Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So Excited!!

Last Wednesday our family made the 2 1/2 hr drive up North and saw my best Army wife friend, "B" and her family. They moved away 3 years ago, were stationed in Arizona, and this past fall they moved back. I was patient in trying to let them get settled once they had housing, then they got their Household Goods quickly after moving into their apartment, and I waited for them to be able to get their home set up...then it was Thanksgiving, Jacob was in the play, and various other scheduling committments and well the fact that they are 2 1/2 hrs away, so last Wednesday we finally made the trip. Her husband "T" and Chad get along great and our kids are all great friends. Jacob and their son were best friends when they were here, and Jack loved him too. Emma and D were both still in the 1 year age range when they left, but were instantly best friends! As we were all in our respective vehicles heading to the Christmas market in their town, Chad said "Isn't it great to have them back. So nice that we're all friends and it feels like they were never gone".

Well, here we are now, and they're coming down and spending the next 4 days with us! We've been cleaning and organizing. Thankfully they're the kind of friends I know my house doesn't have to be perfect for, but I want it to look as good as possible! I'm so excited to have them here and to get to spend some real time with "B"!! I feel so grateful that God brought B and her family back to Germany and that we're close enough to spend time together!!


Thank you, Lord for bringing my best friend back.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Enjoying the Season we're in....WINTER and SNOW!

It's snowing in our part of Germany and from my various friends throughout Germany, it seems to be snowing all over! Our family loves snow. I love taking my kids out in it and playing and watching their faces as they see the beautiful white stuff covering the ground. So often it seems people moan and groan and do nothing but complain about it, they just want summer, of course in the summer they complain about the heat and how they wouldn't mind some snow. Why can't we be thankful and simply find joy in the season we're in? We all go through various seasons and at different times. There are the weather seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Then there are the seasons of life that God allows us to walk through and sometimes instead of slowing down and living in that season and recognizing that God's allowing us to go through it, we want to run and rush through it. Young mothers who are exhausted because the baby has colic or doesn't sleep well at night (which why any young mother would think her newborn is going to sleep through the night is beyond me....while in the womb when are they most active?? AT NIGHT it just makes sense that they'd be awake at night when they enter this world!!), we want to rush through each season of life and then before we know it, it's over and we long for it back, or worse we don't and we've completely missed out on the blessing of that season of life, GOD allowed us to have.

I am challenging myself daily to enjoy the season God has me in. We ALL have rough days. We all have days that we just have to "get through", but if we find ourselves feeling like that day in and day out for weeks to months to even years on end, we need to really look at ourselves and ask what it is we can change. Normally it's our own attitude about the situtation or the season we're in. I try hard to not wish my days away. I have a home with children ranging from 10 to 19 months and one in the womb. I'm in a season where God's allowed us to continue to live in Germany for the last 6 1/2 years (and love it). I don't want to look back when my children are grown and think "why did I wish those days away"? I love watching, teaching, and playing with my children. I want to play in the snow, dance in the rain, basking in the sun, raking and jumping in the leaves. I don't want to miss a moment. So today, we've played in the snow, we're now cuddled together waiting for lunch to finish, watching Polar Express, and you know I love these moments.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slowing Down

Jacob was in a play/musical production here on our little post at our award winning theater. They just finished up on Sunday, Oliver! They did 8 weeks of rehersals and 2 weeks/8 total shows. It was amazing. Jacob was an orphan and a pick pocket: Tom White. I was so proud of him. The first two weeks of rehearsal, he was still playing football, so there has been no down time since August and let me tell you, I'm READY!!

We have tried so hard to be a family that is not over-extended/too busy, yet sometimes it just happens. Jacob wanted to play basketball, but I had to make a hard decision and say no. We just need this break. Jack's still in Tae Kwon Do and Emma's in ballet, and they're all in AWANA. That's enough for right now. Nothing that goes past 5:30, allows us to sit down and have dinner together as a family every night.

I am now over 6 months pregnant. We are so blessed with each of our children and this baby has been such a surprised blessing. We didn't plan for this baby yet, just as we didn't plan for Jacob...yet God knows best and we know this baby is loved by GOD and loved by us and we're so thrilled for her or him to make his/her appearance in a couple of months. This is our 6th child and I have to tell you that feeling the kicks and punches from this little one, is just as amazing as with our first one. There's no way to describe how it feels. I wish every woman who ever wanted to, could experience the joy of pregnancy. I didn't really enjoy my first two pregnancy's. With our oldest, I was just so excited to have her, I was more focused on her being born and being with us. With our second, I was in such deep grief over the death of Jordyn that finding joy in his kicks was not to be found in my heart. I made a mental recognition that I WOULD find joy in my pregnancy and just enjoy it with our 3rd and it was amazing how different his pregnancy was. With our 4th I made sure to just enjoy her, and again with 5 and now 6. It is a mental choice. I have had severe morning sickness, I was sick the whole pregnancy with Emma and Noah (5/6) but I still found joy in my pregnancy every day. I still was thankful to GOD for the blessing of the pregnancy. Some women only get the joy of pregnancy of feeling the life of their child, so how dare I not enjoy that blessing...because here's a fact: I do not know what the life of this little one is going to be. My goodness I never could have imagined our little girl would be diagnosed with AML leukemia at 6 days from turning 1 year old. I never could have imagined 14 months later she'd be in he arms of Jesus. We have to enjoy each day that the Lord gives us.
I want to make sure we don't ever get too busy that we can't be thankful for the days we have.
I'm so thankful that the Lord has led our family to homeschool. I'm thankful that I get to spend every day with our children. There are frustrating days, don't get me wrong, but it's still a blessing. I don't have to share my children with strangers who are helping to mold their minds, it's my job.

I hope that if you're in a time of busy, busy...go,go,go. That you can just take a minute and slow down, look around your home and Thank the Lord. Thank HIM. Just thank Him.


Monday, December 05, 2011

I Am....

I am not perfect.
I'm a sinner.
I hurt and I have hurt.
I love and am loved.
I can be down right mean,
spiteful, ugly on the inside.
I speak my mind: sometimes too often
sometimes not often enough.
Rarely do people have to wonder
what I think about something.
I think dogs dressed in clothes
look stupid.
I don't think dogs are "fur babies/children, etc".
I think dogs are pets, that's it.
I offend people with my:
beliefs, values, thoughts, words, actions.
I get offended by others:
beliefs, what I see as lack of values
thoughts, words, and actions.
I love being a mom.
It is hard and I often feel like I suck at being one.
I love being a wife.
It's hard and often know I suck at it.
I HATE cleaning and really HATE doing laundry (the whole miserable process).
I'm lazy.
I'm fat.
I dream that I'm still skinny (like literally dream it)
I want better for my children than what I sometimes give them.
I want to love them better.
I want to love my husband better.
I want to love GOD better.
I think those who are not Christians are idiots.
Yes I just wrote that. I just offended people.
There are times I don't care that I offended them
and think that it's their problem and something THEY need to get over.
I judge people.
I am judged and hate it.
I'm a hypocrit.
I love.
I hurt
I am not perfect.
I'm a Christian.
I fail God daily and often multiple times a day.
I'm not perfect.
I'm a sinner.
I love Jesus.
I fail him daily.
I wish the world would do what I think is right and just.
It never does.
I think a lot of people are annoying.
I can be fake.
I'm me.
Some like me
Some don't.
Some love me.
Some hate me.
I'm Christy.....a woman who loves: Jesus, my husband, my children, my extended family, my friends, U.S.A, and Germany.
I'm Christy....a woman who fails daily, who can hurt others and be hurt by them just the same. A woman who sins, judges,
I'm Christy....I'm not perfect, but I'm loved by the one who I need to be loved by the most....Jesus.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanks Giving is approaching!

I love Thanksgiving and am so looking forward to it!! I am a traditionalist when it comes to our feast. I also guess you could say it's one of the few times during the year I'm a control freak a little (this would include, Christmas and Easter). Last year we had a friend come with her family for Thanksgiving and she brought the stuffing/dressing (well she made it here) and Chad was not a happy man, he loves mine...that's it (well my mom's as well, since it's her recipe).
We're HOPING and PRAYING that my best Army wife friend, who lives about 2 1/2 hours away and just moved back to Germany last month. We're still waiting to see if they're going to make it here or not. We're also having a couple single soldier friends over for dinner. Here's our menu:

Turkey (25 lb...yep it's BIG)
Ham (just a small little one)
Homemade Dressing (although we call it stuffing, it does not go into the bird)
Homemade noodles (using the broth from the turkey...mmmm!)
Artisan Bread (I just recently started making this and my family LOVES it!)
Greenbean casserole (not that nasty healthy version either, the classic good one! LOL)
Gravy from the turkey broth
Mashed potatoes
Corn
Cranberry Sauce (sadly from the can, my kids love it)
We'll have a cheese and veggie platter for appetizers
Deviled Eggs (Chad will be making these....yuck to me!)
Pumpkin and Chocolate Pies
I feel like I'm forgetting something, but think that's everything.

I LOVE and I do mean cooking this meal. I make the same thing for Christmas and Easter. It's what I grew up having and love the tradition of it. I make my pies Wednesday, the goal this year is to have them done Wednesday by 3 PM. I will make the bread on Wednesday as well, well the starter for it, then it'll just have to rise for 2 hours and bake for 30 minutes, it can rise between 2 to 5 hours so I'll be able to pull it out in the morning and stick it in the oven right before we're ready to eat, plus it makes 3 loaves, so it should be plenty of bread!
I cook my turkey all night long, on 200 heat, then in the morning you wake up and your whole house smells of turkey (mmmm, nothing like it!) then I have my oven free for everything else throughout the morning and early afternoon and just brown it up the hour before we'll be ready to eat!

My love for cooking this meal is how much my family loves it. How it lasts us for a few days afterwards (no cooking for a few days afterwards!! Wahoo!), and well lets get real here...how good it is! I can remember the first time I made a turkey on my own, we were stationed 13 years ago in Baumholder, Germany....it was our first Thanksgiving now with family. I was so nervous and called my mom at LEAST 5 or more times, so scared I was going to ruin everything. We had a ton of people over, 2 families, and I think 10 single soldiers. The only mishap was the pumpkin pie, one of the pies (out of 2) I used the frozen pit crusts, and left the plastic lid in one of them and poured the pie filling right on top! LOL But it amazingly didn't melt and Chad happily had a pie to himself! We had thankfully served the other pie first and between the pumpkin, chocolate, and a cake a friend brought we never cut into that 2nd pie until everyone else had left and we discovered my foul up! LOL We still laugh about that. I hope everyone has a funny mess up from a big Thanksgiving dinner that they and their spouse can laugh about for years to come.

One thing I have learned, is I like being the cook. I don't want to share any of the responsibility! I want to be the only one to cook it all, if someone wants to bring an appetizer or a side dish I didn't plan to make, or dessert...I'm good with that, but I want the "heavy cooking" left to me. I know it's selfish, I just seriously love it. Plus we've discovered, if someone makes their stuffing/dressing differently than yours and it's not good...well it's kind of disappointing lol.

We have also went to serving it buffet style. It's just easier for us, when we have so much food and more than just our famly at the table, goodness with all that food, it's still easier to have it buffet style with just our family!

So what are your family food traditions, any other traditions? We go around our table and share our Thanks to God for various things throughout the year, depending on the friends, we'll play cards or a boardgame as adults and the kids normally are playing, if it's not too cold they'll playoutside for a while, if it's been snowing, they'll go sledding, watch a movie (normally a Thanksgiving or Christmas one). Lots of family time and laughter and praising GOD. Is there anything better?




Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Heaven Gained an amazing woman

I got a call this afternoon from my mom. My "step" Grandma (step is such a loose word, as that was NEVER EVER EVER how she treated us or how I felt about her.) Her first name is Nona and it's always what I called her. My Grandpa married her when I was a junior in high school. Nona was an angel on earth. No she wasn't perfect, but she was perfect for my Grandpa and our family. She had a beautiful heart and had no problem speaking her thoughts either.

She died in her sleep last night. My sweet precious Grandpa is who I'm aching for the most. His first wife, who's my mom and her brothers mom, died when she was only 23 years old. My mom was 2 and her brother was 1. He remarried with in a year or so, to a woman who he and my grandma had known and used to play cards with her and her (ex) husband. The woman who ultimately raised my mother was not a kind woman. She brought 4 boys into the marriage, Grandpa had 2, and together they had 1 (son). My mom was the only girl. She was pretty classicaly treated like Cinderella to put it lightly. When I was in the 2nd grade she had a heart attack, she was taken to the hospital and had surgery and when the dr came out to tell Grandpa the surgery went well, she went into cardiac arrest and died. He was alone for 10 years. He never dated, worked for Sante Fe Railroad, and was a devoted Grandpa. When he met Nona a joy came into his life that's so hard to explain. He'd always been a happy man, but this was a whole new happiness. It was a joy deep in his soul. Both are devoted Christians and very active in their church. When they got married there was never a moment that my brother or I felt like we were "step" Grandkids. She simply loved us.

I miss her and have missed her since we've been living in Germany and now knowing I'll never get to see or talk to her again, my heart breaks. We're working right now on trying to get our passports renewed so we can get back to the states for the funeral and to spend time with my Grandpa.

Please be in prayer for my Grandpa and all my family.





Lord Undo Me

I'm listening to Klove.com and JD (the current DJ on) just shared this beautiful poem.....


I don’t really worship these day
I don’t really stand up to praise you with songs
Or prayers or actionsor with anything
I am full of all the right moves
I am full of all the right words
I am full of all the right religion
But it is all just illusion
I am really
Lonely
Lost
Calloused
Jaded
Cynical
Too religious
Too realistic
and well really just to lazy
to worship you anymore
I have lost my first love
I have lost the joy of your presence
But most of all I have lost the fear of your glory
Father I need to see you again
Like Isaiah I want to stand in awe of your glory
To fall down at your feet
To come face to face with your
Perfection,Radiance,Goodness,Holiness,Awesomeness
I want to stand before you and see you for who you are
and me for who I amI want to be undone
I want to know me for who I really am
I want to see the depths of my heart
And know that you are the only way
You are the only truth
You are the only life
I want to see me and understand
What it really must have taken for you to
Love me
Care for me
See me
Speak to me
Want me
Communicate with me
Die for me
Die for me
Die for me
Lord, I want to stand in that place where all I can see is your glory
And my sin
Because in that place I can’t help but worship you.
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
Lord, undo my heart
break down these walls that I love so much
No, wait don’t,I’m scared I don’t know if I can handle this
don’t
But I can’t live this way anymore
I can’t stand here in this half-lifet
his going through the motions life
this not really alive life
Father, I need you so come in and do what you must
Cut out the tumor on my heart
Break down the walls that I love
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heartlet me worship you again
*Blake Williams




Wishing Days Away

This morning I wrote a status update about not wishing away days with your children, but you know I can expand on that to anyone in your life (spouse). Days are precious and we're never guarenteed a single one of them, they're a gift from God. When I see person after person posting how they can't wait for this day or that day and it's a constant day after day, month after month issue, it breaks my heart. They don't get it. They justify it. "Well, my husband's deployed so I just want this year to go by fast so he can be home and then I want time to slow down" No, I'm sorry but to "me" that doesn't cut it. I've been through 5 deployments the last being 14 1/2 months long, yes I missed Chad more than I could ever describe in words, but I did my best to enjoy the days I had with my kids, and not wish our days away. We ALL have bad days and look forward to bedtime, but that shouldn't be a day in and day out thing, if so...I think that's when we need to take a good, hard, long look at ourselves and ask ourself why. What's our attitude. Is it one of selfishness or gratitude? Are we looking at the days we have as something we just have to get through or are we really living each day to the maximum? Did you praise God for this day? Have I praised God for this day? No, then lets do it right now. Thank you, Jesus for today. Thank you for my husband and my children: Jordyn who's safe in your arms, for Jacob who's growing up too fast and was recently said to himself and to me that he's looking like a teenager (he's not one yet and it broke my heart a little to step back and look at him and see how old he's getting, it seems like just yesterday I gave birth to him), Jackson who's got an innocence and immaturity about him that many 8 year olds are discouraged to have, yet is such a part of WHO Jack is, and what's wonderful and frustrating all at the same time. Emma who's our beautiful little girl, our princess, who's growing up far too quickly, who's smart and beautiful and loved by everyone who meets her. Noah, my sweet baby boy. He's sweet and loving and just enough ornriness that days with him are full of laughter. This baby who's growing inside of me, I do not know who she or he is yet, but God does. This child is a miracle and blessing and just a simple gift from GOD. Thank you for Chad. For the man he is and the man he's constantly becoming with the help of GOD. Thank you for bringing him home from every deployment he's been sent on to war torn nations, thank you for the father he is to our children, and the husband he is to me. He loves me no matter what size I am, how ugly in attitude I can be, how emotional and all over the place I can be, no matter if I'm irrational and irate or calm and peaceful...he loves me and challenges me to be better, but loves me no matter where I am.

Let me enjoy watching Emma throwing the balloon around and ancing around to Klove, as Noah runs around all crazy and silly and begs to go back into the kitchen because he's always hungry. Let me enjoy our homeschooling days, even when the boys procrastinate and sit there just looking at their pages. Please don't let me take any of these moments for granted.

I want to be gentle in my words and actions. Please Lord remind me everyday, not to take a moment for granted.








Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Something to Talk about

I just read an email sent from well the best way to describe it is a former friend. I wish her NO ill will, some friendships end. She was the head of the selection committee last year for the PWOC executive board. What that means is she selects a group of women who come together with her and they pray that God will give them discernment over who wants placed as the President, the VP, 2nd VP, Secretary, and Treasurer (although secretary and treasurer have different official names now). I've been part of the committee a couple years ago when one of my dearest friends was the selection head. To say that it can be stressful is putting it lightly. Our time together was often shared in great laughter, but we also took it very seriously and prayed so much together and individually. So anyways, I have absolutely no doubt that this person and her committee took this job very seriously and prayerfully. They put together an AMAZING board. Every woman that was placed are women I can personally say I adore and love and believe are amazing women of Christ. With that though, they all stepped down for various reasons, 3 of them were because they're moving. Yet God was VERY faithful and of course none of it was a surprise to him and a new board was in place in although not the way PWOC calls for it to be, in a Godly manner none the less and the new board is fabulous. I truly believe he placed the first group of women in their positions for their short season for a purpose and that purpose was completely served and brought Glory to GOD. I also believe this new board was created for the purpose to bring Glory to God.

I find out that a rumor is going around that I supposedly started, that I thought the person who selected the original board did so, to ultimately bring down PWOC, because she some how could predict the future and knew that board would "fail". I'm honestly so hurt and angry (and praying this is righteous anger) right now. I'm angry that such a rumor is even going around, much less that I started it. It's hateful, cruel, and ridiculous. The former friend emailed me and I am appreciative that she did and I've responded and of course told her I absolutely never said any of it, but told her to feel free to have the person who told her of this "rumor" to please come to me. The more I think about this the sadder I'm getting and now tears are falling. It's so hateful. I am NOT perfect and would love to say I have never gossiped as a Christian, but it's not true. I have and God in recent months has reconvicted me on this and I've been working hard to not only not gossip, but not participate in it (listening is participating).

I'm at a loss right now. Part of me wants to just scream, part of me wants to cry, and part of me says to just let it go...that Satan's attacking me and I can't and won't give him the upper hand.
Chad's sleeping so I can't go and talk to him about it, and I don't want to wake him over this.

I know God will lead me and I know I have to fully hand this over to him and let him deal with the person or persons who are not only gossiping, but full out lying.

Pro 16:28
A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

Gossip hurts and destroys.



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chad update!

Chad had surgery on Tuesday to remove the rod from his shoulder and from his spine and all went perfectly! We're so very thankful. It was such a very long day in general, we had a friend keep all 4 kids for us, which was a huge blessing, Chad had changed same friends brakes and rotars on her truck so that'd be done before her husband returns from his deployment in a few weeks. By the time we left her place it was almost midnight, we got home, tossed laundry into the dryer, took a shower, and finally got to bed, we got around 2 or so hours of sleep and then the alarm was going off to get up and head out for our 1 1/2 hr drive to the hospital. We were later than they told him, but they didn't seem to even notice, they got him in the room got him settled in and told us we could sleep for an hour or two until they came to take him down, which was a huge blessing. The day before I'd talked to one of the drs and he'd told me I'd be able to go see him in recovery after he'd been in there for an hour, that never happened. They took him down to the OR at 9:30 and at 3:00 I was finally able to see him. To say it was a long day, is putting it lightly! I was so exhausted. I stayed with him for about 30 minutes so I could make it back for Emma's last soccer game, he was doing well, but of course very tired. He was good when we called him that evening, and yesterday he was feeling much better. Today they took out the drainage tube from his shoulder and did xrays to take a look at his shoulder and spine and said all looked great. We will go pick him up in the morning!!!

We are so very blessed that God gave us a miracle with Chad's life. We do not take that for granted and are reminded that he is still a God who does give miracles. We've been on the otherside where it didn't feel like he did, when he took Jordyn home, but he gave her and us a miracle by not allowing her to suffer and loving her so much that he allowed her to return to Him, that can be hard to remember sometimes, but it's true whether I remember it or not. I'm so thankful we serve such an awesome, loving, merciful, and just GOD!

Thank you for all your prayers and support as well. We're so very blessed!



Thursday, October 06, 2011

Update

Amazing how when you're busy, time just flies by! I'm in my 4th month of pregnancy already, it's just flying by. The kids are all doing well with school. Jackson's reading has been a struggle for him, but we're seeing definite improvement, and a friend and fellow homeschooler shared some tips with me on helping him. She has a son his age and another Jacob's age who both also do and did struggle with reading, so I'm very prayerful that over the next few months we'll have a full fledge reader on our hands. Emma's doing very well with her letters and loves doing school work. We're going slow and steady. Jacob's doing great, although we're working on him rushing through everything, when he takes his time he never misses a thing!





Chad is having surgery on Tuesday. He'll be having the titanium rod removed from his spine and he'll also have the titanium rod removed from his shoulder. He's a bit nervous, so please keep him in his prayers. The surgeon told him that after surgery and his physical therapy he should be back to 95% of what he was before the accident. He would like to be at 100%, but let me tell you, I'm just truly so thankful to the Lord for allowing him to have survived the accident. He could have easily have been paralyzed....but yet here he is, a walking miracle. I know he forgets that











Thursday, September 22, 2011

Busy but blessed

I've been terrible at blogging lately. I haven't read blogs or anything in weeks. So it's been a over a month, so an update. We started school and it's really going well. We will most likely be taking a couple weeks, if not a full month off when the baby comes, so we're working to get ahead of the game. Emma's started doing some very basic preschool work, of writing letters. I had read a blog a while back about how when teaching children to write, teach them to write in lower cases first, which is not the norm, because...the majority of letters you write is in lower case. Once they have those down, then teach them in uppper case. When you think about it, it makes total sense and darn it I wish I had known that with Jacob and Jackson, but I can't change that and that's the beauty of homeschooling we can learn and make adjustments!

The pregnancy, baby #6 is growing perfectly. She or he is literally measuring eactly as she/he should. I'm 14 weeks along and feeling good. The nausea has even pretty well passed for the most part, so I'm very thankful. It's really been a very,very easy pregnancy. It's amazing and after Emma and Noah's where I was sick the whole pregnancy, it's a nice change of pace! Anyone who thinks every pregnancy is the same, has never been pregnant more than once!

Life is rather busy, but in a good way. Football practice twice a week, tae kwon do 2 times a week, soccer and ballet once a week (same day), then homeschool Art and homeschool PE start and round out our week. Our one truly and completely day of rest is Thursday. Saturday's we have football game...Sunday we have church and AWANA. Each boy are in one sport and of course our homeschool activities. Emma's in one sport and ballet and does PE with our homeschool group and all 3 do AWANA. I've told them if they feel that they're just overwhelmed, just to speak up. They're all enjoying their individual activities. Chad's coaching football and soccer, so it's been great for them to have that time with him. I have PWOC, but have stepped back from volunteering. I'm helping our AWANA program to get going this year, it's the 7th year of AWANA in our community and I've been here since the beginning. I'm the only one. We have 4 others who have returned this year, 1 is the new Commander (she was a Sparks leader last year), one's a T&T leader , and Chad who's the Games director, and one's our Sparks secretary. I told them I'll be an undependable volunteer and come when I feel like it, but to not be counted on. I also said I'll fill in for the Sparks director and secretary when they can't be there.
I just feel God calling me to a quieter time. I'm helping lead a bible study in PWOC, Crazy Love by Francis Chan. If you have not read this book, I highly encourage you to! It's been wonderful. We have had 2 classes, the first week was just ice breakers and getting to know each other, so this week was our first class to talk about the first chapter and it was wonderful. To already see where and how these ladies are with their walk with Christ, what he's already doing in their (and my own) walk. Please be in prayer for our class. We have an amazing group of women and ladies in different places in their walk with the Lord. He's going to do amazing things through this class, you can literally just feel it! I feel blessed and humbled to be co-leading the class and being able to share with these ladies.

Now to Chad. He went up to the hospital where he had his surgery last year after the horrible accident. He has surgery scheduled for Oct 11. The surgeon who put the rods in, will be taking them out. Please pray for his surgeon as well as for Chad. I'll be with him the day of surgery. He'll be released with that Thursday or Friday. I'm praying it'll be Thursday, but when ever is best for him and his healing process. We don't know what will be next, if he'll need to be on leave after surgery, and we know he'll have to start back up on Physical Therapy. He's on leave right now, and we're trying to get a lot done while he is. We're going to be rearranging the living room and dining room. Pulling up carpet in the living room and tossing it (it's in bad shape) and laying down carpet in the living/dining room that our old neighbors gave us, that's in perfect, unstained condition!!! We want to go through our attic and get rid of that stuff we don't need/use/want. We need to do the garage as well!
We're a little behind in all of that, because Noah's been sick this week, but seems to be on the mend so hopefully tomorrow we'll get lots accomplished! Thankfully right now Friday's a free day other than our homeschool PE, but that will give Chad time without little people under his feet and can get things moved. He'll be moving our buffet out, mopping the dining room floor, and laying the dining room carpet. Hopefully Saturday when we get home from football, we can start on the living room. We have our antique shrunk that will be moved into the dining room, then we have to move all the other furniture out of the living room and pull this gross carpet out and mop the floor, lay the carpet and rearrange the furniture! I'm hopeful we can get it done Saturday. I think we'll sleep good, Saturday night!!!! :)

Once we're done I'll take pictures and post.

Well, this pregnant woman is exhausted and I'm going to get into bed, with prayers that we get a full nights sleep because I don't think Mr. Noah will be up all night feeling crummy!

God's blessings,



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Farewells

I don't write a lot about us being an Army family here. It's part of who we are, and I'm so exceptionally proud of my husbands service as well as our family as a whole, but yet I rarely find myself writing about it. One of the hardest things of this life is saying goodbye to friends. My kids have had to say goodbye so much over their young lives, and they're once again about to say goodbye to friends. Two brothers will be moving. When we moved from the stairwell to our house last year, these boys were the first kids they met in the new neighborhood and it didn't matter that their dad is an officer and ours is enlisted.....to me that's a sign of great parenting in the military (when the kids simply don't care....trust me they've had "friends" who have tried to pull the rank junk, so this momma has had to lay down the law quickly that kids don't have rank). It's hard on this momma's heart to see my kids hurting as they have to say goodbye. It doesn't feel fair and honestly it just stinks, especially when those friends are leaving a year earlier than expected. They're entering a season where goodbyes will be plentiful though. They have many friends who'll remain, but there are so many who will be leaving. So although for many military the busy moving time is coming to a close, our post seems to be still in high gear. Please keep my military kids in your prayers as well as all the others, whether they're the ones being left behind or the ones moving (having to meet new friends at a new place, etc). I try to protect my children from as much as I can, but I can't protect them from sad hearts from saying goodbye to friends. It is part of life, most definitely part of the military life, but it doesn't make it easier.





Thursday, July 21, 2011

I know it's been a month since I last blogged, but life just keeps going! We finished up VBS, during VBS a friend who's a missionary flew in for 12 days so we did a lot of local sight seeing and went down to Garmisch, then she headed to Switzerland for the majority of the month and will return next Friday for the weekend, before she heads back to Africa.

Although it's summer, someone forgot to tell German weather that! This has been the coolest summer yet! I really hope it warms up so we can go swimming a few times at least.

I started watching a friends baby last week. She's almost 7 weeks old, so it's definitely an adjustment for me as I juggle a newborn and a at time very jealous 14 month old little guy, along with the older 3 kids! We're also working on school, yes even through the summer. One subject a day. We've had many sleepovers, lots of park time (when it's not raining), and over all a great deal of family time!

I thought our life was going to slow down, but the reality is, I don't think we're going to have a true slow period again for a very long time and you know I'm good with that. We're not over busy, we have lots of down time still and we have a sit down around the table, home made dinner every night (unless we splurge and go out, but that's a rare treat). Jackson just started Tae Kwon Do, twice a week and so while he's in class I'm working out.
(I published this before I was finished...oops!)

So my one comment so far mentioned the heat wave in the US....trust me we've heard all about it! We're definitely on the opposite end of the spectrum here, it's not warm enough to run around in shorts most days, but instead jeans or athletic pants, etc...many days a sweatshirt is called for. It stinks when you're more than half way through July and you're dressing like it's October! LOL But God's giving us this season for a reason and well I could be sweating day in and day out so I'm going to be grateful for what the Lord has given us! Plus although we have portable A/C's they are not the same as central air that's for sure!

Well, I should take advantage of nap time while I can and fold some laundry...that unending horrible chore that I dislike more than anything! Oh and I forgot to share...Chad will not be joining his unit in Afganistan! His unit is actually overmanned and has already begun sending soldiers home (1 and 2 at a time) so we actually missed out on a deployment which just seems amazing after 3 in a row of every other year and the last one being 14 months. We're very thankful! He'll be scheduling surgery very soon to have the rods removed from his shoulder and back, then restarting physical therapy. We are so blessed!




Monday, June 20, 2011

VBS week

Our lives have slowed down a bit. Not sure if I shared that or not yet, but I'm so thankful. Now don't think we're not doing anything, oh to the contraire...we just started VBS this week! I initially volunteered to head up the snack room, and because the volunteer who was supposed to lead and end the day and do music has not made it back from the states, I some how got voluntold (yes that's a word...no seriously it's a military term, ask any Soldier or other military member). I love the kids, love singing so it all works out.

Besides VBS we also will be welcoming a friend on Wednesday. My friend "K" will be flying in, in the morning (I'll be missing VBS that day). I have to admit I'm starting to dread Wednesday morning though. A friend found out I was going to the airport and asked if I'd take a friend of hers and her daughter to the airport. Well this lady's daughters flight leaves at 9:30 am, which is right around the time my friend will be arriving, not a problem, oh except that the daughter has to be at the airport 2 hours ahead of time since it's an international flight....yikes, that means she needs to be there by or around 7:30, oh and did I mention we're 2 solid hours from the airport? No, yes we are. So do your math...guess what the LATEST is that I can leave our house...yeah about 5:20 because I will need to pick up the lady and her daughter, get her luggage loaded up and head down the road. The only good thing is, that I should not hit much morning traffic on our way there and I'll hopefully have someone to talk to on the way up there besides Noah who normally falls asleep fairly quickly in the van as it is! :) So guess who's going to be taking a little sleep aid tomorrow night at 8 PM so I can get some sleep and hopefully be exhausted and not able to keep my eyes open by 9 PM! That's the goal! If so I should get about 7 1/2 hours of sleep.

Ok with that, it's 12:30 AM so I need to get my hiney to bed, so I can be up and ready to go and out of the house by 8:20 in the morning!

Nighty-nite! :)

Have a blessed week, oh and I highly recommend if you can, volunteer at your local VBS this summer, when ever it is! Be an example to the kids, show your love of Christ. Even if it's out of your comfort zone, or maybe that should be especially if it's outside of your comfort zone! Even if all you can do is help decorate and maybe tear down decorations, or just be there to welcome kids.







Friday, June 17, 2011

In the Arms of Jesus

Sweet Ayden went home to our Lord and Savior tonight. Please be in prayer for his parents, Erin and Daryl...his big brother Caleb and baby sister Kaelyn, grandparents, and all their family and friends. My heart is just absolutely broken for the whole Phillips family. Please join me in prayers for this precious and heartbroken family.






Immediate Prayers Please


(Ayden's the one on the right/the smaller sweetie)

Please pray for my friend Erin, whose little boy, Ayden (3 1/2) was found floating in a pool. I do not have a lot of details as in how long, etc....but his brain is swelling and the drs have said that the swelling will continue for the next 3 days and there's nothing more they can do right now but wait and see. They have 2 other children a son who's older than Ayden and a brand new baby girl. Erin's such a dedicated mother and I can only imagine she's beating herself up over this horrible ACCIDENT. We all know how in a blink our kids can be with us and bang they're off doing something else. Please just pray that the Lord will give them a miracle. We know God's still doing miracles.



Christy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grateful

After my last post (thank you Betty for your loving words and wisdom!) I wanted to write about things I'm grateful for!

1. My Salvation.....so thankful that the Lord humbled himself into a man, was born in that stable, grew up as a carpenters "son", was sinless, and loved me so much that he died a horrifying death on the cross.

2. My husband....Chad is patient, forgiving, strong, faithful, trustworthy, dependable, funny, loving, caring, affectionate, devoted. He's a great husband and father and loves serving in the Army as well. A man in a uniform...what more can a girl ask for? Oh I know he LOVES Jesus!

3. My 5 children. We only had Jordyn in this world for 2 years and so thankful for each day we had with her. Jacob was an unexpected blessing. Jackson was a much planned blessing. Emma was a down on my knee's prayed for blessing, and Noah's an adored blessing. Somedays they make me want to pull my hair out, run screaming from the house, make me cry in my pillow....but honestly those moments are few and far between. The older two boys are well behaved, respectful to adults, helpful (to others) boys. Emma's a blue eyed charmer who pulls people in with her stunning eyes, sweet little voice, and cute face and then they fall in love with her heart. Noah's a beautiful baby boy, with stunning blue eyes himself, a smile that doesn't stop, who's loved by everyone who comes across him!

4. My friends. When you have those nearest and dearest friends are normally more like family of the heart. When you're a military family it's those friends who really are family. My two best friends are not even military, but I do have a best friend Army wife who almost 3 years ago moved back to the states, but is moving BACK to Germany (not here with me, but just 2 hours away!! HURRAY). I have been blessed with amazing friends over the years and am so thankful for each friend that God's brought into my life.

5. Extended Family: I have an amazing brother, sister in law, and nieces. I am so proud of my brother and his wife and just adore their girls. I love my parents, even though emotionally we're not close, they're my parents and there's a reason God gave them to me (it's a work in progress). I love my inlaws as well...my mother in law and I have had some bumps in the road, but the last few years I've let go of my own issue's and just accepted her and love her and am very thankful for her. Chad's step dad is a good man and loves us and we love him. Chad's sister well she's given us 2 nieces and a nephew that we love.

6. The Army...trust me pick the right day and I could easily not add the Army in as a blessing! LOL But honestly the Army has given Chad a good, solid career. We have a dependable paycheck every 2 weeks, medical care (again pick the day and this is not always a blessing, although we're very very thankful for Tricare when Jordyn was fighting cancer/fighting for her life).

7. My bible....I'm so grateful that I can read my bible where ever I choose. I'm thankful that the Lord gave men the words of his heart that he wanted us to have.

8. Our home....now I want to get specific here. I'm not talking the materialistic home itself (although I AM thankful for this house after 5 years in an apartment). I'm thankful that we have a safe place to come to, live in, raise our children in. I love that our home is a place of refuge, fun, joy, and peace for our children as well as their friends. Our home often has kids going in and out, our backyard is almost always full of neighborhood children.

9. Our church (and church family. I'm grateful I have a safe place to gather and trust in the Lord.

10. I'm grateful for the life God has given me. It's not perfect, it's not all sunshine and roses, there's not a lot of drama in it. I'm so thankful for my life..




Complicated endings

I don't know what to do. I don't know how to handle a person who's hurt me deeply. We've already talked about the hurts. I had unintentionally and unknowingly hurt her as well. We talked, face to face. We both cried, we both asked for forgiveness and gave it. We hugged, smiled, and even laughed. I thought that although things would take time to get back to where it had been, that it'd get there. I believe I was wrong. We live on a SMALL Army post in Germany, small. We are involved in many of the same activities. Our children love each other and my kids care about HER and her husband and her kids care about Chad and I. I still love on her kids, hug them, everything I've always done. But there's a wall and I have been praying for God's wisdom on this situation and he so far has been silent on the matter. I truly am just not sure what do.
She's not a bad person, just the opposite she's a good person with her own faults of course. She's loved and admired by many.

I just am at a loss here. I've had friendships who run their course and in a way it seems that's where we are at, but normally friendships that do that, you're not around each other often. It just feels so uncomfortable to me. I have no doubt Gods teaching me something in that uncomfortable feeling.

I am sad that the friendship seems to be over. I'd truly thought we'd be able to weather this small storm that we went through. It's hard. I wish I could pinpoint if I've unintentionally done something else to her, but the reality is we've hardly spoken since our conversation of getting everything out into the open. When her name is brought up, I normally smile, say something nice.

It's a lot easier to let a friendship drift off, when they move away or you do. When you're both here though, it's a lot tougher. Through writing this, I feel like God's telling me to let her go. Pray that I can be obedient and let go gently and just be still in Gods love and comfort.



Thursday, June 09, 2011

New Life


Emma and Baby M 2 days old

Last Friday, June 3 I got the priviledge of being a birthing coach! M is a single soldier who we love dearly. I took her up to the klinikum around midnight, her contractions were around 10 minutes apart, they kept her and had her try to get some sleep while i came home to get some sleep. She didn't want me to come up until her labor was truly active, so around 6 PM I got up there and she was in full force labor. She did amazing! She initially wanted to try to go unmedicated, while knowing that if it was just too much she could get something. It got to be too much and she had an iv med, which didn't help much other than make her tired, which considering she'd gotten about 2 hours of sleep over the last 24 hours wasn't really too helpful to her exhausted body. She finally decided she couldn't take it anymore and asked for an epidural, they finally moved her into the delivery room to get the epidural around 8:30, me and another friend were "kicked out" and at 9:20 we were finally allowed back in. It took them forever, and then the epidural never took. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at 9:50PM!! She did amazing and I'm truly so proud of her. It was one of the most exciting and blessed things I've ever been a part of! M and baby came home with me and she plans to spend the first week with us, she'll go home on Saturday. Let me tell you M is a great Momma and that sweet baby is beautiful, wonderful, and just pretty near perfect! I adore her!

It's been so precious to have a newborn in our home again. Chad's had baby fever for a good 6 months, I'd like to wait at least another 6 to 9 months before God blesses us with another one, IF it's his will for us to have another child. Of course she's so good, I don't think she's making him want to wait anymore! LOL

I'm going to be watching baby M once M goes back to work. I'm looking forward to it. I know it'll be challenging at times, but I know that I can do it. Thankfully M's apart of our family (she spends holidays with us and every important event) so she knows her sweet girl will be loved in our home. Emma's very excited that the baby will be spending her days with us. The older boys think she's very sweet! Noah thinks she's a toy/doll and although hasn't show full out jealousy, I can see it in our future, he is 12 months after all and our baby! :) So feel free to pray for us all as we adjust. I want to make sure I find a balance in all of this from homeschooling, taking care of all the kids, caring for our home, etc. I know God is gracious and his hand is over us.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Noah's birthday

Our Noah bug turned 1 or as I like to say 11 months and 42 days lol! The actual day of his birthday was low key. I made him cupcakes (his first taste of sweets) and he opened up his presents from the kids! It was a beautiful day and honestly couldn't have been better!!! His birthday party we invited just a few friends over (although one family that came does have 7 children so there was lots of kids), thankfully Noah's used to being around lots of kids, so it wasn't overwhelming to him!! He had lots of fun! We had a monkey cake made for him, it was adorable!!
The first slide show is from his actual birthday and the 2nd one is from his party a few days later!

















Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Last Day

Today is Noah's last day of being an infant. Oh how fast this last year has been. Last year on this day I didn't have a clue that tomorrow our world would change so drastically! I had no idea that for the first time in 12 years I'd get to experience labor again. I had no idea that the "best laid plans" were once again GOD's and not mine what's so ever!


(Noah climbed up on the slide all by himself)

Today, I'm eating up Noah still being able to be considered an infant one last full day. I'm loving on him as much as he'll allow (thankfully he's a cuddly BABY!!). So little bits about my sweet Noah James! He's the happiest baby in the world. He's almost always smiling and laughing. He's a total cuddler and love bug (as we call him). He laughs a lot. He's loved so deeply by everyone in our family and oh how he loves back! He adores his big brothers, especially Jacob and appreciates his big sister, who loves him a little obsessively! LOL





He's not walking, yet, but oh so close. He will happily take little steps between pieces of furniture. He's taken to if he's beside a wall, using one hand to steady himself with and walking along it quite quickly, normally giggling the whole time! He's mastered crawling up stairs (much to my dismay) when he see's the gate is left open and he's up quickly as lightening, only stopping to turn and grin if he see's someone's caught him and is going up behind him! haha





He has 6 teeth that have popped through so far and more to come I'm sure, very soon! His eyes twinkle constantly. He makes all of us laugh constantly. I honestly don't know if I've laughed so much from a child as I have from Noah! (Please know I'm not taking away from my other kids who also make me laugh, Noah just makes me laugh a little more often and a little harder!)




Jackson,Noah, and Jacob

He's one loved, adored, and doted on little man!







How could you not love and adore that face??? He's the epitimy of beautiful perfection isn't he?!! I'm so thankful for the blessing that is Noah James. Happy Last day being 11 months old my sweet beautiful boy. I love you and adore you, forever and ever.






























































Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sweet Mercy

Praise the Lord, I made it! I made it through May 8, through Mother's Day. Chapel service was hard, hard, hard. I cried through the majority of it. AWANA was a good distraction for me, but I came home emotionally exhausted and vegged out the rest of the evening. I told Chad I wanted nothing for Mother's Day. He did get a card from the kids and one from him. Jackson made me a picture and Jacob gave me a homemade coupon book. Those meant more to me than anything they could have bought (although Jack really, really, really wanted to buy me something).

Thursday will be the anniversary of her funeral and burial, it's another hard day, but nothing like the 8th. I am so very thankful we have such a Gracious and merciful Lord and Savior. I don't know how else I'd get through these hard days. I look at those who deny Jesus as their Savior and wonder how in the world they get through one single day, much less such hard ones.

Thank you for praying me through Sunday. None of you will know how crushing that day was to me. What most people don't get is that you ARE thankful for the children still walking on this earth, but that does not make you miss the one who's not any less. For many bereaved Mom's, Mother's Day is already a difficult day, but let me tell you I never experienced it being so absolutely AWFUL until this year. When a day that was created to celebrate me, to celebrate those who made me a Mother...to not have the child who MADE me a mother first, to have the day that celebrates this huge part of who I am, who I love about me,to know that day is the same day as the worst day of my life.....painful does not even describe how I felt. But that day is over, and with God's grace I came out breathing and even had a smile on my face a couple times. I was able to think of how she met Jesus that day and how as painful of a day that was for me, it was the most glorious day for her! I DO celebrate her life and even her death. I do still miss her and long for her, yet would never want to bring her back from Heaven.

I thank you, Jesus for my 2 years with Jordyn. I thank you for loving her so much that you allowed her relief and gave her Heaven. I thank you for holding me so tightly over the last 11 years, and for allowing me the promise of you continuing to hold me oh so tightly for the rest of my days on this earth. Thank you for your mercy on each and everyone of us. We sure don't deserve it in our own selves, but in you we're new, loved, and forgiven.






Saturday, May 07, 2011

May 8

It's after midnight in Germany now, it's officially May 8 and yes "Mother's Day". I know it's a day to honor mothers, to celebrate mothers. I do not want to celebrate this year. IF I could stay in bed all day I would. I won't be allowed to, because life just doesn't work like that (plus we need new mattresses so my back would be aching....but anyways). 11 years ago, my sweet Jordyn Ashleigh took our Lord's hand and went home to Heaven. My heart knows I should celebrate the end of pain and suffering, the end of her battle against cancer. My mothers heart, the heart that aches and longs to feel her in my arms....it aches.

I am so thankful that I know where my child is. I'm thankful that I don't have to worry about her safety, her heart, her soul. I miss her though. I miss her smell, the sound of her voice, her laughter, her smile, the twinkle in her eyes, her singing. One sweet day I'll have all those things back.

I look to the Lord, he's where my help comes from. I am so thankful I have my Lord to lean on, to depend on....especially as my heart aches.

I love you my sweet Jordyn and miss you so much.



Monday, May 02, 2011

Events of the Day

I debated all day long one whether I'd write about the events of last night or not. I won't write a lot, but want to share a few of my thoughts and feelings of all of it. I have a sense of relief knowing that Osama (Usama) Bin Laden is dead. I'm also concerned at how AlQuida and fellow terrorists will be reacting over this news. I'm concerned for our military men and women who are down range. I'm concerned for all Americans all over the world, especially those who are in Muslim/Islamic countries, especially those there as missionaries. I am in deep prayer for all of them/us. I believe that the enemy will make him a Martyr.

I think those of us who are Christians need to come together and start praying immediately (if you're not already) for our troops safety and American's (and allies) in general. Let us not let our guards down, be vigilant if not even more so. For us who are military families....remember OPSEC. I think it's more important now than ever before. I'm often taken back at how much some bloggers will share online. From their specific location (come on there are some real CRAZIES out there and I'm not even talking terrorists!) to the locations of their military member. Personally, I don't think you can be too safe. For me, I don't and won't share where we're stationed, beyond Germany on here. I don't think it's wise and again there are just too many freaks out there...terrorists and others! So please be careful what you're putting out there. You NEVER know who's reading your blog.

I'm thankful for our military who's given so much....from their lives (and we've personally lost dear/close friends) to time with family and friends. Tonight I'm thankful to the specific SEALS who risked it all and made our world a little safer last night. I'm thankful that I'm married to a man who's been deployed 5 times (3 of them to Iraq). I'm thankful most of all that I have a Savior who loves me, who does not require me to kill innocent people or anyone for that matter.

So tonight as I drift to sleep, I'm thankful that there's one less terrorist in our world, but I do not live in a world that I believe 10 more didn't rise up. I have faith though in Jesus Christ and his full of mercy truth.

I am thankful God is far more merciful with me than I deserve. So although I'm not trying to say that what happened to OBL. I'm thankful I have the promise of Heaven,






Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter

I hope you all had a wonderful Resurrection Day! We went to the Sunrise service that our chapel had, it was short, but beautiful. We were able to come home and immediately Chad hid eggs out in the backyard and the kids had fun finding eggs, even sweet Noah joined in! The night before after we dyed them both of the older boys drew pictures of the 3 crosses on Good Friday. Let me tell you how blessed it is to see your children shining the TRUTH, knowing the TRUTH, knowing and loving Jesus. We had a couple friends over for dinner and dinner was so good! :) I made a turkey, ham, dressing, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy (from the turkey broth..yum!), and veggies. Our friend M made baked beans which were seriously awesome and I'm not normally a fan of them! Our other friend A brought cupcakes, and Chad and M made deviled eggs! Dinner was awesome!


The day was truly blessed as we thanked the Lord for his sacrifice and for his fulfillment of the scriptures. It's truly so humbling to think of all he went through for me and for you to be allowed to enter the Kingdom of HEAVEN. On Friday (Good Friday that is) our chapel did a short service, dinner, and then showed The Passion of the Christ. We own the movie, but the last time we watched it was 7 years ago. I remember sobbing and hiding my face through a good portion of it. I've felt the Lord whispering that it was time that I was reminded just what he went through for me. It's not a movie that can be taken lightly. It's not a movie that just anyone can watch, and I think you need to be prepared. There's no way to prepare your heart, but be prepared to have your heart moved beyond measure when you see exactly what he went through for you. It's humbling and heartbreaking. If you've never seen it, I urge you to watch it. If you've not watched it in a while...I encourage you to pray and see if the Lord is calling you to watch it once again. Jacob wants to watch it, but I just don't feel like he's quite ready for it. It's so graphic and although it's true, I just want him to be mature enough and truly ready to watch it. I think in a couple more years he'll be ready, but we'll keep seeking God's wisdom on when to expose him to this harsh reality.
With that, I'm ending with pictures that I've taken over the last couple of weeks. Lots of Noah and quite a few from Easter. Be blessed.



Emma with our friend "M"'s dog, Skittle...taking her for a little bike ride


Emma getting her nails painted by her big brother, Jacob




Emma decorating a cookie




Jacob and Jackson...my handsome boys


My world

Excited to see their Easter baskets!!!

This is my favorite photo of Noah and Chad!

My sweet Noah

Loving swinging

Noah and his big brother, Jacob

Getting some loving from Jackson