Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year 2010

At the beginning of 2010, Jack was a tiny little blob in a photo on Marie's shirt.

 I was 12 weeks pregnant with him.

Now he's 6 months old and holds my heart in the palm of his tiny, squishy hand.

The world is a sweeter place with him here.

He's just about 20lbs, can sit up when he wants, is constantly grabbing at things, is always happy, and wants momma's milk only. And he's a snuggler. In a word: perfect.

 At the beginning of 2010, Marie was 18 months old.

She was still very shy with strangers, but was not at all afraid of using her voice in many forms (babbling, screaming) around her parents.

Now she is 2.5 years old... what?!?!?

I refuse to believe it.

She's an athlete through and through. She loves to sing and dance and be in pictures. She adores her baby brother. She's finally putting together sentences. Every day she blows me away with her smarts! She's the most beautiful baby girl on the planet and I love her, love her, love her!

At the beginning of 2010, Derek was working at the Counseling Center and at Riverfront. He worked a lot. But he always found time for his girls.

He wasn't very happy. He felt like he was stuck... going nowhere fast.

Now Derek is working at The Crossing Educational Center, RETA, and running a Micro Soccer Academy. He works a lot. He still always finds time to spend time with his girls and little man.

But now he's happy. He led our family to Indiana by completely trusting God. He loves his jobs; he loves being in full time ministry; he loves knowing we are exactly where God wants us.

At the beginning of 2010, I was 3 months pregnant with my 2nd baby.
(This is at 18 weeks)
I was always exhausted and felt fat from day 1. But of course it resulted in another beautiful blessing so it was more than worth it.
I loved our "corner of 5th and Emmett" house; I loved my jobs as wife, mom, and jewelry designer; I loved spending time with my friends and the wonderful ladies at Oasis. I dreaded the move.

Now I am not pregnant, just fat.

I still adore my "jobs." I love living in Elkhart, but have learned through the whole experience that it really doesn't matter where we live, as long as we're together. I'm happiest when the 4 of us are all together.
I'm so proud of my amazing husband and my beautiful babies. I'm so thankful for our wonderful church. Life isn't easy entering 2011 but I wouldn't change a thing because I know we're where God wants us and doing what He wants us to do.

Happy New Year! Here's to 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blessings Jar

A little while back I talked about wanting to make a "God Box." I haven't actually made one yet bc I haven't been able to come up with what I wanted this God Box to actually look like. Last night I came across this post on one of my favorite blogs and I LOVE the idea!

It's a Blessings Jar. Instead of making a big box to fit everything in (or maybe in addition to?) we'll have a homemade blessings jar with some paper and pen nearby for daily use!

Blessings Jar

I just love this idea. I'm thinking of finding some scrapbook paper that has rocks on it and writing the blessings on the white side then folding them in half so it looks like a jar full of rocks. (Refer to Joshua 4 for why I want to do this!)

Whenever I get to making it, I'll show it off. It may just be a regular jar for awhile until we get into our new house!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jacobs Christmas Recap

After celebrating Christmas with the Johnson fam on the 21st, Derek, the babes, and I loaded up in the car and drove to Cleveland on the 22nd. The 23rd... yes, our 5th anniversary... we drove the rest of the way to Scranton.

We celebrated 5 wonderful years that night by going to my favorite PA restaurant (Thai Rak Thai) where I ate my whole plate of drunken noodles with beef. YUM. Then we stopped at Mannings for some milkshakes (desserts go into a totally different compartment so there's always room no matter how full I am! Right, Sister?). Then we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. We were the only 2 customers in the entire theater. I mean not just in the movie we were watching, but the entire theater. It was a little creepy. But the movie was fantastic and totally should have been in 3D!!

Christmas Eve service and yummy Christmas Eve finger foods followed.


We were ridiculously spoiled with a million presents!

I love being a mom because presents for the babies are presents for me! I felt like I was given an entire children's clothing and toy store!

But technically all of that stuff wasn't for me. Some of the things that were just for me were...

501 Tv-free Activities For Kids (501 TV-Free Kids)A Lineage of Grace: Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity [Book]
Photo Credit


So, needless to say, I've been spending much of my time reading and taking pictures. I could totally get used to this.

Tomorrow and Thursday is filled with my wonderful friends. Friday Derek and I are going away without the babies for the night. Happy Anniversary to us!! There will most definitely be pictures as Derek and I both have an addiction to the Canon.

Sunday we will be visiting our New Life church family!

Then... HOME!

The only reason I'm looking forward to getting back to life as usual is because of this...

All we're waiting on now is the loan money. That is projected to arrive in January. 

Woot! Woot!

For now, I'm loving being at the inlaws and back in the city and state that has always held a special place in my heart.

Enjoy the last couple days of 2010!

Celebrating Jesus

This Christmas season I spent a lot of time contemplating how I wanted to bring up my children regarding Christmas. I've come out the other side of the holiday with a passion to raise my children celebrating Jesus' birthday on Christmas, learning to give, and learning to be grateful for what they're given.

This Christmas we did have a great opportunity to begin teaching that with a new tradition my extended family (parents, sibs, gma) began. We decided to make dinner for a family less fortunate. We all considered people we know and prayed about who God wanted us to bless and shower with His love. We eventually decided on one of Derek's students and his mom.

Through the collaborative efforts of 10 adults, we brought them dinner (I made yummy apple pie. I'll post the recipe I got from MOPS soon!), some soup for the following day, a Walmart gift card, and one gift for each of them (Derek made a bracelet to match a pair of earrings I made for the mom).

I'm so proud of my man.

We crowded in their little kitchen, told them about Jesus, prayed with them, and left with full hearts.

I can't wait to do it again next year!

And I cannot wait to raise my babies with this tradition. Even though we don't have much according to U.S. standards, we have more than enough to bless others. And we are filthy rich with the love of God.

I'm so grateful for Christmas and the opportunity to celebrate as the angels did that silent night a couple thousand years ago. I'm so grateful for a family that loves others. I'm so grateful for Jesus.

We were super blessed (and continue to be!) here at the inlaws. More on that soon. For now I'm linking up over at MODsquad -

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

And a blessed new year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

5 Beautiful Years

December 23, 2010 will mark our 5th anniversary! I can't even believe it. It's so amazing to walk through our church decorated beautifully for the wonderful Christmas season, and remember our beautifully decorated wedding in this same church. I really had no idea we'd be back 5 years later.

I am so blessed. I mean ridiculously blessed. 5 years ago I married a man I still do not deserve. What a beautiful, wonderful, ((eventful)) day!

The further away we get from the Christian "bubble" we both grew up in, the more and more broken families we come across. It just breaks my heart that it is not normal to be 26 years old and still have both sets of parents together and happy. We've been learning how incredibly blessed we are to both have that. Thank you, Ma and Dad Jacobs. Thank you, Momma and Dadda Johnson.

And we've been challenged to do the same. What an amazing legacy our parents have left for us. We plan to leave the same for our children, by God's grace.

I beg of you, every single person who comes across this blog, to please do the same. Commit to your vow. Change the world, one God-glorifying marriage at a time.

I am passionate about this. And I'm SO thankful for a husband who shares that passion.

Now on to the anniversary celebration! This was us at our rehearsal dinner 5 years ago...

Our 1st Anniversary was probably our very favorite. We spent the weekend in DC!! It was gorgeous and historical and awesome and enlightening and fantastic and lots and lots more!

Our 2nd Anniversary I was almost 3 months pregnant. Our last anniversary childless. We stayed in a B&B in Windsor, Ontario and spent the day at the Science Center in Detroit. We are not fans of school, but we love to learn!

Our 3rd Anniversary, Marie came along. It definitely had it's stressful moments! But due to lots of snow, the B&B we stayed at in Chicago was empty. So thankfully we didn't have guests to drive crazy with a screaming baby. We did have a wonderful time, tho, going to various museums and looking at and dancing to lights! (See video below!) Oh, and Derek restored my American Girl Doll, Samantha, and took us to the American Girl Doll store in downtown Chicago! My man is good.

Our 4th Anniversary... Derek and I are trying to remember right now as I don't have any pictures of it! I remember we had Marie stay at the in-laws for the night and Derek and I made a Christmas craft then went somewhere and did something... can't remember that part... oh wait, we think we went to a movie, went to my fave PA restaurant (Thai Rak Thai), and played poker with Derek's friends where we were spoiled silly with a Wii system! (And I got second place in poker. It's all coming back to me now!)

Sadly, I don't even have a pic of the two of us together the whole month of December! We lost sight of what is most important in a family - the marriage relationship. Kids are so distracting! But in order to have a healthy and strong family, you must have a healthy and strong marriage. SO looking forward to some time away for this Anniversary! It's been so long.

Here's a memorable pic of our 4th Anniversary month...

I love my husband. I have been so blessed to be married to him for 5 years and his one-and-only for 7.5 years. Looking forward to 5 more decades of marital bliss!

Happy 5th Anniversary, Baber!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Highest Calling

I have no doubt that God has called me to be a wife to Derek and a mom to Marie, Jack, and the future kids He blesses us with. But sometimes figuring out what that looks like day to day is complicated.

When do I leave the mess and spend time with my babies?

When do I leave the babies to play by themselves and tackle the mess?

How long should Marie have to wait for Derek and me to catch up on our day?

The past couple weeks have been rough as mentioned in the last post. Rough days/weeks always translate into a messy house. Always. I keep putting off the cleaning, justifying it with the need to spend time with my kids and my husband. I kept wrestling with whether or not it's really all that important to spend time cleaning. God would rather me invest in the lives of my kids, spend time in His Word, provide for my family.

Then I came across this 3x5 card Derek had tucked away in his Bible that had three reasons why he appreciated me. I only remember the 1st - that I keep the house clean and together for him.

So I finally caught up with the dishes.

Keeping up with the house chores is an important part of my calling.

Another important part is obviously my Baby Girl. I love that kid. so. much.

She's having a little more patience with crafting so I've been trying to be all over that. I love the look on her face when I ask her if she wants to make something with mommy. I wish I could capture a picture of it. She loves hanging out with mommy.

I. Love. That. Kid. So. Much.

We made this for her Sunday evening Sunday School teacher. She's Marie's favorite teacher.

She's colored several more that are hanging in the kitchen. These and the snowflakes Derek cut out of paper and hung from the livingroom celiing are our only Christmas decor this year. Makes me sad. But my Mother-in-law always has beautiful decor so I should get my fill while we're there!

I've also got chocolate covered pretzels in Marie and my before-Christmas agenda. I love being a mom.

I love being a wife.

I love my calling.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Irritating the Enemy

Lately my life has felt like a chaotic mess. It's really hard to function normally when in constant pain. I feel for those people who have to deal with chronic pain for their whole lives. Thankfully, mine will be gone soon after Jan. 6 when these wretched wisdom teeth are gone forever.

It was really cool to see God answer a very specific prayer. The other night I was stressed out. Tylenol wasn't cutting it and I just couldn't imagine hurting for another month. So I finally gave in and asked God to either provide a way to get these teeth out earlier or take away the pain. And I trusted Him to do it. He did, almost immediately.

I still get a little pain here and there, but for the past couple of days it has been almost non-existent! Thank You, Lord!

Just in time to get an infection and suffer through two straight days of serious fever. Ugh.

The fever did finally break but I'm still enjoying a painful infection.

The list of ailments this family has suffered since moving to Indiana outnumbers my fingers and possibly my toes.

This morning Derek told me to be careful walking into Church. I said, "I'm not pregnant so it's okay if I fall." He said, "We don't need to spend any more time at the hospital!"

We've done plenty of heart searching to see if there is sin causing this mess.

Finally, Derek had an epiphany. Life in Scranton was nice and comfy. We weren't really doing anything for the Lord so Satan saw no threat.

Here. Here is different. Derek is in full-time ministry. He's impacting kids. He's changing lives.

Satan hates it.

I'm good with that.

So now that the fever is gone, Jack's ear infection is healing, my teeth pain is minimal, and I know we're making Satan mad, hopefully some cleaning will happen! And lots of Christmas crafts and learning about Jesus with my Baby Girl!

Here's to the happiest time of the year!!

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