Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Playing at the park

Today was one of those crisp autumn days; a definite chill in the air, but the sun still shown brightly and provided some warmth. It would have been THE perfect fall day if the leaves had started turning color. A few more weeks and I'm sure we'll be there. Right now, I'll enjoy the beauty of green-- everything looks so vibrant and alive. It is stunning.

On this beautiful fall morning we met up with some friends (another Army wife and her young son) and did our customary 2.6 mile walk around the park. We've been meeting regularly throughout the summer and have become great walking partners. It's nice to be able to enjoy the fellowship of a good friend while also getting some fresh air and exercise--- what a GREAT combination!! The boys enjoy the stroller ride (for the most part) and especially the play time at the park to follow. (Our walks in the neighborhood are not so much fun, and don't include play equipment and friends). I know the weather won't allow it for too much longer, so I'm very thankful to let them run around and enjoy life outside.

Playing in the grass

Contemplating life

Sitting on the bench and trying to say cheese (at the same time)

Standing on the bench and making things tricky for the camera woman

Isaiah saying "cheese" while Joshua stares adoringly at his big brother
* please ignore the fact that my children's matching sweatshirts are getting too small. I am a sucker for matching clothes, so I think I'll put them in these red sweatshirts until I can't zip them up anymore!! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Appreciation is a wonderful thing. And today, I was appreciated in a very thoughtful way by my dear husband. He really is a romantic at heart and goes out of his way to do sweet things for me.

After getting the boys up and dressed this morning, we came downstairs for breakfast. I got the boys seated at the table and quickly fixed their cereal. When I pulled out the cereal box a note fell out of the cupboard.

When we finished breakfast, I opened the Bible Story Book (by Catherine Vos) and did morning devotions with the boys. As I was reading I noticed there was another book mark in the pages. It was another note.

After smiling my cheeks off at the thought of my dear husband, we went out on a brisk morning walk. Then I loaded the boys into the car, still smiling away, and we headed off to the commissary and did our grocery shopping for the week. Using our well planned menu and shopping list, I found some great deals/coupons on the things we needed and was also able to buy a few splurges (like some good quality cheese for fondue) too. Best of all, I was able to restock on all the fruits and veggies AND stay below our weekly grocery budget! Nice!

When we got home from the commissary (and the library for story hour and seeing Nick) I unpacked the car, made lunch, and started putting away groceries while the boys ate. When I opened the spice cupboard, I discovered another note at eye level.

So yes, today my husband showered me with thankful recognition and gratitude for the role I play in our home. He wanted me to know that he was thankful for all that I do each day... and while I think I already know how much he appreciates me, today he MADE SURE I knew.
Sometimes it seems the best thing we can do for a loved one is to make sure they know how much we care. It's easy to take them for granted... to not think about the work they do... or care about the challenges they face... or even to be too proud to say, "thank you" because they never say it back. But let's not be selfish. A little appreciation goes a long way. As my husband's did for me today. :) My face aches from smiling so much. :) :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Precious gifts

I'm 11 weeks along today. The first trimester can be such a challenge, as this one has been for me. But... I'm almost there. Lord willing, one more week and I'll be on the up and up.

However, today my heart is soaring beyond the trials of the first 12 weeks. While I still experience nausea and heart burn, fluttering emotions and everlasting fatigue... today I am happy and content and AWARE that there is a baby inside of me.

I felt the baby move for the first time last night! I've been able to recognize it earlier with each pregnancy, but this is certainly the earliest. 11 weeks and feeling the little one move around. Wow!! It's not distinctive kicks, but little flutters of motion and movement. How wonderful to be able to experience some of these little delights and enjoyments during a challenging time of pregnancy.

Truly, what a miracle this little life is! I am so thankful to be pregnant again; to be able to bring another life into the world. At times I feel the weight of the responsibility-- for me and my spouse to be in charge of nurturing and caring for this child from the womb and throughout life beyond!! An awe inspiring task for sure. But today, I am thankful. It may be a huge responsibility, but it is also a precious gift from God as Psalm 127:2 attests, "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward." Thank you Lord for my precious children; my precious gifts from above!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Modern Technology

Today is the first time Nick and I will be apart since his last deployment. I was feeling like it wasn't too big a deal, after all, I managed for 15 months, I think I should be able to handle 48 hours! His trip sounded low key too, with no dangerous or hazardous situations. But... when we hugged and kissed goodbye this morning, I still switched into combat mode and said, "Call me whenever you can, okay?" And Nick being the great Army husband that he is (who knows his wife would rather be woken up at 3am to be told he's okay, than not to hear from him at all) said, "I will, Dear. I'll be bringing my cell phone" So I drifted back to sleep (he left EARLY!!), contented and relaxed knowing that he'd call when he could, and better yet, I could call HIM if I needed!! Oh modern technology, how I love you!!

But when I came downstairs for breakfast a few hours later, I saw a sad sight: there was his cell phone (which had been charging last night) resting quietly and unaware on the kitchen counter. So I guess we are back to "combat mode" this weekend, and I'll be expecting a call from a staticky pay phone and his voice on the line, "Hi Dear, it's me... sorry I didn't call sooner"

However, there is always a bright spot in every twist and trial-- God has a PLAN! And perhaps this weekend it is to teach me to trust and wait patiently on Him...and not modern technology!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Marriage Retreat

This weekend we went on our first Marriage Retreat sponsored by the Army. We found out about the event several weeks back during an FRG meeting, and decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up. Each Army base offers these sorts of things in order to help maintain and strengthen marriages during a highly stressful military career. Just coming off a deployment and then PCS'ing to another assignment, it seemed like the perfect chance.

So we headed off to a 4 Star Resort at Osage Beach. The retreat offered free on-site childcare, so after breakfast each morning we dropped the boys off and headed to our classes. We had several different sessions where we learned about (and reinforced) useful information such as "active listening" "clear communication" and "love languages." The retreat was put on by the Chaplaincy so most of the information was solid. Of course, we took a lot of things with a grain of salt as well. :) The Army organizers factored in plenty of vacation time for us to enjoy the amenities of the resort (boating, swimming, golfing etc) and also provided extra childcare for a "date night."
So... we had a ball. Nick and I have not spent so much time together alone in a very very long time. Even the class sessions were enjoyable because we were not trying to keep two busy boys quiet and still. We were able to listen and discuss topics together. Beyond the class sessions, during our free time on Saturday we pitched in with some of our friends (who were also at the retreat) and rented a boat and spent the afternoon on the water. It started getting kind of cloudy, but it was still warm, so it was actually a relief not to have the sun shining. Both boys took a turn driving the boat. As much as they like engines and driving, their favorite part about the boat was the horn (which they quickly found) so we boated around honking at everyone we saw. :) Hee hee. Hopefully no one was offended. :)
We also enjoyed the pools and water slides. We took the boys to the indoor pool in the evening, but during the afternoon free time, we hit the huge outdoor pool with "the big GREEN water slide" Nick and I took the boys down the slide many times. I think they could have done it all day. It's been years since I went on a water slide, and I couldn't believe how much fun it was!
It really was a great weekend. A perfect little vacation with the kids, while still enjoying time alone. I'm very glad we went. We cut the weekend a little short, and came home to worship and fellowship with the saints at our church. Hearing God's word preached was the perfect end to the weekend.


So the truth is I've been putting off my blog for quite some time. I've been putting it off because I don't know where to start and don't think I'll ever have the time to catch up. I hate that. I really am not a procrastinator. Sure there are things that I procrastinate about, but I tend to be a very goal oriented, get things done, check off my to-do list, kind of person.

But I got behind and don't know how to catch up again! I feel guilty just picking up with the events of last weekends Marriage Retreat, when I haven't blogged about the "Dueling Fire Trucks" event with two very excited little boys. Or the very entertaining "Amazing Base" day where we competed in an Amazing Race (Army style). Or our weekend trip to Branson and a ride on the Showboat? Or my __ birthday (I'm choosing to leave my age a secret!!) where my husband sent me on a shopping spree? Or Isaiah's 3rd birthday party and his new bike?? Or even just every day events like starting homeschool preschool with Isaiah, lunch with new friends, the boys finding a pet frog (Ew Ew Ew!!), the new experience of being part of a reformed Baptist church, Joshua learning to say "Amen!!" or even the tornado warning that is in effect right now (the clouds are black!!)???

But here I am, ready to start again. I decided it was better to start over, than to never start at all. To all those avid followers (wink wink) I hope you are not too disappointed by the lack of pictures and information from the last few weeks!

Here goes!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My little Joshy-wash

My sweet little boy, now 18 months, has the face of an angel and... the smile of a menace. But oh how I love his smile. I hope it never changes and that he can always light up a room, and light up my life with that precious ray of sunshine. It's amazing how your heart can just overflow with love when you see them smile!

I know I need to catch up, and post pictures and stories about the last few weeks-- so much has gone on, and so much yet to happen-- but for now, I'll just leave you with a picture of my little cherub and a sweet story about his brilliance. :)

Whenever we get home from the store or the park or wherever, I have the boys come inside and take off their shoes. Usually this is a little bit of a battle, as the moment we get inside the house, they also notice all the toys and games and books they've been without while we were gone. The last thing on their minds is taking off their shoes! They want to PLAY!! So it can sometimes be quite a process to get their shoes off and put away by the front door. But this Saturday little 18 month old Joshua came inside. Sat down. Unfastened his shoes. Stood up. Picked up his shoes. And carried them neatly to the front door area. All by himself. Without any request, coercion, or comment. He just did what he knew he was supposed to do. All by himself. It just put this huge smile on my face. It was so sweet to see how knows and understands so much more than we give him credit for! So all I can say is, train them young.
*as a random side note, I started trying to have my kids do "chores" around 1 year of age (things like putting their laundry in the hamper, their diapers in the diaper pail, clearing their dinner plates etc) And what do you know??? it works!! and they learn!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh so sweet

My morning started out quite hectic.

Boys up at the crack of dawn (literally in the 6 o'clock hour).

Spilled milk and cereal at breakfast.

Dirty dishes in sink.

Then out for a quick walk/run through neighborhood.

Directly into car after exercise.

Off to run errands.

Then to the commissary. Longest lines ever. Apparently pay-day equals long lines (do that many people really live pay check to pay check?? Wow!!).
Cranky kids while waiting in line.

Rushing to get to story hour on time.

Running late.

No parking at the library.



Arg! Still no parking.

3rd circle.

See a soldier standing in front of library holding Starbucks.

Soldier approaches vehicle.

Realize that soldier is none other than Captain Daddy!!

Daddy hands Mommy the Starbucks treat.

Unbuckles boys and brings them into story hour.

I drink an iced coffee and get a few minutes of quiet while parking the car a mile away. But better than the Starbucks or the peace and quiet... I have an amazing husband who is always thinking of me. He got out of class early, and instead of doing his own thing, he drives to the only Starbucks in town, buys my favorite drink, and meets me at story hour. Yep, he's a keeper. :)


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