Sunday, June 27, 2010

June Bride

Our friends Don and Chrissy asked if I would take pictures at their wedding. I of course could not pass it up!
I have to say that their wedding was one of the most beautiful outdoor weddings I ever attended. It was a wonderful ceremony. I was so blessed to be able to witness the union of these two special people! I only wish that Josh had been with me. It is no fun going to a wedding where people are pledging their love to each other, and your love is far away. :(
Josh was away at the Big Ticket festival in Gaylord, MI sharing with people about New Tribes Mission. He said they had a lot of people interested. It makes me so excited to think about the possible new students coming because of what they heard at the festival. The team of people that went up there did great!
He is back now, and I am glad. :)
Here are just a couple shots from the wedding.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Spaghetti Salad

When I was a little girl, my Aunt Suzanne would bring this wonderful salad to potlucks we would has as a family. It was a favorite of mine. I called my mom to ask for the recipe (which she had!). I quickly realized my grocer did not have all the stuff I needed for the salad, so I decided to recreate it. It turned out great! So, if you would like to try a yummy spaghetti salad, here is the one. Why not make it for your next potluck?
Summer Spaghetti salad
16oz of spaghetti noodles, cooked and rinsed until cold
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
1 c. Italian salad dressing (I used Wishbone)
1/4 T garlic salt
1/4 T sesame seeds
1/4 T poppy seeds
1/2 T red pepper
1/2 T fresh ground black pepper
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Mix all into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to eat. Yum! Yum!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Just one year ago...

How about this little cutie?! I found this picture hidden with others from a year ago, and couldn't resist sharing it... -Joshua
Tamara and Leah Jackson in Waukesha, WI Spring 2009
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Can 30 Really Be Here?

Today is my 30th birthday. I find that so hard to say.
It's not like I think thirty is old or anything. The majority of my friends are a good ten to fifteen years older than me, and I know that they are not old, so thirty can't be old.
I am going to admit it. I am having a hard time turning thirty. I used to think that getting older was the stupidest thing to get upset about. "Who cares how old you are?" I'd say to myself. I mean, what is the significance of a number?
But, now I'm thirty. Not my best friend. Not my neighbor. Not my old classmates. Me.
I think the biggest problem with this thought is that I figured I would be so different at thirty than I am now. I thought I would be living in a different country, speak another language fluently, have four kids, learned to play an instrument proficiently, not struggling with the same health issues that plagued me ten years ago, be more confident in my mothering skills, finally be brave.
My biggest problem with thirty is that it didn't change who I was. It didn't turn me magically into this bright, beautiful, has-it-all-together woman. I guess the most discouraging part is now that I am thirty, I am realizing that person will never exist. I will always have faults (I know, hard to believe), I will always have room for improvement, I will never be able to say "I have arrived!".
But, isn't that a good thing? I think that if I have "arrived" at thirty, then what would be the point of thirty one, or forty one, or one hundred and one?
So, here I am. I am a thirty year old woman who is still to afraid to learn to ride a motorcycle, or jump off a cliff into a lake, or if we are being really get a car wash.
I can also say I am a thirty year old woman who has known Jesus as her Savior for twenty three years. I have been married for almost ten years to a man who I am more in love with now than ever. I have three of the most amazing girls that God ever created as my daughters. I love my ministry with New Tribes Mission. I love my church. I have some of the best friends any gal could ever have.
Yeah. Thirty isn't all that bad. I mean, it's not like I'm thirty one...
My twin sister and I. Happy thirtieth to you too, Tomesia!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Budding" Artist

We went down to Ohio for Memorial day weekend and visited with Josh's parents and extended family.
What a gorgeous weekend it was! Their yard was in full bloom, and Emma just couldn't resist trying to draw some of the new flora. Her Momma couldn't resist watching her work. She looked so cute out there by the roadside, trying to figure out how to draw different flowers.
She used to always ask me to draw something for her. I would answer "You try it first". Now she is learning she is better than she once thought. I love that she loves to draw. It is so neat to see your children grow in their gifts and abilities. I am also happy to see she shares my love of flowers. :)

I am spying on her. :)

She still hasn't seen me yet. :)

Working hard at her artwork.

Give your Mommy a smile. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

I have been wanting to tell you all about the fun time we have been having, but when Josie's health concern popped up, it seemed to be the only thing on my mind.
She is doing okay. She had another "episode" last night. It lasted about a minute and a half. She has had about three days feeling amazing, and then she was just sitting in the back of the van, during one of our Sunday drives, and her little heart just started racing. I am praying that on the 21st when they do the 24 hour monitor, that she will have an episode and we can have it recorded. But, until then we will just wait, and while we wait, I will share with you all the fun we've been having!
A couple weeks ago we went to a baseball game. Emma's school sold tickets again this year, and we went to see the Lansing Lugnuts play. This time we took the whole family, and got to sit with our friends the Troyers, Gilleys, and Carraways. As it turns out, my parents went to the same game with their church group. They were in the section right next to us, so we saw tons of friends! It was great!
The game turned out to be a double header because the night before they had a game get rained out. It was fun, but a little longer than our girls could handle. The games were pretty uneventful, so we decided to leave early.
We apparently left about a minute too early! From the time we left the park and walked to our car, my dad called. Emma's name was on the screen. She won a baseball! Then our friend Clint called. Some lady had just gotten hit in the face with a pop up that was right in our section (poor lady!!), then Keisa texted. Clint caught a fly ball for her sons. Crazy that all of that excitement happened after we left! I am kind of glad I didn't see the lady get hurt. I am sure that would have turned into a mini phobia for me.
All in all, it was a nice day. The girls may be a little young to sit through a double header, but now we know. :)

This was Addie's first baseball game!

We are very excited to be there!

Can you tell?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Okay, okay. I'll stop with the Bonnie Tyler songs already. :)
Today was Josie's appointment with the pediatric cardiologist. We are so thankful he could see us today! He decided that she needed to have the 24 hour monitor done, and she is scheduled for the 21st for that. Luckily this is something she can take and wear at home. No hospitalization needed. I think the more regular things are, the better.
In the meantime, if another episode happens again, we need to book it to the ER. He said he just needs to see (a recording of) what's happening when it is racing. If we go to the ER and it stops, just go home. I kind of liked the sound of that! :)
I just wanted to thank you all for your fervent prayers for our little Jozo. It's a scary thing when something goes wrong with your child, and even scarier when it is something we can't see. Your prayers and support have helped make an uneasy time bearable. Thank you!
Josh and Josie at a baseball game. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's a Heartache...

Josie had an appointment this morning with her doctor. They agreed with the ER that she should see a pediatric cardiologist. There is no pediatric cardiologist in our town. The closest place would be at the U of M. We found out today that they don't take our insurance provider, so that was out. My doctor then mentioned that there was a pediatric cardiologist that comes to town once a month, and she said she would give them a call. Sure enough, this doctor does accept our insurance, and he just happened to be coming to town tomorrow, and he just happened to have an appointment available at 11:30!!! Praise God as He has gone before us, even in the little details. :)
They scheduled an echo, and a 24 monitor (like an ekg that she can walk around with), but we learned that our insurance would not allow that either until the cardiologist ordered it. Josie's doctor was just trying to get it all done before the appointment so the cardiologist would have more to look at.
So it's a waiting game, and I am okay with that. Josie is her regular old self (besides being really tired) and is just glad she didn't get poked today. :)
Somebody is starting to get freckles! Can you spot them?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Beat Goes On...

Today started out as any other. Emma is off to school, and I get Josie and Addie dressed and eating breakfast, so I can get ready myself. That is where the normal ends for the day.
This morning Josie called out to me while she was eating breakfast that her chest hurt. I called her over and her little heart was pounding out of her chest. I couldn't think how that happened. She wasn't running around. She was just sitting next to her little sister, eating her bowl of rice chex.
She felt better after a minute, so I thought nothing of it. Today was to be a good day. Today was play group day! I think I look forward to Tuesdays as much (if not more) than my kids because I have a morning to be with my dear sisters in Christ, encouraging each other, praying for each other, and generally just having a good time! Today was an even more special Tuesday because the group was meeting at one of my friend's house for a picnic lunch. After a couple hours there, we get in the car to go home. I ask Josie how she is doing. She mentioned she had another "fast beating" as she calls it while we were there. I thought I should find somewhere and pull over to call the doctor because we were already on that side of town. As I pulled in, she is clutching her chest, saying her head hurts, and her arm too! So as I recover from a mini freak out moment, I grab my cell and call the office. They couldn't see her because they were booked so they told me to call another office. They could not see her either, but strongly suggested we go to the urgent care clinic.
When we got there, they gave her an ekg. After reading the test, they determined she was having premature atrial contractions (or PAC), and they sent us to the ER.
After a couple of very uncomfortable hours there (having blood work done, and I.V. in, and x-ray of her chest and stomach and another ekg) the doctors determined that she would be okay. The PAC would be something she could go her whole life and not even know she had it. Josie however, had a huge gas bubble in her tummy that was pressing on her vagus nerve, and it caused her heart to race. I couldn't believe all of this was happening because she had to burp!
When we left, they told us to call our doctor (which will be done first thing tomorrow!) and they will determine if we need to follow up with a pediatric cardiologist to check on her extra lub in her lub dub (as Josh calls it.) :)
Today as I was cuddled up with Josie in my lap, I just was overwhelmed with what a miracle our human bodies are. Just the complicated workings of the heart alone are so awesome. I was doing really well until I got home tonight. As they were going to bed, I let the worry and stress of the situation get the best of me. What if it was something worse? What if she didn't get to come home with us? I can't let those thoughts get to me. Worry can tear you apart and jump all over the pieces if you let the "what ifs" keep coming.
Josie got a lot of extra squeezes and smooches tonight. She just might wake in the morning to find her mommy cuddled in bed with her too.
My silly, sweet Josephine. I thank God for this precious gift!