30 July 2010

Quick!!! Grab some fun...

... that's how we do it.

The other day Brad suggested going out to play in the sprinkler... next thing you know, two piles of boy clothes adorn the hall...Wilson got hosed by Daddy.
As did Walker.
And Mussy too.
{You can see clearly the patchiness of our lawn in these pics... some lovely spots, some horrible spots... }

In unrelated news (although still fun), I keep finding these little cardstock pieces in my purse - remnants from Katie's shower in Michigan. I actually decided not to take them out because they are really good reminders as I am rushing through my day...
and speaking of love...

Since Brad is at work I thought I would dedicate a love song to him (he hates this song, and might just delete it from the blog when he gets home; but I actually really like it).


27 July 2010

sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses...

...and other times, you have to stop and try on the sunglasses.Wilson was especially fond of the aviators, which he kept calling "radiators." This pair was $47... which sadly, was NOT in the back-to-school budget!

We did manage to get everything else on the school supply list though. Super simple list! (Have I mentioned that I love this school?) Plus, I took the Sunday ads to the PX and did hassle-free price matching. Awesome! (Which also makes the purchase tax-free!)

It was a fun morning hanging out with the big man. Walker enjoyed his class, and Brad got a nice, quiet morning to sleep!

What a lovely day! I know its quite simple, but I am really grateful for this day. Our God is good.

"Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what He has done."
1
Chronicles 16:8

26 July 2010

two truths

I've tried a few times to type up a little thing to tell you all about Mandy Santiago. The last time I tried resulted in a link to a song that I don't even understand (or even like.)

There is no easy way to say it.

Mandy's husband died in Afghanistan last weekend. (click here to read the obituary)

She attends our PWOC. Please pray for her, her family, and her late husband's family. The funeral is this week in Illinois. She will then return to Fort Benning. She can stay in her house on-post for up to 6 months. School starts here August 6 for her middle schooler and August 9 for her high schooler.

Mandy is a member of a very special small group within our PWOC body. Their group began in January and they clicked so well that they continued on their own with a new study through the summer months. Their summer study was "Enhancing Your Marriage." Please pray for each of the ladies in this study with Mandy. They will be the ones that she leans on as she begins to process her loss and thinks through her next steps. (Also keep in mind that some of these ladies have deployed spouses as well, which causes all sorts of emotional issues in the face of their friend's loss).

I am praying that these two truths will bring peace to Mandy and the ladies that love her so deeply.

His ways are higher than our ways.
Isaiah 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."

He is enough.
Philippians 4:19 "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

23 July 2010

buddies!


Wilson and Daddy were off to Six Flags Over Georgia (to fulfill part of Wilson's birthday present). So that left Walker to chill with me... he's been itching to have a play date with his best bud P. & thankfully P. had an open schedule today... we met him (and his mother & baby brother) at the indoor playground on-post ... it's new, it's clean & it's got AC! They had a great time, and ran like cah-razy -- Walker took a two hour nap when we got home!


now we are just waiting for the report from Six Flags...

---
and in completely unrelated news...

for a number of reasons, I have sensed a great deal of heaviness in my spirit over the last couple of days, and rather than begin to explain all the reasons why, I'll just leave you with this...



Lyrics | Rufus Wainwright - He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother lyrics

immature, I know.

21 July 2010

all in all, it was a good day...

so early on in the summer I signed the boys up for "Kids Bowl Free" which is an awesome summer concept... every week I would get an email in my inbox that said my coupons were ready to print... and finally... FINALLY... late July and we hit up the local free alley with our coupons in hand... two free games = two happy boys...with some phenomenal bowling skillz... look at that form...
they really did have fun... the only thing we had to pay for was the shoe rental... bet you can't guess how much that was...
NINE DOLLARS! granted, that was the total for both boys, but are you kidding me? free bowling? we might head to the alley on-post if we go again. we can't use our "free" coupons there, but I think it might still be cheaper...

and, uh, I have no clue why Walker often looks at me like this when I say, "can I take your picture?"
one of the upsides to living away from family is that you get stuff in the mail... and well, isn't it a little fun if things come rolling in a few days after your birthday when you aren't really thinking too much about it? Wilson was so curious as to what was in this BIG box from Yaya... Walker was mighty curious too...
We wanted to go stargazing tonight, but there are a few final assembly touches that needed to wait for the condensation to clear out of the lenses... (from being in the heat all day then coming into the AC)...
Wilson can hardly wait and is trying to plan ahead about which night will be THE night for stargazing... little astronomer Lutz!
And all this stargazing talk has made me get this song stuck in my head... Light Up the Sky

19 July 2010

SEVEN!

really? seven? If I don't write this post, does that mean he will still be six? Yea, I know the answer to that, so I am writing this post...

Our big guy is seven. Unbelievable. I can't believe our parents are old enough to have a 7-year-old grandson!

Wilson decided he wanted to start the day off with his presents... still sleepy, still in jammies, ready to kick-it-off...he busted this open later in the day and is already learning a few of the magic tricks...
...tearing open one of this birthday cards...carefully, of course....
checking out his bag of little gifts... to include "Pop Rocks"...
opening up his last gift... an xbox controller so he can play with Daddy... which he did yesterday
Wil stayed home from church with Daddy and played some xbox and Wii and then went to the commissary to pick out the steaks for lunch... that boys loves some steak!

showing his age by his birthday banner...
Wil requested chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting for his birthday... but he also requested some white cupcakes with vanilla frosting for his Daddy because he is extremely thoughtful like that...
Wilson also requested some balloons, he and Walker had fun with the ones Brad didn't blow up... (Wilson took this picture of Walker)

Its amazing to see the person Wilson is becoming. He has a compassionate heart and a thoughtful spirit. He loves to try new things, but, man, he wants to know all about it before he jumps in. He's a thinker for sure. We are blessed beyond words to have this boy in our lives.

18 July 2010

supporting our fellow Americans...

... we try to be good, patriotic citizens of our great country. Every once in awhile that means sacrificing for the sake of others... Considering all the trouble that the "Oil Spill" (really, the news hasn't come up with a more clever name for it?) has caused the folks in the Gulf, we thought we should do something to let them know we care. We just wanted to do our part.

So we packed up some camping gear & made a reservation at St. Andrews State Park and off we went... We arrived late afternoon Friday and set up our tent then went to the beach...

As we walked up to the top stairs of the boardwalk to the beach, Wilson gasped and said, "I forgot what the ocean was like..." And you could just see his face take it all in. That comment was totally worth the drive there!While playing in the water, Walker yelled, "This is fun! Hallelujah!" And that comment just made the drive home totally worth it!
The water was so warm. I haven't been to the Gulf in over 10 years and never in the summer... I had no idea! Two thumbs up from Wilson!
Wading with Daddy
The boys loved playing in the waves with Daddy... there weren't too many other people on the beach...
We went back to camp for dinner and drove around "the strip" downtown Panama City Beach for a bit. We got snuggled into our tent... and then realized we could barely breath. Brad decided to be our hero and went and bought a little fan (which also helped the local economy, so patriotic!). The fan helped... a little... it was sort of a long night though.

We wasted no time getting up in the morning, had breakfast, took down the tent and headed back to the beach...

There were a couple teams walking along the beach... they had gloves & plastic bags & no beach clothes... we assume they were looking for signs of oil and/or tar balls...
It was a bit breezier on Saturday. Walker loved digging in the sand and looking for shells...
As did Wilson.
Oh look its us! After Wilson brushed all the sand off of his hands he snapped this picture for us...

{one of the things we forgot to pack was a clothesline. Also, after day one on the beach my suit was FULL of sand (like seriously, unbelievable how much sand was in that thing when I showered). I tried to rinse it out, but you know it just sort of sticks. So, the Mr. and I hit the beach sans suits on Saturday.}

We stopped at the camp store between the campground and the beach and got some coffee. Let me tell you, that is the perfect way to start a Saturday...
Brad snapped a pic of the boys and I (see some of the tar-ball-team in the background?)
and, you can't go to the beach without writing something in the sand, right?

It was a super fun {super quick} trip. I was thinking the State Park beach was so beautiful, and uncrowded... but I can't help but wonder if it would be more crowded if it weren't for the Oil Spill. I don't know. It's hard to know when you've never been to this area before. It was beautiful though.

I definitely feel the urge to go back down and support our fellow Americans along the Gulf during their time of crisis... I'd like to stay longer and maybe spend some money at a seafood joint too... you know, to help them out... Anyone want to go with us?

15 July 2010

summer classics...

...and a little PWOC update... ok, really, by now - y'all know what PWOC is, right? Well the training I went to this weekend was super-duper. The theme for all of the PWOC's around the world is the same - "Shine in the Light of His Glory." Isn't that great? The key is for each local PWOC to figure out the best way to incorporate this theme for their target audience. We spent a lot of time praying and talking over the big things God has planned for this place at this time. Its such a privilege to be involved! Here's the theme artwork - cool, huh?On to the summer classics...

Here are a couple pictures of the boys swimming at the pool while they were with the Clements' family this weekend. Wilson gives the slide a thumbs up!
And Walker was swimming like a freak with this little thing on his back! I've never seen such a thing before... I had a slight freak-out for a moment when I was certain that he was "swimming out of his thing!" But then realized that no, he just likes swimming with his head underwater...
I am sure this won't be a surprise - the boys had a blast with the Clements. As always. And the drive is really not that bad. (Thank you, Jesus!)
And Mom, just because you asked...

Popsicle pictures.
You know its summer when...
... some frozen sugary liquid on a stick...
...and a nice little spot to sit...
...with the people you love the most...
...is just about the best thing you can imagine.
(the Popsicle pictures are in reverse order... you still get the idea though, right?)

08 July 2010

beach day at callaway (gardens)...

...except we didn't go to the gardens so I felt it necessary to say callaway {gardens}, get it? besides "Beach Day at Callaway" rhymes... clever, huh?

on with the post.

Daddy got home from work bright and early Wednesday morning. After realizing that I did not buy coffee on Tuesday he decided to make a coffee run, --- and y'all have heard this a few times, but I must (I MUST!) mention it again --- my husband rocks! Indeed he does, because he decided to not only buy some coffee, but to go off-post and buy us some donuts too... and this after working all night. He sure loves his peeps.

After a lazy-ish morning we determined that we should head up to Callaway to check out their beach...(We even remembered to bring their sand toys because we are awesome like that). The boys approved!Walker did some "swimming."
As did Wilson. I'm not positive, but I think Brad may have gone under water once.
It was a nice little lake to play around in. It was H-to the-O-T out there though. Good thing we brought some cold water with us. Because Brad is active-duty, we get into Callaway for free. (If we paid the regular price to get in, it would be $18 per adult and $9 per kid!! Unreal, huh? Military isn't free on special occasions, but its still half-price - we've never gone for a special event though).

Anyway, the beach had some pay-to-play activities as well. We thought we'd try the 4-seater paddleboat. What a fun adventure, right?
Nobody was overly thrilled with the paddleboat. And because we had to balance that thing out, Daddy was left to paddle alone - in the 95+ degree temps - wearing a life jacket. Pretty sure we didn't stay out on that lake for an hour... or even a half-hour. But I do think we may have ruined the idea of paddleboats for our kids, so we will probably never drop another dime on it again. Ever.

And in other news... Wilson has another something on his calendar...

He got the day wrong, but as you can see he's been looking forward to it! Tomorrow the boys get to hang out with Miss Barbie & Logan at their new house! They are semi-settled in and I can hardly wait to see it (or them, of course!)! The boys will be staying there for the weekend because I have PWOC leadership training (and Brad works a crazy schedule).

Wilson is looking forward to having "a break" from me. Those are his words not mine.

I am sure they'll have a sweet time. I am trusting that my training will be a blessing as well. And Brad has big plans too, he is going to change the brakes on the van on his off time. I think if things go well he and I will be able to go to church together before I head to Alabama to get the boys... I would try to explain his work schedule and my training schedule, but its really confusing -- trust me, it worked out well that Barbie asked me again what weekend my training was... man, she's a good friend!

06 July 2010

a quick visit!

we were thrilled to have some visitors this weekend... (I use the term "weekend" loosely because Brad's schedule is so crazy... he wasn't working while our company was here, so it was technically the weekend for him and us!) We thought we'd partake in "Thunder on The Hooch" after dinner Sunday evening, but the kids were all playing so contentedly that it seemed like a crazy idea to head down into the crowds to keep all the kids up late again for fireworks... so we just hung out at home.

After some good sleep and a lazy morning, we headed over to the National Infantry Museum... Brennan, Victoria, Colson, Wilson, Walker & Jacqueline posed with the Follow Me! Statue...Drill Sergeant and the new recruit...
We went to the pool for a little while in the afternoon, then came home and chilled for a bit before dinner.

--- sidenote---
I had promised (PROMISED!) Wilson that we would make s'mores while we were in Michigan - he tearfully reminded me of that promise after we had said all of our good-byes. The promise I had broken.
I know s'mores is a silly thing, but a promise isn't... and I felt awful.
The day I found out that Dad & Mom and the kids were coming, I went and bought everything for s'mores. I wasn't going to miss this chance!

So, thankfully Monday evening, I got to mend a bit of a broken promise...

S'mores can be serious business...
Doesn't she look adorable with her s'more?
P.S. I made that little pillowcase dress she's wearing. I am pretty sure she is the kind of girl that makes anything look cute, so she's the perfect model for my handiwork!


We had a great visit. Quick, but memorable. We are blessed.