Sunday, January 27, 2008

The weekend is winding down...

A little bit of rain...
A little bit of snow...
A little bit of sunshine...
Where'd the weekend go?!

This week we had sunshine every day, all day long, Monday through Friday. It was WONDERFUL! Saturday brought just a little bit of snow, but mainly rain. We slept in, cleaned house (well, I did anyways), took the kids bowling and then my husband and I went out with our new friends (the chaplain and his wife I blogged about last week). We had a great time! They are wonderful people!

It was a great time of worship today! I was happy to be in chapel today and excited about the changes they talked about and implemented. We never had a time of welcome before and I noticed that people didn't really talk to each other because no one really knew anyone. I really believe this will help. I know I feel more comfortable turning around to say hello and introducing myself that way, rather than just walking up to people before the service...and I'm not shy. For the first time, it felt more like a church family and, for that, I am most grateful.

Tomorrow the boys have the day off from school. They are so excited. If only dad could have the day off! The weekend flew by a little too fast, but I'm not complaining. I'll take what time I can get with my husband and be grateful for it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Update on our Airman

Our son called about 10:00 this morning to tell us he was unable to continue Pararescue training due to the stress fractures in his legs, caused from severe shin splints. He went for a follow-up with the physical therapist yesterday and was put on crutches. The PT is most concerned with his right leg. He wants him off of it as much as possible in fear that it could break.

Because of this, it's not even a possibility for him to continue training at this time and he was told if he waited for the next class in a few months it still might not be enough time for his leg to heal completely so he has chosen to move into a different field, with the possibility of cross training back into Pararescue somewhere down the road. They told him they only had good things to say about him so that wouldn't be a problem.

Our main concern would be that he be able to heal and not injure his legs more so please continue to pray for his complete healing. Also, pray that there would be slots available for other fields that he would like to go in to. He was concerned for his health and didn't want to risk an injury, but he still gave it 100% all the time and, for that, we are most proud of him!!

Some of you may have wondered why I posted only scripture yesterday, not adding any thoughts. This is why. I haven't really been able to write about it for a few days as every time I would start to I would just sob. I have spent days in prayer, asking God to heal our son and give him direction and clarity as he struggled with what to do if Pararescue didn't work out, and a lot of time pacing back and forth (mainly in my mind). Yesterday God gave me those two scriptures to rest upon. It's not easy to rest when you know your son is hurting and there is nothing you can do, and you know he will probably be making decisions soon about his future and you want to be able to help him and really can't, but God knew what I needed to hear and where I needed to place my son and his future - IN HIS HANDS. That was as far as I could get in my post yesterday.

Today I woke up feeling pretty certain he would not be able to continue in Pararescue and that I needed to be a source of encouragement when he called. The moment I heard his voice I could tell he felt a sense of relief. I know some of what his day-to-day routine was like and I can't imagine having to endure it with the injuries. God knows exactly where our son needs to be and I know He loves our son even more than we do so we'll just continue to pray and wait on the Lord. He's in the hands of Almighty God...there's no better place for him to be!

Son, we're so proud of you!!! As you say good-bye to PJ training, know that we are proud of all your hard work, and will continue to pray for your healing and for God's direction on your future job in the Air Force. No matter what you do or where you go, we're right here cheering you on!! We love you!!! -Mom and Dad

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Here's another good one! - Be still, and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weekend fun and feelings of sadness

This weekend we did a lot of fishing in the river. We caught some huge Salmon, weighing anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds. We've never done this sort of fishing before so Kevin and the kids are having the time of their lives trying to reel them in. They're pretty frightening looking fish and I don't have any pictures with the twins because they were so large and fought so hard that it took a lot for Kevin and Whitney to get them in. Today, while walking down the river a little farther than we did yesterday, we saw bear tracks, as well as many remains of fish to confirm our suspicions. We discussed whether or not we could handle actually seeing a bear. The twins were certain I would freak out...I think they're right! That was the fun part of the weekend.
The feelings of sadness come because it's still really difficult not to miss our son, Karl, when everyone in the family is here but him. It's hard not seeing him fishing alongside his dad like the rest of his siblings. It's hard not to miss having him around when I know he'd love the fishing and being outdoors with us. It's just hard! I know it's all a part of life...and our kids have to grow up...and I try not to feel sad, but sometimes I just do!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Small World...Big God!

Today I had lunch with another Chaplain wife and I have to say it is a small world AND we have a big God who wants to bless us with moments where we can't explain it any other way than it was orchestrated by God. This is how it all came about...

On Sunday a chaplain we'd never heard preach before got up to preach and I immediately thought he looked a little familiar. After only about a minute or two, I thought to myself, "I bet he and my husband could be good friends." After the service, I was happy to see them talking and discovered why he looked familiar. (I'll stop there for just a minute.)

When I first began to blog I never imagined it would be anything more than a place for me to journal. My prayer has always been that it would minister to other women in the same boat, or speak to those who were thinking about the chaplaincy, but I never imagined it would be such a huge blessing and an avenue by which I would become close friends with several people I might never have the opportunity to meet face to face. On Monday, though, I was completely blown away...(and this is where the first part of my story ties it all together).

I received a comment on my blog from the chaplain's wife that I mentioned above and she wanted to meet! Not only that, I was even more amazed when I thought maybe my husband gave her husband the link to my blog so I asked her if that was the which she responded (with the editing of names and locations), "You won't believe it - I have a dear friend in Alaska who is a fellow chaplain's wife - she found your blog and read it - she knew that we were in TX at the same time with of our son [graduating from basic training] - so she sent me your blog - what a small world!!"

So, we met for lunch and had a wonderful time! I feel very blessed to have met her and look forward to getting to know her more. We have several things in common, one of the best being Jesus, and I thank the Lord for sending a new friend my way!

On a similar note, that same morning I also received a comment from a lady whose husband is at CH-BOLC right now and they live here close to me. We also plan to meet soon. I've had the privilege to meet four other women face to face who I initially met through my blog, and other women who I've come to know but have never met are just as special to me. They have been such a source of encouragement and a true blessing from the Lord in this journey.

Ladies, this journey we are on isn't easy sometimes, but it's moments like these - when God blesses us with new friends that we might never have met otherwise or sends encouragement through the words of someone else - that make you stop and remember that you are where you are because this is HIS will for you and HE is there to see you through it all. It's not easy to pack up and leave friends (every few years) and family, but when God places new people in your life you begin to realize that it's all a part of His plan. Just think, is there any of those close friends you've made along the way that you would give up in a heartbeat just to stay in the same place all your life, or what about missing out on what God wants/wanted you to learn about Him as you step/stepped out in faith? Remember in the difficult times just how BIG our God is and how SMALL this world is!

The heavens declare You are God and the mountains rejoice!

These are some of the pictures we took while out enjoying God's magnificent creation on Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Infantry Soldiers

This morning my husband forgot his reflective belt so he called me to ask if I would bring it to him so he wouldn't miss his run. Of course I would, but not without grumbling to myself a little. As I turned the corner to the road which leads to his office I saw probably 20 or 30 Soldiers running in the cold morning air with their shorts on, or walking in their ACUs or shorts and combat boots, with ruck sacks on their back.

I immediately felt horrible for even being the least bit aggravated that I had to wake up from my warm bed, jump in my cold car, drive on the icy roads and hustle to do something for the man who loves me more than anyone on this earth...and then to see those Soldiers and realize they all (including my husband) had already been up for at least an hour or so and were doing probably the same thing they do every day so that they are fit for battle, when and if that day comes.

They're not men who put on suits and sit behind a fancy desk in a warm office; they are real, live Soldiers who are willing to fight for the freedoms we all enjoy. They are willing to get up early and keep themselves in shape so that they can fight if they're called upon to do so and I think the world of them for that. They work long, hard hours and train constantly no matter the conditions outside...rain, snow, extremely cold or hot weather, whatever the day brings. I know because I hear the gun-fire all the time, day and night.

It was a beautiful reminder to me to be grateful for the easy life I have and to look at those who are serving our country with great respect. It's not an easy life for them, I'm certain of that, and I'm grateful for these Infantry Soldiers who choose to live it anyway.

Friday, January 4, 2008


It's already the end of the work week and I feel like it just began. The week has been good. It started out tough with a drive home from San Antonio (because we were leaving our son behind) and a long plane ride home after having it delayed twice. Once we arrived home to beautiful countryside and my own bed (I never sleep good anywhere else) I felt much better. Unpacking 16 suitcases, taking down Christmas decorations, getting back into my workout routine, and getting the house back in order took over the rest of the week.

When we arrived home we walked into a clean home that smelled of fresh pine from the Christmas tree, and turned the clean home into a small disaster. I should have taken a picture of all the luggage. It took over our entire dining room, slowly making its way into the living room and bedrooms, and was quite comical to say the least. I still have just a few outfits to put away, but I plan to have the house neat and tidy again for the weekend! Yeah! The weekend. Though I can hardly believe it is here, I'm looking forward to it!

Up until this morning, it has been raining since the morning after we arrived back home. I was thankful as we landed on the runway that it wasn't raining as I knew we would soon fill the back of our truck to the brim with luggage. This morning brought sunshine and warm air and, once I realized it might not last much longer, my daughter and I headed out for a walk. It was beautiful...the sun shining, the warm air, God's beautiful creation and, most of all, my daughter walking alongside me. We talked of the smells and sounds and scenery all around us, of life and how it is what we make it.

When we found out where we were moving so many people had only negative things to say about this state. Mostly people who had never even been here...but, none the less, it was negative and could have influenced our own thoughts on how we felt about the move. Fortunately, we all looked forward to the adventure of seeing a new place. Going back to Texas for Christmas made me realize how much I love living here! Sure, it rains a lot in the winter, but it makes for some amazing sights to see that cry out the awesome power of God!

May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in His works—He who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke. Psalms 104: 31-32. Even though I've seen this view at least a hundred times by now, I'm still taken back by it!Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. 1 Chronicles 16:33. The size of this tree amazes me! It makes me think of the song "How Great is our God".Scripture even has something to say about ants...Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer. Proverbs 30:24-25. We can learn something about life from even the smallest of creatures.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Our Airman and pictures from graduation week

Graduation week began on Thursday morning with the Airman's Run. My husband and I were able to be with him on Christmas day, but his girlfriend and sister and everyone else with us were waiting with great anticipation to see him for the first time in six weeks.Imagine the feeling of not being able to figure out which one he was as everyone looked so much alike. The first time he passed by we couldn't find him quick enough so we were happy to know he would turn around and run past us again. This time the sun was shining way too brightly for a good picture, but I put it on here to remind me of this moment when we all stood together in the freezing cold awaiting his arrival and how it felt to wait all that time and not be able to find him the first time. When he ran back by, he was waving his hands trying to get our attention...not wanting us to miss seeing him again. He's the third Airman from the back.
Later in the day they had the coin ceremony. This is his squadron marching towards us. He's the 2nd Airman in the 4th row from the left. I was already fighting the tears by this time.
Here he's standing close enough to hear us talking. We couldn't have asked for better seats! He's the 2nd Airman from the left. This picture puts a smile on my face, tears in my eyes and a burst of pride in my heart to see him come to this point of accomplishment in his life...way to go, son!!!
He receives his coin. After the coin ceremony he was given base liberty and we had the opportunity to spend several hours with him.
Friday arrives and graduation begins! It was a wonderful ceremony and such a blessing to see the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment on his face.
Here they are...across the field from us. We can hardly wait for them to pass by!
His TI (Training Instructor) and Guide-On for his squadron. He really liked his TI. Here they are marching in front of us and our son is the 2nd Airman on the far side. We all thought they looked like something out of the movies with their trench coats on. Below they are about to take their oath of office again before the commander. His flight was recognized for being Honor Flight! After graduation we checked out his dorm and took a few photos. Imagine having to salute your was a cool moment for them, but we missed it the first time on the field so this is a pose. It was pretty special to see them both in uniform together! Our last family photo for a while...
It was a very special day, one I will never forget. 31 of his family and friends were there to cheer him on and show their love and support. We're all very proud of him and wish him all the best as he continues to train for Pararescue.

Is it really already 2008?

Sitting on the plane, listening to music on my ipod, my mind went wild with all that has taken place in our lives in 2007. I looked over at my husband and reminded him it was this time last year that we were awaiting word from the Army and then began to list reasons why our lives are so different now. The words "but I love it!" coming from his mouth made me smile. It hasn't been easy, and I know there are days he has felt completely overwhelmed, so to hear that brought excitement for the coming year.

Just before getting on the plane we received a call from our son. With excitement in his voice, he said, "Hi mom!" and began to tell me how excited he was about beginning his PJ training. I knew the afternoon before was difficult as we all had to leave so to hear the happiness in his voice made me feel much better about leaving. I think the Lord knew I needed that call to be able to truly leave Texas. Up until that point I was fighting tears the entire day and felt pretty much like I did the day we left him to move here.

It's good to be home! I woke up feeling good and I'm excited about the new year...even though I can't believe it is really 2008! We have 16 suitcases to unload today, but that's OK. We have so many because our daughter returned with us so I look forward to helping her set up her things and getting to spend more time with her again.

God has been good, ALWAYS, and I thank him for the opportunity we had to go to Texas for a while and spend time with family and spend 4 days with our son and watch him graduate from Basic Training, and that we are home again safe and sound. I have much more to journal but little time to do so right now. One of the twins has opened all 16 suitcases searching for one of his Christmas present, forcing me to get things put away...

Happy New Year!!!