Friday, February 25, 2011

Josh's Birthday Pictures

Our neigbors (Kaitlyn & Christina) baked Josh a giant cookie and brought it over. So nice!!!

I found this great blog with this great recipe for (Not) Fried Ice Cream below. It was HUGE hit!

He made a wish, but we don't know what it was. :)

Happy Birthday Josh!!!

We spent the evening at the APSU basketball game. I think Josh really enjoyed himself!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Josh!!!

15 years ago on this day Joshua Aaron Jimenez was born into this world. He arrived a full week past his "due date" and after 2 days of labor (the first day was barely recognizable). Around 3am on February 24th, 1996, I woke Will up and my mom was there too, and we all went to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital on Ft. Campbell, KY and there we waited for a "labor" room. We got one around 9am? and while I lay there on my back in labor all day ( what did I know then?) I cried and threw up and waited for something to happen to relieve the agony I was in. I pleaded for a c-section. Will vowed we'd never do this again. Then, around 6pm they wheeled me into the "delivery room" and at 6:13pm Joshua was born. And he was beautiful.

Turned out that Joshua was an easy baby and laid back and relaxed. He continues to be that way even now. He is laid back, easy going, and all-around a great guy (except don't ask his brother).

Seeing him grow (in height - he is is now 5'11") and into the man he is becoming is nothing less than a miracle before our eyes.

Raising a first child is so incredibly challenging, who knows what is right or what will help or hurt? Do we go with our instinct? Do we push or let go? Do we guide and instruct or let the processes occur naturally? We know it is a little of everything, but we don't trust ourselves.

So today I am praying:
God, take this child, this boy, this man that you have given us and grow Your Spirit within him. Help us to enjoy every moment of his wonderful character and show us when to guide him through the tough times of life's opposition. Help us to prepare him for what You have in store for him. May he always feel safe and secure in You and may he feel comfortable coming to us for any help he might need in navigating through his life. Help us to point him to You. Surround him with people who are of good character, full of integrity and wisdom, and who love You too. May he always continue to have a heart for those who are outcast or opressed, and may he act on it, instead of acting against it. Give him guidance for life God, so that he does not have to worry about what the future holds for him. Teach him discipline and contentment and virtue.
Thank you God for the past fifteen years with Josh.
Thank you just for Josh.
And thank You for every day of our future with Josh as we go together into many upcoming seasons that are unknown to us. Thank You for going before us and coming with us.

Friday, February 11, 2011

We finally did what I said we'd do: Riding the City Bus

For weeks now we have been "in action" a one-car family. We still own the Mustang; however, we aren't driving it in efforts to save money and miles on it. I always tell myself (and Will) that if we really wanted to get out and go somewhere that we could walk there or take the bus. Well, with 4 1/2 days off of school this week alone, temperatures hovering in the teens, and some restless kids who had been out to play in the snow & cold quite enough to satisfy us all, I finally just decided to do it. We didn't have to, but I couldn't see a great reason why not to. I likened it to bike riding with the boys when they were younger. I rode with them, taught them the rules of the road, and offered instructions that I hoped they would continue to "hear" when they would be riding to school or to the store. Those bike rides, I know now, were very important. They both went on to ride their bikes back and forth to middle school (a mile away and across a somewhat busy road) and to stores that are within that mile to 2 1/2 mile radius of our home. They still do. Not without incident, of course, but hopefully much more cautiously than without ever receiving some sort of guidance.
Same with the bus. There may be a day they need to take it to get from here to there. I can ride it with them now so they can experience how the system works.
It took a little more planning than just hopping in the car and going. But as I was preparing, I was getting excited! And nervous! Adventure! I hadn't felt like this in quite awhile. I felt so silly. People ride buses every single day and not because they want to necessarily! Well, want to or not, it was actually the only way for us to get to the library yesterday afternoon.
The bus came on time and I deposited the $3.75 for us to ride (found out later that I should have just paid $4.50 that would include the transfer at the Transit Station) into the automated money machine. We all sat and off we went. Brielle loved it. She was entertained the entire time. The boys showed no emotion, they just sat there looking cool and composed, as if they rode the bus all of the time.
I allowed Brielle to turn around on her knees and look out the window. I think the bus made her a little nervous because after going a little way she explained, "I just tooted." I asked her to not say that so loud, please. She said quieter, "I just tooted again." Ahhhh..... At least no one was sitting that close to us. When she wanted to change seats I told her not until we get on the next bus, knowing that what I allowed on that first trip would set the standard for trips to come.
It took 20 minutes to get downtown to the bus depot. It felt more like 10. We changed buses at the depot (where I had to pay my extra .75 cents and get my transfer tickets - oops) and it was very simple. Then, we rode around for 20 minutes before we went to the Library, which was extremely exciting for me because I saw new places in Clarksville that I've never seen before! How could that be? We've lived here for 15+ years and I never knew about this super huge cemetery somewhere downtown. It was a more interesting trip for me that the first bus. Oh! I did see two different residences (one house and one apartment) that were in two totally different areas (one on each bus) and decided that the women in them should definitely meet. I say this because they both harbored an extreme excessive collection of planter pots. Not a joke, they had at least 50 planter pots in each of their yards!! I've never seen anything like it and definitely not in one day!
The Library was good. Saw one of our close friends in there, found some books, let Brielle play, and waited for Will to get off of work to come pick us up. He got there after we'd been in the library for a couple of hours. It worked out well.
Not only am I glad we did it, but I look forward to riding the bus again. It's at least good to know that it's there if we need to go somewhere beyond our 2 1/2 mile radius on foot or small wheel.

Josh's First Military Ball

JROTC: The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) is a Federal program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across the United States. The program was originally created as part of the National Defense Act of 1916 and later expanded under the 1964 ROTC Vitalization Act. (from Wikipedia)

Josh and Albrey went as friends and had a great time
Albrey, Josh, Dakota, & Kaitlyn

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting cold and Keeping warm

I took this pictures yesterday afternoon from the comfort of my warm and cozy home:

The day before--Tuesday 2/8/11:

snowy streets
extreme snow playing:

to "Beat the Freeze" we headed to our local community center for some basketball and ping pong play:

Last week when we got the truck for the day:

There was a serious Melt Down:

Fun Times with our friend Natalie over to play:

On a less cold day:

Making Music together:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Overflowing or Trickling or Dry

For about 6 weeks now I've been in the strangest place in my mind/heart/soul. I have never really been here before, so it is foreign. Not exciting, but unknown in the expecting kind of way, nevertheless. I've realized that most of my adult life (I say "most") I've had an overflowing of extra "stuff" to give. There have certainly been seasons where this was not apparent, but that is why I said "most." Now, by "stuff" I mean kindness, friendship, food, material goods, whatever. I've often felt compelled to listen, help, offer, and even to start something for others. I like adventure and seeing what could happen. Now, lately, I've realized that I can't try everything I want to do, but that is another story.
Back to the overflowing...
obviously I'm not there right now. That is the strangest. It feels so strange to just be going along with life, asking God, what am I doing? What am I supposed to be doing? When all I hear is, "this." I don't like the answer, but I know I'm not feeling up for much else. And considering that most of the things in my life that I have gotten into have been (or are being) scaled back for a season, I feel very uncertain, when I feel up to caring about it. But I know that while I am in this unusual place I am very more aware of life than I've been in years. It was like I was drifting into this coma of other things that were good in some ways, but were causing me to MISS so much of my life. My real life. The life I was created for. Now, I sound like some kind of book...
Take Facebook for example. I miss it a lot! Especially because I think all of the time about events I'd like to share with others and questions I'd like to ask! I think, "if I were on FB...then I could do so much more." But it was just one more thing in the midst of other things that were keeping me from my life. It's tough! I want to justify FB right after typing that.
Back to my point (again). During this season of life, I've been hugely appreciative of those people who are overflowing right now. Even if they are just's like oil on my head (if we were in biblical times). A kind word, a note, a call, an email, even a smile. Anything. It means so much. Then, I started thinking about being "compelled." Sometimes, we can feel compelled to pray for someone, to reach out to them, to befriend them, or even just do something kind for them. I can see right now why someone would want to resist that urge toward someone in my place right now. It may not be much fun and I may not show how much I appreciate it. And...I may even decline or avoid it. This helps me when thinking about when I will one day have more to give---If I feel compelled toward someone---and I have anything to give at all--just try. If they resist, it doesn't have to be pushy or awkward. But if they come around and come out of it (even for a moment), be a friend. It really takes so little effort to let someone know you care. Sometimes, we think it's going to be this whole big ordeal of being sucked into someone else's problems, when we know we've already got too many of our own. But we are all in different places in different seasons for purposes that flow in God's natural design. And if you are in a place ever, that is slightly like what you are hearing me describe that I'm in, don't expect certain people you think should care and reach out to you to do so. Trust that God alone is all you need.
Then wait and see all of the ways (the most creative ways) that He chooses to bless us by showing His love to us. It may be through people we would never expect. Smiles from strangers, or from people we have only known a little while, or something such as sunshine, or unusual peace at very clear timing. We learn to appreciate it and soak it up, even more than usual.
Because a blooming flower looks more radiant and beautiful when your a sea of gray.
I praise God that He is the perfect Lighthouse when I'm loosing my sense of direction here.


Brielle meet Snowguy:

The little snowguy on his head was Tyler's creation

Tyler & neighbors started the base of this snow guy, but it was ultimately our neighbor, Cedrianna, and I that put in the most time.
The next day (Friday) the snow was melting and pretty packed, but Will brought us the family vehicle back home, so we headed to our favorite sledding hill just in time. (Can't even express how appreciative we were of this little adventure!!!)