Sunday, May 29, 2011

Torn....and mended.


"We're on our way, We're on our way, Were on our own journey......."

Those are the lyrics to one of I-Vibes(my husbands reggae band) songs on the new CD.

An it PERFECTLY describes what is going on in our lives right now.

The I-Vibes summer tour is here!

The "Lighthouse Veggie Bus" arrived on Friday to the Rasta homestead.

It is great GREEN option that we are really excited about.

The guys are headed from St. Augustine up the East Coast and back.

It will be an experience of a lifetime I am sure...
16 days of driving. on. a . bus. with. 7. guys. and. NO. SHOWER.

Ewwwwwwwww. LOL.

Just time to think and be PRESENT...and do something that most only DREAM of.

An OPPORTUNITY of a lifetime.

An here we are.

At. Home.

It is a bitter sweet feeling for me.

I am always TORN about the touring.

On one hand I WANT Jay to have the sweet experience.

I want him to look back on his life an feel like he had a SUPPORTIVE family that was behind him...THE WHOLE WAY.

No matter what.

I want to give him the "gift" of that experience.

I really believe is not an easy thing to do.

It makes me really search inside myself. It requires me to sift thru hidden get to the bottom of WHY I have certain feelings.

At times I feel angry....because I am left here.

At times I feel jealous....because I love to travel.

At times I feel aggravated...because I have to play "single-parent" for weeks and keep up with the homestead without him.


I also KNOW that God puts these things DIRECTLY in my path....
because I will either stumble or conquer.
He sticks me RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of situations that I NEED to be faced with...
because I am stubborn and refuse to learn things easily.
He KNOWS me, and the scary dark places in my heart....and knows I am rebelious.
He knows the lessons I desperately need to learn...because he MADE ME.

He knows that I need to conquer my anger, fix my jealous heart, and be more grateful for the "aggravation".

And I am LEARNING to be grateful for ALL that.

I am focusing on counting own the days till my love returns.

Giving thanks for the lessons that will be learned.




Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Jay and I are connected.

And not just .."4 kids" connected.

I mean we have 4 kids...but we were "connected" way before that.

My VERY FIRST thought after I had a REAL conversation with Jay was, "Oh No!!! I am going to LOVE him!"...because I was "not available" at the time.

As you can didn't take long for me to "become available" to him.


Imediately things fell into place....I KNEW he was the one.

We had a connection ...a REAL connection.

We have been together sooo long now that we almost can finish each others sentences.

We almost THINK the same things.

We know it and we know we are BLESSED by the LORD with this LOVE.

Sometimes we are soooooo connected that it is FUNNY.

Laugh OUT LOUD funny.

The other day we were having a party at our house for our nephew Reef and we were standing, arm in arm, at the back door staring out into the chicken coop.

It was POURING down rain......

The poor things were TRYING NOT to get SOAKED.

They were all huddled together, like a pile of puppies, under the covered part of the coop....TRYING to stay dry.

Jay looked at me sweetly and said, "Well...I guess we can be thankful that they are smart enough to TRY and stay under the covered part of the coop, so they don't get wet."

We stood there for a minute admiring our "smart chickens"...

Then as if GOD was LAUGHING at us....
Zeek walked out from around the corner SOAKING WET!!!

Jay and I didnt have to say a word.

We just looked at each other and started BELLY LAUGHING!!!

It was hilarious!!!

We were both thinking the same thing....."And then there is ZEEK...walking IN the rain-getting SOAKED!!!"

WHat a blessing to be married to my BEST FRIEND!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FAT love.

4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4

Life is beautiful.

Somehow By the Grace of GOD, I have been blessed.

Blessed with a life full of light, love an laughter.

An even so...I can get caught up in ME.

I can get all mixed up inside myself and my mind can get cloudy.

I am a woman born into an American "culture" that promotes a false image of reality for women.

For the first part of my life my actions were DEEPLY rooted in vanity and the I ignored the fact that my worth was something that was determined by ME.

Not determined by how skinny my arms were or how flat my tummy is.

I failed to appreciate the fact that GOD made me...and there was NOONE like me.

Ever before.
Ever again.

But I denied it.

I chose to follow the ways of the world....sheeple style.

An trust me ....I work on burning out those thoughts...DAILY.

And I wrestle with myself ....Still.

But those thoughts are private and self-serving...I TRY to keep them to myself.

So recently when I lost a couple of BOWLING BALLS of felt good.

Not because it made me "skinny"(it did not)...but because it made me FEEL BETTER.

From the inside....out.

And everyone noticed....but my husband.

Even Shasha said, "Mom, I have never seen you wear THAT before." when I pulled something OLD out of the closet.


When my BFF Shainee saw Jay at the store the other day...she said, "What do you think about Jana losing weight?"

His response was the sweetest gift that I never knew I wanted.

"I don't know. I don't even notice. I don't see that. I just see HER. She is JANA to me matter what."

It showed how much he TRULY LOVES matter what size my pant are.

He loves me from the inside OUT.

He REALLY LOVES me for me...and that is better than ANY chocolate cake OR skinny jeans.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories. ~John Wilmot

Perspective is a funny thing.

When we are wide eyed, and fresh to the world....
we think we KNOW it ALL.

We think that if only given the chance...
WE could solve it.

As if "it"(whatever it is) could be EASILY solved.

As a young girl, I remember telling my parents that, "I would NEVER do "THAT" to my kids."


"I would never say "that" to my kids"....LOL. We think we know it all.

And really...without going thru the TRENCHES of parenthood you DO NOT KNOW.

Until you are eye to eye in an UGLY standoff with your beloved have NO IDEA.

Until you are given NO CHOICE but to won't "get it"..

Until YOU are responsible for the shepherding and training of YOUR CAN'T.

Only LIFE EXPERIENCE can teach you those things.

Only being a parent and loving a child soooooo much that you think you might BURST...can do that.

I remember my parents saying to me, "You will NEVER know how much I love you...until you have a child of your own."


"I will ALWAYS love matter what you DO."

Of course I at the time was a know-it-all BRAT who thought I knew words were lost on me then.

But NOW- they echo for me like we are in an ampitheatre.

I hear it clearly today.

I understand it.

It resonates.

My Dad said to me yesterday(sorry Dad-he hates to be mentioned), "Jana-I love your blog.Is that what it is called? Anyway- sometimes I read it and think,I didnt know THAT" or "Why are we talking about this?" and sometimes I think, "HOW could this child have come from ME?But....whether we agree or not...I always love reading about it."

It made me feel blessed to have parents who still LOVE me so much.

I mean really...I have done some "not-so-loveable" things in my life.

But just like they told me when I was a child....

They will love me NO MATTER WHAT.

They have loved me my WHOLE LIFE, with a love that I NOW know - should not take for granted.

And thankfully they taught ME to love my kids the same way....


But- the PAST has also taught me that no matter what I say or do....
no matter how HARD I try to explain it...

my kids won't understand.

They can't.

Until they love a child of their OWN.

Monday, May 16, 2011

More than peas.....

I heard it all the way from the bedroom.

Crying....more like WHINING. The kind of whining that just EATS away at you.
It eats away at you like fingernails on a chalkboard...SLOWLY JUST etching away at your sanity. VERY SLOWLY.

Then there was Daddy. He was trying to "get his point across". A combination of yelling and cleaning. He was standing over the sink and scrubbing away at the dishes as if the plates, forks and cups from dinner were the stubborn part of Shasha.

He was scrubbing it away, as if it was THAT easy...while SPEAKING LOUDLY(yelling).

I walked into the living room to find all the kids but Shasha sitting on the couch.

Calmly. Not a good sign.

Then there was Shasha. She was sitting on the floor with her plate in front of her.
Everything eaten but the green peas.

She was laying on the floor begging. She wanted a salad instead of the peas. Which NORMALLY wouldn't be a problem BUT, she has a PROBLEM.

She NEEDS to be broken. Her spirit. It sucks. But- Its TRUE.

She has a problem with being stubborn. She has a problem with doing things that she doesn't want to do. She is a sinner. She wants to rebel. As did I.

I read in Tedd Tripps book "Shepherding a child's heart" something that really hit home for me.

"Children are not born morally and ethically neutral. The Bible teaches that the heart is "deceitful an desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9) The child's problem is not an information defecit. His problem is that he is a sinner. There are things within the heart of the sweetest little baby that,allowed to blossom and grow to fruitation, will bring about eventual destruction. "


Maybe this is something that you only learn after having a few children and actually WITNESSING some of those things "blossom". It is true. It is in the NATURE of a child to test and try. To rebel and fight against what is easy, good, and RIGHT.

Trust me.

Some of them will fight with every cell of their being ...JUST to do what THEY want to do. Again. That part of parenting-SUCKS. It is a part that you never can prepare for. Noone ever says, "Your child will one day fight everything you say...JUST BECAUSE....It. is. in. them. From the beginning."

And even if someone DID say would NEVER believe them. EVER. is hard to believe that there is ANYTHING in that sweet, smushy, fresh child that be ANYTHING but HEAVENLY. But there is is there. And you can start to see it early. Some are more easily TRAINED OUT than others.

Shasha is one of the ones that is not easily "trained".
And Shasha left to "bloom" ...could end up in "eventual destruction."
She fights with her WHOLE SELF. She draws it up inside herself and she will stick it out.

Which is what I was afraid of when I saw her on the floor, fighting. Almost ...Just for the fight of it.

I bent down and said in a calm voice, "Shasha....Why are you fighting this. just eat the peas. If you WILL NOT have dessert. Everyone else will have dessert, but you WILL NOT. Why fight it when all you have to do is eat 1 bite of peas?"

" I don't WANT to Mom. Why can't I just have a salad?" she said in a WHINY voice. annoying. Side effect of having a 8 year old girl.

"Shashamane ...there are going to be times in your life when you HAVE to make a decision. You will have to pick the best of 2 options. Maybe 2 options you DON'T LIKE. And you will not have a will be FORCED by LIFE into taking the better of the 2 BAD options. RIGHT NOW is one of those times. You can eat the BITE of peas that you HATE, then GET your dessert. OR- You can NOT eat the peas...and NOT GET your dessert. Take the opportunity to pull it UP inside yourself. Make the RIGHT choice."

She was still I gave her 5 min.

In 5 minutes I was going to take the plate. Then the decision would be over.

Then I walked away.

4 minutes later I came back and said, "Are you going to make the RIGHT choice or the WRONG choice? It is up to you."

She took the bite of peas. Half willingly she took the bite.

I was thrilled. To me...It was a victory. She made a choice. and it was the RIGHT choice in THAT situation.

She was disgusted and mad. But she made the right decision. And she got dessert with the rest of them.
SCORE for Sweet Shasha in the fight for her SELF.

All the while I look on KNOWING she will be all right.

Because sometimes...
It isn't really about the PEAS.

It is about so much MORE.

"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,

but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him." Proverbs 22:15

Thursday, May 12, 2011

On Wealth...and being "rich"

Some people consider us poor because we don't have the most RECENT technological gadgets, the biggest TV's or the best designer clothes.

Some people consider us poor because we live in a "raised florida home" (fancy for big trailer)and drive a van that we have to unhook the battery EVERYTIME you get out so it dosen't die.

Some people consider us poor because we would RATHER go to the thrift shop and buy USED than to the mall and buy NEW.

From the outside...we are "material" poor.

And we don't care.

We KNOW we are RICH.

I wouldn't trade the life I have for all the MATERIAL WEALTH in the world.

Life is TRULY precious and in my last days I promise you...I will not WANT for BETTER THINGS.

I will BEG for more time.

More time to love my family.

More time to teach my kids.

More time to serve with my brothers and sisters.

More time to laugh with friends.

More time to SAVOR LIFE.

Life is too short to dwell on earthly possesions...

Life is too short to chase paper.....

Because what we have is MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD!


(These pics are from our mini-vaca in New Smyrna Beach last weekend.AWESOME!)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Almost Summer.........

You know it is almost summer when....

the kids swim before school

everyone stays up till 10 with NO PROBLEM

all the kids are OVER co-op

you start to use the phrase "summer school" in a threatening tone

school house rock becomes part of LA

the bathing suits are still wet when they swim AFTER school

I can hardly teach one more day


You KNOW it is almost summer when someone says, "You homeschool. Cant you just say "It is summer!"?????

And you actually start to consider it.

Happy Homeschooling!!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Of course...A PIRATE!!!


Life is funny.

Sometimes things just FIT. They just seem to come together and WORK.

As I am SURE you all know...I have an AMAZING husband.

He cooks.He cleans. And by "cleans" I mean...He SCRUBS TOILETS.
Don't hate me.

He takes care of the kids.

He coaches flag-football.

He sings.

He writes.

He is an AMAZING hard worker.


He is an ALL AROUND WONERFUL person.

Trust me....everyone LOVES him.

He is the LIFE of the party and a TOTAL character.

Which is why it made TOTAL sense to me for him to be a PIRATE.

No...not a "pirate that ROBS you" pirate, more like a "Pirates of the Carribean" fun pirate!

You see...we live in this fun, quirky little tourist town called Saint Augustine.

It is BUSTING with history and "culture".

We have the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH...yes-the place that they say REALLY is the fountain of youth. And YES...I have drank the water.


We have the FREEDOM TRAIL- The places where MLK visited during the civil rights movement.

And that is JUST A FEW!

THEN- we have the BLACK RAVEN.

From their website: "The Pirate Ship Black Raven is a one-of-a-kind live pirate show full of music, thrills and pure entertainment! Participate in our adventure, sing along with our crew, and find your inner pirate while you see the beautiful sights of the Matanzas River."

It is a really cool boat and has some really cool people that are "pirates". me it was a NO-BRAINER when I saw that they were having auditions.

Jay should be a PIRATE!!!

It took a little convincing...
But- he finally agreed to do it!

We watched Pirates of the Carribean LOTS of times.

We listened to pirate songs on youtube for DAYS.

We practiced TONS of pirate JOKES.

We came up with a CREATIVE pirate costume...straight out of our closet!(Scary)


I got to put EYELINER on him!!!

He did it.

He STUMBLED onto the boat and NAILED the audition.

I knew he would.

He was so excited and stoked.


They called him 30 min later to go out on the boat THAT weekend.

So cool.

The perfect job for the perfect man.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Clank, Buzz, Bang!!!


All I hear , all the time is the clanking and banging of hammers.

The buzz of a drill and the turn of the screwdriver.

And then I look out side to find THIS:

 almost summer 448

Malachi building something……

 almost summer 449

Always putting boards together to”Make something”.

almost summer 450 

It is amazing to see his mind work….

almost summer 451

Always fitting things together…and MAKING it work.

 almost summer 452

And it seems to CALM him….

almost summer 453 

It seems to clear his mind and body of COBWEBS.

almost summer 455 

It is a sweet sight to see his creativity at work.

almost summer 452

And a blessing to see them work TOGETHER.

almost summer 458

 Hebrews 3:4     "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God."

I was turned onto this site by a friend of mine at work.

One word........AWESOME.

It is called

You check all the boxes that you are interested in and then hit STUMBLE.

You can "like" the things you are interested in...or NOT.


Go ahead...sign up.
Then Stumble.........