Tag Archives: jovan rhoades

I bless the girl my son married

Hey, Jovanie~

jovan and rocky and family

Oh, sweet girl, how did almost 3 months pass before I got to this post? Life has been a whirlwind, yes? And YOU had a birthday, and moved a little too far away for my heart – all at once {October 31st}. In the middle of so many good and wonderful gifts from above, a whirlwind of exciting living – we breathlessly paused and celebrated. And thanked God for you, again.

jovan with bailey

As birthday posts go, I have never been later. And this one has been sitting in the drafts folder, not quite finished far too long. But know this, at least: as daughter-in-loves go, there is none more cherished or delightful! And I still thank God for you, birthday or any day and everyday of your life and mine!

I love you, Jovan Marie Rhoades! And I bless the day you were born, born to a future that included marrying Rocky and to giving me three of the most adorable little grand-girlies in the world…so far, anyway! :)

jovan and rocky selfie

We’ve known you for half your life!

It is really strange to imagine our family without you, having known you now since you were 14 years old. And when you came into our lives (fourteen years ago, to be exact), you just fit. You were easy to know, easy to have in the room. You hung out with Stormie, sometimes spending the night at our houses and then got up and did chores, like any of our kids.

Who is this amazing girl, I wondered? I must remember to thank her parents!*

jovan and rocky

I love that his heart is safe with you.

And you befriended Rocky, too. You admired him and respected him and looked up to him ( a whole 2 years older, right?) and I liked how I saw you looking at my son. I thought that Rocky choosing you was one of the greatest things he could ever have done. I still think so. And I love that even before we knew you, during the years you were growing up with your two sisters and godly parents, long before we were ready to think of our only son ever even getting married – you were being equipped to be Rocky’s. God was at work in your heart and life, and he was at work in our son. He alone knew what the two of you could be together, as one. So mysterious and beautiful. It makes me wonder why I ever worried over my kids at all – the way God so carefully orchestrates adventure and life and love and goodness and mercy over you all.


So, even though I thought I had all the daughters I could handle, with the four incredible beauties I birthed myself, it turns out, getting to have just one more {YOU} has been a blessing of mammoth proportions! You have been a sweetness and grace, a reward to me for getting through the years of raising 5 children! Ha!

I do thank God for you, Jovan. I was so happy to get to tell Averi and Amelie recently, as we were “doing hair and make-up,” what I have told you many times before: I grew up saying I intended to have 8 sons, eight! It sounded fun. But then I had 3 daughters, finally a son and in an attempt to get one more – another daughter! But wow-Rocky was an energetic handful of rambunctious-ness and I later realized I would have fallen dead from exhaustion if I had actually birthed 8 little Rocky-types. Haha. Oh, how I love that little boy and the man he has become for the ways he has challenged me! LOVE him.

So, I was glad to tell your daughters, my cute grandbebes, how delighted I was to find scripture that fit us, you and me, so perfectly. It’s Naomi’s friends talking to her about her devoted daughter-in-law, Ruth:

“And may [your grandchild] be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne [this child].”  Ruth 4

There it is! And I will always be able to tell your children with my whole heart: your mommy, who gave me you, is better to me than seven more sons would have been. So even though I didn’t get the 8 baby boys I always thought I’d have, I got you, and I got a daughter-in-love who has my heart for always.

Averi said, “I’ve heard that story!” And I hope she’ll never forget.

A Birthday Blessing for my Jovan, the world’s best daughter-in-law:

So, today, I bless you. I bless your heart and soul and your thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams. I bless the family you are building with Rocky and the your days with the  beautiful Presence of God. I pray all you give out will come back to you many times. I bless you with the deep love in marriage and the honor of your children and with the long life that goes so-very-well for you because of how you honor your parents. I bless your days, your hours and minutes – may they be lived fully and colorfully, and may they be fruitful and accomplish much to the glory of God. I pray you will flourish, become deeper rooted, and all your gifting and talents will be received with great fanfare and welcome whenever and wherever they begin to show up. I speak against any enemy lies or assignments on your life and agree for any chain that tries to hold you down to be broken and left in a heap while you go from glory to glory, strength to strength, fully shining like the bright joy you are! Yes! In Jesus’ Name! {{*AMEN.*}}

jovan and rocky with girls

You were born to be one of us, Jovan. My thanks to your parents for raising such a lovely young woman. My thanks to Rocky for having the good sense to make you his standard of beauty and desire, his wife and one flesh. And my thanks to God for His grace on all of us, through you. {mom}

*P.S. Speaking of Jovan’s wonderful parents –

Today is Jo’s birthday! I finally got Jovan’s birthday blessing posted on her mom’s birthday! I mean there would be no Jovan without Jo! Happy Birthday, Jo!


Wheels of Love Go ‘Round*

Mi Familia…

Happy 57th Anniversary, Mom and Dad

Wheels of love go ’round
Love go ’round
Love go ’round
A joyful sound*

ross and norma moslander august 2014

Ross and Norma Moslander (also known as my mamala and pappasan), married August 24, 1957. They are my parents, the two people I adore and most admire in the universe. Like most kids, I suppose, there were so many things I was going to do differently as a parent. Then I didn’t. Or I did and found out their way was better, anyway. They are both amazing and flawed, both extraordinary and just plain human. But their trajectory has always been headed towards heaven, walking with Jesus, being guided by the Holy Spirit and the closer they get to their goal, the more perfect they become.

My mom thanks me each Mother’s Day and on my birthday for making her a mommy – everything she had ever wanted. I love them! And I’m so blessed to have them as mine!

He ain’t got a penny 
For Cotton Jenny to spend
But then
Wheels go ’round*

Another grandbebe is on the way!

eva 8 months plus sibling announcement

That’s right: you heard me. GRANDbebe #10 is due at the end of February 2015. He or she will be Tredessa and Ryan’s second child. Eight-month-old, Evangeline Lilly made the announcement at church wearing a shirt that said, “Only Child, expires February 2015.”

eva's announcement 1

Singing through the Decades

Tara (my firstborn) and her husband Dave are back with a concert follow-up to the wildly successful, sold-out show they did for Valentine’s Day at the Mad Cap Theater in Westminster.

This concert is called Decades, where, rumor has it, they will sing some of the best love songs from various , you guessed it, decades in the past. They are pulling out some of my favorites and I don’t know if I am suppose to tell, but one is a very sexy version of “Let’s Stay Together,” and **maybe-maybe-maybe** even “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” one of my mom’s all-time fav songs (she wants me to make a video of pictures of my dad and add that song as a soundtrack – how cute is that???).

dave and tara powers decades concert poster

Anyway – the concert is at the historic Armory Center for Performing Arts up north and you can get tickets at  dtp.eventbrite.com. It WILL be sold out, so buy early. I get a pass ‘cuz I am their mom! :)

Rocky @Rez.org & other places

rocky rhoades big tent revival

Rocky just started a new phase of life and ministry at Resurrection Fellowship in Loveland. He’ll be leading worship a couple of weekends a month and engineering sound in a super-cool exposed brick office with a full-blown recording set-up. He is a little bit in heaven.

He just got back from The Big Tent Revival in Butte, MT where he led worship and just a day before  that from a Rez trip to Lake Providence, Louisiana where they were raising money for a ball field there and he was thrilled to get to meet Uncle Si and some other Duck-Dynasty family. This was an explanation of the event CLICK HERE. I think there were follow-up news stories, but I live in Colorado, people.

rocky rhoades at the big tent revival butte, mt

Image from The Big Tent Revival, Photographer Tom Curry, copyrighted

Jovan is going to home school Averi this year as they transition, prepare to sell their house and move to Loveland (which, while only 45 miles from us, will still make them seem quite a ways away compared to now, which has been 15 miles). They are having an exciting year.

Stormie was at The Big Tent Revival, too

Crazy girl plays bass and sings. She uses her vacation time to travel wherever she is invited to glorify God. We like her very much!

stormie rhoades at big tent revival butte, mt

Image from The Big Tent Revival, Photographer Tom Curry, copyrighted

You have been following Beat a Day, haven’t you? You haven’t??? What?!

Stephanie and Tristan are movers and shakers and are always doing something new that wows all of us. And they are both wildly popular on Instagram. Is that such a mom thing to say? It is! :) But it is still true! Steph is an extraordinary photo stylist, see here.

stephanie_may on instagram

Tristan started posting a 15-second “Beat a Day” drum vids to Instagram {he is the BEST drummer in the world}} and everybody is talking about it! You MUST check it out!  :)  You totally have to watch the 100th beat that has exactly 100 hots played at  100 beats per minute! So cool! Also lots of beats at TristanKelley.com

So-this is just a little bit of what is happening with my people around here –

All the result of Ross and Norma saying I do 57 years ago this week!

*”Wheels of love go ’round” are lyrics from the song, “Cotton Jenny” written by Gordon Lightfoot. But it was the first song I ever heard by Anne Murray. I was 12. I loved her low voice and I still sing this song around the house! A lot!


A Saturday in November

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(1) Gather and eat a light and delicious breakfast, a little too early on a Saturday morning.

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(2) Swap meet.  Clean out your closet of clothes and jackets and jewelry and all manner of now-unwanted items.  Throw them into a giant pile in the living room so that after breakfast, everyone can dig through and get what they want.  Leftovers to Goodwill.

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(3) Go hit a series of thrift stores looking for amazing deals and designer clothes for less and to replenish everything you just got rid of at the swap.

Meanwhile, Guinivere stayed behind to lend her hand to decorating the outside door garland.  She works very meticulously, we have found, from left to right in straight lines.

Happy Birthday, Jovan Marie!

Jovan is turning 23!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl and amazing mommy.  Happy Birthday to the one daughter God gave me who was not a moment of work for me: just a gift!  Happy Birthday to the wife of my son’s youth, the daughter-in-law, who like Naomi’s daughter-in-law, Ruth in the Bible, is better to me than seven more sons could ever have been.  I am blessed among women.  I am blessed that you are mine by the choice my son made.

I am so pleased with you, Jovan, so proud of the young woman you are becoming.  I know God chose you from way back when for Rocky.  And though I did not give you birth, you are my beloved daughter.  I thank God for you and I am so glad He chose you for our family.  I love that you say you wanted to marry Rocky since you were 14.  I love that the long, winding road of life brought that to pass.  I love that the two have you have brought us Averi and soon her sibling.  You are a life-giver in our midst!


In thinking about your birthday, I got to remembering that about 23 years ago I was asked to join this sweet group of people (the band, Parousia) as a vocalist.  They played at Catholic masses, community events and on college campuses around Nebraska.  The the first song I did with them was by Wayne Watson and it got a lot of play.  Rocky was just a little guy at the time.  He was climbing walls and sliding down banisters and making life exciting.  And I was asked to sing this song frequently and I think the reason it was very well received was because when I’d sing it, I would purpose singing it over my own children and it was a prayer of my heart.  So, in a way, before I ever knew you existed, I was singing this song over you, too:

Somewhere in the world today
A little girl is going out to play
She’s all dressed up in mama’s clothes
At least the way that I suppose it goes
Somewhere in the world tonight
Before she reaches to turn out the light
She’ll be praying from a tender heart
A simple prayer that’s a work of art

And I don’t even know her name
But I’m praying for her just the same
That the Lord will write His name upon her heart
Cause somewhere in the course of this life
A little boy will need a godly wife
So hold on to Jesus, baby, wherever you are

And often I’d change the words the last time through:

Cause somewhere in the course of his life
My little boy will need a godly wife
So hold on to Jesus, baby, wherever you are

And Jovanie?  I know for sure that God heard that prayer and began even then to prepare you for our family, to get you ready to be one of us.  You were born to be a Rhoades, sweet girl, my daughter and my friend.  And I love you so much.

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Jovan loves her sweets…and so does her daughter and her nieces and nephews (the five little monkeys)!

Twenty-three wishes for Jovan on her 23rd Birthday:

  1. Look at the sun shining today!  It is for your birthday. It is so you can have a happy, happy day!
  2. I wish for you to have a great pregnancy all the way until baby-number-two is born.  I hope these months will be full of fun and laughter and anticipation and your memories warm and happy of these days.  You are so cute pregnant, girl!
  3. Enjoy crazy-romantic-love with your man.  These are baby-days and busy-days, but keep the fires burning.  May Rocky love you like a real man should and may you receive it with unabashed joy!
  4. I wish for lots and lots of happy mommy-daughter times with Averi…Gilmore Girls reruns and Cinderella watching!
  5. Jovanie, I pray for you to know Jesus in a closer way than you ever have.
  6. Let this year be a year of discovery: finding out who God really created you to be and what He has really called you to.
  7. I am wishing for a gazillion kids, but no multiple births, as you wish.  But you guys make beautiful babies!
  8. May God enlrage your heart with an even greater capacity to love and be loved.
  9. I am praying for deep relationships for you.  I am praying the connections and relationships you have, both friendships and family, will develop and grow and be life-giving and true.  And I pray God sends you many new friends and puts people in your path both to bless and be blessed by.
  10. I wish sweet times of scrapbooking for you.  Those will be hard to come by right now, but I am going to wish for suprise pockets of time for it, anyway.  I know you love it.
  11. My wish for you is to find your own beat and to be unapologetic about marching to it.
  12. Jovan, I hope you will understand that you were called to us and will never be afraid to change us and impact us.  That is why you’re here!
  13. I am believeing God for financial blessing.  They always say you can’t get rich in ministry, but the Lord is your Provider and you guys are rich, but I pray for sufficient funds for planning for the future and raising your family.
  14. I want you to get the house you want, too!
  15. May your creativity continue to blossom and sprinkle color and light and life on everything you touch as you create home and memories for your little family.
  16. I wish for those traveling adventures that you and Rocky love so much to happen a lot over the next year.
  17. I also wish for special days, holidays, holy days and romantic nights to be festive and memorable.
  18. I pray you’ll find the ministry you were born to do and that the ministry things you and Rocky were created to do together will be fulfilling and sweet.
  19. Girl, let me hang with your babies so you can go out without a diaper bag sometimes!  Shop.  Or whatever you want.  I love Averi!  Can’t wait for the new little bundle!
  20. Happy Birthday, Jovanie.  May there be great and growing  joy-of-the-Lord in your heart.  It will be your strength!
  21. I am wishing for long nights of sleep, and happy days of rejuvenating living for you.
  22. I am praying for the enemy to have to flee as the perfect love of the Lord drives out all fear and trepidation in your life.  You are strong, Jovanie, in the Lord.   Don’t be afraid.
  23. And? May heaven hear and answer your prayers as you call out to the God who loves you greatly.  You have His ear, my sweet.  He is attentive to your heart’s cries.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Jovan.  You know I love you, right?…Mom (Jeanie)

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Chicken and dumplings at Jovan’s family party, her request.  Stef and Gemma, 2 pinkies in the pink and white decor; the pumpkin spice cake with 23 candles.

NOTE TO SELF:  Me.  Jovan.  Creating our legacy books with scissors-in-hand, tape and glue and piles and piles of photographs.

About the party from Facebook:

Tara Powers Status Update:  Truth or Dare for Jio’s bday tonight [using Rocky’s I-Pod Touch]. Outcome=Rocky tasting soap, Dessa talking for 3 minutes straight, Steph trying to tell each person one good and one bad thing about themselves {editor’s note: she kinda chickened out – it was her great chance in life to really get us all and she couldn’t do it!}, Tristan speaking with an Italian accent, Jovan describing her first kiss with Rocky, Stormie wearing items from everyone, Mom acting out Lion King, Me NOT sitting on Rocky’s lap, and Dave telling everyone who he would marry in the room..ME=)

Stephanie Rhoades Kelley: You forgot the best part – when Tristan HAD to kiss me – thank you Lord that I was sitting on his right and not someone else!  *smile…

Happy Birthday, Jovanie!

See Jovan’s posts from last year here and here.


Happy 22nd Birthday, Jovan Marie Rhoades!  Happy birthday, o daughter who joined us later than the rest, by a covenant vow to the one son.  Happy day, Jovanie, careful and attentive mommy, devoted Rocky-lover.  Happy day and life to your gentle heart and creative spirit.  Thank-you for that world-lighting smile and for the easy laugh you share.  Thank-you for choosing our family.  Thank-you for knowing you were born to be a Rhoades and joining the ranks of the chattering as if you’d always been here.

Though from the time we met, it was always obvious you were sweet-spirited and kind, respectful and honoring (and loved Rocky like crazy!), who could have known what an amazing woman you would become?  Who could have divined that the same radiant girl who captured my son’s heart by her beauty, both inside and out, would also be such an amazing wife – watching over Rocky, staying close to him, living the adventure that is life with him?  And could we possibly have fathomed  what a loving, fully-devoted, and thoroughly enchanted-by-her-baby mother you would be?  You are doing it right, with Averi, Jovan!  You were born for this!


So, I wanted to give you these gifts, not wrapped in glittery paper or festooned with deliriously happy bows (although that imagery does make one think of you), but rather a snapshot of the things I am believing God for in your life, the prayers of my heart for you.  These are the gifts I pray you will open and receive on your birthday for the coming year:

  • I pray that you will go after understanding, wisdom and spiritual insight with all your might.  It is easy after, having been the baby of your growing-up family and then being the youngest in ours (your married-in-to family), to sort of let “the big kids” take charge and  maybe, at times, walk all over you.  And it is true, they are a couple of steps ahead in life and they have some things to share, but God has placed important things in your hands.  He has called you to a place of responsibility as a wife and a mommy and there is no one else who can take that place.  So get wisdom, sweet daughter!  I pray God will pour it out on you as you pursue Him for it! 
  • Fearlessness in the battle.  There is an enemy, Jovan.  He will fight you for your family.  But to be forewarned is to be for-armed.  God looked through all eternity and knew He could trust you for this job.  You are gentle, yes.  You are careful not to run over people’s toes.  But I also see the warrior spirit in you – absolutely aware at every turn where the battle lines are drawn.  I pray for God to be your to be your shield of protection and your deliverer.  I pray He will give you the needed courage at the right times and that you will have no fear – because you are not alone!
  • The joy of the Lord for the strength you need.  I am praying for an outpouring of an abundance of clear, sparkling, life-giving rain to wash over your heart and mind.  I pray you will be known as one who laughs right our loud in the face of danger!  I pray that you will have everything Jesus promised in the area of joy: complete joy, and a full measure of His joy.  I pray you get so much joy – it will splash on everyone else! (Ps 28.7; Ps 4.7; Jn 18.11; Jn 16.24; Jn 17.13)
  • A double-dose of continued creativity.  You are becoming such a “virtuous woman” in the Proverbs 31 sense.  I admire that in you.  I love that you are sewing things for Averi and constantly looking for ways to create beauty and comfort in your home.  I see how energized you are in the creation process and I am praying more of that for you!
  • The ability to receive the love admiration that surrounds you.  You are likeable.  You are loveable.  You are some one people want to be around.  You are accepted.  There is nothing wrong with you.  You are the person God created you to be – He did not make a mistake.  And?  You are alive and you are well because of His hand on your life, His call in your heart.  It is OK for you to be thankful about that, to unabashedly enjoy living.  So enjoy it!  Receive all the love that surrounds you, my sweet girl.  Breathe it in!  Grab it with both hands, free of guilt or trepidation.  Live and love!

Happy Birthday, Jovan.  I love you with my whole heart.  You are worth so much to me.

We are blessed to call you one of our own…Mom

NOTE TO SELF:  Investigate-are there any pictures of Jovan without Rocky and Averi in them?  Anywhere??? 

pictured – ALL with her life loves: Jovan with her cherry cheesecake at the family celebration a few days ago; Jovan and fam in a farm field a few weeks ago; Jovan at a big pasta night a month ago;  and Jovan where you will often find her – on the floor playing with Averi.

“…this daughter-in-law, who loves you so much, why she is worth more to you than seven sons!” Ruth 4.15 The Message