17 December 2009

TISSUE ALERT!

Brad introduced me to this song today. Seriously...bawled through it. And I told Brad, "Looking back, I can't even believe we made it through. I cry at every Christmas movie, and even some commercials. Obviously, God carried us through."



Its' amazing the strength He can give us to get through some of the hard stuff... He has certainly been a constant provider for us; through our family and friends. We are so grateful. Big Daddy Weave has teamed up with KLOVE to reach out to military families that have been nominated... you can check it out here. And don't forget to keep the separated families in your prayers!

14 December 2009

a little something...and a super hero...

...first, a little something. Did you know the promise that "nothing is impossible with God" was given to Mary by the angel when she found out she would be Jesus' mother? I honestly think I just realized that last year. And I was reminded of that realization again this year. And astounded by God's perfect wisdom... knowing full-well that this thing we call Christmas would get all tangled up with commercialism... he tucked in a nugget of truth that we often claim throughout the year... "nothing is impossible with God." I urge you, if you are feeling a weight around you, if the hustle and bustle have lost their holly and jolly; take a quiet moment and savor the weight of that promise that was given to Mary... "For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37

So, sometime Saturday, Wilson mentioned something he wanted to ask for from Santa - something rather expensive. Brad talked a bit with Wilson about Santa bringing gifts to everyone and how he can't bring everyone something expensive. By the time we got to see Santa though, Wilson had settled again on asking for a jump rope. Saturday night I talked over a few things with Brad. Wondering if somehow we were doing the wrong thing with our kids by limiting how much they get - you know some what ifs... what if they resent us when they are older because they didn't get as much as their friends? what if we are stifling their dreams by telling them Santa can't bring you everything??? I finally decided that I was letting the marketing get to me, and was able to rest well after talking to Brad.

Sunday we went out to lunch after church, and the hostess asked the boys what they wanted from Santa - Walker said a "drum and a leaf book" (yes, she looked at us the same way Santa did when he said 'leaf book), and Wilson said "a jump rope". The lady behind us said, "Wow! Your kids are easy, wanna trade?"

When we were seated Brad asked Wilson, "If you could ask Santa for anything in the whole world, what would you ask him for?" Brad and I answered first, stating things that surely Santa couldn't bring.

After much thought, Wilson answered, "A vacation."

I thought for sure he was thinking about our summer trip to Disney, so I replied,"Oh, that's cool. Where would you want to go?"

And you wanna know what that sweet boy said??? "Michigan"

My heart swells.

And here are a couple shots of Super Walker. He has referred to himself as Super Walker on multiple occasions. One time I remember clearly being at the playground, and he was quite put-off that another older boy didn't believe that he was Super Walker. We said, "Are you Super Walker?" He said, "Yes" and we replied, "Then don't worry about it!" And off he ran yelling "I am Super Walker!"

oh we had a little Christmas...

...just this past weekend...
Since we are travelling to the great north for Christmas, we decided to have the boys open their presents from us this Saturday. We didn't do all of our Christmas traditions, but we did do some... the boys wore their new pj's to bed Friday, but they didn't know we were going to do presents until Saturday morning when they woke up. Here they are, waiting to unwrap their gifts... Wilson proudly showing off his Toy Story Mania -its very similar to their favorite ride at Disney - so it makes it an extra fun game on the Wii. (we rented it before we moved, so we knew it was worth it!)

Walker got his own version of a Toy Story game - memory. He's beginning to get excited about playing games.

Walker also got some power tools. He was pretty thrilled.


And Wilson was giddy about a Nerf gun because he "has ALWAYS wanted one."

They each got three presents from us (not because there were three wise men, but because Jesus got three gifts - the wise men are not numbered in the Bible and it bothers Brad a bit when it is assumed that there were three...), but I don't have pictures of their third gifts - Wilson got a basketball, and Walker got a "Super Walker" cape. Believe me, I'll post pictures of the cape, I made it for him, and I think it is quite adorable.
After presents we went to the PX to have a little visit with Santa.


Walker asked for a drum and a "leaf book"- Santa had to look at us to find out what on earth a "leaf book" is. We are still wondering where Walker got that idea from... and hoping old Santa can locate or make a suitable one for Walker.
Wilson asked for a jump rope - which caused Santa to say, "A jump rope? Are you training for a boxing match? I am sure you will get more than just a jump rope!" Why does Santa feel the need to increase expectations and put all that pressure on himself???
We had a really fun day, and now the excitement of our trip to MI is really setting in!

12 December 2009

Walker Goes to Airborne School

Last night we decided to head down to the Airborne school on post, and watch Santa do an Airborne jump onto the field, and then do the annual lighting of the jump tower. When we got dow there they were still letting people do the zipline out of the 30 foot tower they use to teach jumping skills in Airborne school. We asked Wilson if he wanted to do, and he wanted no part of it. When Amanda asked Walker he said "sure" like it was no big deal, so he and I got inline to do it.

Here they are getting the Harness on him in these two pictures

Here he is already to jump.

Here is the tower he jumped out of (of course I went right be hind him because no self-respecting dad is going to let his 3 year old do it by himself).

Here he is after the jump,
and of course he wanted to do it again.

Here is our little Paratrooper in action. AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY!






08 December 2009

oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree...

...your leaves are so unchanging. Especially when they are fake. I'm just sayin.

Here's a full picture of our free tree. Poor thing was left behind at a rental property that our friends own (in Lawton). I think they gave it to me before Brad even got home. We quickly assembled it and plugged it in the day before the movers came to make sure it worked. When we got it out to decorate it; I was skeptical, it seemed tiny & sparse. But after a bit of fluffing and bending, and adorning each branch with all manner of ornaments, I'd say she looks mighty fine. And really, you can't beat that price. I got my uppercase living order yesterday (pictures of the front door to come after the rain moves on), so the cross wall is complete. Its on the stairway, straight across from the front door. I think it looks fantastic, and I love the visual reminder of Jesus' deep and personal love for each of us. He is always giving us reminders of His love...
...sometimes in the form of deep-belly-giggles during a wrestle fest.


My cup continues to overflow.

p.s. nobody was injured during wrestlefest this week.

02 December 2009

Holiday Mail for Heroes

Hey, my sister posted a link on Facebook about a Holiday Mail program that the Red Cross is doing for service members, veterans, and their families. Cards should be mailed by Dec 7th, I think. Here is the link *click* Check out the details!

01 December 2009

thinking...

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.

Thanksgiving weekend...

...really was a good one. Brad took some pictures of the boys and I making cookies on Saturday... they were both pretty into it... we used some of our train-shaped-cookie-cutters to go with our movie night choice - The Polar Express.

We only did a single batch, so it didn't take too long to make these. And we didn't have food coloring for the frosting, so that went super fast too. And now... they are all gone.
Here's a picture from our Thanksgiving day walk. (I told you he's into those ears right now). The boys collected some pretty leaves to make a table runner for our dinner.Walker was especially thrilled with this "big, yellow leaf!!!"

Wilson is back to school, and Brad is back to work. Everyone is healthy!
We are now beginning to count down the days to our Christmas trip to MI. There are a few people that are really, r-e-a-l-l-y hoping for snow!
Can you believe its already December? The advent season came quickly this year!