30 November 2008

its that time of year!

yeah, he kinda thinks he's a big deal... in his brother's socks... gettin' a closer look at the tree - we had a near collision today involving an empty laundry basket... who needs toys anyway???
last year, after Christmas I wrapped 24 of our Christmas/Winter story books for a little fun Christmas countdown... I got them out last week when we got the decorations out, and tonight Wilson said, "I am sick of not opening our presents..." Tomorrow we unwrap our first book. I cannot believe it is December already... wow! (I think I read this idea in Family Fun a few years ago, and finally decided to implement it!)

And today was the first Sunday of Advent. We moved our wreath to the table this year. I thought it would be fun to have some candle-lit Sunday dinners this month. The first time I remember ever seeing an Advent wreath was at South in Lansing after Brad & I were married. Barbie gave us this one last year along with a print-out of the verses to read and the prayers to go with it; I like the quiet reminder of the excitement of the coming King!

Plus tomorrow I get to start reading the book that I wrote about last year. (Click here if you want a reminder). I sent Brad a copy of it too - I hope he gets it soon. Its a great way to focus on what this time of year is all about... There are so many things that could pull us in different directions, and what a shame it would be if we missed this - a joyous celebration of our Savior!


29 November 2008

life lessons...

If you are going to brave the crowds on Black Friday and you decide to set your coffee-pot timer to aid you in that endeavor... always, ALWAYS, remember to reset it the next day... otherwise you will awake to luke-warm coffee. Terrible, just terrible. (but mom, the caramel mocha is so good!)

Brad is considering buying me a one-cup coffee pot for the bedroom to ease my transition from bed to the kitchen... Isn't he thoughtful? (just in case you don't know, that is a joke - that seems a bit too much like the Seinfeld when Kramer had the disposal in his shower...)

Another lesson I learned the hard way this week...

Wilson is much too old to try to pull a fast one on.

I went by K-mart on the way to Barbie's on Thanksgiving because board games were buy one get one free and one of our boys from the Angel Tree wanted board games. Well, they were such a good deal, and we were there already, so I thought, "Why not get one for each of our boys too??" I asked Wilson to point out a couple that he would like, and then told him not to look in the cart. He agreed to the plan - in theory. However, he has been talking about getting out his Chutes & Ladders, and I think he even thinks I bought him ALL of them that he liked, rather than just one. And furthermore, when he was telling his Meme what he wants for Christmas, at one point he told her a game and then whispered, "But I think my mom got that one for me..." Wow. And this at 5.

28 November 2008

fun fun fun!

shake those tail feathers Mr. Turkey! Thank you everyone for sending back those feathers this year. The boys have so much fun reading them all and Wilson is into hanging them this year too. By far one of my favorite parts of this season! Here is the bird from Curry & Barbie's yesterday. Smoked - yum! I only took pictures of the turkey yesterday; I guess I had a one-track mind =)

Barbie and I braved the crazies for some deals this morning... Actually, we didn't encounter many crazies, and although there were a TON of people at Wal-Mart, we didn't have to wait in line long anywhere. Our lists were pretty simple, and for the most part, we would've been ok if we didn't find exactly what we were looking for... However, I did get EVERYTHING on my list, and a tiny bit more. Really; it was a lot of fun - lots of giggling -lots of memories. And besides all that, I am pretty much done shopping for Christmas. And in this town, that is a very good thing. The stores are CRAMMED from here on out... kah-ray-zee

This evening we worked on some Christmas cards for Daddy. His package is going in the mail tomorrow... his PJ's are all done! Only three pair to go!

And I did find a tree-topper today at JoAnne's. Not the one I had first planned on. Wilson insisted on putting it on... his reach was just a wee-bit short though...

He took this picture after I hung up our star. I love the angle, I imagine this tree looks really big to him!

27 November 2008

a good day

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. God is good, all the time. I had a couple good chats with Brad and he was in good spirits and even got some (semi) good food. Which I was a bit worried about because he wasn't at camp. So thankfully, they took care of them. Brad even organized a "Turkey Day 5K." Even though participation was low, the whole idea was pretty astounding to me... And it just reminded me again of the goodness of our Father. He is constantly working in us - changing us, molding us, loving us.

I have so much to be thankful for today. And I just love that feeling of being aware of our blessings...


I am thankful for my Savior - that His mercy is new every morning; that His plans are good; that His love is unconditional, and His peace is ever-present.
I am thankful for the power of prayer - and for those that faithfully pray for us.


I am thankful for my husband - that our love grows even in our distance from one another.
I am thankful that both of our boys are healthy.
I am thankful for friends that treat us like family.
I am thankful for family that encourage us and love on us from afar.
I am thankful for my sisters at PWOC and their constant support and love.
I am thankful for our church family - that has provided us with many blessings.
I am thankful that our home is warm and our cupboards are stocked.
I am thankful we have a vehicle that runs.
I am thankful for the freedoms we have in America, and for those that fight to preserve them.
I am thankful for satellites and the internet...
...and so so much more.


I will post some Thanksgiving pictures tomorrow and of course, the long-awaited Turkey Feather photo.

Hope you all had a wonderful day! ♥ Love.

26 November 2008

tree-trimmin'

Wilson was so anxious to hang the ornaments on our tree (its a loaner... I was going to buy one on Black Friday, but thankfully the Clements fam had a spare in the attic... now we can wait to pick one out next year!) Anyway, Wil finished his breakfast before 8 am (no school today), because he was READY! However, I postponed it until this afternoon...
They especially liked picking through Daddy's box-o-ornaments...
(Thanks Mom L for gathering them through the years, I have never appreciated them more than I did today!)
Walker was really excited to hang this canoe on the tree!
When I was taking the finished picture, Walker was yelling, "TADA TADA"
I am not sure what we are going to do about a topper. Ms. Angel had an attitude today and I just might never speak to her again... Brad, I am so sorry that I was less-than-sympathetic last year when you had issues with her... There is a star-topper at JoAnne's that matches the pom-pom garland Rene gave us... Hmmmm....


And here is a little table-top tree we got from Grandpa & Grandma Lewis. It has red lights and came with blue bulbs (and baseballs, but I sent those to sis). So the boys and I made a garland with yellow ribbon and red, white & blue beads. I bought some little silver ornaments to add...

And we wrote the last names of deployed soldiers that we know on the silver bulbs, so we can think about them throughout the Christmas season. I like the reminder that we aren't the only ones walking through this...


Christmas giveaway...

...just thought I'd let you know that my sissy is having a little giveaway on her Paddywack Designs blog. Click here to check it out.

You know me and giveaways... EEEEEEEE!

The boys and I are decorating the tree this afternoon, so I should have some lovely pictures later... good times - as always!

24 November 2008

sleepy-candy-lovin' walker j

...I snapped this picture the other day on our way home from a little shopping excursion (nothing too exciting, we were in Lawton). I had bought some of Bob's soft peppermint sticks, Walker was pretty tired and fell asleep eating his... We were in line at the gate when I realized he was STILL eating the peppermint stick even though he was asleep - sorry its grainy, I don't even know if you can tell his eyes were closed. I thought it was so adorable though.

He finally just laid the thing on his pants. Nice.

23 November 2008

tidbits...

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalm 118:1

We had a pretty low-key weekend. We hauled out the Christmas stuff except for the tree... (more on that later). I had to leave one part of the house for Thanksgiving though... Look what I got from Barbie! I have been TOTALLY coveting Barbie's set of Pilgrims since last Thanksgiving. Her mother-in-love makes these things...aren't they awesome! Thanks Barbie! Now Wilson can tell me all about their trip over here to America on that Mayflower-thing! And oh so exciting.... The Dear Army Family cards are starting to roll in! Wow, I didn't realize how cool it would be to see them all...

Wilson was diligently setting up one of the nativity sets before his shower tonight --a few minutes later Walker threw them all on the floor. So I explained to him who all the characters were and said, "We shouldn't throw baby Jesus." And Wilson said, "Mom, its not the REAL baby Jesus!" (I'm glad we got that cleared up, now what's this thing they call the Mayflower??)
Trying to snap a quick Photo of the Month -hmmm, maybe a little over the top on the cheese Walker.
and yes oh yes, its time to start those PJ pants... I know the flannel is going to be SUPER cheap on Black Friday, but I just HAD to start Brad's tonight... the time is short... It was kind of relaxing (except for the part where I tried to re-fold the patterns, are you kidding me???). We'll see if I still get that relaxing feeling when I get the ol'sewing machine a'hummin.

21 November 2008

a little catch-up

I finally bought batteries for the camera yesterday... I haven't quite gotten into the hang of taking pictures again =) Maybe by next week...

I started this post last night but was happily interrupted by an email from Brad. So we got to chat instead. Very nice way to end a long week!

Here are a couple shots of the boys being sucked into the marketing of Christmas... (I love Wilson's toes in this picture)
It was almost TOO exciting for Walker to take it all in!
Remember when I said we had soup for dinner earlier in the week??? Then I said "more on that later," but then this week actually had a whole lot of twists and turns in which I was pretty busy so I never actually got to the "more on that later" part... Ok, well here it is... We are trying to save up some money to donate this Christmas for World Vision. They have a gift catalog with all kinds of things you can select to donate, and its great because the kids can look through it and ask questions - we have had some great conversations... Anyway, we went through the toy box & closets and have sold some things at the post thrift store to add to our jars. And every time we eat soup we will add $$$ to our jars as well (from our grocery $$$ envelope). I thought this would be a good way to start teaching the boys about giving and also a little about sacrifice. When I make a crock-pot of soup, it turns into three meals for the boys & I so we have a few different kinds of soup in the freezer waiting on us...

My friend, Jenn, had given me the letters & the snowflake a long, long time ago and I finally attached them to some of grandma's old tomato jars (she didn't want those back did she?). Wilson said, "Maybe whenever anyone comes over they will want to put money in our jars..."


Oh, and this shot... just for the smile of it...
Walker + purple crayon + bathroom sink = smiles all around


thankfully the "washable" Crayola crayons really are...

17 November 2008

its official...

...I had no idea it would happen this fast though.

After only a handful of months at school, Wilson thinks he is smarter than me. I took for granted those times when he asked me EVERYthing... And fully believed I must know the answer to EVERY question.

But tonight at dinner, it happened.

We were discussing his school day over our soup (more on that tomorrow). He told me about Ms. Frost coloring a picture of a pilgrim and an indian. I may have been a bit distracted by the butter on Walker's nose during this conversation, but I was responding. He then told me that "They rode on the Mayflower." I nodded. Apparently, in an unconvincingly way, because he leaned over his bowl, and his eyes got wide. He looked at me boldly and declared, "It's a ship."

And there you have it. My son, the one that thought I knew why God gave him brown eyes and Walker blue ones, he thought I didn't know what the Mayflower was.

At least he hasn't reached the point where he wants to keep his new-found knowledge from me.

16 November 2008

home

oh my stars! I mean, truly.

I had the best weekend with the ladies of PWOC. There were 1000 or so of us... The days were full of some great workshops, I can't wait to look at all of my notes again and soak it in. The guest speaker was funny and brought us a word for sure. The worship was amazing - totally different than anything I have ever been a part of; but tremendous nonetheless. I was especially blessed by my roommates, wow, did we have some good chats about what our God is doing in our lives! And I was even blessed to run into a few ladies that have moved from here...

This is my friend, April, and I at dinner. She moved last winter right before Brad deployed. When they got to their new station, her husband deployed about 6 weeks later. It was wonderful to exchange stories of God's goodness in our lives and His provision as we walk this difficult path...
And here is a shot of the regional chaplains taking their new positions. The conference was peppered with a few men here and there. When they were on stage - in uniform - it reminded me of how truly blessed we are to be able to practice our religion so freely in this country. There have been many sacrifices to provide this freedom. I do not take it for granted.
Thank you for your prayers for us. We had a terrific time... the boys - were well-cared for, and apparently Mussy has a new taste for Wheat-Thins. I am overwhelmed by the Love of my Savior, and by the way He expresses it... through opportunities, through friendships, through moments in His word. He is so good. All the time.


12 November 2008

a couple heartwarmers...

look at these two snuggling this morning... I realize if you are not a dog-person this may gross you out a bit, but big girl doesn't shed and she just had a bath last night. Besides, she's more like a person-dog than just a dog. Ask Wilson... and I thought I'd show you the family ornament I picked out for this year... I try to find one that sums up the year, or highlights a place we were, etc, etc. When I saw this one... I HAD to buy it. It just fits.
There are two songs that have really encouraged me lately, and I even got Brad semi-hooked on the one while he was home. I won't "embed" them tonight because I still have to pack for two small boys, one medium lady, and a large dog. Don't worry, I have already written detailed lists... Anyway, the first song is by Addison Road, click here to listen to it. Brad downloaded it for me while he was home. I am sure he listens to it too... The second one is by Natalie Grant and I just recently heard it. The lyrics make me stop what I am doing to listen. Take time and hear for yourself - click here.
May your Christmas season and all the preparations before it, be full of Hope. I will be back Sunday night, pray for the boys, pray for Barbie, pray for Kim, pray for me. ♥

11 November 2008

a walk to remember...

...on a day for remembering. A couple of my girls got me all teary-eyed on their blogs tonight... thanks Jenn and Amy. It gives me such peace knowing God brings me to your minds. And of course, it encourages me all the more about our Dear Army Family project. We are getting the word out, and most are eager to jump on board. I continue to pray that God will be glorified in this endeavor, that each letter will be encouraging to the recipient - and in turn to the soldier on the other end. Thanks for the support!

Wilson had the day off of school today, so we had a picnic at the park. There was a tiny bit of brisk in the air, but still sunshine to keep us warm enough. These hand-holding pictures just get me. They are such little buddies (sometimes). If you notice, Walker has his shoes on the wrong feet. And it wasn't chilly enough for a hat - that is an accessory for our little man.
Don't you just want to take a bite?

There were so many leaves to crunch under foot. I love traipsing through them... kicking all the way!

Oh, and these little booklets here. Changing our days... They are the little scripture prayer books that I have been reading over the boys throughout the day. At first, Wil was really against it, but now he likes it. And he loves to repeat the verses to me using "Mommy" in place of his name. And probably the best, this morning after I read the wake-up verse, Walker said, "again." Three times...

you can find out about them here.
Please keep us in your prayers, I will be heading down to Texas for a conference Thursday - Sunday. The boys will be with Barbie and Big girl will be with Kim. I will probably be on again tomorrow night, but it doesn't hurt to put the request out there already, right?

Veterans, thank you for your service!

(Great) Grandpa Lewis - United States Army

(Great) Grandpa Rose - United States Army
(Great) Grandpa K - United States Navy
Grandpa (G) Lutz - United States Air Force
George (Papua) - United States Marine Corps

(Uncle) David - United States Army


Your service and sacrifice has not been forgotten. We are proud of you!

Brad says he isn't a veteran yet, but I am proud of him too =)

Don't forget to thank a veteran today!

10 November 2008

happy monday...

here's a picture of the finished feathers... You can barely see Walker's because of his dance moves... he's been dancing a lot this weekend--to his own silent song
And look what was in my mailbox ysterday (I forgot to check the mail on Saturday). an "I voted" sticker all the way from Michigan. Thanks, Julie. That totally brightened my day! You are so thoughtful.

06 November 2008

I ♥ school projects...

...it might be the elementary teacher in me. Or it might be the elementary student in me. Either way, I love getting out the craft box. And I only help when asked... believe me, I had a bit of a different vision for the ultra-long-yellow-tail-feather. I think the whole school does these, but I am not positive. We had a WHOLE week to decorate, so I knew I had to bust out the craft box for it... And the craft box has been eagerly holding all kinds of gaudy treasures worthy of this tail-feather... And, wouldn't you know, Walker wanted in on the action too...
Seriously, could I BE more blessed??? (And yes, once again, I forgot to take a picture of the end result...)


NOW, I have a school project for you... Remember when I mentioned the "Dear Army Wife" idea?? Well, our outreach team leader from PWOC has been relentlessly contacting all-the-right-folks on-post to get this done. We have decided to broaden our scope to include all Army families on our post with a deployed family member. Which even includes parents of single soldiers... So we are hoping to gather 2000 extra Christmas Cards to remind these families that their sacrifice is cherished, and that they are being prayed for by people across this country. If you would like to participate in this project, please email me and I will send you the 'official' details. I don't know how to do a fancy link to my email so I will just type it here in that covert fashion so as not to get picked up by the spam-blog-o-matic-generator-of-junk-email... (Except, I don't know if that could happen because our blog is kind of private?!?!) Here it is: cmbtmedic at gmail dot com

05 November 2008

STOP...

..hammer time! (I couldn't resist). Lots of history being made this week. Some bigger than others... For the first time in history, I got to participate on the PTA as a "P" rather than a "T." I was helping at the Giraffe Strong Arm game. They had a little Safari Carnival in conjunction with the scholastic book fair. The PTA pres. told me just to bring the kids along... It was SUPER crowded when we got there, but it thinned out pretty quick after 7pm. The boys actually really liked helping for about 35 minutes of the hour... Wilson even said, "Mom you are being so nice to the kids!" (Hmmm... I haven't let myself ponder that one too much...) Walker got a wee-bit bored... Found some lip gloss in my purse..
And of course, you know, he had to put it in the corner of his eyes... that is what you do with lip gloss, right???
Ok, more history. I received the TRIPLE CROWN of written warnings. Yes, that's right. I found myself parked on the side of the road in front of flashing lights - again! On our way home from the big Safari no less. I saw Mr. Police Officer when I pulled out of the school, so I was driving super cautiously. Ok, probably too cautiously, but the more I think about it the worse I get - that's why normally when I drive, I try not to think about it at all. I was going to type out all the details -blah blah blah- but I will tell you this much. Wilson was a champ with the running commentary. Starting with "Ok, so this is your THIRD time..." and wrapping it up with, "What kind of cop is he?" "Wil he is a Fort Sill Cop." "OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH, so now you have one from every..." I cut him off there.

The light bulb that illuminates my license plate was burnt out. I got a warning and 24 hours to fix it. Which I did yesterday. By myself... well, with tech support from Carl. Thanks, Dad! I had to wait until I talked to Brad before I blogged about it. I don't like him to find out news here... and with it being such a historical week here, you can see why I had to wait. Chances are he won't be on this blog the whole time he is out on this mission, but I still like to talk to him about things like this. (And you know if I tried to keep it quiet, Wil would certainly tell him first thing even if I gave him a strict reminder that Daddy only has a few seconds to talk on the satellite phone...)

Last night, to top off our all-American meal (aka KFC), we had a red, white, & blue dessert. What with the election and all - why not make it special??

It was just strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and blueberries. Oh, and of course, Redi-Whip. Wilson burst into tears about two seconds after this picture because "I only like blueberries that come right off of the plant!" (these were formerly frozen of course.) His real problem however, lies in the fact that he will NOT partake of the redi-whip. I couldn't even taste my blueberries!

A Reaction to the Election...

Can I just say that I am proud to be an American today??? A historic moment in our country's story is unfolding. I did not vote for Barack Obama. But I am moved by the milestone that we have surpassed, it is amazing! Anyone can achieve their dreams here, and yesterday's vote has proven that once again!

If you are shaking your head in disbelief, then - please, Please, PLEASE... Read this from Beth Moore today.

Click HERE.

Do not, under any circumstance, let prejudice creep into your heart. And if it is already there - get rid of it.

p.s. Regular posts to resume tonight - unless there is craziness in our home (which is ALWAYS a good possibility!) Oh, and I did get to talk to Brad briefly yesterday and chatted for about 2 minutes online last night. He was getting the election news there...

03 November 2008

I voted...

...a few weeks ago - the same time Brad did. Of course, he had some issues with his absentee ballot, but he worked them all out. And I am quite certain that our votes will be counted...Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Romans 13:1

I am not worried about this election. I do not have fear about either outcome. God is in control. He has the whole world in His hand. I know that may sound cliche, but I happen to believe it wholeheartedly. Our little election does not have Him worried. For a very interesting perspective, read this article. I ran across it on a blog last week.

And don't forget to vote!

p.s. the real bummer about absentee ballots is that I don't get a little sticker that says "I Voted."

p.p.s. We appreciate your prayers for Brad & the team he is with. He left Monday morning (Djibouti time) to head out to a remote location for the next 6 weeks or so. He will be in more rustic conditions than usual. Also, we are unsure about how the communication will be from there. It will most likely be limited. I have already noticed the absence of his phone call this morning, and the joy it brings to our day. Pray that he is well and safe, and that God will continue to grow and challenge us mightily.