Monday, May 30, 2011

misuse of government equipment

Happy Memorial Day! 

Although it's one of those things in life that when you think about it, really isn't exactly 'happy.'

I took the girls to the parade today....was nice to be out with just the 'bigs' since the Griz went home with Grammie since it was so blasted hot today.  And I was hatching a devious plot.....

This is a traffic camera:
That street light looking thing on the loopy stand thing (technical, I know) looks up Baltimore Street where it meets Steinwehr Ave.  This is what he could see.

And I knew that Big Sarge knew about it because he told me that he watched it to check the weather where we are and when he gets homesick!  And if you know me, you will know that I would never know a thing about traffic cams if it weren't for the Big Sarge....

I emailed Big Sarge and mentioned that it would be cool if he got online when the parade was going on so we could watch it together.  Not exactly why PennDot put that camera there, but might as well use it for something good.

We got to Baltimore Street about 1:30 and picked out spots right next to the tent they set up for the wounded warriors (which was totally cool in itself since I got a chance to speak with a few of the wives and children.......awesome). 

We busted out our sign:

And held it up tall and proud for Big Sarge to see!  And he did!  Granted, he really couldn't read it, but he knew that it was for him.  And all intense cutie-ness of the blonde girls attracted a lot of attention.  We were interviewed for Fox News, got lots of 'thank you's' for us and Big Sarge and had a great time.  All the folks got a kick out of the furious texting back and forth between G-burg and the desert....especially when Big Dad mentioned that one of the bigs ought to sit still since he could see them wandering around on camera!  The only bummer was that the news people didn't use the part of the interview where I told the whole world how proud we were of our soldier.....guess we'll have to tell him in person.

And then ice cream at the Sunset:

The Ladybug downs some cheesecake swirl.

Firecracker opts for watermelon.
And Mama let everyone stay up late to watch How To Train Your Dragon (cute, but a disappointment after reading the book).

A good, small-town kind of day......but, true freedom will never come from anything on this earth but only comes from the Lord of Heaven and Earth - the risen and reigning Jesus Christ. 

Pray for our men and women in harm's way, away from home, training and serving wherever they are.  Pray for their families - their husbands, wives, parents and children.  Pray for those who mourn the loss of their soldiers.  Pray for the injured to heal.  Pray for peace.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Report

So, did I manage to accomplish anything on the weekend list?????  Drum roll, please.....

That would be....


Except hanging out with my Nana....although she totally dissed me today in favor of having lunch with one of her girlfriends.  Stood up by an old lady....a banner day!  Actually, I thought the whole thing was cool - I hope to be with it enough at her age to still go out to lunch with my girlfriends! 

Otherwise, a total loss on the list of things to get done!  But, I hung out with my kids, did a pile of laundry, and got to church this morning. 

Yeah, and about that church thing......wanna guess what percentage of the sermon I actually heard today?  If you guessed about 2%, you're close.  And this would be why:

Not exactly conducive to Mama getting to listen to the sermon...which is a bummer, since Tyler was preaching today - a rare and excellent treat.  So it was back the nursery for me.  In the end,  I was glad of it, though - the baby nursery was hopping this morning and it was a great time of fellowship and chit-chat with a great bunch of ladies.  We are each of us faced with a unique set of difficulties, challenges and blessings - but we hold in common a great love for our children, the desire to ever be better mothers and wives and the need for real, honest fellowship. It was a great morning!
Back to the grindstone for me......portfolio this week!  Blessed week to all!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

soon and very soon

For the last few years, our crib has lived at my mom's house.  There wasn't any sense in it gathering dust here and she used it for my brother's kids when they came to visit.  But, since the Griz is getting bigger by the minute and rapidly outgrowing the bassinet, it was time to bring the crib home.  Good timing, really since the Big Sarge will be home in the next few weeks and there's probably not enough room for me, the Griz and the Sarge in a double bed.  Maybe back when Big Sarge and Mama were a bit skinnier, but now, perhaps not so much.....

So, job done - crib disassembled, moved and re-assembled.  I rock.  Yes, I do. 

And now, there it sits.

A large, obtrusive reminder that mid-tour leave is nearly upon us.  The monkeys are excited.  The Sarge is excited.  I'm.....scared to death.  I've been alone for over five months now.  And I'm tired, and a little harried.  But, I'm making it.  I always do. 

Since we've been married, the Big Sarge has often been away, or worked crazy hours or been on orders.  We lived through several years of his being a National Guard recruiter.  This equals crazy hours, always being available and taking appointments whenever and wherever you can get them.  Then the first 362 day deployment.  Then a few months of a civilian job where Sarge was home every night, but not making good money, so I worked at night.  Then a job in the mobilization cell at Indiantown Gap where we averaged two nights a week and every other weekend with him home.  Then last year, he was at Ft Dix for what amounted to almost 7 months when you added it all together.  And now deployment #2. 

dropping the Sarge!
I'm good at being on my own.  And not so good at having him here.

Most people think that the hardest thing would be to let someone else make the every day decisions that I can make all by myself - and do make all by myself.  But for me, that's not really a big deal - it's actually a relief to have someone else hand out consequences, tell Firecracker if she's allowed to wear stripes and plaid together and tell me where they are going to drive me to eat supper. 

And our life is so chaotic and our house such a pig sty that there's very little order that can be disordered around here. 

For me, it's a heart issue.  Too much time alone cultivates a hard heart in me.  A heart that doesn't really want to need anyone.  A heart would just rather be left alone.  This is not exactly a healthy approach to marriage...

So, I'm striving to un-harden this heart of stone.....and I really want to succeed.  I really want us to have a good two weeks.   I really want the Sarge to head back to the sandbox knowing that he is loved, honored and respected.  I really want to do this well. 

Prayer gratefully accepted.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Weekend plans

getting my ducks in a row....
Top of my list of weekend stuff is Nana-sitting!  With my Dad out of town, I am blessed to get the responsibility of checking in on my 92-year old Nana this weekend. 

Yep, it interrupts my day.  Yep, I gotta stick the kids somewhere in case she needs my attention (thanks, Hoffmans!).  But what a gift she is to all of us.  Pray for her.....her youngest child passed away last week, she has profound hearing loss (which is unbearably frustrating for her), she's been alone since PopPop died when I was a baby, and she's ready to go home and be with her Lord.  The kids and I took her out to supper tonight and I'm sure we were a sight.....from 92 to 7 months gathered round a table.  And, I guess some people might think that we are kind for taking her out - but I know that we are the ones blessed by her presence, her testimony and her spunkiness. 

Far down on the list of priorities:
-restocking some supplies for the Griz's formula from radiant life.  Someday soon, I'll do post and tutorial about this and tell the story of my nursing journey with my little man.
-making a final decision about Latin curriculum....leaning towards Prima Latina for Ladybug.
-finding the Griz some summer shoes...I like these .
-carving out some time with the Lord - my heart is totally unprepared for the Big Sarge to be home for mid-tour leave soon....(well, this isn't exactly 'far down' on the list of priorities.....but, I still wonder if I'll get to it....sigh)..., really.....sleep is a MAJOR issue at the LoveShack......

Happy Weekend to all......

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gardening for Lazy People

I love my herb garden!  It's almost no maintenance since many herbs are perennials (they come up every year without me having to do a thing), most are really hardy (which means that even I can't kill them) and are beautiful and really good for you!
my herb garden......soapwort, basil, mint, fennel, oregano, nutmeg thyme....

variegated sage, feverfew, lemon balm, and flowering sage

I love this variegated sage......such a lovely sunny color

soapwort in experimenting with making shampoo and
baby wash with this

mint and lovely

Firecracker and I dressed up some orzo with some of our fresh herbs for lunch:

1/2 lb of orzo, big blob of butter, garlic, chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, chopped herbs (basil, oregano and thyme), juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper....simple and so delicious!

And to go with supper, we have a 1/2 gallon jar stuffed with mint, lavender and lemon balm out in the sun for herb-and-lemonade! 

Fresh herbs are just about my favorite part of spring!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Laundry Mayhem

Yep, that's a load of diapers pinned to a length of twine in the middle of my totally messy house.
I'm so proud.....Either 1.) it must stop raining almost every day or 2.) the guy coming tomorrow to fix my dryer must be successful.  But, at least the Griz's pee catchers are clean and will soon be dry!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Ladybug's been after me everyday about checking the mail......and finally, on Thursday, it came!! 

Her packet from Our Military Kids.  If you don't know about this organization, shame on you!  They award grants (up to $500!!!) for camp, lessons or tutoring to kids of deployed members of the National Guard and to children of wounded veterans.  Firecracker's been going to tap class on a grant and now Ladybug is heading off to camp in July.  River Valley Ranch here we come!!!!!  A week of trail rides, archery, swimming, Bible study and sleeping in a tepee!  Not to mention a whole week without having to be Mama's sherpa!  I'm excited for her and praying (really praying) for her to have a great hear God's truth in a new and heart-touching way.  SUMMER CAMP!!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lunch Today

I love puff pastry.  Really love it.  Alot.  I have read the label.....and I don't care.  I still love it.  And have NO desire to make it myself.  Now that that's out of the way, here's what we had for lunch.  One sheet of puff pastry got cut into quarters and stuffed with tuna salad and sharp cheddar.  Yum.  The second sheet also was quartered and stuffed with this deliciousness:
  (oh, and I don't measure much so I'm taking a good guess here)
    1/2 cup homemade cream cheese
     1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
      1 medium tomato, diced
       big pinch each oregano and fennel seeds
        salt and pepper

So good....big monkeys had a hard time deciding which to choose - Ladybug opted for tuna if she could 'please have a bleu cheese one for breakfast tomorrow.'

The Griz had yogurt...or perhaps it had him.....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

not exactly a stellar day

This is a day that I could have just as easily skipped....except for a really sweet note that a young friend wrote to me.....

Too bad that I was supposed to be rejoicing, continuously praying and giving thanks for every circumstance (1 Thessalonions 5:16-18) that broke my heart, pissed me off and made me want to scream and swear.  Or at least that's what the apostle Paul tells me.....then again, what does he know?

Well, Lord, they say your mercies are new every morning.....let's pray that mine will be, too. 

      Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
      Because His compassions fail not.
      They are new every morning;
      Great is Your faithfulness.
      "The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
      "Therefore, I hope in Him."
               Lamentations 3:22-24 (NKJV)

Monday, May 16, 2011

some cold hard facts

Dear friends, if you are here looking for answers, you're in the wrong place.  This is a place of questions, of missteps, of having to seek forgiveness.  I don't claim to be the expert on anything. 

I don't know about you, but too often I really don't get other blogs - especially ones written by stay-at-home Christian moms.  I wonder if they are entirely too happy, if they are really honest about their days, if they are really in touch with reality.  Me, I'm not often as happy, or with it, or able to fake it as well as those people.  Personally, I have many days that down-right suck - days when abundant life seems like a pipe dream......and I suspect that you have them, too. 

This life that I have been given is fraught with danger, full of potholes and overflowing with blessing.  I strive to see the hand of God in the every day of my life - and if I don't, am wise enough to know that it's because of my faulty vision and not His lack of presence.  I strive to be the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control) and not just force myself to act like them.  I purpose everyday to steward and enjoy my children and not just fervently pray for bedtime.  And some days I glimpse, out of the corner of my eye, a shadow of the greatness of God....I grasp for a fleeting moment what 'freedom in Christ' really means.....I sense the incredible release of finally trading my armor in for a heart that is unafraid.  I long to dwell in those places, to have confidence in a life of full surrender.  But then, a word, an accusation from the enemy, a dark reminder of things left undone and the longing fades away. 

This slogging away through muck and mire is not the life that God intends for is the life we build for ourselves out of our own sin, our own self-reliance, our own foolish notions that we can save ourselves.  The muck and mire will always remain in this world, but what the Lord Jesus offers us is a way to navigate it, to rise above it, to overcome it....and then to turn and bring those around us out of it, too. 

Come along as I navigate my way out....

Friday, May 13, 2011