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.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

the roller coaster goes up, the roller coaster goes down ... weeeee

... and so the roller coaster that is our possible move location, time, date, etc. begins again. We went through this last summer when we thought we were going to D.C. and nothing ever happened. Now we know for sure we're leaving, but don't know where. :)

Roller coasters are exciting and fun, but scary at times. So far, the exciting part is wondering what job Will is going to end up with and trying to imagine my life in whatever random place it is. The scary part is knowing that if we don't end up in Norfolk, I will miss my friends there very much.

Mostly, I try to imagine all the positives of a "new" place we haven't lived before. I love exploring, finding a church, meeting new people, finding fun places, parks, special things about that place. It's a good thing I like this part b/c I pretty much have to if the move is going to be a success, not only for my attitude, but in an effort to teach the boys to enjoy new things since this will probably be the first of many moves in their Navy lives.

One good thing is that Charley has been asking to move into a new house for awhile now. I have no idea why b/c we really hadn't started talking about moving yet. He said something about a tree dying at this house, I'm not sure what he's talking about. BUT, I'll take it and run. We started talking about moving after that and he's ready, although when we actually move, I wonder how he'll feel. He has such an adventurous spirit, I think he'll be fine. Ben is too young to understand things, but with Charley around to play with him, I think he'll do well too.

Another part of our roller coaster is finding out which ship Will will be attached to and WHERE that ship happens to be in its deployment schedule. We had a possible San Diego option pop up yesterday with a great job that Will would love. The ship deploys in June - Dec. so I would need to prepare for that happening right away almost! Wow, that will be a lot to deal with ... moving to a new area and hubby taking off. I have a plan though and I know God will give us the grace we need, and hopefully the support as well. We had plenty of support in Norfolk, it's been harder to come by here in New England, but hopefully in a new place, with new and different needs, we'll find our way. God has always given us what we've needed when we needed it. For instance, Will has been home a lot here in RI and life has been a lot more relaxed than it will be on a ship, so we haven't been "in need" as much here. This might not make sense to non-military people, but I think military families will know what I'm talking about.

One final loopty loop that could be a part of our ride this year is the possibility of baby #3. We want to start trying soon and as always, we're praying for God's timing and blessing.

So please keep us in your prayers throughout this year. If we randomly come to mind, take it as a sign that maybe God wants you to send a prayer or two our way. And as always, we'll always be in touch here in the blogosphere. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Election Year

I have to admit, I love politics. I follow from a distance since I'm a novice, but just the same, the competition for president and even some gubernatorial and congressional elections thrill me! It's probably because I love games and am so competitive by nature. Some years it's also because I don't like the president or want to see a change, but I'm since I'm not too passionate about politics, it's usually not that, unless I'm really fired up about a particular issue.

If I don't like a candidate, I try to remember that God has appointed the people who lead us and He is ultimately in charge even if it's someone dangerous. That being said, I know that a lot needs to change in D.C., in general, but since the field of candidates slim pickin's this year (in my humble opinion) I haven't decided who I want to vote for.

This is usually NOT me. I usually have my mind made up before everyone has even thrown in their hat, but not this year. There's just no one that I completely agree with on every issue (like that's possible) but more than that, one who encompasses the moral, fiscal, and constitutional conservatism that I desire. However, since the probability of the next president appointing a supreme court judge, I feel that I don't have to be as concerned with the next president's moral aptitude. I think as long as I focus on getting morally conservative congressmen elected, they'll have more control over the moral side of things that I care about.

The argument could be made though, that if a president has a poor moral character, this will ultimately affect how they run the country, but I believe that God doesn't necessarily insist that we elect Bible believing Christians to run the country every four years (Lord knows they are NOT always the best leaders), but instead to elect the person who will run the country justly, and best for our circumstances, with the Lords guidance, always! I can't encompass all the important criteria here in this short blog so before you start throwing things at the screen and stop reading my blog, try to read this in a broad sense, not as the absolute reasoning for electing a president.

This leaves me to concern myself with the candidates fiscal and constitutional conservatism. As of now, I will state my position: (gulp)

I like Guliani for his fiscal conservatism and for the leadership he showed in NY and plethora of positive changes he made there. However, I disagree with his position on immigration (too soft) and I feel iffy on a couple of other ideas he has, but feel that he is strong enough to get some good things done in D.C. and not be pushed around by the "thinkers" in charge there. Lobbyists . . I hope not, but maybe, who knows. I also don't like his position on abortion and personal history of cheating on his wives and not being in good standing with his own children. However, as I said before, I'm more likely to ignore some of the candidates moral positions b/c I don't think they will be able to affect the country as a whole in the next few years by a judicial appointee.

I would like McCain, but I think his service and time spent in Vietnam cost him a lot that would hinder him being a good president (I don't want to go into these things b/c he deserves our honor, but if you want to know, you can e-mail me).

I don't really care for Romney or Thompson. I don't feel like they understand what really needs to happen in Washington and prefer things just stay status quo. I like Duncan Hunter, and his strong immigration policy, but I don't like his energy policy. I think he might be too radical a conservative to unite behind and again would leave too much alone. This could be b/c I haven't heard enough from him b/c of his lack of press time.

Umm, who's last, oh yeah, Huckabee. I like his "flat tax" idea and think it would encourage saving and a more responsible use of money in Americans. I also think it would keep certain people from being able to avoid loopholes in paying taxes etc. by hiding money. You're only taxed on what you spend and don't pay taxes up front on what you earn. I also like some of his other policies that I can't remember right now, but my concern with him is that his lack of experience in D.C. would keep him from making good appointments and controlling lobbyists. He just seems so nice and soft and Washington is such a hard place. I could be wrong on this though, we'll see.

So there it is. I totally haven't made up my mind. I even ventured to the dark side for a bit to consider EVERY possibility even using Obama to stir things up for a few years and make some good changes and develop bipartisan work (since he hasn't been around long enough to make too many enemies), then elect a conservative to keep the good changes and throw out the bad ones. However, since he's a Democrat, I think that in the end, most of the changes he'd want to make would be too socialist for me such as not enough accountability and higher taxes etc. I also liked some of Edwards' ideas, but haven't studied him enough yet. Also, the fact that he's been characterized as earing his millions as an ambulance chaser and being a scuzzy lawyer concerns me, but it may just be character smearing, I'll need to look into that.

Obviously, I have a lot more studying to do, but in the mean time, I've been asking the opinions of everyone I talk to who's willing to share just to get more points of view and more ideas. So if you're willing, please post your thoughts and ideas and opinions. Maybe you could help me make up my mind! :) Thanks and happy voting!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Christmas catch-up

I realized I hadn't posted anything from how our Christmas went this year. Charley woke up at 4 am for some little reason like having to go to the bathroom or something, but Will didn't realize that it wasn't time to get up so he went ahead and mentioned going in to see if Santa brought anything
(I never thought I'd do it, but yes, we went ahead and let our kids enjoy "Santa" for a few years) :) I think the kids weren't the only ones excited about opening presents, but anyway, once I told Will it was 4 in the morning, we had to try to keep Charley from opening the presents. So Will went in and slept with Charley on the couch until we all woke up around 6. How sweet, I should have gotten a picture.

Anyway, the kids had a wonderful time opening presents and we had a great time watching. They each got slippers and new pjs which I think will be a family tradition. Ben wore his Thomas the Tank Engine pjs and slippers and Charley wore his Incredibles pjs and Cars slippers the entire day!! Not exactly Christmas attire, but it was a relaxed family Christmas, we just wanted it to be easy and fun, and it was.

Now for the food ... above is a picture of me and the boys at the table with my Christmas brunch of Quiche Lorraine, fruit salad with a special fruit salad dressing (I'll have to post the recipe, it's so yummy) and a blended orange juice, cream, ice drink. So yummy! Christmas dinner went great as well. The roast came out juicy and great. I ended up not making the potatoes since there was already so much food and only 4 of us. My scheduling and planning worked great, but since it was just us for Christmas, we didn't realize that that meant a little extra work on our part as far as watching the kids, and cleaning up. Even so, it was fun!

We also went next door to our elderly neighbor's house to say hi to their family. They love our kids and our impromptu visits and they had gotten the boys a couple of presents. It was a little funny to be over there while their family was there opening presents too, but they're all very nice and they all know us by now .

Will got me a beautiful Ann Taylor red puffer vest with a faux fur hood (I need to post a pic of it) and I got him some books, and cuff links. We were so worn out by the end of the day, but I have to say a nice pecan pie made everything much better! :)
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Friday, January 11, 2008

poetry blog finally

I finally made the poetry blog, but it's a rough start for now. Posie de Poesie At least I have a place to start posting (yikes!) :) Check it out and post some poetry of your own!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

one New Year's resolution

add more laugh lines to my face :) Happy New Year!