Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just doing a little catching up

Pictures in this blog have nothing to do with the actual blog~just wanted to post some recent pictures. :)

Hey, hey, hey! I cannot believe that I haven’t written in so long. I have been running around crazy the past week or so. Last week I helped my friend, Adrianne, out some with her 2 boys. They had a rough week to deal with. Adrianne’s cousin, Shane Northcutt, was murdered last week. His father is the Mayor of a small town here in Arkansas, Malvern. Shane’s parents have been divorced for over 10 years and this was the Mayor’s only son. Shane’s mother, had 2 kids from a previous relationship, a son and a daughter. The thing that makes this situation even worse is that her daughter died about 7 years ago as a result of a car accident. So Libby, Shane’s mom, has now lost 2 out of her 3 children. I cannot even begin to imagine how incredibly hard this has to be.   They have already made an arrest in this case, so that does help to know that the killer is not out running the streets.  Please keep this family in your prayers as they deal with this tragedy. I kept Adrianne’s boys when they got out of school while the family was getting together and during the visitation.


This week, Olivia and I will be going to my Aunt and Uncle’s house and babysitting their 2 girls Wednesday-Friday. Abby and Mary Claire are AWESOME girls and Olivia loves spending time with them. I am excited to be getting to spend some time with them. They are in the 4th and 5th grade and that is such a fun age. The beginning of the pre-teen years. It will be alot of fun. We went over there yesterday to get all the information and the house keys and Olivia just cried and cried when we left. She didn’t understand that we would be coming back on Wednesday. She loves kids and sometimes I feel guilty that she is at home so much and not around alot of other children. Part of me thinks she would do amazing at preschool or mother’s day out. Then there is part of me that is scared that she would just cry all day.


Thursday morning a small group of women from my church are going to start getting together with an amazing, Godly woman, Debbie,  to begin a Bible study. There is only about 5 or 6 of us and I think this is something that we have all been wanting to do. I am so glad that Debbie has obeyed what the Lord is asking of her and taking a step in faith to do this. I think that God has alot that He wants to teach us and Debbie has alot to pour into us. I am a little bit biased though, Debbie is my mentor. I have learned so much from her already. She is very gently in her approach. I am excited to see what she is going to teach us as a group.


Guess that is all I have to say for now. I am not very interesting lately. I just don’t have an exciting life! ha! I will try to update this week with pictures while we are with my cousins. Olivia is going to have a blast! She is so excited to go over there and play Barbies! Our Poppa made Abby and Mary Claire a big doll house when they were younger. They still have it up in their playroom and Olivia plays with it every time we are there. Aunt Lindsey told me today that the girls are giving it to Olivia!! I don’t know where we will put it, but we are sooo excited about getting it!! Olivia is excited to be able to play with it 24/7, but I am excited about getting it because my Poppa made it and that makes it sooo much more special. We want to keep it in the family so my kids will play with it, then when Abby and Mary Claire have their own children, we can pass it back to them. It is a very special thing. My grandfather is soo very talented! When I was Olivia’s age, he made me a rocking horse. We stored it in a storage building at my other grandmothers house once and she gave it to her daughter…my dad’s half sister. I was so sad that I didn’t have it anymore to pass it on to my children. So the fact that I am getting something else that he made is just really special. He has also made Olivia a stool with her name on it that is very special.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Letter to myself

I have seen a few people do this on their blogs so I thought I would give it a try. If I could write a letter from myself NOW to myself before I met Ben, it might go something like this:

Dear Jenny,

Take a deep breath! Relax! Enjoy the ride! Time goes entirely too fast.

the family

First, CLEAN YOUR ROOM! You will be glad you did and you will enjoy the neatness. One day all too soon you will have your own place to keep clean so get in the habit NOW. The man you marry will NOT be messy and WILL like a neat house.

Enjoy the time living in your parents house. Quit trying to come up with ways to get out. Again, one day really soon you will move out and very quickly start a family so enjoy where you are now.

me and the parents

Spend more time downstairs with your mom and dad. Invest more in your brothers. There will come a time when they will need you and the relationship you could have with them. Do not judge any of them. Everyone deals with things differently so do not judge them if they deal with them differently than you would have.


Get over him! He will move off, come back, live with your family, and then break your heart. Do not try to remain friends~in the end it doesn’t matter. God has something in store for your life bigger than you can dream. Do not waste your time sick over him. He is a liar, he will not change for you, he only cares about himself. Harsh words, but you know they are true.

close me and dad

You will not marry every guy you date, even though you feel like you could. Don’t rush relationships. Don’t give so much of yourself so quickly. Don’t say yes just because you are lonely. God does have a plan for your life and you will figure it out. You do not have to be married now, you do not even have to have a boyfriend. Learn who YOU are first, because it will make it that much easier when you have to learn someone else.

mom and me bw

Cherish your relationship with Stephanie. She will remain your best friend. Anna will always be a part of your heart. Your children will play together one day.

steph and me anna and mee

Spend more time with your grandparents. Go see them on your own. You do not always have to have a reason or someone to go with you. They would love to see you anytime. Time is not guaranteed and you will regret it if you don’t get to know them.


Don’t spend so much time dreading church. There will come a time in your life when you are hungry for what God has for you and will seek out “more” . Do not worry about your church situation. God has you where you are now for a reason and will take you some place “new” very soon. Keep in contact with old Victory friends, they will soon be your 2nd family. Do not keep God in a box. He is going to break down all paradigms and religious thoughts and build up HIS foundation in your life. Do not be so judgemental and closed minded~you will soon be one of “those” people.

the girls

Quit playing around with college. Take it seriously and get finished. It is an opportunity that you will not have again for a long time. Go to classes, do your homework, study!!! You end up with plenty of time to do it so go for it. Give it your all.


Enjoy healthy days. Very soon migraines and kidney stones will come along and throw you for a loop. Remember what it is like “before” .


Get rid of the fear, guilt, and any other emotional issues that you have. You ARE worthy. You are beautiful in God’s eyes. You CAN do this. There will be someone watching your move quicker than you realize and you will want to instill Godly emotions into her. Open up your heart. Be a hugger. Be touchy feely. Be romantic and hopeful. Soon your husband will need that.

poppa walking me in

Last of all, trust God with your heart. He is a gentleman and will never hurt you. Stand in faith for the things you want and believe in. Not all things will come easy. Depend on Him. Trust HIS timing even when you do not agree or think He has forgotten. He hasn’t and never will. His timing is always perfect.


Just Another Day

Not much to blog about today. Ben went back to work. It looks like most things are back to normal. We do still have alot of snow/ice on the ground, but the roads are clear. The city of Little Rock has done a great job at getting out and making the roads safer for those that have to be out on them.


We spent most of the day today out and about. About 9pm last night, Olivia and I loaded up and went to my parents house to spend the night. No particular reason really, just tired of the looking at our 4 walls. It was a nice change of scenery and of course, Pop and Meemaw LOVED having Olivia there. Pop even stayed up late to see Olivia. We had taken a late nap so Olivia was not tired and very hyper when we got there. She is always excited when we go over there ~or anywhere for that matter~because we usually take the blow up bed and “camp out” in the living room. She thinks that is the coolest thing. It was after midnight when she finally settled down and went to sleep. Then around 12:30 the snow plow truck came through the neighborhood one last time with their lights flashing and loud noises. I am very thankful for them and their hard work but 12:30!!! This morning my brothers girlfriend, Linsey, was leaving for work at 5:30am and couldn’t get over the big mounds of ice/snow that the truck had pushed to the side of the road so my brother and Dad had to go out and help her. I think I finally fell back asleep around 7:15 when my parents left for work.


Olivia and I ate at Subway today. That is one of our favorite things to do together. We share a sandwich and coke and sit in a booth just the 2 of us. Fun times. Afterwards, we went next door so I could see the doctor for a couple of things. Olivia did great. They brought her colors and a coloring sheet to keep her occupied. She was so proud of it and gave it to Dr. Pickett to hang with the others on her bulletin board. Then she got stickers and a sucker. Made her day. What made my day is that I am down 6lbs! I know it’s not a ton but it is a start!! Just enough encouragement for me to keep going!


Ben is home from work now so I am going to start dinner. Tacos tonight I think. Church is cancelled for tonight so we are going to enjoy relaxing together as a family. They are calling for more snow/sleet tomorrow evening into Friday. Saturday clear and snow again on Sunday. I will be SO very thankful when Spring is here. This has been a rough Winter! Fun, but rough!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Windows Live Writer

Well I am trying out something new. I am so tired of trying to move photos around on blogger. I read on a blog community about Windows Live Writer~turns out I had already installed it when we first got our laptop but have never used it. I am going to try to remember to use it from now on. I think it will be much easier and hassle free. :)

We woke up Monday morning to snow. Not just a dusting either~like 3 inches! For central Arkansas that is unheard of! Olivia and I got out and played, but most of the day it was raining also. We have sun today so alot is melting but the temperatures aren’t getting any higher so we will probably have some refreezing tonight. Ben is home from work today and we have had a LAZY day. I am ready to get back to normal around here.


I think I will like Live Writer~

Olivia just shut herself in the bathroom so I must run~when potty training that is not always a good thing!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Finally! Found something!

I have been wanting to read my Bible more lately. I had even talked to Ben about getting a yearly Bible and reading it together at night. There is so much that I do not know about God's word and so much that I do know that I have forgotten! I was posting my Family post this afternoon (scroll on down to read it~it's good!) and I saw that I had 2 comments on another blog post. That led me to Patrice's blog. I was so excited to see the journey she is embarking on starting TODAY!! Read the Bible in 90 days!! This is exactly what I have been looking for. She has each weeks readings laid out for us and you can link up and have encouragement along the way. What a great way to do this! I am excited to be a part of it! Thanks Patrice!!

blessing amid chaos

Here is this weeks readings:

Monday: Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 16:16

Tuesday: Genesis 17:1 through Genesis 28:19

Wednesday: Genesis 28:20 through Genesis 40:11

Thursday: Genesis 40:12 through Genesis 50:26

Friday: Exodus 1:1 through Exodus 15:18

Saturday: Exodus 15:19 through Exodus 28:43

Sunday: Exodus 29:1 through Exodus 40:39


There is a family that we are very close to. I have known Jason and Nicole since I was in the 5th grade. I played basketball, volleyball, and was a cheerleader with Nicole in junior high and high school. Her and Jason dated almost all through high school and have now been married for over 10 years. Their very first child, Keaton, holds a very special place in my heart. I was his nanny for the first 10 months of his life.

Keaton Nicholas, 6 years old

While I was keeping Keaton, Nicole got pregnant with her 2nd child. I kept Keaton until September and in December she had Isaac and started staying at home with both boys.

Isaac Michael, 5 years old

Not only did I "work" for their family, but was best friends with them. Jason is a great friend also. He has just been a great support through some very tough times in my life. I have so much respect for him. A couple years later they had their 3rd child, Carder. Olivia and Carder are only 6 months apart and have a true love/hate relationship. They are best buddies one minute and the next they are fighting like brother and sister.

Carder Ellis, 4 yrs old

When Carder was about 2 or so Nicole got pregnant 2 more times and they both ended in miscarriage. The first one was very early on in the pregnancy, but the 2nd time, she was 20 weeks along and had gone in to find out the sex of the baby when they found that she had lost it. That baby was a little girl. Jason and Nicole were heartbroken. They trusted God though and knew that He had a plan for their family. They made the decision that they were done having biological children. They wanted to foster/adopt. They went through The Call and very quickly their home was open for placement. A couple weeks after their home being officially "open" they got a call about a brand new baby girl that needed a foster home. They weren't sure for how long or what the outcome would be. Nicole and Jason said yes. Nicole actually picked up the baby girl from the hospital and brought her home. She was 3 days old. She was a "crack" baby and they weren't sure who the father was or what, if anything, would be wrong with her. Her name was Rical. Everyone opened "baby rikki" into their home and hearts. We have a very close group of friends and we were all so excited to have a new baby around. Olivia is the only girl of the group. We all felt that God had placed this baby in their home and that she was here to stay. Jason and Nicole were hesitant to get their hopes up. After several "no shows" from the biological parents, the courts terminated their rights.

Ella Joy, 8 months

Last week, on January 27, 2010, Jason and Nicole became the parents of this baby girl. A mere 8 months after bringing her home from the hospital. Ella Joy is now a part of this family with 3 older brothers! She is blossoming and is beautiful and we are all so very excited for our friends. I babysit for them alot and have really enjoyed getting to know this baby girl. Because Olivia and Ella Joy are the only girls out of all the kids my friends and I have, I am really trying to encourage a relationship between the 2 of them. I know they are 2 and 1/2 years apart but when they get older that won't matter. Nicole and I are 4 years apart and are very close. Nicole was Matron of Honor in my wedding and we have talked about are kids growing up together like we have. It is awesome for us both to have daughters now and we hope and pray that they grow up to be best friends and maybe one day be in each others weddings. I love Keaton, Isaac, Carder, and now Ella Joy as if they are my own children.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snowdy days

We have been home all weekend because of the snow/ice that we got on Friday. I have to say that I was shocked that we actually got something. The weather people always say that we will and we never do! So when it actually started snowing on Friday afternoon I was pretty excited. Olivia had never actually played in the snow so I wanted to make sure she got a chance this time. We have never had anything stick for her to go out in. She was so excited to see it falling. We have her wagon on the balcony and she kept going over to the door and seeing if the snow was still falling in her wagon. Today when everything was finally melting she was so disappointed to see the wagon with water in it and no snow.

Ben was supposed to go to our church's men's retreat up North for the weekend. He had taken off of work on Friday and was planning on leaving at noon. He was so disappointed when they cancelled it Friday morning. It all changed so fast on Friday afternoon. One minute it was barely sleeting and the next it was snowing hard. They are probably going to go this coming weekend instead. So, Ben ended up with just a day off. I am glad that he had taken off for the retreat because if he hadn't of done that then he would have had to go to work on Friday. It was nice to have him at home.

We stayed inside all day Friday and then later that evening I realized that we hadn't taken Olivia outside. We were just going to wait until Saturday, but I was a little afraid that we would wake up Saturday morning and it would all be melted. Sooo, we all bundled up at 9:30pm and headed outside. With the ground being covered in snow, it was really bright outside. I took my camera out and got some good pictures. Olivia LOVED it!! She made snow angels.

She tried to make snowballs to throw at me. The snow was very dry and most of it was ice so it didn't pack very good at all. The thing that she was fascinated with was seeing her footprints. Because the bottom layer was ice, everytime she would step the ice would crack. So she kept saying she wanted to see her footprint cracking. It was funny. we couldn't find both of her gloves before going out so I stuck socks on her hands. She laughed at me at first and thought I was so silly, but once we got out in the cold, she was glad to have them on! We stayed out for about 30 minutes and then had to drag her back in. She DID NOT want to come back in.

We had planned to get up Saturday and go out but we never did. It snowed alot of the day and we just stayed in the warm house.
Today our church still had church, but we didn't go. I had not been feeling too great all weekend. I had what I thought was a bladder or kidney infection. I had them the whole time I was pregnant with Olivia and was actually on antiobiotics for them the entire 9 months, so I knew what it felt like. I was needing to go to the grocery store this afternoon but just didn't feel good and was starting to have alot of discomfort. Well, ends up it wasn't an infection, I ended up passing a kidney stone!!! I have had major issues with kidney stones in the past~even have had lithotripsy~I knew that I still had alot of stones I needed to pass but it has been a while since I have had any problems. I kept the stone that I passed so that I can take it to my urologist to have it analyzed. I really want to know why my body is making them.
I went on to the store and cooked the rest of the afternoon. I had to make dinner to take to a friend in playgroup that has a new baby boy, Emory. Olivia went with me to take dinner to them and did not want to leave. They also have a 2 year old son, Paxton, that Olivia has been in playgroup with since she was 1. She wanted to stay and play with him!!
We are home now after making a run through Starbucks. Yummy!

I think this week I am going to try and get out more with Olivia. We used to go to playgroup alot and to storytime at the library. It has been a long time since we have done either one and I think although Olivia doesn't realize what she is missing, I know she is missing out by not going. One thing I always wanted to do when I wanted to stay home was be able to go do all these things~now that I can~I don't. So I am going to try and start making that change.
Hope everyone had a safe weekend. I am ready for life to get back to normal and move on to Spring!!! We had our snow/ice for the season and it is time to move on!

Friday, January 29, 2010


That's it! Good MornNight!!! It is 2:32 AM so although I should be saying Good Night to most people, technically it is Good Morning! I have been staying up ENTIRELY too late the past few nights. I have always been a night person but this week I have taken it even further. The main reason is because I have been staying up and playing the New Mario Brothers on the Wii~lame~I know. It is a great game though and it has elements of all the past Mario Brothers from older consoles added into this one game. I have really enjoyed it AND Ben and I have been enjoying doing something together. You see, most of the time, Ben is in the living room watching tv or playing xbox and I am in the bedroom on the computer, watching tv, or snuggling with Olivia. Olivia tends to go back and forth between the both of us. So this week Ben and I have joined forces and have been spending time in the same room! What?!?! I know~shocking!

You see, in the beginning of our marriage, almost 4 years ago, I didn't think there was anything strange about the fact that we had this "set-up" I ended up pregnant after 6 weeks of marriage, so alot of the time I was napping or propping my feet up and wanted to do it in my own bed, watching what I wanted to be watching. I also went to bed earlier in those days so it just worked out better for us. After Olivia was born, I tended to stay back in the bedroom because she was very colicky and I didn't want her crying to bother Ben. He went to work all day everyday so I didn't want him to have to come home to a screaming baby. As Olivia got older, she would watch cartoons on our bedroom TV and I would stay back here with her. We never made it a priority to change our now formed habit. We didn't think anything of it anyway.

the moment I was "given" to Ben by my family
March 18, 2006

My mom was the one who pointed out that it was weird for us, as newlyweds, to spend so much time apart. I would laugh it off and just say that it worked for us. And it did. At first. Even now, it is not so much that it is not working for us but rather than we have developed separate lives. Sure we live in the same house, go to the same church, sleep in the same bed, but that is about it. We are cordial to one another and try to keep up with what is going on with each other, but we aren't really interacting with each other. I don't think I know anymore about what is going on with my husband than I do what is going on with my friends.

The happiest day of my life
March 18, 2006

It could work for us~we could continue on this way and probably be just fine. But I do not want just a "fine" marriage and relationship with the man that God has put in my life to share it with. God intended for us to know each other intimately~in more ways just one. God designed marriage for 2 to become 1. I want that in my marriage. I want Olivia to grow up knowing what that looks like. I do not want seeing her mom and dad hug and kiss each other to be the exception instead of the rule. I want to change this now.

I believe that God has started showing me this because He wants me to address it. God wants more for Ben and I's marriage than what it is currently. There is SO much more to marriage than what we are experiencing. There are levels of knowing one another that we aren't even close to understand just yet.

Neither Ben nor myself had the perfect picture of what marriage is supposed to look like shown to us by our parents. Ben's parents divorced when he was in junior high and although my parents are still together for over 35 years, they definately have had their share of ups and downs. I do not want to look back in 35 years and regret what we have taught to our children regarding marriage. I want to show my kids what a God-centered, love giving, affection showing marriage looks like. My marriage should come FIRST after God and before anything else. And let's just tell it like it is~right now it is not coming first.

Very proud to call him "husband"
March 18, 2006

I write all this as a first step. I am committing right now to pursuing a more Godly marriage. I vow to begin to take steps in making my marriage a priority in my life. I want to show Olivia what it means to love unconditionally and wholeheartedly. I ask God that right now you begin to start a new work in Ben and I. I surrender my time, thoughts, and intentions to You and ask that You direct them as You see fit. Show me the choices to make in order to start this process. Stir me on, pour me out. I want Ben to know without a shadow of a doubt that his wife loves and adores him. I want his home to be a safe haven for him and not somewhere that he dreads coming home to. I want to be the kind of wife that he dreams of having. I want to be for Ben what he needs. I love Ben and I am so thankful for the gift I have been given in him. Lord, do not let me ever take him or our relationship for granted again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Look

Finally! Christmas is over here at Full of Hope!! I have been wanting to have a new look but wasn't sure if I should invest in it because I don't update very often. But after Christmas I hated the thought of going back to the ol blogger headers so I contacted Faith about giving me a new look. She was awesome to work with and I am so pleased with how it all turned out. This is something I am proud of and I think it will make me want to write more. So thank you so much Faith!! If you are looking for a new look you should definately head on over to A Design of Faith! You will not be sorry!

On to other news~I have been potty training for the last couple of weeks. Olivia is doing great. I started the week she was going to turn 3 and it seemed to just click with her. I had tried about 6 months ago and she would have NO part of it. I let it go and I think that was the key to her doing so good~waiting until SHE was ready. We have had very few accidents and she pooped in her panties 2x and now she has that down too. I was afraid that might take a while but it really didn't. I am sooo very proud of her!! There are times when she wears a pull-up when we have alot of errands to run, but other than that she wears panties. The pull-ups are really because of me~I am afraid that I won't get her to the potty in time if we are out. She probably would do just fine. She has done really good at telling me and then waiting until we get to a potty. I need to have confidence in her and just put them away. She still wears a diaper at night, but I know that very soon we will be done with those too. Most nights she wakes up dry in the mornings. I never thought she would be potty trained!! Next on our list is getting her to sleep in her own bed! We are taking it one thing at a time though!! :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Give Me Your Best Shot

First...I promise the Christmas will be gone VERY soon!! :)

I am attempting something I have never done before. I am trying to learn photography~on my own. I got a new Canon Rebel T1i for Christmas from my husband. I am IN LOVE with this camera. I don't know anything about taking pictures. I have found A TON of blogs with tutorials and that has helped tremendously and I am now attempting to get out of "full auto" mode. I know this camera has GREAT potential. So I am trying all sorts of new things.

Sooo...today I am linking up to Better in Bulk and her Give Me Your Best Shot. I took Olivia out to our playground behind our apartment this week and while she played I tried my hand at some "manual" photography. Trying out some of what I learned. I got a few good shots and I think this is one of them. I then played with it a little in Photoshop Elements. WOW there is a ton to learn with that too!!

So it's not much but I am pleased and think it was my best shot this week. Let me know what you think and any tips would be SOOO appreciated!!