Monday, December 19, 2011

Time Flies

Six years ago we were blessed with our first daughter, Alaina Courtney. As we pulled out of the hospital parking lot to take her home, I turned to Gary and said, "I feel like our family is complete. Two boys and now a little girl." (Now we all know how that story ends.:)) But at the time, she was the perfect completion to our family. Time has flown by with her and here we are 6 years later. She's in Kindergarten and loving it. She's taking ballet and loving that too. And she has grown into such a sweet caring little girl. She's also a little spunky thing too. Whacking her brothers whenever she needs to stick up for herself. I love that about her too. I hope the next 6 years go by much slower than the last, but part of me can't wait to see what kind of a young lady she will become. So much to look forward to with her! Here she is with her new "friend" Molly, that she got for her birthday. Now both of them are tucked into their beds upstairs and hopefully our Lainy Lou is having sweet birthday dreams.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Written Word

This is what I often find Brendan doing when I tuck him in at night. He's up on his bunk bed hunkered down reading the funnies. Every week his great grandma (my grandmother), sends him the comics along with a hand written note. Each week he eagerly opens his letter and often sits right down and writes her back. They exchange interests, daily happenings, and have even sent hand drawn pictures to each other. As she is getting older we are seeing her a little less and I'm thankful for this meaningful way of communicating. My grandmother still sits down and hand writes letters to friends and family. Everyone enjoys checking the mailbox and finding an envelope written in someone's handwriting waiting for them. It's personal. In this day of increasing technology I still enjoy holding an actual newspaper or book in hand to read. A hand written letter? Even better. I'm so thankful that my grandmother is still here with us and is able to pass on something that is very important to her generation.....the hand written word.

Monday, November 21, 2011


In high school my personalized license plate read, YBNORML. Later on in college it read, BURSELF. I always wanted to be unique and different. Whether or not I achieved that at that young age, I don't know. But I do admire other people who are "one of a kind".

My son Nolan is one of those people. Tonight he was frustrated about how hard school is and said to me, "I wish I wasn't different. I want to be like everyone else." He has also expressed to me that he, "hates his life with autism." In the last year he has started realizing that he is not quite like his peers. It breaks my heart when he makes comments like these, because I wouldn't change his uniqueness for anything. Would I take away his struggles? Of course. But I wouldn't change him, his quirky ways, his blunt honesty, or the way he bounces around with no inhibitions just because he is truly and purely overjoyed about something in his little world. So as his mother, I have to figure out how to take these frustrations he's having and turn them around. I want him to celebrate who he is and be proud of the fact that he is unique. I know I am. And I am so blessed to be his mother.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Nolan has made so much progress since he was a little guy. Just the other night he asked to read to me (which he never does), and I sat down to listen. As he read in his robot monotone voice, my eyes welled with tears. I didn't focus on the fact that he is way behind his peers. Nor did I think about the ever widening gap between him and his friends. I focused on the fact that he was me. If I let myself dwell on the "what ifs" and the "if onlys" and the "whys" all the time, I would fret with worry and feel discouraged. Instead I'm going to focus on right now and how far he has come and all of the obstacles he's worked through. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I'm choosing to direct my focus. As a runner, when I run a longer race, I guess I take a similar approach. I try not to focus on how many more miles I have left, but how many I've already accomplished. Nolan has a long race ahead of him, but I'm going to focus on the miles he's already conquered.

Friday, October 7, 2011


"It's so easy being good!", Alaina declared about 2 weeks after school started. She hadn't had to pull a color yet and still hasn't since. But I quickly deflated her head a little and gave her some words of caution, "Be careful, because one day you might be talking to a friend without thinking while your teacher is teaching and she might ask you to pull a color." One of my goals as a mother is to make sure my kids are humble. As special as I think my kiddos are, they will not be under the false notion that they can do no wrong or that they know everything. We all fall short of being perfect. The sooner we realize that, the better off we are. I am proud of Alaina for being an obedient student and like the fact that she is excited about being "good". But as I work on being a more humble person, I will be helping my children be more humble too.

Friday, September 30, 2011

An Open Window

I am loving this weather and this time of year. And so is someone else. If there is an open window, Miss Nosey Pants is peering out trying to see what everyone is up to. She loves feeling the wind in her face and having her brothers and sister and neighbor kids come by and tell her hello through the window. She feels like she is part of the "gang". Too bad her legs are too short to see out the back window.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


So I have had a really stinky rotten attitude lately. And last week it came to a head when I confessed my horrible attitude to a close group of non judging friends. I feel guilty for feeling so negative when I know and am thankful for so many things in my life. And I see people everywhere around me facing hardships that I don't have to endure. But ever since my little meltdown, I am feeling much better about things. I am CHOOSING to feel better and to have a better attitude. Because I believe it is a choice. There is always something to be thankful for in every situation even if you can't see it right away. I am also CHOOSING to be content. Because frankly, that is a choice too.

I am reading a really good book called The Power of a Positive Mom and this passage really struck a chord with me: "Contentment is the opposite of self-pity. If our hearts are content because we trust in God as our loving provider, then we'll tend to keep our eyes off our troubles. But if we dwell on our wants or our difficulties (great or small), we will lose sight of the provisions God is granting us." For me, that says it all.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Have a Confession

Hello, my name is Jill Lynn Rogers and I DON'T have it all together. My house isn't perfect, my marriage isn't perfect, my kids aren't perfect, my life isn't perfect. I fall short every single day. I struggle with worry, doubt, and anger. And that is why I am thankful for Forgiveness, Grace and Hope and the Knowledge of wonderful and glorious things to come in my eternal future. My God gets me up in the morning and my God gets me through every day. I try my best, but I always know I have room for improvement. I can be an even better wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and child of God.

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. God loved us, and through his grace he gave us a good hope and encouragement that continues forever."
~2 Thessalonians 16-17

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Day of Firsts

I sent my children off to school today. It was a day of firsts around here. Alaina's first day of Kindergarten and Brendan's first day of Middle School. I think I was a tad more sad about Brendan than Alaina. Where has the time gone? Seems just like yesterday they were toddlers.

I keep telling them to stop growing.

But they are not listening.

I can't believe Brendan is a tween. Slow down, son. Slow down.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Do Over

I would like to request a do over for summer. One where I'm hardly yelling and the kids are bickering less. Oh, and where I'm doing educational and meaningful activities with my kids EVERY SINGLE DAY. Seriously though, there were some things I wanted to do with them that didn't get done this summer. Like I was going to do "Art Wednesdays". And guess what? There was not a single Wednesday this whole summer where an art project was produced. Okay, maybe I'm being too hard on myself. Our summer was filled with a wonderful trip to Colorado, lots of fun camps for the kids and just plain spending time together. This picture pretty much sums up what we spent the majority of the summer doing.

Part of me is sad to send them off to school in a few days. So, part of me still wants a do over.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wrapped Around Her Finger

This is what he was doing a year ago with her.

And this is what he does now.

I wonder what they will be doing together a year from now? I envision him chasing after her and her squealing with delight.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Housewife of Leavenworth County

At 10:00 this morning I was awoken by breakfast in bed. My maid brought me my slippers and I lounged around for a few hours reading my favorite book, while she took care of the laundry and my four children. Of course, they were cordial and didn't bother me once while I was reading. I then munched on my favorite dark chocolate truffles while the said maid swept and mopped my kitchen floor and scrubbed my bathrooms sparkly clean. I then went for a LONG jog and came home to eat a gourmet lunch BY MYSELF. The rest of my afternoon consisted of a long nap and a few hours of painting, again uninterrupted. Dinner was served and the children were put to bed without me lifting a finger. My day of rest was complete.

Sounds wonderful, right?

Okay, so here is what a day looks like in the life of The REAL Housewife of Leavenworth County:

I am awoken early by a baby who wants to nurse. I stumble downstairs and barely get my cup of coffee going, when my kiddos start making requests for breakfast. I get them fed and put in a load of laundry. I DRAG my four children to the track in the heat so I can get my run in. About every few laps I hear, "Are you almost done?" When I finish running (because that makes me a happy mommy), we come home and I scrub the bathroom and put in ANOTHER load of laundry. While keeping the baby out of ALL of the cabinets within her reach, I break up a squabble between the older ones and attempt to whip up some lunch. I clean up from lunch, sweep, and fold laundry and then get everyone settled in their own space for some wonderful, blissful, quiet time. Then I am brutally awakened by ANOTHER squabble. Sigh. I quickly slather all four children with sunscreen and off we go to the pool where I follow my little chubsters around while she explores the waters and the older kids swim. Then home we go where I whip up a NONGOURMET meal. After dinner I wait for my hubby to get home. Then a few hours later while he's collapsed in his recliner from exhaustion, I tuck all four kids into bed. Then I follow suit, collapsing into my recliner where I try to read my favorite book without falling asleep.

Now which housewife would you choose to be if you had the choice? Me? I choose the REAL housewife. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'll take the kids hanging all over me, in my face, always needing something, over the loneliness of the first housewife. It's much more rewarding and worth every ounce of energy it takes. And when all of my children are gone, I will miss it and want to do it all over again.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mama Bear

It is so hard as a mother to see your kids picked on and treated wrongly. It makes your blood boil and makes you want to spit fire. Just as an actual mama bear viciously protects her cubs, we automatically want to protect our children from everything. We are their best advocates and defenders. So when does it become innappropriate to intervene on their behalf?

Picture this. The other day I was in the pool relaxing with Natalie when I looked over at Nolan waiting in line to go off the diving board. He was enthusiastically talking to a teenage boy about something. And for those of us who know Nolan, when he is excited, everyone around him knows. He jumped up and down and excitedly brought his hands up to his face in a fist. After a minute of talking, the teenager proceeded to completely mock and imitate Nolan right to his face. My stomach immediately fell, my heart started racing, and I wanted to cry for him. I wanted to march on over there and give that boy a piece of my mind. "He has autism! That's why he's hopping around. Don't make fun of him!", I wanted to shout. But I paused. I watched and waited to see what would transpire. And nothing else did. So I later casually asked Nolan if someone was making fun of him over by the diving boards. And he was oblivious to the whole situation. He was so excited over what he was telling the teenager, that he didn't even notice him mocking him.

Now as I look back, I wish I would have pulled the boy aside, away from Nolan and explained the situation calmly to him. I wish I would have opened his little teenage mind to educate him a little about autism. But at that moment, I was seeing red so there would have been nothing calm about my response. This parenting gig is so hard sometimes! I just want to put my kids in a bubble and protect them from everything and everyone bad in this world. But it doesn't work like that. I just pray that they learn from experiences like these. That they learn to treat others kindly and fairly. And I pray for the wisdom and insight to handle situations like God wants me to. I sure know I can't do it on my own!

Monday, July 18, 2011

One Liners

To Whom He May Have Offended,

I would like to apologize for my son these days. He is in the habit of spouting off one liners. These one liners are mostly from movies that he watches. And his movie of choice these days is one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies. You see, I've kind of resorted to lazy parenting lately. Him watching this movie over and over again, day after day results in an hour and a half of blissful SILENCE. So he may sound rude and blunt as he recites movie lines, but he means well. That's his way of conversing with people when he doesn't know what to talk about. It's just his way. I'm not making excuses for him. I'm just explaining why he says what he says. So if he says something totally off the wall, which he often does, just smile, nod, and say, "That's nice." It's probably a line out of a movie.


Nolan's Mom

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another Chance

After many years of discussing having a fourth child, Gary and I were blessed with a pregnancy in July of 2009. Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage on July 12th of that year. Exactly a year later to the day, our fourth child, Natalie Annelle was born. A year ago today she came into the world weighing 7 lbs. 10 oz. and was welcomed into the world by her 3 older siblings. God gave us another chance to be parents again. I choose not to see her being born a year later as a coincidence. I choose to see it as a blessing from God. An answered prayer. She is the perfect completion to our family. And she has brought all of us even closer together. She makes us laugh every day as she develops into her own little person. She's goofy, happy, and curious, and keeps all of us on our toes. We couldn't imagine our lives without her. Happy 1st birthday to my baby girl.

Monday, July 4, 2011

First Time Mom

Ten years ago today, I became a mother for the first time. Brendan William Rogers was born two weeks early weighing 8 lbs. 2oz. And my life changed forever. It changed for the better. I became a little less selfish and a lot more selfless. Gary and I went from a couple to a family. I wanted and prayed for a boy first, and God answered those prayers. He is now ten years later a thoughtful, tender-hearted boy who cares so much about his family. He is witty, smart, and creative and loves trying new things that interest him. I tell him on a regular basis that God gave him to us first for a reason. He is the perfect first born child and usually steps up to his big brother roll. (This includes the typical big brother whopping on little brother.:)) I am proud to be his mom. Even though I sometimes long for those days when he was a toddler traipsing around in his colorful galoshes, I also look forward to seeing him as a young man some day. Happy Birthday to my firstborn son!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ode to My Second Born

Eight years ago tomorrow (30 minutes from now), we were blessed with our second son, Nolan Laytham Rogers. Because he was breech, he was taken by C-section 2 weeks early and weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. Our lives forever changed. We now had two boys to enjoy. Since that day, it has truly been a joy to be his mother. He has taught me more about life than any of my other children. We have had our challenges along the way, but they pale in comparison to the joys, laughter, and love he has brought into Gary and I's lives. He has overcome so much in the last several years of his life and will have to overcome many more obstacles in life for the years to come. But his family will be here right alongside him. Just a few of the things we love about Nolan:

*The simple things in life bring him happiness.

*He is a hard worker.

*He is sharp and witty.

*He loves to be around other people.

*He would sweep your driveway, take your trash out, rake your yard, or vacuum your house in a heartbeat.

*What you see is what you get. He is an open book. And I love that about him. (Most of the time.:))

*He wears his heart on his sleeve.

*He loves his brother and sisters with all his heart. Their relationship is not perfect, but it will last for their whole lives.

*And he loves God.

Happy 8th birthday to my sweet son, Nolan!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Life in Moderation

Lately I've been thinking about how life in moderation can help me live life to its fullest. Sounds funny, right? Let me explain. Over five months ago I started accounting for every piece of food I put into my mouth. I started eating in moderation and the results are better than I even hoped for. I feel better, have more energy, and can enjoy my life more. Especially when it comes to doing things with my kids. Now I'm looking to other areas in my life where I can do things more moderately. Next up, monitoring what comes out of my mouth. Proverbs 18:20-21 says, "People will be rewarded for what they say; they will be rewarded by how they speak. What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded." This is a CONSTANT struggle for me, especially on those more stressful days as a mother. I am sometimes disappointed in myself at what has come out of my mouth. The words and tone of voice that have not been spoken with care. I am trying to be more mindful about what I say and how I say it. I am a work in progress. And thankfully those loved ones around me are forgiving and love me despite my shortcomings.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Journal for My Kids

After rehashing my blog a few months ago out of boredom, I realized that this place here is a pretty good way to "journal" and document life for my kids. When they are older, hopefully they'll take a gander at some of my thoughts and passions for life and know me better. So after a year of not posting, here I am again.

These paintings right here are the results of a color study I did on miniature canvases. This was the last time I sat down to create, which was over a YEAR ago. I will eventually get back to finding my creative outlet. Life is just busy and a little overwhelming at times right now. But I wouldn't change it for anything. And as a mother I am Blessed to see the ultimate Creator's handiwork in each one of my children. During those stressful mothering moments, I need to step back and remember that they are His masterpieces given especially to my husband and I as a gift. I read a quote about creation a while back that really spoke to me. It's by Max Lucado:

"The hand behind it was mighty. He is mighty. And with this might, He created. As naturally as a bird sings and a fish swims, He created. Just as an artist can't not paint and a runner can't not run, He couldn't not create. He was the Creator. Through and through, He was the Creator. A tireless dreamer and designer." So beautiful and so true.