01 December 2009


watch out! Two posts in one day... and the second one is titled "thinking"??? Oh dear.
I guess it might be because Brad has no idea when/if he'll be home tonight.

When the boys and I were sitting down for dinner, I realized that nearly all of my Christmas decorations have been given to us. The entire village up there is made up of bits and pieces from at least 5 different people (we're having trouble remembering exactly who gave us one of them - I decided I am going to write on the boxes this year...) Then I have a few Avon figures that Mom had given to Grandma years ago, and when they downsized their 'stuff' I became the owner of them. And of course, there are some sweet handmade items from Rene, my two handsome snow-fellows, and my glittery "peace." And don't miss my "santa's cookies" plate from Barbie - and a mug to match. Treasures, each one. And our nativity. A treasured gift from Dad & Mom Lutz.
I gotta be honest, two of the stockings are store bought, and I made the other two... But I just adore that God gave us a banister to hang them on this year. Don't they look cute there?

And tonight we got another special gift to add to our Christmas decorations - a little Polar Express to go around the tree. I must say, it makes the handmade tree skirt seem painfully tiny. (Oh! Did I tell you we got that tree for free? I'll have to take a full picture of it and tell you the story later this week...) The boys were eager to get the train running tonight...

Can you tell they like it? Thanks Yaya!

All of this to say. Sometimes, I just can't help but feel overwhelmed by how much love and support we have in our lives. The hodge-podge look of our house is really a tribute to that love - often expressed in a little something here or there. I don't think I could ever wish for a more pulled-together-looking house, because I would lose the charm of all the pieces we've collected along the way. Maybe I will never have a signature style in our home decor, but I think that's ok with me.
On a night when I have no idea about when/if my husband will be home tonight; I feel peace. Not just a glittery word hung in our dining room, but deep, abiding peace. I'm reminded of the many, many ways that God has provided for us during much more difficult nights. God is so very good. He provides enough, every single time. And often more.
Julie recently asked me if we were doing "Dear Army Family" again. After talking with my friend at Fort Sill, we've determined that perhaps we can give it a go again next year. In the meantime, I want to encourage you to send a card to a family you know with a deployed soldier - even if it is someone you barely know - or a friend of a friend's son. Maybe you can pass it on to a mutual contact that can get it to who needs it most. The main purpose last year was to convey that our military families are not forgotten and their sacrifice is not unnoticed especially at this time of year. If you do not know a single solitary person with a deployed soldier (marine, airmen, or sailor) then send it to me. I am sure there are a few ladies at this PWOC with a deployed spouse.
And if you can do more than a card... Sears has a program to provide gift cards to military families. They will divide the donations they receive evenly between 20,000 families. Military families do not make that much money. Its true, Brad and I have been tremendously blessed in the last few years. Sometimes I think God has mulitiplied our finances somewhere, because on paper it doesn't always seem to add up. I will tell you this though, when we moved, I finally filled out the paperwork for the federal free & reduced lunch program, thinking maybe Wilson would get 'reduced' lunch... no, he qualifies for free lunch. So, yes, military families often pinch pennies, and even with combat pay, things can get tight during a deployment - whether its the desire to travel to see family, or if its been another long, hard day and its just easier to go out to eat even if it costs more, etc. It adds up. I thought this was a great way to give back. Click here to find out more.


  1. Your boys are growing up, have you realized this? Their faces are changing. You're going to turn around and they'll be counting the days until they can get a driving permit...and they'll start shaving. Hug them & treasure them!!!

    God has blessed your family so much and it is a wonderful testimony. Thank you for blogging about His wonderful blessings.

  2. Oh Amanda, I SO know what you mean about the numbers not seeming to add up, yet God provides for all of our needs! Ande and I have very much been there, especially over the last couple of years.

    Thanks for mentioning the Dear Army Family thing here as well - I will definitely look forward to doing it "for real" again next year!

  3. Amanda, Brad, Wilson, and Walker, Thank you for sharing everything with "me"....I take a lot of your posts personally, sorry to all of you who believe it's to you" I know the boys are not that excited about getting their pictures taken so thank you! Thank you Amanda for putting the train together, and thank you Brad for just being you, the guy who works so hard and gives up so much to keep us all safe. I love each of you dearly and just wish I could be there among all of the "Christmas Love".

  4. Seriously... there needs to be a tissue warning on this blog!!!

    Amanda, thank you for reminding us(even those who are in the military) that the paychecks sometimes aren't enough.... I seem to forget our times of making ends meet with a budget of $50.00 for two weeks of groceries. Boy, was I creative in cooking. God provided for us then and we really didn't even know it.
    Thank you for sharing a small piece of you life with us...love all of the pics. Love that you are sharing your love for Our Savior with us and you give all glory to Him. You have touched others and showed them that there is comfort when the other side of the bed is empty...when you are having to endure a 15 month deployment... God was with you. Your positive attitude is refeshing.
    Love the train, Yaya. You send the best gifts.

  5. I love that you have a hodge podge. That is a hodge podge of love and it means more than any store bought furniture set. I just realized that all of my friends have their husbands home for this holiday. It is the first one that I can remember in all of the time that John and I have been married. What a blessing for all of us to have our families complete for the holidays. I am happy to hear that you are settled and at peace. You deserve it! xo

  6. Nice post sister. I'm sorry about the turkey feathers, I forgot all about them... yikes!

    I'm thankful for my sister... even though we are far apart I always feel your support.

    I can't believe how big the boys have gotten... so sweet what Wils teacher said about him... so true... he has always been so patient with Jack.

    Love ya all! Rene