Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My walk with God

The more I look into religion the more my head spins! Now, in case you don't know my religious background let me clue you in as briefly as possible. My Dad was raised Atheist and my mom was raised Pentecostal (you guessed it, no makeup, no pants, etc.) Well, she believed in most of their beliefs but never believed it was a sin to cut your hair or wear makeup, jewelry and pants, so I was raised Assembly of God right here in Crosby. (I can compare this to a Pentecostal church that wears pants, makeup, jewelry and the women cut their hair!). We then attended Lakewood for awhile (yes, the big church on TV under Pastor John Osteen) and my dad, Eric and I were Baptized there. Then, for a short time we attended a Pentecostal Church of God in Huffman (still compare it closely to Assembly). My parents divorced when I was 16, so no more church for my brother and I except we attended First Baptist Crosby off and on, well, because all teens did! I did not attend church again until I became pregnant with Taylor in 98. Lance and I felt we needed to be in church so I thought the easiest place to do that would be Lakewood again. Non-denominational and I loved it. We had Taylor and decided it was too large. We then knew someone that attended Maranatha Church in Mt. Belvieu. We went once, and LOVED it! We dove head first into that church as did my brother Eric. We attended every time the doors opened for two years and we also served on Youth Staff and I was a counselor at church camp. We then suddenly got a bad taste about some of the leadership going on and stepped back and not ONE person asked us what was wrong or missed us. After all we put into that church I don't even think the Pastor introduced himself to us. It burnt us badly. Taylor was two and we were done with church, never done with God, just church. Then I got pregnant with Cash in 05. Again, felt that need and urge to be in church. In the middle of all these bumps we often visited Crosby Church because Lance's mom attended there and First Baptist Crosby because our neighbors would invite us. We had Cash dedicated at Crosby Church in 06 and thought, this could be our church. Nope, Lance and Taylor were not happy. So, I thought maybe I am completely on the wrong path. We began to visit Atascosita Methodist in the fall of 06 and Spring of 07. Never joined, then visited again in the Spring of 08. It was a wonderful place but didn't feel like home. Now, it's January 09 and I woke up that first Sunday after New Years and said we are going to First Baptist Crosby. Taylor knows people there, Cash thinks he's at school (this is where he attends MDO) and Lance and I know people there. Well, I must say it feels 100% right to Lance, Taylor and Cash and about 75% to me. I am getting there, and I will save my reservations for another post. But, I think God has had his hand on me this entire time and he's just shaking his head! I am getting there Lord. I promise! ;o)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This and That in a Stay At Home Mom's Life

Well, I am sitting on my back porch letting Cash play with his play doh set I got him for Valentine's Day. Our dog Daphne is running around, dishes are going in the washer (sink still half full with more, I have not started my week off right with my flying lessons I can hear a load of darks swirling in the shop and still have not mastered the art of putting the clean clothes up. I will fold all day long, I have to fold them. I won't leave clean clothes in a pile, but putting them up still seems to be a mountain I have not climbed! HA! As I sit here I can't shake the feeling that I should be up doing something. Why do I always feel like I need to be doing something? I feel like my life never stops. I am trying to learn that I can't stop life, but I sure can slow it down. The reason those dishes are piled in the sink is because after dinner last night Cash fell asleep in my arms on the couch. I literally had one million things to do and the normal me would of put Cash to bed or laid him on the floor or couch to finish his little nap, but for some reason I didn't. I stayed on that couch holding him and watching TV for an hour. I think holding my nephew this week has made me remember that I used to hold this little boy and life still went on. The house still got cleaned and dinner still got made but I held Cash all the time. It felt good to be that mommy again that had a boy that needed her and chose her chest as the place to fall asleep. When you get these moments you have to grab them, but as mothers I feel like we are the glue in the home, we still have to hold up our end of the deal, running a tight ship that our husbands and children can be proud of, so when you do let things go (like I have decided to do while I am in school) they appreciate you and are willing to help pick up the slack when you need them.
On another note (and you know my blogs are so random) my Monday felt very productive. I have decided that I have lots of time in my days that are just "dead time". I mean nothing productive gets done AT ALL! I want to work on changing that. SO, I did some things a bit differently. I am tired of my kids living in our car, we spend too much damn time in that car, or waiting around to get back in the car for the next thing we have to do. I got Cash completely dressed yesterday morning (trying to stay on our schedule and chore packs which are going very well I must add) and we took Tay to school and then we went to Walmart and did our grocery shopping for the week (which I didn't do Friday). We had an hour and I had a list so it was not hard to do. It is SUCH a waste of my time when I go into a store just wandering around for two hours, come home with $200 worth of food and I can't make one complete meal. I then took Cash to school, came home, unloaded and would of normally went on to school. Well, I skipped and worked in our office until noon, cleaned out my car and then headed out for some errands that I needed to do Cash free. I went to Babies R Us and CVS, then I went to get my car detailed (it took 1.5 hours but I brought my lunch and a magazine so I actually enjoyed it) got to see my nephew for a minute as they stopped through the car wash so I could load them up with the goodies I bought for them! Then, I came on back to Crosby so I could wait for Cash to get out of speech. Well, I did my second thing of the day not wasting time (grocery shopping in that hour window between Cash and Taylor's drop off's was my first) and I drove past Cash's school to the bank to make the deposit Lance needed me to make, then back to wait to get Cash. I normally will sit in that parking lot at speech for an hour which is flipping stupid! Then I was able to pick up Cash, pick up Taylor and go home instead of dragging them to the bank.
I am asking God for strength this week in my ability to become more in control and organized with my time so I can enjoy the little things in life. Also, to let my kids be kids and play outside and be home. I won't let them out alone (we live in a crazy world) so I need to take control of my issues so I can sit outside and enjoy with them as well.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Week without the Love Dare!

Well, unless you have been in outerspace you all know I (yes, I am only talking about me) got to meet my nephew, Rylan this week. He is a little prince and I love him so much. I missed not seeing him yesterday and I got to see him this afternoon and hold him forever. It was awesome. Between prayers for Jett (my husbands second cousin, born last week, had a rough start but he is doing great now) and a huge Algebra test at school and wearing so many hats each and every day I have not had time to focus on God or The Love Dare. I can't wait to get back in the swing of things and start on Day 7 and I know it has already improved my marriage, not that it needed help, but I needed to learn to me more respectful of Lance and caring. I will leave with just this small note and thank God for bringing Rylan in to our lives. He, his mom Brandi, Chase and Logan are so loved by us all. WOW, the holidays and get-togethers around the Jackson Family just got bigger and better! God Bless!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And then they were four...

Rylan's birth made me think of my little man Cash! Thought I would share our big day a little over three years ago.

The Three Muskateers the morning of November 1st, 2005

And then they were four....

Happy Birthday Cash Andrew!
She waited so patiently!

Two Weeks Old. We used this picture for his announcements!

I just have to post more pictures of my nephew!

Proud Big Brother Logan!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I saw God today.

Today has been the best day for me. I became an Aunt for the very first time at 12:38 this morning. Well, I am an Aunt to Kate, (my new little man Jett), and others that my friends have blessed Lance and I with the titles of Aunt and Uncle, but this was the real thing! Rylan Marcus is 9 lbs 11 oz and 20.5 inches long. Taylor was very excited and Cash was very jealous when I held Rylan. Cash will always be my baby boy, I don't know why he would think otherwise. Uncle Lance was very proud today as he met his nephew! We had to visit twice today! I couldn't get enough.
Brandi looks great and Chase is a proud dad! (Notice how Rylan was looking right at me as I took the pic in his crib). He knows his Aunt Julie and I love him so much! I knew I loved him before I met him! YES, I am corny tonight!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Whistle While You Work"

I ordered this system I saw on 17 Kids and Counting and I just really at down tonight and used the software and printed out the chore packs. Here is the starting list I am using for 2 weeks. After that I will add one new chore every 2 weeks until the kids are doing their chores without complaining. They will not get allowance, well, I think the spending I do on them already is enough! HA! They both got $30 Crocs out of me today, I think an allowance would be a cut in pay for them. ;o)

Here is their list that I printed cards out for and placed them in little plastic sleeved chore packs. Cash's have pictures instead of words. The kids get their pack each morning and afternoon and do the following things. This may seem silly to some, but if I can get the kids to do these simple things without me on them 24/7 I will be SO thrilled and proud of them! ;o)

Chore Checklist
Name:Taylor (10)
Name:Cash (3)
CP: Daily
CP: Daily
Get Dressed/Girl
Get Dressed/Boy
Put Pajamas/Nightgown Away (C)
Put Pajamas/Nightgown Away (T)
Make Bed (T)
Brush Hair (T)
Brush Teeth (T)
Brush Teeth (C)
Brush Hair (C)
Bath or Shower (T)
Set Table/Supper (T)
Brush Hair (T)
Pick Up Bedroom (C)
Pick Up Bedroom (T)
Bath or Shower (C)
Pick Up Family Room (T)
Brush Hair (C)
Brush Teeth (C)
Brush Teeth (T)
Bible Reading/Prayer (C)
Bible Reading/Prayer (T)

Managers of Their Chores

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blogging Lately!

I am going to be honest with myself here. I have not felt like doing The Love Dare because I feel like I have one million other things going on right now. I do know that since it has started that I am holding my tongue more than ever with Lance. I am really and truely trying to be a better person in general for 2009 towards everyone in my life. I feel so defeated sometimes when the house isn't perfect, or someone is mad at me or I am behind in the office or with my school work, or have I spent enought time with Taylor or Cash. I have this constant need and desire to explain myself ALL the time! I did it today, I did it yesterday, I do it all the time. STOP Julie! Be you! ;o) I need to focus on my walk with God and everything else will fall into place.

I am going to make a strong effort to blog day 7 and do it tomorrow! God Bless my children tonight with extra prayers. They are the driving force behind me keeping this well-oil machined called "The Jacksons" together! Love always to Lance!


The Love Dare

Well, I put The Love Dare on hold this weekend because it was a "lovey dovey" weekend being Valentines and all! HA! I am about to go to school (Mondays are big days for me) but I will post Day 7 of The Love Dare later! Have a Blessed Day everyone!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love is in the air!

This has been a great Valentine's Weekend so far! The kids and I picked up "to go" last night from Carino's and when we walked in the door Lance had a dozen white roses waiting for me in the dining room and a candy bouquet waiting in Taylor's bedroom for her. We were so surprised! Then, he knew we had a busy Valentine's Day planned so he gave me a beautiful card and two new pair sunglasses last night! I have been wearing some VERY scratched one's for about 6 months now! HA! Then, I gave Lance and the kids a heart shaped box of goodies from Seale'ed w/a Kiss (see older post with link) and a HUGE set of beads for Taylor to make jewelry and a play-doh set for Cash! Now, today we had a meeting over in Kingwood with our friends Anna and Chris (their new house is awesome). Then we met my dad, Eric, Joanne and Tori at PF Changs for lunch in The Woodlands! LOVED IT! It was my first time! We went to The Woodlands HEB Market afterwards and got some steak and lobster for tonight, then to Babies R Us to look at car seats (no luck in finding one we liked). Now, we are just hanging out! Lance has the kids outside while he gets the grills ready and I am just messing around the house! We are planning a nice quiet evening here with the kids and watching Madagascar 2. HOPEFULLY, getting them to bed early so I can put on the gift I got Lance! (use your imagination) Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Oh, yes! My Famous Hamburger Steak!

Ok, these pics came out backwards, but you get the point! I don't feel like fixing them! Ha!

This is the one meal I can fix and my entire family thinks I am "Chef Julie". I mean it so flipping simple I feel ashamed when Lance raves about it to people, "Julie makes the best hamburger steak and gravy over rice". Then they look at me and say, "How do you make the gravy"? and I reply, "I open a can of cream of mushroom soup! Wait, I add salt and pepper too"! Ha!
Ok, starting with the bottom pic and moving your way up just brown the patties on both sides for about 5 minutes each side. (does not have to be cooked all the way through) Pour in one can of cream of mushroom soup (my family likes 2, makes more gravy). Add a little salt and pepper and bring the heat high enough to get the gravy bubbling a little bit, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes. I stir it once or twice during that 30 minutes, maybe flip the meat over. Meanwhile, make your rice, green beans and biscuits. There you go! The top pic is a "fancy" version. We have been known to layer it all in a bowl, biscuit too and cover with the sauce! This can also be used with low fat soup and/or brown rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.
Cash eats his green beans chopped up and mixed in. He never knows he is eating them!
Enjoy! Ashley, send me pics next time you make this and I will blog it! ;o)
Sorry my pictures aren't amazing, but I love to cook, and I love Viv's Blog with the recipes and I hope to share some of our favorites for our family and friends to see!
Love, Julie

Day 7

For today's dare, get two sheets of paper. On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse. Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day. There is a different purpose and plan for each. At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.

Love believes all things, hopes all things. -1 Corinthians 13:7.

Will you be my Valentine?

This is what I ordered for Lance! I hope he likes it! From Seale'ed With a Kiss.

Cash's Valentines Day Party

Cash Andrew had his Valentine's Party at School on Wednesday. I was in charge of heart shaped sandwiches! We had a great time and I love my "Ladies Man".

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009

What an awesome night we just had. We went to Raffa's in Kingwood and had a fantastic dinner. My dad, Eric, Joanne and Tori ended up meeting us there. I was lucky enough to have been able to call the chef ahead of time and he picked up some special cuts of meat for Lance and I because Ribeyes are not normally on the menu. Well, they were AMAZING! Chef David took care of us tonight and I highly recommend eating there. Afterwards the guys had drinks at a new place next door called Sharkys and the girls (and Mr. Cash) went for ice cream. Happy Birthday again baby! Love you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Lance!

Lance turns 34 on Wednesday, February 11th! I just wanted to say that I am blessed I have celebrated every birthday with him since his 20th! WOW! I love him so much and wanted to take this small moment to tell the world I am the luckiest girl around. We celebrated with a cake during the Super Bowl and tomorrow night we are going to eat at Raffa's. Happy Birthday Bubba!

Day 6

Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. -Proverbs 16:32

Thanks Heather

A BIG thank you to my friend Heather that made my new header on this page! Not only do I love it! But it matches my tablecloth on my dining table! HA! Check out her blog (link on the right) Five Makes a Family!

Thanks Heather!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 5

Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.

He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him. -Proverbs 27:14

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day 4

Contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me...How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. -Psalm 139:17-18

Day 4

I will post on Day 4 tomorrow. It really has something to do with your spouse being at work or gone all day. So I will post and do it tomorrow. I am trying very hard to still say kind words, we went to church this morning and then to Bass Pro Shop in Pearland for lunch and to let the kids look at stuff. Well, on the way home we got in a HUGE fight, it has been tense off and on all afternoon actually and I honestly don't know how the last fight started, he said it was me, and I say it was him. He stormed off to the gas station. MAN, marriage is hard at times! HA! It ALWAYS seems to be harder on days we are trying to be good!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Love this Song

You have to take a few minutes of your day and listen to the words to this song. I find myself lately wishing I could have God's Eyes. To see the things in people that he sees and I can't. I getso flustered and defensive sometimes with the way people act or treat others. I find myself "picking" at people's personalities like a scab that will never heal unless I stop being this way and see the good and positive part of everyone. I can imagine what people say and think about me, but I do know one thing. I hope they see the good in me, the part of me that tries so hard to live life and celebrate each and every part of it. Take a look at this video. You will love it like I do.

Day 3

Whatever you put your time,energy, and money into will become more important to you. It's hard to care for something you are not investing in. Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says, "I was thinking of you today."

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love;give preference to one another in honor.-Romans 12:10

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Night at the Jackson House!

Well, Lance Victor Jackson is one AMAZING cook! Over the past few years he has suddenly gained this skill and really enjoys going on cooking adventures in our kitchen or backyard. I like to sit back and enjoy these little nights when Lance comes home with a bottle of wine, fresh veggies and meat from the grocery store, makes a new CD from his play list and fires up the grill. Tonight he was inspired by a Teriyaki Bowl he had at Jack in a Box. He came home and made his own version of a Teriyaki bowl, with grilled chicken, white rice, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, broccoli, carrots and almond slivers. YUMMY! I love my cooking man!

Weekly Menu

I am going to start posting our Weekly Menu on the bottom of my blog and hopefully add some pics if I can now and then. I LOVE menu ideas! Feel free to share if you want!

Day 2

In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 1

Day 1 of "The Love Dare" The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our worlds often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tounge than to say something you'll regret. Stephen and Alex Kendrick w/Lawrence Kimbrough.

Ok, Lance and I just started this and so far so good! He is gone to work, so pretty good so far like I said! HA! This is a tough one for me because I bark a lot and I need to stop and respect Lance more and show him the respect he so deserves under his own roof. "Fireproof" struck a chord with me in one scene when Caleb says "I get more respect from everyone else, I am a hero to people but in my own home I am nothing" (he said something like that!) I am going to work one ME the next 40 days, not Lance. Lance and I are not going through a divorce, or even close to any kind of problems but I believe all marriages have room for improvement and we are far from perfect! So, I am going on this 40 day journey. We will see! HA!

Be completely humble and gentke; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 NIV

Ok, Let's Blog!

Ok, I am totally blogging! Always wanted to do it, never realized I could or had time! I am hoping this will be a bit of random everything, and most times random nothings. I want to take myself on a journey this year and find what I am looking for. What am I looking for? I don't know, but I plan to find it this year. Oh, and my title, "This is me, then" totally stole it from a JLo album, but that is how I feel, this is me, then. As I type each sentence I am already changing and that's ok! This blog will be just that, "This is me, Then" HA!