Missing my Anna

Of all the things I miss from my time in Indiana (Amy, Hacienda, Laurita, Erica, being on Eastern time, etc) one of the things that I miss the most is my great niece Anna.  While I love all my nieces and nephews, great or not, I am connected to Anna differently than the rest.  She is the closest thing I will ever have to a daughter.  She thinks like me, she acts like me, she has freckles on her face in the same spot as I do, she’s outspoken like I am…the similarities are overwhelming at times.  Today when I received some video messages from her, it broke my heart.  I ended up crying for a good 30 minutes.

I miss my Anna…

my mini-me Anna is coming to visit!!!

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a tale of a niece…

I come from a very fertile family. My sister had 7 children, my brother had 6…I was dead set on 5. When I married World’s Greatest Husband, his sister (the one that everyone thinks is his twin) had already had the first grandchild – this adorable little boy who we all still dote on. (He even beats his favorite aunt in Fantasy Football!) I really wanted to have the first girl grandchild. My sister could think of babies and be pregnant, I was sure to follow in her footsteps. But then sister twin had baby #2 – a cute little girl who had this fantasic name! (I know she’s not named after me, but my name is Jennifer and her name is Jennifer – you can see how I could get confused, right?) Still no baby. Fast forward 4 years…the sister twin is having her third baby. Then the other sister in law is having her first baby. Then another sister in law is having her second baby. So I’m the only woman of child bearing age who is NOT having a baby. My heart is breaking; still no baby for me. I’m excited because the sister twin is due right around my birthday so I eagerly await. But no, this one has to have a mind of their own and wait an extra 5 days to be born. On January 14th, we head to the hospital to see this new arrival. Little did I know that amist the heartbreak, the pain the drama that was going on everywhere around us this little girl would look up at me and my whole world shifted. Sure the pain was still there as was the resentment but there was also a peace…and a joy…that was not there before.

That little girl got married a couple days ago. She’s all grown up and a married woman now. And as I sat there and listed to their song being sung as they filled their sand jar, that same peace and that same joy filled my soul yet again. She is one of God’s gifts to me.

Thank you, Jackolyn Nicole Smeltzer Rutherford, for letting me be your aunt!

A New Beginning







One of the ways I’m starting over in my life is moving.  Since it’s been 90+ degrees and we are moving and preparing for vacation to Holiday World, Racheal & I thought it would be good for us all (all 6 of us:  Jayden, Alexia, Kyrah, Anna, Racheal & myself) to get our hair cut.  And that’s what we did.  Anna & I have the same exact cut.  Of course, she is way more cuter than her Aunt!  Thanks Kelli – we had a blast!!

catching the blog up…

So there was hype about privacy changes that would affect my being a “Google-aholic” around March 1 of this year and I have been looking for a place for my blog every since.  I feel like I’ve lost big chunks of my life during the time that I’ve not been able to blog.  Ahhh…so since February…lots and lots of happened.

My family has been living with my Dad since Christmas of 2009.  Now that my Dad has recovered, living conditions have become tense.  We are just all tired of living together.  So…for the past couple of months I have been looking for houses in Columbus, Indiana to relocate.  To say that we are all ready…an understatement.  Now if we can just get all the pieces to fall into place…

In March, I traveled to Austin, TX for work.  Talk about a fun time!!  I worked in Austin for two days, saw one of my best friends ever – Brenda Lee Troupe and her wonderful sons and then packed up my computer and spent 5 days working from my niece Amanda’s house.  I was able to see baby Tristan and Ethan & Corbin!!  What a great time I had with my work, friends and family.

Manda, me and the boys!

When I came home from Texas, I was on vacation for Spring Break with the World’s Greatest 7th Grader and AKA.  We did many day trips to Shipshewana & Kalamazoo; bike rides and photo shoots.  Next to last day of vacation, I take my brand new bike out to give it a test spin and low and behold, crashed it.  I almost shattered my knee cap and had to have a trip to the doc.  The knee the size of a cantaloupe and the bruising has slowly, oh so slowly, began to heal.

The Almost Broken Knee Cap

The day after vacation ended, a friend from church’s son was in a horrible car accident.  8 days of fighting for his life, the 22 yr old passed away.  It was a horrible time.  We celebrated his life this past Saturday.  There was not a dry eye in the place as person after person shared memories of Jared.  You truly never know how much you touch someone.  The next day was the anniversary of my sisters passing.  I kept a very low key day with my boys and remembered good times spent with my beloved “Sissy”.

Lots has happened in the past 2 months…is it a wonder that I’ve not had time to blog??  Now that my blog has a home, maybe I’ll be better at sharing snippets of my life.

Hawaiian Pig Latin

As a teen, I spoke this with ease.  A dear friend and I would speak this in school and have teachers and students baffled.  The key is to talk it fast and no one can process it to know what we are talking about.  It was about 3 months ago my niece & namesake was teaching her 3 daughters pig latin (enny-jay) and I said we should teach them this Hawaiian Pig Latin (ja-gen-a-gee).  Since then, Alexia, Kyrah & Ryannah have become extremely fluent and talk this way 60% of the time.  Now I do not condone getting these 3 little girls in trouble for them having fun and talking a language that most can’t understand.  How is this any different then the 75% of Michiana’s population who speak Spanish or Spanglish?  They are being unique.  It’s fun.  It’s easy and most of all it came from their favorite aunt…me!

A-guy lagove yagou magore, gagirlagies!


The hubby, World’s Greatest 7th Grader, his brother, his sister and I all headed down to southern Indiana to go to the Oldest Amusement Park in the US – Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN.  I was excited that I would get one whole day of lounging in the sun while the rest of them were excited to go on the water roller coaster and other insane rides.  With a 15 yr old, a 12 yr old and a 10 yr old…this was going to be an adventure.  We swam, they rode slides, I baked, we ate.  We were all tired going back to the hotel room that night.  The next day brought them wanting to ride rides in the amusement park so hubby and I walked around and did a lot of sitting in the shade (I was a tad pinkish).  We drove to an outlet mall and got a fancy hotel and had a great dinner.  We were all a tad darker than when we went and we were exhausted.  But the good kind of exhausted from where we just had way too much fun…


As the World’s Greatest 6th Grader graduated, the next night I had the priviledge of attending My-Anna’s (Ryannah) kindergarten graduation. I had the prized seat on the front row. We laughed as she danced and sang, we smiled as she walked up and got her certification of completion and we hugged her and made a big deal after the wonderous event. She was dressed in beautiful red…which just magnified her exuberant mood and personality. Her mom often says that she’s her and I’s kid and Dennis had nothing to do with it…she might be right!!! She is the closest thing I’ll ever have to a girl of my own…and I’m thankful to be in her life.