Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Help is on the way!!!

Do you ever doubt yourself? You know, those creeping thoughts that make you wonder if you are doing the right thing...surely someone else could do it better....I'm not you ever have those thoughts? Well, I have been having these thoughts for some time when it comes to some of our schooling. I am thankful that when it occurs, God usually shows me what is true right away and He always sends me down the path I need to get the assistance for the situation at hand. For example, last year I knew I had taken on more than I could swallow teaching the middle school Chemistry class when I saw a couple of the lessons. I had to stop the negative speech and ask for help. So I asked my dad, a retired chemist, to come in and teach with me. He did great! The kids loved him and I felt great knowing they understood the material!

My dad looking too cute in his lab coat talking to the kids.

My recent issue involves some struggles in learning with one of my girls. She just has never been able to catch on quickly in some areas and it worries me some. We have a lady at our co-op that is a trained dyslexic tutor and she has worked with her to the point my girl can read very well, but her writing is something that causes me to start that doubting junk in my head. I hate that that is where my head goes. Why do I allow that trash in my head? I know that God has called me to do this job at this time for as long as He says to do it. I also know, just like in the past, He always brings up the exact person or people I need to help complete the needed task. So, once again, God is good and reminded me of a respite...a life saver....a dear friend. Truthfully, she is my mom's best friend, who also taught for years before retiring not terribly long ago. We have been family friends since I can really recall. She helped me in the past and I had not thought to ask for help again. I know she tutors children in this area so not sure why I waited. Could it be pride? I hate asking for help! Regardless, I just got off the phone with her and the plan is set in motion. You know what is going through my head now? Thank you, Jesus! Help is on the way!!!

I must realize that I can not do this job of educating our children alone. I can not tackle it all alone. I need help. I need wisdom from people who have walked this path before me. I need support from friends and family who understand that while they may not agree with our choice to home school, they respect our choice to do so and want to see us succeed. So, tonight I am grateful for my mom's best friend, who our children graciously refer to as GrannaNana. :) In my book, GrannaNana rocks! Thanks my friend! :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lake House Fun!

We do enjoy our time at the lake house with Matt's family. Most of the time, at least his parents are there and sometimes his sister and her family are able to join in the fun. However, we also really enjoy those times when it is just the four of us there laughing and spending time together. This past weekend, we had some time with just the four of us at the lake and it was just precious. As soon as we get there, the girls are usually upstairs getting ready to do what they love.......

jump in the lake!

This weekend was great because Matt caught a large mouth bass which he was so excited about.

But the girls were excited over something else....

Matt got in the lake to swim around with them and then he started goofing off as all good daddy's do. He was throwing them in left and right. When all of a sudden, things turned on him....

The girls started working together to get him in the lake. At first, there was no budging. He held tight to the dock and had no problem holding them off ....until

the girls decided to each take a side and work together. Once they did, the girls were able to get him close enough to the edge and get him in the lake.

And there was celebrating galore!

After our little wrestling around on the dock, the girls went tubing until the sun went down. I love it when they tube at sunset!

I love spending time together no matter where it is truly. However, there is something sweet about those days at the lake house when we are the only ones there. Just soaking up the sweet memories and laughter galore. I adore it. I pray I never get so frazzled or focused on a task that I lose the chance to catch those moments that bless me so much and remind me just what a mighty God we serve. I pray that my girls will always relish those times they spend at the lake, camping or wherever making memories that will last a lifetime. I am pretty sure Matt will be talking about this fish for some time to come and I know we all know what the girls will be talking about for years to come...the day they threw Daddy in the lake! Precious!
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Living Legacy


I know I have shared in the past about my sister, Emily, being a swim coach for the local high school girls team. She is a gifted coach for sure! I know she has gotten many trophies over her years of swimming and coaching, however, this weekend, there was something a bit unique about the big swim meet and trophy...
She now has all 8 cousins swimming for her team!
Em and her little crew...all 8 cousins! Always have to have the silly shot too!
So while we enjoy the experience the kids are gaining and the influence of Em's coaching, I wonder what she is thinking as she looks across the pool and sees a part of her in almost every race. A true legacy indeed!

My girlies on the blocks preparing to swim.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

What a Catch!

Oh, I bet you thought I meant the fish! Ha! Actually, this time, I did. :) I love my man, but he has been "caught" for 19 years now. He is a keeper too! So, I did mean the fish. Matt loves fishing at the lake house. He is like a little boy when we get there. Can't wait to get down to the dock and throw in a line or two. When I married Matt, I had no idea how much of our conversations would involve fishing...what kind of plug or bait did you use? How big do you think that fish is? Oh, wow! That's a keeper! What kind of fish is that? How deep was your line? As you goes on for a long time! But the look on his face when he catches a good one...well that is just precious to me. :) I love that he shares his passions with his girls as well.
While Matt is fishing at the lake, Doodle is usually down there for a bit as well. I love watching her eventually put down her fishing pole and just soak in God's creation. She is my deep thinker. I never know exactly what she is thinking, but I know she is pondering something.
Bean, on the other hand, will usually be fishing a bit before she gets her suit on and gets wet. She is our comedian for sure. She finds the craziest ways to make me laugh!

Then there is Rocky, our chocolate lab. He sure has a dog's life when he visits the lake house! He loves the water! When we have the time to let him dry off before going in the house, we let him in. He loves it! It actually helps his old hips!
Then there is me....oh, well I would be taking pictures and soaking in every moment with my family and God's creation. Precious!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Marriage Challenge

Even though this started on June 7th, I am going to join in a couple weeks late because there is nothing I enjoy more than working on my marriage and growing into the wife God always intended Matt to have. Stop by Women Living Well blog to get the details and join in. It is never too late to make your marriage even better!! No matter how good your marriage is, God can always show you ways to bless it even more! I love that! Matt and I really do get along quite well and rarely argue....but that does not mean we should be complacent and not work at making it even stronger. I am grateful I married a man who agrees! So on to the first assignment: pictures from our dating days and enjoy recalling those days!

Matt and I met on a blind date. Truly I knew when I met him that we would remain friends if nothing else. He was already established as a dentist and had a house. I was still in college, finishing up my teaching credentials. Our first date was the summer of 1990. July to be specific. My parents and sister had gone to church camp together and since I really never enjoyed being alone in our home, we asked if Gram would come visit while they were gone. I also worked two jobs at that time to pay for school. My duel job schedule had my only day off during that week Gram visited. So Matt and I went out to dinner. He was a gentleman to say the least. He pulled out the chairs, opened doors and all the lovely treats we enjoy as a lady. I felt quite special indeed. What amazed me the most was how intent he was in listening to me and not just looking past me. After some time of talking after dinner, we decided we should continue our date. That is where I was perplexed. I knew my Gram was sitting at home waiting for me to come home on the only night I had free. Here she had come all this way to spend time with me and we had not had a chance to have any time! So, like any good grand-daughter, I asked if he would terribly mind going back and playing games with my grandma, explaining the situation. He agreed. Any man who agrees to that without hesitation is a keeper! :) We played RummiKub for quite a bit until he dismissed himself with a kiss on my forehead. He truly was a perfect gentleman and set the stage for our many dates to come.
Our engagement picture

We spent our dates at movies, restaurants, the lake, my parents house, playing cards with his grandparents, watching his friend race cars at the track and so many more. One of my favorite memories was when we took my sister and her boyfriend down to Lake Monroe to hang out on the boat for the day. We went waterskiing and had a blast. That evening, we cleaned up and went to Bloomington to eat. As we were walking, I was talking with Matt and just grabbed his hand! He still says I was the aggressive one because I made the first 'move'! Ha! I just felt so comfortable with him it felt like I had always done just that, walking down the street holding his hand. My sister and I giggled about that for quite awhile and she will bring it up from time to time just to be silly. Within two months of dating, we knew we wanted to get married and he proposed. I will never forget that special day. It is so funny how just when you stop looking, God will bring what you need to your door! I know that is true in our married life today as well. He has continued to do the same in the way He brought our family together...but that is for another day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just like yesterday, I am reposting today in honor of Father's Day. This time it is about my husband from a "My Husband Rocks" post I wrote last year about my sweet husband. Truly, it says it all. Enjoy!

I love to be among women who celebrate the man God brought into their life. It is a blessing to be able to share just what knocks my socks off...or should I say..."rocks" my socks off about my man. There are many things that make me just grin when I think of Matt. We met on a blind date and knew within two months that we would spend the rest of our lives together. What let me know that so quickly? I know it was God first of all, secondly, the man has a great sense of humor and a heart so generous that you can't help be swept off your feet. I remember my Gram telling me on our first date that any man that can make you laugh is a keeper because you need to have laughter in life to get through the tough times. I have found that to be so true. We have had our tough times for sure. Some that should have broken us. Yet that is not what God had planned and I am so grateful. Today, I want to talk about his heart.

I don't think I fully knew just how big this heart was until I saw him with his girls. Due to infertility issues with both of us, God lead us to the gift of adoption, which might break just any man, but I will never forget watching Matt hold his girls for the first time. The same man that can crack a joke about anything, stood before me with tears of joy running down his face. This man was not looking at some other man's child with sadness that we could not have "our own", this man was looking into the face of his baby girl. He felt content with how God brought us to parenthood which gave me such joy.
So jump forward 8 years, I was able to watch him see the emotional hurt in a 16 year old abandoned girl who was staying with us for a short time while the choir she was singing with stayed in town. He did not see that as someone else's problem, he saw that as God bringing her to us so we could step up and meet that need. Now, that has been a joy to do, as not only did we reach out to her, but we found out she had a twin sister. We knew if we were going to be connected with one, we would have to reach out to the other. So we did.
His drive in creating his family has been such an inspiration to me. There are men who have many children but never fully understand what it means to be Daddy. When I watch Matt with his girls, I see God's love for me. Nothing makes the girls feel safer than in their Daddy's arms. When they are hurt, they run to Daddy. When they find joy, they run to Daddy. That is how it should be. They are so eager to share what each day has brought as he enters the room after work. That truly is a glimpse of how I should be with my heavenly Father, my Abba. So, thank you sweetheart, for first of all loving me even when I'm unlovable. (not that I ever give you those opportunities. Ha ha!) Secondly, thank you for seeing God's plan as more than sufficient to bring you the family He wanted you to love. Thirdly, for giving the girls in your life a glimpse of how we/they are to see their heavenly Father. I am always eager to see what changes God will bring next to this man and so blessed to know I will get to sit right here with him to witness it all. Did I mention, my husband rocks?!

Friday, June 18, 2010

In Honor of Dad

Since this weekend is Father's Day, I felt that I should spend a moment talking about my dad and my husband. Then I recall that I have done that before but it was long enough ago that maybe not everyone was able to read it. So I have decided to repost my Walk Down Memory Lane post about my dad. I hope you all enjoy walking down memory lane with me and have sweet memories of you with your dad as well.

What is it about walking down memory lane that is so sweet? Maybe it is taking the time to really remember those moments we cherish. Maybe it is the photos we have not seen in years that allow the emotions to flood back in and cause our hearts to swell. I'm not sure, but I do know that I love it.

Today's walk down memory lane for me has no official photo, yet it is so vivid in my memory. I am the middle child in a family of three children. I am the first girl. My dad was my hero most of my life. He still is a man I admire greatly. I have since learned that my heavenly Father is the only one I should hold up to the standard of true hero, but as a child, my daddy was number one.

Some of my favorite memories as a young girl are of time spent sitting on my dad's lap, playing games with him, listening to him talk like Donald Duck so long it made my sides hurt from laughing and watching him with my mom. Above all else, my favorite memory of my dad as a child, will always be walking or dancing on his feet before bed. There did not need to be music, he would either hum his own or our laughter would be enough. My little sister would be there as well, since we shared a room. We would take turns hopping on his "enormous' feet and going for a swirl. How safe I felt standing on his feet, in his arms, while we twirled or stomped up the stairs together. The joy of that moment is precious to me still to this day.

Fast forward 30 years or more, I still adore my daddy and the relationship he has with my mom. I still love spending time with him playing games. I still fall to pieces laughing hearing him talk like Donald Duck. However, there is no more dancing on his feet as I would seriously cause the man pain! So where do I go for this same feeling I once had as a young girl? I run to my heavenly father. I picture me jumping up on His feet, holding his hand, wrapping my other arm around him tightly and twirling with delight. The safety returns. The joy sweeps in. I pray I never get "too old" to dance on my Abba Daddy's feet nor to remember how that makes me feel. As I walk down memory lane today, I am grateful for the Daddy I was given on earth who took time to show me a glimpse of God's love in the way he loved and tenderly cared for his little girl. This dance is for you, Dad.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Transformation Time!

Today marks the beginning of the new and improved Jamers! I have struggled with my weight since taking a fertility medicine about 15 years ago now. It ballooned me up in no time flat! I have dieted, exercised and stopped numerous times! I get so irritated over this issue from time to time. People who can eat anything have no idea what a true frustration it is to enjoy food as I do and know if I as much as smell it, well, I might as well sit on it since that is where it goes!! Ha!

Anyway, a dear friend of mine from co-op was mentioning that she has a passion for helping women 40 and over to take control of their nutrition and exercise. She wants to start being a personal trainer down the road. So, I jokingly said that I would be glad to be her guinea pig! Little did I know, she would call me on it! But she did! (while I had a big bite of cookie in my mouth, nonetheless!)

So, the plan is that we will workout together once a week. She will then give me my assignment for the week. This week, we canoed across the lake she lives on to a beachy area. We hiked up a steep hill and kept walking for a bit before coming back down. She was very clever in using the playground equipment that was there for various exercises. I did standing push ups against the ladder of the monkey bars, etc.

After stretching, we canoed back and I headed for home. I felt great! It was wonderful to move again! Then came that all to common work out headache! Man did it hurt! But I don't care!!! I am going to stick with it this time! This time, it is not about being a certain size or wanting to be "pretty" again. No, this time it is about honoring my Lord and Savior by taking care of His creation and His temple. I keep joking with my husband that "this time it's personal!" So, I will let you know how it goes! So far, so good....even the headache!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Growing Pains

It is so funny to me to look at the past 13 years of my life and think that they have flown by, but they have. Thirteen years ago, I was still a woman who was desperate to have a child in her home. I was struggling to understand why God had closed the doors to our having a biological child. Little did I realize what he would bring through that door just a few months later! We have never doubted how God brought our family together and we have always rejoiced in His amazing knitting together of our hearts. As the girls have moved through toddlerville to now the pre-teen/teen years, we have hit snags along the way that always cause me to hit my knees. Sometimes, the little bumps in the road are a discipline issue that I need to address or sometimes it is a deeper heart issue. Regardless, I never back away from the opportunity to help my girls come out the other side of these growing pains with full knowledge that they are loved by their parents beyond all words and that as much as we love them, God loves them more. We always tell them that there is nothing they can do or say that would make that change.

As I look back at some of the bumps we have experienced with our girls, I am reminded how quickly the little toddler turns a teen. Suddenly your struggles with potty training or sassy words seem a mute point as you are trying to find the words that will strike a cord with a young lady to be pure and honor God in all they do. At one time, we were chasing them around the house to do what needed to be done. Now we are driving them all over town to allow them to pursue their passions. I have enjoyed every season of my girls thus far. With that said, my heart is sad today.

I have been really working diligently on finding ways to reach out to my girls and their cousins in the area of purity versus popularity. Such a tough struggle in today's world. I will not go into details to keep the child at hand protected from judgement, but I will say that the innocence of my child's mind has been destroyed and that is very hard for us all to deal with . It is our job to protect them, isn't it? That was the thought I had when I found out what was going on. Yet, God reassured me that He can repay the years of the if that is true, I am fully confident He can restore my child's mind. I am sitting here fully aware that my child's heart is aware of the evil that is out there. She has seen it, she wept over it. It was too easy for her to find it. But I am more confident that this bump in the road has brought her to the foot of the cross. She is seeking God's answers through this and I see her heart softening in a way I had not seen before. So, I guess, I am thankful for these growing pains we are feeling right now. A momma's heart breaks for the loss of innocence, but a young girls heart is opening to God's amazing healing power and redemption. I think that is better than anything I can ever imagine. I just hate that it came to this to make that happen for her. These growing pains are proof that God can use all things to bring Glory and Honor to Him! My prayer now is that we come out the other side of this with the radiance of God from our time spent at His feet and in His Word.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Music To My Ears

This week is VBS week at our church so I am taking Bean as well as her three youngest cousins. It has been a true joy to listen to the kids singing songs all the way to VBS and back. Their little giggles touch my heart so much. With all the concerns I have had over the older kids lately, I must say, driving the van listening to the kids sing The Donut Man songs or laugh at everything has blessed this woman's heart beyond words. This pictures speaks a thousand words for me:

They just enjoy each other! Love it!

I love innocence in children! I just adore it. I love that my little niece runs to get a hug from her Neeny and wants to stay in my arms for longer than a second still. I love that my nephew still asks every single day if the van is going to go crazy again since last year I did one doozie of an acting job as the van took over and drove to DQ by itself on the last day of VBS! His eyes when he is asking that questions are so wide with excitement and that giggle...oh, how I love his giggle! :) I love that my Bean and her cousin/buddy enjoy each other so much that the fact they are opposites in many ways never enters their minds. I love that I have family that lives close enough that I can be a part of these kids lives in big way....more than just cards and presents. I love being a mom more than anything. I cherish everyday I have with my girls. I also am grateful God has blessed me with 8 beautiful nieces and nephews who bless my life too. I always wanted to hear the beautiful word that brings music to my ears, Mommy. I never knew that I would enjoy hearing the word Neeny or Aunt Jamers so much as well.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Goodbyes Are Hard!

This month, we got to see our buddy, Gaby, graduate from college, which was such a joy. Shortly after that, we had to say goodbye. This is no ordinary goodbye as she lives in Romania. We don't know when we will see her again. We pray it will be in the next couple years, but with the prices of airplane tickets, you just never know. Bean has always had a special bond with Gaby and this goodbye was extremely hard on her. But Gaby knew what to do.....
She gave her this pillow that has Gaby's picture on it. So now, whenever Bean misses her buddy, she can hug her pillow and think of all the fun times we had with her. What a blessing to have spent the past four years with Gaby coming to our home for visits or holidays. Great memories for sure. We will miss her but we know God has big plans for her back in Romania. We can't wait to see what that will be. Until then, we pray for her and enjoy any time we get to email or talk via instant messaging!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Safe Haven

One of the things I adore about homeschooling is that I keep learning right along with my kids. It is amazing the people I have studied about now that I just don't recall learning much about in school. That is not to say I didn't, I just don't recall. One of the people we studied this year with Bean's Indiana History class was Levi Coffin. Portrait of Levi Coffin

What an amazing man of God who acted on his faith during a time of certain unrest in our country. Levi and his wife, Catherine, welcomed around 2000 runaway slaves into their home near Richmond, Indiana. We visited this home last week with our buddies, the Stumpf's.How sweet is she?!!! Love that little buddy! :)

The tour began outside the house with all of the kids sitting in this cool little arbor listening to one of the tour guides share some facts about the Coffin family history.
Some of our favorite spots in the house were:

The well that was inside the house, actually the basement! It was just found a few years ago under layers of concrete. Now look at it! Can't even tell, but the water is up to the rim as the well sits on a spring. Very cool!
Another great spot was this tiny door was the opening to a long closet type hiding place where the Coffins hid slaves if ever needed. It was the full length of the house. The bed next to it could be moved over to block the opening if needed. The girls were entralled with the thought of hiding people there or in between the bed mattresses which were just full of feathers or hay. Amazing!
One of my favorite parts was when our tour guide, who I so believe was a Christian woman, had the kids take a minute to sit on the floor in the dining room. She asked them to be still for a moment and think about the 2000 slaves that had been there before them. She wanted them to really imagine what it might have been like for them, what would they have felt, how would they have had to trust these white men and women and most of all their God. I was really moved by how still the kids got and what seemed to be a real moment of reflection.

3 Laps of Joy!

Doodle and Daddy walking into the race track. They have a mutual love of Indycar racing.

My husband is a HUGE race fan. Truly, he would watch just about any kind of vehicle go in circles at high speed and find immense joy. I may not ever fully appreciate that same joy, but I get a kick out of watching him enjoy this passion. This week, his mom had the opportunity to drive an Indycar, but asked if her son could do it instead. All ready to get instructed on how to drive...looking the part!

So, Matt got to get behind the wheel of a true Indycar that had run the Indy 500 about 8-10 years ago and take three laps around the track at 130 miles per hour! Matt getting his helmet placed correctly and in his car.
I have never seen that man look more precious other than when he first held his daughters! Truly, I was blessed to experience this joy with him as we all went to cheer him on. It was a great day to show my girls that while we may never like the same things, we so appreciate each others passions and it does a marriage good to cheer each other on in those things that bring us joy. I love seeing my man matter how that smile gets on his face! This time, it was a car going 130mph in circles....Love it!This was the smile that made me giggle and think that we got a glimpse of what he must have been like as a young boy....true joy all over that face! What a blessing to get to see his dreams come true. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I have so much going through my head right now it is crazy! Life has been throwing me curve balls when it comes to dealing with teens in my life that I love like my own. Truly, God has blessed me with a gift of compassion for what they face daily but He has also given me a gift of walking before them and not choosing the right road which gives me wisdom in this area that there are days I wish I did not possess. Right now, my heart aches. I see what choices are being made by both child and parent and I wonder who will protect the child for they don't see what they are doing or know why they shouldn't. The parent has not walked the walk I did so does not know where it leads. My heart is pounding in my throat. I want to scream. I want to run wrap them in my arms and never let them leave. Yet, I know, that won't work. As we all know, we have to let go and pray like crazy. Oh, how I pray. My heart calms and I know that as much as I want to protect these precious teens/children, God loves them more than I do and if he has a path for them to take, it will ultimately bring glory to Him....just like mine. Yet the thought comes to mind....please, Lord, help them take a different journey. Help them be stronger than I was and able to stay on the path you prepared that leads to great joy forever and not the one that brings sadness, regret, shame that you too heal over time.

Abba Father, precious Creator, Healer, Giver of all good things. You are the great I Am. You are the King of kings, holy and mighty, worthy of praise. Thank you, God, for healing this woman's heart over time and replacing it with a passion that burns so strongly for teaching young teens the importance of purity versus popularity. Now, I pray, Lord that you will also give me the words to say that will permeate their hearts and lead them straight to you. Lord, I ask you to show me the path you have for me in this and help these kids stay on the one you have for them. My greatest desire is to honor you and help as many kids as I can to stay the path that leads straight to your heart now and not have to go through the healing process. In your son's most Holy and Precious name~ Amen
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