Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yes, it's that time of Army year again

I am so irregular at blogging, guess we know it will never become a full time career. But, alas, after 7 (yes I said 7) very blessed years of having my husband home it is indeed our turn for a real deployment. By real I mean, pack up the belongings you are going to a war zone for a year deployment. For those that read me before, we don't really consider Haiti a deployment, more of a TDY. But anyways, 7 years, almost to the day (I think as we don't have our papers in hand yet) my Beloved will be headed to Afghanistan to work providing religious support to the soldiers stationed there (and any other duties he decides to pick up) This time I won't be counting days on the blog we know it's set for 365 with a 14 day break somewhere in there. Instead I plan to focus on counting my God sightings.

You see, I went to the PWOCI conference recently and kept leaking. By leaking, I mean that I kept tearing up and I didn'thave any idea why. So, finally I just said "God, what's up? Why do I keep leaking." and He said "Fear, you're holding it in and pretending it's not there. Turn it over to me." So boy howdy, the flood gates opened and I let out all that fear and the tears that went with it. "But," God said, "this isn't a one time thing. You're going to have to do this every day!" Now this is where some coolness comes in I got to spend several hours on Saturday with Sarah Horn, author of God Strong-the military wife's spiritual survival guide. See, with a deployment coming up, you take all the deployment classes and avoid the one's that say things like "ministering to PTSD families" (which is one of the fears I'm daily turning over". See this book was born from her own journey of deployment, and I needed exactly this encouragement. Because during our first deployment I was so didn't know an ACU from an ACS. So, I'd packed up and moved home to be close to my family and church. But, now see I'm a veteran army wife. I've been around a bit and learned some acronyms and even PCS'd a few times once was even DITY. So, after Haiti, I was feeling pretty Army Strong, I've got the skills to handle a deployment now, God can take a rest (or so I was thinkng!)

Another wonderful teaching from the weekend was from Priscilla Shirer. She taught from Genesis 28:16 and Jacob's journey from his home to another town to find a wife after betraying his brother. It was a hard, desolate journey and he stopped at a certain place, and taking a rock as a pillow, slept halfway between here and there. And where for the first time he encountered God for himself. The faith of his father's truely became his faith.

She taught that "there is good stuff in the hard stuff". Well, I know there are lots of hard things, but for this family we are walking squarely into some hard stuff. I can't say that I'm excited about this like I have been about some hard stuff of my past. But, I'm determined not to leave any good stuff behind. So if you don't mind today and in the future (if you keep reading I guess you don't) I'm going to share the good stuff in the hard stuff. Mainly, so that I'll have the record. My altars will be built that I may return to see what the Lord has done and if by chance this encourages you or helps you to know God a little better then that's an added bonus.

Today's hard stuff, watching my husband pull out his stuff, the little things that mean something to him and make him happy. The stuff that he wants in "his space", certain books and tchotchkes that are uniquely him, and loading it all into black plastic boxes. Seing my kids pick legos and build him houses to take so that he'll have a part of them with him. My five year old building lego people to represent each of us. My ten year old saying "I'm going to hate not having a dad for a year." Then, the bickering. I wish I could say it was just the kids today, but I was short tempered and on edge too. See it's so much different when it goes from playing out in your head to living it in reality. And those black boxes in my living room are real. But, you know what so is MY GOD!

Here is how He's shown himself to me recently-facebook. Yeah, I said it, facebook. Yesterday I posted a need for a used digital camera, He answered the request in half an hour through a highschool friend I hadn't seen since graduation until we "met" again on facebook. Then today another sweet friend, who has borne a decade+ long cross with faith, grace and dignity posted, on facebook, lyrics to songs all day that just encouraged me and lifted me up. Songs of God's faithfulness in our weakness. So, while I still was on edge, was able to listen when God first prompted me this morning that K's short temper with her brothers was not hormones but the pain and reality of watching her daddy pack. See she was only 4 when he went the first time and this whole war thing was new, she and her 2 younger brothers had no concept of time or war. But, now I have 4 and two of them were born into a time of war. They do not yet know what it means to live in a country that isn't at war, and for practical purposes, neither do the older two.

See, now they know that sometimes daddy's don't come home and sometimes daddy's come home missing parts of their body, mind, or soul. So they will have to learn for themselves, that while we don't know what God has in store for us, He will help us find the treasures buried in the stones, if we let Him. So as my sweet sister reminded me in her post on facebook on a past day. When things are bad, and we're not wanting to go to the hard place, once again we turn to Jesus and pray as he did. "Not my will, but thy will be done." So, dear friends, it's hard for me to say this, but don't pray for us to not have to endure the hard place, but pray that I and each of my children will find the treasures buried for us there and make the rocks our pillows and that at the end of the journey when we return to being a physically united family that we will reap a great harvest from the seeds that are planted now.

Blessings to you.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

an historic fourth!

So, I finally have something to Blog about :). One thing we had realized when we left Knox is that we hadn't taken full advantage of the area and made an effort to actually see what was in the surrounding area, in part because we were so close to home that we stayed with what was familiar. We determined that we would not do that again. So, we decided that we would brave the unfamiliar crowds and go to the 4th of July celebration at Yorktown. I've been reading an awesome book on the Revolutionary war and am currently obsessed with the founding of our country. So it seemed perfect to celebrate our nations independence at the same place where it was finally secured.

First we decided to use the light infantry approach to this event. One backpack with some necessities vs. my idea of Heavy armor, the big yellow wagon to carry supplies for a full day's march. We arrived by 3, since we'd been warned that the crowds were bad and we'd have a hard time finding parking. We parked in row H, parking was not an issue. We hiked into town in time to see the Fife and Drum corp perform next to the yorktown monument. They were amazing, all aged 10-18. Then we walked down to the free kids events, some lines, but for seasoned Thunder attendees, it was like having the place to ourselves.

The kids inflatables were set up accross from the Thomas Nelson house. Thomas Nelson was a signer of the declaration, and gave his fortune to the revolutionary effort. It was amazing to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the steps of his home. Then a bell was rung 1x for each colony as their signers names were read. Yes, I got teary as we recited the Pledge and the Fife and Drum corp played the National Anthem.

From there we found a great seat on the curb to watch the parade, a true small town affair complete with scout troops, shriners, and representatives of the armed forces. Having enjoyed the organized aspects of the day we headed to the river. For those familiar with the area, they know that the "beach" isn't very large at all. But, we had NO problem at 7:00 finding plenty of space for us to set up camp and let the kids play in the water for a bit before the fireworks.

Again, as seasoned Thunder attendees, we weren't sure what to expect from the fireworks. But, Yorktown did our Founders proud. From our location on the water, it seemed like the fireworks were right over our head, they were huge and well planned. We quite enjoyed ourselves.

Then, we prepared for the hike back to the car and the LONG wait we'd been warned of. Nope, we were in the car by 10 and home at 11. Tremendously well organized and enjoyable day. So, we are now taking reservations if anyone wants to come and go with us next year.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

catching up and another "Punk kid" story.

I apologize for the long silence. We've been very busy here. We now have 3 yellow belts in the house and 2 more chomping at the bit to get started. Baseball season has also been going, and it's been a painful season. J's team has only won 2 games this season and of course, I missed them both. But, Dad was there.

On the homeschooling front we've made it through our first round of standardized testing. We passed. I was terribly humbled from my original attidude of "the standard is so low?" to Thank you that the standard is where it is and it's been enforced to me the error in using these tests to judge a child's education.

We did enjoy our long weekend for Memorial Day. We celebrated K's b-day with a beach party. She loved it and it was a lot of fun getting to hang out with the grown ups while the kids played in the water. I'm trying to convince J to do the far he's resistant.

On Monday we went to our favorite beach at Ft. Monroe. After swimming and sandcastle building, we moved to the "fishing side" of the beach and explored the rocks and collected a container full of sea life. We found hermit crabs of all sizes, baby crabs, a jelly fish, lots of shrimp, and some type of fish that we have yet to identify. I spent way too much time trying to get a picture of the big hermit crab coming out of his shell. Many thanks to my friend who let me use their camera!

Summer is starting, but my kids will be still working through their math and grammer books. And throwing in some History and Science (mom's fault). Maybe they'll finally listen when Momma warns them about putting things off. It'll be hard when their friends get out in 2 weeks and they'll still have to finish book work before they can play. (maybe it'll help keep them motivated during the next school year?)

Oh, I did have another "find my children's missing toy" encounter in the neighborhood. My very first blog post recounted my hunt for the kids missing playhouse. Well, after a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge, S was missing his bike. Frustrating, but, the child needed a new bike. He'd outgrown it and the chain was constantly falling off. However, there is still that annoyance that someone would steal another child's bike. Forward a few days, I'm driving K somewhere and as I'm going down the street see three kids huddled around a bike, S's Bike! I slam on the breaks and jump out of the car. I ask the kids, who are trying to figure out how to put the chain on, where they got the bike.
Kid 1: "It was the missing kid's bike".
Me: "what missing kid"
Kid 1" The cops said this bike belonged to a missing kid"
Me: "it's my kid's bike, and I know where he is"
Kid 2 " Ummm"
Me: "so, do you mind if I take my child's bike back to him?"
Kid 3 "No"

So, I picked up the bike and threw it in the back of the car. S was glad to have his bike back and learned a lesson on making sure that it's put up, at least I hope that he learned the lesson since he was recently blessed with a new bike!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

a little life and a book review :).

Well, I leave my little snippets on facebook and sometimes forget to write more here. It's been an eventful week. S got knocked in the mouth by a baseball requiring a trip to the ER. He lost a tooth there (that was already loose) and another one the next day. 2 more are also loose from the incident. But, he handled it like a trooper. It's interesting how the big events can be handled calmly, but the little cuts and scrapes result in howls like he's dying.

We got back into the groove with the rest of life, PWOC on Tuesday, Mike was still off, so he took the boy's to speech while I went to a volunteer recognition thing and shopping for PWOC. Then we returned to TKD. Man, taking 2 weeks off really affects the body. My soreness returned on Wed. and is still here. I stayed for my first "advanced" class and finally learned my fighting moves. Which K also learned tonight. She was a slave driver making me and the other boy in our group practice them over and over. And while I was working with the advanced class. She continued to practice. I will not be surprised at all to see her making black belt. Today I learned my second kicking combo: a round house spinning back kick. Lot's of fun. Love being the warrior princess. K just wishes it didn't require so much sweat!

Speaking of warrior princess, I'm reading this AMAZING book. It's been out for a few years Captivating by Stasi and John Eldredge. My sis-in-law gave it to me awhile ago, and just recently I felt the uncontrollable urge to begin reading it. If you, as a woman, have ever felt, as Stasi writes, "something deeper than just the sense of failing at what she does. An underlying, gut feeling of failing at who she is. I am not enough and I am too much at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy. The result is Shame, the universal companion of women. It haunts us, nipping at our heels, feeding on our deepest fear that we will end up abandoned and alone." then I strongly suggest you read this book. It's not a "how to be the Proverbs 31 woman" book, it's a how to see yourself as God sees you. How to begin the journey to becoming the irreplaceable woman of His story that He created you to be. I'm continually plagued by self-doubts and questions. I've made choices and live in a manner that is quite different than others in my family and life have done. I'm stubborn and just rebellious enough that I continue on. While feeling that I'm too...something. But, I must say that this book has turned my eyes to face some of those demons that plague us as women. I haven't thrown off all the questions and insecurities yet, but this book is definitely helping to direct me in the right direction. (And how great is it that one of the chapters is indeed titled warrior princess? -an aspect of ourselves that K & I became more in touch with when we began TKD!) So girls, I suggest you pick up this book, and begin the journey of discovering the You God designed and not the you, the world, the church, and anyone else whose thrown in an opinion says you should be.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Who ever thought we could love yankee territory so much?

It helps when you've got great tour guides! Friday was first spent in a Norman Rockwell painting. We walked through the park, which is a block away and the kids got to play on the playground and we had a family practice. Man, I throw like a girl. Oh wait, that's OK :).

Then we headed out to experience Philly, beginning with a Philly Cheese Steak. The kid's choose Pat's, but I have a sneaky feeling Mike wants to experience a Geno's as well. The kid's of course had hotdogs. J had the large, which turned out to be 3 dogs on a very big bun, but we ended up sharing. As it seems he has a taste for Cheese steak as well. Then Independence hall called our names. Once again I got the little goosebumps of "standing in the presence of the past". Independence Hall called our name from there. We had a great tour guide who told the story well, we also got two book reccomendations from Park Ranger who was working the West Hall, where original copies of the Declaration, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution. Another goosebump moment. The Liberty bell really interested the kids. They got a great talk from the Park Ranger about the creation of the bell and the causes of the cracks. K enjoyed the science history blended in with the history. Now an army family couldn't NOT visit the tomb of the unknown soldier. Unbeknownst to me, this tomb, actually represents about 2000 soldiers buried under the square.
During the tour of Philly, our knowledgable tour guide Elaine, offered $5 to the child who could spell the name of the "Schuylkill" river. My most spelling challanged child, K took the challange, being a phonetic speller, figured it out and won the $5.

Then to top off a full touristy day, we enjoyed a Philly's game. On the way to the game, we were passing the now familiar Schuylkill river. Richard, not having been with us, made a comment about the spelling of the river. K immediately challanged him, "will you give me $5 if I can?" Not expecting a cute 11 year old to be scamming him, he took the challange and is now $5 poorer. So if Keilah is ever in a spelling bee with the word "schuylkill" she'll be sure to win.
How cool to go to a Big League ballpark. Unfortunately the rain didn't hold off until after the game, but we had poncho's to keep us mostly dry. And when we left at the end of the 7th the Philly's had a handy lead and we'd seen several homerun's and great pitching.

The kid's seem to be nearing the end of their touring limit, but I think they may have one more trip out to the Franklin Institute and perhaps a stop at the "rocky steps". Daddy wants a picture with the moose on the fountain out front.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Caught up...for now.

We arrived into Gettysburg Sunday afternoon and explored the town a bit. Unfortunately, most of the shops were closed, but we were still able to walk the town and see a few places. While window shopping J noted that civilwar era women wore too much clothing and ladies of today don’t wear enough. I guess somewhere there is a happy balance to be found. It was really cool to walk the streets and see signs saying “civil war building”. To know that building stood during the most tumultuous time of US history, is just amazing. We moved on to enjoy the national cemetery. We spent a few hours walking through the cemetery looking at the monuments, more than once did I feel that I could sit down and weep. Little did I know, that feeling would not leave me for awhile. I love the quote my friend sent me “standing in the presence of the past”. That perfectly describes the feeling I had for the day and a half we spent in Gettysburg. Monday we woke up and had plans to return to some of the stores that were closed and perhaps some other areas as well as return to the battlefield. First though, we headed to the battlefield. We first went to see the video narrated by Morgan Freeman regarding the civil war and causes. I appreciated that the focus was not just on condemning the south for slavery, but noted that the North didn’t want slavery ended either. Also, it noted that the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the CSA. Slavery remained legal in Union states, a fact I hadn’t learned until recently. From there we saw the Cyclorama a 42 x 300 foot oil painting depicting the 3rd day of Battle. An amazing piece of artwork. We went to the gift shop and purchased our audio tour, completely forgetting to peruse the Museum, I guess we’ll get that on the next trip.

The Audio tour said it should take 2-2 ½ hours, yet we managed to turn it into a 5 hour tour. We drove the entire park stopping to get our bearings on the battlefield. My civil war history classes from school did not do justice to the immensity of this battle, neither the size of the battlefield or the size of the armies engaged in the fight. I think all American’s should be required to visit this battlefield. It was amazing how your perspective changes as you move around the field. Seeing things from new angles, seeing the battle from the opposing sides, just in terms of the battle, not political or social motivations from fighting. I think most powerful for me, was seeing actual civil war photos of dead soldiers, then standing on the same ground and seeing a virtually unchanged landscape. Mike and I talked about it after, and the number of things that, if not for a few minutes, could have turned a completely different way and very easily could have been won by the confederacy. It made me think that God truly had a purpose for this country and desired that it remain one country, even as it needed to work through some very difficult issues. What would these men think of our country today? Would they be willing to pay the same price if they could see us now?

While we deeply desire to return to Gettysburg soon, we needed the next day off to enjoy some light fun, so off to Hershey, PA. And what can help raise spirits better than chocolate? Now, I’ll admit, I wasn’t very excited about this portion of our trip. I mean, I like chocolate, but I wasn’t interested in the amusement park, and really didn’t care about Mr. Hershey and his story. In my world, this attitude usually means I’m in for a surprise. And was I ever, we had a very good time. We enjoyed the free Chocolate world “factory” tour, twice. Enjoyed the free samples and even enjoyed the mandatory gift shop at the end of the ride. We started learning a bit about Mr. Hershey and I must say, my curiosity was increasing regarding this man. We headed to the Hershey story museum to satisfy this curiosity and to hopefully learn a bit more about the actual chocolate making process. It never ceases to amaze me, how at some point in our history, someone thinks, hmmmmm I think that pod with the immensely nasty tasting seeds inside would probably be much better if I fermented them, dried them, roasted them, crushed them, and mixed them with some sugar and maybe even milk. I mean really! But, I’m glad they did. And Mr. Hershey turned out to be and immensely interesting man in his own right. I’m glad we took the time to visit his town.

Then, the kids got their big surprise of the day, we arrived at our hotel for the next two nights. We booked a caboose. Yes, 2 nights in an actual, refurbished, train caboose. The kids loved it. They were thrilled by the accommodations, even if it meant no swimming pool. We had decided to make a stop in Strasburg, because Mike has wanted us to go to Sight and Sound Theatre ever since he went there 2 years ago on a UMT conference. So with that to occupy our afternoon, we spent the morning visiting shops around Lancaster. It turned out to be a very fun relaxed day. Mom got a new purse, Dad got a new belt, we tasted a ton of yummy Amish jams, jellies, and salsa’s and generally went wherever we felt like. (I love it when everyone is willing to stop for me to go into antique shops!).

After a quick stop into a local ice cream parlor for a snack we headed to Sight and Sound to see Joseph. I am lacking in words to describe the theatre or the production. I spent several years around theatre, including a year interning at one of the top theatres in the US. This show was every bit of Broadway quality, with the BIG difference being that its sole purpose was to bring Glory to God. I love theatre, but I’ve come to dislike going to shows because they are just, so full of the world. This was so different; I was lifted up and encouraged. I was thoroughly entertained but we were also directed to God. Tomorrow, we’ll head to Philly, after visiting the birthplace of one of our favorite American legends, Daniel Boone.

I’m really looking forward to visiting with my Aunt, Uncle and cousin and getting to move farther back in history to the founding of our nation. Yeah to family fieldtrips!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lovely Easter weekend & my kids really dislike Scarlet O'hara.

We had a great trip home for the 4 day Easter weekend. It meant spending about 1 full day of it in a car (22 hours total) but it was worth it! We got to see our Godchildren and the boy's got to see their godmother and we watched a great baseball game with my dad and brother all on the first day. Saturday was much slower, the kids and I relaxed at Mom's house while Mike went on a search for anti-malaria meds (he left his at home) and a rain storm came through, delaying the boy's fishing trip into the afternoon. But, they had a good one and caught catfish, bass, and bluegill. S was THRILLED. Mom, K, and I hit the stores to shop for Easter stockings (as I kept calling the baskets) and whatever else struck our fancy. I was on a mission to hit the Land's End department at Sears and Hobby Lobby plus Target and Whole foods made the list. We got home to start cooking dinner (requiring 3 trips into Kroger because I forgot the list=2 trips, and 1 item didn't make the list) only to discover the boy's were fed at the fishing hole :). It's all good, the leftover's came home with us. And we began watching Gone with the Wind, which Mike had never seen.

Easter day we went to church with Mom. It's always nice attending services at the church I grew up in. Then we had what Mike labeled "the best family meal ever" at my mom's. We headed from there to visit at Mike's brother's house. We enjoyed getting to see some family, although no one wanted desert! Then it was off for another fishing trip, this time to my Aunt and Uncle's farm. They are living our dream and we love every chance to visit out there, especially when we actually get to visit with them. Extra Bonus, my cousin was there with her family and I got to play with their 8 month old son, who is absolutely adorable. The boys fished until they couldn't see and then we went home to finish Gone with the Wind. My children declared it the worst movie ever. Scarlet was a brat, mean and selfish. Ashley was a coward and cheat, and Rhett walked out on his wife. Overall the children couldn't understand why we would have them watch it. I tried to explain the cultural significance, but they didn't care. They didn't like how the people treated each other. And from that point of view I have to say they are right :).

We squeezed in a visit to my Gama Monday morning before we had to hit the road. It was quick, but we promised to come spend more time on our next visit and K found a book that my mom had given Gama for her to fill out about her life. K was quite disappointed to discover that it was still blank, and took the book saying she was going to call Gama to get the answers. I just love that my daughter loves family history this much.

So a whirlwind trip before the 10 12 hour trip home. Now, if we could only figure our how to make the driving shorter. Mike had one good trick, he made us leave really early Friday morning, so that we slept a few hours of it away (of course I always sleep the majority of it anyways)


Saturday, March 27, 2010

the things we do for our kids

Today was a prime example. We LOVE AWANA. Our kids have been involved for I think 4 years now. Mike and I have been leaders for as long. One thing the kids really enjoy are the games. Now, I like game time, as does every other AWANA leader. Once a year, local AWANA's gather together and compete against each other in these unique games developed for and by AWANA.

This is where the "because I love you" comes in. A few weeks ago I paid $5 to sit on hard benches, fuss at S &A and cheer K & J and their fellow T&Ters on to victory. This means sitting for about 2 hours to get every team "checked in" and another two hours watching the kids play these games that only have meaning to the one's participating. J's team won the right to move on to the "state" competition which was held today in Richmond.

Soooo we had to leave our house by 7:30, which means I had to be up at 6:30, well 6:45, in order to be ready to leave on time. Because we have a 1 1/2 hour drive to unfamiliar territory for 10:00 check in. We arrived at 9:45. At 12, the games hadn't started, instead we'd watched the older kids get awards for their bible quiz and got our obligatory preaching. I know that AWANA is to teach the boy's and girl's about the salvation offered by Jesus, but I don't know why they think that a 30 minute sermon is necessary before the games. Um, you've got over 100 kids sitting on a gym floor waiting to run in circles, and all of the assorted people that were ,drug came to support them. A short 5 minute object lesson would be appropriate, not a 30 minute sermon. Ugh.

Finally, the games began, and the kids played hard and earned second place for their "circle". But, they were the highest scoring second place team. This qualified them for the final championship round. Yeah, we get to stay for another round! "To begin immediately." 30 minutes later, much to our dismay excitement, these kids, who hadn't eaten since we arrived, began another round. (it's about 2:00 now)

It was hard for our kids to see the victory in their 4th place out of 4 teams (they didn't place in a single game this time) except for my J who is always the sportsman and said "I got a gold medal last week". But, when they heard the "games" started with 40 teams they bucked up. Now, I've got to give my baby a shout out now. For a 5 year old, A did amazingly well. I'm still in shock that he wasn't having total meltdowns and kicking everyone around us (did I mention it was REALLY crowded). But, in the end...just like so many things we do for our kids ONLY because they are ours and it's important to them, the day was worth it because our J had a great time. We did spend a little time exploring around Richmond after and discovered a cool outdoorsy store called Gander Mountain that we like better than Bass Pro (they gave us a $10 off coupon for that comment) and the boy's even made it home to fish a little.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the count is over

Forgive me for my tardiness is writing this, our count ended a few days ago at day 39 and since then we've all been basking in the joy of having Mike home. Our reunion day was typical army. We were given a report time of 2-3. Their plane arrive during that time an hour away. However after sitting for an hour we learned they were being held up in customs. So, my friend and I decided to head out to McDonald's to allow our children to run out their energy, for which we had little patience. We spent several hours there before heading to my house to watch Mama Mia. Turns out the Dept. of Agriculture didn't like their dirty boots. And 200 soldiers had to get their boots cleaned. They finally made it to post around 8:20. By 10:00 we were all home. They were given the next 2 days off and this week has been short days as they do redeployment paperwork (that's what they call the coming home stuff) classes like "don't hit your family" and "talk to someone if you feel disturbed by what you saw". K told Mike today that she didn't think he'd need to talk to anyone. Mike lost about 15 pounds while he was gone, and we're doing our best to put them back on him.

He did get to see us all test for our first stripe at TKD, although the instructor's car had broken down, so K still hasn't broken a board. Hopefully that will happen tomorrow night. So, that's a quick recap on us.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 36-and cantankerous!

that's what i've been feeling all day. Good things are happening and I'm just determined to be, well, cantakerous. I just read a friend's post and apparently she's been going through the same things. Make's me wonder as we're both facilitating bible studies at PWOC. Yup, start telling people about Jesus, or encourage them to learn more about God and Satan gets his panties in a wad. You know, I've always thought it funny that folks can believe in Aliens, ghosts, and all other sorts of hobgoblins, but you mention Satan as a real creature and folks look at you like YOU are the alien. Just find that interesting.

I know my grammar and typing are a bit off, but I just needed to get that off my chest. Already I feel a bit lighter. Getting my focus off of me and onto Jesus and it's like sunshine breaking through heavy cloud cover.

Just a little while until I'm whole again. I'm so thankful that my day count will end well before 50, especially when I thought I was going to be counting to 180! What a blessing and a bit of prep work for when the next one does come along. I'm VERY thankful for the friends I've made here and my sisters at PWOC who are willing to help through the trials of military life. I hope all of you have similar, whether you're military or not! A friend in need is a friend indeed! But, I also have a friend that is closer than a brother (or sister)! And for Him i am eternally grateful!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 35-i'm loving tkd

we had TKD tonight and I so wanted to stay home (female issues), but K would have killed me. Tonight was her first night. She loved it. She was disappointed that she didn't get to break a board. But, that will happen Thursday. I should get my belt and I ordered A's uniform, since he's been going for 3 weeks now. I really can't encourage you enough, if there is something you've wanted to do and have put off thinking, I'm too old to start that or some other excuse. Put it aside, we only live once and now is the time to live your life! Learn that instrument, start that craft, whatever it is do it! you won't regret it and your kids will look up to you for moving forward.

The only down side to the day, we stayed to watch our friends test for their stripe. While there A was his usual monky self, climbing on everything. Some lady came in, and kept pointing out where he was climbing (while it makes others nervous, I know he's sure footed, and sometimes, falling is the way we learn.) I wasn't bothered too much until the lady says "I'm with Family advocacy." (which is kind of like saying: I work for CPS) Tell me, would you be bothered by that? I don't know her reason for sharing that, but given some of my past experiences with "family advocates" I don't always have a positive response. Especially when "i'm a family advocate" is followed with pointing out some potentially harmful activity your child is involved in while you are engaged in a conversation with other adults. Maybe it's just that overly guilty "oldest child" people pleasing tendency I have that immediately bristles when corrected.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 34-oops

Golly, I guess I should just talk about how amazing the last 4 days have been to keep me from posting. Well, they've been a bit busy, but not sure how amazing. Friday we watched the most beautiful babies again and then took our friend to rent a wheelchair. Then it was home to relax and Saturday was the final round of basketball games. J won his, 18-8. He was so cute. He woke up saying "we've won 4 games this season (it's been a hard season) and I'm including today in that". And they did win. The thing i didn't realize about his team, until the party, was only 3 of the kids had ever played before. So, to win 4 was a tremendous feat! We had fun at the team party and I sent J home with his teammate before picking up K from her party. She's glad the season is over so that she can begin TKD. We went home, I took a lovely nap and we went to get J and ended up hanging out for several hours.

Sunday was non-eventful...but it did have potential. I took 6 kids to the commissary after church. I'm amazed I don't have some type of disaster story for you. Must be because of all my amazing parenting skills...that, or the liberal amounts of threats I gave them before we went into the store.

Now today was cool. Our favorite baby came back to play, we had our second Sticks lesson. Sticks is a definite arm workout. Piano, and a trip to Ulta, where the facial lady, saw me staring stupidly carefully considering the bare mineral products and said if you "Have any questions.." to which K promptly replied "what can she do about her red face?" Um, thanks for noticing K. Not, that the kids have any choice. I'm not a huge fan of make-up but I am a bit tired of being asked how I got a sunburn in the middle of winter. She suggested a cream, and also said they have a $20 facial. Hmmm, $20. OK, sign me up. So I scheduled an appointment for 5:30.

Oh my goodness, facials where have you been my whole life. I may be giving up hair coloring, but I am now officially addicted to the facial. That was one of the most relaxing experiences of my life. AND my face was actually less red when we left. J actually said he thought she'd bleached my skin. Yes, I'll be going back in 4 weeks :). And she did suggest a different brand of mineral make-up to try. So, I'm well on my way to a free treatment at Ulta now, my haircut on Wednesday should put over the edge for that.

Now, to find someplace for a mani-pedi and I'll be set for the end of this "mini-deployment". Yes, I said END. As always I can't mention exact times and places. But Never did I think that the military could do anything LESS than the maximum amount of time listed on a set of orders. I am happily shocked!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 30- and I broke a board

Yup, that's me. I kept telling myself, "if a 5 year old can do it, so can you!". The other kids in the class all encouraged me and told me I could do it. They are so sweet! It's amazing what happens when the kids realize you are on their level or lower! Another mom joined the class today, so I'm not the "biggest kid" in the class. I'm so glad I overcame my fear of embarrassing myself to take this class. So many times I'll let fear keep me from doing something I want to do. I'm glad I'm getting over that as I get older. I've only been to two classes, but I'm having a blast! I really encourage you, if there is something you've wanted to learn, then do it! I may have to find a ballet or tap class next and take up where I left off in childhood!

Justus was so excited to watch me break my board. The kids were so proud of mom. It's just a great feeling. And I'm leaving today's entry at that.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 29-what will tomorrow bring?

Because today brought good stuff. We (and when I say we, I mean K) got to watch an adorable 2 year old and the boys got to play with a favorite friend before heading off to a food party. If you've never tried it, check out wildtreeherbs they have fantastic seasonings, sauces, mixes etc. They make what they sell and it is all natural, preservative and dye free foods. I am completely addicted to their cranberry spice blend. It's so yummy on my morning bagel!

Then, joy of joy, we went to Lowe's and bought FLOWERS! I filled 3 planters with pansies in the front and one with snapdragon's and dianthis (something like that). Oh, it felt so good to get the dirt under my nails again (reminds me I need some new gardening gloves) and I'm about ready to order my raised bed forms. The one's we made at Knox were great but didn't last. I'm getting some plastic ones that we can disassemble for moves, we'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to the veggies. I'm hoping the dog will stay out of it, he wasn't in the same area at Knox. Now, he shares space.

Speaking of the dog. He and I are finally getting along. When he runs out the door, he comes back! I don't know what has caused the change, but I love it. He may not come immediately, but I haven't had to chase him around the housing area in a long time. We rewarded him today by taking him on a car ride to the drive through with us. I've never had a dog that loved to ride in the car like he does.

AWANA was great as usual. I had a girl who hasn't said a verse in a month, say her section tonight. That was just so encouraging. I just pray that for those girl's who struggle or come with an "my mom made me come" attitude that seeds will be planted and that they will learn that the world can offer nothing that compares with God's love and accepting His gift.

I've got a busy day to get through tomorrow to make it to our busy Stay-Home-Day friday. I was able to get my paperwork scanned, so if you think of it, say a prayer for me that the right person at DFAS (defense finance) will receive my email, and be willing to work with me in finding a solution. My position is unique in the system and I pray they will be willing to do what they can to help me as I fight with the IRS. The IRS wants me to pay $642 in taxes and fines on non-taxable income that we received as foster parents.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 28-4 weeks down.

Wow, it's hard to believe it's only been 4 weeks, the other day I was sure it'd been 6 and not in the positive way when Mike says we've been married twice as long as we really have. Today was our regular PWOC day, which I always enjoy. I really like the ladies in my class I'm leading. We started on Nehemiah today. A good book, if you haven't read it. Then the kids and I went to lunch with J so she could continue to have some time out of her house.

A few hours at home and off to the evening activities, which now includes Me! I took my first Tae Kwon Do class and it was so fun. I love the instructor here. It's obvious that he just loves what he does and gets real enjoyment from the students. There is no pressure what so ever. A loved that I was there and kept getting so close that I accidentally punched and kicked him 2x. I had to keep picking him up and moving him over. Fortunately I wasn't moving to fast. My girlfriends, who won't take the class with me, got a real kick out of the fact I couldn't do my pushups. Although, I didn't see them trying :). I'm definitely going to need some ibuprofen tonight, but it was worth it. One thing though, you don't realize how many muscles are affected by childbirth. You mom's know what I mean!

Alright, I need to get some rest. So, I'll see ya'll tomorrow!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 26 & 27...Wow, almost a month and the cat's still alive

Yesterday was so calm and relaxing I totally forgot to post about it. What would there have been to say except, "I found my peace". For the months leading up to this deployment I would daily think about those I love and regardless of the frustrations at hand, I felt peace and joy. The kind that can only come from the Lord. Well with all the car frustrations and random difficulties I always found the blessings, but I misplaced my peace and joy. I wanted to stay home from church, and when you want to stay at home from church it only means one thing...get your butt to church. So I went and told the children's choir director that I wouldn't be able to help her that I NEEDED to be in Church. I almost got up when they dismissed the kids, but Praise Him I saw two mom's following them out. So I kept my butt planted. And I found my Peace and Joy again. They weren't ever really lost, I just needed to seriously focus on the source of it. We came home and spent the day here. It was so pretty I went outside to read and ended up cleaning up the backyard, which I actually enjoy doing, and daydreamed about our vegetable garden. The kids spent the whole day out playing with the neighbor's and we ended the day by reading some stories together. 12 Princesses by the Brother's Grimm, and The Yellow Ribbon, an American Folk story (in which the lady's head is held on by a yellow ribbon). The children were suitably surprised and grossed out.

Today was a busy monday, but not so much that you're left exhausted. We started the day by watching the two most adorable little girls on the planet. Went to our first Sticks class (which is a Phillipino form of martial arts). The instructor is just awesome and very interested in teaching people, especially kids and women, how to defend themselves. I decided that I'll begin Tae Kwon Do tomorrow. I'm a bit nervous, but excited at the same time. I think I have one friend talked into starting with me, that is if we can lift our arms tomorrow.

J had a make-up basketball team, and the teams were well matched. The final score was 7-4, but the way we were hooting you would have thought we'd won 70-4. I think a world record was set by turnovers for traveling between the two teams. Lot's of fun and I enjoy it when both teams have fun cheering the kids and joking around. Best of all the season ends Saturday. Of Course baseball starts a few weeks later, but I can live with it. K plans to start TKD when the season ends as well.

Now I'm home, the kids are showering and we're gettin' ready for tomorrow.

Oh, we did have one really suspenseful moment today. I realized around 10:30 that I hadn't seen Bad...all morning. I sent J to look for him, and he said he couldn't find him, and yes mom, I looked under the beds. So I went a looking. Just fearing that the cat would be dead and thinking what do I do with a dead cat? Where can I go to have him cremated? Fortunately, I found him, ALIVE. Where, you ask? Under my bed of course.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Days 24 & 25- it's a 2 for 1!

I got home late yesterday and couldn't muster up the energy to type up how awesome it was to get to hang out with my dear friend yesterday. And it made me very excited about meeting with the NER board and learning what our folks brought away from the week. I'd been losing my voice, so it was a strain to talk, but I pushed through. The ride home though, I couldn't talk to the kids at all. I was so thankful to find a Starbucks open after 10 to get a hot drink for the ride home. I seriously was praying, "Dear God, please let one of these signs soon show a Starbucks and let it be open!" Another answered prayer. My throat felt SOOOOOOO much better. I woke up with a voice back :). Of course I lost it again cheering my boys on at their games this morning :).

Both boys lost, but S played so much better this week it felt like a win. And J had a solid game as well, they went down 18-4 in the first quarter so when they fought back to end the game 24-18 losing by 6 still felt like a victory! We flew to the AWANA games from there. K's team came in 3rd of 3 and J's team came in 1st so they received an invitation to the "tournament of champions" On March 27. I'm sensing a road trip. At least Basketball will be over!

I wanted to go on another curtain hunt and decided to torture the children by taking them to Target and then Kohl's except the tables got turned on me and we only went to Target. Because when we came out of Target the car wouldn't start. The radio came on, lights etc. But it wouldn't start. I so wanted to cry. My child did ask me what "Frack" meant. "It's a statement of frustration," I explained. When the roadside assistance said it'd be 45 minutes I decided to prevail upon the poor stranger who parked her Lexus next to me for a jump. She was clueless but agreed. I found the hood latch and the hooked everything up. My car started right up. I went straight to Autozone (by way of Pepboys) and purchased a new battery. i'll go back in a few day's to get the alternator and starter tested. Maybe being proactive will get Murphy to MOVE OUT! Seriously, he needs to find a new home.

Really, the transmission is 2 years old, timing belt, drive belts, SRS computer, something else that was $400 that I don't remember what it was called and several miscellaneous parts, plus new title and registration. Brakes and tires were good per last inspection. So much for paying the car off. The second law of thermodynamics is really getting on my nerves! It's ruling my life these days!



Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 23-almost forgot!

We had a busy day, and I'm so excited to get to bed so I can wake up tomorrow, that I almost forgot to write! Today was a comfortably full day. We had our usual homeschool group, which we just LOVE. The kids created tremendous art pieces based on Mary Cassatt (that I would show you if my computer would recognize my scanner) and we ran a few errands, including shipping 3 boxes off to daddy. Then it was the usual full evening of practices. I did learn that I can take TKD for free + uniform as a parent helper. It's an interesting proposition, one I'm considering on taking them up on. After class today A kicked S in the head (with cowboy boots on) when they were fighting over a toy. When I told A he was done for the day (meaning playing and sitting with his friends) he responded tearfully, "with Tae Kwon Do?" These 2 weeks have had a powerful affect on him. It's such a joy to see him take such pride in an activity and to see the remorse on his face when he had to talk to Mr. Don about the appropriate times to kick. All the kids are going to start Sticks on Monday. I wonder if my terrific trio counterparts are willing to join me in becoming a martial artist?

"But why am I so excited about tomorrow?" you ask. Because on Friday I get to see Kelly! One of 3 women who I met with weekly for prayer for over a year. I haven't seen Kelly in about 18 months and it's been over 2 years since she left Ft. Knox. She had to be on the east coast this week and tomorrow we get to meet and hang out! I'm still trying to convince Mike to let me go out and visit her (we'd love a prayer group reunion) as her family is stationed in Hawaii :). Our kids all still talk about each other and call, even though they haven't seen each other for the full time.

Now, if only Janelle and Elaine had business on this coast. And anyone of you reading this for that matter! I'll happily drive a few hours to meet up with you if life brings you my way :). (given that the person reading this is someone I know and not a complete stranger that happened upon my Blog through some random search! In which case, God bless you-but I'm not meeting you.)


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 22-Jehovah-Jireh the Lord Provides.

The Lord Provides. There are many names for God, but these last weeks, that is what I call Him. Even when I'm cursing my circumstance He Provided. Over and over these last weeks, shoot I've been sharing it all with you...He has provided. How amazing is it that Elohim would be Jehovah Jireh to me? Who am I? Nobody, no-one, a continual sinner, and yet...He provides. I pray that every person I know could come to know Him and love Him. You don't check your brain at the door, It wasn't until I really started thinking and questioning that I really even met Him. Until then my faith had only been a hollow echo of earlier teachings. "Faith" isn't an ignorant, wishful thing. It's an active, alive thing. We must seek, ask, knock in order to gain. Hebrews 11 says "1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." How can we be either of those things if we haven't thought, challenged, or questioned. But Faith is also dangerous. Because faith requires that we give up control, we may have to change, people may laugh or think less of us, life may not go the way we want. It may cost us something we hold dear.

Each frustration has been an opportunity to see God's provision. The car needed more work than I expected. We had the money (We never have money). The car took longer than I expected and multiple trips (5 different friends drove us around. May they be richly blessed.) My children needed a stay home day-it March, we stayed home and were able to care for the same friend who cared for me yesterday. Today, I was stressing about how to solve the need to be in multiple places on Saturday while also meeting my DEEP desire to get to DC Area on Friday to see a dear friend. It worked out perfectly without me doing anything-all changes from her end. She didn't know what was going on here. I would never have thought of the solution and yet it meets the needs of everyone involved. Jehovah Jireh. And in so many other ways that I probably won't know of until Heaven (yes, I think it's an actual place and definitely NOT the bland, white, angels on clouds place as popularly depicted).

For all my thinking and pondering I still don't have all the answers, but I will keep seeking and asking and I will walk by Faith for Jehovah Jireh.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 21, no grumbling, well a little bit.

OK, so today was one of those frustrating days where you just wanted to cuss or drink or both. But, if you look the blessings were there too. And right now I'm too tired and cold to tell everything. But, after all my running around (every errand took 2 trips) I was ultimately able to get the car titled and registered in the not-so-great commonwealth of Virginia. Many thanks to J for hanging with me all afternoon and being my chauffer and babysitter! After practice my friend M took me to get the car. We got to the lot and my automatic opener wouldn't work. Not, because the batteries in it were the Car battery was dead.

Fortunately I know very well how to use my jumper cables. And when I turned the car over, I learned why the battery was dead. The alarm wouldn't shut off. Which is what apparently drained the battery to begin with. Did I mention that it had started to snow/rain while we were driving out there? So we're standing out dealing with this in this freezing, driving nastiness. Yeah, my friend M learned that I know some words that I wouldn't use at PWOC. But, we all got a big laugh. I mean, if you don't laugh you just might go insane! After about 5 minutes in the cold and pushing buttons, I finally got the alarm to shut off. But, since the battery had died we didn't have a radio for the ride home. Which was OK, the kids had a great discussion on the way home about how the entire last week with the car was a terrific example of the second law of thermodynamics. -Jonathan Park Rules!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 20-good times!

We went to Williamsburg today with our local homeschool group. $11 for a five day pass and children under 6 are free! Can't beat that with a stick. We had so much fun exploring with our friends the first half of the day. Then after lunch we struck out with our friend J for a bit, before she had to leave and then it was just me and the kids. We all enjoy that place. We learned about basketweaving, from selecting an oak tree to the weaving process. Weaving fabric, a bit about how an original printing press worked and book binding. The children were floored by the cost of paper. I think S appreciates it much more, since he draws non-stop. K finally got her hoop and stick. She was so fun to watch as she ran down the main street playing. J & S, of course, choose new guns. A would have had one, but he once again forgot to control himself. Hopefully the painful lesson of walking out of the store without the cherished rifle, will have some type of effect. As we were walking back to the car, K talked about what a great day it had been and A said "it's was a bad day". After we stopped and got ice cream (his suggestion) he pronounced it was once again a good day. Once again ice cream cures everything!

We got the car paid for and I learned that I didn't need to prove that the car was inspected in order to title/register it even though the state website says the car needs to be inspected. Stupid. So tomorrow I will go do the paperwork after PWOC and I'll be all nice and legal again. I'll be so thankful to be done with this mess. At least next year I'll be able to do it online!

After all that I picked up 3 new books, well new to me at least, at lifeway. A Randy Alcorn book that I didn't have, the 1st book in the AD chronicles by the Thoene's, and Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis, Oops, make that four books I also got a Ted Dekker book, which is really 2 books. The first 2 in the Books of History series that goes along with the Circle series that I'm just finishing up. Those 4 authors have such different styles, but I like them all so much. Now, to set aside time to read them! I'll let you know how they are when I'm done.

(Oh, and I still really miss Mike!)


Sunday, February 28, 2010

19 days-and what do you get?

Another day older, but I'm not deeper in debt, praise god. This is one of those days, that as a military wife, you just feel tired. Poor kids, they were good today, but they just couldn't do or say anything without irritating me. I'd say get in the car...they'd ask "why" or "where are we going" Or "can I take...". We did get out of the house and to church on time, which was a big positive. But, I just wanted them to stop questioning everything that came out of my mouth. And really, there's no good reason for the way I feel, other than I miss my husband and well, that's it. Geez, I haven't even made it to 3 weeks yet! Aren't I a sorry excuse for an army wife, my hubby isn't even in a particularly dangerous place. At least with this one, I don't drive by the house looking for strange cars before I park. No need to flood me with comments of encouragement (or do). I just want to keep this real, and expose you to a bit of my pity party/deal with it interior dialogue. I am taking care of myself, I call friends for help, I know I don't have to do it on my own, etc. I'm just whining.

Speaking of calling friends for help. My dear friend M is sick :( and we couldn't get together today. So I needed to find someone else to help me with my car exchanging stuff and in true "Military" wife style (she's Navy) I ran into a friend at the commisary and she agreed to help me out when we were done shopping. Funny how things work out. And in the end, I'm so thankful for all the ladies who have been willing to cart me around town. Hopefully I'll only need it 1 more time! (to go pick my car up!) Oh, and can I give a big "yeah" to USAA and their insured car rental deals! If you're military/military associated I highly suggest you use them!

Oh, funny bit today. S asked me how much it cost to get a brother and sister. I explained it could be next to nothing up to 20,000 per child. He looked at me with shock and exclaimed, "well then I need to make a million. So I can get a DS and twins!" Thought it was funny that the DS took first place, but that he would also budget for siblings. I don't know how he plans to do it though.

So, now I need to do a little work for PWOC.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

day 18--t.i.r.e.d.

It doesn't help that I go to bed at the wee hours. So, I'm writing early and off to bed. This wasn't a particularly exhausting day, it's just that I don't like going to sleep in an empty bed.

The boy's both had their basketball games this morning. S legitimately won this time, I think. Well it seemed like we scored more points. They don't keep score at that age. It's just very fun to watch as they are becoming a team and playing more as a team than they did at the beginning of the year.

J's team lost, but it was a really well played game. J had several rebounds again and 2 points. Given his slate of success last year on teams, it really doesn't bother me too much that his basketball team isn't doing so well, win wise. Some important lessons are learned by losing. And J is definitely a gracious sportsman. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't like losing. It's just that he doesn't get mad, blame, or throw tantrums like I've seen other kids (and some parents) do. Nor does he gloat or talk smack when his team is winning either. When he does something well he just glances over to wherever we are sitting in the stands to see if we noticed and gets back to the business at hand.

One thing I like about kids and kids sports, is that it's a great equalizer. You meet people not as "general" or "sergeant" or "private" but as "so-and-so's Mom/Dad". I say that, because I quite often forget that J's asst. coach is also the commanding General for our post. So, after the game he asked about Mike, and I mentioned there probable early return date and how they are working with the Orphanage so we'd kind of like him to stay as long as possible. Then I'm like D'oh, he knows this stuff. His wife is awesome too, totally doesn't wear his rank. (Did I mention they're homeschoolers? That probably explains their coolness-oh wait that can't be right, everyone knows how unsocialized homeschoolers are!) So, that's my bit of "fame" by association. Yup, I know the general. :).

I have to admit I was thankful none of the ladies showed for our "craft day" i had all my stuff and was ready to get stamping. But, I didn't mind the break either. So, before I took the kids to games practice we went to Target. I find I do best when I have a time limit there :). Then while K & J were at games practice I tortured S & A with a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I'm trying to find new curtains for the living room. And I'm just too particular for my own good. No luck, but I did find a Monogram welcome mat. So, not a completely wasted trip.

Then home for the evening. Dinner and Bed. I just know there are things I have forgotten/need to do, but I'm too tired to remember. So, maybe a good night's sleep will help me focus tomorrow when M comes over to work on program stuff with me.


Friday, February 26, 2010

day 17-sigh

I called Chris, that's the name of the guy down at the service dept., first I apologized to him for being rude when he gave me the news about the car. Then I told him my concerns/needs. I explained that the tags are expiring, so I don't want to drive the car until I get new tags. I'm going to drop the car off Sunday afternoon and then my friend M will take me to the airport to pick up a rental. But, I explained, my need is getting my inspection sticker. I had paid for one somewhere else, which I failed because of the SRS light. He then offered to do the inspection, at no cost to me, since I'm a new customer and they had already given the car a good going over this past week. Which is what I was hoping he'd say :).

So, I went online looking for a car to rent. Fortunately there is an airport about 15 minutes away, which helps with selection. Then I remembered that I'm a member of USAA which can get you some pretty good deals and indeed their website provided a link which got about a 25% discount. But, then I discovered the quirkiness of car rentals. First i entered in from Sunday-Tuesday and got a quote on a RAV 4 for $90. Then I thought that might not be enough time, so I entered until Wednesday and the quote went up to $350! What after fighting the website a bit, I hit the "talk to a rep button" and got a phone call. After talking to the rep I discovered that if I pick up the car by 4:30 on Sunday and return it by 4:30 on Tuesday I get the Weekend rate and it will actually cost me $70. $90 was because I had an extra hour. And indeed if I added a day, the whole rate converted to something else, and I almost tripled the daily rate. So, I told her, that if 2 days weren't enough I'd return the car on Tuesday and rent another one! The extra half hour trip would save me several hundred! CRAZY, that 1/2 an hour could have such an effect on prices. So, I get to pay a little stupid tax, for not taking care of something I should have probably done a year ago. But, at least I'll still be legal. I was stressing more about driving on the expired tag than anything else.

Talked to Mike, and if definitely looks like he'll be coming home sooner than later. Which is good and bad news at the same time. Good obviously, because we want him home with us, bad because we are really thankful for the opportunity he's getting to work with the orphans. Don't worry, that work isn't diminishing their ministry to the soldiers. In fact, I think it's probably enhanced it, as he's been able to take other soldiers out on their "off" time to do some manual labor cleaning up and playing with the kids.

I had to go to the annual "how to recognize and report child abuse" class tonight. I just about feel like I could teach that class. One positive, a lady present, turned out to also be a social worker who works with adoptive placements. I did make contact with her and she gave me the name of the lady to talk to regarding get our homestudy into the state system so that we could increase our options as far as finding our kids. Most foster kids are adopted by their foster parents, especially the younger ones. So, it'll be good for us to have that contact. Now, if I'd just get the paperwork done!

Well, I'm blogging early tonight because the kids are watching a movie, then I plan to go upstairs and watch "Walk the Line" as I fold clothes in honor of Johnny Cash's b-day. So have a good night to you all!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 16-grrrrrrrr

All this moving for the military is really inconvenient sometimes, ya know. Cause every state seems to think you need to have THEIR plates on YOUR car and the state you did live in doesn't want your money if you don't live there anymore. GRRRRR, so even though KY mailed the renewal to my address in VA. they wouldn't let me renew. So, i'm trying to get the darn car registered in VA by Sunday. One big praise, the car is only in Mike's name. Why is that a praise? Because Va. won't charge us the property taxes. BUT, if a non-enlisted spouse happens to be on the title, well they'll hit you for the full amount. So, Va requires all these stupid hoops, like annual safety inspections. Which wouldn't be a problem, except my car failed! What the heck?! So what if the SRS light is on. So off to the dealership Tueday (which ya'll heard about) where they fixed everything BUT the light. Cause they had to wait on the part. Well, we go in today and they didn't work, So, 4 hours more of waiting I learn that the problem is that the computer is bad and of course THAT part of the SRS isn't under warranty and we should have it by MONDAY. Never mind that the month ENDS on Sunday and I have plans to be in Williamsburg all day Monday. So, yeah, I was a little frustrated. We left and the Rear DVD player wouldn't come on I kept pushing and turning the Rear Ctrl button. But nothing happed.

Well, I'm not going a whole weekend without my DVD player that worked when I came in. So around I turned. Pulled in, and told them I couldn't get it to come on. While I'm waiting I notice this White button, that I know wasn't there when I pulled in. It's a white button that says Rear PWR. hmmmm, I push it. The Darn thing come on. Ummm, never mind. The kids start saying things in the car and I had to tell them to be quiet, Mom is trying really hard to keep her cool and NOT get upset over stuff that I can't control and probably should have been taken care of way before this week and I KNOW this would've been easier if my husband wasn't on another hemisphere. GRRRR. But, I did promise another blessing from the day, OTHER than at least I have the money to pay for this (and still by groceries, gas, etc.) During ALL this waiting. My kids were AWESOME. I told them we'd be schooling at the dealership and they actually did their work. There was no bickering, fighting, running, roughhousing, or any of the other things customer service people dread when they see a horde of children coming into their business. Hey, the kids even got their own bags of animal crackers out of it and a compliment from the office ladies. Although, I do believe one of my boys may have been responsible for overflowing the urinal in the men's bathroom. Oops.

So, here's praying that the part comes in tomorrow and I can spend our 1 stay-home day for the next 2 weeks finalizing the car registration and if not, I'll just use the back gate until it happens :) and pray I don't get pulled over.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 15-and a short one

It was short, cause I actually got to sleep. I'm a night owl anyway, but I find it even more difficult to go to bed when I know it's empty. Which has resulted in some Sleep dep lately. I'm good for a while now. Even with the late start, the kids still got their schoolwork done. Really it was an uneventful day.

We went to AWANA, and I got to listen to some preteen drama. Oh yeah. Best of all, I got my girlscout cookies! I've been reading about other friends having theirs and was getting a bit anxious for my order. No more worries, they are here! Woohoo. I temporarily be replacing the oreo portion of my coke and oreo diet with thin mint and tagalongs :).

Got to talk to Mike today and was pleased to learn he's gotten an actual fully cooked meal today. I know he's enjoying his work there, but boy does like his food :). He also "showed" me on google maps where he is staying in Haiti, the photos aren't recent enough that I could see current structures. But, I at least know exactly how to find him, and that is VERY cool.

J is really missing his dad. Today after he finished talking to Mike he asked me if I missed him. "Yes", I answered.
"Do you ever feel like you need someone? I mean like you really NEED them to be here?" he asked.
"Yes, did you feel like that recently?"
"Yes, a few days ago."
"What did you do?"
"Well, I thought about it and figured I could stay where I was or come in with family. So, I came into the kitchen to be with you guys."
"That's great that you chose not to be alone." brief pause,"Can I share this?"
"On the computer?"
"Yes, on my blog."
Dang, I love that kid. He never ceases to amaze me. It's especially exciting when they make wise decisions on their own.

OK, back to bed. Very busy day tomorrow with lots of running. We'll be "carschooling" :).


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 14-and I'm wearing hubby's shirt

Yup, I'm missing him. I pulled out one of his shirts to wear. J noticed, but thought it might be rude so he didn't say anything. They are so funny.

The day started earlier than I like, but thanks SOOO much to my friend Y for the ride out to the auto dealer. I've known we needed to replace the timing belt, I just didn't want to. Then during the inspection the lady mentioned that the drive belts need replacing. Well, that's what tax returns are for, right? So, I called a dealership to fix the SRS light and get the belts (and waterpump) done. I get a call asking if I've ever notice a clunk when I start from a stop. Um, no noises. Well, the things that hold the engine in place are broken. Hmmm, that seems like it could be important. And did you know that the splash guards are gone. Yes, I know that, we pulled them off. Oh, and a brake light and wiper and yes we can replace the broken heater knob and fix the accessory outlet. I figure if you're going to do it, do it all. So, I'm 1700 poorer, but I feel much better about driving the car all over the country (at least for another 7 years or 100,000 miles). I'm just extremely thankful that I had the money to pay it. Except they didn't have the part to fix the belt, which is under warranty. So, I've got to go back tomorrow for that. So, while my car is more street worthy than it was yesterday. i still can't get the "pass" sticker. Oh, well. Did you know Honda makes a car with a "pet package" Seriously, the floor boards were covered with rubber mats that had bones imprinted on them and the back seats were covered with a doggy pattern fabric that was very easy clean. Even had a built in soft side doggy cage in the back. K & A, you may have bought the wrong car!

A started Tae Kwon Do tonight. I don't think I've ever seen anything so cute in my entire life! He was very serious and tried to follow everything the kids did. He loved the running and kicking and sparring. Then he got called to the front of the class to break a board. Oh, he yells "Hi-yah" very well and he BROKE it. His face was so surprised and he was so proud! The other kids were definitely a bit jealous and now I have 4 who want to take TKD, even though they checked it out at Fort Knox and weren't interested there. We'll see, I'll let K start at the end of cheering, but the other boys have sports year-round. I've got to get a camera. Really, A was so cute at practice I completely forgot what a crank he'd been all day and the hard time he gave his speech teacher. This could be a very good thing for us both!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 13 and losing count

I had to look back at my posts to figure out how many days it's been. I am pleased to report that I have been given a normal life expectancy :). That is one of the questions on the medical form for our homestudy. And all my lab results came back clear, including the STD screening. LOL, yes I had to get an STD screen for the homestudy. I also lost 5 pounds since my first visit. I guess the coke/oreo diet is working! :).

I am sad to report that my car, however, failed it's health test. I forgot that the SRS light was on, as it has been for probably a year. Which resulted in an immediate fail. So, tomorrow bright and early I will be heading to the dealership to leave Rhonda in their capable hands where they will turn off the SRS light (hopefully by fixing the problem) and give Rhonda all new belts and water pump. Apparently those are all items that need to be changed out so that Rhonda the Honda will take us well to 200,000 miles :). I will happily do such necessary, albeit expensive, maintenance since she will soon be ours (well, Mike's really, the title's in his name) free and clear. I'm so looking forward to being car payment free. Only 1 thing left after that and we'll be debt free! I probably should apply some debt snowball type effort to it, but I just don't feel like a gazelle these days.

K & S had their piano lessons. K obviously practiced and the teacher commented that she also has noticed S's artistic temperament. He would rather play by ear, than do the disciplined part of learning notes and reading music. At least he was honest about how much he's practiced. As if she couldn't already tell.

I'm very excited that our AWANA club has decided to use the orphans as their missionary outreach. Mike is taking a team of volunteers out to one tomorrow to do some cleanup work. I am so thankful for the opportunity that he's been given. I pray that UNICEF won't have it's way with the orphans there in Haiti.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 12-and a peculiar desire to curtsey.

K and I just finished watching Sense and Sensability this coupled with our current obsession over Pride and Prejudice has us quite at our wits end with a desire to curtsey, attend balls, and speak in clever phrases. Notice I said desire for we seem to have neither the ability or cleverness to achieve these ends. So, we shall settle ourselves with the ability to dream of them and watch whenever we desire.

Best of all was when I asked K about half way into the movie, before Willoughby was revealed to be a cad, who would make the better husband. She answered, "the Colonel". She recognized the attraction of Willoughby but knew that didn't amount to husband material.

But, I will say, the activity of the house kept interrupting our viewing and turned a 2 hour movie into a 4 hour one. I had to investigate a lot of yelling coming from the back of the house. Then based on that investigation I determined to file an MP report as it seemed that there were three boys running around playing with BB/Pellet guns. So, I called the MP's and they were sending someone right over. A few minutes later I got a call. The MP couldn't find my house, now I know we're in a new neighborhood, but geez the MP's should know where we are. I've gave him directions and hung up. A few minutes later the phone range again..."Ma'am, are you on Ft. Knox?" D'OH! I forgot to change the number in my cell phone when we moved. I apologized and called the Ft. Eustis MP's who immediately assured me they had already been investigating and the boy's had soft, foam guns not BB guns. Now, if we could only irradicate the use of the N- word, which is what brought me outside and got me involved to begin with.

Oh, and I forgot to tell Mike that K asked me today is the "F-word f@#$." Calmly I replied, yes and that was the last time I ever wanted to hear that from her mouth. She agree but just need clarity as apparently she and J had been having a discussion regarding what it was and that he had heard it somewhere and thought that was it. I also had to explain what it meant. Ugh, the dark side of growing up. But, I am eternally grateful that K feels she can come and ask me such questions without fear.

Blessings, and remember to ALWAYS change the numbers for local services in your phone!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 11- and minimal shopping damage

First lesson learned today, ALWAYS check the calendar the night before and don't rely on memory. I was sure that our games were 10, 11, & 12 today. So it felt great waking up at 8:30 getting the kids up...sitting down to facebook. Then at 8:50 I could hear my neighbor fussing at her kids (we share a wall and it was quiet in my house still). I couldn't figure out though what they had done so early to get fussed at, until I heard the door open and realized they were leaving. Her youngest is on Shep's team...quick check calendar...CRAP.... "SHEPHERD YOUR GAME IS IN 10 MINUTES!" We made it there as the game started and I dropped Shep at the door. As I walked in with my neighbor Shep yelled across the Gym floor, which was unusually quiet at that moment, "Thanks for yelling at your kids this morning!" I hushed him from across the gym and the fellow team parents all looked at us and started laughing as we explained what happened. Geez, kids. Good thing the other coach made it back!

Justus had a good game as well and I had so much fun with the other player's moms as we cheered for our kids We played an airforce team today and I got the biggest kick out of how quiet all their parents were and how loud we were. It just seemed to fit some kind of stereotype.

Shep left during the game for AWANA games practice with another friend. Oops, didn't understand that they had tryouts or something and our kids couldn't play. So she brought Shep back, but it solves one of the conflicts I had for game day! I did get the other 2 to their practice, tried to drop them off at the door, but they chased me down to sign some type of release. Geez, who knew kids came with so much freaking paperwork! I had to sign 2 gazillion forms just to play baseball and now more. Egads!

I was determined to shop, but I had no idea what for. I hate that. We went to a fabric store which is close by the church and I picked up fabric for the baby blankets I like to make. So, I can get caught up on that seeing as how I've got 2 already born and 2 on their way! Then we went to get K & J. I still was in a shopping mode so we went to Tuesday Morning..nothing inspiring and then Movie Stop. I found 5 movies, and I let the kids get 1. Gotta love a used movie store (well I got 2 new) that has a buy 3 get 1 free plus a 10% discount for military. 6 movies for like 30 bucks. I got the 80's cold war classic White Nights, St. Elmo's Fire (cause they didn't have sixteen candles or Breakfast club), Walk the Line, The Paper, and Sense and Sensibility. The kids got Eragon, some dragon movie. I've decided that it's time to build Mom's stash of movies. What I really want is a collection of my favorite 80's movies. Like the brat pack flix.
After that I was bored with shopping so home we came. Now, I'm writing early and putting the kids to bed so that I can lay in bed and watch one of my new movies. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

OH, and can I tell you how cool it is that I found my favorite highschool teacher on Facebook! When people ask you about your "most influential teacher" she's always the one I think of. She probably didn't know that. She taught my Senior AP english class, that my freshman year teacher had told me I didn't belong in, but she couldn't take me out. She also gave me my start in Stage Management. So JRH you can thank Mrs. B for us every having met :).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 10-SAHM is such a misnomer

Stay at Home Mom: who ever came up with that term obviously wasn't a mom! We didn't have one day this week that was a "stay home" day! We don't even get a "stay-home" this weekend. We have games all morning and then the kids have AWANA Games practice all afternoon. Sunday is church and the kids are asking about going into Williamsburg to make candles to replace the one's that got destroyed. I think I'm going to have to tell them no. I know I'll need a nap.

We did have a productive day though, and got it done in less time than I thought we needed. Although, I didn't get the car registered as I had hoped. We did get the older boys registered for baseball and thanks to the deployment A gets 8 months of free TKD! 8 months! The boy's get to play baseball free too! S wasn't going to play, but after hearing the disappointment in Mike's voice last night I asked S again, and mentioned that he would be in the machine pitch league. Well, that changed his mind. So, now we'll be busy through June I guess.

Then we went box shopping. No, I don't mean we went looking for boxes, we went looking for stuff to put IN boxes. We went to Dollar Tree and got some good stuff then we went to Big Lot's, where I learned Tuesday (of course not the day I'm shopping) is 10% military discount day. I'm sure I'll be hitting there again, I bought them out of $.75/4 juice boxes. I figured if I can't mail them, they'll still get drunk. We got to the Post Office with 30 minutes to spare. We packed a box in the parking lot and took it in. We carried in the 4 pack of juice to ask if we could ship it and learned that we could ship any beverage. The only things we couldn't ship were the hazardous one's pictured on the wall, like Bleach, gas, paint, etc. WOOHOO I'll be shipping bottled watter now! Although I still am hoping to find a water purification system we can get down there instead. I warned Mike that I may end up spending all his extra pay on boxes, he was fine with that.

We did manage to get the Mac to the repair shop. The lady made a face when I told her the error message that I couldn't read. So, I hope it's a reaonable fix. It'll probably keep me from buying a new one. AND I've got a friend here who may be able to help me recover the pictures from the huge digital photo album (also known as a broken desktop) that I've been lugging around for the last 5 years because it has A's baby pictures on it! Yes, I now fully understand that pictures are to be transferred to other media. But, even that doesn't match the excitement I felt over learning I can mail liquids. I told Mike I could hardly fall asleep thinking about thirst de-hydrating kids. Then I dreamt about knitting giant tortoise shells. I soooo have to stop listening to Jonathan Park goes to the Galapagos! Seriously, I kept trying to figure out to change the colors and add the honeycomb texture that keeps the shells light enough for the tortoise to carry and yet strong enough to protect him.

Oh, did I mention, that on my ONE day to sleep in this week. My ONE day, I woke up at 6:50. Of course I went back to sleep. Seriously, I was like please God NOT this morning. So, always the jokester, God sent in A at 7:30. And A refused to take go back to bed. I finally said "go play playstation!" He came back 5 minutes later, "Batman's not in and I can't change it, my hand's are too dirty" I had to laugh and get up, because he was following the rule. We won't let him touch the DVD's because we can't keep that child's hands clean. (Now mind you, on Wednesday, I couldn't wake him up until about 9!) Children ARE a blessing from the Lord! Thanks M for the reminder!

Now, I'm going to finally go put in the last half of Pride and Prejudice-Colin Firth edition,and stay up way too late. But, at least basketball doesn't start until 10 tomorrow AND it's on post-less than 3 minutes from my house. I'll probably try to watch it again Sunday. Oh, who am I kidding, we'll probably be out shopping for boxes!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 9...and nothing witty :)

Whew, when I said we'd be more social...I didn't realize how social I'd be! I'm loving it, I was reminded today of what it was like back when J, K, and E were daily fixtures in my life. Before the army decided to move us all around. When it seemed a day didn't go by without seeing or talking or both. J, K, & E you know I miss you dearly and love you forever. It's nice though to have some "jesus with skin on" in my life too. You know, those folks you can sit at practice and chat with, that you can exchange kids for appointments, etc. That share the current experience of being in the army. I started the day with 2 of my kids favoritist kids while their mom did such an appointment (I get my turn on Monday). Then it was off to the post office for boxes then homeschool group. I got to teach our class today on Earthquakes. After discussing tectonic plates, epicenters, and magnitude and a comparison of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and the recent Haiti earthquake. The kids built houses out of different materials...duplo blocks, 2 sets of jenga blocks, and little foam blocks. (I should have grabbed the lincoln logs too...doh.) Each house was built on a different cookie sheet. We put the four cookie sheets next to each other and then the kids all pushed on their sheet against the other, until something gave. Then we discussed the subsequent damage and whether earthquakes could be predicted. It was generally decided that building codes were a good thing and our kids enjoyed living in western built structures. Everyone was surprised to learn that Alaska had the 8 strongest earthquakes recorded in the United States. Did you know that?

After homeschool group it was drivethrough BK because our friends came back over so we could prep for a Programs planning meeting. That meeting went well, even though between the 3 of us 9 kids were here, that sometimes seemed liked 19! K and J were awesome as usual in trying to maintain and entertain the additions (helped that I offered payment). I told them the max payment would be $10 based on how co-operative the little one's were ...sometimes they are just easier than others. Well, J came in at one point and said, "Mom, you owe me way more than $10!" We had just enough time after the meeting to get changed and head to sports practice. Asher was disappointed that I wasn't able to get out and sign him up for TKD today, so that will have to start next week. But, that passed well as I got to talk to Mike during the first hour and visit with a friend during the second. Then it was home for a late dinner and bed.

I was so excited to learn from Mike that they were able to get needed surgery for one of the orphans and deliver some supplies. It's so heartbreaking to hear that all they are asking for is WATER. Water...and I don't think I can ship that via the USPS. I think I'm going to check about water purification possibilities. Hey Morton friends, what's the name of the water purification system that you send to Africa? Yes, that's what I'm going to do. Surely there is a better way, than just sending bottled water over and over.

Tomorrow I am not setting the alarm at all! Then we are going shopping for Daddy's boxes and a Scentsy party tomorrow night. Thank goodness, my friends include children so that I can still get grown up time. I know one day I will do things without kids, but for now it's great to have friends who don't expect me too! And better yet, expect that kids will be included because they have their own. Even BETTER is when all the said kids get along as well as the mommy's! See, I'm telling you God is GOOD. Way better than I deserve, but thankfully...he doesn't work on the merit system!

Goodnight and Blessings!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 8 and overwhelmed?

Today was a busy day, as I mentioned last night to some friends, I told my children that we would be much more social when Daddy left, because it's how mommy copes :). And social we have been. Today I was up earlier than normal to get my neighbors sons off to school. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that a 12 year old has to get on the school bus at 6:30 in the morning! Seriously, the child would need to go bed at 7:30 to get the recommended amount of sleep for his age group. We know that's not happening. Add that as reason number 430 that I homeschool. His younger brother gets up at a much more reasonable 7:00 (actually I woke him up at 7:20) to leave for school at 8:00.

I then got my kids up and by 9:00 they were at their schoolwork in a highly motivated fashion. Why were they motivated? Because friends were coming at 1:00! I told you we'd be social. So 2 young men from our PWOC/homeschool group came over and I got to visit with one of their mom. I'm so thankful for that time. She's in the same boat I am, and it's just good to have women we can hang with. Then, the other young man's mom joined us with her little girls. It's so fun to watch my kids dote on her babies. They so desperately want younger siblings. I was so scared of raising boys, and I am so thankful for the young man Justus is becoming. Yes, he's only 9 but he's half way to "adulthood" and occasionally I get glimpses of the man he can be and it just knocks my socks off.

The kids played and we mom's visited right up to time for AWANA. It was a rush out the door and AWANA was just what we needed as well. I'm so thankful for the AWANA ministry and that I've been allowed to participate in this one. My T& T director shared news of support from folks who want to partner with us in a ministry opportunity. Then I got to talk with Mike more indepth today about Haiti and what he is experiencing there. Unfortunately, I can't share it all in such a public forum as this. But, I can say the smell isn't what he was told to expect (the kids and I have been wondering), but the human misery is more than we here in America can ever understand. Hence the overwhelmed portion of my title. I am overwhelmed by the need of the orphan there and a burden to cry out to God for the people of Haiti. I've been reminded today of God's direction in Matthew 10:16 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves." That's a difficult thing to do. I think I may have to spend some time in study on this more. It takes a lot of prayer and self-evaluation to carry out such a weighty command. It's in this spirit that if you're the praying type. I would ask that you pray with and for Mike and I to be wise and innocent and that God will direct our steps for His glory.

Thanks and Blessings.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 7-woohoo one week down!

Oh my, I've done this for a whole week! Tuesday is one of or most favorite days of the week. Why you may ask, because Tuesday is when we go to PWOC. PWOC stands for Protestant Women of the Chapel, it's a non-denomenational women's group. It's held at just about every army post world wide and many of the airforce and navy bases. PWOC is phenomenal-it's an amazing opportunity for women to grow in the nurture and understanding of the Lord as well as to develop the spiritual gifts God has given them. It provids much needed adult time each week and my children get an opportunity to meet friends similar to them (I mean really, how many christian, homeschooled army brats are there in the world? I'd say it's a pretty small demographic) They look forward to it as much as I do.

God has grown me in ways I never expected through this group. Thanks to a beautiful lady last year who encouraged me, I'm now facilitating my 3rd study. I've grown in leadership skills and I've met some of the most amazing, godly women and developed friendships that I'll carry through life. One thing about this transient life, is that Heaven becomes that much sweeter. Because, I know that for some of the amazing ladies I've met along the path, Heaven will be the next time we see each other. Oh, what a joyful day that will be. If you're not excited about Heaven, I really recommend the book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. He's one of my favorite authors and he has done an indepth scriptural look at heaven, and it is SO NOT the boring white cloudy place as depicted in popular culture.

Interesting, that's not where I planned on going with this post...but I guess God did.

I had another "Thank God" moment today. It was at the doc's office and I had to say "Thank God" I had such a classy mom that taught me to always be polite to service people even when on the inside I'm having a rapid fire internal dialogue talking myself down from the edge. I went today to pick up the kid's medical forms. When I arrived the lady behind the counter barely had time to talk to me and gave me one form back. When I said there are more, she shrugged her shoulders and said they aren't here. Then went back to her phone. Then she finally handed me a piece of paper and said in a clipped voice, "Write down the names and sponsor's social and I'll take it to the nurse."

The nurse saw me still standing and got me before she'd even seen the note and asked if I got the papers. She'd been very friendly when I dropped the papers off Wednesday and was very concerned the papers weren't there. Her own parents fostered, and she was so encouraging about our own goal. She took the time to go through every slot in the file thingy and then in every other cubby in her office. She looked up my information again and pulled the form. She was so apologetic and promised to call after she contacte another employee that was off to see if she might have it. And she did call, but didn't have the papers. She then gave me her email to send her the form so that I wouldn't have to come back to the hospital and promised to complete the papers again. She was so sweet that I felt bad for having such a nasty attitude earlier toward the other lady. (Mind you part of my internal dialogue earlier was people are more helpful when your nice). So, that was frustrating but, I guess that's just part of the testing that comes when you try to do anything big. I'm not sure how well I passed given all my nasty thoughts towards the lady behind the counter, but maybe next time I'll do a little better. Funny thing was our lesson today was on guilt and how we tend to repeat the same things over and over. I'd told the ladies we all felt so good, and I'd probably walk out and do something to be guilty over within 5 minutes. I thought it would be the kids, they thought it would be the dog, I guess Satan always hits us where we're not looking! I hope I'll do better with the next test.

The rest of the day was busy and I'm quite certain that one of the children did something funny that I thought "I've got to share this tonight" but for the life of me I can't think of it. So, thanks for reading again, and please consider sending stuff to Mike for the orphans. I love the verse in James: (my paraphrase): If you really love God care for the widows and orphans. (teehee, did that work for a guilt trip?) Blessings!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 6 and exhausted

I think it's the emotional kind of exhaustion though. You know the kind... where we get ourselves worked up over stuff we don't have control over anyway while telling ourselves we're not getting worked up. The visit today went swell and EVERY room in our house was presentable. Even mine (I wouldn't let my in-laws in there when they came to visit cause I didn't get it clean, even though I know Julie peeked ). Mainly she wanted to talk to the kids. How do you feel about adopting? What grade are you in? What do you get in trouble for? What happens when you get in trouble? Can I see your rooms? They were funny, Keilah so rarely gets in trouble she couldn't think of what they get in trouble for, so Justus answered. Disobedience, beating each other up (rough housing -I clarified), and arguing. K & J both said they wanted a little sister. Shep said he was "overwhelmed" at the idea of adopting. I again asked for clarity saying that can be taken as a good or bad and he then said "overwhelmed with joy".

Of course I had to interpret for Asher, he was talking like crazy and I looked at her and she just had this very confused look on her face. I then explained he said yes, he wants to be a big brother and he got grounded from playstation for a week when he got on after dad had said not too. They were so energetic and thrilled to show off their spaces. I explained that the boys choose to have all 3 in a room and they reluctantly agreed that they'd give let their siblings have the playroom, if they still got to keep their toys. I also explained that with 2 more children we'd qualify for a 5 bedroom (where they are available). She seemed "overwhelmed" at their enthusiasm. When we went back downstairs sans children she said "you want more?" I laughed and said yes, I did wonder sometimes, but definitely we want more.

It was different than our last homevisit. That one was more focused on the actual safety of the home. Meds locked up, cleaning supplies and alcohol out of reach, etc. The only home safety questions she asked me were: number of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire arms. I'm not sure she even looked at the kitchen. Then it was "call if you have questions" and "I'll send the rest of our paperwork after my doctors appointment next week" and she left.

Whew, after she left Justus was still bouncing around and I asked him whaat was up. He said "I'm just so excited. We're one step closer to adopting!" Man, where did these kids come from? I guess I should expect it, we've been prepping them since they were born practically with the idea of adoption and they have seen as friends have gone through the process so it seems perfectly natural to build our family in this manner. I wish everyone felt this comfortable with adoption.

Since we're talking adopting...let's talk orphans! Mike has visited with orphanages in Haiti and as you can suspect the need is GREAT. He's asking that people mail needed supplies to him in Haiti to deliever to the orphanages. The catch is that the supplies MUST fit in a 12x12x5 box and weigh NO more than 25 lbs. to be delivered through army mail. So, for larger items he needs cash. He has no way to get cash, but can buy large items there. So, I suggest take the risk (it's US Postal the whole way) and stick a bit of cash in the bottom of a care package. You won't get a tax-deduction, but you'll feel good and know that every penny went to the orphans :). it's a LONG list of needs so I can email it to you and I'll post it on my Facebook page.

OH, how could I forget! Reader's Digest called me today to let me know that I'd won 2.5 million dollars, to be delivered tomorrow! The guy asked me how i felt and I answered "disbelief". "Why disbelief he asked?" "Because I seriously doubt this is how I would be notified of winning such a large amount." and hungup. I wonder if they got my number from the disabled american people who scammed Mike? They call and say "we'll send you some overpriced gadget and you send some amount of money. Well, they never sent the gadget, but now they continue to hassle us for the money, constantly expressing surprise that we haven't received a gadget. At least he didn't pay by phone like they wanted. One of these day's I'll remember to contact the Better Business Bureau.

Blessings and Peace!
Blessings and Peace to you!