kate or michelle...

no, i am not pregnant again and looking for girl names. i am sure that was your first thought. no, but here is my thought for the day...

i have been watching jon & kate plus eight and also 17 and counting (duggar family). and i was thinking about the moms on both of those shows, kate gosselin and michelle duggar. i tend to like watching jon & kate better than the duggars. and i this is why.

i am a lot more like kate when it comes to personality and parenting. i feel like i can relate to her. kate's facial expressions and her getting frustrated with the kids, the mess or with jon is so real to me. she is very organized and has a plan, but her house and her life is still chaotic and crazy. she hates messes and germs. but with a house full of small kiddos those things still happen. to me kate is so real. so i love to watch her show!

michelle is probably the mom i wish i could be, calm and cool, soft spoken and seems to have it all together. she too is very organized and you can tell, her house is always in order. with 18 kids i don't know how she can be like that, but everyone is different. and we all handle what is on our plates in a different way. but then again she has several older children to help out.

each of these mom's lives are completely different a perfect example of uniqueness. neither is "better" than the other. i am sure there are moms who identify with kate and moms who identify with michelle.

for me i am like kate. and watching her, i realize it is ok to be who you are. not every mom is like michelle. and that is ok!

so which mom are you more like kate or michelle??? leave a comment and let me know, i am so curious!


menu plan monday...

ok, so you may see a few recipes from last week on this week's menu. i was sick this past weekend and didn't cook a few of them, so they will carry over to this week (yeah!)...

monday: chicken & dumplings & fruit

tuesday: meatballs & potatoe casserole & green beans

wednesday: chili, macaroni & cornbread muffins

thursday: scrambled eggs, bacon, grits, muffins & oj

friday: pizza night

saturday: beef burritos, chips & salsa

sunday: leftovers & super bowl snacks (tbd)


completely random but...

my friend heather tagged me to do a post with 15 random things about myself. and at the bottom i will tag some more friends to join in on the fun!!! so here goes...

1. two years ago i was in nursing school and would be finishing this spring IF i wouldn't have put my family first. can i exchange my teaching degree for a nursing degree???

2. i love everything about being pregnant, the labor, the delivery, and the babies!! i love to encourage new moms during this miraculous time!

3. i am not a morning person at all. it takes me awhile to get moving.

4. i bite my fingernails when i am in deep thought, trying to figure something out or just plain stressed out.

5. i love routines, schedules and lists. i am a very organized person. probably too much sometimes. and it stresses me when i can't find something b/c it should be in it's home!

6. i don't like cold weather. enough said.

7. if i were to take a trip anywhere it wouldn't be somewhere with a schedule or touring, like going anywhere in europe or overseas is not appealing to me right now. i would choose to go to hawaii or to a beach where i can just sit and do nothing. the only exception would be a trip to disney world with the kids.

8. my parents, my sister, my mother in law, my sister and brother in law and our family all live on the same street - they are my neighbors!

9. it has been 16 weeks since i have had my hair cut!! christy - help please!!!!

10. i have had all four of my babies naturally and with no drugs.

11. i might appear to have it all together but i do not - (despite my love of organization) and will be the first to admit it.

12. i have only been in the hospital during labor and delivery. i have been very lucky to not ever have surgery, broken bones or any kind of illness that would require a hospital stay. praise God!

13. when i grow up i want to be a midwife. if i don't do that i may end up with 18 kids. watch out duggar family

14. i would prefer to wear flip flops - i hate wearing closed toe shoes and hate wearing socks. when i have to wear closed toe shoes - if i am not wearing an expensive shoe like a birkenstock or something my feet really hurt.

15. at home i prefer to drink my coke or water out of those sturdy plastic cups (like from target) with lots of ice and a straw. i don't like drinking from a glass.

ok who wants to be next to reveal some random facts?? how about christy, stephanie, kate, beth & susan!


our tiniest elevator....

jaelyn was sleeping on her daddy one day, who was wearing his elevation t shirt. and this was just too priceless not to post. and then i thought of the sweetest story to share!

when i was pregnant with jaelyn she would kick and squirm a lot during certain times of the day especially when she heard certain voices or noises. i think all babies do this. one sunday i began to notice a pattern. after being still, (probably asleep), most of the morning while i raced to get everyone ready and to church, jaelyn would wake up and move when she heard pastor steven's voice. on the sundays when we had a guest pastor or another pastor speak she didn't wake up and move. i began to realize that she totally was recognizing pastor's voice.

i actually was in the beginning stages of labor and we were at a praise and worship event for volunteers. jaelyn moved around that night as she heard his voice. and then just about 24 hours later she was born!

when jaelyn was just a month old we went to a praise and worship night at the new elevation campus opening this fall. i wore jaelyn in my baby sling and sat on the front row, which is where i usually sit during a service with jamil. jaelyn was sound asleep at the beginning of the night. when pastor got up and started singing, which is such a treat for us elevators, jaelyn started squirming and moving in the sling, just like she did when she was in my belly. as pastor sang and as he spoke she began to wake up.

i always thought it was amazing that she recognized pastor steven's voice in the way that she did. squirming in my belly during my pregnancy and then moving and waking up when she was out of my belly too!

what a smart baby to already know what an amazing man of God our pastor is.


happy snow day!!!!

i woke up with the baby at 4:15 this morning (she has a little cold and didn't sleep as late) and saw the snow. thankfully, she went right back to sleep. then i woke up at 6:30 this morning to check the school closings and the kids' school is closed for the day. of course the boys were already up and excited for the snow. jamil had to go into work so i am at home with the kids attempting to keep them busy today.

at about 8:30 i started getting them ready to go outside. it took 45 minutes to get them bundled up in layers of clothes. check out their cool snow boots! yes, here in the south we don't buy snow boots for one day of snow - instead i cover their shoes with plastic bags!

they played outside throwing snow and making snow angels and then they ventured down to my parent's house. they played outside with my mom and sister. and then they all came inside. i think they played outside for about 20 minutes. but it is really cold out there i don't blame them for coming in to our warm house. it is about 26 degrees outside. i made them some hot chocolate with whipped cream. i wonder if they will want to venture outside again! i know i do not want to go out!


she says it best...

this is a picture from several weeks ago, but i was going through pictures
and just had to post it!
atleast she thinks i rock!!!

menu plan monday...

ok, here is what is on our dinner menu for the week...

monday: spaghetti & meatballs & caesar salad
tuesday: chicken & dumplings in the crockpot & fruit
wednesday: scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns & blueberry muffins
thursday: beef tacos
friday: baked potatoe soup, rolls & fruit
saturday: chili & cornbread
sunday: chicken noodle soup

what's on your plate this week?


saturday shopping trip...

yesterday was quite a day. we woke up to frozen pipes - which meant no water. bummer. it really set back our plans for the day. jamil was heading to costco with the boys and i was going shopping for me with the girls.

while i was waiting for the water to come back on, i did my grocery order for the express lane at harris teeter. the site shut down for quite some time and then when it was time for me to checkout, i realized that you can not pick up the order on saturdays. so frustrated. i got the girls ready and then the water came back on so i could get a shower. jamil got the boys ready and they headed to costco with my dad. the boys were so excited to eat lunch at the snack bar there!

i was finished getting ready and nursing the baby when my mom and sister came over so we could head out for a day of shopping. we left our house at 2:00. we didn't get to the mall until almost 4:00. there was an accident on 85 and we sat in onlooker traffic forever. finding a parking space was ridiculous. finally we get one and get into the mall and of course everyone is starving so we eat at chili's. so we didn't begin shopping until close to 5:30. after going around the whole mall stopping in several stores, stopping to nurse the baby and then getting some cold stone ice cream we headed home at 9:30 pm. crazy long day.

this is the second or third time that i have been shopping for myself since the baby was born. and i every time i realize that i hate to shop for myself. i get so frustrated. and it is so hard to do it with kids. jordyn was sooooo good. but i get so nervous someone will snatch her up. and then pushing jaelyn in the stroller or pushing it without her is such a pain. stores are not made for strollers. and i can never find what i like - i don't even know what i like anymore. i don't have a favorite spot to shop. i desperately want to find a store that is totally me and totally on my budget.

so the shopping trip that was suppose to be for me turned into this...

~ 2 pairs of school pants, a cute pink gap coat & skechers shoes....all for jordyn
~ 2 carters outfits and.....a bib for jaelyn

and yes 1 pair of jeans from express for me (a size smaller then the last pair i bought!)

it is soooo much easier to shop for the kids or for jamil then it is for me.

after a crazy long saturday, i have one pair of jeans to wear and that is about all....

so, tell me where do you like to shop? and what do you like to wear?


a little competition...

well i thought that this blogging thing was off to a good start in this new year. but now the time it takes to write a blog has some competition. last week, we got cable television. probably not a big thing around most people's houses but it is HUGE at ours.

about seven years ago, we cancelled our cable television and never had it turned back on until last week. we were cutting back on expenses then so that we could swing the one income family thing. every dime counts. honestly for a long time we rarely turned the tv on and hardly missed tv. with the new television transition coming up in a few weeks, we faced a dilemna! we tried the convereter box and it didn't work so well. so then we began to research cable and satellite television. we got a great deal at time warner, bundling our internet and cable tv. so last week we began being able to watch more than 5 channels! wooohooo!!!

how much fun have i been having watching tv??? way too much!! i realized the other day that i have barely been on the computer because i have been watching tv. so my blogging now competes with cable tv. and no we do not have dvr (YET!)

here is what i have been watching regularly....
~ jon & kate plus 8
~ the baby story
~ maternity ward
~ clean sweep
~ birth day
~ baby diaries

of course i have been watching my other faves like...
~ grey's anatomy
~ private practice

and i can not wait for LOST next week and House!

we tried to watch the unit and 24 this week also, so far i think i am too far behind to catch up.

i really liked october road, but i don't think that is coming back on. so sad.

what are some of your favorite tv shows???


off to a good start...

during the busy holiday season, i took a little blog break. our laptop was down and we just got really busy. jamil was off of work from christmas eve through this past monday. the kids also went back to school on monday after a two week break. we had a wonderful break together. we really enjoyed this christmas! the kids loved all of their gifts and have been having so much fun with all their stuff! f

or christmas we got a new laptop, it came this week. i have been enjoying being back online. i am so excited to be able to start blogging again. i spent some time this morning loading all of my pictures on the new laptop. and the other day i did a little blog makeover. as you can see, i added some new pictures and changed the title of our blog. so welcome to "more than we can imagine"!! of course i still will use "my j crew" for things and it is still our url name. but one night, that title came to me and i love it. it comes right from ephesians 3:20 which just sums up how i feel about everything right now! God sure does bless us with so much more than we can ask or imagine. and as we are entering into the new year, i know that He will show us even more than we can imagine!!

so, i this year and this blog is off to a good start!

here are a few pictures from the last few weeks during our break...


highlights of '08...

2008 was a great year. sometimes i can't imagine how it will be any better. seriously, we added a beautiful daughter to our family, we watched our son be baptized, we paid off a ton of debt, and we were part of the awesome movement of God at elevation church. what could be better than all of that??

i am so grateful for such a wonderful year of so many sweet memories. on new year's day, i spent a few minutes reflecting and writing in my journal a list of highlights of the past year. here is a list of some of my highlights of 2008.

~ finding out we were pregnant with baby #4
~ joshua's salvation and baptism
~ my sister, julie, moving here
~ finding out our dear friends, the carr's, were adopting twin girls
~ holding merideth and mallory carr for the first time (they were about 3 lbs ea.)
~ finding out we were having a healthy baby girl
~ our family beach trip to carolina beach
~ jordyn starts school
~ girlfriend's beach trip to carolina beach
~ my baby shower
~ jaelyn's birth day
~ receiving 2 large monetary blessings to be able to pay off a lot of debt
~ the events and circumstances surrounding the monetary blessings
~ stepping out on faith and giving to elevation and to the dominate campaign
~ discovering the true joy of giving
~ serving and being a part of elevation church, witnessing over 2,000 salvations and over 1,000 baptisms

wow, again, what a year it has been. i feel so blessed by all the things God has done for our family in 2008. i am ready to see how He will blow our mind in 2009!


our holiday greeting card *...

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine"
Ephesians 3:20

We hope that you celebrated and rejoiced in Him for making it great in 2008!
Now let us look ahead to God blowing our mind in 2009!

With Much Love,
Jamil, Dawn, Joshua, Jordyn, Jesiah and Jaelyn

* i had every intention of creating and sending this out to our friends and family this year. it just never happened. so i am posting it on our blog instead.