Sunday, January 31, 2010

Growing Up

My is oldest son is now 9. How fast the time is going. I've never taken for granted each moment with my kids. Losing a child to cancer will teach you that VERY difficult lesson, I will say I enjoyed every single moment I had with Jordyn. I don't know what it is about Jacob being 9 that's so huge to me, maybe it's because it's the birthday can remember VERY clearly myself and remember even saying "next year I'll be in the double digits!" and that seeming like such a big deal and I can even recall my mom getting choked up. I kept finding myself all teary eyed. To think in a blink of an eye the next 9 years will fly by and I'll be looking at an 18 year old young man. I want to cherish everyday. I want the next 9 years to go a bit slower than the first ones have went. I don't want a single day to be wasted. Oh how I pray I don't wish away any days with any of my children.

This time is all too fleeting and in the blink of an eye these days will be gone.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Kansas

I'm a born and raised Kansas girl. Every kid raised in KS knows that Jan. 29 is Kansas Day. Growing up, every year in elementary school today was a special and fun day. We'd make homemade, from a butter churn butter and put it on saltine crackers, if you've NEVER had fresh from the church butter, you do NOT know what you're missing and I feel sad for you! Oh it's so good!! I can still taste it in my memory! LOL

I love Kansas. It's the geographical center of the United States. The wheatfields in the fall, there's nothing like them, sunflowers that grow wild in ditches, rolling hills (obviously I'm NOT talking about Western KS!). I grew up in a small town, aprox 30 miles from Topeka, which is not a huge city, but if you need more than a WalMart or what's offered on our town square or grocery go there. When Chad and I retire, we will not retire in my hometown, although it's a great town and I had a good childhood, it's where our daughter is buried and we'll be buried one day...but we'll retire close to Ft. Riley.
Happy Birthday Kansas.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Changes and Decisions

Chad came home today and said that in a couple of weeks he'll be moving to a new company, we knew this was coming and it's a GREAT move for him. Right now he's in HHC (Headquarters company) and although over the last few years he's not enjoyed his job(s), but the last few months as he's been in this particular job, he's loved it. He's loved the challenge and he really likes and respects the Master Sgt. that's over him. It's been so great to have him come home, often worn out, but happy. Here in a couple of weeks our Battalion will be raising (creating) a new company. Right now there are 4, count them 4 soldiers that will be in the company, Chad being one of them. Three of them (which includes Chad) will be Platoon Sgts and the
other is the XO (please don't ask me to explain this anymore than I am, Chad's in bed or else I'd have him break it all down to layman terms), but the XO is a Leuitenent and for at least a
short time he'll be the highest in ranking. There are brand new soldiers who will be comin g to
start to fill up the new company, but it's going to be at least a bit of time before they'll be here. Chad will have a lot of work ahead of him, but it'll be great for him and his career.

I'm also in prayer right now over a big decision in ministry. I am in prayer that GOD is leading is leading this decision. If this decision is made for me to proceed it'll be all GOD, because honestly I feel ill equiped and overwhelmed, and honestly so humbled I can barely lift my head up.
I'm always in awe of where GOD leads us, what he calls us to do and am reminded that he calls the ill equipped to do big things, so we will lean on him vs ourselves. If you would pray for me to be still and listen and hear the Lord on all things in my life, and especially this one. A decision will have to be made soon, and I know what ever it is that GOD is leading me to, I'll know it's by his lead only.

Through his Grace

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Trying and Doing new things

Today as a joint effort PWOC and our Local Hospitality House did a Craft Day! We could bring craft item we wanted to work on...from knitting, crotcheting, scrapbooking, stamping, etc. A few people scrapped, but most of us learned to knit!! We had 2 knitting pro's, ok so they wouldn't call themselves pro's, but let me tell you they are 2 extremely talented women when it comes to knitting!! I borrowed my friends knitting needles and got to keep the yarn we were working with. I'm going to buy me some knitting needles, and hope to learn this and figure it out so I can start making things. My first thing will probably be a baby wash cloth. Both ladies make beautiful hats for their kids and their family, I WANT to be able to do that! For those of you who have that creative have been given a gift, for those of us who have's hard, especially when we WANT be creative. If you only knew how much scrapbooking items I had and stamping, oh it's a sin. I WANT to be crafty and creative, desperately!

Here are the things that I want to learn to do:

Knit (I'm learning!!)
Sew (with machine, and some basic hand things would be handy)
Learn more about and become a better photographer

There are other things I'd like to do as well, but those" are the things I want to do the
most in the next say 10 years.

So share with me what you'd like to learn to do, or become better at doing!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Friendship's ups and downs

I recently was convicted to forgive someone who I'd been friends with for over 11 years, but had ultimately had enough of being her dumping ground and just let everything spill out. Here's where I was completely at fault, I hadn't been completely honest with her. When something happened with her that I was bothered about, etc instead of telling her, I just kept it inside. It all came spilling out when I ended up being the last or one of the last to find out she was getting remarried. The first to call for bad news, the last for good and when it was such big news. I was hurt, furious and let me just say everything I'd held back came spilling out in one very long email. It was NOT my finest hour. It was one of my worst to be honest with you. A month or so ago, I felt GOD urging me to forgive her and try to renew our friendship, slowly.
So I reached out and asked her for forgiveness, she gave it and asked me for hers. We have been slowly communicating via fb, emails, and the other day she called me and after her husband called to tell her some great news, she called me first, so share good news.
It's a start and although we're not as close as we used to be, I think and pray we'll end up with a healthier and more even friendship, and most importantly an honest one. I'm in constant prayer for her and our slowly rebuilding friendship. It's a work in progress and I think that's important
thing going slow, not pushing too fast, and truly letting GOD guide this friendship.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why Me? Why Not Me...

I've honestly been sharing this phrase with many lately and most of all myself. When things don't go our way, when things get hard, when we bare tragedies we think we can not possibly bare, when our hearts break into a thousand pieces, when we see destruction everywhere we look, so often we say......"Why Me?" my response is not said lightly, it's not said with humor, but with a full heart, honestly, and sincerley...."Why NOT me?" Why shouldn't have I get everything I as a sinner deserves? When we have good things happen, how many of us thank the Lord? I'm talking about the little things as well as the big things. We all obviously have internet or the USE of internet, what a great invention, how convenient to stay in touch with friends, family, and stay on top of so much information be it useful or not! How many of us have running water in our homes? Electricity? How many of us are American's and have freedom of speech? How many of us go to our church of choice without fear of persecution from the government? Look at all we haev to be thankful for, but how many of us thank the LORD for these blessings that we surely do not deserve on our own?

Do you know that we do not deserve a single bit of grace? We do not deserve unconditional or even conditional love by the Lord or other humans. Yet we have it in both forms, when we accept Christ as our Savior (for the unconditional love).

When we look at every heartache, every battle, every unpleasant thing we go through and's nothing compared to what Christ went through for us. He was BEATEN, then was nailed to the cross. He bled to death, when he was thirsty that gave him VINEGAR to you see vinegar as a thirst quincher? I don't. Can you imagine being flogged? Do you know that during that time it was law that you could only be flogged OR cruicified, because normally people did not recover from being flogged, yet our LORD...the MAN Jesus who have never sinned in his life, who was perfect in every way, was flogged AND cruicified. My sisters and brothers, we deserve every single horrible, awful, and just plain bad thing that happens to us. We deserve hell. Do you KNOW how thankful I am that I'm not getting what I deserve? Are you thankful you are not getting what YOU deserve? We deserve no mercy. We deserve to live a life without hope, without the promise of Heaven, we deserve nothing good. BUT, and here it is....when we KNOW Christ Jesus. We we accept him as the Son of GOD, when we accept he is our Savior....we are BLESSED and GIVEN for FREE...forgiveness, mercy, grace, and love. We get blessings beyond our wildest dreams, we have the promise of Heaven.

I am a sinner. My soul is not pure, nor is my heart. BUT I'm washed in the blood of Jesus, and through him GOD only sees my perfection, the perfection of Christ. He doesn't see the "REAL" me and all my sinful nature. He's forgiven me. He loves me.

Because of this love, this forgiveness, and Christ sacrifing himself on the cross I'm trying hard to not say "why me?" and instead saying "why not me?".

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seeing God's Blessings

I follow probably too many blogs, but one I've truly been reminded of how faithful GOD is to us is through the Stasel's! This family was blessed with iextuplets. Sadly they had to say goodbye to four of their miracles, but yet they rejoice that their precious babies are with Jesus. They were born extremely early and ranged in weight from 13 some oz to 1 lb some oz. Their little girls are doing so well, both are now over the weight of 8 lbs! The best news though is that Haley is coming home!! Right now the projected date is Wednesday. Little Rachel is still facing surgery but the prayer is she'll be home soon as well. If you've not been blessed to meet this precious family I encourage you to head over there now:

Everyday I am constantly shown GOD's mercy, love, and faithfulness to his own. He did not promise us that we would not have heartache, that our lifes would not be full of trials, that our days would be smooth and easy and gentle. We're actually told our life will be full of these as his followers while we're on this earth. But we have the promise of Heaven! The Stansel's are only one example of GOD's faithfullness. They struggled to bring a baby into this word, and when GOD allowed they were able to bring 6 babies into this world, he called 4 of them home, but he's allowed 2 of them to remain here and continue to grow more and more, and gain healthy day by day.

Let us rejoice in our King. Let us see that through these challenges, the struggles, and the heartache....that GOD allows all of these to bring us closer to HIM! One day we will live in His glory, in His perfection, and until that day we must continue to strive to be like him. We may fail somedays big time, but we confess those failures and sins, and keep going and praising the Lord.

In His Grace and Mercy

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I fell on Friday after slipping on ice, after dropping the boys off at our homeschool PE. I fell on my backside thankfully, but hit my back and shoulders pretty hard as well. My first thought was the baby and I just needed to get home and lay down to see what would happen. I wans't having ANY bleeding or cramping so the heating pad came out and I waited for Chad to get home. The baby moved a little so I waited and relaxed. About 3 hours after I fell I started having extremely mild cramping. I decided to take a shower and see how the warm water made me feel and if the cramping was still there I'd have Chad take me to the Klinikum (German hospital). Thankfully while in the shower all cramping ended and I laid back down until we left for the Hospitality House and other than my backside being very sore....all is well. Saturday the baby was VERY active! Emma got to feel the baby kick and roll! She was thrilled and had to tell everyone!!!

I'm thankfully feeling better and was reminded that this baby is indeed not mine, but is GOD's and although I'm as careful as I can be, things can still happen that I can not always control, but GOD has control. He knew I was going to fall and knew the baby would be ok and I'm SO very thankful for that. I do not take any of this pregnancy or my living children for granted. I'm so very thankful them. I'm humbled honestly. Humbled that GOD has blessed me with mothering Jordyn for the precious 2 years, 1 month, and 8 days of her life. Humbled that he's then allowed Chad and I to create and raise Jacob, Jackson, Emma, and are in the process of bringing into this world this new precious miracle growing inside of me. GOD has plans for each of us and although often we don't understand those plans, they're for HIS Glory and how thankful I am, to be part of those plans and these miracles.

Very cool!!

I recently began reading and following a blog and she's doing a give away strictly for the military! She along with Border's is giving away a Touch Reader! If you're a military family and would like a chance of winning this, go on over to The Yummy Mummy!!
Personally I hadn't been all that interested in these, but then when I think about all the traveing we do and not having to haul books a long with me and how I could upload books that my kids enjoy, and that Chad would enjoy this would be a great family item!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


With the new year so many talk about making changes, resolutions, etc. Some are great, some are inspiring, some just make me sad. The great and inspiring ones to ME are ones that are making ife changes on developing a closer relationship with Jesus, working on their walk with GOD, etc. The ones that make me sad are the ones that are "all about ME"...weight loss, becoming more oganized, etc. Now I'm NOT saying those are not great things to want and do....but when that's all it is disheartening to me and I truly ache for them. They are missing out on the BIG picture. It's not about US at all, it's ALL about JESUS. If it's not about HIM, it's about nothing utimately. If we're not constantly in motion in walking with the Lord, we're walking away from Him. You see we can be the thinnest, healthiest, most organized person in the world....but it does not matter one single bit if we don't have Jesus in our lives, if we don't love him, aren't in constant motion in our relationship with him to become stronger.

My prayer tonight is for those who do not know him, who do not even think about him (the ones who do not deny him, but don't have a relationship with him either). If you're reading this and don't have a relationship with Christ, I'd love to pray for you. If you don't want the world to know, but would like me to pray for you....leave a comment and ask me not to publish it (I approve all comments before they post) then I can be praying for you.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Oh those struggles

We all have them. We all have things that we know we're to do, not because the world tells us to, but because GOD demands us to do! I have quite a few struggles...just being honest here! My biggest (well imo and it's my blog and I figure I know myself best!!) struggle is submission to my husband. It's a dirty word in the "World". To the world submission is being a doormat, being walked all over, not having a say in things, etc. But biblical submission is a beautiful and wonderful gift and it's what GOD calls us as wives to do...submit to our husbands as they submit to Christ. Ladies, biblical submission is a beautiful thing.

Ephs 5:21-28 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing [fn] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

I take the bible literally. We do NOT get to pick and choose what we like and discard what we don't like. If you're a married, Christian are CALLED to SUBMIT to your husband. But take a look just a few sentences down is that our husbands are called to love us as Christ loves us (WE are the church). Submitting to our husbands is not only a call of obedience, it's a call of love to our husbands, but more so to our LORD!

One thing I really want and desperately NEED to do this year and from here on out is to submit to my husband, truly and fully submit to him. I know my husband loves me, he wants to please's time for me to truly and full of love with all my heart to want to please him and do what GOD is calling me to do. I'm here to tell you that biblical submission is NOT a dirty word. It's NOT about being walked on, treated's about loving and being loved. My husband loves me the way he's supposed to, now it's time for me to love him the way I'm supposed to.

I'm praying for each of you, my sisters of Christ who are married who struggle with this as well. I pray and lift those of you up who are living as submissive wives already. I ask that you pray for me and all the other women who struggle with submission.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I was visiting Freddae and she is down at Disney World and shared how she saw a family publically praying and another family with the dad leading, making fun of the praying family. It grieves my heart to think that people 1. think it's ok to mock others 2. MOCK GOD.
She asked us how many of us pray in public? I read through her comments and it was mixed with yes's and no's. Our family does the majority of the time and quite often before Chad or I can even say "lets pray" one of the boys has said "lets pray". One of the comments I read was of a woman who said she prays silently almost all the time, but not outloud in front of her little boys and said she needed to start. It got me to thinking of how we are constantly teaching our children and they are constantly watching us.

How many times do we say something or do something that we do NOT want our children to repeat or do? Well I can tell you for me it's multiple times a day. I have a mocking bird in my home right now, Emma's 2, if you've had a 2 year old you know what I'm saying and if you don't, let me tell you that they repeat everything you say, especially the things you DON'T want them to say. She also though repeats and learns the good things we do. She sings "clean up, clean up" when she spills something or I tell her to pick things up, but the thing that brings more joy in my heart than anything else is when she insists on saying Grace over our meal, often her and Jack are arguing over WHO gets to pray! To know that prayer is such a big part of their life is so important to me. I can not take all the credit, I have a husband who prays as well and together we've taught our children to pray. Right now we're working on getting them to be more natural and spread their wings when it comes to praying, especially for Jackson (he often says the same thing at every prayer, I can say he's learned that from his Dad).

So how many of you are bold and pray outloud out in public? How many are teaching your children to be Bold in Christ and not ashamed? If you're not, I challenge you to. When you're at a friends home eating, who doesn't pray, I encourage you to ask if they would allow you the honor of leading everyone in saying grace? When out to eat be it a fastfood place or a nicer estasblishment bow your heads and pray. There is no right or wrong way. Our family does a variety of things..sometimes we all hold hands (the kids love this), sometimes we keep our hands in our lap and simply bow our heads, sometimes we put our hands together and pray that way, and sometimes we each do our own thing with the kids holding hands and Chad and I simply bowing our heads (that's normally when seating is spread out). We aren't screaming nor whispering, we speak low to medium volume and praise GOD for blessings and thank him for the blessings we're about to partake in and pray for the safety of the troops home and down range (we're an Army family that's always in our prayers), and at times we will also pray for specific needs and people.

When we first began getting serious in our walk with the Lord, I was VERY intimidated at praying outloud, especially around others who I felt prayed so beautifully. I will say if I've grown anywhere in my walk in big ways, it's in my praying outloud. When we were still at Ft. Riley (KS)
at small groups I NEVER prayed outloud and don't recall Chad doing it either, although I was usually sitting there literally praying that I would NEVER be asked to pray outloud! When we first moved here and I began attending PWOC I was actually facilitating a class, I did not feel comfortable praying out loud, and would always ask others to do it. Then GOD started working on me, started telling me it was time. Time to step outside of my comfort zone and start praying outloud. I fought him for quite a few months. Finally I started and started small. I would do it in class and my stomach would be in knots the whole time. As friends began encouraging me that my prayers were beautiful and I found that I was hitting things on the head for people because GOD was placing it in my mouth to speak. Now know this, it's anything but about me. The words that come out of my mouth are NOT from me, if they were I'd be tripping all over the words, but before I pray outloud I say a silent prayer that what ever I say is what GOD would have me say, to let me be his vessel. When I say that prayer, GOD has always answered and his words have just glided out of my mouth, and it's always such a blessing to me and let me tell you it always is delightful that GOD would take such a huge FEAR (yes it was a fear) and show me that I could OVER COME and be his vessel! If you've been used by GOD, you know how amazing that is, you know that it's not about you and it's all about HIM!

I have now started praying in larger forums. I pray in front of the whole PWOC body (which depending on the week can be up to 60 ladies), I've prayed in front of our whole church congregation (around 200), our AWANA sparks group, and our Hospitality House group (the size always varies between 10-30 people). I'm not sharing those numbers to brag, because it's not...but to testify to you that GOD can do anything through you....when you open yourself up to let him! Why? Because it's not about you, it's all about HIM and NOTHING, absolutely nothing is impossible when GOD steps in! And praying outloud was the LAST thing I wanted to do, just 4 short years ago and now it's become a ministry of mine. I've given devotions on it, I've prayed with sisters one on one about it, because I see the value of it, and how we can be GOD's tool!

I know this is long, but I want to encourage you if you're stuck inside that box of fear of praying outloud...start praying for boldness. Ask fellow friends and family to start praying for you on it (or anything else you're trapped in fear about!). GOD wants our praises. I believe he wants us to step outside of our box/out of our comfort zone and find new ways to bring him GLORY. I also want to encourage you to be praying outloud in front of your children. If it's not prayers you want to say outloud around your children, I want to encourage you to drop to your knee's and pray, and when they ask you "Mommy, what are you doing?" tell them "I'm praying". They will learn by your example.

If you would like me to start praying for you, leave me a comment and I will.

God Bless

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Honest, Gentle, words of the year

Emily asked on her blog what our word of the year was going to be. Meaning...that one word that describes what you want to do, be, etc for this year. I'm stuck between three...honest, gentle, and prayerful. I want and need to be both and really they go hand in hand. I'm a pretty honest person the way it is, my friend Jen often says with a laugh "So what do you REALLY think, Christy," because I do not hide my thoughts or feelings hardly ever. I've tried really hard in the last few months to hold my tongue more and my fingers. The problem for me is that I then have so much inside of me that I feel like I'm going to explode. What happens with that, it comes ugliness normally or in tears. Towards who you may family of course. So with that honesty I want to find more gentleness. I want to find it especially towards my husband and children. I'm a big disciplinarian. I don't have a lot of patience (which people assume mistakenly since I'm a homeschooling mom....LITTLE,ITTY BITTY, HARDLY ANY.....Patience!). But with that I'm very touchy feely. I'm a hugger by nature. I do recognize not everyone is though, and try to respect boundaries...but hey if someone wants a hug I'm all for it and hug and kiss my children A LOT! The prayerfulness...well I need to seek GOD first and foremost on everything and don't do that as I should. I depend on him all the time, but need to be more faithful in conveying my love for the Lord, my dependence on Him, my praise to Him, my absolute need for Him....through prayer.

I think for this blog my word will be honesty. When I write I am honest, but here's the thing....I hold A LOT back. I have so many blogs written that are simply saved and not published. The other night Amanda and I were emailing each other and I shared how I have not shared so many blogs (aprox 20 or more) because they're so deep and personal for me. My heart is completely exposed and my heartache is written throughout them. The thing is, I have written and published these blog posts before, yet I find myself still struggling with these same issues. So in honor of being more honest and by the encouragement and hopefully prayer from Amanda and you who are reading this....I'm going to start publishing them. I want to say it here and now, I'm NOT seeking or desiring pity or any sort of comments. I am asking for prayers. I know the issue's I have are faith related. I'm not seeking GOD first to fill up those empty places in my heart and life, I get that, so what I'm asking is when I do get so honest...pray that I give it completely over to GOD, pray that I let him fill my heart up, let him fill those empty places up. Will you do that for me? Oh how I need my Lord, My sweet Jesus to be the first priority in my life.

So be prepared....I'm going to get really honest here. I'm going to show parts of my heart that I leave very guarded. Ok, you know what I'm going to TRY to show I wrote those words I actually felt sick to my stomach at the thought. I want to and I know I need to. Throught his honesty blogging, one thing I really want to write about is my faith and beliefs. I will warn you now...I'm a fairly black and white person on certain subjects. I'm not a politically correct woman, PC actually leaves a horrible taste in my mouth, oh and in case you didn't know...I'm a conservative Christian...with Conservative Christian values. So if you don't share those values and beliefs you may be be honest, that's YOUR problem and if you feel so offended maybe GOD is trying to tell you something! ;) You've been warned!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Decade in Review

I've seen some others do a past decade in review, mostly on FB and so I figure why not, a lot has happened to me in the last decade.

1999- We were stationed at Baumholder, Germany and in March Jordyn, our oldest daughter was diagnosed with AML leukemia. We spent 6 weeks at a German hospital and then when she was stable enough we were transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She truly never slowed down and although she was an extremely sick little girl, you'd never know it by looking at her (other than the freshly bald head and the steroid round face). We truly enjoyed every single moment. Family came out to visit us and we were able to go visit my family in Kansas. In November Jordyn went to Children's National in DC. My "sister", Michele from Brazil (she lived with my family my senior year as an exchange student) came and spent a few days with us and Jordyn loved and adored her and Michele felt the same way about Jordyn! Chad's family came to visit and then my parents came to visit. Dec 15 a little over 5 weeks after she was admitted, Jordyn was released after what appeared to be a successful unrelated bone marrow transplant. We were home to celebrate Christmas as a family and welcome the New Year in together, living in Virginia, feeling like we could finally breath. I was a whopping 22 years old and Chad was 24. Oh how young we were, yet had experienced things most twice and three times our age never had or would experience.

2000- Jordyn was still alive on New Years day and we were full of hope for her life. We didn't realize a month later our world would once again be turned upside down to find out that the bone marrow transplant had not done all we'd prayed for, in the way we prayed for...the leukemia returned and we were told there was nothing left to do. May 8, 2000 my little girl, at the tender age of 2 went home to her Savior, Jesus. 8 days after Jordyn went to Heaven, we found out we were pregnant. To say we were shocked is putting it mildly. I do not recommend being pregnant the first year of grief. Grief is truly hard enough and then to add on hormone's on top of it, it was most definitely the hardest year of my young life at only 23 years old. I was blessed that year, that although I knew GOD I was extremely angry with him. I did find a group of parents who's children had also died from various forms of cancer, called Day by Day. There I met two wonderful friends, one who became my best friend. Tami and Kelly. I honestly am not sure how I would have gotten through that year without them, all of the parents on daybyday, and although I was mad at him......GOD.

2001-Late January, walking through the road of grief and sorrow we were able to make a dream of my maternal great grandma's dream come true....a grandchild born her birthday (91). Chad deployed to Kuwait for a 4 month deployment, while he was there our world would change in ways American's, especially the military never dreamed....9-11. Chad returned home, yet our world was in such turmoil. November I gave my life over to Christ completely.

2002-We went to a church for many months and then were invited to what became our home church, and where our family would grow in Christ. We began praying about having another baby. November we said goodbye to My great grandma, as she left us for Heaven to join her beloved husband of 63 years, my maternal grandma who'd died 40 some years before that and other of her children. I was blessed to be the last person she spoke with, as her last spoken desire was to see her birthday boy, Jacob. He and I were the last faces she looked at before she closed her eyes and hung on for a few more hours as she was surrounded by her family who encouraged her to go be with Jesus and Grandpa and I whispered to love on Jordyn until I got there.

2003-We started our year with celebration of a new pregnancy and Jacob's 2nd birthday. We moved to a new house on post (a 3 bedroom), met new friends, re-enlisted for Germany, and prepared for Chad's first deployment to Iraq. We welcomed Jackson into our family late August. Chad was placed on Rear-D (stayed back and worked at the battalion for a few months)

2004-Only days before Jacob's 3rd birthday Chad joined his battalion, as he gan his first deployment to Iraq. The battalion's deployment was 1 year, but Chad was ony there for 9 months, but it was not easy as so much fear loomed as we watched 9 of our friends from our company killed. Chad returned home in September, it was a wonderful reunion, but he'd seen horrors that I still do not know and couldn't ever completely understand. We celebrated Jackson's 1st birthday.

2005- We were blessed with news that Chad would not have to go to Korea for 18 months as was part of our re-enlistment for us to come to Germany, and instead were able to come to Germany in July (had Chad not deployed and went to Korea in Jan.'04 we would have came to Germany July '05) we truly saw GOD working in our lives when it came to moving to Germany.
I instantly felt like we were truly home, got involved in the chapel, and discovered PWOC (Protestant Women of the study) and found wonderful sisters/friends. October brought another deployment, this time a full 12 months. I discovered the deployment was easier than before, I allowed friends to help me with the boys, went on many retreats with the chapel and saw a good portion of Germany. Jacob turned 4 and Jackson turned 2.

2006-New friends were being made left and right as well as saying goodbye to others. The year seemed to go by fairly quickly. Jacob turned 5, and we began our homeschooling adventure, played various sports, PWOC continued and I was asked to step up and be on the board when a board member had to unexpectantly move (so goes the Army life!!), I volunteered for VBS and met who would become one of my truly best friends ever as an Army wife, B, and her son would become Jacob's best friend. Chad returned home at the end of October, just in time to see Jacob's last soccer game of the year, and he was home for Halloween. December came and we found out we were expecting a baby that coming August!

2007-We did a fair amount of traveling, prepared for the baby who we were thrilled to find out was a girl! Jacob turned 6 years old, home school, sports, AWANA, VBS, and PWOC kept me and our family busy. August came and we welcomed Emma Grace into our family, a few weeks later Jackson turned 4 years old. That year I also experienced my precious Emily have to say goodbye to her beautiful, precious Miller Grace after only 5 days of life.

2008-Jacob turned 7. In FJan. over MLK jr. day weekend, we went to Italy for the first time and spent a day in Venice! In March my dear friend Heather got extrememly sick only 1 day after her husband had deployed for Iraq, she literally died, the drs brought her back, and she went into a coma and stayed there for 5 weeks. We went to Ireland and Chad's dream came true in seeing the one country he always wanted to go to, and in May he deployed once again to Iraq. Heather came home in early July after months of recovering in the hospitaly and rehab. Late July the kids and I went to the states for the first time in 3 years. Emma turned 1 and Jackson turned 5 and we had a big family party with our friends and family in the states. We were there for 7 weeks, it was great seeing family and friends, spent 5 days with Emily who I'd talked to on the phone multiple times a day and had met once before in 2004. I for sure was ready to return home to Germany by the time we did in September. We started school back up, PWOC began, soccer started up for both boys, we traveled more around Germany and Europe (went to Prague), and I had to say goodbye to my best friend B, as her and her family got stationed in Arizona, in November, by December I'd said goodbye to 2 of my other close friends and new friendships started developing and other friendships began growing. Heather quickly seemed to step in as my dearest friend.

2009-Jacob turned 8 years old. Feb. Chad came home for R&R and we went to Salzburg, Austria. That June the kids and I ventured to Italy, down to the Pisa area and stayed on the military installation Camp Darby. We went to the beach every day and played in the Sea, ate authentic Italian, went to Pisa on our last day. We began planning on Chad's redeployment home which was coming a month early...our 15 month deployment was cut down to 14 months!
We went to France, to the Normandy region and loved it and saw a great amount of France since we drove and I planned efficiently so we could stop in various cities and see different area's. We also found out that we were expecting baby #5. We went to Berlin and explored the city over a 4 day weekend as well.

There you last 10 years summed up. There was obviously a great deal more that happened in those last 10 years, emotions, feelings, travels....etc. I've went through a mother's greatest nightmare, I felt heartache and joy. I've said a temporary goodbye and buried my beautiful oldest daughter/child, after watching her fight leukemia. I gave birth to 3 beautiful children. I moved to Germany, back to the states, and back to a different part of Germany and have lived here for 4 1/2 years now, and am now expecting baby #5, the 4th since Jordyn went to Heaven. The most important thing though, I gave my life to Jesus Christ.

This coming decade I expect to be blessed with challenges. A new baby is coming in late May. More traveling Europe and Germany. Another deployment without a doubt to a different region of the world for Chad this time, most of all I know GOD will bring so much more into our lives than we can even dream of. He'll allow blessings and challenges, but all will be for HIS Glory.