there... but it's not exactly in the vacation budget. Seriously, they're like $90 each. For a doll! Still though, I'm excited to experience the store. Hopefully I can find something a little closer to my budget to bring back from there.

If you want to see pictures and hear details about my trip you can hop over to my other blog. 

Friday, May 07, 2010


Somebody was being careless.

Somebody was twirling these glasses around in their hands. 

Somebody was fiddling with them as if they were a child's plaything.

Somebody was not paying attention. 

Somebody made a very expensive mistake (seeing as we no longer have eye insurance).

Hopefully somebody learned their lesson about how to treat glasses. 

Because these ones can't be fixed. 

Somebody is very sorry. 

That somebody is me. Whoops!

Titus got these glasses when he just turned 3. He's had them 1.5 years without breaking them or losing them. He asked me to clean them the other day and I was talking to a group of ladies just twirling them around in my hand and 'playing' with them. His ear piece just snapped right off! I'm telling you, I was not being unnecessarily rough with them!

So now he's been without glasses for a week because his are special order glasses. Really, he needed to get a new exam anyway. The frugal side of me was just waiting until these ones broke or got lost. It took longer than I thought it would. I just always assumed it would be my crazy 4 year-old son that would break them. Everybody keeps asking him where his glasses are and he get's to say, "Mommy broke them!"

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A new blog for a new adventure

I started a new blog a couple of months ago, and I'm now ready for it's unveiling. It's a work in progress, but it's something I plan to keep up with.

I've struggled for a long time about how much this blog should be about me verses about our family. There are some things that I'd like to share that just don't seem to fit here. So, I'm making a distinction. Robyn's Nest will be about our family. I will focus here on pictures, memories and stories I want to preserve for our family.

I will use my new blog to share stories about me and my life. I hope to make it a little more personal. More about me and less about my cute kiddos. That way this site won't get clogged with things like 18 posts in a row about my love for The Pioneer Woman. So, if you are interested in the Robyn part of Robyn's Nest, I'd like to encourage you to hop on over and take a peek.

Real Life Pastor's Wife

This is where I'll be posting my updates about my East Coast Adventure. After all, this trip is pretty much... about me! It sounds so selfish, but it's true!

Monday, May 03, 2010

New Jersey

I just wanted to let you all know that I made it to New Jersey safe and sound. That's all I got for now it's like 1:30 in the morning here! I'll give lots more updates tomorrow as it's just a down day for me.

Flying Out

I'm leaving my home here shortly for a crazy adventure. I will fall asleep on the East Coast today, somewhere in the crazy land of New Jersey. Until 3 weeks ago, I wasn't quite sure where New Jersey was!

As of now, I'm all (well, mostly) packed and ready to go. My friend, SaraJane will pick me up this evening we'll start our East Coast Adventure. I still can't believe I'm actually going! Oh man, I'm going to miss my kids like crazy. Like crazy I tell ya! Titus is sitting right next to me and I already miss him!

Speaking of, I must get off of here and tend to the important things, like packing snacks and cuddling my amazingly sweet, wonderful, funny, silly, handsome little son. Don't worry, Leeann got lots of cuddles before she left for school this morning too. Yup, I miss her already. I'll update the blog world tomorrow, and hopefully include some pictures from my adventures!