Saturday, January 26, 2008

This One Made Me Think

Lately I've been reading a blog that I've seen here and there for a while. Yesterday, I read this post and it really has me thinking. If you have a few minutes, check out what she has to say. She uses a quote from George Barna that I found quite convicting. Since reading her post, I've found a few more of his quotes that are worth pondering. These quotes are found in different parts of his book:

Having devoted more than two decades of my life and all of my professional skills to studying and working with ministries of all types, I am now convinced that the greatest hope for the local church lies in raising godly children.

Various studies have confirmed the results of some of our data: By the age of nine, most of the moral and spiritual foundations of a child are in place. From the time a child is born until he or she is in the early primary grades, the child is voraciously consuming cues and lessons related to each of the developmental dimensions. It seems that by the time he or she is nine; the child shifts mental gears and begins to use the cues he or she receives from that point forward to either confirm or challenge an existing perspective. It also appears that by the time the child has reached this age, it is much more difficult to change an existing view than to form a new view.

Our national surveys have shown that while more than 4 out of 5 parents (85 percent) believe they have the primary responsibility for the moral and spiritual development of their children, more than two out of three of them abdicate that responsibility to their church.

One of the lessons that wiser parents than I have learned is to remember that God cares a lot less about what we achieve that draws applause from the world, how many consecutive profitable quarters we led the corporation to amass, how clean and organized we kept our home or how many educational degrees we piled up than how we raise our children.

I feel convicted on so many levels! Why am I not more intentional about teaching my children those things that are my responsiblity to teach them? What kind of example am I setting for them regarding disciplines of my faith - prayer, Bible study, solitude, etc? Do they see me "practicing my faith"? How intentional am I about raising godly children? Am I more focused on managing our home than training their hearts?

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (New Living Translation)

5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

What about you? Please tell me how you are intentionally training your children. Are you leaving spiritual training to the church? What are God's standards for parenting as defined by the Bible? How are you practicing the passage above in your home? Are you making decisions in your home based on what Scripture says or what society will think? What are we teaching our children if we give them everything society tells them they need? Are you mimicking the world, but in a cleaned-up format?

Lots to think about.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

G Says Part 3

"I didn't kick him. I hit him with my leg."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

You Can't Be 14!

I can't believe that 14 years ago today, all Kacole and I could say was "Today, we're gonna be AUNTS!!!!"

Happy Birthday Nephew! You are a super kid and I sure hope my boys grow up to be like their very cool big cousin! Your brother may be "the LEADER" but God has big plans for your quiet, gentle nature and incredible intelligence. You stole our hearts all those years ago and you still have a very special place in mine.

Guitar Hero

Just the CD he wanted

Speed Demon

Friday, January 18, 2008

Snow Day

The other day it snowed for about one hour here in the big city. My son has experienced lots of snow in the last month, but our little friend hasn't. Not one for bundling up, D didn't seem to mind hat and gloves on this day!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Look How We've Changed

Yesterday I posted a picture of my brother and me when we were kids. The other day, our cousin posted some pictures on her blog. One of those photos is of the four of us girls in the family: ShelleyRo (cousin), me, JAR (sis-in-law), and Kacole (sister). So, if you want to see what we looked like almost 20 years ago at my bridal shower, then click here!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday JRR

Today is JRR's birthday! That's us back in the mid-70's (obviously) at our Mammaw's house. Yep, we're Southern, we had a couple of "Mammaws". (Reminds me of a Hannah Montana episode! That's so sad.) This picture cracks me up because it is just like JRR to have his shirt tucked into his belted pants. So neat and orderly. It's just like me to need to adjust my pants - so not neat and not orderly!

JRR is very creative (check here and here). He is also quite hilarious! If you don't know him and weren't reading my blog this time last year, you can read more about him here. It's a much more serious and moving tribute to the brother!

I wish we could spend time together today. It wouldn't be anything terribly exciting to most people. I might possibly bring some of this and some of these - just for fun! But most likely we would probably drink coffee and talk about politics. Well, I would ask questions and he would explain and give his comments about politics. We might also talk about how much fun we all had in Colorado last month or how we can make sure the sister ends up taking in the parents when they are old and feeble. That last part would be a sham, since I'm sure that's what they talk about when I'm not around!

In honor of this special occasion, I have a story he will think is funny. He thinks most things this kid does is funny.

The other day, G said "Daddy, put down that remote and play with me".

Needless to say, that's just what the daddy did!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's a Cookie for Pete's Sake

Why is it necessary for a Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookie to sing, "If You Think I'm Sexy" in order to sell cookies?


Friday, January 11, 2008


Does anyone have any idea what Ron Paul is talking about? Really, at any given time, do you have any clue what on earth his point is?

Please, fill me in. I just don't get it!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

G Says, Part 2

It's been a while since I posted some of the funny things my four year old says. Here are a few things he's said lately:

Upon the return from our incredible trip to Colorado (where we played in the snow, sledded, saw mountains, you know, CO in the winter):

Mom: G, what was your favorite thing about being in Colorado?

G: um, sleeping on Grandma's couch! (Ok, he didn't sleep on a couch - it was a trundle bed set up as a couch for daytime use. When he slept in it - it was a BED.)

This isn't really something he says, it's something he does. We read lots of Dr. Seuss books. It never fails, when reading him one of the books, he always answers the questions. You know - there are lots of rhetorical questions in those books! My favorite one is at the end of The Cat in the Hat. "What would you do if your mother asked you?". Well, D NEVER answered that question. He just grinned! G, on the other hand, tries to explain just what he would do in that situation. While ago the Daddy was reading the one about choosing which job you'll do one day (can't think of the title). After every occupation, G would respond "yes" or "no".

Man, it takes a lot longer to read those books if the kids actually participates!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Colorado Vacation

Back in November, after celebrating Thanksgiving, I remember thinking that December might not be as crazy as usual. We would not be traveling to do Christmas with anyone. There would certainly be parties and shopping, but it looked like our weekends would be sane.

Well, I was wrong. Every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, our varsity football team was in the playoffs. On December 22nd, they won the state championship. It was all terribly exciting, but EXHAUSTING!

The next thing I knew it was Christmas Eve and I was completely stressed out. Not only was Christmas the next day, but we were leaving at oh-God-hundred on the 26th for a trip to Colorado. You know, you don't just throw a few things in the suitcase and head to the mountains. It takes planning and purchasing! Everytime my dear husband headed to one of the cities, shopping for Christmas, his list included just as many things for the trip as for Christmas. Half of the gifts our boys opened on Christmas morning included winter gear of some sort!

Anyway, we left for CO the morning after Christmas - very excited and ready for a vacation! It began to snow before we drove out of our county. The boys were so excited about every bit of snow they saw. We kept telling them that this was nothing compared to what was ahead. After 14 hours, we arrived at my parents place near Salida. My siblings and their families had all arrived that day too. My parents had been there a while already.

For the next several days we played in the snow, ate, played games, kissed on the baby, ate, opened gifts, and played in the snow some more. There isn't much we could have done to make it any better. The mountains were gorgeous, especially at twilight. Everything turned blue-grey and it was breathtaking. We left the youngest kids with the grandparents and headed to a favorite coffee shop in town. The couples took turns planning the meals each night, but we all shared the load of cooking and cleaning. We played with each other's kids and enjoyed watching the cousins reconnect. Oh, and we drank coffee...lots of good coffee!

Thanks to my youngest, we even had our own themesong!

I'm still working on putting my pictures in a slideshow, but you can check out some here and here. But if you have a few minutes, please check out the video my brother put together. It is a wonderful recap of the trip. You'll be glad you took the time to watch.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Media Bias?

Have you noticed the "preference" in the coverage of the caucus results? If the news agency is more liberal, the headline is "Obama, Huckabee Win Caucuses". But the more conservative (OK, Fox News) reports "Huckabee, Obama..."

CNN ran the speeches from the winners this morning. Guess whose speech ran first?

You may wonder why on earth I was watching CNN. Pure curiosity!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Misplaced Iowans

Anyone who knows the Jacksons knows that we love Iowa. God sent us there (almost kicking-and-screaming) and then blessed us beyond measure. Iowa got in our blood! Yes, it's far from home. Yes, the winters are HARSH. Yes, it can be a challenge finding good Tex-Mex, but it became home to us. We loved our life there. We liked who we were there. There are still times when the regret of leaving is so strong it's hard to breath.

For the most part, Iowa stays low-key. Not much newsworthy happens there, with a few exceptions - like the McCaughey septuplets or the Butter Cow Lady at the State Fair! One might think that life there can be dull and uninteresting.

But, every few years all eyes are on the Hawkeye State - if only for a few days. All the political pundits and talking heads converge on Des Moines (and other cities) to analyze the bizarre ritual know as a caucus. Suddenly, what Iowans think is VERY IMPORTANT. These salt-of-the-earth, patriotic voters from the Heartland somehow represent what the majority of the nation thinks. I'm kinda proud of that. No, the caucus results seldom predict the parties' nominees. In fact, Bush lost the caucus, Kerry won his party's caucus. But it is the beginning of a very long, sometime boring, sometimes fascinating process that leads to electing our President. I might sound like the brother, but that gives me chills.

We only lived in Iowa during one presidential election. I was 8 months pregnant with D (right before the Straw Poll - over a year before the 2000 election) when a friend and I went to hear Elizabeth Dole speak at a hotel. We spent time chatting with her and shook her hand. It was a thrill. Not because of my feelings toward her necessarily. It felt like I was doing something so important, something that is a privilege and honor. I was listening to someone try to convince me why she should be the next President of the United States. I figured she would not receive the nomination, but that didn't matter. I had taken part in the political process and it was a thrill. Much the same way I feel each time I vote.

The point of this post isn't to get all patriotic and mushy. I really just want to say how cool I think it is that every major news channel has people sitting in restaurants all over Iowa, freezing their butts off, asking "Why Iowa?". I wish I still lived there so I could take part in a caucus tonight - and I would, just for the expericence. I just wish I had done it 8 years ago. Last night Hannity & Colmes did their show from the restaurant across the street from where I worked in downtown Des Moines. I've eaten there several times and remember it well.

I just think that's cool!

Maybe it just doesn't take much to impress me!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Payton

Payton Chumbley turns 4 today! He should be home from his 10th round of chemo, but I haven't called to see if that is how it worked out. If you haven't been able to keep up with the latest on Payton, please check out his site. He is quite a kid!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008