Thursday, September 30, 2010

October

video

Can you believe it will be October in the morning?  I can't.  But the days are getting cooler.  FINALLY.  The sun is shining through the windows in our house differently.  Although this year I never would have thought it, but Fall is finally coming our way.

I love Fall.  And I especially get excited when October rolls around.  When you have memories of little ones eating cheerios at the door while waiting for their Daddy to come home from work to take them trick or treating (like I do), how can you not?

Thank you again to all of you who have kept the girls and I in your prayers this week.  I am overwhelmed, but hopeful.

One day at a time.  

And to my crazy man in a tent ... been thinking about you all day.  I am so proud of you.  You just don't know ...

Goodnight Budrow.  I wish I could hear a "what up G?" when I climb in bed tonight:).
I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Venturing, a Happy and How to Tell if You're an Army Wife

A plus to deployment, accomplishment.  When Richard's gone I get so much done after the girls go to bed.  Folding clothes, cleaning floors ... just don't seem that pressing when he's home.  But when he's not, I actually find a lot of pleasure in bustling around the house after the girls have gone to sleep.  There are two consequences to this.  Accomplishment and exhaustion.  Bustling around means staying up even later than usual and hence not getting the sleep I need so much, which leads to a very tired Momma the next day as well as an extreme mental battle before a run:).

I had to make myself go this morning.

I'm glad I did.

It was only 58 degrees and super foggy.  I don't think I could see past a quarter of a mile ahead of me.  My eyelashes even had dew on them!  My route is getting old, so having new conditions to run in was a bit exciting.  But even at 58, I was still ever so thankful for the sprinklers to run through.  Only in the south is the humidity that bad at 58.

By mile 4 I was feeling a lot more motivated, so I ventured off my usual path and decided to take on a hill I've not yet been able to run up.  This is the hill Richard and I questioned whether or not our moving van would make it up.  It is .3 miles almost straight up and let's just say I made it .28:).  IT WAS SO HARD!!! But I was thankful for the challenge and look forward to trying it again.  Can't wait to tell my hero what I did.  This is the hill that put him on the bench, and kept him from running with me for a month.
He'll be happy I ventured, and happy that he didn't have to run it with me:).

Now for a Happy.
I walked into Olivia's room tonight to get things ready for bed and I see this on the floor.



A cute little Calico Critters cat with a ballerina dress from another doll set and look, someone put a barrette on the back for wings:).  Olivia had found that barrette on the floor earlier today and I told her to take it upstairs.  I guess she did, and probably gave it to one of her sisters.  It obviously didn't find a home in the barrette drawer, but I'm thinking I like where it did find a home.  I'm a sucker for "cute" and I needed this tonight!

And finally, how to tell if you're an Army Wife.  You know you are if part of your going to bed routine is to get your cell phone and your home phone and put them on your bed, just in case someone tries to reach you.



Each and every night I sleep with both.  I never know which line Richard will use (the one through Fort MacPherson or one of the many through Fort Bragg) so I have both phones just in case.  Today, I stopped a garage door man and asked him to come look at our doors and give me a quote for openers.  LONG STORY about why we are the ONLY people on our street who do NOT have a garage door opener (that functions).  Anyway, it is our next project to fix, (which means it is my project to fix:)), so today when I saw a garage door company at another house, I stopped and asked him to stop by and look at ours.  He came right away and started actually fixing it ... for free:).  YEAH.  But I had no idea that he was going to be here as long as he was and I just didn't think about my phone in the van.   So, naturally, Richard calls.  I was so upset that I missed him, until I heard his message and he said, "Just checking in to see how your day was calling.  So, I came all the way over here to call you. ..."  BLAAAAAAAHH!!  Poor guy:(.

I.will.never.be.without.my.phone.again.period.

Goodnight to you all.  I'm leaving everything undone tonight and finding my book and my favorite spot and curling up and calling it a day early.  Sleep will do me well tonight.

To my wonderful, Patterson asked today if it'll be Christmas when you come home.  My first response was "no, he'll be home way before that."  But as I thought about it, you know, I guess it will be just like Christmas:).

I love you.
I'm proud of you.
I'm praying for you.

Looking forward to having you home and hearing all of the wonderful stories you always have to tell!

To God be the Glory.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thinking





So I have about literally minutes to post before waking little ones from nap and heading into the second half of our day.  I should be catching my breath, but as I look around our kitchen with sticky notes on all the cabinets and piles of books here and there and bulletin boards filled with reminders of the days lessons in school ... as I think of all that I didn't get a chance to cover with the girls today ... as I make yet another list on yet another sticky note of things I need to prepare for school tomorrow, I keep hearing the end of a discussion that I heard on Fox News this morning as I drove home from dropping Kate and Olivia off at MMO and Preschool.  They topic was how Obama had said that the D.C. school system wasn't right for his daughters (good enough ... I don't remember his exact words ... I had Patterson doing math drills out loud in the back seat ... homeschooling moms ... we love to multitask!!).  But the discussion came down to if the school systems "just had more money."  The last thing I heard was one of the hosts asking, "Is it really about the money, though?  I mean there are several countries that outscore us in education, and yet they spend far less per child than we do."



We got our house tax breakdown recently in the mail.  When Richard looked at it, his response was the same as mine ... "We paid over 2,000$ in taxes last year for public education and our girls don't even attend!"  Someone once told me that the curriculum I use for our homeschooling is considered "the cadillac" of homeschooling curriculums.  I never really thought about it until then, but yes, it is one of the more expensive curriculums.  Richard says I tend to gravitate towards "the most expensive" and it's sad, but true.  On any given day, I can open a catalog FULL of 49 - 89.00 shoes and the ONE PAIR I PICK is the 349.00 pair.  Just the way it is, I guess.  But that's beside the point.  My curriculum is expensive and I buy a lot of "extra" things for the girls schooling, but it is still far less than what is spent per child in a public school.   And yet, that is still not enough ... even with parents sending in paper products, etc., they still need more money.   I don't get it.  I do, but I'm not really going to get on that soap box.  My point is this, so much in our education system is about everything BUT learning.  I want my girls to know God, to be taught in an environment that honors Him and credits all to His glory.  I want them to have the knowledge they need to succeed, but mostly the ability to attain that knowledge.  I know they won't remember everything I teach them everyday.  I know that even if I just had one child, I couldn't possibly teach them every single thing there is to learn every single day.  I know this and yet I tend to be overbearing at times and stress myself out with the "I didn't do this or that today."  Or the endless getting out of bed each night to write myself a reminder to work on this or that with this or that child the next day.  I find myself falling into the comparison game ... without intending to.  I panic at times:) wondering if I'm giving them the background they need.  I'm sure I am no different than so many of you (whether you are homeschooling or not).  But when I hear conversations like the one today ... when I hear others complain about the teachers their kids have or the poor facilities their kids are forced to go to for school ... I just think of the reminder on Glen Beck a while back that education is not a right, but a privilege.  Did you get that?  A privilege.     In my hustle and bustle of "we've got to get this done" it does me well to stop and remember that.  If my girls learn anything, I hope that they learn that what they have, what they know is not something they deserve others to give them, but a privilege for them to take up and learn for themselves.  If they get this, they will not struggle, they will not fail, they will not quit.  They might get knocked down here and there, but they will know how to find their way no matter what, and they will cherish whatever they have.  Consider what effect this would have on our school systems if we would stop sending the message that, "Sorry, you can't learn because you don't have the finances."  I've always found it interesting that when you really want something or need something, chances are you can find a way to make it happen.  Case in point, our Alabama's football game last Saturday.  I was so frustrated from the start.  By the end of the second quarter I thought there was no way.  Richard stood up and walked by me and casually said, "Champions find a way to win.  If they are really champions, they will find a way and they will win."  I know I'm a bit biased here, but it really was a great game and bottom line, he was right.  They wanted to win, had the ability to win and found a way ... and it wasn't given to them.



School is in full swing here.  I still owe you all a homeschool post.  Yeah, that's on my list.  Have I mentioned that I have five children and my husband is deployed?  :)  Working on it ...

If you're interested in more of my thoughts, check out my latest article here on the Faith Deployed blog.

I received an email from Richard this morning.  He's currently getting settled in his tent.  "Living the dream" as he puts it:).  No one makes me laugh like that man!  I absolutely love him to death.

To God be the Glory.




Monday, September 27, 2010

One Down & Who We Are

So our first day of an all female residence at 57 was overall a success.  A little stress at first, but that was to be expected, so no big surprises there.  The girls are doing great.  I had a couple minor breakdowns.  Again, nothing new here ... just another day in the office (as my Momma likes to say).

The Davenport School was back in session after a week off.  Kate had dance.  We all sat down for lunch together.  We read stories.  We finished school.  I ran a nice 6.2 miles (and had the pleasure of a butterfly and a squirrel joining me along the way).  We all sat down for dinner together and then piled in the van to take Hanson Ellis to dance.  Came home, got baths, cleaned, vacuumed and piled up again to go get Hanson Ellis.  Then home to bed.  Not a bad first day.  But now as I like to say, I've got to wake up and do it all over again in the morning!

I had a nice helping of the apple cake the girls and I made the other day to help me cope:).  It really is quite the pick me up!



And before I forget wanted to say thank you to everyone who is not just praying for all of us, but letting me know that they are.  Wow.  Seriously, what a gift and what faithful, sweet people out there.  I'd like to say, "Who am I to deserve this?" But I know it's not about me, but about the body lifting up the body.  Thank you for your prayers, for the encouragement and hope that it brings.  God is answering them.  :)

In other news, I thought you might like to enjoy a bit of us.  I came across some things today that made me smile.  They are great little glimpses into who we are around here.

This photo was taken by Sherri Winstead.  It was from a session that was supposed to be a family session, but guess who was deployed?  It was an outtake, but ended up being one of my favorite.  It is of me and the older three girls.  I'm pregnant with Kate (about a month or less from having her) and I just love how we are all sort of twisted together.  That is who we are.


This photo is of Richard as an ROTC cadet at Alabama.  He looks so young!  But his smile and the sparkle in his eyes haven't changed at all.  Richard is a true soldier. Love this photo of him!! (btw, he is on your far right)


This photo is from when we were in KS a couple of years ago.  Sweet Kate and her Daddy.  Need I say more ...


I was looking for something in our closet the other day and came across Richard's old Ranger Handbook.


Have I mentioned that he just might hold the record for Ranger School attendance?  He was there 5.5 months.  (For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is a 6 week course, but you can be recycled at each phase twice for various reasons.  Not many can say they've endured it that long:)!)  Anyway, I see this old very worn book. I decide to look at it a minute and I see this on the back.


My initials in a little heart.  You know I totally soaked this up!!  I was 19 then.  I bet he doesn't even remember drawing this.  

And finally, this.  A little stack of letters from his deployment last year.  One perk of deployments, letters.  I look for them, treasure them, read them very fast at first, then go back and soak in every word.


Looking forward to bed.  Thankful for a full day today and for 5 girls sweetly sleeping who'll wear me out all over again tomorrow.

Love to my "visionary"and true patriot.
Remember Who You Are.
I miss you my wonderful!

To God be the Glory.
Goodnight.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Already ...

It doesn't take long.  Richard has been gone just hours and we have our first challenge ... and I'm not talking about the departure day being on a Sunday or the fact that it has rained all.day.long.  No, I'm talking about a real challenge ... poop in the tub.  Yes, you read that right.  And I'm sure that if you were not falling out of your chair laughing right now, you'd feel really, really sorry for me.  :)

In other news ...




Have you seen this?  I just discovered it today.  You can read more about it here.  I'm praying for some military wives in the area to link up and study this with me.  I have met none thus far, but God can do wonders, so if it is His will, I pray He'll send them my way.  
All the same, in a group or studying it alone, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this book!

Enjoy your evening!  I hope mine is a peaceful one:).
To God be the Glory.

What Parker Wanted To Do

I'm in the kitchen, getting more coffee (of course).  I hear quick loud steps barreling down the stairs, then one last BOOM as Parker jumps from off the final steps (I'd know it was her even if I didn't see her).  Then I hear "Daddy, you want to throw the football?"  

Parker.

Her choice of time spent with Daddy before he left.

That's my girl:).


















Then time for a quick scooter ride as Richard and I sat on the porch a minute (my coffee cups behind the bush on Richard's right:)!).



and a group hug (minus one set of size 5.5 feet) as he said goodbye ...



Now we are busy cleaning the basement ... miles davis on the mac upstairs, radio disney on the portable radio Richard gave the girls from his first trip out to Iraq years ago ... it's one of those wind up for power kind.  They think it is the coolest thing!

I think we're going to be okay:).

The "Last Day" Take Two (the happy post)

God is amazing.  His gifts are so good.  One of my favorites ... mornings:).
The day before Richard leaves is always as close to unbearable as one can get.  Only because I actually do live through them do I say they are bearable.  But in every other sense, they are not.  When he leaves, it is just emotion overload.  There is the separation aspect, the "oneness" being incomplete for a time.  There is the anxiousness about being a single parent.  There is the exhaustion from the all too many deployments  and TDY's (mini missions) previous.  The list just goes on ....

These are the things that are on my mind at the end of that last day.  

Psalm 90.14 says, "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad."  And praise God for mornings.  Yes, for after those Last Day's, come mornings of new days.  And in the light of a new day, there is a new perspective on that Last Day.  In the light of a new day, there is hope and joy.  

So as Richard finishes packing this morning, I sit and listen to the rain falling outside and remember the great Last Day we had yesterday as a family at the apple orchards and I look forward to making fresh apple cake with the girls later today when we will all be missing their Daddy on a Sunday afternoon.





Patterson loved the little chicks:).






and so did Kate


 Parker and Kate had a blast with the billy goats.  Kate was like a little Snow White and had them following her all over the place!  One even tried to follow her up on the little thing she climbed up on.  It was super cute!!




My sweet Parker.  Off in her own world, as usual:).  She has such a heart for animals .... such a gentleness.


The Momma Hen ... 


Kate had fun on the tractor.


She even tolerated it a bit with Patterson ...


Then the sharing got "old."  This is the "P.A.T.T.E.R.S.O.N-UH!" look:).


But she obliged for my "just one, please" pose.


Olivia had fun too!



Picking up rocks was her favorite thing to do:).



Hanson Ellis, our little Momma, leading her sisters up to the big slide.


Enjoying Olivia going down ...


and having fun herself:).


:)







A fun family day at the Orchards, and great memories to get us through these next couple of weeks!