Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oh my

Oh my.

Where to start?

It seems like I should begin with the FRG. That is, the Family Readiness Group that I am now leading. Oh my! The FRG consists of the Army family members in our Company and functions to provide them with information, resources, and support. I monitor rosters, organize fundraisers, plan events, attend meetings…and also have 150+ family members carrying my phone number as their “go to” person in case they need anything.

The phone number thing was, and has been, the scariest part. At a moments notice, I have to be prepared to answer questions, give directions, offer referrals, know resources, and calm anxious spirits. It’s nerve wracking, but I’ll be honest with you and say that I love it. Well… I hate it. But… I love it. It’s a great opportunity to serve others, and even better, a great chance to share the Light of the World with unbelievers. When will I ever have the opportunity again to be able to witness to such a large group of people who look to me personally for information and support?? Probably never. So I’m taking that thought and running with it. Especially on days when I hate it.

The other thing that gets me through is that I’m working for the best Company Commander in the Army. No joke. This guy is so good. Honest. Upright. Hardworking. Sensitive. Organized. God-fearing. Not to mention he’s Tall. Dark. And Handsome. Haha. It’s been a wonderful and enlightening experience to work for my man. I’ve come to admire him, and the work he does, to a whole new level. I’m glad to come along side him and to serve and support our soldiers—even if I get a few gray hairs as a result.

Speaking of gray hairs (no I don’t have any yet… I think!), I should probably mention that the week after I became FRG leader, I started homeschooling Isaiah. Isaiah is about to turn 5 and is in Kindergarten this year.  And since Joshua is just a year and a half behind Isaiah, and loves doing what Isaiah is doing… I guess I would pretty much say that Joshua started Kindergarten too. And Noah also for that matter. It’s been a week and a half of school, and WOW! It’s been amazing. Amazingly busy. But amazingly fun.

I didn’t anticipate it to be so much work, but I also didn’t anticipate enjoying it quite so much. For all those who say homeschooling Kindergarten is easy… I take my hat off to you. I’ve found that the Kindergarten year is very labor intensive. We move from subject to subject quickly to avoid meltdowns and distractions. I have to be alert and attentive every minute to keep Isaiah (and the other boys) on task and out of trouble. There is no putting out a work book page and leaving the area. If there is, it ends in re-sorting the school supply box and finding scissor marks on lots of different books. NOT COOL.

But it is fun. And Isaiah is learning so much. I haven’t quite figured out what to do with Noah, who wanders around pulling on my pant leg and begging for attention. But we are sailing merrily along.

Along the school vein, we just started a homeschool co-op group for 3-5 year olds at our church. I am co-leading/co-organizing the group and have loved the experience so far. We just had our first session this week, and the kids had an art, science, speech and music classes taught by various moms in the co-op. I’m teaching the music class and learning A LOT. Not just how to teach music to little ones, but also how amazing music really is. Anyone ever read up on the Mozart Effect? I’ve read about it in several different books now and am completely fascinated by it. That and the Suzuki method. Rediscovering my love for music, has brought me to play the piano again every day. I think the boys love it as much as I do. The other day, we were listening to a CD in the car, and they said, “MOM!! You play that one on the piano!!!” SCORE!

I suppose the last thing to mention is that we’re gearing up for another deployment. Obviously I can’t give details about where or when over the internet, but it’s coming up and it’s coming up fast… and I am treading water as best I can. And trusting God with my whole heart.

I’ve been taught and retaught that truly trusting God means relying on Him in all things, and also being thankful in all things. Accepting and trusting His providences, whether good or bad… and accepting and trusting them with a thankful heart. While it is not always easy to be thankful, it is good. There is so much joy in thankfulness, in finding thankfulness, in being able to say that the joy of the Lord is my strength. So here I am, when life overwhelms, when trials arise, when FRG’s are overwhelming, and homeschooling has me drinking a coffee again, when husbands follow their calling and bravely serve in the line of fire, still thankful. Still trusting. Still waiting. Still relying on our wonderful and powerful God who holds me under the shadow of his wings.

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Boys will be boys


Boys will be boys… and not all family pictures will be perfect.

At least this photo will make me laugh for years to come.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Long and Busy

As we readied for bed last night, my husband and I discussed our long busy day. Meetings. Errands. Paperwork. Phone calls. Soccer Tryouts. Bible Study. Most of our days lately have been just that:

Long and Busy.

Though long and busy, it's still been a good long and busy. (At least my schedule has been. Nick's... not so much). But even days packed with wonderful things are physically draining by nightfall, aren't they?

So when my husband asked, "What does your day look like tomorrow, Dear?" I was so pleasantly surprised by my own answer.

I envisioned the family room calendar. In my minds eye, I saw it filled with events and sidebar notes, pencil markings and scribblings in different colors. I saw book club and babysitting co-op. I saw 1st day of school and soccer practice. I saw dinner parties and play dates. Dentist appointments and swim lessons. And then, I saw Tuesday, August 9th.

And it was empty. Completely empty. A beautiful blank nothingness stared me in the face. Really? Could it be? A schedule free day in the midst of all the hustle and bustle?

In a voice of awe and delight, I told my husband about my empty schedule.

And oh boy, it's been beautiful. We've stayed home all day. Not a single errand, appointment, or meeting.

I played with the boys. I laughed and tickled and chased.
I cleaned. Oh, I cleaned so much and so efficiently-- it was amazing! I cleaned the hard to reach places that I usually avoid. I washed behind toilets and under cabinets. I Windexed mirrors. I dusted!!
And I cooked. And oh my goodness I cooked all the homemade wonders that I haven't had the time to cook in forever. I made granola! Hummus! Pesto!
And I planned. I pulled out all the schooling books and got busy for August 22nd (1st day of school). I organized events, and emailed participants. The ironic part is that a lot of my planning, was scheduling!! but oh well. It still felt so good.

I needed this day so very badly.

Now if only my husband could get a day like this from time to time--for now he has to live vicariously through me. And since we're two hearts that beat as one, it just might work.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Without a trace

It’s blueberry season down here in the South, so blueberry picking we’ve gone.


We made a wonderful family outing of it; picking and eating, and picking and eating. Thankfully, they only weigh the bucket before and after it’s been filled… and not the children (or the parents!!!) before and after they have (eaten) their fill.

Because we love blueberries. And we ate a lot.


(Yes, that is a Play-Doh bucket. It was all I could find that was Noah-size)



And then we came home from blueberry picking and ate a lot. Because we’d picked a lot.


On top of eating fresh blueberries by the handful, we had blueberry pancakes made my wonderful breakfast Chef husband. Then we had blueberry coffee cake. It didn’t last long. We concocted homemade blueberry smoothies (basically yogurt blended with frozen blueberries and strawberries) that would have done Jamba Juice proud. The following week, we made blueberry syrup to top plain made-from-scratch-pancakes.

And when we had the new First Sergeant over for dinner, I made the most amazing blueberry pie ever using my friend Rita’s recipe.

Best Ever Blueberry Pie

2 pints blueberries (4 cups), 1 unbaked pie crust, 1/4 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg beaten, 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp. vanilla. Wash blueberries and place in pie crust. Cream butter & sugar in bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spread over blueberries (or use cookie scoop to dollop). Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes or until done. *I topped it with vanilla icecream and it was melt in your mouth, oh so perfect, blueberry pie. I’ve never tasted one this good.*


We also added fresh blueberries to every bowl of cut fruit; put them in salads and in our breakfast cereal. We brought them to church potluck in the form of blueberry cobbler. And munched on frozen blueberries as an afternoon snack.

Then my husband called while I was typing this blog post and said he’d like to bring his soldiers breakfast tomorrow. So I immediately responded, “6 dozen blueberry muffins, coming right up, Dear!!” (which means we’re both working late tonight. Haha! Such is life for a Commander and his Wife!)

So the huge bucket of blueberries we picked a few weeks ago?? It’s gone. It’s gone without a trace.



Well… almost without a trace.

There are few tell tale signs here and there.






We love our blueberries, can you tell?

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Aisle of No Return

The commissary (grocery store for service members) was PACKED today.

Just packed.

And not only had I forgotten my grocery list, but I'd also forgotten my Ergo baby carrier for Noah. (this is what happens when you sign your kids up for early morning swim lessons and then try to multitask by running errands afterwards).

Which means that instead of having all three boys contained while we shop (two in the "car" cart, and one in the carrier), I now had one son on the loose.

So Isaiah was on the loose today and was a great helper for me. He picked things up. He helped bag fruit. He ogled and goggled (and handled) in the candy row.

He also helped clear traffic.

We had just turned down the all-important-aisle-filled-with-everything-we need (or at least things I thought we needed. No list, remember?) when I realized the row looked like Seattle during rush hour. Major traffic jam. Not only were there multiple carts being pushed by their owners, but there were store employees stocking shelves, and old friends catching up.

Yep. It was the row of dread. The row of frustration. The row of "excuse me" and "no problem, I'll wait, while you load your cart with 84 cans of tomato paste." Yep, the row we all want to avoid after we've already expended all our energy keeping three boys from drowning at swim lessons.  (Okay, so I only kept the youngest one from drowning, the other two were under the swim teacher's charge).

I sighed, took a deep breath and just as I was about to begin making my way down the row, my 4 year old Isaiah exclaims bluntly (and in a LOUD voice):

"MOM?? All these people are BLOCKING the way!!!!"

And they were!! And he was right!! But I was still very close to being embarrassed at his comment-- especially when everyone stopped and looked at me with my three little ones and my extra long "car" cart.

But then... when half the crowd in the aisle started laughing and kindly stepped aside for us to pass, my embarrassment faded.

And I thought...

Honesty really is the best policy.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...