Monday, December 29, 2008

Wacky Weaver Christmas in Portland







So before we headed south to have Christmas w/ our family we celebrated it with just the four of us. It was nice to have some time together. Each kid recieved one gift and then they got one "family" gift ( I use " " because it was a gift that Mak and Zeke would need to share and I would need to except the fact that our family refrigerator just got turned into a magnet spelling bee). Kids really do make Christmas so fun. Though Zeke liked his new gift he still found greater joy in wrestling the gift wrap. What a knuckle head.

Snow days







Well.. though we are in the land of sunshine right now we wanted to share what winter bliss we experienced back in Portland a couple of weeks ago. It was great to play in the snow... It was NOT great to drive in the snow. But I do have to say it brought back "The Christmas Story" images with my children all bundled up in their snow gear.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Home stretch

This has been finals week for Greg. As of Thursday afternoon after 4:00 he will be done with all his finals... he just has to show up to his last class on Friday. One semester down!!! Just 3 more to go. Time has gone by really fast. And actually for the most part have had a lot of fun up here in Portland. (Minus my two major break downs ... my husband knew I wasn't all there when he married me... he was warned).

Okay... Warning I'm going to talk about my husband for a bit. I mean it is a blog... and do get to barf that out ever once in a blue moon.


Greg has done an amazing job balancing school work, being a husband, being a father, making friends, finding a new church, and even some part time work for his dad. Of course we all had to figure out what that balance was actually going to look like. But Greg and I were willing to adjust and work at it. It has been amazing this semester to watch him pursue a deeper love for Christ and allow himself to be challenged. I thank God that His timing is perfect. He has prepared Greg for just this time. Though we look forward to answers of our great unknown future (always living in the land of hypothetical), we are truly content with where we are today. Don't get me wrong, there are tough moments, tough days, even tough weeks. But at the end of it we feel healthier and united.

Okay, I know - barf. But someone asked me what I loved about this semester and that was my answer.

Well, tomorrow afternoon we will kick off our Christmas break by heading up to WA once again to attend Anna Rodriguez's 5th birthday party. Then on Wed we head to CALIFORNIA!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

We're BAAAAACKKKKKK!

Man, what an awesome weekend we had up in WA. The first night we got to hang w/ the Kopps. Next day we were totally spoiled w/ a great breakfast from Katie. Then we headed out to see Monkey Grandma (Justin McElderry's mom, and yes that is her real title). She loved on my kids which was great. She made the day special and made us feel like family. What a blessing she is. When we were there over the summer she let us sleep in the princess room. She made a canopy out of the four post bed. Well in the middle of that night I somehow broke one of the post and when she came in to check on the sound I was sitting there holding one of the post! All to say I couldn't leave this time without leaving another mark that I had arrived. I some how managed to trip on a curtain and pull the entire rod out of the wall! Yep.... total blond!
She made crafts with the kids, made them their own personal pumpkin pie, snuggled up for book reading, and let them dress the Christmas tree any which way they pleased (pictures to come in a later post).

Friday we left the kopps and headed to Jane and Tony Rodriguez's, who live in the Port Orchard part of WA. It was beautiful. There was no fog until Sunday so we had an amazing view of the space needle and downtown Seattle. We got to play with Cutie Pie their new addition to the family ( cute little golden retriever). Mak and Anna hit it off and Josiah was the general of the squad. Ezekiel followed them along... until he found the light saver. Then he some how determined that he now possessed all the power and authority... girls didn't dig that too much. But it was great to sit and talk w/ Jane and Tony for entire weekend. What great people! And if you don't know much about Jane's House--- the organization.... then let me know because I would love to fill you in on how this faithful organization is bringing God's love and truth to India. Amazing.

We sadly had to head back home to Portland today... apparently there is this thing called work and Jane and Ton had a lot of it waiting for them.

But we look forward to heading back that way for Anna's birthday party. Like I said Mak and Anna were like two peas in a pod.

What an awesome weekend.

As soon as we get the pictures down loaded then we'll have them posted!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Invasion to WA

So we crazy folk will be heading out to WA. We will be heading out on Wed to hang with the Kopps and their awesome dog Bailey. Then on Thursday Monkey Grandma (McElderry's Mom) has graciously allowed the Weavers and the Kopps to gather at her house and have pirate beans and turkey. Then on Friday and Saturday we then head up to see Jane and Tony and their two awesome kids. Yep, this is going to be a great Thanksgiving... though we will still miss our family back in southern cali. Hope to have some great pictures to share with you all.


And by the way... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! We are such a blessed bunch to know and have you in our lives. So thanks for allowing us to be loved by you and allowing us to love you too.

Many blessings to you all.

J

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crazy days

So last night I was up until 1am due to the fact of my intense fabric cutting. Makayla and I are sewing 3 little lap blankets this year for Christmas gifts. We have finished one and are on our way with the second. Last night I cut all the fabric for the second one and decided while I was up I would finish recovering my fourth chair. Oh! for those that don't know .. We finally found a dining set on Craig's list. We have painted and recovered the set... Pictures to come.

As I enter into my Monday we are looking at me watching Aden from down the way today, then Mak's soccer practice, then back home so I can watch another child named Sarah, then lunch, then putting 3 kids down for naps so that I can do home school and sewing w/ Mak, and then later tonight some friends and myself plan on stealing a friend for her 30th birthday. SO crazy.Greg announced last night that he was going to the Library to study and wouldn't come out of the cave until dinner time. But I seriously can't complain about this kind of craziness. I love having my days be filled with people, especially my two kids. They are such a crack up. Makayla just walked down the stairs in the brightest combination of clothes! But she's happy and I'll now be able to tell which one is my kid on the soccer field.

Well, off to begin a day of productivity.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How does one add a link to these things??!!!

So I apparently stink at adding links to a site , so if you know how to do it and can explain it to a blonde that would be great.

Jen

Advent Conspiracy

Click on the link.

Our family has decided due to economic times but mostly due to the invasion of the celebration of Christ arrival to refocus on how we spend our $ and time at Christmas time. Our family normally does gift exchanges and it might be looked down upon that we will not be buying exactly what was on the Christmas list but instead finding a way to spend time with them, making a gift, or donating in their name. if you haven't already bought all your gifts for Christmas, I challenge you to watch this and make a decision for yourselves on how you might be able to do Christmas differently.

www.adventconspiracy.org If for some reason this link doesn't work type in advent conspiracy to google and it should be the first listing offered.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween

Yes, we are so evil. We allowed our kids to dress up and to actually do door to door trick or treating. Normally we just go to a Harvest event at a church but not really knowing where we are and what is offered around here we just oppted to hang out in our courtyard and go down just one of the streets close by.

Makayla and her friend Sarah dressed up as twin fairies. Zeke was a cowboy. He kept saying he was Woody from Toy Story. And Justus was a dragon while his sister stole the show as a pink bug.



Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin




We took the kids and Fudge kids to a pumpkin patch along with some of Greg's friends from school. We had a great time. The fudges had spent the weekend w/ us. It was a full house for 3 days!!!

* Christ followers or Christian

Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. –C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory


This quote convicts me to my core. How true it is to me that I ride the fence in my relationship to Christ. The original coined phrase of "Christian" was meant as a negative put down. It means Little Christ. We, followers of Christ, however do not find the term to be offensive. Well... maybe until now. Let me explain. There is this joy to be associated with Christ. Whether it is popular or not to be so closely associated to Christ that others might say "He (or she) is like a little Christ running around" would be a great honor. However, I do believe in today's culture the word "Christian" has gotten new associations. It no longer means a reflection of Christ but yet a devouter to rules and laws and even hypocrisy. Sounds harsh, I know. We have strayed from the idea to be so filled with His Spirit that those around us could not reject the fact of who our Lord is. But in stead have traded in a relationship and worship of and with our God for love of tradition and heritage. I do not believe Christ is honored when we forget Him in our daily doings. Are we following Christ or are we following tradition? Have we fallen in love with doing church well that we have betrayed our love with God Himself? Now don't get me wrong, this is not a church bashing session. But we have got to stop and look around and see what are we investing in. Are we investing in our love with Christ and following through with action? Or are we investing more time and energy in preforming a better, smoother program with Christ standing outside our doors. And this is not speaking of leadership but I am speaking about the whole body. You, me, the guy sitting next to you. What are you investing in? What am I investing in? If you can say Jesus, than Hallelujah. Praise God. As for me, honestly it has not been until recently when all has been striped away that I HAVE had to invest more in my relationship and not be so easily content with my mud pies in the slum. I pray that one day I will be able to truly have a better comprehension of the Holiday at Sea that the King has awaiting for me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

* Life is disappointing... Point Blank

Okay, so the title gives off this ring of being a downer, but just stay with me for a moment. Our life is well, crazy. Maybe a better word should be messy. I think that is why so many times we, meaning you, me, even Joe the Plumber, plan out our lives to go in one direction and when it doesn't happen we start stomping our feet.

As Christians, we tend to do this, "sure Lord I surrender my future to you. As if this future is this far off lofty idea. Well, what about today? Are we surrendering today, this hour, this moment? To be honest, as of late, I pretty much have come up short on that. Oh, sure when I'm praying I say things like use me today as you will Lord. Let me be flexible. And those are good things to say, I'm sure. But when I'm actually conversing with God and not just checking in for my spiritual refill, my heart is telling God you can have my long term goals, but my short term goals and desires, those are mine.

I think this is common. We come up with these perfect scenarios in our brain of how our life is going to pan out. Almost like a movie or a great book. And why not? When we watch a movie or read we get to do something that we can't do in reality-- Know the ending of the story. Everyday we are filled with new decisions, consequences from previous decisions, the ugliness of sin clashing against another sinner, mixed right in there with the joys and thrills of life.

So yes, if we continue to try to plan out and lead our own lives in this demanding spirit than we are going to be disappointed. It is not going to happen our way. Because truth is its not about our way. Its not about us. Or more pointedly, its simply not about me.

Remember how in James 4 it speaks of submitting ourselves to God and later on boasting about tomorrow? I think James hit it on the nose in chapter 4 verse 13-17
"Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, If it is the Lords will, we will live and do this or that. As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."

So life is disappointing... when its about me. However, the good news is when its about Christ there is freedom. That doesn't mean that a life with Christ is not hard or will not cause great pain and suffering. Sorry, but just take a look at the guys that hung out with Christ. Most of them were killed. But were they disappointed? I would have to wonder if they felt that the only disappointing thing was that their time was cut short of sharing who the Messiah truly was.

What are your thoughts? I might be off base theologically and would welcome and ask for guidance back to the biblical interpretations.

Jen

*Occassionally there will be post marked with an *. One of my aunts is part of a group of people that take turn bloging certain topics. If you see an * it means that post is in relation to the question. Please feel free to read and respond. Actually response is nice in order to see what others are thinking and processing. And I am the first to admit that I am a layman (or simply a lame woman : 0) ) and do NOT have all the answers. Just day to day living with Christ.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Princess Balance




My friend Katie Kopp PHD sent this to me today. The article is about another woman and her daughter but for the most part it could have been me and Mak. So enjoy the following ramblings:

"I have, on occasion, heard some parents of daughters rail against the phenomenon that is the Disney and/or Barbie princess craze. I’ve heard some parents wonder if we are setting unrealistic expectations of “happily ever after” for our daughters, or if we’re teaching them to define success by someday nabbing a handsome prince.

If that’s the case, then I am hosed. Because I have a three-year-old daughter who has bought in to the entire thing, lock, stock, and barrel. She is a walking billboard for the Disney princesses. She dances all over the place in her Jasmine slippers, carrying a glittery Cinderella purse, and she makes up songs as she goes along. The tune always changes, but the words go something like this:

“Belie-e-e-e-e-e-eve in your dreams...when you wish…in your heart…and the magic happens…of the whole world…and you can shine…and don’t give u-u-u-u-u-u-u-up…and your dreams come tru-u-u-u-u-ue…”

You get the idea. It’s like a cloud of Disney princess pop psychology follows her through our house. I’m not concerned about this. It’s not like she’s choosing a husband next year – she’s three, for Pete’s sake. I have plenty of time to teach her, by my words and actions, that happily-ever-afters actually require a lot of work, and that the best handsome princes aren’t the ones with the best ballroom dancing steps – they’re the ones who unload the dishwasher.

Anyway, I don’t believe it’s a bad thing for a little girl to revel in her femininity, should she be so inclined. There are plenty of years ahead for learning a healthy personal balance between a love for pretty dresses and the more cerebral things in life. I want to teach my daughter to embrace every part of who she is, including the delightful girly-girl part. My daughter would tell you that her favorite princess is Belle. Why? Because, she would say, “of the pwetty yellow dwess, and she likes BOOKS!”

And there you go.

So we’re diving headlong into the whole princess thing, though I’m keeping my radar up for little chances to reminder her gently of what real happy endings look like. The other day I sat with her as she watched an episode of Princess Stories. At the end of it, Cinderella shared her story. “I found my handsome prince,” she sighed, “and then we lived happily ever after.”

I nudged Corrie. “I found my prince, too, you know. You know who it is?"

“Daddy!” she giggled.

“Yes!” I said. “And you know why I picked him for my prince?”

She shrugged.

“Because he’s smart, and he works hard, and he makes me laugh, and he’s kind.” I thought about explaining how he encourages me to develop my own potential, and how (talk about princely!) he does the taxes every year, too. But I could tell I was starting to lose her – she was wondering when I would get to the part about the pretty dresses.

So instead I just sang along with her as she started her song: “Be-lieeeeeeeve in your dreams….”

We’ve got years for the good stuff."

Well that sums it up for me!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Addicted

We are on the hunt for a new dining table and some chairs. Turns out that our camping chairs are not ment for everyday use--- who would have thunk? So we have turned to the amazing awesome site.... dare I even say it... "CRAIGSLIST". I love this site. You can even offer lower prices and try to find a middle ground between the owner and the looker. And because it is done on the internet, I can coward behind the screen and pretend to be bold when offering extremely low counter prices. We had been desiring a chair for Greg's office and were able to get an amazing steal for $40 for a parason chair AND ottoman!!! Now if we could just find that table and chairs....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

bro getting married!!!

So my little bro is getting married this coming Sat. It is crazy! We ( the weaver group) is super excited to fly home to be apart of the festivities. We are hoping to see Kathy (Greg's mom ) on thursday at some point since it will be her birthday. Then Sarah K has a birthday on Friday, then we all get to party on Saturday, then Sunday we get to go to Cypress Church and give some needed hugs, later hang out with family and friends, then sadly we load up on the plan on Monday and head back to reality.


I (Jen, the only one who really blogs on this thing) is now apart of a book club. We are reading The Love Languages of God. More on that another time. My awesome husband blessed me with a time out w/ my friend Liz. It was so great to hang out. She took me to a place called The Pied Cows. Which sells the BEST Chai tea ever! We were able to hang out on the patio and sit under a perfect cool night w/ a full moon. We then headed out to another spot called Bagdad and chatted it up until it closed. Wow, it is so great to have a friend to talk about life with. I enjoy Liz and her heart. Though it makes me miss some of my cali friends. There is something so intimate and special when we allow ourselves to be vuonerable and honest with each other. What a gem it is that God has allowed me to have a few of these people in my life.

Well hopefully I will be deligent to get the wedding and event photos up to share with the world. I am so proud of my brother.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Start asking questions

Our neighbors down the way, Sam and Trevor, are trying to teach their 7 yr. old son and 5 yr. old daughter to pray as if they were talking straight to Jesus' face and try to get away from repetitive prayer. That means just say whatever is on your mind. Letting them know they can ask questions. Well, the little prayers from their 5 yr. old is so genuine and sweet that it is actually convicting. She ask questions- to God while praying--such as "God, do you eat?"

Though at first it is tempting to smile and even give a little chuckle it somewhat pierces the heart. If I stop and think and be honest with myself, I realize that I come to ask request with an attitude of command. For example I would normally say something like, God I lift such and such to you. I ask that you do such and such.And of course I'll throw in some big flowery sentences and keep saying God's name during the prayer ( I guess, just in case He forget whom I was praying to?) But really what I'm saying is God do this. It usually does not sound like God, what is it that you have for this person? How would you like me to act today or when I met with this other person? How humbling a child's conversation is. How rude I must sound compared to the innocent child who simply ask God if He eats.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Crazy kids

Well I tried to upload some cool videos of the kids tonight... but after an hour of not being able to get it to work and wanting to throw our computer against a wall... I have calmly decided to not be so dramatic and just put up some photos of the kids and their new buds. I have not captured photos from all their buds but here is an introduction to some of their newest buds.




More pic's to come!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Day of the Nasty's

Well... cold season has already hit here in Portland. Kids in the community have been hit with the snots and coughs. However, Mak today was a little off. When she went down for her nap she told me that her stomach hurt (If you are a parent you know where I'm going with this). Well after nap she came outside where I was gardening and let me know she was awake then she went and laid down on the couch. The next thing we heard was the scream that lets a parent know that something is not right. I got in there and she had thrown up all over our couch and the blanket she had cuddled up with. Poor little thing. By the time we got her to the doorway to finish throwing up outside , she was already done. So we got her cleaned up and pulled the couch covers off two of the cushions and started a wash. She did throw up one other time in the bathroom later. But thankfully she made it to where we had put a pot. Oh, but it gets better.

Her brother will not be out done by his older sister. It was getting time for bath and we smelled an all too familar smell from Zeke's diaper. Greg, Mak, and myself went upstairs to get the bath ready. When we called for Zeke he came upstairs with his hands in the air. He had his poop all over BOTH hands and we look at him closer. He had finger painted his manuer all over his shirt. To say the least, the other 3 of us started gagging and got him changed. I threw away that shirt. I didn't even want to deal with it! It will be remembered as the Day of the Nastys.


YUCK!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Saved to Serve

The following is a Tozer devotional I receive via email once a day. This one I thought was worth retelling, but then changed my mind and thought it safer to have it copied into the blog. That way I can't butcher it.

Hope you enjoy it but more importantly hope it challenges you!


"August 29

Evangelism: Salvation Apart from Obedience

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
--Ephesians 2:10

Therefore, I must be frank in my feeling that a notable heresy has
come into being throughout our evangelical Christian circles--the
widely accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ
only because we need Him as Savior and we have the right to postpone
our obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to!...

I think the following is a fair statement of what I was taught in
my early Christian experience and it certainly needs a lot of
modifying and a great many qualifiers to save us from being in
error.

"We are saved by accepting Christ as our Savior; we are sanctified
by accepting Christ as our Lord; we may do the first without doing
the second!"

The truth is that salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the
sacred Scriptures. Peter makes it plain that we are "chosen
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the
sanctifying work of the Spirit for obedience" (1 Peter 1:2).
I Call It Heresy, 1-2.

"Lord, as I rejoice in the free gift of salvation, by grace through
faith, remind me regularly that it is a salvation unto good works,
that we're saved to serve. Amen." "

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yeah, Jen has a friend...actually friends!

I know. Lame long title name. But I think I actually skipped, or maybe that's hopped up my stairs tonight. I knows it only been over 3 weeks since moving to the PNW, however when I get locked in an area with no other outlet for relationships other than my wonderful husband and fantastic kids and their books that I've read a MILLION times... I start to hit my head against the wall. I had all of these wonderful notions that I was going to hibernate in my house for the next 6 months and sew and scrapbook and read. Yep, I've done some of that and you know what I realized. I'm way too relational to sit by myself day after day after day. Oh, don't get me wrong. I love my quiet time at night. I just like to break it up after a while. Okay, so where am I going with this? Well... I have 3 new friends and working on developing some more. There is Jamie (who has a daughter named Sarah 18 months old), then Jodi ( has a son named Aiden that is 14 months old) and then there is Liz ( who has a daughter named Sarah 3 yrs, Justice 2 yr, and Ruthie 9 month old). Then there is Sam who has two kids. Their daughter is Vanessa who Mak has befriended. Last night Greg and I went out on a double date! Yeah, for PTO (parent time out)! We went to Edgefield with Aaron and Liz. They were so much fun. It was great to talk about God, kids, church, school, family, future, missions w/ another couple. I came home jabbering from the excitement. Then today with more interactions from the moms, I had the thought "Thank you God, that you know me better than I know myself. You knew that I needed these women". I've been praying for my kids to make friends and that they feel like they are home. But It hasn't been a real sincere prayer for myself to have that. Not sure why. But God thankfully gives us beyond what we ask for, He gives us what we need. So often we talk about God giving us what we need and not just what we ask for, we almost have this negative spin on it. Like God has then denied us something that is pleasurable. Which I would say,that might be the case in some matters. But it also is taken that God knows what we need even if we are clueless. He doesn't always wait for use to clue in and then ask for something. He also gives graciously and meeting all of our needs. Thank God He does that. Other wise I would be walking around the house ripping into my loved ones not knowing what was wrong with me! I simply needed other women to bond with.

So Yeah for friends! Yeah for future possibilities! And the biggest Yeah is that God actually gets Me!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ask... and Celebrate

So we have offically been living in Portland for two weeks today. And guess what? Mak is at her first sleepover in the PNW. I don't know why that surprises me. God has graciously given Makayla a little girl named Vanessa, who is 5 years old, to befriend. Vanessa loves to play rough outside and yet loves to play dress up and be fancy. Mak told me tonight, after I said I worked out the details with the mom, that she was so happy that God gave her a friend to have fun with up here...because she missed Eli and Vivi. Which of course put tears in my eyes. I'm a little emotional these days. I've been going through the book study of Daniel by Beth Moore. The focus today was how Daniel prayed desperately for the Lord to reveal the Kings' dream. And when the Lord did, Daniel immediately responded to God that the insight and answers came from God alone. That God grates us wisdom and power. He gives and takes away. God answers our prayers. Daniel remembered that and celebrated in the fact that God chose to reveal the answer to Daniel. (His neck WAS on the line-- literally). But the thought from Moore was how often we pray intently for God to reveal/answer us and then when He does, we have almost lost interest in the subject because we have already gone onto another desire to pray for. We don't take time to celebrate in His answers. I was convicted today. And then later convicted again when my child recognized that it was God who gave her a new friend. And that it was God who knew she was missing her best buds back in Cali. And when she realized that she had something special she did not wait to thank Him and to acknowledge Him. Oh, how children put me on my knees. I am humbled by their faith and their trust in the Lord. Just to note, I'm the first to acknowledge that my children are not perfect-- I mean look at their mom! But those moments when you see God's grace in their life and His work molding their character--- it causes me to celebrate God.

So take some time to celebrate today!!!

Yeah for Rain!!

So this morning we woke up to the awesome sounds of thunder and rain. It was like a symphany to my ears--- and body. It has been around 104 here in Portland, Or for ... oh the last 4 days!!!! The song "Our God is an awesome God" kept playing in my head. Especailly about the part the thunder and the lightning! I sincerely praised the Lord this morning when the cool breeze entered my room. So refreshing! The rain has already stopped but the cool air still lingers. People around us keep telling me that I will be asking for the heat in a couple of months,they don't know me. Anything above 85 and I check out. But I will miss the sunshine for the next 8 months!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Into the Light

Well...we are actually in Portland, Oregon!!! We love our new place, community is unbelievably awesome, and as of tonight have almost unpacked our last box!!! Doesn't mean it's totally organized yet but we are working on that part. We also have come back to the 21st century with the...INTERNET!! Greg was able to get a guy out yesterday and are now able to access the world at our finger tips. Also, we are keeping our cell phones and will not be having land lines-- for those that were asking. Okay, due to the fact that it is super late, and I'm writing with my eye lids only 1/4 opened, I'm going to leave you with one last thing; Our new address:

8435 NE Glisan St MSC #1037
Portland, OR 97220


We love snail mail and love to send it too. So feel free to dust off those pens and scramble out those faded papers.

Good Night!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SOOOO behind!

Okay so I'm a slacker! It has been a bit crazy here and May,June, and now July has just flown by. So let me catch you up really quick. There will be some key photos on this blog and some picture blogs that will follow.

May 21- Mak finished up her first year in Awana
May 24- Katie Kopp got here PHD! As many of you already knew
May 30- Desire'e - my baby sister turned 13!
May 31-June 6 Greg took a summer course up in Portland for the week
June 6-8 Greg visited the Kopps in WA
June 6 was Mak's last day of Preschool--- what a big girl!
June 7- Cousin Corbin turned 5
June 16-20 The four Weavers went to Yosemite with Joe,Mary, Grandma Betty, Janelle, Desiree, Josh, and Johanna.
June 21- Greg's cousin Tim was married
June 22- I had dinner with Greg and the Kugleburgs. Then went back to my mother's and Greg had thrown together a surprise dessert time. Along with some special help from some friends
June 23-29 Music Camp at Cypress Church. Mak loved this program- Sermon on the Mound!
July 4- Greg's favorite holiday--FIREWORKS!!!
July 8- Greg's birthday. Went to some photo galleries in Santa Monica, walked the pier, then saw a Comic & Magic show in Hermosa Beach
July 7-10 Greg helped his aunt and uncle move into their new wonderful home.
July 11- San Diego Wild Animal Park -- So fun yet so very hot!
July 12 Went to Rach and Chris' wedding
July 13- Saw Wallie with the kids and threw Mak a dress up party for her buds
July 14- Jen had a crazy run around with kids day
July 15- We went to Disneyland and had breakfast with the princess' and stayed at the park until closing. What a birthday for Makayla. It was also her Silly Grandma's birthday ( Mary Uht)
July 16- Went to the Pagent of the Masters
July 17- A great day at the beach
July 18- Went to Sea World to see the shows at night. Way cool!
July 19- Was able to help participate in a bridal shower for my future sister in law, Johanna. It was the McElderry's anniversary! Then went to the stickn' Rose resturant with Danny and Sarah. It was soooo good. Garlic Heaven!
July 20- Jen was able to steal away and get her hair done and bought a dress for her brother's wedding.
July 21-25 Mak and Corbin go to VBS- Power Lab.
July 21 - Suzanne McElderry enjoys another birthday!!! Had dinner with a high school friend Gina Sulme. Went to Greg's softball game and then played cards with the soon to be Uht's and Kug.
July 22- Joe and Mary celebrated 19 years of marriage! Very cool! Sarah came over and helped me pack for the big move. Grandma Betty, Desiree, Mak, Zeke, and myself went and saw the movie Kit Kittridge. It was so adorable! Then to Red Robin for dinner.

And the week just keeps on going.

Well that is more than enough info for those that have been asking. But like I said, we've been a little crazy. And we are still talking to each other. Amazing!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Greg Robert Weaver B.A.

Greg this past Saturday walked to receive his Bachelors in Communications from Cal State University of Fullerton. We are all so proud of him. The weather at the ceremony itself was so hot that people were getting their dipolma's and then just walking off the field. We later had a PAR-T-A to celebrate Greg. Greg was ale to enjoy Super Mex, Ice Cream cakes and great friends. Thanks to those that were able to come, eat, laugh, and swim! Hopefully in two years Greg will be walking with his MA from Multnomah Bible College, Portland, Oregon.

God is soooo faithful!

Birthday Celebrations for Zeke

The day before Zeke's birthday the family spent the day at Disneyland together. It was so much fun. Mak rode the Matterhorn two times in a row with Greg, while Zeke took a little nap in the stroller. The ride that seemed to be the big hit for the day was Buzz Light year. That happens to be Greg's favorite. We ended the evening eating at the Blue Bayoue. Zeke got a cookie in the shape of a Pirate Ship with ice cream on top. It was amazing! It was such a great time just being a family.


On Zeke's actual birthday we were hanging out with the Mc. E's. We took all the kids to Chucky Cheese for the morning. All the kids were able to run around due to the fact that most normal people were at work/school. It was great watching Zeke figure out how to climb up to the giant tubes.

Wet and Wild



Well, it had been warm here in Cypress last week. However, this week brought in the cool weather. So on Wed when the sun poked its head out for a bit, Greg blew up the water slide and pool for the kids to have some wet fun. Makayla would step back and get a running start and then jump on top of the slide. The two of them had lots of fun.

video

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Racen' Up- Zeke's Birthday

We celebrated Ezekiel's two year old party on Sunday May 4th at MapleGrove Park. It was a racen' good time as the kids got to play on the slides, swings and other climbing equipment. Nana made train cupcakes, which our little Zeke got a little shy blowing out his candles. But when it came to taking on the pinata he did not shy on bringing it down. Little ones got to decorate their goodie bags with cars and wheels. We are so blessed to have so many people love on our kids.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Markings of Recovery




Well thank you to all that were praying for my surgery. It went great! Praise the Lord. Now I have this cool line on my back with staples holding me together. Makayla ca not still get her head around the idea of mom with staples in her. The kids are being great. This morning Mak climbed into bed and was super careful about not touching or leaning on me. It was so nice to have her just hang out with me. I am so appreciative of the beautiful children that God has allowed me to have. Warning..I'm about to gush over my husband. He is wonderful and makes me feel special and cared for. You always know that your spouse loves you but there are moments when we stop and realize that God has really teamed me with such a wonderful partner, friend, and husband.Okay, Gushing is now done.

As for my recovery I was able to get up and move around the hospital room the same day as of my surgery. Which is, of course, great. I enjoyed the sleep that I was able to get and appreciated the smiles that my vistors brought. The amazing Katie Kopp sent gorgeous flowers to my room. And Sarah K. brought a nice carmel apple covered in white chocolate- yummy! And Pete, Danny, Devonna, Pastor Mike, Brett, Josh, Mom, and of course Greg and the kids brought me smiles and laughter. Of course I have to say my big thank you to the McElderry 's who took my kids for a couple of days. It allowed me to get the rest I needed and I knew my kids were getting loved on. Wow, how blessed I am to have all these people take the time to make me feel so special.

Thank you for your letters, cards, emails and special meals! Thank you and make you enjoy today with new eyes and appreciation!

Jen

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Inside Out

Well, as many of you know at 7:00 on May 7th I, Jennifer, will be having back surgery on my L5-S1 area. I have had some back pain for the last 3 years and have had some chiropractic work. However, due through a series events recently the doctors decided it was time to take care of it. It can feel a little overwhelming at time. To be honest I have total peace about the surgery. The hard part is understanding that my interactions with my kids is having to shift a bit. I can not throw them around the house and do airplane, or let them crawl and climb all over me for the next couple of months. The hardest part is feeling like a burden. That other people are having to shift their schedules to accommodate. Though I know that all of the people I love so dearly make themselves available to love and serve from a genuine place in their heart. I still don't like making people change their lives though. I secertly am looking forward to some down time with the Lord. I wonder what He is going to say, or do? I wonder if I will finally allow Him to teach me the discipline of being still and resting. I pray that this time is honoring and not a spiritual waste- on my part that is.

So, if you could keep my family in your prayers that would be appreciated. Look forward to updating you all on the cool thing(s) God showed me.

Much love to you all!

Jen

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Slick new do's


At our house I have this jar that I put out twice a week when the McE's come over. It is our kindness jar. It is a way to keep me in check and make sure that I catch the kids being kind to one another (instead of only catching them doing something they shouldn't). The jar was full and so I loaded all 5 kids into the van for their surprise reward for being super kind to each other. They got to get their hair done! The girls were like little old ladies in a beauty salon. They cracked me, looking at magazines and pretending to talk. They would watch each girl getting their hair done and would follow each other around. It was so funny. The girls got Princess braids with flowers. Well after looking at these beautiful girls and then at my saggy little boys head, I decided to let go of the dream of Zeke having surfers hair and get him a cool faux-hawk. He cleaned up nicely. The kids were so amazing! The whole event took over 2 hours and not one whine! I almost feel over from that mere fact alone. Then when we got in the van, all the kids at once said thank you "Mossen"- Which was actually Mom from Zeke and Mak, and Miss jen from Eli and Vivi. What am I ever going to do without those McE's?

I have such a good life!

Very unbirthday


Mak's school teacher encourages those that have summer birthdays to celebrate during the school year. So Mak got to have a cupcake party at school! Kids are so cute about their birthdays. What am I saying? We all love to have our moment and celebrate!

Mc W's!


The McElderry kids and Weavers got them selves a dancing, music playing, and singing group. They even had themselves a little roadie!

Viva Las Vegas

Greg and I were given an opportunity to get away for the weekend. We got to sleep in, walk around, see a magic show, and have dinner at the Paris Hotel. But really just getting that time out is nice. Here are some of the photos.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fish Heads


We headed south to Sea World once again but this time we got to journey into the sea with Silly Grandma (Mary Uht) and Grandma Betty. It was such a great time of goofing around. We saw a dolphin show, saw Shamu and even got to feed the dolphins. I wish those pictures had turn out better. I was holding Zeke with one had and a camera with the other --but Mary got a good one that I'll have to scan into this site. It was great to go with Grandma. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I know all parents brag about how awesome their kids are- but you know, we have are moments of this or that, but over all my kids rock! They were so well behaved during the car ride and while we were there at the park. I am super blessed to have such a great family that I can relax and just hang out with.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Book of Life




Praise the Lord!!!!

The beautiful woman pictured above is my grandmother Betty Uht. Let me take a moment to share with the world God's amazing love story. This past Nov. Grandma Betty moved into my parent's home due to the sad on set of dementia . Due to the unfortunate event that a facet got left on it became apparent that Betty needed to live with other people. God has been so wonderful in how He has surrounded Betty with love and great companionship. My father and Mary and the my two amazing sisters have lovingly taken in Betty and her cat, Dudley. Mary has taken care of Betty in ways that are simply beyond comprehension. She has diligently taken Betty to doctor's appointments, hair salon, nail salon, out to eat, church, church functions, taken care of the day to day care, and squeezed in a movie here and there. It is so sweet to see how God has placed people around Betty to show God's great love to her. They have been physical Christ to Betty. I know that it has made her feel very special.

On Sunday April 6th Betty woke up and got her best sweater on. Mary saw her in the hallway and asked Betty if she was going to church. The sermon that morning was on the True Jesus. After the service Betty turned to Mary and said that she believed everything the pastor said. The two of them tried to get to Pastor Bill but couldn't. The next morning I was over at their house and Mary mentioned how Betty responded to the message. Later that day Betty brought up church and the sermon. She mentioned how she believed the pastor. We got to talking and later she said that the hardest part is admitting that we have done wrong. Most days Betty is aware that her mind is slipping. So she made the comment that she wished someone could write her name down on a piece of paper so God could remember her when she does go on. We talked about how there is actually a book of names, in this case the Book of Life. And if a person has chosen to allow God into their life, if we admit that we have done wrong, and that Jesus is the Son of God who came, died, and rose again, that our very name is written down in that book. Her eyes filled with tears. She commented on what a big job God has and how could He be bothered with her. It was discussed how valuable she was. That God created her and knows how many hairs are on her head. He delights in her. After talking a bit more we then went over the ABC's. (Admit, Believe, Commit). She then bowed her head and said that she believed in Jesus, admitted that she had done wrong, and was committing the rest of her days to Jesus- and then added - "which aren't very many". If that wasn't enough to start the tears in my eyes, the following sent me over. You see Betty has a birthday book that she got from her mother-in-law when she first got married. It has decades of birth dates and as of late dates of when people pasted. This book that she holds is one of her most prized possessions. After she had finished praying she walked over to her book, opened it to April 7 and then proceeded to write the following: 2008, Betty- Christian. Even now tears fill in my eyes. Mary and my father willing to love Betty in such a deep way that it was Christ love that was displayed. These are the things that matter. Eternity. Everything seems to fade away. Praise the Lord for He alone is good. Thank God that He never stops pursuing us. Praise God that He desperately desires to be reunited with His creation. God is beyond comprehension- and I praise Him for that.

So for those that are praying for a loved one to be reunited with Christ- DON"T STOP PRAYING and DON"T STOP LOVING THEM!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Great photos of DV

These photos are by Greg of Death Valley. Click on the photo and you can see the slide show in a larger view
Enjoy!!!!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Family time--Death Valley



We had an opportunity this past Thursday through Saturday to get away to Death Valley for some much needed family time. There was no cell phone reception, no Internet, no work, and just tons of hiking and fun times to be had. It was so beautiful. God gave us 2 kids that love hiking, which excites both Greg and myself. So our pictures will be divided up into two sections. One blog slide show are the family shots and the other will be focused on the scenery.

During our hikes Mak looked for cool rocks and then we searched for the perfect area to bury our "treasures". It was a blast. She had so many rocks in her pockets that it literally almost busted open. It was great to see the kids enjoy the simple things.

The first day we went to the Sand Dunes. Greg showed the kids the joy of jumping from the top of the Dunes and sliding down. It was so much fun. Zeke kept stopping to dump all the sand out of his shoes. When we first got there neither of the kids were excited about walking. So, we had to figure out some games and get the fun started. It was great when the light when on for them that this could be fun and just go for it. The time ended up being full of laughter and hoorays. It reminded me of my own attitudes. At times I can be so focused on what I don't want to do, other than just finding the fun in whatever I'm asked to do. Kind of sad that a child's attitude reminds me of my own when I'm 27 yrs. old. Think I would be further along on the maturity journey.

Greg and I enjoyed slowing down and being simple. We both get so caught up in all the "projects" that we are involved in that we sort of forget to live. It was perfect before a week of Easter festivities at our church. Though the events at church are awesome and get to attend and help--it was nice to have some down time to remember what this time is all about. Praise the Lord that He allows us to join Him in life. There is so much that could be written about this vacation time--but the point really is- my life is blessed and I love my family- and God is so awesome!

Next big camping trip will be in June to Yosemite. We are looking forward to 5 days playing up in the mountains.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sea World



We took a trip down south to Sea World. It was such a blast!!!! My dad, Janelle, and Desiree' were able to come down with us. Mary and Grandma Betty were hoping to come with us but weren't able to. So we look forward to going again in April. It was such a great day with the kids. They had great attitudes and were enjoying the big fish and fun looking penguins and polar bears.

It was one of those days where all just seems to be going well in the world. Family and time shared together is just so important. I love the opportunities to see God's creation. It was great for the kids to see how creative our God is. I can't wait to experience other "First times" with kids. God is good...

updated photos of the kids

>
Okay, so not like that you haven't seen enough of my awesome kids but Greg was finally able to have time to catch up with on posed pictures of Mak and Zeke.

So, sit back and check out my two goobers!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Yeah for Chocolate





I oh so love chocolate. Seriously, it is grand! So I jumped at the opportunity to expose my children to all the wonders of chocolate when Sarah and Danny K. invited us to the Chocolate Festival on 2nd Street in Belmont. And on the way home Mak fell asleep with gum in her mouth ( mom learned a lesson) and got gum stuck in her hair. So we tried out the Peanut Butter approach. Then bubbled up the bath tub to get gum AND PB out of her hair. And it actually worked!! Here is the evidence of a day well spent on family and good friends.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Beauty for Ashes

A dear friend of mine got my thoughts rolling a month or so ago. This idea of Beauty to Ashes. Thank you for challenging me.
The following is a song by Crystal Lewis- the words struck me today.

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy oer your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When what youve done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fearGladness for mourning
Peace for despair

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound Ive been set free
Ive been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fearGladness for mourning
Peace for despair

"...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." (Isaiah 61:3)

3 + 2 = Buds for life!






We get the joy of hanging out with the McElderry Trio every week. The trio consist of Eliana (Eli), Vivian (Vivi), and Cael (Cael boy). They are a crack up! Mak and Zeke have grown up with these guys, almost like honorary cousins. Just thought I would show off the buds enjoying another random day of play at the weavers. Dress up is one of the favorite pass time--even for Zeke. And as the first photo shows, Zeke loves having someone to take care of. A week ago, Cael was sitting in his chair and Zeke brought his toy cars over to Cael and played for 30 minutes showing Cael how to move the cars around. It was sooo cute! And the girls...their imagination never ends. Between playing "mommy", or "princesses" or "school" ( sometimes all three together) there is a lot of laughter.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Say what?!


Makayla was sitting on her grandmother Kathy's lap. All snuggled up, she turned her head gave out a long heavy cough. Her cousin Corbin had been over the previous day who had a cough. As Kathy held Mak, Kathy said, "Did you get Corbin's cough?". Mak looked up at her with a very serious and astonished face and said, "No! I have my own cough!".

Oh how everything seems to belong to 'me' when we are young! Even sickness.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Autism

Hi folks, check out video and .49 cents in donated to autism. Nice video. Nice cause. Pass it on.
Jen

http://www.whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com/videos/view/id/408214*


*Please view this video and send to everyone you know...every little bit will help....thanks! The band, Five for Fighting, is generously donating $0.49 to Autism Speaks for *each time* the video is viewed the funding goes toward research studies to help find a cure. When you have moment, please visit the link below to watch the video and pass it along to your friends and family. They are aiming for 10,000 hits, but hopefully we can help them to surpass this goal!!.

GENIE


Gesenia Sloan-Pena, M.A.
Registered Psychological Assistant
Board of Psychology Registration # PSB-33295

Doctoral Student
Clinical Psychology
Pepperdine University
Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rockn' Out with Mom (Nana)


This past Friday, Jan 18, I got the privilege to rock out with my mother at a concert. Disney has a partnership with Yamaha corporations. Yamaha holds their annual convention here at Disney. At the end of the week each year they throw a huge concert for the company with huge headliners. Mother invited me for a date night and I jumped at it. It featured John Legend, Jamie Cullum, Jon Anderson (from the YES), Sara Bareilles, Gabe Dixon, and Isaac Slade (The Frey). It was more than awesome! I was 10 rows back in the center with a fantastic view. The set up was such that the performing artist played the piano and sang while the Yamaha Band and Orchestra rocked out with them. It was such an amazing night. But oh, it didn't stop there. Every year the company has a surprise guest. And this year it was...drum roll please.... STEVIE WONDER!!!!! I don't care who you are, and if you like Mr Wonder or not, this man is a Legend!!! He was so humble, and yet his presence was overwhelming. I instantly became this psyched out teenager screaming that there is Stevie Wonder!!! I was laughing, here I am 27 years old and I'm screaming at man that came into the industry before I was learning my ABC's. He started off his set by saying, " I always start off every time by first wanting to thank my God, Lord and Savior for allowing me to share the talents that He has graciously allowed me to have". He then lifted his hand towards the band and orchestra and thanked them for allowing him to play with them and that they were his special guest. He immediately had this spirit of servant hood. During one of his songs he started off on the keyboards and then moved over on a bench to play the piano next to him without skipping a beat! Which is impressive if you can see let alone if you can't. It was night that I will not forget. It was so very special!!!! Oh and to top it off as we were leaving the concert Stevie Wonder and his family were looking for a restaurant at the Grand Hotel to eat, but everything had closed for the night. My mother was able to find a chef for Napa Rose and asked him to reopen for Mr. Wonder and family (15 members). The family stayed for 2 hours and sang together with no instruments!!! How cool!

Picture this






So, as many of you know, Greg loves photography. His grandfather loves it, his cousin loves it, he loves it, and he now has a new generation to pass on his love of photos. Greg is such an awesome dad. He has really taken the time to go for bike rides and walks with our kids, just being around. Here are some photos Mak shot on a walk with dad (while he was molding our young impressionable Makayla). Turns out, I think she might have an eye for this stuff. She really was excited about taking photos and was even more excited about her "works of art" going on the computer. Also, Greg said that he'll print a couple shots for her and put them up in her room. How cool it is to see her get excited about life and the idea of producing something to share with this world. So, here is fare warning-- proud mama post of her children!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

FIVE YEARS, BABY!!!!!


Well, made it to the 5 year mark!!! Yeah God! It has been crazy. At some points it seems like only yesterday we were on our honeymoon and then other times it seems like more than 5 years ago we were saying I do's. We switch off every other year on whom is going to plan the anniversary. This was Greg's year. Originally we had planned to go away and go hiking, however, it turned out that Greg's folks were gone for the weekend (whom we leave with) and Mary took the kids for us. So we stayed home. I know, sounds like a yawner but trust me, with kids there are not many mornings where we can sleep in. And on top of getting to stay in bed till 10:00 am, we also got to read with no interruptions. On Friday night Greg took us down memory lane with dinner at Fio Ritto's which is the restaurant we went to the night we got engaged; and then went down to Seal Beach to walk around (which is where Greg bravely asked me to be his wife). The next day we headed out to play Frisbee golf (sorry, I was just corrected- it's called DISC golf)  and then for two rounds of bowling. It was great! Unfortunately though we ended our time together Saturday night with Greg throwing up and feeling pretty miserable. The flu hit him hard.  It's been great-- and I do have to say I married one great man! Nice to know that I share my dreams and hopes with my best friend and that we actually really enjoy each other's company. Here's to a whole lot more years!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Friends that make me say "Praise Yee The Lord"

I had the joy of having coffee (or tea on my part) last night with a dear friend of mine. It was almost utopia in the sense of being able to drink tea while it's STILL warm and have uninterrupted conversations. We laughed and giggled and sighed over thoughts of this past few months. I drove away thinking how special it was to have this friend. And then my eyes began to swell as I thought about how good God is. That He loves us so much to meet us through our interactions of other relationships. And how wonderful to leave a friend and to have my thoughts turn towards God. Isn't that how it should be? That all of our interactions throughout the day should turn our minds towards God?  

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

"...because I'm a woman".

Okay, so last night Mak, Zeke, and mama were playing in the Land of Mak (pretend world that lives inside my daughter's brain which only she really understands). And we were off to the Beach, also known as our living room. Now you have to understand Mak was not Mak, her name was Eli and she was the mom of her daughter named Makayla. Ezekiel's name was Micah. Which for the poor boy, didn't understand why his sister was spouting off commands to this unknown character named Micah. When daddy sat down to join in the fun, he tried asking way too logical questions for who was related to who. This is the following conversations (well most of it at least):
Greg: So who are you?
Mak: I'm Eli
Greg: and where is Makayla?
Mak: Makayla is sick and so she is sleeping. She's my daughter.
Greg: And who is he? (pointing to a little boy following his big sister)
Mak: That's Micah. My son. My baby.
Greg: And who am I? 
Mak: My husband
Greg: Wait, I'm married to you? Then who is she?
Mak: Jennifer, only Jennifer
Greg: How old is Makayla?
Mak: 4
Greg: And how old are you?
Mak: 4
Greg: So you are the same age as your daughter Makayla?
Mak: Yep!
Greg: And who is the boss of you?
Mak: (and without skipping a beat) No one, because I'm a woman.

All to say I have no idea how in the world she ever got that idea! It sent us laughing out loud. I love my kids and sure love how their little minds work...even if it is a complete mystery to me. 

Monday, January 7, 2008

Here we go.....

Okay, so here we go. This is our first post/blog. I believe it was not quite a year ago when I mentioned to a good friend (Adam Escobedo) that I wanted to start a blog so all of us crazy folks that are moving around this world of ours can keep in touch. So...we're off and trying to figure this thing out. So stayed tuned for more to come...at least I hope so. . . .