Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bright Lights Group.........Yikes!

  Today is the day. I lead my first Bright Lights Mom Group. I am a tad nervous. I taught AWANNA at our old church in KY. That was easy to teach 3rd, 4th,and 5th graders. They didn't expect a lot, well, except candy for memorizing bible versus. This is a whole new ball of wax. I am teaching and leading grown women. They don't want to get candy. They want grown up conversation without someone interrupting their time and without little ones around. That's a heavy load.

  I am not the all knowing person when it comes to the bible. I admit my bible sometimes goes days without being open. Sure I do the "I'll do better this week......Or I'll read some as soon as I am done with this one thing." Soon enough it is bedtime and I can't focus or keep my eyes open. But if I am totally and brutally honest.... it could just come down to my tv show is on.

  So you ask why in the world would you want to lead a class full of women when you don't know what you are doing? The short answer is to push myself to open that bible more. I have to study and read or I will surely look like an idiot. Now if you know me well you know I enjoy making myself the pun of jokes or just joking period. This isn't one of those times. I don't want to lord over these women but I would like to open up a good dialogue using scripture and then sharing with each other ways to help each other and our girls to grow in Christ.  

  My first lesson is on holiness. Let me tell you studying holiness brought up a lot of questions. Do I live a holy life? Do I let unholy things into my house i.e. tv shows, music, language? We all have our own tolerance for things. Our own convictions. This past two weeks that I have studied for this lesson I learned two things:

1. I definitely don't live a life that is wholly devoted to God. I let my pride and selfishness get into the way to much for that.

2. The only way to change my life to become more holy is to get out of the way and let God do the work within me.

   I can kick and scream like a child and want things my way. I can pretend the world revolves around me and my feelings. I can ask God a million times to give me the desire to open my bible. Help me!!! It's always me asking God for something I want.

  I once heard a sermon and in it the pastor talked about Psalms 37:4. "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." He said something that struck me. Something since that day I still think about. He said "that verse isn't saying God will give you everything you ask for. It is saying our hearts desire should be God's hearts desire. Meaning it should make us ask "God what is the desire of your heart for my heart?" 

So I am going to put on my big girl panties and surrender to God. To His will. To His desires. Will you?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wow it has been years and years since I have posted. Sorry it's been so long. 

  Recently I have been inspired and decided that I have to get our finances under control. Since moving to Iowa and retiring from the military we had NO and I mean NO savings. We moved into a house that has been a money pit!! The former owner thought he was a DIY expert. Little did he know that he wasn't by any means. Plumbing, flooring, electrical, you name it and he screwed it up. But I digress.......

   Recently my daughter Morgan's van was hit while she was driving home from school. The kid hit her directly in the driver' side rear wheel. He drove away with no significant damage. We on the other hand have to pay our $500 deductible. The bill total is up to $1460.00 and they haven't even looked at the suspension. I decided to claim it on our insurance because apparently the other insurance company can refuse to pay. Why do we have insurance then? I knew we were at risk of this when the lady contacted my insurance company, not me, to ask that they don't report it to her insurance company. That she wanted to pay for it out of pocket. The reason was she, her daughter and her son (who hit Morgan) all had been in accidents. Hmmm this doesn't sound right. So the insurance company said I could, if I wanted to, write up an agreement with the lady for her to pay out of pocket but when she got the bill she didn't have to ultimately pay it unless I sued her. Which at that point left me no recourse but to pay the entire amount to get the car back. 

  We got into a panic and wondered where we could pull that money from. We have no savings....what now? We have jiggled some numbers and even though this time of year is super busy with constant birthdays and Christmas we managed to pull it out of our finances. 

  I recently spoke to my friend on the far east coast and she had talked about the debt snowball. I looked more into it and it seems doable. I have been sitting here for two hours this morning making out a budget from now until December 2017. I think this is a brilliant way to tackle debt. I can have  three of four credit cards paid off by March. The other will take a few months more to pay off. We will be able to start a savings account and an emergency fund. Once those are in place I can start making double payments on the cars to pay them off faster. 

  I will start a new at home job in October, hopefully if they can contact my references. I haven't factored in this new income to the budget yet but I am excited to see how this would accelerate our plan. We have two kids entering college in the fall of 2017. We recently purchased 2 newer vehicles. Morgan was put on our car insurance a few months ago. Noah will probably be added to the car insurance by next summer. So lots more money floating out the door. It's funny when you make more money you somehow always are at $0 by the end of the month...lol. I don't point this out to brag but to show that I am positive this will work. It will take dedication on our part to stick to our budget. We have always been a little splurgy (yes I made a new word). 

  I think the most important thing we can do is give our finances to God. We hadn't tithed in a long time. Recently we started tithing again and the blessings have started to come. We have been shown throughout our lives many different times that God has been faithful in this area. If we just trust in Him and give Him back a portion He will do amazing things. He is such a wonderful father. I hope that if you believe in Him, because He believes in you, that you will trust Him. Even when you don't think you can afford it. Give any amount even if it's only a dollar. Take that leap of faith and He will bless you more than you can imagine.  

                          May God bless you............. Julie

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I just figured out it has been 2 months since I posted anything. I have been so caught up in life that I haven't had time for any blogging.

Morgan and Noah are in the same class again this year. Wow 5th grade! Who would have thunk it? They love their classroom, friends and teacher. They have a class pet named Carrot. Can you guess what it is? You got it! It's a bunny.

The class recently caught a baby rat snake. Which is now class pet #2. Morgan and Noah can not stop talking about this snake. The kids are coming up on their first intersession for the year. Their teacher asked which kids would be willing to take the snake home with them over vacation. Of course, it goes without saying, my two beautiful and intelligent children volunteer. She luckily tells them to ask their mom before they were sure.

Now snakes are something I usually try and avoid! A friend of mine used to have a rat snake. (She actually has/had many animals.) Her snake, I think it's name was Pinkie, seemed nice. So after much coersion I decided I could hold it. Well, it peed on me. Apparently he didn't fall for my witty charm. But I digress.

I told the kids we will have to ask their father. I mean really do I always have to be the mean one and say no? I had the secret knowledge that Jimmy hates snakes. I felt pretty confident when I told him, in private, about the snake that he would say 'no". Then I could do the motherly thing and say "sorry I would have let you BUT dad said no". Instead of a sane answer he says "sure why not". For a moment I thought he wasn't really the man I loved but some alien that was in a "Jimmy suit". Remember in Men In Black the lady said her husband wasn't himself and it was like he was in an "Edgar suit"?....OK never mind.

Anyway, I am hoping if I stall my answer long enough some other kid will come to school and take the snake home with them. Does this make me a bad mom? Hmmm, let's see. Looking after a 1, 4, 10, and 11 year old, 3 dogs, house, husband and school......sure let's add a snake to the mix. So the ultimate answer is I will post pictures of the snake when it comes to visit for 3 weeks. Why I can never say no, I will never understand.

I promise to start writing more. When of course I can find a moments peace.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thunder and Lighting... a four year olds perspective.....

Yesterday, on our way home from lunch at school with Morgan and Noah, Mary and I noticed how cloudy and dark it was getting. Mary decided it was going to rain. I had to concur. The rest of the conversation was as follows:

Mary: You know I am a big girl now and I am not afraid of the thunder and lightning.

Me: Yes you are and I am so proud of you.

Mary: You know thunder is when the cold air and the hot air fight and they make a big boom.

Me: That's right. You are so smart.

Mary: Morgan old me that. And lightning is God turning on and off the light like Noah does.

Me: (stifles a giggle) Well lightning is more like when you rub your feet on the carpet and touch Morgan and it zaps her. That little zap is like tiny, tiny lightning.

Mary: Oh! Well mom, God made Jesus and God makes the lightning. God made everything. And Jesus is everywhere...in the trees, the grass and in us...

Me: (my heart starts swelling because she is finally understanding how GREAT God is) That's right Mary, God is in everything and He did make everything.

Mary: Well you know if Mary wasn't Jesus' mommy he wouldn't be here either. Cause Mary was good and God liked her. I am glad Mary liked God.

Now I know kids say great and funny stuff all the time. In this instance she was correct and was very serious the whole time. I love those moments when you start to see the things you have instilled in your kids start to surface without you reminding them.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A month already?

Wow I guess I hadn't really thought about how long it's been since I posted anything.

I've been cleaning the house today. It is an eye opener when you start cleaning out closets and dusting everything, just how much stuff you possess. I have gone through the house many times since moving in and have gotten rid of excess things. Like the clothes I haven't worn in years or books I have read and will never read again. Somehow it just seems never ending. Now I am not saying we aren't blessed to have the money to buy the things we want. It just is a lot to go through.

Morgan and Noah have about 2 more weeks of summer left. I reminded them of the fact and they weren't too happy. Mary has been put on the waiting list at preschool. She doesn't know yet and I don't have the heart to tell her. Hopefully right before school starts they will call and she can go. It is hard to fit kids into one classroom of 16, when 56 registered.

We have been regulars at the library this summer. It is kind of funny that they are starting to recognize us. We have been reading so many books it unbelievable! I have been enjoying reading again. I have been one of those readers (since the kids came along) that read only when I had down time, which was few and far between. The kids have been so self sufficient now that not so much is required. Which gives me more time to just relax.

Morgan is very much into cooking now. Her favorite things to make are mac-n-cheese, spaghetti and grilled cheese. She has been making lunch since school has been out. She is growing up so quick. You can definitely see the caregiver surfacing in her.

Noah has been reading all these scary books lately. I keep expecting him to show up in my room with nightmares. He still hasn't. He totally gets the love of being scared from me. LOL. He is still on his historical research kick for awhile. In fact the other night Morgan and Noah were asking about Communism. Just a light conversation, right?

Mary is still so much fun. She is so into writing and drawing. I think she has a real talent for it. She is speaking much better lately. We have been working on the 'F' and 'T' sounds. It is still a work in progress but she gets better everyday. She is also on a mission to learn how to whistle. Every once in awhile you her a little whistle come out and she gets so excited!

Jimmy is doing great! He is still working his butt off. He is asleep as soon as his head hits the bed. There are soldiers leaving for overseas and also some coming home over the next few weeks. So we won't see too much of him. He really does have a great unit that will accomplish their mission.

I have agreed to be HHB's FRG leader after much begging from the commander. I am a little overwhelmed at how nonfunctional this FRG is. The FRG is supposed to have paperwork on wives, already set meeting dates, funds for the unit and the like. There is nothing! Now when I say nothing, I mean nothing. There is not one piece of paper or even a pencil. I have to establish this FRG. The last one I lead for Brigade at least had the forms and funds and that took about 2 hours of my life 2-3 times a week. I am sort of scared how much of an undertaking this is going to be!!!! So pray for me that I can do this with as much success as the commander is hoping for.

Well that's the run down of current events. Hope this finds you well.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

AHH what a weekend....

What a great weekend we had. I know it will sound silly but it was.

Saturday we woke up and I made our traditional pancakes. Then we went to the gym and Jimmy killed me! We did our normal cardio and then we worked on legs. Jimmy pushed me so hard that I actually threw up (sorry for the graphic details)! My legs and butt still hurt today. I seriously do not know how his soldiers can deal with his P.T. everyday?

I of course had to go out and weed the entire garden myself. It is funny how the kids wanted this huge garden and now they claim they didn't. Hmmmm? I am starting to see the fruits of my labor. We had 2 tomatoes, a handful of peas and one banana pepper. I was so excited!

The rest of Saturday was pretty normal and low key. Jimmy and I watched a chick-flick called "Why Did I Get Married." I strongly recommend it to all the married couples. We BOTH cried twice and that is totally not Jimmy. We finished the evening watching "Traitor" which wasn't as good as I thought it would be. It was great to get cozy and watch some movies that didn't involve Walt Disney.....lol.

Today was the best day of the weekend. After breakfast Mary did a FlyingWilinda off the couch and landed on Jimmy. Of course the other 2 got in on the action. For the next 45 minutes they laughed and thoroughly beat up one another. I think Mary won. I watched the French Open which is a treat to have control of the big screen and no one complain. I wish my Nascar races were the same way. After it was over I decided it was time to finally sand and paint the front porch. This particular chore I have been putting off for weeks. Jimmy came out and helped. The kids came out to play with our their friend Laura. They proceeded to run through the sprinkler and had so much fun. Jimmy and I finished the porch without even fighting. LOL We usually have some disagreement about how things should be done, so this was a huge feat! Late Jimmy bar-b-qued chicken and corn on the cob. I made my famous cubed potatoes. It might sound boring to some, but it has been so peaceful. I love these kinds of weekends.

I hope your weekend was great too!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Group

Well another school years is coming to an end. The kid's last day is Friday (only a half day). I remember the euphoric feeling that last day of school. You woke up and got ready for school faster than any other day of the year. You couldn't wait for that last bell to ring. Once you heard it you ran home to throw your stuff in the door and off you went with your friends.

Now this was mostly true until Jr. High. This is when I started hanging out with "The Group" as we called ourselves. It consisted of Staci, Jenni, myself, Diego (my boyfriend at the time), Russ (Jenni's boyfriend and now husband), Dave, Curtis, Randi (Staci's ex and eventual baby daddy), and Maria (a very short term friend and Randi's other ex).

Our days consisted of hanging out with each other, mostly at Jenni's house. Days of dancing in Jenni's basement to "Baby's Got Back" and Prince and the like. Days of playing pool and Rummy. Days of sitting around just laughing our brains out. Or worrying over the next drama that we were sure would end life as we knew it. Camping at Mahoney in the pouring rain. Days of me drawing on Jenni's bedroom walls. A day of dressing 3 guys up in makeup and they went to a local grocery store. Even drinking coffee all night at Denny's.

These are such wonderful memories. You see these weren't just my friends, they were/are my family. They were there for me when no one else was. They were there when you needed a shoulder to cry on. We held each other up. We held each other accountable for our mistakes but loved each other anyway. I miss those days. We have all scattered into many different directions. All living our own lives.

I am still very close to Jenni. Jenni has been my best girl friend for years. She is closer to a sister than a best friend. She is a miraculous lady. A true friend. There was a time when we didn't talk and I am so sad we missed out on those years together. When we finally talked after, I think 6 years, we picked up our friendship as if we hadn't missed a day. She has been the only friend in my life who I never hid anything from. It is so sad that we have to live so far apart. We only het to see each only once a year. In that time though we have a ton of fun and a ton of laughs. She has the funniest laugh I have ever heard. She has always been my best audience, I love to get her laughing. She is a mommy to 3 boys and I know that has to be tough being the only girl, but she handles it with grace.

I haven't seen or talked to Dave, Curtis, Maria or Randi in years. I have talked on and off with Staci for about 2 years now. I think that is a relationship that will always be an on and off again kind of thing.

I have resumed my friendship with Diego. It is different friendship now than before. At one point I thought we would marry and live our happily ever after. With his career choice and my pregnancy we just couldn't ever find our way back to each other. So we had a lot of unresolved things to talk out, when we finally caught up with each other. It had been about 7-8 years since we broke up when we started talking again. Things got a little messy as things tend to do. We ended up not talking again for a few years but we've crept back into a conversation between friends that started18 years ago. It is strange now to try and have that great friendship. We are both married with kids and both happy. But Diego always had a way of talking me down from doing something stupid. At the time he knew me more than I knew myself. Yes we were dating but he was more then a boyfriend, he was my best friend. I miss our open and candid conversations. I miss NOT having to watch what I say as to not offend our spouses.

It all comes down to wishing more than anything to have those close relationships back. Most of the friends will never even speak to each other again for various reasons. I am glad that I still have 2 people that have shared so much together.

Our"Group" of people will never share the bond we had with anyone else in their lives. In my dreams I still go back to them and laugh and just hang out. I will always carry a special place in my heart for each and everyone of them.

I hope that everyone has this closeness with someone in their lives............

Friday, May 29, 2009

Da** Squirrels!!!

SO today Noah runs in from getting the mail and says "Mom you have a red strawberry!" So I hurriedly run out to check. Sure enough I see red peeking through the green leaves. My first strawberry I am so excited! I go to pick it and notice it looks odd. The DA** Squirrels ate most of my strawberry! You can even see their little teeth marks. I guess it isn't enough that they spin my bird feeder and throw all the seeds on the ground. Then proceed to gobble them up!!! Now I have been an avid advocate for the squirrels, but not anymore. They have crossed the line! This means war!!!!

P.S. I also included a photo of my tomatoes. They have been green for more than 2 weeks. I am wondering when and if ever they will turn red?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I had the window repair guy come out to estimate the cost of fixing the window. Oh yeah $228! Doesn't that feel great? Being put out $228 for some idiots funny joke? I so want to catch the little pain that did it.

Morgan is doing much better. She is sore but up and moving around. She has laid off the pain medicine since Sunday. She even crawled to the top bunk to sleep in her own bed tonight. Her check-up is on June 15th.

Noah passed his E.O.G. (End of Grade) tests!!! That means he can move on to 5th grade in July. I was so worried he might not pass with coming in at the end of the year and all. With the extra studying and the catch up work we did, he passed with flying colors. Jimmy is escorting Noah on his first field tomorrow. It will be his first trip in 3 years. Noah is so excited.

Mary has been a trooper this past week with Morgan being sick and all. She has been determined to help her all the time. Well this afternoon Mary had enough helping. She started getting a fever and now has progressed into throwing up.

My stomach hasn't been feeling that great today either....

Can this past couple of weeks get any better?