Saturday, October 11, 2008

the night before

We've had a wonderful day today. We didn't do anything special, we just stayed together and played and worked and ran errands ALL ... DAY ... LONG. The boys played so well this morning while Will tried to finish some projects, then we all went out to run errands together. Then we came home, ate fast food and watched part of a movie together until bedtime. It was so nice just to spend all that time together. Ben napped in the car so he was fine and the boys did so well waiting and sitting at all the places we wanted to go. We've been so busy lately, I feel like I'm in a whirlwind and still barely keeping up with things. I'm hoping things will settle down soon and I can get the cluttered, messy, newly renovated house in order and finally clean. It's been a disaster area which has added to the mess in my brain. :) When I'm in a messy place, I don't think as straight or as clearly. I can't wait until my Mom gets here at the end of November to really help. She's an organizer extraordinaire with energy and drive to spare (and I wonder where Charley gets it ... she's also a lefty just like Charley, the only two on either side of the family). :)

Anyway, I thought today would be more rough than it has been, but we've enjoyed each other so much, and been so busy, that there just hasn't been time or reason to. So last thoughts before tomorrow are ... thankful that our neighbors are helping out with the kids so I can give Will a calm, proper goodbye tomorrow and not have to worry about them seeing me cry or running off somewhere (into the water) ... happy that other friends will be there to see him off too b/c I'll feel so surrounded by support and love ... tired because we have been up so late ... sorry that Will has been working so hard up until the last minute ... hopeful that we both can rest after tomorrow and start fresh on a new schedule (and that we don't get sick, again) ... and glad that the goodbyes will be over soon, and there will be only hellos to look forward to. :)

Thank you for your prayers tomorrow; we will really need them.

Friday, October 10, 2008

a day of dread, a day of hope

For the last few months, there's been a day I've been dreading ... October 12, deployment day. Every time I even thought about this impending day, I teared up and had to control myself to not bawl. Of course, sometimes (when it was appropriate) I would let myself just feel and experience the feelings of fear and grief and loneliness that I was experiencing. Lately, I've felt as this day is drawing near, the more I've focused on it, and the more I've also thought that maybe I was focusing on it too much. So during these last days, I've tried to pray for others and their struggles more. I've fallen asleep praying and thinking about them instead of crying for myself or dreading the future. On my short list right now ... my grandparents who are going through a life change with the arrival of a live-in caretaker while my grandfather recovers from a stroke, and my grandmother recovers from a dislocated shoulder ... a single Mom with two toddlers trying to be the best parent she can be to them while dealing with her own life issues (job changes, relationships, hope for the future, recovering from the past), a local friend with a newborn, learning how to balance two children and dealing with her father's struggle with cancer ... another local very pregnant friend on strict bedrest trying to make sure she doesn't go into labor too early, as well as dealing with how helpless she is as she longs to return to her normal tasks as a wife and mother.

I can still cry at the drop of a hat if I allow myself to think about this Sunday, but the odd thing is that once we get past this one day, I will immediately leave behind a day that I've been dreading and instead gain a day that I will look forward too for the next 7 months, Homecoming! It's odd that the same day I dread, will also be the beginning of the hoping phase of this journey. Yes, I'll still have difficult days with the boys and the pregnancy, but those days will happen randomly and without my prior knowledge rather than be pre-appointed days that I dread. More importantly, now I'll have a definite day to look forward too, as well as days in between when I've asked relatives to visit and help out.

Once I get past Sunday, I think I'll have a lot more days to look forward to, than not and SO... for that, I am ready for Will to leave and just get on with his deployment, and for us to get on with our lives. I'm ready to NOT dread a day and not cry when I think about it, not that there won't be other days of tears and frustration, but now, at the very least, I'll have a definite day to hope for, and more for that matter because I'll have the birth of my baby to look forward to as well. :) (although that's surrounded with mixed emotions because Will is most likely going to miss it and I can only hope that I have relatives in town when it happens because I'll be on my own). This only begins a long list of things that I am going to HAVE to learn to trust to the perfect planning and providence of God. It won't do me any good to fear or dread them, so I hope He can teach me to let Him take care of me, which might be difficult because I'm a planner. :)

With that in mind, I am so happy for the blessings He has already sent my way and for the providence He's given me, as I mentioned in my last post.

First, Will and I made a wonderful discovery upon our return to our Norfolk home in Ingleside ... new neighbors, great neighbors. They're a young, newlywed, Navy couple, without children, who love children, our children and who have offered to help me in any way they can. On top of that, the wife is an EMT and in training to be a nurse! (I've already asked her to drive me to the hospital if my family is not in town). :)

Second, I have a wonderful group of friends that I returned to at our church and in the area, here in Hampton Roads, including new friends who just moved here who have already been such a great help to us. It just so happens that our children were born within days of each other, we're both pregnant with our third (only a month apart) and I have the same birthday as the wife. I feel like we've been living parallel lives. :) Anyway, the husband has come over several days and nights to help Will fix up our home for me before he leaves, he's actually here right now. :) They have also offered help in any way I need it. I also have other wonderful friends who have watched the boys, or taken one to pre-school or picked them up so I could get to a doctors appointment or sign my will. :)

Third, I have found a wonderful girl to babysit for me a couple of times a week. She lives close and she loves kids and she's very good with mine. I'm so excited! On top of that, I have planned a schedule for family to visit every month or for me to go visit family. In fact, Will's Aunt is driving down from D.C. to help me fly to TX for Christmas with both our families and that is such a huge blessing!

Apart from the physical help of dealing with the boys and our lives day to day, I have a wealth of people praying for us and although I may place more emphasis on someone willing to watch my kids for a few hours, I know that the prayer is what will truly make the difference for us. So, I thank you ALL in advance for the prayers you send our way because they will be the prayers that sustain me when I'm mentally and emotionally overwhelmed ... they will be the prayers that find someone to help me when I need help ... and they will be the prayers that protect me, my children and my husband while we cannot be together.

I hope this beginning of a long list of blessings will be a brighter note during this interesting time for us and bless you as you remember that EVERY good gift comes from God.

Monday, October 06, 2008


I wanted to blog tonight, for once, in a month, or almost 2, but I'm just too tired. I just don't have time to do justice to the wealth of emotions, thoughts, blah, that is running through my head right now - just 7 short days before Will deploys for 7 long months. I feel like I am on a new planet from anything I've experienced emotionally in a loooong time. Ok, maybe just 4 years, since his last deployment, but now I have 2 kids and another on the way. Oh yeah, I forgot to blog about that, surprise blog world- I'm 11 weeks pregnant!! :) due April 22, just a few weeks before Will returns. These parts of my life fill thoughts and words and posts beyond what I'm capable of enscribing here tonight, but I know that I will, and need to for my sanity, soon.

For those of you wondering what I need or what you can do (hopefully there are some of you) :)
- please pray for us whenever we come to mind
- please randomly call me to say hi for no reason at all, other than human contact. I hate being alone and I rarely get phone calls, probably b/c most of my friends are busy Moms whom I already run in to at church or on Facebook, but for those of you who have the time, or can make a moment to spare (even if I just saw you at church), I know I'd appreciate it. (ps. you don't have to ask how I'm doing, just talk about anything) :)
- please forgive my mood swings ... any sarcasm, defensiveness, ungratefulness, self-deprication, denial, avoidence, fakeness (the one I hate the most), are all likely to represent during the next 7 trying months of my life, so I ask for your grace ahead of time while I vent to blogland.
- if I manage to blog during this crazy, busy time, I would appreciate any comments, encouraging or critical (can you tell I crave human interaction?) :)
- come visit me! :) or get together, especially on the weekends (which will turn into just another work day for me)

Meanwhile, I will be praying constantly that Divine interaction would fill me until I thirst no more. While I'm extremely emotional about this, I'm also extremely hopeful and full of faith that God can make this time sweeter than I could have dreamed. I know He doesn't promise that I won't struggle or reach my hypothetical limit, but I believe that when I do, He will be there to help me in ways that only He can. I pray also that I SEE these ways and don't miss them and become bitter at God for letting me hurt so much. I hope that I can have perspective about how blessed I am, all the while allowing myself to deal with things that are still difficult for me now.

I have already seen His hand moving and preparing a way for me. I know there is more He hasn't even revealed yet and I am anxiously looking forward to sharing that here and experiencing it with my boys and my friends.

Lord, please see us through.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

quick business :)

Alicia (US-Dallas), :) please send me your e-mail address again. I've been thinking about you and wanting to e-mail, but I can't find your address anywhere! I'd love to catch up sometime. Thanks, Leigh

Saturday, August 23, 2008

wow, it's been a month already!

(dedicated to Christianne for faithfully checking my blog, Thanks!) :)

I'm not promising anything incredible, just a simple update ... maybe something incredible later ... maybe :)

It's been a looong month. Will was gone for 3 weeks and then got back sometime during the first week of August. His parents came to visit for 5 days; that was fun. Time is flying, we've been so busy doing I have no idea what ... a little house hunting (to no avail), a lot of down time, a lot of family time, a lot of Olympic watching time, a lot of spending time with friends, trying to fix up the house, figure out what we want fixed, figure out who is going to fix what and when and for how much.

I've been tired missing lots of sleep from staying up too late watching the Olympics and some nights going to bed really early, only to be awaken several times in the night by my cute, but needy two year old wanting anything from water, to his "Gi-Gi" bear, to being covered up again, the list could go on. :) I don't know why he started this, but I hope it ends soon. I can usually go right back to sleep after the first time, but 1/2 hour to an hour later and the second time ... sometimes keeps me up for an hour or two even though I'm dead tired. I think I just get really woken up that second time and it gets my brain going and thinking and actually writing blogs that I will never post b/c I can't remember them. I wish I had a brain recorder that could just know what I'm thinking so I could type it up later. :) I could talk into, but I would wake Will up, maybe not, he's such a sound sleeper, I'm jealous.

Anyway, Yay for my husband for finally finishing our laminate floor. No more nasty, old carpet :) Of course now it's hard and I can SEE everything on it, but at least it's more sanitary (I think). I'm proud of him for doing it himself though! :) It took him awhile b/c he kept having to leave on the ship and had been working looong hours.

I'm really looking forward to the kids starting pre-school and a little sports class at the Y in the fall. We'll do gymnastics after that. I'm already thinking about sports that will be good for Charley's energetic, yet focused nature. After seeing how Phelps had ADD and swimming helped him, it got me thinking. Well, Charley doesn't have ADD, but certainly the energy. He even said he wanted to be like Michael Phelps and practiced doing the backstroke on our bed, so cute! :) He also ate 3 eggs!! the other morning. I couldn't believe it. We'll see what he enjoys. It will be an interesting road, but fun I think. Oh yeah, Charley is officially a Lego maniac. :) Yay! :) Will and I both love Legos! :) We're starting the "keep your legos picked up" lessons early so hopefully I won't be stepping on them for the next 10 years.

Ben continues in his most adorable stage yet. "Mommy, I good boy." "Mommy, I obey." "I sweet boy." "I share Chachy!" He's so talkative and oh so cute. I almost wish he wouldn't grow anymore. From his cute little fingers and nose, to his size and movements and cute keeps my heart overflowing daily.

I'm mostly enjoying Will being home for a longer stretch. He's even going to take some mandatory pre-deployment leave soon. We're going camping next weekend in the Shenendoah's and I think it will be gorgeous! I can't wait to let the boys run around and explore!

Oh yeah, my Mom got really sick with kidney stones recently ... it got so bad that her kidney was shutting down and she got sepsis (blood poisoning) and spent 5 days in ICU. But now she's out and doing so much better. She is attending our family reunion back in TX this weekend and I'm so sad we had to miss it. Anyway, thanks to all who prayed for her recovery.

Well, that's all for now. God's blessings abound even when I feel like I'm at the base of a huge mountain that I know I could never climb on my own ... His provisions for me during deployment are being revealed to me slowly, but surely and I am trying with all my, no, His might to continue to trust Him and lean on Him and even hope for a few miracles along the way (more on that later though). I'm trusting that deployment will not only be a fun, but a fruitful time for us all here at home. I'm not sure I even believe that it can happen now, but I believe that if I allow God to be in control, He can/will do it. Wow, I'm really trying to have that much faith. It's odd, I feel like I believe that God could move an actual, physical mountain, more than
I believe he can make deployment a happy time for me. ugh, well, He's not finished with me yet, there's hope, I'm still growing, and want to, and want to trust Him more. Thank you for all the prayers that are and will help me do that. I need it. We all need it at different time. Thanks for reading (and commenting). :) I hope to hug you soon and if I can't, I'm missing you. God bless.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

precious moment #2,395,217,024

putting the boys to bed tonight. i pray with each one and sing them a song. right now it's Kurt Kaiser's hymn "Oh, How He Loves You and Me". Ben wouldn't even let me sing to him until i remembered this song and tried it; now he asks for it every night.

so I sang and prayed with Ben. then went over to Charley ... prayed, started to sing, Charley started to sing with me, then Ben ... all to the very end ... oh what heaven.

it's moments like those that make all the tears worth it. that, and the fact that God loves them and they're precious, ok well there's that.

anyway, it was beautiful. thanks El Shaddai.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

fun silly learning songs

I've been meaning to post this just because we enjoy them so much. The old 80's group They Might Be Giants (of "Istanbul" and "Birdhouse in Your Soul") finally had kids and decided to apply their zaniness to children's music. They've come up with a wonderful album called "Here Come the A,B,C's" and "Here Come the 1,2,3's" and there are songs on there about tons of the letters and numbers. They're great! We love them and the kids love them and learn with them. Some of our favorites are "Alphabet of Nations", "E Eats Everything", and "Seven". There are so many more, oh yeah, Charley likes "813 Mile Car Trip" who knows why. :) Many of them don't make a lot of sense, but are silly and repetitive which is a perfect combo for getting kids to learn. Anyway, visit You Tube to see some of the video's yourself, then decide. :) OH yeah, don't forget "Never Go To Work" which teaches the days of the week! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

riddle (sort of)

What does 2 hours at the Y, with the kids in Childwatch, with no energy to work out, remembering to bring your books with you and a newly renovated sitting area on the 6th floor get you? ... just for fun, pointless, poetry! :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

things we've been up to

It feels like things have been in a whirlwind around here lately; time, has especially been flying. Where to begin . . .

About two weeks ago now, I led music for a ton of kids during a week of vacation Bible school at our church. We did the "Power Lab" Theme by Group Publishing, and it was a lot of fun. I'm sorry I'm going to miss dressing up like a pirate for the Veggie Pirate theme our church back in RI is doing, but it was still fun dressing up like a scientist and getting more experience. I definitely see this as a niche for me. The director wants me to do it every year, and even though I don't like to get stuck doing the same thing every time, just in case God has different plans, I can definitely see that I am needed and helpful in this area. I love music and I love large groups of kids (in small doses). :)

At the end of that week, Will took me to a Navy Surface Warfare Ball at the Norfolk downtown Marriott hotel. It was beautiful, and my second Navy event there. Will was sweet enough to let me get a new dress for the occasion and even wanted to go with me to pick it out. He loves dressing me up! :) Anyway, I ended up picking out a black, strapless, long Jessica McClintock dress. I wore huge chandelier earrings and gold, rhinestone studed shoes (from a previous dressy engagement). It was fun to get all dressed up. We ended up meeting some people at our table that were from Katy, TX, where we got married. It turns out that Will attended a Bible study in high school one summer with the dad of the lady we met. In fact, we found out later that her dad remembered Will. It's such a small world.

It's also always humbling to go to these events because you meet so many people who have sacrificed so much in service to our country ... so many deployments, losses, years of devotion and it makes me feel very insignificant in the big picture. I know Will is going to deploy later and we'll do our time (much shorter than many), but so far, it's been a much easier road for us than most.

Then, a few days later, Will's older brother, Robert, came to visit us for 10 days. He leaves tomorrow and has had a lot of time playing with his two nephews. I think he'll need a vacation from this vacation though since the boys kept him going so much!

Will has been very busy the last few weeks gearing up for a set of big inspections on his ship. He has had to learn a new ship and fix a lot of leftover mistakes in a very short time and I'm so proud of him and all the work he's been doing to help and really lead, the ship to pass it's inspections. He's really enjoying being back in the fleet again instead of in a classroom as he has been for so long. This is really an answer to prayer for me because I was really afraid he would not enjoy it because his last ship because so frustrating for him. When he's happy and productive at his job, the repercussions on our family are positive and that is a blessing and as many of you know, life in the military does not always provide the best work environment.

In other news, I'm starting to deal with working up for the deployment in emotional phases. I'll go through a depressed/fearful "I can't do this" phase, then a cool/collected "It'll be fine, we have a schedule ready" phase, and on to a very determined/conquering "Let's DO this" phase. I'm sure all of them (and there are probably more) are very natural and normal to go through, so I'm trying to take it in stride and weather each one as it comes. (see, I'm in the cool/collected phase right now) :) I'm also sure I'll add more as deployment comes ... such as the griping/complaining phase, the "I need to rip up/destroy something" phase (also known as the "maybe it's time to exercise and release some aggression" phase) followed by the "I REAAALLY miss my husband" phase (I hope you can read between the lines on that one because I'm not going to elaborate). Anyway, it's sure to be a roller coaster. Maybe now is the time to find a counselor to see once a week just to make sure I'm sane after October. Now is also the time to e-mail friends and family asking anyone to is interested to come visit and HELP me. What I really want is to hire a live in nanny to cook, clean and only watch the kids when I've had enough. It's odd, I'm not afraid of the alone time, I'm worried about all the time I'll have to spend with the kids. They are such a handful, and I've been thinking that it might be better to get a job for my sanity than to stay at home with them morning, noon and night. I need to be the best mom for them that I can be whatever the short term cost. If things get too overwhelming, I've just said I'll move to TX and rent a small furnished apartment for awhile near Will's parents so they can help. (shhhh they don't know yet) :) but I don't think it will come to that. I really do hope that once we settle into our pre-school, afternoon, evening, YMCA, and weekly babysitter routine, things can work.

Now to figure out small, healthy, kid friendly meals since I won't be cooking for Will for awhile. The kids are so picky and my favorite dinner food is cereal (even though it doesn't happen often) so between the three of us, I hope things don't break down to pizza and chicken nuggets every night. They won't even eat mac 'n' cheese, but one loves broccoli and both love corn. Weird. They also occasionally eat ham sandwiches with "salad" (that's lettuce). :) Time to break out the kids cookbook and make food look like smiley faces and animals. :) I would continue cooking "normal" meals in smaller quantities, but the kids so seldom eat dinner these days (no, they haven't had a snack beforehand) and they don't beg for food in the evenings either. I guess they're just filling up at lunch. Who knows. I do know that they're ready to eat in the morning. :) I'm sure it's just a phase, they'll start growing again soon and appetites will probably take off.

In other news, we're still trying to figure out what renovations we want to do to the house before October. My biggies are new bathrooms and new floors. Will wants to do an addition. I don't want to deal with it while he's gone so I think that will wait. Again, we'll see.

So much more to say ... this post is too long already, goodnight.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Chipotle Chicken Salad

I don't usually post recipes, b/c I don't like to use them :) I like to "invent" in the kitchen and put together whatever sounds good based on what I have on hand. Since I had recently stocked up on just about every fruit and vegetable for the upcoming 4th of July and for a 10 day visit from Will's brother, I had a lot to choose from. This chicken salad came out really good last night and since it's filled with veggies and grilled chicken, it's pretty healthy too!

3 chicken breasts
1/3 red pepper
1 yellow squash
1 head of lettuce
2 tomatoes
1/2 can black beans (drained)
3 large button mushrooms
2 green onion stalks
1 lime

Season the chicken with Chipotle chicken rub and grill. (this can be done ahead of time and refrigerated) I pulled the chicken out of the fridge last night and chopped it up leaving it cold in the salad (which I prefer) but you can reheat it if you like. Most of the veggies I just eyeballed based on how much of it looked good in the salad. I just chopped them up and put them in. 1/2 a can of the beans looked good to me (well drained and dried off a little with a paper towel. I sliced the mushrooms thinly. Then I used only one slice of lime and squeezed it all over the salad. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make a special Chipotle salad dressing, so I used Ranch and Will put Balsalmic vineagar on his. Either way, it was pretty yummy.

The best thing is that there's no cheese (unless you decide that tastes better) and lots of veggies and the beans are so good for you and you don't even taste them! Next time I'll use lowfat Ranch or make my own.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

the poet/songwriter in me has been denied for too long

in an effort to change this, I have posted another original poem. This one, I feel, is better than the last, but hopefully not the end of what I hope will be a longer, more frequent line of writing.

I am noticing, now for my entire life, that somewhere, almost without fail, around the ten o'clock hour, words, rhythms, and often music just enters my head and doesn't stop unless I ignore it, or organize it into a poem or a song.

I have chosen the route of ignoring it so often because of a lack of confidence or disbelief that what was happening was real somehow, but now (maybe that I'm almost 30 and it just took me that long) I am willing to finally embrace this vein of creativity as a part of who I've always been and, in fact, something that has happened to me since childhood. (maybe I'll be brave enough someday to post some of those early poems). :)

It will also be interesting to see how the subjects change as I approach the deployment phase and enter it. (oh the drama) but also, the outlet of relief.

If you choose to be subject to it and gently offer encouragement, suggestions, and ideas ... bless you, and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Iraqi artists' find venue and voice

Iraqi Artists

This is a cool CBS news segment about a former classmate of Will's, Chris Brownfield, from the Academy. He's doing some great things and Will got to visit him briefly in NY when his ship was up there for Fleet Week. Enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2008

real life and the "D" word

For awhile now, I've been looking into the future and wondering, waiting, willing it not to come ... the day when Will is finally attached to a ship again and begins the 18-36 months of random underway's for various lengths of time and a deployment thrown in there for 7 months at some point (hopefully only one).

I've wondered how life would change now that we have two boys in the mix, now that life is busier and more complicated, somehow. I've waited to find out how much time and effort Will is going to have to commit to being a department head, a much more demanding position than he's ever had, and how that will affect our family and what I will need to do to manage, support, and thrive through all of this.

For the last 2 1/2 years, I feel like we've been living in what I consider to be a "not-normal" life in the Navy: the wonderful Shore Tour, especially the "attending school shore tour". Life has been easy with Will around so much. We've had every evening, every weekend, every vacation and even many afternoons and days off depending on his schedule. It's been a great time. He hasn't missed our boys' young lives at all, up until now.

Today Will left on what I consider to be a medium length underway. (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say how long for security reasons, although when I find out if it's ok, I'll edit this post). :) He'll continue to have various times "out to sea" for training, and other things until they eventually deploy later this year.

Today, I feel like "real life" begins again for me. Real life being a physical single Mom for the better part of a year. I will still have the emotional support from e-mails and random phone calls, but I will not have much face time or physical help with the boys. Even when his ship is in port, they work ridiculously long hours and have duty days on top of that. Talk about major commitment to your job. :)

As during the last deployment, I look forward to what God has planned for us all through this. I feel like I have to search for some positive during this time in order to stay sane and to support the boys mentally, spiritually and emotionally while Will is so busy and gone. My biggest regret is how much THEY will miss him. They have grown to close to their father, their daddy, in the last couple of years and I know that they will feel that distance.

Herein lies another challenge of military life: making it work for the kids. We've already gotten season passes to the zoo, the botanical gardens, we plan on getting one for the YMCA and they are signed up for pre-school. I know all of these things won't replace Dad time, but I hope they will help the boys engage their minds and bodies in positive ways that will build them up instead of just sitting around missing Dad, and occasionally (hopefully not too often) being around mopey Mom who is drained and really misses Dad.

One benefit of going through deployment with kids is that I've heard it goes more quickly. It seems like it would be harder though since the kids are my entire responsibility, but then, I've haven't done it yet. I also feel fortunate because Will hasn't been on an IA (for a year) yet. His deployment will not be near that long, so in that, I feel blessed.

I will depend on my family (who will hopefully fly in for many visits), my local friends, and fellow military wives with wise (encouraging) words, and my Savior (who daily saves me from myself) to support me through this. Certainly, people in this area know how to do deployment (the other "D" word). :)

I am determined (my "D" word) to see our family through this next sea tour soundly. I feel like so much is resting and relying on my ability to be strong, stable, supportive, positive ... if I can only remember that to be all of these things doesn't depend on MY ability, it depends on God's.

He will never ever set a task before me that He won't equip me to handle. I will always semper paratus (be prepared) with Him, but not before the appropriate time. Whether it's mental or spiritual support from Scripture, or physical and emotional support from friends or family, I WILL be prepared. I can't do this alone. I will not just survive it, I WILL thrive, I must. I feel like simply surviving will be failing. Perhaps I judge myself and the situation too soon. The last deployment was a train wreck for me. I was miserable, it was horrible. I don't want to repeat that. Now I have children depending on me. We will see.

Now, real life begins ... could be worse I'm sure ... is hard enough as it is. I will take it ... this is where my path takes me ... to the mountains, and through the valleys, but I'm just lookin' for the meadow.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

we made it!

I'm borrowing a friends computer to post that we officially made it out of RI and into the wonderful state of VA!! We've already seen two family friends in D.C. and are staying with friends tonight in VA Beach. It was a loooong drive yesterday from RI to DC and pulling the trailer was a challenging, especially with some bad roads, but we're done and safe and sound and very very blessed. Will leaves tomorrow for RI again to move our stuff out and I'm staying with the boys up here. We're so exhausted. Thanks so much for all the prayers. We felt them and needed them. Time to rest, finally. night

Thursday, April 24, 2008

one last packing post

My husband is outside methodically packing the car (suburban) with engineering precision while my almost 4 year old son is trying to fall asleep in our room (his is too hot and he got a late nap 'cause I was gone to Will's graduation) so here I am blogging one last time before I don't see a computer for a week or more. :) I know I'll miss it, but I actually think it will be relaxing too. The kids are off their usual schedule because of this crazy week, but they sleep really well in the car so I'm hoping that naps will come easily tomorrow. They'll need it. So will we, but since we'll have to go to bed when they do in the hotel room tomorrow night, it will be our chance to catch up ... assuming they go to bed at a normal hour (8ish).

I'm also interested in how they'll do in sleeping bags on the floor of our mostly carpeted house in Norfolk. The bedrooms are hardwood and the living areas and eating area is carpeted. I think I want them to sleep on the carpet b/c it's softer, but then I can't close the door and "put them to bed" b/c it's all open. This also would mean that I can't stay up late although I'll be on an air mattress so I can be in the bedrooms. Maybe I'll just pad their bags with some blankets I'm bringing. I'm sure they'll be fine. Half the time Charley would rather sleep on the hard floor and has many times.

It will be interesting to see how we'll pass the time with only the things I packed in an empty house. My plan is to let them play outside in the dirt and water, a lot! I already packed bathing suits and sunscreen. I also plan on visiting a lot of friends and maybe finally getting a Y membership. I have no idea when our household goods will arrive. ugh. I hope we don't have to wait too long. To that end, I overpacked, just so we wouldn't have to fish necessities out of boxes once they do arrive.

Well, my wonderful hubby is done packing. I'm sure he did a great job and we have room for a few extra toys for the boys, maybe even a trike or two! The neighborhood we live in down there is great for walks. There's so much shade and the streets are wide and since the neighborhood is so secluded, the streets aren't that busy. I can't wait to be back. Plus we can see the water at different points throughout the neighborhood b/c it's on a peninsula. I hope the boys like their new home and new friends and new everything. I wonder when they'll understand we're not coming back to RI (for a long time). I hope they're ok with it all. I know they'll enjoy the adventure anyway.

Next stop, D.C., then onto warm, sunny Virginia!


Oh yeah, a big Happy 2nd Birthday to my youngest, Ben, this Sunday, April 27th!!! I can't believe he'll be two already! I was barely pregnant with him when we first moved to RI. :) Happy Birthday Ben!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

moving nap, I mean, update

Hello all. Yes, we're still in the throws (and I do feel thrown) of moving. We keep staying up late to get things done: me, laundry; Will, car work.

We're trying to finish packing and weighing everything up today (Wednesday) b/c tomorrow (Thursday) I think almost every second of the day is planned already and there just won't be time. Charley will share Dad's Day at pre-school with Will, then Will graduates from SWOS, then we have a volleyball game that night and in between all of those things will be last minute packing, getting rid of trash and a few refrigerated items that won't survive a cooler, turning off our phone (Vonage) to use our rollover minutes up for awhile and hopefully save some $, loading the Mazda on the trailer and loading the sub, then weighing all of that so we can leave really early Friday morning.

Friday we're hopeing to beat the NY/CT traffic in the morning and the Baltimore/D.C. traffic in the afternoon, then we'll stop in Baltimore to assure U-Haul that we still have their working trailer (b/c it was a LOT cheaper to go from RI to Baltimore and then onto Norfolk, than straight through ugh), then will continue on to D.C. to visit Will's Aunt Donnette, and stay in Springfield for the night. (oh yeah, did I mention we'll have our German Shepherd, Gayla, with us?) :) fun times :) Good thing Red Roof is very pet friendly.

Saturday we'll visit our friends, the Burkman's (and their new baby) in Springfield, then leave around 9:30 to continue on to Norfolk where we'll unpack, drop off the trailer, then take the boys out to stay with friends in VA Beach (so grateful!!) so we can see a house back in Norfolk, then back out to VA Beach for dinner with the friends, then back to our empty house in Norfolk for the night.

Sunday, if we're still alive, we'll go to church to visit all of our old friends and hopefully have lunch with some of them afterwards. Then Will leaves via train overnight to go back to RI to do the house move out. He'll join again us hopefully Thursday night. Then he has to start a week long school that next Monday and somewhere in there, the Navy will arrive in VA with our household goods.

Will's parents arrive that week (the 8th) as well to help and stay for about a week, then my Mom is coming after that when Will is out on his ship in NY where I'm planning on visiting him for a few days. (this is late May).

SO, if I don't blog in awhile, this is what's going on and I hope you can all pray for us during this crazy time. Please pray for travel safety, health, logistical peace and security and for the sanity and happiness of all of us, especially the kids, and more that I'm sure I don't even know to ask for. (I'm sure the Lord will bring it to mind) :) Thank you so very much, in advance, for all your prayers.

We will dearly miss all of our good friends in the RI area, especially our neighbors and friends from 1st Pres. Thank you to all of those who supported us with words of encouragement and constant friendship during the difficult times we faced here and for seeing us through with your prayers. Thank you Sarah Circle for sending me off in prayer yesterday. I hope we are at least able to visit if the Navy doesn't send us back anytime soon. If not, well, there's always Facebook, e-mail, blogging, the phone and definitely the lost art of letter writing. :)

I look forward to reuniting with our friends in the Norfolk area and catching up with you all in turn. For those in nearby D.C., Annapolis and Pennsylvania, I really hope we can make a trip up soon to visit and catch up with you all. And last, my Texas family and friends, I must miss you for a little while longer. It doesn't look like a visit is in our near future. I'm still not sure what I'll do when Will is deployed, but right now I'm leaning towards keeping the kids in the familiar and in their schedule and routine vs. the disruption of a big trip. I'll have to decide as the time grows nearer. It might depend on if we're prego later this year or not. :) It's all in the Lord's hands and I pray He'll guide us.

Ok, that's about all the update I can manage at this point. Time to rest and keep packing. God Bless.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nina Simone

I just discovered the jazz singer, Nina Simone and am decidedly a fan. I love her songs, the tone color of her amazing rich voice and the variety and diversity of her songs and her voice. Some might recognize her from the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, or if you're older ... from the 60's. She sang the "Sinnerman" song when Thomas was putting the art back and stealing another painting at the end of the movie. Great scene! :) She also sings "Feeling Good" which was sung on American Idol recently (last year, I think). She was most famous from singing at rallies and things in the 60's, very powerful.

Anyway, I just bought her "Compact Jazz" album on I-tunes this morning, yay! :) If you want to her some of her songs just go to You-tube. One of my favorites is "Ne Me quitte pas" ("Don't Leave Me"). So moving. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Judah Ben Hur

I'll miss you Charleton Heston. You had a gift Judah ben Hur, Moses, and so many more amazing characters that I'll always love. (hee hee, I think part of the reason I love the name Judah for Charley's middle name, besides it meaning "praise", is that Heston helped it represent an amazing man in Ben Hur.)

You are missed. You are appreciated. You are loved.

crazy days

ok, just a quick blog to update you all on the craziness going on around here (which is mostly in our minds) :) So, most of you know, we're moving in 2 weeks! ahhh, crazy! We just got finished throwing a massive 2 year Ben Birthday/Going away party. 27 people in the house, crazy! :) It went really really well though and my prayers all week were answered: the rain held off until the last guest drove away, then it started, crazy! (well, not considering who I was praying to). So the kids were able to go outside for a bit.

I got creative (or anal, depending on your perspective) and made signs for the different rooms and places in our house where things would be happening so people would know where to go and what they could do. Signs included, "food" area, "crafts/toys" room, "smaller ones/nursing" room, "coats, shoes, purses" room, "bouncer" area, and last but not least "W.C./potty". :) We had kind friends who let us borrow a huge bouncer that actually fit in our basement and the kids loooved it, plus it really helped with kid/crowd control. I also borrowed a big, plastic, round, kids table that seated about 6 kids and put craft stuff on it for the kids who wanted to 'make things'. It was so cute to see them all sitting there with the little foam stickers, colored pencils, glue sticks and kid scissors. Plus, all the toys were in that room so the mess was contained to one location, yay! :) I still have to clean it up though :) I'm actually looking forward to it though, ugh, I know, it's weird. Then, just when I thought I was being overly detail-oriented (yeah, you know), it turned out that the nursing room (which is the boys small bedroom, complete with changing table), was used a number of times for nursing purposes and for sleeping babies!

I knew with that number of people, there had to be activities, but for the age group (0-5), and amount of space, organized activities were probably not a good idea. So they were able to spread out around the house doing different things, including outside and the flow went really well. The moms were able to relax and eat fruit and veggie and deli trays (yes, I'm in pre-move keep it easy and simple mode), while the dads ran the bouncer and kept watch outside and chatted as well. I thought it worked out well for all. (of course, I hope the people who read this blog and also attended agree) hi! :)

Of course, things got a little chaotic around cake time, but fortunately, come genius thought up a cupcake cake, where cupcakes are put close together and iced as if they were one big cake. This made it sooo easy to hand out cake quickly and easily to the anxious little kids below. It was a Thomas the Tank Engine party, so Ben got a bunch of Thomas stuff including a backpack and sleeping bag we plan on using for the move.

I asked everyone to bring a picture of their family for our memory books for the boys so we could look back and remember all our friends from RI. Of course, half of them are Navy so we won't see them here again, but maybe on the road somewhere else. It was so great to see all of our friends (after a looong winter of practical hibernation inside) and let the boys say hi again to all their babysitters, who were also invited. I made special gift bags for them to say thank you. I also had fun using foam stamps to stamp the kids gift bags. I got the little white bags from Michael's and the boys' bags had a frog on them and the girls' bags had a butterfly.

Well anyway, it was such a blessing that so many people could come out and celebrate with us and I hope they enjoyed it too. It seemed like everyone had a great time, especially with the diversity of the crowed, i.e. church friends, Navy friends, neighborhood friends etc. It's always interesting to me when not everyone knows each other. I love watching people dynamics and wondering who will enjoy talking to whom.

ok well, I'd better go to bed. Will and I worked on a new set of 'to dos' tonight and now that the party is over, I'm officially in move-mode. Tomorrow begins the preparation with the vehicles, cleaning, oil/fluid changes, tire balancing and rotation etc. Then, since next week is Spring Break, I plan on getting some babysitters to help with the kids so I can complete some last minute projects and stuff that's difficult to do with the boys around. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks for keeping us in your prayers. I'm mostly praying that Will and I will be able to keep things low-stress and calm for the boys. They really pick up on big changes etc. and their attitudes show it and although I have a very positive attitude about moves in general, the fact is we have a lot to get done and moving is in general, a stressful thing, sooo, please pray that we handle it well and balance things well so they don't feel left out in the meantime and are still at ease by the time we get there. I know they have no concept of the fact that we won't be coming back here, but I'm hoping they'll be ok with that, especially once we re-introduce them to old friends and fun places and the warmer weather! :)

Good night, God Bless!

ps. will post pics soon (i hope)

Monday, April 07, 2008

missing YOU!

This morning, I'm missing my home state of Texas ... Blue Bell ice cream, bluebonnets, warm weather, humidity, (not mosquitos) :), flowers in bloom in my Mom's backyard, the smell of all the flowers in bloom in my Mom's backyard, shorts, tank tops and sandals, neighborhood swimming pools, my Houston peeps (ok, well Texans in general), the awesome Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the wonderful Houston Rockets who just made the playoffs! :) I don't know when I'll be able to make it down there soon, but at least I know that our nearby Norfolk friends are anxiously waiting and praying for us. It's so nice to feel wanted and I can't wait to see them again and how big all their kids have grown in the 2.5 years since we left (well, 1.5 years since we visited)! :)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

the forsythia are about to bloom!

I'm so excited that spring has almost sprung up here in RI. Lord knows there are so many things I don't like about the NE, but I have yet to see a more beautiful springtime anywhere. (Maybe the looong, cold winter was worth it, naah) :) All of the bulbs are beginning to come up, crocus, daffodils, narcissus, hibiscus and so many more that I can't even name. Yes, I miss my TX azaleas, crepe myrtles, bluebonnets and wild flowers, but the tulips and other bulbed plants around are are exquisite! I'll try to take some pictures to capture it, but I think you'd just have to see it for your own eyes. There's a field up here where they keep dividing and replanting daffodil bulbs and it turns into a photo op for most families once they're all in bloom. We haven't done it yet, but this is our last chance while we live here and the boys are such a young, cute age so I'm going to try. Hopefully they'll all be in bloom before we leave in 3 weeks and what a send off we'll have as all of the flowers will seem to wish us well with they're beautiful, colorful blooms!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A beka

Ok so of all my conservative friends out there, especially of the home schooling and private Christian school type, could I get some views on the A beka curriculum. A friend of mine is looking into sending her kids to a school that uses it and I am also considering some private elementary schools that use it in VA later on for my own kids. I grew up hearing it was very good, but didn't use it first hand. Anyone with closer ties, I'd appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

simple Easter and family update

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I posted (minus earlier this morning). I feel like Will and I have been overwhelmed in thought and activities. Thoughts about our move, money and possibly buying another house in the Norfolk area, and activities such as volleyball, voice/piano lessons, church activities, school tests (for Will) and the general stress that accompanies all of this.

We're studying a book in our women's Bible study called "Calm My Anxious Heart" and while I don't think I feel anxious or worried about any of this, I do feel excited and I also feel the partial weight of a decision that will affect our future. Just to combat any potential for worry (and hopefully stress) I decided to finally set aside some time to specifically pray for awhile about all these decisions. I tend to take the "pray as you go" approach throughout my day since I rarely find myself with an hour or so of time (that I'm actually awake and lucid enough to think), but thankfully, this time (and God) found me a couple of days ago in the afternoon when everyone in the house was napping. I admit, my mind wandered some, but I managed to keep coming back to the "house/money" topic. This time, though, I tried to focus on the "praise" part of prayer because I feel like I too often assume the "Lord please help me with this and that" posture. So even though I wasn't praying about what I needed help with during the entirety of my prayer time, I felt that by trying to praise and glorify God (basically tell Him how awesome He is) I was communicating that because He's so great, I want to seek Him in everything and I want His guidance in every area of my life (hence, covering the house issue) :)

I didn't feel any major decisions were magically solved by this prayer time, however, I did have a peace of mind that at least I had sought God, and no, I don't think this one time absolves me of any others, I just felt that it helped me know and recenter myself with the knowledge that, "yes, I actually did pray to God about this, yes I am continually seeking Him in my prayers throughout the day, and yes, I can expect His direction and guidance and peace as we continue to walk in the path of these major decisions."

Anyway, other major news, we finally have a confirmed move date: April 26 & 27 (Ben's 2nd birthday) Will and I will drive the family down to Norfolk to live in the house we already own down there. Will will return to RI to finish his last week of school and move the household goods out when the movers arrive April 28-30. Then I will receive our stuff whenever they get down here, hopefully that Friday, so any VA friends reading this, please help me find babysitters for the boys or consider taking one for the day. :) Then, after Will finishes school that week, he will drive down and join us that Friday or Saturday, May 2, 3. He starts a 5-day school on May 5, then has a week off to help us get moved in. During this week, we'll work on the house and hopefully get it rental ready, as well as keep searching for another house. We'll only move some of our things in, but if we don't find a house we like, we'll just move everything in and look for something next year.

It's so relieving to finally have a date. For those of you who have kept up with the saga, we thought we were moving last year, but neither the orders nor an explanation ever came through. This time, we're really moving. Finally.

Because of all that has been going on, we will not be having the large Easter meal that we usually have, including lamb. We'll be going simple this year, although I'm still not sure what that will look like. I think all I hope to do is make it to church, have an Easter egg hunt with the boys, and most importantly, tell them about why we celebrate Easter, about Jesus dying on the cross to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, and rising again to conquer death forever and bring us new life eternally with Him. I asked Will if we could have communion as a family, but he thought the boys were a little young for that. I mean, obviously they wouldn't get it, but I thought it might be special to start as a tradition that they would understand later. Maybe next year. :)

Well, may you all have a blessed and Happy Easter! He is Risen, He is Risen indeed! :)

Good Friday

Blessings on this Good Friday. May we all feel the enormity of God's love for us on this day as we celebrate Christ's defeat of death by giving up His own life on the cross so that we could live with Him for eternity. Thank you Lord for providing a way for us in this, and in life everyday. Your mercies are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

some of my favorite Charley quotes

Three of these are from this morning! :)

Mommy: "Do you hear the birds singing?"
C: "Yes, they're having a Thanksgiving party, they're playing some Thanksgiving games."

C: "Mommy I'm growing. My body is trying to push me up." :)

C: "Mommy are you so proud of me?"
Mommy: "Yes, Charley, I'm so proud of you."
C: "Do you love me so much?"
Mommy: "Yes, I love you so so so much."
C: "I love you so so so so so so so so so so much much much much much . . . that's a lot of muches"

C: "Mommy, I'm hiding my thoughts from you. " hmmm

Charley brought me a tower of legos he built this morning and asked, "Could you sell this for $40 bucks?"

Thursday, March 06, 2008

ON sale Correction

Ok, they do have some things on sale for 50% off, but after looking at my receipt, I realized I may have been mistaken about the double discount. I think it's just 50% off the original price, which for some things is still a pretty good deal, but for things like t-shirts, is still higher than I like to pay. :)

Anyway, if you decide to check it out, please let me know. Now I'm a little confused because there was definitely a 50% off sign near the clothes, and I thought it said 50% off clearance. Maybe it was mislabeled and I should have said something, or maybe I just read it wrong. Now I wish I could go back and look. Sorry for the confusion. Still, 50% off is a decent discount.

shout out to the lady who's bored in her cubicle

HIII! :) I know you posted at 10:45 and that was a few hours ago so I hope your day has picked up by now, but if not (and assuming my blog is on your google reader, which maybe I shouldn't assume so maybe I'll shoot you an e-mail just to let you know this post is for you), here's something for you to read, albeit not very inspiring or interesting, but something. It's times like these that I'd get sucked into adding things to my Facebook profile. Oh the time I could spend. Anyway, only 4 more hours 'til quittin' time!! (yay)

ummm, here are some jokes I looked up just for you ....

"Well, congratulations to Barack Obama, the big winner of the Democratic caucus. Stunning victory. He got 57% of the youth vote, 35% of the female vote, and 100% of Iowa's black vote, a guy named Larry." --Jay Leno

"Obama and Hillary argued last night over which candidate the Republicans are most afraid of. Interesting. I don't want to take sides here, but I think it's pretty obvious which candidate Republicans are most afraid of, John McCain." --Jay Leno

Hillary's Deal With the Devil

Hillary was finishing up a day as Senator for New York when the Devil suddenly appeared in her office and made her an offer...

"I am here to offer you a deal," the Devil said. "I will give you unlimited wealth, even more power, and a media that will pander to your every whim. In return, all I ask for is your soul, the souls of every member of your family, and the souls of all your constituents."

Hillary pondered for a moment and then asked, "Unlimited wealth and power?"

"Absolutely unlimited," the Devil asserted.

"A pandering media?" she asked.

"They'll fall over themselves to support you, no matter what you say or do," the Devil assured.

"And you want my soul, my family's souls, and the souls of my constituents?" she asked.

"Yes. All of them," the Devil answered.

Hillary was deep in thought for a moment, then finally spoke:

"So...what's the catch?"

if you want more you can go to this website. Hope that brightened your day a little. :)

ON sale

I just wanted to let those mom's of young children out there, know that Old Navy is having a 50% off clearance SALE right now at the Newport store up here in RI. From talking to other moms in the past, I've learned that sometimes these sales are nationwide, so I just thought I'd mention it like I promised Dana I would when I saw it again.

For those of you who don't know, it's not 50% normal priced items and then put on the clearance rack, it's 50% off items already ON the clearance rack! This is the cheapest way I've found to buy decent clothes for future seasons for the kids. It's definitely cheaper than Wal-Mart and when you consider that they'll probably last longer, it's a steal.

Anyway, just wanted to pass that along in our network. :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

second "super" Tuesday

this is my reluctant election post ... I admit, some of my election year excitement has faded considering my options; however, I vow that this will not diminish my general enthusiasm for one of the biggest competitions in the world and for the hope of winning, even if I'm not that excited about what I'm winning.

on a side note, I thought it was fun that TX (my home state) and RI (my temporary state of residence) both held their primaries on the same day, and both had the same outcome: Hillary and McCain.

I'm not depressed that Huckabee/McCain wasn't more of a contest, or that Hillary actually won something. I'm simply nearly uninterested because of the lack of a candidate to get excited about.

In fact, to be brutally honest (if you could imagine the picture that goes with what I'm about to say looks something like me shielding my eyes as I type, however that's done) I must be a Hillary fan for a short while and hope she clinches the Democratic nomination because I think McCain has an easier chance of beating her.

Yes, I do believe I'm falling into that camp.

Even with no decent Republican options, I find that I must still support McCain (even though he's an unbalanced moderate), not because he's a Republican, but because the Democrat options are so violently liberal, that I can't fathom supporting them.

Yes, I can support some of the general "ideas" that Obama has suggested, but his suggestions seem to lack the details that make me comfortable with how he would carry out his plans (yes, I've read his positions on the website) and knowing he's liberal, I can only wonder that they would include too much of a socialist bent. His lack of experience gives me concern that he would actually know how to protect our country not only with military force, but also economically. His position on certain moral issues makes me cringe and I don't want a president to decide to spend my taxpayer dollars on things (embryonic stem cell research is one, his support for abortion is another) that could involve killing more unborn babies. (besides, research and implementation has shown better results with adult stem cells).

But enough about him, how about Hillary. I certainly don't want her "village" taking over the public schools (not that I would let my children near if she were president). Her record is no better as far as abortion and other moral issues. One of the biggest things that concerns me about her, besides the fact that I believe she's completely two-faced, dishonest and basically a crook, is her lauded health care plan. It's similar to the one our Canadian neighbors loathe right now and it would be a nightmare. I actually spent a month and a half in Canada a few years ago and it's amazing how many people I heard complain about health care there, and I didn't even have to ask.

Anyway, even though McCain is not a conservative, I don't believe he'd do anything too radical too tick off his base (I hope) and I can only hope, as I've said before, that he would surround himself with a good cabinet and battalion of advisers that would help him make good decisions. Trust me, if he is elected come November, THESE are the people I'm going to be praying for. That, and a prayer that McCain would listen to them.

Whatever happens, I will "give to Caesar, what is Caesar's". I will try to respect our president no matter who that ends up being, and I will send my ardent prayers, to accompany my money, into D.C. in hopes that whomever is elected president will not hurt this country too much in their 4-8 years in office.

Hmm, it seems that whichever candidate we end up with could spark a prayer revolution because they're all scary enough to send us to our knees (where we should be for every president anyway). Maybe that's why we don't have better options this year. :) that's an interesting thought.

doc in training

Tonight Charley and Ben enjoyed playing with a new kids doc kit. While we imagined various emergency scenarios and illnesses, I mentioned to Charley that he was a good doctor to which he very quickly replied, "I'm an excellent doctor!" nuff said.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

good morning

this morning, i got to break my early morning groggery by snuggling with my husband and watching my youngest son pretend to be a frog on our bed, complete with, "ribbit, ribbit" or his two year old version of it. so adorable. thank you Lord for moments like these.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

little boy Ben

he's at such a cute age right now. not quite 2, learning new words everyday, discovering his will, playing with his brother, deciding he has an opinion :) but one of the cutest things he's doing right now is answering "shoo" for "sure" as a yes answer to many things we ask him. it's soooooo stinkin' cute!

when he sees a picture of himself, he points to himself and says, "me!"

when the baby I watch is over at the house, he circles her saying, "hi baby, hi baby" over and over and over again getting really excited and then gently petting her on the head, ooh so cute

he dances and skips everywhere he goes and lately has started standing on one leg with the other extended behind him as if he's doing an ice skating move

he loves music and bobs his head or dances to anything even slightly rhythmic he hears

he gets confused when he's supposed to say "thank you" and says, "welcome" instead :)

he can't say his brother's name, but says the vowels so it comes out as "ah ee" for 'Charley' and I think he says, "min" for his own 'Benjamin' and of course 'please' comes out "pees" (with his "receiving hands" held out together in front) receiving hands are my way of trying to teach them not to grab at what they want, so they end of doing it when they're saying please for something

he think to give a kiss means to gently put your cheek up against another persons cheek

his sweet eyes and adorable smile melt my heart and make it very difficult for me to say 'no' to him, until he starts throwing a fit, then it's easy :)

he's still small enough to hold in a bundle, but he's getting so big, I find myself in denial that he's not my baby anymore and this makes me yearn for another one

even when he's sick, or in pain, or coughing his head off, he is able to find something to smile about, he's definitely a happy boy

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I'm so excited to go see the new movie "The Other Boleyn Girl" this weekend! Once I saw the preview, I ran out to get the book and read all 661 pages as fast as I could, which ended up being 4 days! This is amazing for me because 1. I NEVER read novels, much less books in general. I don't have the attention span (I prefer shorter things like mags or poetry), or time and am constantly distracted by the boys and 2. I generally would just as well see the movie coming out, than take the trouble to read a book that's going to be different anyways. Both awful reasons, I know, but I think I turned over a new leaf with this book b/c I had just finished "Mirror, Mirror" before it and while I was buying "The Other Boleyn Girl" I bought a few others I was interested in as well, including "Atonement", which I also haven't seen yet. Ugh, I'm changing. :)

It's just so strange to me because I have never been in a book club, or really desired to be, other than the fun of being included, and really never understood what everyone was getting so excited about. Turns out, I just hadn't found a book that got me excited. :) Plus, (as awful as this is going to sound) I don't like using my imagination to create what the people in the books looked like or how they acted because I think my perception is going to be less than what the author had in mind or what a brilliant Hollywood team could create on film. (perfectionism, I know).

Anyway, now I see how fun it can be to see if your perception of the book is going to be anything like the movie, although I'm promising not to be disappointed like so many people get if it's very different b/c all perceptions are valid right? I'll let you know when I've seen the movie. :) Plus, I guess it's also fun to be pulled into another world going on at the same time as the present world you live in. It's fun to escape to that world and get involved in the lives of the characters. I guess I just need to look harder for books I'm really interested in.

All this time, I thought I didn't like to read books, I guess it turns out I was just picky. :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

tired and thankful

what a loooong day .... I think it started over the weekend as one long day led to another and I never seemed to catch up on sleep. Then Sunday night after the exhaustion had built up and cumulated in one last hurrah at a friend's birthday party, we all came home and crashed. The boys were in bed by 7 and the adults were soon to follow by 8.

However, the promise of a long, good night's sleep soon faded when Ben started coughing again. It was waking him up in tears and he was crying for us. It was breaking my heart so I decided that he should sleep with me all night so I could prop him up in my arms. Of course, Charley was lonely by himself so he got permission to climb in bed on daddy's side. So we all finished the movie "No Reservations" at around 8:30 and went to bed. (cute movie by the way) I woke up at 10 and decided that since Ben hadn't been coughing, maybe he would do alright in his bed. So I took both boys back to their own beds. I'm not sure how much later it was, maybe 11, Ben woke up coughing and crying for us again. Ok, good night's sleep out the window. :) Sometime later, Charley woke up and realized he was all alone again (I'm not sure how, since it's really dark in their room, maybe he just remembered that he started out in our bed and wanted to come back, who knows) so he came back in around midnight. ugh, however, this is part of the reason we sprung for a King size bed and it was kind of fun.

The rest of the night was filled with Ben squirming, tossing and turning towards me and almost pushing me off the edge of the pillow and the bed. I didn't want to move him around too much when he did this b/c at least he wasn't coughing and at least he was getting some much needed sleep. But, I finally had to move him a few times just so I could get comfortable. My arms were so stiff and I was in and out of sleep the whole night. I remember my dream however, so I know I slept some.

This morning was difficult though and since I'm not a morning person anyway .... well, it wasn't pretty. I decided it was time that we go back to the Dr. Ben was tugging at his ears again (even though we had just finished our Amoxicillian for an ear infection (his first ever) a few days earlier) and his cough sounded awful. Charley had been coughing also and upon hearing all sorts of stories of illness and nebulizers etc at church the previous morning, I had heard enough and decided to act sooner than later. It's odd though, b/c they don't seem sick, just recovering, who knows.

Anyway, I'm posting this whole thing, just to say how grateful and thankful I am that God, in His providence, allowed me to get two back to back appointments with the same doctor for the boys, early this morning. Not only that, but it was during a time that Will just happened to have off between his own doctors appointments for general check-ups, so he was able to come over and help me with the boys (in one tiny room) while they were being seen.

The final verdict, Charley is fine and was prescribed Sudafed and Robitussin DM for congestion and coughing which I already had been, and will continue to administer on as "as needed" basis. Ben still has a yucky ear infection and was prescribed a stronger antibiotic to fight it. This might concern me if he had taken many antibiotics before, but since this is his first time to ever take one, I don't think there's a big chance of him developing an immunity to it, I just think that's how bad the infection is (even though we caught it pretty early). Plus, it's not like I have a choice, if you let things like ear infections go, it could affect their hearing permanently. Also,

Ben was prescribed Robitussin which I wouldn't have given him before b/c there are no cough syrups with dosages for kids under 2 anymore, but I got the correct dosage from the doc (1/2 t every 8 hours) and it doesn't have the ingredient, Dextramethorphin, which helps but is too strong for a child under 2. All of this, I wouldn't have known if I hadn't gone ahead and taken him in. And since the humidifier and juice w/ lemon weren't working as home remedies, I really needed something for the poor kid. I was about to try herbal stuff like echinacea and licorice and there's no herbal place around here (I don't think) and try to figure out how to get that into him to stop the cough, who knows if it would have worked or not, or how I was supposed to give it to him. (grind it up and put it in his juice I guess?).

Anyway, he's still coughing a little, but it doesn't sound as constant or as bad as last night, so I hope I'm in store for a good night's sleep, if I can finally get into bed. :) At least his lungs are clear so no nebulizers for us yet thankfully, and he's still laughing and playing and acting like his usual cheerful self. so cute!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

poetry, finally

Ok, I finally posted a new poem. I was on the way to a baby shower yesterday and while I drove through our newly come icy-land formerly known as RI, fun phrases and lines kept coming into my head. So I cautiously wrote them down and tried a little rhyming, a little alliteration, whatever I seemed to feel and called it a poem. It's not a masterpiece, but some just-for-fun phrases that I hope will get me started and working at developing things. As always, ideas and thoughts are always welcome. :) Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Total eclipse of the moon

Hey, it's not too late, go watch the lunar eclipse. It's about 2/3 done out here on the far East coast, but central time should be beginning ... soon, it almost has a hint of pink! So cool! The next time will be 2010. So pretty.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

so cool

Yesterday, I got the chance to play volleyball with some officers at the Navy gym who get together every T/R. Random people show up each time ... this time, I ended up on a court with officers from Tunisia, Jordan, Uruguay, Ukraine, and France. THAT is amazing to me! To know that they come from such different countries and yet we can all be on one court, playing together. I mean, in some countries, they would never be playing sports with a woman, but we all had a great time cheering each other on and consoling each other when we failed. At one point in the game, the officer from Ukraine hugged the officer from Jordan. I never thought I'd see that random mix.

This base (Naval Station Newport) in general, and the Naval War College specifically, is such a neat place to be a part of. At Will's graduation last year, it was so cool to see all the different clothing and dresses from all over the world. The African headdresses were amazing and colorful, the middle eastern and far eastern dress was exotic and made with delicate fabrics that rippled as they walked, they all looked so unique and amazing. It almost made me laugh that I wear jeans and t-shirts on most days and even when I dress up, it's all cotton. :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

cool feelings

I know this is going to sound like Jack Handy's "Deep Thoughts" on SNL ("the face of a child can say a lot ... especially the mouth part of the face" LOL) but if there are any H-town 104 KRBE listeners out there, hopefully they'll remember when Psycho Robbie did his morning "cool feelings" back in the 90's. They were a little more goofy and a little less serious than mine, but non the less these are some cool feelings from my day ...

... when ... I'm reading to my children while they're in my lap, and I can smell my husband's aftershave scent on the back their heads from when he was holding them and reading to them ... it reminds me that I have a husband who loves my children and spends time with them, that's a cool feeling.

... when ... I'm doing chores and I hear my son singing "Awesome God" to himself in the next room, that's a cool feeling.

more to come ...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

some thoughts

Many prayers go out tonight for one of my friends, and especially for her father who is fighting cancer. I wish I could be near her in person to just hug her. Please pray for them with me.

Along the same lines ... I randomly visited Beth Moore's blog and read responses to some tough questions she was asking as research for a project she's working on ... so many hurting people ... so many things happening ... to all of us, at different times. I could identify with some of them at different times in my life via struggles I have met and overcome and other issues I am still wading through. Typical of my personality, I wanted to make a list of all of them and sort them by 1. issues I deal with rarely 2. issues I deal with every so often 3. issues I deal with daily. I wanted to make myself aware of them, that they exist or have existed, and then begin trying to purposefully work on some of them beginning with releasing any fear or self doubt and finding strength in Christ to help me deal with these things. just a thought.

And on what seems like the other side of the world ... here's a story in my children's very young life that I want to remember later on ... sometimes when Charley is thinking about doing or has done something mischievous, but funny, like finding a creative way to disobey that doesn't really break the rules, but that he knows is still wrong ... I'll be smiling at him while putting him in time out or telling him to stop, and he'll look at me with a smile and say, "Mommy do you love me?" and I always say, "Yes, Charley, I love you so much." It's like a script every time. Then he runs over and gives me a big hug and a kiss. aaaahhh and he only asks this when he's doing something wrong. Sometimes his questions is also followed by, "even though I'm being a bad boy?" I love that he is establishing the understanding now for the kind of unconditional love I have for him, and am trying to explain that God has for him. My answer to him when discussing why God still loves him is along the lines of "because He made you and you're special to Him." Other times it gets into Jesus dying for his sins. I wish I could get inside of his head to know what he thinks or understands about this concept, but I can't and have no idea since I know he can't understand yet. However, he loves the Easter story and I know that it will click someday.

Oh that we would always accept that we are loved by God unconditionally, even when we aren't able to love each other that way at all times ... even when we feel ugly, stupid, sinful, failing and so many other things that would keep us far from God. But in truth, we're white as snow as children of God. God's children are innocent in His eyes because of Jesus' sacrifice for us. Praise be to a God that would lovingly pay our way and long for us to be near Him.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

go to the polls ...

Today is Super Tuesday!! ooh so exciting. Why don't they call it Terrific Tuesday? I'm not quite sure why, b/c I'm not particularly interested in one candidate over another. I think I'm more excited about the process and what it's leading up to ... election day.

That's the day I pull out my map of the U.S. and color in the states red and blue as the results come in. (which I'd be happy to post a copy of in a PDF version for your kids to use on election night and learn something). It's my own version of the Super Bowl, but a little slower. Seriously, I make a white cake with a fruit flag on top (red strawberries with white icing are the stripes and blueberries are the well blue part) and have chips and dip, the whole nine yards.

Even though I know that our election process (and governmental rule) isn't perfect (i.e. the DNC deciding not to hold primaries in Michigan simply b/c the state moved up their primary date and ticked off the DNC ; therefore, citizens of that state don't get a say in the Democratic nominee) ... despite that, I still am excited to live in a Representative Republic where we can pretty much say and do whatever we want (unless we're on government owned property in which case we dare not mention the Christian God). Honestly though, it seems like almost anything is up for grabs for those who choose to get involved and change it. I guess that's why I sometimes get tired of Christians complaining about the unfairness of this or that when they haven't written a single letter to their representative, or run for school counsel. I know I know, there are too many sides to discuss and too little space and time, and I'm done now. But if you can, GO VOTE! :) (then tell me who you voted for and why so I can decide for myself amongst our dismal choices this year.)

So I've narrowed it down a little to three possibilities:

McCain: who temperament scares me, but who I hope can be balanced out and kept in check by a sturdy Congress, VP or cabinet.

Obama: who liberalism and lack of moral backbone scares me, but who I believe might be able to change things (even if they're for the worse) to get this country thinking outside the box a little more, and here's hoping he'd only serve one term. I'm glad he doesn't have a lot of experience, I think that will help and it might get him to investigate things a lot more than someone who thinks they already know it all. I don't know if this might come up if he were president, but it really bothers me that he is in favor of late term abortion. (abortion at all, but late term? (meaning up until the baby comes out) especially when so many are born perfectly fine so much earlier. it's disgusting to me that a perfectly viable, healthy baby doesn't have rights in his book simply because it's temporarily living in a uterus. mother's rights? it's a privilege to carry a child, not a matter of rights. sorry, sidebar, I'm done)

Huckabee: I really like his ideas, but he just doesn't seem very "presidential". He was governor of Arkansas though so he's got credentials. I also don't like the label he has of being the "Southern Baptist Preacher" candidate. I don't know if he gave himself that label or if it was given to him, but that, to me, is not a platform. He won't be running a church or shepherding a flock, he'll be presiding over a country and dealing with other countries. I'm sure many comparisons can be made between being a pastor and a president, but he just doesn't strike me as tough Washington material. However, he's still on the ballot for me. He strikes me as the Republican version of Obama in the sense that he has some pretty radical ideas for change and little experience. That could be completely off. I've missed the last couple of debates. I need to hear more. We'll see.

Please feel free to post your opinions and thoughts. I'm not looking for a political debate, just ideas, concerns, etc. Thanks!

That reminds me, I need to let TX know where to send my ballot in November since I probably won't be in my district on election day.

Monday, February 04, 2008

"See, God?"

Sorry to all our faithful Patriot neighbors today :( What a crazy game!

I'm sick again, (as of last night) this time it's a head cold instead of chest. hmmm time to go to the doctor? not sure, since it's not a bacterial infection, just a virus he can't treat anyway. we'll see. Bad news is that Charley finally got a little cold too. He's on occasional Tylonol and Sudafed so he can breath and so it doesn't get worse and turn into a nasal infection. He's been getting gradually stuffier for the last week. It's weird how his symptoms are never as bad as mine and he doesn't act like he's miserable at all. Maybe his body fights things differently or something. Ben had a little runny nose but is still in the clear as far as a cold.

Charley was praying for dinner last night ... "God would you help the blister on my leg feel better? because I have a a blister, see?" and he proceeded to pull up his pants leg to show God. Too cute. I love how close he imagines God is to him. I really don't know what or who he thinks God is, but he at least thinks that God can see and hear him. We talk regularly about the idea that if Charley ever has a problem or is afraid, the first thing he should do is pray to God to ask for help so it's fun to see him actually trying to do this.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

completely random

Super Tuesday is almost here... are you excited?!! The field is being narrowed, decision time is coming.

Hilarious, Night Rider is coming back! The next thing you know, the Smurfs will be on!

The Hunt for Red October is such a cool movie!

I'm still hoarse & flemmy from a week ago ... this has to end! I'm almost out of Mucinex.

Now we might move in April. Tune in next week, it could be March! :) Praise the Lord! He's in control! He knows my steps before they're taken.

new year, new name, new blog, new un-resolution

Surprise! :) I really didn't plan on changing everything, but when I was revising my poetry blog name, this new name for my main blog just hit me. My name, Leigh, actually means "from the meadow" and so I thought it would have more meaning and be fun. Plus, I really like the verse I found to go with it and I think it really fits since we're raising little ones.

Will is planning on helping me edit the picture, but it's from the Smokey Mountain National Part in TN where Will and I went after he got back from deployment in June of 2003. We celebrated our second anniversary there and just a few months later, I was pregnant with Charley. The meadow in the picture is at Cade's Cove. (and I have a cousin named Cade!)

Now if I could only finalize the poetry blog and get brave enough to post something I've actually written, gulp. :) It's still fun to have it there and hopefully it will encourage me to write more.

As for the new un-resolution . . . since I have been married, it has been a struggle for me to plan and make meals. Other things I get easily but this, for me, is hard. It's not something I really enjoy; I'm more of a baker. Cookies, pastries, especially pies, that's my favorite, but other than some of the prep work of cooking, it's not something I get excited about. This could be b/c I'm fighting to cook while I watch the kids and keep the house picked up right before Will gets home and a plethora of other things combined with the fact that I'm not too good at planning ahead in this area. However, Will has communicated that this is something that's important to him, no surprise there, but it's also something that we understood before we got married as being my role. It's something I've fallen short on for years and struggled with (even trying a few different methods to help, but with no success).

However, I think I just needed practice and determination to overcome this one. This year, for the first time, I have had meals planned out every week!!! (wave the flags, blow the horns, this is huge for me!) I've had all of the ingredients (with only a few misses I think) and had everything ready to go every week since the year started. The only reason some of the meals haven't materialized were because of illness, or last minute changes to our schedule, but not b/c of my unpreparedness (Yay, finally!). I even grabbed a small dry erase board to leave in the kitchen with the meals for the week on it. I NEVER thought I'd do this. Will and I have "struggled" with this for awhile and my constant answer was, "I'm not like your mother and you can't expect me to do things like her." While this may be true, I also want to serve my husband, and if having a weekly meal plan (something he's used to) can help relax and help him for some reason, even if I don't understand it, it's a small thing to do.

The funny part for me is that I didn't make any new year's resolution to do this, it just sort of happened until one day I realized I had been doing it and succeeding. I even mentioned it to Will and he hadn't noticed, but thought it was great! (I'm sure it was because he's been so at ease now that he knows the meals every week) LOL :) just kidding hubby, I love you!! :) Anyway, I'm glad it's working and I plan to try and continue to get this right for forever :) or until he decides to start cooking. Although, he did say he wanted to be a stay-at-home dad and let me support him with a singing career. Umm, let's just say I don't think that going to happen anytime soon, even though I do hope to get involved in the Norfolk Opera when/if we move back there. I'll keep ya posted! Anyway, until then, it's happy cooking for me (and baking!).

Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy Birthday in Christ!

A few days ago on January 25, but in the year 1984 at 8 PM, I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart. I was 6 and it was one of those special amazing moments that I will always remember. I know that not everyone has an actual date or time that they remember giving their lives to Christ, and I don't really think it's of paramount importance, but I am glad that it was part of God's plan that this is how it happened for me. It's helped me when I've had doubts and it's also been an important part of my witness to others.

In high school when students of other religions accused me of having been basically forced to become a Christian, I was able to tell them my testimony ... which in short is that I had been asking my parents for months if I could ask Jesus into my heart. And before that, when I was too young to understand, I used to ask Him into my heart every night when my Mom was putting me to bed, then I would run excitedly into the living room to tell my Dad, "Daddy, Daddy, I asked Jesus into my heart!" This was usually greeted with something like, "that's great honey, now go to bed," and I was a little confused why everyone wasn't as excited as me. But later, because my parents were concerned that I didn't understand, they asked me to wait to make an "official" profession of faith at church so that they could talk it over with me and make sure I understood what I was doing. They also wanted to make sure I wasn't doing it b/c my best friend was doing it. :) (so only God knows when I really understood!) However, the fact that they asked me to wait has always helped me know that what I did was of my own choice and since they talked it over with me, I feel that I really DID understand what I was doing.

Anyway, ever since then, I've always used this day as a day of remembering when I first asked Christ to come into my life. I know I didn't understand the whole "Lord of my life" thing at the time, but I did understand that I needed to be forgiven and the Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart, that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." Romans 10: 9, 10.

Since that time, God has continued to change me ... sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but always steadily and surely, and even though I don't have as dramatic or powerful a testimony as some people, I am grateful that I knew Him at such a young age. I'm not sure my elementary teachers were, b/c I used to tell Bible stories incessantly in class and I tried to witness to my friends a lot. :) Well, I was an evangelical Southern Baptist, right? No, at that age, all I understood was that I was excited about Jesus, even zealous and wanted EVERYONE to know about Him. It makes me cry to think of that innocent love for Christ, but I still remember it and pray that God would help me to be more like that at times.

It's been 24 years since that night and I know that little excited child is still bursting inside of me, but I think I try to hold her in more now so that I won't be too embarrassed. It's been a life's struggle to know what to say and when since I'm usually not very poignant. I think I'd even scare some of my friends with this, but if I acted on how I felt most of the time, I'd be hugging random strangers all the time, talking incessantly to people about Jesus and probably more acts of random kindness that would make people uncomfortable. Not that those things are bad, but they scare people and get annoying really quickly. I discovered this as a kid over time. :) Well, I guess that's a cue for me to pray that the Holy Spirit would tell me when to speak and how to act in constructive ways that would honor Christ and spread the Gospel in positive ways.

I DO know that even though I temper myself, I AM trying giving my kids part of myself in that I'm teaching them to be warm and friendly to people and to try to help and love them because God loves them. This is a message the boys hear a lot and I hope one day I will be able to see the joy that I feel for Christ in their eyes as well, even if they express it differently from me.

As growth is ever a process, I pray that I would continue to grow into the way that God meant for me to be on this earth until I meet Him in Heaven. Amen.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I can't believe it's been a week since I posted ... things were running through my head all week that I wanted to post, but I never got around to it.

One of this weeks big news items is that I started watching a 6 week old for about 5 hours, 4 days a week (so about 20 hours a week). It's so fun to have a baby around again and is giving me baby fever! I thought it would help me want to put it off, but no. She's adorable and the boys LOVE her! She's quickly adapted to taking a bottle from me and to the new faces and sleeping in a pack'n'play. Charley gives her the most gentle kisses and says, "it's ok sweetheart," when she cries, and Ben says, "hi, hi, hi," over and over to her, it's so cute!! My biggest relief is the boys are being absolutely amazing with her. They're so gentle and caring. They want to hold her and give her toys and even feed her, although that doesn't go so well. When she's in the swing, I have to make sure they don't swing her hard, they can get wound up and carried away at times, but usually they're great, even running to get things for me to give the baby. It made me think how much easier a third will be. I'm also glad that the boys are a little older and can enjoy having her around instead of feeling robbed for time by her.

On OUR baby front, it looks like we're going to have to wait a little while b/c of the ship Will is assigned to. To make a long story short, we both agree that it wouldn't be a good idea for me to have a baby right after he leaves for 6 months. We're going to try to time it for a pregnancy while he's gone. Although, if God decides that's not the plan, I'd be perfectly happy with that (hint hint). :)

Also, Will got orders to a different ship in Norfolk with a job he's more interested in; however, his detailers are still trying to get him the Ops job (Operations officer) he'd prefer, so things may still change. The good thing is that they probably won't take us out of Norfolk b/c it's cheaper for them to move us there than anywhere else and b/c there are more ships there to choose from for jobs, so these new orders still don't feel final. I'm fine with that, but I just wish I at least knew for certain which city we were going to end up in. I think it will be Norfolk, but I hesitate to celebrate yet in case it changes. More evidence that I need to remember the verses in the Bible about not planning too far ahead and remembering that God has everything planned already. :)

I'm feeling better too, that's nice. I think I've finally coughed up the gallons of mucus in my lungs and can almost sing again. I tried choir practice on Wednesday and did fine for a little while, then just started coughing again and getting flushed and had to leave, ugh. At least the boys stayed well.

Will and Charley are taking a road trip today to Danbury, CT to get some parts for the Mazda. Charley talks about fixing the Mazda a lot and since Will found a cherry picker to lift the engine out in order to work on it, we can start buying the parts we need. Will is so excited and giddy when he finds time to work on it and it's turned into a fun hobby for him. Will and I had our first official date in that car and I look forward to the day when Charley and Ben are zipping around in it! :)

Anyway, that's a brief update on us!

Friday, January 18, 2008

droopy day

This morning, I feel like that character, Droopy, from Looney Tunes. I caught a cold earlier this week and instead of recovering pretty quickly, like I usually do, it's been getting worse. It started in my throat and chest, which is weired b/c I usually get a head cold first and then it goes into my lungs.

Anyway, I'm just tired and keep coughing and can't breath very well. The kids are being pretty good, just energetic as usual. I just want to curl up in bed and sleep instead of keep up with them. At least Will is coming home early after a big test he has this morning. They're watching VeggieTales right now for a short break, then Ben goes down for a nap and hopefully Charley will play quietly for awhile, or some snuggle with me. :)

He came in this morning and told me that he prayed to God for me to feel better. I thought that was so sweet. He spent the next 1/2 hour looking for different things to pray for ... Daddy's big test, more snow, when the zoo opened, etc. :) I love hearing this, even if he doesn't completely understand. It gets really interesting when he tells me what God tells him back. For instance, he said God told him that the zoo was going to open in 5 minutes, and that God said yes to more snow. So cute. We'll talk about listening and meditating on God later, but for now, I'm just glad that he's developing such an open dialog and hopefully feeling like God is always near and can always hear him ... such a precious fragile time ...

I love being reminded how I can come to God like a child by my own children ... with a hopeful, "eyes wide open" spirit, with complete faith, and mystery. It's even better combined with my own adult faith and the experiences I've had so far and all the ways God has shown me that He's alive and active around me, but also forcing me to grow up with the struggles that He allows me to face, and the patience He has for me when I slowly face and recover from them, and the blessings that He gives me during the trials like a supportive and loving husband, extended family, and far off friends that pray for me even though we haven't seen each other in years. too many blessings to count ... helps me remember that with a God like this, I needn't fear moving to a strange new place b/c it's more of a fact that God will provide for us, than faith simply b/c He's promised to and b/c He's proved it in the past.