Saturday, September 30, 2006

Playing in Puddles

Ok this first picture I took of Jacob leaning on my arm! :) We were at the lastest home coming of one of our soldiers on Thursday night! Anyways, I just loved the picture of him!!

And there's Jack my muddy little mess! he had a BLAST splashing in the mud puddles during Jacob's soccer practice on Wednesday! He found the biggest puddle and went to town, jumping up and down, running through it numerous times! He was soaked to the skin, but he loved it! Sometimes we just have to let them play in puddles. Ultimately 99% of the time them doing it, isn't oging to hurt a thing. Look at the smile on his could some dirty clothes not be worth that joy?!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

School Days, Play Days

As you may know Jacob's home schooled. This is something I have felt led to do for years and Chad although initially apprehensive in the first few yrs of me feeling led, as Jacob got older he started to feel the same way and is now 100% behind US home schooling our children! I never pressured Chad, or at least hope he never felt that way. I just knew this was something GOD had layed on my heart and I wanted to obey. I did years of research, literally. (I first felt the desire 7 yrs ago when Jordyn was alive, but I was very apprehensive and honestly scared to go against the norm. My parents lovingly (HA) roll their eyes and without a doubt don't approve, but the facts are that we can't worry about how others feel about this decision. We know it's the right thing for our family. Jacob really loves it and the last month we started working daily on math. I recently ordered Singapore and Miqoun Math's, they compliment each other and after about 6 months of researching, talking to other home schooling families felt these would be the best for Jacob. For now I have a Kindergarten math that in the pictures above he's working on! He really, really enjoys math and yesterday told me that when he grows up he wants to be in the Army (nothing new), a Dr in the Army (which he later changed to Vet), and then decided he wanted to be a Scientist in the Army! I am truly loving this age! There's so much possibility and they're really starting to discover all the possibility that is out there in the world for them. I have no idea what Jacob will do and of course neither does he, but it's exciting to watch him!

I love seeing him grow into HIMSELF. He's not so much an extention of Chad and I anymore. He's Jacob and of course he always has been, but you know how when they're babies and toddlers they really are still such an extention on of you to an extent.

Now on the the "play" Jack's taking a Tumbling class. Heather (Mitchell's mom) is teaching it. He's not participating hardly at all. He's actually smiling in the bar picture, but trust me he wanted NOTHING to do with it. The parachute picture, you can't really see him, but he's sitting down on the floor, he did like when we pulled the parachute over us. When we get home he's all for doing everything that he "learned"! This past Monday we actually left 15 minutes early, because he wasn't participating anyways and I had a PWOC board meeting. When Heather walked in through the childcare room to go to the board meeting he was showing Heather how he could do flips! Next week Heather said to let Jacob participate (he has been doing school work) and hopefully Jack will follow along, we'll see. I'm hopeful! The class only goes to the end of October, it's once a week on Mondays from 9-9:45.

Well, I'm off! Jacob has soccer practice and I have to get both boys changed into sweats. It's been raining off and on all day and unless it's actually storming, they will practice. Yippee! LOL Jack will love getting to play in mud puddles. Hopefully it won't rain for the hour we're at practice! We won't be going over to the park this week, since it is wet though!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Slide Show

Here's a slide show I made of Jordyn.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

To Scott

Thank you Scott for sharing the one link with me ( the other blog is mine. I had no idea had my blog on theirs.

God Bless and Thank you

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Respecting Someone's Words

I am a little upset as well as humbled. I got a call from our FRSA this morning saying that she read something I had written and that it was beautiful titled "Memorial", it's the entry I wrote about the last soldier from our unit who was killed (on 9-11). Someone who is either new to my journal/blog or who's been here for a while took my entry and posted it elsewhere. My name is not anywhere on it and I was never asked permission if my words and feelings could be shared else where. If asked I would most likely give permission, but and this is why I'm a little upset...I was not asked. These words may not be legally copyrighted, but they are my words. No one else can write a journal entry on here, just comments. I would apperciate if anyone reads this and wants to share what I've written that they please come and ask first. Yes this is for now a public journal, and I really do not want to have to make it private because of fear that someone may take what I've written and possibly use it as their own or just not give ownership.

Often when you read an article or poem, etc there's no author, it's because someone took it without permission.

So, if you did take my entry and post it somewhere else, please let me know where and who you are, not because I'm angry, I'm not. I'm honestly humbled that you felt my small entry was worth sharing, but so that I can put my name on it. Those are my feelings and it mentions MY husband, so if there's something out there from me I want my name with it.

I hope this makes sense. I don't want anyone to think that I'm mad, I'm truly not. I guessI was just really taken back. I never had any intention for anyone here where I live to read my words. It's not because I write negatively about them, just this is something of mine that I don't go and advertise so much to a lot of people I see face to face on a semi-daily basis.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I read many journals/blogs on many different forums. One that I read her husband is in law enforcement and every once in a while he has to work late shifts. Tonight I read her journal and she's complaining about how her dh is working late and how she's just dying for him to get home, since she hasn't seen him this morning. It got me to thinking how so many really do live in a nice bubble more or less. We all have our hardships, and I do realize that when someone's not used to her husband being gone that often, when they are working late or have to go out of town for a few days it's not easy for them. At the same time I wonder do they EVER think how it must be for a military wife who's husband's been deployed for a year (or very close to it)?

I of course can't imagine life where Chad doesn't deploy, go out to the field, go TDY, etc at different points in the year. There's never been a point in our marriage where Chad's not at least went out to the field for a few days, even when Jordyn was going through treatment (tx) he went out to the field for a few days. When he's home for well more than a year's time (no deployments) I am often ready for him to go out to the field for a week or a few days anyways. I can even handle up to a month, after that though it does just stink. We get used to our routine, and there's actually a transitional period once he comes home (from a deployment). I just can't imagine what life will be like when he doesn't leave either for the field, TDY, or deployment once he's retired. We have a few yrs still until then, but it is something I think about! I'll be the wife complaining that her husband's always there! LOL

On another note, I had a nice was really a good way to end an emotional day. I had 2 friends over for dinner, both are in my unit. One has a little girl who's almost 9 months old, who's just beautiful! I made roast, carrots, potatoes, noodles, and home made bread. It was a great dinner, but most of all it was great company. I think for the next 6 wks until Chad comes home I'm going to have someone over for dinner once a week. It'll be a great way for me to stay on top of our home, plus it's nice to have another adult over to talk with.

Well, I'm off! I think tomorrow I'm going to get some scrapbooking done. If I don't get any done during the day, I'll do it after the boys go to bed. Jacob has school work tomorrow during nap time. So depending on how much help he needs, I maybe can get part of a page done. I have to get more school books ordered tomorrow. We're starting on his kindergarten math, I bought a book a while back that he's working out of, but it's not challenging enough for him. We're actually going to be working out of 2 different books. Miquon and Singapore. They complement each other, and I truly believe Jacob will be challenged in a great way! We're also working hard on writing and reading. I haven't been focusing on him doing science right now, we'll get into that once Chad's home. We're also working on memorizing bible verses as well.

God Bless


The memorial service for Spc. Harley Andrews was at 11:00 this morning. His beautiful wife was there, along with her mom and brother. We all filed in after they did and sat down the service started. It's rather frightening that the words coming out of our Rear D Captain's mouth is becoming familiar, as he starts the service the same way the last 2 were started. I couldn't help from looking at this fallen hero's wife. She's so young. You just really don't understand. She couldn't be more than 22 yrs old if that. They have a 14 month old son, Ayden. She sat there weaping, and how do you not cry when you see someone's heart literally breaking right in front of you? Well I couldn't hold the tears back.
In April, Spc Andrews had written in the Battalion Newsletter. He described how his job of finding IED's were keeping other soldiers safe, and how he was proud of what he was doing, because he was preventing soldiers from getting injured or dying and that he was saving families from heartache. He was killed by an IED.
After the service we gave our condolences to his wife, and then someone went and got precious Ayden from the nursery. You don't know how beautiful this little boy is, or how heart breaking it is to me that this precious little boy will NEVER get to know his Daddy. It just isn't right. He toddled around without a care in the world, as literally everyone doted on him. He was probably hugged and kissed more times than he had been his entire life. He also got to eat German pastries, which he REALLY, REALLY liked and was not happy if when he was done with one, he wasn't handed another immediately. At one point, he was walking around with the little handout they give you, it had his Daddy's handsome face on the front and he was walking around pointing at his Daddy saying "Dada" then kissing it and then hitting himself in the face with it. He was completely oblivious to the heartache and life changes surrounding him.
It's very humbling to experience what we have experienced 3 times since July. Today was by far the hardest memorial service to attend, because this Brave soldier's wife was there. She's the first one who was at a memorial service. The last one we had only one soldier's wife was in the area, but she's a German national and she was/is ANGRY at the US Army. I can't say I blame her, but it does make me sad that she wasn't able to see that we do care and ache for her.
I did not know Spc. Andrews or his wife. Haley Andrew's is living I think every deployed spouses worst nightmare and greatest fear. We have 6 weeks left aprox. and this happened. I ask that you all pray for this young wife and mother. That she feels GOD's hand covering her every single day and that although there will no doubt be horrible days, that eventually she'll start finding reasons to smile again, that the thought of her husband will bring tears of joy over sadness, eventually.
I think the quiet echo of words that came from all of us other spouses was "just let us get through the next 6 weeks with nothing else happening and get them home". Our soldiers are the absolute best. They have found MORE IEDS than ANY OTHER UNIT through out this war! That is truly amazing and something to be proud of. Now though it's time to just come home, get out of Iraq safely and back into our arms.
I also found out that one of the soldiers who died in July, his family is planning on coming over here when our soldiers return. I can not imagine the heart ache. I have no doubt they NEED to do this FOR THEM. I ask that you pray for the Lidell family. I don't believe that we ever have "closure". I honestly can't stand that word when it comes to grief. We have a right to be sad, angry, etc. There is absolutely NO TIME LINE for grief, yet so many seem to think there is or should be. Of course most of them have never lost a loved one unexpectantly or just simply too soon.
I'm proud of my soldier. I love him more than I can possibly explain and I honestly don't ever want to know the pain the wives who've lost their husband's in this war have. I am ready for Chad to be back home, safe, sound, and where he belongs.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

These Days

We all have them. We all want them to just stop. I'm in them right's one of those days. I'm exhausted. Mostly mentally and emotionally, but also physically. I think when your mind and heart at at their breaking point, it just takes a toll on you physically. Yesterday was already an emotional day I think for our nation just in general, then I found out our unit lost another soldier. That really seemed to be the kicker for me. Simply put, I'm ready for my husband to come home. I miss him. I miss his support, his face, his arms around me. I miss him being here, just his physical presence. I miss him helping out around here so it's not all on me.

Anyone that TRULY knows me, knows cleaning house is one of my least favorite things to do in this world. I really, really do not like to do it. I know there's someone out there saying "who does", trust me I seem to be surrounded by those women who do. Everywhere we live GOD places "those" women in my life! LOL Oh but I am just NOT one of those women and honestly I don't have the desire to be. BUT I do have the desire to have a nice, organized, clean home. It's clean right now, but organized not so much. I feel the need to get rid of a lot of things. I guess you could say a fresh start with things. I honestly don't see myself as materialistic. I want the things we have to be in nice condition, but I'm not someone who feels the need to have everything, to have the best of everything. I don't rush right out to get the newest and latest gadget. I just don't see the point. Eventually the majority of things are going to wear out (for the simple fact that most things are just not made to last anymore). I just want things more simplified. we had a waste of my time briefing, for 1 1/2 hrs. The boys went with me and did really well. But my goodness it just dragged on forever and ever and in the end I got nothing out of it other than the fact that I just wasted 1 1/2 hrs of my life, of nap time for Jack and school time for Jacob. I was pretty aggrevated by the time we got home. We had another meeting tonight, I got to stay a whopping 5 minutes, because my 5 yr old decided it was time to pop one of his attitudes. He did not want to stay at the CDC center. I was furious and he got to learn what it's like to go to bed at 6:45 pm! Lucky him, huh? I get online and my husband's online and offers exactly NO support at all. That was the lovely topper of my evening. I just was ready to explode by the time I walked away from the computer.

I wish I could find the words for the rest of the day. I'm sure to an outsider looking in they'd think my day was fine. It's all the emotions inside though. I'm just worn out. I am ready for a break. I told my husband I'd love to be able to just run away for a few days once he's home. I can't and I won't, but a girl can dream. I know before I know it, Chad will be retired from the Army. The boys (and any future children) will be grown up, and I'll wonder how the time past by so quickly. It's already passing by quickly. It just seems like the great days fly by and the not so great, drag on and on and on.

So it's one of those days for me. I'm actually thinking I'm going to head to bed early tonight! I have PWOC in the morning!! It's our fall kick off. I've decided what book study I'm going to be in: "Lies Women Believe". I'm excited. I have already started reading some of the book and find myself just pulled into it. I look forward to being convicted, finding ways to change and live as God wants me to live.

Good night. I am prayerful that tomorrow will be a better day. That I will be a better woman, child of GOD, mother to my children, teacher to Jacob and Jack, and wife to Chad.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?

The title today of course is a song title by Alan Jackson. Today here on post we participated in what other communities in the states will be doing, through "America Supports You".com, we did a Freedom Walk. For Linda :) We walked from the Elementary School down Beach Street, in front of the high school and then took a left at the light, down to the Recycling Center, back up the street to Memorial Park. We had a small ceremony in the park. Col. Gatto spoke, Brenda S. spoke (who organized the event), and the Ele. Principal spoke. When Col. Gatto was speaking there were tons of school age children there and talked about how many of them were either babies or so young they don't remember the events. It's hard to imagine that they don't remember a time before "Homeland Security" "Terror Alerts", etc I'm raising children in truly a different world than I grew up in. Jacob asked a lot of questions when we got home about what happened 5 yrs ago and so I told him some things. He got teary eyed and said it made him sad that so many people died. We talked a lot about Flight 93. I think it seemed almost amazing to him that those people chose to crash the plane. It is amazing, the true sacrifice they made. I can't imagine the terror they must have felt knowing that most likely they were not going to survive, yet being willing to do it so that evil could not hurt even more.

I was driving to work that day, after dropping off Jacob at my friends house (I'd given my 2 wks notice the day before). On the radio they said a plane had went into the first tower, by the time I got into work the second tower had hit. I don't remember what time it was, but I was sitting around ( I worked in a bank) with my coworkers, we were all in shock, when they announced a plane had hit the Pentagon. Terror hit me then, because we had friends who we'd been stationed with at Fort Belvoir who worked there. A lady who I worked with grew up in NYC and her brother still lived there and worked in one of the towers, she was truly paniced and of course went home and continued to try and call. She finally heard from her 3 or 4 days later. He didn't have to be work until 10 that day, so he hadn't even left for work yet.

I went and got Jacob at noon from my friends who was watching him for me until I quit working (the woman who had been watching him was well an idiot and had no business watching any child), and took him to my neighbors. Normally from the bank to where my friend lived off post it took 15 minutes, it took me nearly 1 hr to get off post and it took over 2 hrs to get back on post. I dropped Jacob off at my neighbors, and went back to work, not that there was anything to do. Our bank and the branch literally had NO customer's that day. The commissary ended up closing early, as did the PX because there was simply no business of course...everyone was glued to their tv's at home, if they weren't at work themselves.

That night I sat in my living room floor rocking Jacob back and forth. Chad was in Kuwait at this point, he'd only been there for not quite a month. I was so scared of the unknown. Not knowing what was going to happen with Chad and their unit. I think it was 4 days until Chad was finally able to call, and it was for I think a whopping 2 minutes, but everyone got the same amt of time just to for everyone to hear their loved ones voices and then it was the next soldiers turn.

I look at Jacob and think how he was this little tiny baby who was just crawling around and now he's this 5 yr old little boy. I know this day is one of those days we live with that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

ALAN JACKSON LYRICS"Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"
Where were you when the world stopped turning
that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LADid you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry
Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below
Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters
I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political manI watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love
Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love
I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political manI watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is loveI'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political manI watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love
The greatest is love
The greatest is love
Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ticking of the Clock

I'm hopeful that tonight I can get to sleep earlier than last night. I didn't fall asleep until nearly 4:30, well that was the last time I saw the clock, I believe it was 4:18 am. Yes I was awake past 4 am. Insomnia has plagued be since Jordyn died. After she died it was most definately the worst. I just could not sleep at night. I'd normally just kill the time online and actually met my wonderful Kelly(2) through an online support group for parents who've lost a child to cancer. Kelly and Tami were there every night. We lost our sweet children all with in a two months span of each other (Kelly and I lost ours with in days of each other). Those long nights, they were there for me though. I honestly can't remember how late we normally sat up on the computer, I know after midnight,especially in that first year when Tami and I were pg with our boys...Kelly was right there.

There were many nights I would be on the computer at 6 am still when Chad got up for PT. I always felt bad, because he just wanted me to sleep next to him, and yet I couldn't fall asleep. I was just wide awake. I'd normally sleep for a couple hours in the morning, normally wake up when he came home from PT, then sleep off and on and be "up" between noon and 2 pm, although there were days I'd just lay in bed still not being able to sleep well.

I had maybe a year where I was doing a little better, getting to bed around 1 am or so, but it didn't last long and the insomnia got worse and worse. Last night was one of the worst nights I've had with this in quite a while. I was talking to an old neighbor about this a while back (it was about 2 am here when she was online and we were chatting) she asked why I was still up and I told her and the whole 2 yrs we were neighbors the only time she ever stayed up past 11 pm (and that was late for her!) was when they had friends from church over for dinner and just an over all get together. Otherwise, she was normally a 10 pm in bed kind of woman. Anyways, she tells me "yeah I deal with insomnia too, but I just get in bed and make myself sleep." Seriously if it were only so easy! I wish I could get into bed and just "make" myself go to sleep. I've just gone to bed many times and will just lay there, wide awake, praying for sleep to come to me.

Tonight I'm hoping I can get to sleep. It's already 2 am and I do feel a little tired, so I'm hopeful! We have cleaning to do tomorrow, finish putting up laundry, finish laundry in general, finish cleaning the boys room, the kitchen (just need to mop), and finish cleaning off the table, and clean the floors. It's I guess you could say "fall cleaning" for us tomorrow. We're having a BBQ with friends tomorrow evening. I will also be watching a baby I've watched off and on for the last 9 months or so. He'll soon be going to the states to spend time with his dad (who as far as I know he's never met!...Linda it's DJ and his mom is letting his dad take him back to the states!!!!). It'll be nice to get to see him for a few days for the last time.

Well say a prayer that I can get to sleep and get at least 6 hours of sleep, it'll definately be better than the 4 I got last night.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Breathtaking View of Grace

This is from the devotional that I read every night. This was from August 28, which is my Jack's birthday and it just really touched me and I wanted to share.

"From the fullness of his grace we have all recieved one blessing after another". John 1:16

There are times in my life when I am breathless. It may come when someone gives me a gift I never expected. At other times it comes from seeing an incredible painting or from reading a beautiful story. And, of course, there is always that moment when I see a "breathtaking view" of nature.

I can feel that way spiritually at times. Consider the grace of God in John 1:16. Now that's breathtaking!

I've grown to see grace on its own as part and parcel of our incredible Lord. His grace saved me. His grace sustains my life. His grace showers and sun on the good and the evil. His grace withholds judgement on nations. Inexplicable, His grace. But I accept it and live on.

But grace upon grace?! I'm floored. What can I say? His grace upon grace not only lets me live, His grace lets me serve, it lets me worship, it lets me take His name as my own, it called me by name, it grants me fullness of life as John says.

His grace upon grace is too much for me. Sometimes I cry out for God to remove it because there is no way I deserve such grace. At that very moment His spirit says, "I'm glas you see your complete dependence on Me. Now, loosen your limbs. Clear your throat. I've got more work for you to do. And more grace."

My breath restored, I live and move again until another day when He takes my breath again.

Lord, You are too good to me. I don't deserve even the simple pleasures of life, let alone Your bountiful grace. It's too much. But teach me how to move according to that grace. For by it You will be glorified and I shall rejoice.

From: Diamonds in the Dust: 366 Sparkling Devotions by: Joni Eareckson Tada

(If you're looking for a wonderful devotional, I highly recommend this one)