26 November 2009

It's Thanksgiving!!!

So, its only proper that we wish you a very Happy day! Look how big the boys look by their turkey this year! Oh my! (and yes, he has a thing for the mickey ears right now).
We have a laid-back day in the works. Hopefully the turkey is pretty well-thawed by now. We'll watch the parade, eat some snacks, then have our big meal. I am so thankful to be celebrating with Brad this year. Even though he has been home for nearly 6 months now, I am overwhelmed again just to be together. However you spend the day, I hope it is joyful and praise-filled.



Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving thanks.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

25 November 2009

round here...

...we're getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow! I hope that big turkey is thawing correctly (well, technically its a pretty small turkey). Yesterday we had to run over to the commissary. This is Walker after he got dressed and was "ready to go." =)

And after our trip to the commissary, we did a little baking. I have some of the best kitchen help in the world... And cutest.


He was so excited! This little apron set was the best dollar I have ever spent, I think...

And here they are, mixing up some dough. I will admit, they beg for a lot of samples; and I can't for the life of me figure out where they would get that idea from... hmm.

Today we're going to bake our pumpkin pie and make some dinner rolls.
Brad's at work right now. This morning he said he thinks he might have strep; so I am praying that he can get his meds this a.m. if he does. Or that he feels better, if its not the dreaded strep.
Hope your Thanksgiving prep is fun-filled =)

24 November 2009

overheard {again}

I told you I have the gift of overhearing.

Yesterday we got out our nativity sets. (Since Wilson has the week off, we are doing a little bit of decorating each day. And a little bit of baking each day.) I always like to put the Nativity set out first thing. We have a few... this year the Little People set is in Walker's room and the Playmobil set is in Wilson's room.

While I was folding laundry in my room, I could hear Walker scolding baby Jesus in his room. "Bad, baby Jesus!" ...in a very. stern. voice, mind you.

Followed by a compassionate tone, "Oh, you were hungry? That's why you did that?"

hmmm....

20 November 2009

overheard...

yesterday afternoon, we had a meeting with Wilson's new speech teacher. Like most special ed. meetings there was a bit of paperwork to sign. The principal was attempting to make small talk with Walker while we waited for Wilson's teacher to arrive. Wilson was with his teacher so while we said "hi" to him, and Walker hugged him, I heard Wil's teacher whispering to the principal...

"He's a dream come true!"

I was sure that was what I heard, (I have a gift of overhearing) but thankfully the principal insisted that Mrs. T. share her remarks with us. She said he is the kind of student a teacher hopes for. He is doing great academically, but he is getting many rewards for good behavior too! We were thrilled for that little update.

17 November 2009

its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

...everywhere you go.

Maybe there's no snow, and maybe its not Thanksgiving yet, but thanks to marketing geniuses everywhere... you can't miss it. For some, this time of year brings a bit of tension. The joy of celebrating and the stress of buying. Choosing the right gift at the right price... Sometimes you find the right gift at the wrong price... or the right price only yields the wrong gift. You know? I don't believe that is the way God wants us to celebrate. Deep down, you don't believe it either. But somehow, those crazy-good-marketing-geniuses get to us. Every year.

Take a minute and watch this... please. If you don't have a minute (and 53 seconds) now, come back later and watch it... please!


I pray for wisdom as we make gift-giving decisions. I pray for a Christmas season that is enjoyable and pleasant; with treasured memories and lots of laughs.

I read a blog a week or two ago that had a Christmas list on it. I was inspired to make my own list, and I hope you find time to do it too. You can print it on pretty paper, or just jot it down in a place that you'll look at it often. Remind yourself of what is important; and don't get suckered by the ad campaigns... I think Satan likes it too much when we do.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."
Luke 2:10
Experience victory this Christmas season, by celebrating freely! Do not be afraid!

p.s. here's my list...
1. Be thankful.
2. Enjoy the moments.
3. Connect with family; near and far.
4. Decorate simply and meaningfully.
5. Choose to be a blessing.
6. Sing Christmas carols with the boys.
7. Marvel at Christmas lights.
8. Give to strangers, the ones that need the most.
9. Bake lots of treats to give away.
10. Celebrate Jesus. All of His gifts, His great love.
11. Treasure time together.
12. Drink hot cocoa. With whip cream on top.
13. Give gifts that build relationships.
14. Give a few secret gifts.
15. Encourage others to make their own list.

seriously...

I just turned the Christmas music on the TV this morning for the first time (we've been listening to a few CDs in the car for awhile now).

And you want to know what the fourth song was?

Grown Up Christmas List by Amy Grant.

You remember how I feel about her and her Christmas songs, right?

15 November 2009

this weekend... in review...

I got my sewing machine up and humming. She's a good girl, and bounced right back into action. Here is a before... and after... a little valance, nothing too fancy. I made a little dishmat to match, because I nearly-almost-always have a dish towel by my sink, loaded with the latest & greatest random assortment of plasticware that was dripping wet when I unloaded the dishwasher (or the pots & pans from dinner that shouldn't take up valuable dishwasher space...as documented above.)
I don't know if you can tell from the pics, but I picked a fabric to coordinate with our curtains in the dining room (that used to be in our last two living rooms). This picture was taken just before dinner...Koka always waits nearby in case someone drops some food on the floor!

This afternoon we went for a walk on the old-abandoned street we found adjacent to our neighborhood.

And I had to take a picture of the boys with all the colorful leaves surrounding them. I kept remarking about how wonderful it smelled on our walk. Weird, huh? It did smell delightful though.
This is what the boys have been doing with the majority of their free time. Playing with the legos they bought with their garage sale loot. Walker gets rather frustrated with them, but Wilson has been pretty patient building Walker various vehicles and what-not. (Which is abruptly followed with Walker groaning because pieces fall off and then Wilson usually gets sick of rebuilding... and we are still working out the kinks...but you can see in the picture, they are enjoying themselves...)


And I just had to share this. We've recently discovered that Walker is very literal. "Put your shoes by the front door..." I said after a trip to the playground. Later I noticed, he had indeed...
We have had a good weekend. God has been teaching me so much about His faithfulness, and also about how well He knows my heart. Remember we drove through this post on our way north this summer? And when we drove through, we only saw a smidgen of post, and all I could think was "Wow! Its so big!" But God reminded me this was where He wanted us. And I settled myself in with the thought that it would just be different... that I might not run into people I know as often as I did at Fort Sill (I rarely went to the commissary there without seeing a friend or two...) But funny thing, this week I went to Story Time at the Library with Walker on Tuesday - and Thursday at PWOC the lady sitting next to me had been at Story Time with us! And then in the class I picked, there was another military spouse that we had met at the first church we tried out. God knew my heart, and He reminded me that He can arrange encounters even in bigger places!
Oh, and we want back to "The Big Church" last night, because Brad had to work today. And we liked it again. Wilson got a hand-written post card in the mail from one of the teachers in his department. Once again, God reveals that He knows my doubting heart. And while its a bit humbling, its also so encouraging. He is so good. All the time.

11 November 2009

little {big} things

There are a couple of things that I might have forgotten to mention about this place... they might seem little to you; but they are big to me...and I am so grateful that our Father knows the difference between the two =)

  1. We have a mailbox at the end of our driveway. We have the same address for mail & deliveries!
  2. At the neighborhood office there is a small fitness room, attached to it is a children's playroom. So I can go up there and workout, while Walker plays - in view! For free!!
  3. Wilson gets out of school an hour and fifteen minutes early every Tuesday.
  4. Oh, another thing about his school... they have a drop-off line. A teacher along with a few safety-patrol members help the kids out of the car. Yesterday, the gym teacher was helping and said, "Be careful, Wilson." And my heart lept because she already knows his name!
  5. There IS space to leave my sewing table out in the computer nook (now I just have to use it)!

I continue to marvel at the details God has taken care of in getting our family here and settled. I don't think I mentioned the careful timing of our arrival. The week we came the post was preparing to demo an older neighborhood. The day we signed our lease one of the leasing agents told Brad that they were moving 20 families later in the week and that there wouldn't be any available houses. Then we found out that they changed the rank banding for our neighborhood effective 1 November. (which means Brad's rank would no longer be allowed to move in here). It has been a blessing to see Him take care of the big things, and the little things. As we adjust to our new schedule, it reminds me that He will continue to be faithful.


I'm not sure why at times, His hand is unmistakable; and at other times its hard to distinguish. I talked to Him about it. He just reminded me that whether I see Him clearly or not, He is. So if you are on a foggy path right now, know that He is with you. If your future is uncertain, know that He is in it. If you are waiting for something from Him, know that He is waiting too; for the right time, because His timing is perfect. He is holding you. Whether you 'feel' it or not, His hands are wrapped around you.

I will sing of the lovingkindness of the LORD forever; to all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth.

You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.

Psalm 89:1, 13-14

09 November 2009

more on the weekend...

well, actually, I took this picture tonight. They have on their Christmas pj's from last year, this weekend, I bought the fabric for this year's pj's... I'm gonna have to get started on them pretty quick =) And Wilson got his own room... it still needs a lot of work, but its a start. He's sleeping on the sofa sleeper for the time being... Tonight he said, "I wish I was still sleeping on my top bunk." I told him he could if he wanted to... Brad and I talked last night and said we wouldn't care if he went back to his room, and we used the other room as a play room. We'll see... (those are the curtains that were in our office in Lawton, and in our dining room at Fort Sill...)
And I FINALLY used some uppercase living that I bought in the summer of 2008... maybe this is why Wilson feels like he has to stay in his own room... hmmm...


I liked it so much that I had to make sure I had just the right place for it... I really adore that stuff...

We tried out two churches this weekend. One church offers a Saturday night service, so we thought we should try it out because we knew Brad would have a crazy schedule, so we thought perhaps we would be able to attend together as a family more often... Of course, you might guess that a church that offers a Saturday night service is a BIG church. And it is. But I gotta tell you, Brad and I feasted on the Word of God Saturday night. There were a number of things I liked about the church, most importantly that the Pastor brought The Word. Prior to the sermon there was an invitation to pray over the pastor and his family. The pastor spoke directly about the tragedy at Fort Hood and prayed specifically for military families all around the world, with compassion and sincerity. And there were baptisms. I love watching baptisms. The boys both liked their classes. Walker had 30 minutes of "Preschool Worship" before his playtime. And Wilson's group had a Bible story and worship as well. They have an indoor playground. He skipped to the car after church. Honsetly, a huge part of me didn't even want to give the place a chance. I am not a big fan of razzle-dazzle at the church, and I would think by most definitions, this place has a lot of razzle-dazzle. But surprisingly, there was a lot of substance. And tons of opportunities to get involved... So we'll be praying about it.


Sunday morning we went to the contemporary protestant chapel service on post. The boys stayed with us for the first few worship songs, then they are dismissed to their classes during the meet & greet time. It was sweet because the youth praise team led the music this week. A drummer, keyboard, a bass guitar (or two), and a couple of vocalists. They did a great job, and I was so thrilled to see that there was a big investment in the youth. I liked the idea of looking around and knowing that everyone else was military. I love that we live in a country that allows for the military members to practice their faith freely. The boys both liked their classes again; and there was a boy from Wilson's school in his class. I think as much as I was skeptical about the mega-church, I was hopeful about the chapel. I just thought it would be great to plug in right here on post... I gotta tell you though, the sermon lacked. And that is all I can say about that without being harsh. The chaplains rotate who preaches each week, so I know it could be totally different the next time. Brad and I talked about it later, and he said that the hard thing for him is that he would always feel like he was at work. That the chaplain would always be "Sir" instead of a pastor. We will continue to pray about this as well...
(I might not have mentioned this, but after our experience last Sunday we decided to try out churches based on their regular service first, and then if it seems to be a fit; we'll try out the Sunday school/Bible study options. So that is what we are doing.)

week end...

...it was a good one.

Brad is officially at work today. He hadn't a clue what to expect this morning, if you are on Facebook, you might've noticed he had some serious PT this a.m. He came home for a quick shower and was off. I just got a text from him a bit ago that they were sending him to some camp for 24 hours, and that he would call when he got a chance. While Brad still works for the Army, it is a big deal to start at a new place. Many of you know the grief he got at his last place after being diagnosed with asthma and all the problems that brought about... And while it was hard to walk through that mess with Brad, we both know that God was victorious. I can't begin to fully understand what its like for Brad to start at a new place; which means explaining my take on it would be shoddy at best. But I can say that its a challenge. So would you mind praying this week for Brad as he begins to figure this place out? Pray that he would be listening to the voice of Truth, and that Satan wouldn't be allowed to even whisper words of doubt into his ear...

God has obviously gone before us in this move. He has shown His hand in so many ways, and I trust fully that He will do the same for Brad at work this week. I don't know how, but I trust He will make it evident.

I'll probably post more this evening about the rest of the weekend... you know, since I'll have the place to myself after the boys are in bed.

Thank you prayer warriors!

07 November 2009

we got some new stuff for the house...

...our very own flag...finally. I have always wanted a flag to hang on my house, this post actually installed the brackets on every house, so all we had to do was go buy one. ...and a new sofa! I said it was just about time too... we got a matching armchair, but I didn't take a picture of it. Its the exact same color as the sofa-sleeper that mom and I recovered a couple years ago... We had walked around the Lazy Boy store and weren't really settled on anything, then I saw this one peeking out from the back... it was on clearance along with the chair. Brad and I both like simple, and casual, so it was perfect for us...

It is a little weird to sit on the sofa and not sink into it... You should totally come try it out!

06 November 2009

wishing

Star light, star bright
first star I see tonight.
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have this wish, I wish tonight.

I guess I didn't realize I knew that whole poem until the other night. It has been getting warm here during the day, and then cooling off beautifully at night. The upstairs is a bit stuffy in the evenings, so we open all the windows up here before bedtime.

The other night, the boys' windows were open and their light was off. Walker came running out of his room to tell Wilson "That first star is out tonight." Then they both ran back in there to look at it. I was only half-paying-attention to what they were discussing in their room while star gazing.

A few minutes later, Walker ran out of the room and said, "I told that first star that I want that other pizza set!" And, man, was he excited about it!

Brad and I just laughed. Neither of us has really ever promoted 'wishing on a star,' but I think Winnie the Pooh and Dora have... Now I have to figure out what "that other pizza set" is...it just might be a good Christmas idea ;)

04 November 2009

soup's on!

Remember last year, when we had our "joy" jars out? Well, tonight we officially kicked off our 09 Joy Campaign =) Every time that we have soup for dinner, we'll add money to our JOY jars. Then any money that we collect, we will give to World Vision. Eating soup for dinner is a bit cheaper than an average meal, so the money saved will go in the jars. It helps the boys (and us) connect giving to sacrificing. We'll have soup a few times a week through mid-December. (an added bonus, is that most soups are super easy to cook, so it takes a bit of pressure off during an often busy time of year!) Here are the guys adding some change to the jars, while Brad is looking through the catalog. It was sweet tonight because I explained to the boys that I didn't have any cash in my grocery envelope to add to the jars, because of just moving... but that I would add it later, once we get the envelopes back on track. Wilson piped up,"I have some money to give!" And he ran and got his little old piggy bank. I think both Brad and I had tears in our eyes.
We looked through the gift catalog and talked about what kinds of things we might like to spend on our money on this year. It was cute to hear their ideas...

and on an unrelated note... Brad has been busily hanging things around the house this week... and you can see the pilgrims replaced the Jack-O-Lanterns on the top of the hutch...



02 November 2009

Wilson's {2nd} First day of school

Here are the guys this morning before we took Wilson to school... ...we were met by the school counselor and given a tour of the building before we met Wilson's teacher. The cafeteria/auditorium is HUGE! Which means Wilson won't be eating lunch in his classroom anymore. They have a 'special' every day. Music, Art, PE, and Spanish... Spanish is 2x a week. Here was Wilson in his classroom before we left this morning.
We are eager to hear how his day goes...
In other news, Brad is off this week. Hallelujah! His work schedule will start next week. We are still looking for a church. The one yesterday didn't work for us. I might not have mentioned this, Georgia is beautiful. We are pretty much mesmerized by all the trees...everywhere. Love it!