Saturday, September 29, 2007

Unpacking Boxes of Memories

September 28, 2007:
The movers came bright and early and my job was to check off the 220-something boxes that came through the door. I wasn't sure how well I'd do with the boys gone to school and Kevin off at work, but it seemed to go rather smoothly. They were fantastic movers and made the craziness of the day seem rather fun.

While they were on their first break, I got a little bored and decided I'd open a box or two. I could not believe what I unwrapped and pulled from the very first box - it was a beautiful, ceramic plate my sister-in-law, Charlotte, had made for me almost 20 years ago; where she had dipped my son's tiny baby hands and feet into paint and then pressed them to the plate. It's his 20th birthday today...

Once I dried up the tears, I began to unload more memories from the box. I pulled out a hand-made, egg-shaped decoration that my wonderful friend, Kathleen, gave to me long before we were such close friends. We had just finished a seminar that forever changed our lives and we've become life-long friends. I pulled out gifts given to us by friends in Maine and Germany and Oklahoma that reminded me of some great times we had together. I pulled out gifts from my parents that they brought back from trips to Africa and India. It made me think about how grateful I am that I have parents who aren't afraid to share their faith.

I pulled out pictures that my daughter took and then framed for me, and it made me think about how talented she is and how much the boys say they know she would love to be taking pictures everywhere we go. I pulled out my ceramic horse-head that my parents got for me because it looked like my horse, and it made me think about my childhood and all the fun I had riding my horse and going to horse shows.

I pulled out things I kept when my children were babies and it made me realize how quickly they grow up. They were all beautiful babies, but I guess what I love most about watching them grow up is seeing how beautiful their hearts are. I'm so proud of the wonderful people they've become! I could go on and many boxes, and so many memories; so many great times, and so many more to be had...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy 20th Birthday, son!

I can't believe you are 20 years old today, son!!! It just seems like yesterday when you were learning how to walk. You were a beautiful, precious baby and now you are a very handsome young man who makes us very, very proud. Your love for the Lord and others is something pretty unheard of these days in guys your age, and you are a blessing not only to those who know you, but to those who have yet to meet you. This adventure you are about to embark on will take you many places, but you'll always be in our hearts and on our minds, and I promise to pray for you each and every day. It's tough to think about it because I already miss you not being with us, but I know you are following God's will for you life and I wouldn't want you anywhere else!
When I look at you...your strength, your talents, your stamina, your heart for people and the things of God...I know that God created you for something special.
Although we can't be with you today, we celebrate YOUR LIFE! Have a wonderful, blessed birthday!!! I love you.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Way to go, son!!!

Today my son passed another pararescue test (which involves a lot of swimming) given to him before he leaves for basic training in November. We're so proud of him! As I was waiting on the news today it was hard not to cry thinking about him heading into this very shortly. I couldn't be more proud of him for wanting to do this.

Son - I love you and couldn't be more proud of you for wanting to serve our country in this capacity! Continue to train hard and may all your dreams come true!

God heard my cry

This morning as I was driving home from taking the boys to school I was talking to God about making friends here. It has been difficult to really meet people and connect these first two weeks, but then again there's not been a whole lot of opportunity to do so either. But, today, I guess because I'm moving into a home, I was wishing I had a friend to share the fun of moving with. Little did I know...God was already at work.

After spending a little time at the house, unloading a few more items from my car, I decided I had better get to the gym before it became too easy to just skip it for today. As I drove to the gym, I talked on the phone (hands-free) to one of my good friends back home who always lifts me up and makes me laugh and that was good for me. I walked from the my car to the gym door, fighting back the tears, thinking, "I wish she was here."

Typically, when I feel a little down, I just try to get lost in the work it out, lift weights, feel the pain, then leave. This morning was different...I almost left when I decided I'd go over to the stretch area and do some sit ups. As I was stretching and almost ready to leave, I began to talk to one woman that I've talked to several times before and, as we were talking, another woman walked up to finish up her routine. make a long story short...we started talking and discovered she lives across the street from me! We can look out our kitchen windows and see each other. Small world! Sure, we both live on the same post...but what are the chances! I considered it a God thing! She's really nice and it felt great to finally meet someone who would be close by. More than anything, it was great to know God heard my cry.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Today we got the keys to our new place...but it ended up not being a 4-bedroom when we got inside (to housing's surprise). During the renovation they made it a 3-bedroom, but evidently someone forgot to change it on the paperwork. Anyways, it turned out to be a blessing because they put us back on the list for a 4-bedroom in the housing area we really wanted over by the lake! We didn't choose that particular housing the first time because the wait is 6-9 months. We had decided we prefer to just get into a house as soon as possible. Now we can wait in a house instead of a hotel, and have the opportunity to live in the nicer homes when they become available.

On Friday they will deliver all our "stuff". It'll be nice to settle into a house again. My husband is especially happy about not having to live out of a suitcase anymore. It's been four months since he's lived in a house!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We got a house!!!

We get the keys to our house on post tomorrow morning. We're so excited!!! We didn't expect to get it that quickly so we just thank the Lord for such a wonderful blessing. The earliest they can get our stuff to us is on Friday, but that's OK. We'll need time to decide where to put everything since it's much smaller than our house back home. It's very cute and cozy though, plus it was just renovated and has new carpet...and there's less to clean (which was the one thing I was going to miss about this hotel room)!

Praise the Lord!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

He's preaching Sunday!!!

I've missed my husband's preaching so much over the last four months so I was thrilled to hear it when he came home from work today and said he would be preaching on Sunday. I'm so excited and happy for him! Here's a picture of the chapel...
The mornings are pretty cold here and this morning was no exception, despite the very warm afternoon, but not only did my husband have to run in the cold (since they aren't able to wear jackets or sweats until Oct. 1), but he had to run in the cold for 8 miles! What a way to start out your Monday morning, huh?! He said there was a lot of steam coming up off of everyone and when he finished and got back to the room he noticed he had little white beads of ice on his head.

I spent an hour and a half in a new class at the gym this morning. It was tough, but good. I'm not sure if they think we should be as fit as our husbands or what, but I'm game. We plan to do a lot outdoors, living in such an awesome place, and I want to be ready for the long hikes. It wasn't so good on me taking care of everything while he was away and still working full-time and eating out a lot. It's nice to be back to cooking in the evenings.

The twins had another great day at school. It seems like the days fly by here and I'm back picking them up from school in no time. I never get everything I want to accomplished, but it's sure fun knowing I don't have to get up and go to work every day so I can put it off until the next day if I need to! I'm lovin' it!!! I'm especially loving that I can just be here for my husband when he needs me. I know it means a lot to him right now.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A great weekend!

The marriage retreat ended really well and then we headed back to the Farmer's Market to buy fresh fruit and vegetables before heading back home. Evidently, this is a great place to grow Dahlia flowers (some seen in my floral arrangement above and below) because they were all over the market. I hope to grow some in my yard next year...they're so beautiful and have such a unique look (although you can't really tell from the pictures)...
Once home, we decided to check out the fishing on the lake on post. It's a really pretty lake and we had so much fun. I caught 19 fish...and was the only one to catch a beautiful rainbow trout!! DJ came in 2nd with 12, DR came in 3rd with 9, and my husband was too busy getting them off for us to count his (poor guy!). I told them my worms just looked better than theirs! I'd wrap those slimmy worms all pretty around that hook and almost as soon as I dropped my line in they would start biting. Most of the fish weren't very big, but that didn't matter to the was catching them and they weren't. They would make me laugh so hard as they'd watch to see what I was doing and copy me, or drop their line right beside me (and I'd still get the fish). I finally stopped so they could try to catch up. ha! (Unfortunately, I can't prove any of this because I forgot my camera in the car...oops!...oh, isn't that what they all say?!)

A few minutes before we leaving the lake, a couple came down where we were fishing. He had just returned from Iraq and she had reserved a cabin for them to get away for a while. My heart sank as he shared with us that he just returned yesterday, after being there for 15 months, and that this had been his second tour. My husband and I both welcomed him home and told him we wished them the best, but I walked away wishing I could have said or done more for them. I can only hope and pray it will be a wonderful reunion for them and that all will be fine. I know this is a really tough time for our soldiers and I hope people everywhere are lifting them up in prayer!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The marriage retreat is going really well. There are 28 couples in attendance and they seem to be enjoying it. It's weird to hear everyone calling my husband "sir". He's been a great leader today and I'm really proud of him for helping with this retreat. He did a great job with the introduction and even threw in a great illustration about the purpose of the seminar. I think it helped everyone to feel more at ease.
I helped a little with registration and, during that time, I had the opportunity to get to know his assistant - who I found to be a great guy and really excited about working with my husband. I think they will make a great team! After that, I went in for his introduction and then later came back with the twins to have lunch with the rest of the group. I enjoyed that time since it gave me the opportunity to talk with some of the couples.
I spent most of the morning with the twins while my husband was in the seminar though (playing at the park, playing cards in the lobby, swimming and whatever else we could think up to do). The seminar part of the retreat ended around 2:00 and from there we walked less than a block down the street to the Farmer's Market and then on down the boardwalk to a boat ride out to see the seals. Just before we stepped in the boat we saw a seal eating a HUGE they're all itching to fish!
Here's some of the pictures from our afternoon...

Check out this houseboat, pops! The twins thought you would appreciate this picture...Some of the homes around here are wild! Their cars can be pretty far from their homes. We saw one walkway that probably had 200-250 stairs headed up to their driveway. I wonder how often they get out!

There's a park just outside our hotel on the boardwalk and the twins wanted to check out this odd looking pole. Little did they know...they were in for a surprise. This little thing is fast and furious!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Wow! (...update from my last post)

When my husband said the hotel was really nice, it was an understatement. It's amazing!! We walked in and the twins and I couldn't believe how nice it was. Our suite is also really nice, with two very comfortable king size beds, a living room area and - the twin's favorite part - two big plasma T.V.'s (our twins look so cute in their big bed, in their own room, watching their own T.V. I think they feel like kings!) The twin's I know there are some really fancy suites around, but we're not really accustomed to that sort of thing! (And a far cry from what we've been living in...thank you for the break, Lord!) On the drive over my husband was telling me the hotel manager was the one who invited us to stay tonight and gave us this suite for free. The rest of the families will get here tomorrow and the retreat will start in the morning. Wow! What a blessing!!!
Our room (what I could fit in the picture)...
After we checked into the hotel, we walked along the boardwalk and ate at a really nice restaurant on the southern part of Puget Sound. It was AWESOME!!! The twins felt really special. We let them order their own plates. They were four-course meals and we felt a little out of place, but that's OK. It was a lot of fun!
On a more serious note, my husband is so excited about the retreat tomorrow. He's actually going to do the introduction. I'm so excited for him! We're really looking forward to spending some time with the soldiers and their spouses. We pray this will be a wonderful time for them and that they will all be ministered to this weekend.

I feel as though this is the beginning to a beautiful ministry...

Beautiful Day

I couldn't ask for a more beautiful day today! There's hardly a cloud in the sky and the weather is perfect. I've had a really good week and have truly enjoyed living here thus far. I am excited about the weekend as my husband just told me we are going away for the weekend to stay in a really nice hotel (for free!) about 30 minutes from here, with a room with two king-size beds and all meals paid.

We've been asked to come observe a marriage retreat, lead by the chaplain my husband works with, since we will also be doing them in the very near future. I say "we" because they encourage the chaplains that are married to have their spouses help lead the seminars. We were thrilled to hear that!! They do quite a few seminars for married and single soldiers and I think that is awesome...especially during this time of war when many soldiers and their families face some pretty difficult times.

They aren't requiring anything of us so we'll just come and go. The twins will be with us so we don't want to take away too much time from being with them. They're excited about the weekend, too. We won't be putting them in child-care, but for anyone who attends the marriage retreats there is free child-care. I'm looking forward to seeing how these retreats are done!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Home...for now

Several people have asked me to take pictures since I've talked about our hotel in several of my blogs. Here ya go...Can you tell it was built in the 50's? You would think they would at least update the style of the comforters (ha!). Do you see the brick walls? The wall to my left is a light green color. The fan in the window is our air-conditioning. Most buildings here don't have AC since it's pretty cool most of the time. I'm taking the picture standing by the door and tiny bathroom and open closet area. The containers next to the refrigerator hold our pots and pans and food. We go to the community kitchen to cook. When the twins got home from school today we baked cookies and made dinner together. (This has been fun for us!) Now we're just waiting for dad to arrive home so we can see how his day went. In the picture above, the twins are making some sort of structures out of the cards. In the picture below, this is the outcome. They like to do this at least once a day...They also taught me how to play hearts...which I'm completely terrible at! I lose every single time (even when Kevin is trying to be nice and take some of the hearts for me!). I'm going to have to teach them some other games! We usually play a while in the evenings. you can see, it's pretty much your typical hotel room...and our home for the next couple of months probably. By about the 2nd day I had settled in and I've grown to like it. Every time we went out to look for something else, it made me think I would miss it if we moved. In fact, the other three family members made comments like that, too. My favorite part is the big window. It makes the room feel bigger, and I can see the boys playing football from there.Last night when they were throwing the football around, they ran upstairs to get the camera because they noticed this...The picture doesn't do it truly is an amazing sight! This morning it was even more beautiful.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

About every other Wednesday our twins' school has half-days. Today was their first one. They laughed when I dropped them off this morning and said, "See you in three and a half hours!" We had a fun afternoon together. The sun was shining and the sky was so clear that everywhere we went on post we could see the mountain. I love seeing how fascinated they are with it and how excited they get when they notice it as we're driving around or their out back throwing the football to each other.

Tonight, while we were eating dinner, they were telling us about the funny moments at school today when they were talking about older/younger siblings and how they think of each other that way even though they are only 16 minutes apart, and the younger said, "I'm so glad we have each other. I would be lonely without him here." I know they both feel that way, but it was so sweet to hear it being spoken. They are having so much fun together here!

My husband will have his first official day at work tomorrow. The best way we know how to describe the last three and a half months is like this - it's like someone hitting the pause button on your life. There's been so many uncertainties, and so many things that have had to be done to get to this point, that it's a bit strange to realize the day you've been anticipating and working towards is finally here. It's exciting and scary!

Good news!

I just got a call from our Realtor and WE HAVE AN OFFER ON OUR HOUSE!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! We'll know more by the end of the day, but I thought it only appropriate to praise the Lord now and thank everyone who has been praying. The offer alone is reason enough to praise God!

We also went from #11 on the housing list (for a 3-bedroom house) to #3 (on a 4-bedroom house) today!!! As long as our daughter is a full-time student we can get a four bedroom house. And...the houses are being renovated so we'll get to move into a newly renovated home sometime in the near future!

Thank you, God!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Today has been pretty laid back. I took the twins to school and came back to find my room all cleaned and the beds made again (I could get used to this!), spent time with the Lord, went to the gym, talked to several of my friends back home, watched my husband put all his field equipment together and then wished him well as he went to meet his assistant for the first time, worked on my book a little, cooked dinner (with the twins help) in our community kitchen and then we all ate around our little table in our room (which has only three chairs so we have to pull it up to the bed), and now the twins and I are relaxing (watching one of their favorite shows - Dirty Jobs) while my husband is gone to a meeting...his first official "chaplain" type of meeting.

We moved up on the housing list from 12 to 11. Someone got a new home today! I'll be glad when it's our turn. Although, I sort of like the fact that we don't have a house yet. I needed this time to rest before having to unpack everything and set up our house. Every single night we would have to move all our containers in to the inside of our truck before going to sleep at the hotels, and they weren't light! When we arrived here we had to bring all those containers in and, unfortunately (and to our surprise), there's not any elevators in this old hotel so we had to carry them all up two flights of stairs. That's why the only place I want to go from here is into our new home...

It has been an absolutely beautiful day! The sun was shining all day and the temperature was perfect. On a clear day, this is our view from on post. One of the twins took this picture from the car as we were driving around our first day.

Cooking at our hotel

We don't have a kitchen in our room, only a small refrigerator and a microwave, but we do have a "community" kitchen, where anyone in the hotel can go and cook their meals. I like the concept because it's a way to meet people. It feels a little strange to actually do it, but last night I decided it was time to get over it and go cook! We can't live off of fast food forever...

While cooking, the twins and I met another family who lived in our same home town and they've been here (in a hotel) since MAY! Not only have they been here since May, they have four children in a room identical to ours (two beds). The wife talked a lot about the tough transition, especially when it came to finding a church and making friends. Their eyes lit up when I told them we were Christians and my husband was a chaplain. I look forward to getting to know them better and thought about asking her if she would like to cook together sometimes. We originally met when they started smelling my cooking and stopped by to tell me it smelled good. I wished at that moment I had cooked more. Eventually they came in with their food to cook and we talked for probably 30 minutes.

It's not the ideal kitchen or home for that matter, but it's the home God has chosen for us for now and I'm grateful for community (the very thing the sermon was about at Chapel Next on Sunday!).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Prayer Request...

We REALLY need our house to sell. The market is terrible for selling a house right now so it's tough, but we know God is able! Thank you for your prayers!

More blessings (from my post earlier today)...

Blessing #4 - Our twins loved their new school and their teachers, and they made new friends. They came home so happy...which makes me and dad happy, too! They're working on homework right now and it's nice to see them excited about school.

Blessing #5 - I got to spend more time with Kevin than I expected today. That's always good!!

Blessing #6 - I was able to get our "home" reorganized to make for more room to move around. It looks nice!

Blessing #7 - I was able to do laundry in our FREE laundry mat here in the hotel! Free is always good!

Blessing #8 - While doing the laundry, I met a really sweet lady from Russia. I enjoy meeting new people!

Blessing #9 - Quite a few of my friends emailed me today. It was so nice to hear from them and so wonderful to know we are being lifted up in prayer. We really appreciate it!

Blessing #10 - It's beautiful here! The sun is shining and I'm so at peace. I'm sitting here on my bed, feeling the cool air coming through the window and watching my family working on their "to do's"...and I don't have ANYTHING I have to do!!! I haven't known what that has felt like in a long, long, long, long time!!

A new day

This morning we awoke to all our different alarms going off...first my husband's, then mine, then the twins. It was quite comical as we all sleep in the same room! Since my husband is still in-processing and didn't have a meeting early in the morning, he was actually able to go with us to take the twins to their first day of school. Blessing #1.

Blessing #2 - it doesn't take long to clean your house when all you have is one room! Not to mention the maids do all the dirty work for you and even make your beds!! We returned to find the maid had already come in and cleaned and all I had left to do was a little organizing (I'm trying to make this room as big as possible!).

Blessing #3 - I had uninterrupted time with the Lord this morning! That doesn't happen too often and it sure was nice. This morning as I was praying about the many things we still have up in the air - like them getting my husband's pay straight, our house back home needing to sell, us getting into our house here and so on - I came across the scripture printed at the bottom of my journal. The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still (Exodus 14:14). I can't tell you how many times over the last few months God has used those scriptures printed at the bottom of my journal to speak to me. I'll write as I pray and when I stop to read the scripture the answer is right there. Today it is BE STILL. I can't change anything that is taking place right now, but God can. I need only to be still!

Thank you, Lord, for speaking your truth to me. Thank you for caring for our family, both here and back home. Thank you for your protection, your grace and your mercy. Thank you for loving us and fighting our battles for us. We trust in you with all that we have and we thank you for your many blessings. I will rest in you today and cling to your promises. Thank you for your presence. Amen.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Lord's Day

This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Yesterday evening we took my husband out to dinner for his birthday and had a really fun time. The twins kept teasing him that they were going to tell the waitress it was his birthday so he could get a free dessert and be sung to (their goal - to embarrass dad I'd say!). It was so funny to watch the three of them. My husband didn't really believe they had the guts to do it, but I assured him they did. There was one moment when one of the twins (DR) just couldn't stand it anymore and he just blurted it out to the waitress. Knowing how my husband really felt, I told her he didn't want to be sung to and she assured us it was company policy that they couldn't sing. She failed to mentioned that she would come back with balloons and dessert and a birthday sign! We laughed harder than we have in days (at least the twins and I did...)After we returned from dinner, we came to the conclusion that this hotel room may be home for a while and that we needed to be content in all things...ALL things! We looked everywhere for an apartment yesterday, but nothing felt right. Not only would another move be really tough (meaning we would either have to get a few furniture items to get by or have our stuff delivered and then repack when the time came to move on post), but most places wanted at least a 6 month lease and our house could be ready anytime in the next one to three months. The more we talked about it, the more we all felt this is where we needed to stay. Today I told my husband this place was sort of growing on me...and he agreed. This was before chapel...

We went to two different chapel services this morning - Chapel Next (contemporary) and one other that was extremely small, but where my husband might be preaching in the near future. (The sermon title...Patience!) The first chapel reminded me of our church we left when the Lord called my husband into the military, and the second one reminded me of the little country church in Oklahoma (great acoustics!) where he was interim pastor at one time...but even smaller and a lot younger people. The services were very different, and I enjoyed them both. More than anything I would say it was about the opportunity to worship the Lord today. It just felt good to focus on God, who IS the same yesterday, today and forevermore! If there's one thing I'm certain of during this transition, it's that my God is constant. He does not change! As we drove home from chapel, I turned on Big Daddy Weave's hit - Every Time I Breathe (since we found out they're going to be in concert here on post next week!!) so my husband would know who they were talking about and we all sang and praised the Lord.

After chapel we came back to the hotel, changed clothes and headed to the PX to eat lunch and get our twins their school supplies. While we were there it began to rain (the first time since we've been here) and as I walked to the car, leaving the rest of the family to stay dry, rain drops falling, I felt such a sense of belonging. I KNOW all things work for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose and I am excited about serving the Lord (with gladness!) here - come rain or shine, good days or bad days, easy days or tough days...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A special post for a special man...

Today, and every day, I salute you, my love! You make me so proud. You're brave and strong, full of faith in your Savior and a true soldier for the Lord! I love to watch you as you daily live out your faith and trust in the Lord. You're a wonderful example to me and I admire your willingness to follow the God's will for your life, no matter the cost and sacrifice. Thank you for the example you set for our children. They are blessed to have you as their dad and they love you very, very much! Thank you for being gracious and for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for serving our country and for ministering to the soldiers of the United States Army. I love you and cherish our marriage and friendship. You are a wonderful man of God and I am blessed to be your wife. I love you and wish you a wonderful birthday today!!!

Transition isn't easy sometimes...

Today we spent the morning looking for apartments and checking out more of the area. It was a little disheartening since most places require at least a 6 month lease and we only have 1 - 3 months to wait for post housing. We have no idea what to do! We hope to have more answers next week...

This morning, as I spent time with the Lord, I decided to focus on not complaining. It means I've had to bite my tongue a few times, but I'm trying to be positive and not look at the things around us that are difficult right now. We're most thankful that we can be together and continually pray God will work out all the other details.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Trying to keep our chins up!

Today I checked us out of a really nice hotel suite into a dump on post...real bummer!! We're trying to keep a good attitude about it, but we're a little in shock since they have one brand new hotel and one other that is fairly new and in much better condition. As we walked down the hall, we knew it might not be too good...then my husband stopped at the door and prayed it would be nicer than what we were walking through. Sadly, it wasn't.

We did, however, get the boys enrolled in school and they will start on Monday. It's a very small school and everyone who worked in the office was REALLY nice - especially the twins' counselor. Talking with her was the highlight of our day. She was a super nice, strong Christian woman and we both left there feeling our boys would be in good hands. They are excited about starting on Monday.

We went out to dinner and talked about keeping our chins up and smiles on our faces. We plan to look for apartments tomorrow and pray our post housing becomes available very, very soon!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm not sure where to start...

The twins and I went exploring this morning and found it to be A HUGE post (just as we suspected from the short time we were there yesterday) with a lot going on. We found the officer's housing area in which we will live and we can't wait to move in. They won't start school until we know which exact area we will live in, but we're hoping we will find that out tomorrow when my husband goes to the housing office. Then again, the twins aren't too worried about it since they're getting to be out of school a little longer!

They brought up the idea of homeschooling while we were traveling here. The funny thing is - I didn't dismiss it. And, more than that - the idea came to my mind several months ago and I didn't dismiss it then. I've actually been praying about it. I've never really been a big fan of the idea for our children so for the thought to come to my mind I felt I better pray about it and not just dismiss it. If it meant that we could be with my husband more, or if things were really bad for them at school, I would do it in a heartbeat. On the other hand, I want them out in the world making an impact and don't want to interfere if God desires that for their lives. I just want to be open to whatever the Lord wants for us as a family.

I'm sitting by the pool while the boys swim. It's so nice and relaxing! Last night we went to swim and when we got back to the room the twins said to my husband, "Mom made a friend!" (It's funny what they notice...and meaningful when it's something like that because I could have said the same thing about them and this lady's little girl. In a matter of minutes they were playing with her and the mother noticed that and was so happy!) I considered it a divine appointment. I later told my husband that him being a chaplain brings up spiritual conversations very quickly it seems.
I asked her if they were in the military and immediately she moved over next to me and asked the same of me. When I told her my husband was a chaplain she wanted to know much more and shared her background with me. I won't really go into the whole conversation, but I shared my faith with her and before she left she asked, "Will I see you back here tomorrow night?" Later on in the evening, my husband and I came back to the pool so he could sit in the hot tub and, again, I would say that was a divine appointment. The moment my husband said he was a chaplain the man opened up and talked to him about his son and spiritual matters. Come to find out, he just visited the chapel on post last Sunday.
Before we went to sleep we prayed and thanked the Lord for those moments that confirmed we are here for a reason. We also shared more of our thoughts from the day's drive here...

We've driven many, many miles and seen some of God's amazing creation over the last 10 days, but it was at about this point in the trip when I realized how truly far away from our older children we were and began to cry. The emotions welled up so strongly that I finally couldn't hold back the tears any longer. They were tears of joy - because over and over again we've seen God's hand in all of this - and, yet, also tears of sadness - because our other children aren't alongside us to see and experience this with us. I know it's all a part of "growing up" but it's sure not easy! And I thought high school was tough...

Here's a few more pictures of the drive here...

Watch what happens here...Keep your eyes on the sky...

At this point in the drive my husband asked if we were ready for the next six months. It looked like a forest fire from far away (like in the first picture), but the closer we got the more we realized it wasn't. It was the strangest thing I've ever seen!

About 15 minutes later I was praising God for the sunshine and clear skies as we neared the post! I realize it may look more like this, and that's OK...I won't have to worry about the sun being in my eyes too much or getting a really bad sunburn...I'm looking at this cup as half full rather than half empty! :) Honestly, it is a beautiful place to live and a beautiful place in my life right now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We're here!

...and it's beautiful! The post is HUGE so tomorrow we will go exploring! Since we arrived early we're off post at another really nice hotel. All they had left was a suite...I counted it as a blessing from the Lord since it's big enough to live in.

We're all very excited to be here. The drive was absolutely beautiful and I'll download pictures to post later. For now, I'm going to kick back and relax! Hot cookies are being served downstairs!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I've washed, folded and repacked five loads of laundry, cleaned out and reorganized the car and truck, and got everything ready for tomorrow morning ( blog is posting as Wednesday but it's still Tuesday where I am) - when we'll depart for our final destination and begin the new life God has set before us. Although we've been in the military before, we really have no idea what to expect tomorrow. I know we will live in a hotel off Post until the 14th and will move on Post to a hotel (unless housing on Post is ready...which I'm praying fervently about!). If housing isn't ready we'll either continue to stay in the hotel or rent an apartment off Post for a while. Whatever we have to do is fine with me...I'm just happy we're together!!

My husband will sign in and begin in-processing, and the twins and I will look into school and remain flexible and supportive until we get this whole thing figured out. We've talked a lot about the fact that we still can't believe we are actually doing this. I know my husband has a lot going through his mind right now and I'm praying all the time for him. I don't have a doubt in my mind that God called us to do this and that he will be an amazing chaplain to the soldiers. I can't wait to see him in action!!

I really miss my older kids. We talk on the phone every day, but I miss being with them. I'm trying not to really think about it too much and am just counting the days until I see them in November. I'm so excited...on our drive here we decided to fly our son up for a week or two before he leaves for training, and we already bought tickets for our daughter to visit the week of Thanksgiving.

Several of our friends and family have emailed or called to encourage us this week. We really appreciate all the love, support and prayers. It's not easy to be thousands of miles away from those you love, but it's a great feeling to know you are being lifted up in prayer!

My fishermen...

They didn't catch any fish in this river, but they sure looked cute tryin'...

Good times at C'mon Inn

This is the hotel we stayed at last night and until literally 2 minutes before we had to check out at noon today. It was such a cool place. We played ping pong, swam, relaxed in the hot tubs and the twins played a lot of games in their game room. I beat both the twins in ping pong this morning, Pops! No mercy...
The suite we stayed in was really nice. From the bedroom we had a balcony we could sit at and see the waterfall. On the third floor they had leather couches and chairs to sit on outside your room.

OK, so I know this might seem cheesy to blog about, but our twins thought it was an awesome place to stay. Every time we stop to get a hotel they get so excited and wonder what it'll have to offer for fun (while we're just looking for a comfortable bed...haha). One of the twins spotted this place from the road so we agreed to see if it was nice and the price was right. It turned out to be the best place yet! It has been such a blessing to see the pure excitement in their eyes as we've traveled along. We are all very excited and anxious about tomorrow - when we will arrive on our new Post! Here's a couple of pictures we took along the way today. I couldn't get a good shot of the rivers and lakes we saw from the highway, but it was beautiful.

Our adventure over the last few days...

Our drive from Colorado to Yellowstone was quite interesting. My husband came up with the idea to count antelope along the way, but the way in which we did it was a game. The first one to spot an antelope got to count that antelope, plus any others with it. We counted over 600 antelope in a 300 mile radius. The largest heard was 70 - found by the older twin. The picture below was taken as we passed by the Grand Tetons before heading into Yellowstone (see the herd of buffalo?).Once we arrived in Yellowstone we encountered deer, antelope, elk, chipmunks, and buffalo (lots of buffalo!). We wanted to see a moose or bear, but never did. Our first night walking through the woods we encountered this elk right by the road.We left Colorado a day early, thinking school has started so surely there will be somewhere to stay...boy were we wrong! There wasn't a hotel anywhere within a hundred miles! There was, however, a tent in one of the general stores and we had plenty of blankets so we decided to rough it. other interesting fact, it was only a three-man tent and there was four of us. We thought since the twins are a little smaller than us we'd be fine, but once we laid down to sleep we all had to turn at the same time...kind of like a rotisserie! We didn't get much sleep since about every 15 minutes our bodies started to ache.
The place we camped was called "Bear Country" and they warned us not to take anything at all in our tents since five days earlier a momma bear and her two cubs were in the area (we saw the picture). We joked about our tent being camouflaged and an animal stepping on our little tent because they couldn't see it. I'm not sure which we worried about more - animals or freezing to death as we slept! When we woke up it was 33 degrees and we had our tent packed and were back in the truck with the heat on in less than 10 minutes.
The following day it snowed, not a lot, but some. We fished, hiked to a natural bridge, saw a lot of geysers (including Old Faithful...that wasn't exactly faithful, but was worth the freezing cold wait...probably didn't help that we had ice cream before heading out to watch it). We also saw several waterfalls, a huge canyon, and animals. The picture below is of the natural bridge. The twins immediately noticed the shape below the bridge looked like the shape of Africa (which made them think about their sister). On Monday when we woke up it was 22 degrees! Thank the Lord, we found a room available at a nearby hotel! We didn't even care if it turned out to be a dump...luckily, it was a really nice hotel!! We fished in the rivers and then headed towards Montana where we're resting in a REALLY nice hotel that has 5 hot tubs, two pools, waterfalls in the lobby...and is less expensive than all the others we've stayed in! The twins say we have to take pictures of this place, too!

This afternoon we will head to Spokane. It's still strange to us that we are actually moving!