got milk?

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Got Milk?…Got Sleep?…Who cares I got my dream!!

Pearlie and I have been so blessed by friends and family “hooking” us up with all kinds of goodies for the kids. We are definetely not without. These 2 jewels continue to grow and change everyday and it seems hard to keep up sometimes. Pearlie is real good at filling me in on the details of the kids activities and “new tricks”, but I’m sure there are some she can’t help but miss. It is so fun to come home to happy babies just living life free from the threat of where their next meal might come from or if today is the day they might catch a life threatening disease that won’t get picked up until the symptoms have overtaken their little bodies. One of my daily goals in life is to keep it simple and not overthink or analyze all the way to a paralyzing point of inactivity and fear. I want to teach this to my children, as I continue to learn it myself. The harsh realities of where they have come from to where they are today in all areas of their life can not be overlooked by me and my gratitude for them and the opportunites this has opened for all my family members is countless. Can you tell I’m digging the parent thing? Here are some pics/video of a shower at CATERPILLAR Financial, where Pearlie works, and all the blessings that were poured.

Kaia…(update and special somethings)

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Kaia is trying to keep up with her brother as this picture shows her practicing her crawling. Since she’s been home she has gone from caring less about crawling to us turning our backs and noticing her across the room and on her stomach. She has got her own technique that usually includes a little bit of reverse and going in circles but intertwined in all of that is a moment or two of actual forward movement. She is so funny. Her “seriousness” is not minus the funnies. She likes more of the smaller groups of people to show off her funny side, or like her brother when Daddy has a camera in her face.

Napping and Eating:
From Kaia’s perspective she just doesn’t see the point. To her there is so much more to “soak in” and napping would just get in the way of that. We have aimed for the kids to have a morning and afternoon nap…not rigid, but ideal. The truth is they just feel better when they nap and rest. Kaia is going through a period, last two weeks, where napping will only happen when Pearlie takes them to the park in the jogger stroller. And Pearlie tells me that Kaia KNOWS that the jogging/strolling is over when Pearlie starts to slow down and while Mateo is out…Kaia on the other hand is awake and ready for what’s next. This is one area we really struggle with remembering they are 2 different kids, with 2 different temperments, bodies, and self wills. Kaia looks forward to meal times too, but unlike her brother has found several items that don’t quite meet her litmus. Spinach is one. My Mom pureed some organic spinach along with other things and she liked them all except the spinach. I tried it, and the texture was a little “jacked”, so I can’t blame the child. She LOVES bananas and cereal. At 10 months and budding teeth, she hasn’t moved up yet to bigger foods, but I catch her eyeing her brother’s plate quite often anticipating what’s coming in the future.

     

Bathtime is still Kaia’s favorite evening time event and as she and Mateo entertain themselves with letter toys and other fun stuff. Toys sure have evolved from the Ernie’s ‘ole “rubber ducky”.

   

Here’s Pearlie jogging…notice who’s awake? Pearlie says that as people pass her walking or jogging they give her updates, “you have 1 asleep”, “both are out”, and what’s funny is it must be some “mom etiquette” thing. Best purchase ever…BOB revolution stroller…according to Pearlie. It is cool too that it comes in a duallie for us. We occasionally take to on a Target run, but for places with tight aisles, well, not so good. But either way they like it.

I am such a 1st time parent and doing it with 2 out the gate is challenging to my serenity and peace. But each day as I look in their eyes and see how happy they are and as they give back love to me with a smile, kiss, or hug, my heart melts with joy. My life is full and it keeps getting more full with these two little lives joining mine and Pearlie’s. I quickly forget the frustration and experience the fun of being in a front row seat to a miracle…2 miracles.

celebrating…

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…parenthood AND 16 years of marriage. August is about to be the biggest month ever and it starts off with celebrating 16 years with my wonderful, beautiful bride Pearlie. Here is a picture from back in the day…as in “1992-day”.
August 2, 1992

August 2, 1992

So who knew life for us at 40 years old, 16 years of marriage, and a couple of kids from Guatemala would “look” like this…oh yeah, GOD!! I’m really enjoying looking back over the years and up ahead to our future as a family of 4 (maybe more). But most of all I’m really diggin’ being in the moment and celebrating, with Pearlie, my family and kids (soon), and you, my friends. It’s the coolest place to be (always).

Lahaina, HI 2007

Lahaina, HI 2007

Case update:
Optimistically, both kid’s BC could be done by next week since neither is from a city requiring RENAP. Our hope to pick them up together looks pretty good as there is the possibility to schedule/reschedule our embassy appointment so to take care of both. The end of the month is coming soon and appears to be the approximate date. My expectations are low with my hope and faith high. I am learning more and more “that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations”, and peace and calm are a valuable tool for all those in relationship with me right now, and especially for the 2 new ones that are about to enter my life.

ROCK ON friends

john 13:7

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Spiritual awakenings…I dig ’em…and it appears they usually occur for me in hindsight.

It’s true, as I look back on my day, my week, my past, my life, I see this and Jesus knew I would be experiencing these times…looking back…not with shame or regret, but willingness to learn, humility, and growth. Check it out for yourself – John 13:7

Jesus looked at him (Peter) and said, Right now you don’t understand why I’m doing this, but after I’m gone you will.

                                                                                                       – The Clear Word Bible

I’m in the process of putting my print photos into digital form and finding some means to organize and store them, I came across these photos and had to share. I love my wife, Pearlie, and I love that we have so many GREAT memories of our courtship and marriage. Our life together started out at Southern College…now Southern Adventist University, and my best friend and I will have been together 19 years in December.

jeff’s southern ids     picnic with pearlie wearing a bowtie     pearlie’s southern ids

“the world’s smallest cone”

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A date with my wife Pearlie, to Baskin Robbins, is still just as fun 20 years later. It possibly could be the world’s smallest ice cream cone, I really don’t know of any proof I have to back my statement made in the video….so if you think you or someone you love has eaten the world’s smallest ice cream cone that’s cool….good for you. Please know that ice cream cones can “take awhile to eat“, but eventually, if taken too long to eat, they will melt and then can no longer be called ice cream. It is then classified unofficially as a drink, once melted, and the period to drink the “ice cream” is extended until spoiled or no longer tastes “safe”.
Credits:
starring: Pearlie (my wife)
appearances : Jeff (me), and Baskin Robbins guy
song: ICE CREAM! – Michael Hearst
*video made with EnV cellphone*

I got meme’d

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Paul just tagged me with a meme.

Rules: Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Post 7 random or weird facts about yourself on your blog. Tag 7 people and link to them. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

So, here is goes:
1. I totaled 2 cars my 1st year of driving. Yes folks, I AM the reason single males between the ages of 16-24 have to pay out their nose for car insurance. I will say this mainly because it is true, hindsight is 20/20, and that it can’t happen to me (only my kids) – The legal age of driving should be raised to 18 years of age.

2. My little toe doesn’t quite touch the floor (that falls under the category of “weird fact”). Sorry no pictures…you’re just going to have to believe me.

3. “I”, Jeff Pope, have been on Grey’s Anatomy. They didn’t ask permission, but hey, that’s cool.

4. I love ALL roller coasters. I have never met a roller coaster I haven’t liked. Pearlie (see below – don’t be fooled by the facial expression, she actually loved this ride) is a little more picky. We purposely choose theme parks with cool roller coasters…otherwise their crossed off the list. This picture was on SheiKra at Busch Gardens, Tampa and was taken in 2003.

      Sheikra - Busch Gardens - Tampa

5. My sister is the reason I am a nurse today. In 1990, I was in between majors and wanting to change to something that could just get me out of school and start making a living. So, my sister heard me moaning and groaning about it one day and suggested I take some nursing classes. My sister was a strong student and the instructors loved her so I was able to get a late (it helped that I had 2 years already of undergrad and alot of core sciences out of the way) entrance in to Volunteer State Community College’s (VSCC) A.S. degree RN program. Here is a picture of me graduating with my A.S. Allied Health degree at Southern College in 1990 just prior to entering nursing school 2 months later.

southern college graduation 1990

I graduated from VSCC/Tennessee State University in 1992 with my A.S. in Nursing. Dad and Jason by my side.

VSCC/TSU nursing school graduation (with dad and jason)

I went into critical care nursing right out of school and worked for 7 years in the ICU. In 1999 I finished my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Austin Peay State University in preparation to continue on into anesthesia school. Dad, mom, Pearlie, and my sister Charlene join me in Clarksville for my graduation.

APSU graduation (with dad, mom, pearlie, and charlene)

1999-2001 I attended Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia and completed a Master of Science with a focus in Nurse Anesthesia degree  and still enjoy nursing today….Thanks again, Charlene!!! Pearlie and I enjoy the last of my 4 graduations.

mtsa graduation with pearlie

6. I have met a Nobel Prize in Medicine winner. In 1996, when Pearlie and I were in Seattle, Wa. for her bone marrow transplantation, Dr. E. Donnall Thomas came by the center and Pearlie and I got to meet him. It was very cool to actually meet the man whose research, in leukemia and bone marrow transplants, helped save Pearlie’s life.

dr. thomas and pearlie at fred hutchinson cancer research center - seattle, wa.

7  Pearlie and I, despite never living in either city, both grew up liking and rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals in baseball and Pittsburgh Steelers in football. It was a match meant to be and blessed by the “sports gods”.

Ok…so now I tag you….you….and you!!!

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