28 June 2009

Army Strong Families

Whenever the Army does something extra-fabulous to support families, I like to make sure people know it. This weekend we had the privilege of attending a "Reunion Retreat" at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX. We had to pay for the gas in our tank and that is it. We had a lot of time to spend together and a marriage workshop as well. The brigade chaplain did a great job of making the schedule family-friendly. It was a fantastic, memorable time for all of us!

For some reason I can't drag my pictures around tonight to put them in order, so you'll just have to bear with me.

Brad and Wilson rode every water slide together at the park, inside and out; except for the one that Wilson was too short to ride. They rode this one a number of times, and the last time, they smiled for the camera!

We expected a regular family suite at the lodge, but were pleasantly surprised to find we were upgraded to a "Wolf Den" room. The boys had their own TV in their den...
We had vouchers for our breakfast and dinner buffets while we were there... I snapped this picture at our first dinner.
And this picture was Walker shoving his face full of our S'mores Fondue dessert today at lunch.


Daddy and Walker at dinner...

And Daddy with the fondue....

Sadly, this was the only family picture from the weekend. You get the idea though...

The first dinner's buffet theme was "Cajun" and I really (r-e-a-l-l-y) tried to get Wilson to pretend to eat that crawfish (crayfish???) on his plate. You can see by the look on his face that he wasn't into that game...

This morning, Chaplain had a very brief church service. He started by calling all the kiddos up to the front to talk about obeying their parents. And taught them the motto, "Obedience leads to happiness," that might become popular at our house!

And the "BOTTOM" bunk...

If you know me, you know I don't love water much (or at all really) but we had a super duper time. Wilson even got me to ride a slide with him! It took a bit for Walker to get used to the idea of having water on his head each time we went to the water park, but after a few minutes he was ready to go. Brad took Walker down one slide, and that was enough for him. He's a bit more like his momma when it comes to the water. I need to do better job pretending to love it, so he'll like it more.
We had a great time, it was a wonderful opportunity for us, and we are thankful that the Colonel of the Brigade values families in this way. We are thankful for the chaplain for putting it all together and ultimately, thankful that God blessed us in this way this weekend!

23 June 2009

Walker's Birthday!

If you click on the collage, I think you can see the pictures better. Walker opened the packages that he got in the mail first thing in the morning. He opened his gifts from us and Wilson after dinner. He did get a big helicopter, it was not easy to locate one, but we did it! Phew! We had a great day together...
I had to include this picture, just because I adore the expression on Walker's face. Inquisitively surprised?

I cannot even find words to express how wonderful it was to have Brad at this birthday celebration. I just had the world's biggest grin on my face while editing the pictures from yesterday. Delightful indeed. God is good, all the time.
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22 June 2009

Happy Birthday Walker Baby!

oh, little man, how is it possible that you are three? it seems like it wasn't all that long ago that you just had a handful of teeth and you made little messes...
You attack each new day with your full-speed-ahead-style

And this morning, as you watched cartoons in mommy & daddy's bed, you flashed your three fingers- in your unique way-to let us know that you intend to keep on growing.
We are looking forward to celebrating with you today our little Big man!

21 June 2009

Our New Van P2




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Our New Van P1




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Survey Says!

So we had a rather laid-back Father's Day today. We had leftovers for lunch (from our cook-out yesterday, I might post pics later). Brad and I still haven't really had THE chat about gifts yet, so we didn't buy any gifts. One of these days we'll have to sit down and have the heart to heart talk about how we want to budget for gifts...for each other and for others. We knew that this year Father's Day would be tons better than last year's so I just asked the boys some questions about their Daddy. Thought y'all would like to see their answers too. I asked them individually so they wouldn't be swayed by one another's answers. I did my best to record their answers word for word (or motion for motion, depending!)

What is something your Dad always says to you?
Wilson: “I love you.”
Walker: “Get on the naughty chair.”

How tall is your Daddy?
Wilson: “like 30 inches high.”
Walker: “This tall – {hand by forehead} – He carries me around.”

What makes your Dad...
a. Happy?
Wilson: “When I help…when I clean my room up.”
Walker: “This.” – puts fingers in sides of mouth and pulls out, while sticking out his tongue.

b. sad?
Wilson: “When I disbehave.”
Walker: “When he says, ‘get on the naughty chair,’ that makes him sad and when I get up he happy.”

c. laugh?
Wilson: “That’s a hard one…Ok… what flies but won’t go in water? A bird!”
Walker: “When I do this.” - crazy full-body-jerking-gesturing.

What is his favorite thing to do?
Wilson: “mmmm…play with me.”
Walker: “I think get in your bedroom.”

What does he do when you are not around?
Wilson: “uuhhmm… probably runs.”
Walker: “he’s sad.”

What does he eat for breakfast?
Wilson: “Cereal.”
Walker: “oats!”

What is his favorite food?
Wilson: “I think Taco Bell.”
Walker: “I don’t know, I think…CEREAL!!!!”

What is he really good at?
Wilson: “Running with the dog.”
Walker: “Running”

What do you and Daddy do together?
Wilson: “Play the Wii.”
Walker: “Running on the bike, on my brother’s bike.”

How do you know he loves you?
Wilson: “Because he plays with me.”
Walker: “I taking a break.” -lays on couch- “My break over. When I give him a hug, he loves me.”

What is your Dad's job?
Wilson: “Army”
Walker: “getting in your bedroom.”

Is there anything else you want to say?
Wilson: “My dad rocks!”
Walker: “No, my break is not over yet. One day I fall in the road. That’s what.”

15 June 2009

Y'ALL!!!!!!!

For real.

We are having just about the best time that a family can have. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement as we "reintegrate." Brad got back early Tuesday morning last week, I can't believe it hasn't even been a full week yet, to be honest. Our days have been full and our nights have been long, (don't be dirty, I have some sort of rotten chest-cough that has been interrupting sleep, and Walker has it too.) We ran errands, did laundry, ate meals together, and lounged around most of the week. Brad had to go to work for a bit on Friday as well. Walker had a hard time letting him go back after lunch, but was eager to see him come home. We checked out a few mini-vans too, still looking for the right one.

Then Saturday, we got the word that a large portion of the "Lutz Tribe" was going to be able to swing by on their way home from Bryan's graduation from Colorado State Police Academy. So we got to surprise the boys with the news that they were coming, and Wilson could not stop grinning all day. They got in late, late Saturday night, and we had a good time chatting for a few hours before deciding we had better get some rest. Then Saturday morning we headed out for a walk to the playground... Walker and Aunt Victoria shared the wagon...I had to snap a picture of the walk-in-progress (you know me). Some of the guys were still sleeping... They had some discussions about Army details and what-not. (L-R: Blake, Scottie, Ben)
Walker hanging with Uncle Scottie at the playground.Dad and Brad back at the house for some slip-n-slide entertainment...
I love this one of these two, they look so cute!
And Uncle Colson & Walker stop swimming for a quick shot.

I grabbed the camera for a few pics before they loaded up for yet another long leg of their road trip Sunday evening. No we weren't "picture ready", but they're all good-looking enough that it doesn't really matter =) This is "The Kids" minus David & Casey and Dan & Elizabeth.
And here is the visiting party with Brad. (Back Row, L-R: Walker, Scottie, Bryan, Brad, Blake, Mom, Tori, Dad, Brett. Front, L-R: Ben, Wils, Colson, Jacqueline and Brennan).

And finally, a shot of Dad and Mom with our family.

It was a whirlwind visit, that will not be forgotten. We were so blessed and thankful that they went out of their way to come by for a bit.

"Many, O Lord my God are the wonders you have done. The things you have planned for us no one can recount to you: were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." Psalm 40:5

We are anticipating another fantastic week, and continue to appreciate all of your wonderful prayers for us. I will try to get better at blogging again, quite honestly, I didn't feel the need to pick up the camera from the day Brad got home until the day his family came to visit. I have noticed a big difference from R&R, in which I still felt the weight of the upcoming departure looming over us, and the urgency to record every moment. This time, all I feel is freedom. But, I know y'all still like to see our family pictures, so I will try to do better!!! ♥love♥

11 June 2009

Homecoming Ceremony Slideshow & Video


Jenn made a video montage for us of the homecoming ceremony. Its only about 3 minutes long, and I think you will TOTALLY enjoy it. Thank you, Jenn!!!!

09 June 2009

Homecoming ceremony...

Prior to the ceremony, eager and ready, "Its about DANG time," right?? We got there at 5:5o am, the ceremony was scheduled to begin at 7am. I just love that veterans come out to every one of these ceremonies, no matter what time...
Here is the Lutz cheering section, made up of some of our friends...
And this is when the guys started marching in... yeah, it was exciting...

It was a very brief ceremony and the guys were dismissed... you don't need me to describe the next few pictures...














Then we went to pick up Brad's bags...



Then we went home and Koka had her reunion moment...

I had to snap a quick picture of ol' Aztec - that is the verse that I had at the top of the post yesterday...


And we hung the oversized "Please DO NOT DISTURB" door hanger on the front door ;)

(which has subsequently been moved to out bedroom door)
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS! We are enjoying ourselves immensely, this will probably be the last update for at least a day or two. I know you understand!!! ♥love♥
Thanks to Barbie for taking the pics at the ceremony, my friend Jenn, and another friend Kristen also took pics with their cameras as well, so I am anxious to see all of them eventually.