September 25, 2010

The Perfect Storm!

I had three events this week that separately, are manageable, but together, they create the perfect storm! First, I got the sore throat, fever illness that both Anthony and Tyler had. That bit of delight triggered a fibromyalgia "episode." And when I say "episode" I mean all over, intense, soul draining pain. It is the kind of pain that makes you cry involuntarily because it is so excruciating. Even my skin hurt. Nobody could touch me without risking life or limb! Last, and this may be too much info for some, so if that is the case skip to the next paragraph, I got my period. Cramps. Perfect!

I have never been more glad to get through the week. Now, I have to catch up on all the dishes that didn't wash themselves.

September 18, 2010

Where to start

I have stopped and started this post so many times. I said I would open up and share, but I can't figure out where to start. The last church we were at? The one before that? High school? My mother? All good places and all an important piece of who I have become. High school. I am not ready to talk about high school, yet that is where it all started. So, maybe I should start at the end. Not the end of my life, the end of my silence.

God has laid so much on my heart to share and I thought it would be easy. I am going to take some more time to get my thoughts assembled.

September 12, 2010

Yeah me!

I have blogged before that I have Fibromyalgia. For those who don't know, Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain and fatigue. There are a host of other delightful symptoms but those are the main ones. It is believed that the nerves misfire and send pain messages to the brain, causing chronic, all over pain.

I have taken every imaginable drug my team of doctors could come up with. Nothing provides much relief. There was one drug that I hadn't tried. It was a seizure medication. It deals with the nervous system so it was supposed to be helpful. I was holding out because one of the major side effects was weight gain. It is bad enough I am in pain all the time. I didn't want to be in pain and fat! I exhausted all other medication so I decided to try it.

It worked great! I was excited, but then the side effects started in. Slowly. Slow enough that we didn't notice them at first. Side effect: mood and behavioral changes. Yep, got that one. It was a brutal one too. Not good. Side effect: changes in vision. Check for that one. There was a trip to the ER when I woke up and couldn't see one morning! Side effect: weight gain! Yep, 40 pounds!!! Brian and I decided the benefits of the medication were not enough for the side effects. They were downright scary and I didn't want that. So, my fear came to fruition. I was in pain and fat!!

In January of this year, I started Operation Weight Loss. I have been running 5 days a week and just added light weight lifting. I feel better than I have since being diagnosed. I have lost 25 pounds!! 15 more to hit my goal!!!!!!!

Me in February

Me in September (Yeah, me!)

Too sweet!

I posted a picture of Uncle Jeff at his graduation, but this one is so sweet I had to post it too! It made me tear up a bit! Connor is such a sweet boy!

September 11, 2010


those who lost their lives, and the ones they left behind.

Forgot someone

When I posted the first day of school photos I forgot someone. He misses his boys terribly!
He is - the saddest dog in the world. (Stay thirsty my friends!)

September 10, 2010


It says it in the title, "the life and times of a pastor's wife," but I don't blog a whole lot about it. Most things I can't talk about. When you minister to and with people, you need to keep those things confidential. I think one of the greatest gifts a pastor's wife can give her husband is a safe place to talk and work things out. Brian knows that when he shares something with me, it stops at me. Of course, this makes for boring blog entries.

"Dear Diary,
Brian told me something today, but I can't tell you what it was.
XOXO Janiesa"

While I can't tell you about specific church things, I can tell you how the things I have experienced at church have shaped me. I must warn you that a lot of my church experience is negative. Churches can hurt people. At Rock Harbor, our heart is for reaching the unchurched or those who have been hurt in past experiences. We understand because we have been there, done that!

I have been following a blog that has inspired me. It has inspired me to open up, something that is frightening to me. I have closed myself off and most people don't even know me. I am inspired to open up from the safety of my computer. (I am not ready for people yet.) We will see how it goes!

September 9, 2010

Congratulations Uncle Jeff!

Today was a proud day for my sister and her husband, or as he is better known in our house, Uncle Jeff. Uncle Jeff has graduated from the Dallas Police Academy! He received his badge today and there will be an official graduation tomorrow.

He started the academy in January and has worked hard and he is finally at his goal. Of course, he couldn't have done it without the love, encouragement, and support from his wonderful wife! Congratulations to both of you! We love you both!

September 8, 2010

1st day of 8th grade

Today, Anthony went back to school. The middle school has the 7th and 8th grades start a day later than the 6th grade. I guess this gives the 6th graders a chance to get the lay of the land before becoming inundated with the big kids. Brian and I took that opportunity to take Anthony out to lunch at his favorite restaurant, Macaroni Grill. In true teenage fashion he ate a whole bowl of pasta and then ate a Cinnabon at the mall!

Anthony was bummed to have to go back to school. I tried all morning to get a picture of him. He hates his picture taken for some reason! I wore him down, though, and got one of him in the end!

September 7, 2010

1st day of 5th grade

Today is the first day of school for Parker and Tyler! My babies are starting their last year of elementary school! That went by very quickly. They both were excited, and a little nervous, when they got up this morning. I will miss them!

Anthony starts school tomorrow. Only the 6th graders go to school today. It helps them get the feel of school before the "big" kids come.
Morning Bible Study
New school year, new shoes!

Although, you can buy shoes anytime of year!!

I love you, Tyler. I am praying for you today! You make me proud!!

I love you, Parker! I am praying for you today!! I am proud of you!

Awww, you do like each other!

September 4, 2010

Please stop barking!

So, Brian was gone last Friday and Saturday. He was officiating a wedding down in Medford, (about 4 hours from us) and he took Tyler with him. With 3 jobs, it can be hard for Brian to get one on one time with the 3 boys. It was good for him to spend time with Tyler and they both had a good time. I am the one who didn't have such a good time.

During the day everything was fine. Anthony, Parker and I rode our bikes down to Sesame Donuts for breakfast. We had Abby's pizza for dinner and then rode our bikes down to Baskin Robins for dessert. That was all fine and dandy. It is the night I don't do well with. Most women I know don't like it when their husbands are gone, but those who know me best understand my extra fear.

Like usual, I leave many lights on when Brian is gone at night. It was 12:30am and I was getting ready to go upstairs and sleep poorly. Rolo was walking in front of me and he heard something and ran to the front window. He started barking. I stopped dead in my tracks, my blood went ice cold, and my stomach dropped. I told myself there was nothing wrong and someone was probably just passing our house on a walk and Rolo would stop barking soon. He didn't. In fact, he got louder and more aggressive. I thought that maybe someone was getting into their car that was parked out front and they would soon be leaving. He kept barking.

I stood there for 5 minutes praying over and over again "please stop barking, please stop barking." Rolo was so loud I was surprised he hadn't woken the kids up. I finally got to the point where I knew it wasn't someone getting into their car. There was someone out there and they weren't going away.

What to do now? I wondered what kind of person wouldn't move on when a 95 pound dog was aggressively barking at them. The answer to that scared me. I knew what I had to do. I realized that because of my fears, all the lights in the house were on. Whoever was out there could see in and I couldn't see out. (Perhaps I watch too much Burn Notice!) I ran around the house turning off all the lights. That took me upstairs to my room. I ran over to the gun safe and took out the gun and the clip. I kept them in opposite hands. I ran over to the place in the hallway that leads to the boys' rooms. I stood guard there for another 5 minutes. If someone wants my tv or anything downstairs I would've let them have it. You come towards my kids and then me and you have issues. The dog continued to bark. It now had been over 10 minutes. Silent tears streamed down my face.

I take gun safety very seriously. Brian and I are the only two who have the combo to the gun safe. The gun is kept in the safe at all times and always empty. I have been to the range and know how to handle our gun. The decision to bring it out was a difficult one for me. I didn't make it lightly.

15 minutes. Dog still barking. I knew I had to face my fears and look out the window. I was afraid there was going to be someone standing right there and I was scared. I finally cowboyed-up and went down the stairs and walked over to where the dog was. There were two people standing in my front yard. The dog was still barking. It didn't seem to phase them. I stood there until they got into their car and left. Rolo finally stopped barking. My heart was still beating a mile a minute though. There was little sleep for me over the next few hours.

It turns out one of them was a neighbor from down the street. Why they didn't move down to their yard when Rolo barked at them for over 20 minutes is a mystery that may never be solved. Another mystery is how the kids slept through all that barking! I am thankful, however, for a dog who feels we are important enough to bark over for 20 minutes.

Of course, I saw God's hand in things and felt the most comfort in that.

September 2, 2010

A good name

Proverbs 22:1 "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." NIV

Proverbs 22:1 "You should want a good name more than you want great riches. To be highly respected is better than having silver or gold." NIRV

Your reputation precedes you. Good or bad, there it is. Your every action is associated with your name. If you don't believe me, try coming up with a baby name! Your name goes before you. It introduces you.

Anthony got an excellent example of this on registration night at the middle school. At the end of last year he had requested to be a TA (teachers assistant) as one of his electives. When he walked into the middle school for registration, a teacher excitedly came over to him and said she was so excited to have him for her TA this year.

Later, Anthony was telling me he didn't understand why she was excited. He didn't even think she knew who he was. He had never had her as a teacher. I got to explain to him the concept of your reputation precedes you.

Anthony is an excellent student. Teachers love him. He is respectful in class, he is helpful, and he does what is asked of him. Teachers put him at tables that are a bit rowdy because he has a calming affect on them. The comments section on his report card says "a pleasure to have in class" for every subject. Teachers talk. This teacher Anthony will TA for already knows what she is getting in him.

It was a good lesson. A good name is one of life's most valuable possessions. What does your name say about you?

Mamma's got a new pair of shoes!

I was very blessed with a gift card to my very favorite shoe store! Can't wait to slip these on!!

September 1, 2010

How to tell...

How to tell... if you have a male teenager in your home. They eat all of this, in one sitting!

What a Gentleman

I got home from grocery shopping and the boys were playing outside. They came over to tell me what they had been doing, so I opened my door but stayed sitting in the car. As they were talking, Anthony opened the backseat door and took all the groceries in the house for me!

I am so thankful he has such an excellent example of a gentleman in his father!