Friday, April 29, 2011

Bartlesville and back

Today we had a family trip to Bartlesville.  It was the first time we’ve been back since “the day” we left.  I wasn’t for sure how I’d feel as we trekked up the highway and entered in our old stomping grounds.  

It was a rushed trip, a stressful trip, and we didn’t get to see all of those we wanted, and those we did, it was rushed.  But, it was good, too. 

We have a peace about being called away from what was home for 8 years and it was, again, confirmed to me by the Lord, that we followed His desires for our lives.  No, from the exit to the present, it has NOT been one thing like I had all planned out, but hindsight, it’s been a really good (very blessed) past month. 

The trip was really thrown together at the last minute when we realized we’d made doctor appointments for the guys and we should keep them.  First just the two of them were going to go and then last minute everyone did.  So please don’t be offended if you didn’t know we were coming or even there at all.  Next time, it will look much different!

We went to see the ENT for both Jeff and Jackson and it turns out we will be back for both of them.  Jeff has a sleep study scheduled this next month and Jackson has a surgery scheduled in the next month to remove his tonsils and adnoids.  Whew, that was the first stop (and it was stressful because we were running late and didn’t have the paperwork with us we needed). But they were wonderful and the doctor is a family friend so we were treated like such J

After the doctor we ran to eat at Sonic and let the kids play.  Brittany met us there and that was fun (but again very rushed). Charleigh fell asleep on my chest and konked out for about an hour there from Sonic to the school in the baby carrier (no wonder my back is killing me).

Jackson has been begging to go back to his school so he could see his friends and we did exactly that.  It was very fun for me to see the smile light up on his face. The kids were all hyper and excited and hugged and hugged him.  He was like the “hero of the day” and I really enjoyed watching him receive so much attention. The boy craves attention and it’s been lacking lately.  I really think it was good therapy for him to be there. His sweet 9 month pregnant teacher wanted him to stay the rest of the day (only an hour and a half total time) and he couldn’t have been more excited about that. **pics at the bottom**

So while he stayed and had multiple recesses, we went over to Dana’s house and Creighton played with Arlee and I got to have a few minutes of time there! I miss all of my girl friends in Bartlesville! 

Then we went to pick Jax up from school and headed to the Holley’s and I was sad we missed Marci and the girls, but we got to see the boys and Jeff and sweet baby!  That was VERY rushed.

It was overall a stressful kind of day because looming before Jeff was the 30 hour Famine all night lock in Bixby.  There were several things we were trying to take care of and he was on and off the phone all day long.  *so much for a day off* so we were in a hurry everywhere so we could get a million things done and ready before the event.

Anyway, leaving Bartlesville wasn’t hard like I thought it be.  I think I know we are coming back for 2 different visits right around the corner and that helped, but like I mentioned earlier, I just know that God has plans for the Berg family where He has lead us and it excited me. 

I am anxious, just as I have been since the get-go, to actually GET there and get settled and start it full throttle, but I am in such a different place now than I was one month ago.  I know the Lord better, I know myself better. I trust the Lord with so much more, a greater capacity, a deeper strength than I ever would have had the plan gone like I had placed it.  I am thrilled to be where I am. 

It wasn’t easy or fun but it was all worth it.

Thank you friends for loving us both far and near and for those of you that did make time to see us today, it was SO good to see you.  I can’t wait to come back so that we can make MORE time to see more of our dear friends there.  I think our first trip back was exactly the way I needed it to be so that I would know it was okay to go back south on 75  But I do miss it. 

 sweet smile~!

oh the fun they had!!! I LOVED IT

By golly, it's happening!

It isn't final or closed yet, but we are at least heading in that direction. Today marks the time we have made it the furthest in our hunt.  We had our inspections and this time our money didn't go down the toilet!  They passed with flying colors.  They are fixing like seriously 4 SMALL things and it's ready to go.  We will be on our way to owning a home again!  Here is the nice updated look with the shutters the sellers added....:)

 And here is the entry way.  I will wait to take empty pictures and then pics with all of OUR things in it.  We are hoping to move in prior to the original May 27th closing date.  I CANNOT WAIT.  (well I can, and I have, but I am excited, nonetheless!)
We will be less than a mile from the school. One mile from Walmart. Less than 5 miles from CPO and about 5.5 miles from the church!  It's exactly the location we wanted from the very beginning and it has a room that will allow us to hopefully open up our home for ministry! SO EXCITED!

Fun Thursday Pictures...

So thankful for the GORGEOUS weather here today.  (today is also the day that TN, AL, GA and many other southern states had some of the worst weather and tornadoes seen many decades).  
We met up with Ashley and Emma today over snacks at Scott's and that was SO good. It had been too long.  I LOVE Charleigh's look in this picture....

 THe kids love to climb on this gorilla statue.  My little monkey 1
 Gorgeous monkey 2
 Just hammin' it pretty girl. I just love you to pieces!
 And my littlest monkey 3!
My sweet boy.  He had a rough day but is SO excited we get to visit Bartlesville tomorrow! He REEEEEAAAALLLLLLYYYYYY misses it right now.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Change is hard.

There are times when Creighton can make my life crazy, or at least me.  Like seriously certifiably crazy.  But then there are moments (glimmers of hope) where I know it's all gonna be alright.  She and Jackson seem to have switched roles here lately.  He's having a REALLY difficult time with change and is acting out in desperation.  She, although is still very Creighton, has been relatively easy. Or maybe Jackson is acting so terrible, it's making her look good :)  Either way I am thankful that she's being sweet.

It's so hard. I can't stand having to discipline him in the ways that he is forcing my hand, but there just isn't anything that's getting through to him. It makes me sad. He is truly a gentle spirit (on the inside) and he is SO tender.  He is so emotional.  He wears it all on his sleeve, too.  It's been a hard few weeks for everyone and I know he's old enough to catch on to more than I give him credit for. Today, in tears, he begged me to take him back to Bartlesville and take him back to his "old school" because he really misses his friends.  I get it. I know.  It's not easy.  And if I was 5, my actions would probably be very similar to his.  I try to keep it in perspective and yet, at the same time, be his mommy that was given the job of training him up.  It's a fine balance.  I feel like I am failing most moments.

I have always heard "kids are resilient" and I sure hope that's true...

Easter Pics

My funny, cute, sweet little easter babies!

Sick Baby

This sweet smile has been missing lately. She is very sick. It makes my heart hurt to see her so miserable.  She was completely lethargic tonight.  Nearly no life other than rapid shallow breaths and a rapid heart beat.  They told me she had strep on Saturday.  She's been on antibiotics ever since and has only gotten worse. I hate it that I don't have a pediatrician that I trust here.  I might just be making a trip to Bartlesville tomorrow.  Either way, Precious and I are going to the doctors tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I am up. I wish I was sleeping, but I can't.  It's technically Easter right now, but really it's 12:30 and so it's the "eve of Easter" still too.  I am trying hard to wrap my thoughts around what I am feeling, thinking, wanting.

I've celebrated Easter every year for the past 30 years, and all of them as believer or within a believing family.  Yet, I don't "get" it.  I am not impacted in the way that I KNOW that I should be, and actually, the way I do desire to be.

I don't understand because I can't comprehend.  I've read the bible, heard the stories, seen the Passion of the Christ, listened to detailed explanations of medical teams explain the medical background of the crucifixion, but still I can't go there. I don't know pain like that. I don't know emotional trauma enough to have come close to sweating blood. I don't.  I am thankful I have never experienced anything of that sort, and no I am not asking for that.

I know what my Savior has done for me. I do know the gravity of what He willingly took on, but I don't understand. And I don't know that I would do the same, not willingly.

I believe everything I have read, heard and been educated on in reference to the crucifixion and the Garden.  I feel educated, but I feel I don't have a clue at the same time.

Why is it I feel so calloused to the cross? Why doesn't it affect me or impact me in a MAJOR way, because it was certainly a MAJOR sacrifice? I don't know why anyone would do half of what He did in order to save me, or anyone else for that matter?  I know it's because I am loved.  I know it's because he loves me. I know it's because He doesn't know how NOT to love me, or you.

The cross impacts me, but it should change me at every second.  But it doesn't. I go on in life and get distracted. I am just like the disciples who continued to fall asleep time and time again.  I fail Jesus. But He doesn't fail me. He could have bowed out. But he didn't.  He could have stayed in heaven at the right hand of the Father, but He didn't.  God could have come up with a different plan, but He chose to send His perfect Son.  (trust me I don't get that either, I am so far from perfect!)

The cross has changed me.   I am His and He calls me His.  I will forever live in eternity with God because of this sacrifice. I don't want to be calloused to the cross. I want to remember.  I want to have an intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe, because He desires that of me.

How can I make it fresh? How can I make it new? How can I keep the Christ who IS alive, alive in me on a moment by moment basis so that I don't have to feel disconnected from what this holiday/remembrance is all about?

Lord, use this to continue to prod my heart. Give me a clean heart, a fresh heart. Take from me the hard heart, the calloused heart. Give me insight, wisdom and knowledge. Show yourself to me in new ways every day. Help me Lord to deny myself, to take up MY cross DAILY and to follow you with reckless abandon.  Break my heart for what breaks yours.  Remind me of all that you have done for me.  Thank you Lord for your grace, your continued second chances at this.  Thank you for your sacrifice, your pain, your separation from your Father so that I would NOT have to be.  Thank you for your nearness when I refuse to acknowledge it.  Thank you for loving me in a way that I am incapable of returning.  Help me to love better.  Thank you for not giving up on me.  I trust you Lord.  I love you.  Amen

What began at Christmas was completed on thankful for Sunday.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Baby turns 18....months that is

  Where has the time gone?

I had wanted to start this post several weeks ago, knowing it was coming, but alas, I have been a little preoccupied.

I wanted to note all the things that she is doing and saying. But really, she can do and say just about anything.  She wants to be and do and say EVERYTHING that the big kids do.  She tries to say ANY thing you ask her to say.  She puts multiple words together all the time.  She's amazing.  She climbs and jumps and runs and mimics literally to the smallest detail everything any and all of us do.  She is so observant it's kind of scary at times.

She sings.  And my goodness it's the most precious thing I have ever heard.  She sings almost every word to "Jesus loves me" and we do it all the time.  That is the song that calms her.  Anywhere. Anytime. Anyplace.  Most especially the car.  So, sometimes we sing it around 50-100 times consecutively.  It works, what can I say?  I can think of worse things that parents do to calm fussy babies...:)

She is becoming less and less baby and more and more toddler and most of me is happy about that, but knowing she could be the last (baby, at least) does have some sentimental-ness to it.  I've enjoyed this third time more than any other.  I don't know if I felt a small amount more confident and competent, or if it's just that she is  It doesn't hurt that she's adorably cute and is very cuddly!

Lots of people (myself included) comment on a daily basis about how great she is, whether it's her eyes, her curls, her beauty, her cuteness, her smile, her cuddles, her words, her (you name it).  Literally I can't take her anywhere without someone noticing her.  I am pretty sure God has a mighty big plan for this little one.  I don't know what it is, or if I will ever know, but I do know that from the VERY beginning of her life, HE had a plan. I am so thankful that I get to be a part of it.  We are so incredibly blessed by Charleigh Tatum!

It's just your 18mo "birthday" but it's special. It's special because really all of your days are special.  I wrote just above this letter to you about how I am so excited that I get to be a part of your story. I am.  There is nothing greater than for me to hear you call me "mommy" (or "mom" like you've been doing lately).  It's my greatest joy to be your mommy.  I am thankful to your first mommy for the opportunity to be chosen for this enormous job.  I am thankful that God had a plan for you.  I know that He still has a big plan ahead for you and I can't wait to see it all unfold in the years to come.  You have taught me so much over the course of your life so far and I know you will continue to do so.  I love you so much, and I always will, forever.  I know I can't keep you little forever and that the world will try to grow you up even faster than you already are, but I just want you to know, that you are precious, you are priceless, you are special, you are a gift, you are loved by SO many people and you have the potential to change the world.  Your Daddy and I want nothing more than for you to know that the Creator of the Universe loves you and for you to have a personal relationship with Him.  Second to that is that you are loved deeply by your first family, and by us.
this was you at 6 months! So much has changed in a year, but you still have those sweet cheeks, and beautiful eyes that twinkle when you flash that gorgeous you sweet baby Charleigh.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sweet word picture

On the way to church last night the kids and I were talking in the car. They were asking all kinds of questions.  Creighton asked about snakes and I took it the bible and walked them through the story of the Adam and Eve.  Then got to even take it a step further and talk about sin and death and yet, also about Christ why He came.  It was a great conversation!

Then Creighton asked how, when you die, do you GET to heaven.  She wasn't asking a salvation question, just didn't understand how you physically arrived in heaven.

I told her I didn't know.  But I did know that we could trust that somehow God would make it happen because we were promised that.

Jackson said he knew.  He said, " God reaches his arms WAAAAAY down all the way to you, picks you up and carries you to heaven himself. "

I just loved it. I needed it. and whether it's really true or not, I know that in some way it is.

I just love my sweet boy! and I love that the Lord knew I needed to hear that HE does do that, even now, when I am not physically dead, but emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.

The unfolding of events part 2

Read Part 1 here

So, we wake up on Monday morning, closing day.  We still have a few things in the house, but shouldnt' take me too long to get them loaded up in the van after I get back from signing (and Jeff leaves to go a meeting in Bixby all day).

Kari meets us at the house.  Jeff isn't ready.  Long night. Exhausted. So much left to do.  Frustration.  Anyway, so I force him to leave and get in the car so we can get to the Credit Union (they were sweet to say we could come early at 8:30 when they don't open till 9 so Jeff wouldn't be any later to his meeting than he had to be).  Jeff was driving separately from us so he could leave straight from there.  We saw him turn around and head back home.  He forgot his wallet.

We finally make it into the office where we are to sign only 20 minutes late by this point...I felt terrible! We sign, it's all good.  The buyers were suppose to sign at lunch time and it'd be all over.


***My mother in law called and said my kids were sick and I needed to come get them around in this time frame. ***

We were on our separate ways when we get phone calls from Taylor who is still at the house while we were signing saying people are at the house.  And so it began.

The buyers were there to do a final walk through.  I wasn't too worried (but a little embarrassed by all the stuff I still had in the Master and Taylor had all his stuff in the sun room still).  No big deal, they'd get over it.  Well we found out rather quickly they aren't people that just "get over" anything.  They first started their complaints with we hadn't done all the inspection repairs correctly.  We had.  But they complained and called the inspection guy back out to reinspect.  He found 2 NEW things electrical repairs.  We had to get them fixed.  The soonest the electrician could be there was 4pm.  They were throwing other fits about the maintenance items we didn't repair because THEY didn't put it in the TRR.  My morning went from GREAT to AWFUL in 5 seconds flat.

Once I get back to the house, I also find out that they do NOT want the swing set with play fort attached in the backyard and we must remove it.  WITH WHAT? HOW? It's a huge wooden set and it's just Jeff and I there and all the tools are on the POD.  So we have to unpack the front of the PODS to get everything out that we could possible use to tear this thing down.  And we also are told we have to have everything out of the shed (we had left gas cans and other things he could have used) and there was a sand box in the back yard he wanted gone too.  It only had 100+ pounds of sand that had gotten rained on the night before (so make that about 300 pounds of wet sand).    We borrowed a friends truck (because we had too much trash too and had to get that out even though the trash man was coming the next morning) to move it all.

We found a way to dispose of the sand! Let's just say Jeff was brilliant and the sand is still in the back yard. :)  We used brooms and a blower to blow all the sand under the deck.  We loaded it all out of the box into a trashcan on wheels, then unloaded it on top of the deck and then blew it and brushed it in the holes/slats of the wood all underneath the deck.  It's all hidden under there! :)  It worked perfectly and quickly! One thing down.

In the middle of all of this I was trying to find a family for a baby, and I swear that is the one thing that kept me moving and made my day a little better...I HEART ADOPTION! (sadly, the family I found isn't going to work out, but at least it kept my mind occupied on something other than me and my day at the time).

I then began sawing with a hand saw 6 inch by 5 inch thick wooden swing set.  Horrible thing to go to waste for NOTHING.  Thankfully Jeff finished what he was doing and finished off my job I started. He was much faster.  So we ruined the swing set, but still had the fort part of it.  We loaded up all we could in the truck.  Then I found a new home for the fort.  The guy across the street wanted it! :) yea!  So I arranged for that to all be taken care of once we were gone. Thank you Kari and everyone else who helped do that for us.

We finished loading back up the PODS unit.  We finished loading up the van and the truck and got out of there.  We were sitting down for lunch together finally and I was balling.  Jeff got a call that the electrician could come early and he had to go, leaving me in a restaurant by myself in shambles.  But I am thankful the electrician could come early because they didn't finish repairing everything till 5! It was a crazy thing there too.  Thank you Kirk for helping us out and fixing everything even better than you needed to!  MCINTIRE ELECTRIC if you need someone in Bville!

I had a massage I hadn't used (my sweet LNO group had got me) and figured if I could get one, this would certainly be the day for it.  It worked out and I had an hour of bliss. Thank you sweet friends, you have NO idea how my soul needed that hour!

***Thankfully we decided the kids would be okay where they were and I could come get them the next day.  There was NOTHING left of me to give to my kids.  NOTHING.  I needed a night to mourn.

We got everything settled in Bartlesville, and at 5:55 as we were leaving town I got the text that the fort had been removed from our yard and we were completely finished! It was over and we could move on.  I felt major relief.

So we headed down to make an offer on what we both thought might be "the house" and we went inside one more time to make sure and we signed the papers that night. We thought, man today had just been a terrible rotten day and yet, cool, that we can make an offer on this house and hopefully get it!  So we are headed to eat after all of that and it's like 9 at night already.  On our way, we get a phone call from our realtor.  She had just found out that they had JUST that afternoon accepted someone else's offer on our dream home.

Talk about a punch to the gut.

We ate, mostly quiet.  I cried.  I felt defeated on EVERY possible level.  We came back to my parents house for the first night of living here.  It all felt strange.  This wasn't in our plan. at. all.  None of the way the day unfolded was a part of my plan.

Then I got another phone call saying Jackson has puked!  Just to top it off.

I decided more than anything I just needed the day to be over.  So I tried to convince my brain to shut down.  It took awhile.  Then I was just about a sleep when SERIOUSLY I KID YOU NOT, the smoke detector in the room I was sleeping in started beeping.

I was furious.

My parent's ceilings are like 10 foot tall, so I had to get out of bed, find a ladder, and then I pulled out the battery all together thinking that would solve it.  It didn't.  I guess they are on some kind of central connection and when you do that it detects that something is wrong and then they all start going off.  So my mom woke up and got me a battery. I replaced it and got back into bed.

I seriously don't know what to think about that day.  It's been several days now and the emotions had subsided but retyping it all has made them all resurface.  It's hard not to doubt God has forgotten you, even doesn't love you, when you have a day like that.

But yesterday I went to the first Wednesday night at our new church in Bixby and they are doing the Jonah study and it was exactly what my heart needed to hear.  I am so excited about diving into this study.  Priscilla did a fantastic job in the video and the Lord held my heart and my hand.  :)  I don't have anything figured out.  We are in the same spot we were in, but I do know that the Lord had this all figured out.  Oh how I needed it.

The unfolding of events part 1

The last two weeks (guessing on time frame) have been a whirlwind for me, and my family.  The kids are pretty resilient and other than having colds have seen "unscathed" by the process (I have to count my blessings somewhere, so we'll start there :))  Anyway, I believe in my last post I stated something like, "Bartlesville can't get rid of us so fast..." but when it all came down to it, they did.  Our buyers wanted to close even earlier than the contract, we said no, and in fact tried to push it the opposite direction.  We had found out we were going to be "homeless" (another blessing to count here is we have my parents home to call ours so we aren't really homeless in all sense of the word), and so we were trying to keep our home for as long as they'd let us.  So we thought they were going to agree to the 15th, then no, then we thought they'd do the 8th (pushing back from a Monday to that next Friday), but then at the last minute he changed his mind on that too.  Leaving us with no option other than to begin packing up and moving out April 1st. Oh how I wish it were a big ol' April Fools joke, but alas, it wasn't.

So the games begin.

The PODS unit showed up Thursday.  We started getting things somewhat organized Thursday and began packing up the kids' rooms first on Friday.  We began loading Friday mid morning.  (this is our second pods unit by the way!) HOW DO WE HAVE SO MUCH STUFF?!???

We had dear friend and former associate of Jeff's, Brittany, to help us all day on Friday and she was great! She did the things I couldn't do. I held it together appearance wise, but on the inside I was falling apart.  Boxing up the last of my things, specifically the kitchen just wasn't going to happen if I had to do it, so I am SO thankful she was there.  Because of the the help we were able to get SO much more done on Friday than I had ever anticipated.

Saturday was the fort day.  We have Jeff's old fort that he received as a kid (built by his dad and grandpa) that weighs about 2500-3000 pounds and then we have Creighton and Charleigh's house (that was built by Pop and Grammy) that weighs about 4000 pounds.  No joke.  They fit snugly down the side of our Bartlesville house and the neighbors fence. Watching them get them (in last time) and out this time is completely crazy.  It takes about 8-10 grown men to do this.  Then they have to pick them up and put them on a trailer.  (just for remembrance sake (although the guys will surely never forget even if they try) they have to move them the old "Egyptian way" of moving things with PVC pipes underneath and roll a few feet and then pull one out of the back and lay it out front continuously until you reach point B)

We had Pop's trailer lined up with his car.  But we wanted to have 2 trailers and 2 cars so we would only have to find help once in Bartlesville and once in Bixby.  So we both made multiple calls and found a few that would work, but one of our friends that was coming to help anyway said he had one and a hitch and could also pull it .  So we said "sold" :).  Because the houses are so big we decided to verify the size and weight. He assured us we didn't need to come measure that it would be fine.  So, I let all the other leads go.  Saturday morning I pull up and there is a trailer sitting outside of my house that doesn't have  a chance in heck to hold the girls' house.   So I tried desperately to make all the phone calls again to the other leads to no avail.  The guys all tried desperately to get the girls' house on his trailer, but it just was NOT going to work.  So back to plan C, they went with the first one, then came back and got the girls' fort and went a second time.  A very long and tiring day for the guys.  (blessing: we have a sweet family in Bixby that is housing our forts in their backyard in our time of "transition").

The rest of Saturday we continued packing up and loading the PODS. It was very strange with a mostly empty house.  We were fixing to load up the washer at one point and I stuck my hand in to make sure all the water was gone and felt soap. We had cleaned it out and dried it out and had even turned off the water supply. I know there wasn't soap in there the night before.  But apparently Taylor had tried to do a load unknowing that he wouldn't be able to. He didn't find this out till he had already put soap in it, but he didn't tell anyone.  So that was an incredibly frustrating event because then we had to load the washer back in the house, hook it all back up, run a cycle (empty because we had already loaded the dryer), and then begin the process again of drying it out.  UGH! We found this all out about midnight.  That late with all day of packing, being emotional and tired, didn't produce a great outcome.  But it all worked out.

Sunday we went to church and looked at houses and got home late. We didn't think we had too much to do.  But that day Jeff got a MAJOR migraine that took.him.out.  He wasn't able to do anything.  It was terrible.  When we got home, we realized just how much there WAS left to do and thankfully a sweet family from Grace came and helped! They were amazing and helped us out in SO many ways!  Thank you Karns family! I am so thankful for them because without Jeff I wouldn't have been able to do any of it by myself.  They even hooked us up with an air mattress to sleep on so we wouldn't have anything to put in the PODS the next morning.  We were offered by 2 different families to sleep at their houses in comfort for the night but Jeff wanted to be sentimental and sleep there on the last night.  I would have taken up the offer, and next time FOR SURE will.  But I obliged to his request.  We ended up sleeping like shoes fit in a shoe box because I can't sleep with a bump behind my head and he wanted it. So we cuddled with each others feet by our faces all night :)  Oh the memories!

Stay tuned for Part 2.