24 August 2011

run for the fallen

Last weekend, we participated in the Run for the Fallen here at Benning. Brad actually got up and ran 12 miles before we went over to the event at 8:30! It was a one mile walk/run. We figured we would walk, but Brad told Walker that if he wanted to run we'd run at his pace. We ran a lot more than I expected. I didn't bring my phone to the run, so I didn't take any pictures there, but we stopped at the Ranger Memorial afterwards.
The Run for the Fallen here was sponsored by the 75th Ranger Regiment so they had names of all of the fallen rangers from The War on Terror. When we got there to register, there were still about 20 names left on the table that had already been printed. There were also blank forms if you wanted to fill in a name. We decided that we didn't want any of the names to be left on the table so we all took a different name to wear.

We looked up some of our names in the book a the memorial and found their markers...

Wilson ran for PFC Thomas. He was 18 when he died in a helicopter crash in 2007. We didn't know this until we got home (where I looked up each soldier's story); but the ranger Wilson ran for, and the ranger I ran for SPC Garbs, died in the same helicopter crash. SPC Garbs was 20 years old.
Walker ran for PFC Garza who was 19 when his vehicle left the road and crashed into a river in Jalalabad on our anniversary in 2005. Brad ran for SGT Regan who was 26 when he encountered an IED in Iraq in 2007. All of these men represent families that have given the ultimate sacrifice. All we know about them is that they gave everything for our country. I hope the families know that they are not forgotten.

I'm glad we got to go out and participate in this event. It was solemn. It was both encouraging and sad to see my friend, Mandy's husband's name on some of the tags. This war has demanded a high price.

23 August 2011

a little less crazy...

...its true... I pad the before picture so the after looks that much better... Brad snapped this after we ran on Friday morning... cah-ray-zee...and after... a free haircut (!) because 9 inches was cut-off and donated to Children with Hairloss
I went to a new salon because my friend gave me a groupon for $75 dollars worth of services... and she moved to Korea so she wasn't going to be able to use it. I knew that when Pam got her hair cut for locks of love that the lady didn't charge her, but I also knew that it was Pam's last time at the salon before she moved. I didn't figure that the lady would cut my hair for free since she had just met me! So Pam's gift is multiplied!!! ;)

Cannot believe how much faster this is... like no time at all. A little diffuser, a couple twists of the curling iron, some finishing creme, and viola!

16 August 2011

a few pics...

here are a couple more Spooner pics... Walker was dancing down the side of the hill as Wilson slid...oh, and even Daddy tried a little Spooner action... I sorta wish I had the video on for it...that's all I'll say about that... ;)
Walker's first day on the bus was everything he dreamed it would be... which was a relief for us, because we've had some rough bus days around here...
oh, and did I mention that Walker has been letting me rock him to sleep at night? I pretty much love it. yes, its a crappy-phone-pic, but you get the idea, right?

13 August 2011

learning new things...

Wilson got "The Spooner" from Yaya for his birthday... it arrived this week, so he's been trying out some moves on it in the afternoon... Here's a little video of what he's got so far -

and Walker has been learning some new things at school, too -

06 August 2011


so, you can't start school without some goodies for the teachers, right?
Here's what the boys gave their teachers yesterday...
  • the white frames were 99 cents at Ikea. They are two-sided, so you can see both frames in the pic. One side has scrapbook paper with the teacher's initial and the other side has a print of Phil. 4:8. {You can find the free printable here, it was on this blog originally. I just resized it to 4x6 before printing} I included a note stating that I really liked that verse but if they wanted to change it out with something that worked better for them that was totally fine. I just really couldn't give them an empty frame! :)
  • The stack of monster cookies included the note "because teachers cannot live on apples alone."
  • The post-it note holder was an idea Barbie shared with me... and she gave me the 4x6 acrylic frames so the only thing I had to pay for was the target-brand post-it notes $1.97 for four. I used a cute scrapbook paper and printed, "make today awesome" in-between the little birdies.
  • And finally a two-pack of sharpies... because a teacher can never have too many sharpies! I price-matched those at the PX when they were on sale somewhere for 25 cents a pack.
  • Rene donated the gift bags when she sent the boys' birthday presents (Thanks, sis!)
So, I think I spent a total of $1.75 each on these gifts... plus the cost of the ingredients in the cookies, but that recipe makes 72 and I only gave away 12... so that couldn't have been too much. Mrs. Z told Wilson that "the sharpies are a perfect gift for me!" and Mrs. G sent a note home saying that she "loves homemade cookies!"

We also got a REALLY great gift yesterday! Both boys had SUPER first days of school, and neither of them was crabby - which was sort of a surprise ;) Walker spent most of his day learning about the procedures in his classroom. One thing he learned is called the "silent cheer" to celebrate good things. I kept asking him to do it repeatedly, because it was so dang cute. I finally videotaped it... and thought y'all might get a kick out of it too!

05 August 2011

It's that time again...

back to school... already!

{yes, they have a.c. in the buildings, otherwise they wouldn't be able to go to school until late September!}

The boys were pretty excited this morning.
as you can see...

thankfully, Daddy got to go into work late
(well, sorta, he had to go to work early to solve an unexpected problem but got to come back home for school drop-offs...)
it's a good thing too, because this is about as brave as momma's face got all morning.
(I thought I was going to be OK by the time we got to school, but Wilson's 1st grade teacher saw me and gave me a hug and the tears just kept on comin'...)

On the way in with full backpacks and teacher gifts!

The K students met in the gym (with the first graders, which is where I saw Mrs. T)... Walker waited very patiently in line, we finally left before they went to their classes for fear of momma having another breakdown; which would've been a rough way for Walker to start school!
Wilson was pretty embarrassed that I was crying, which made it all the sweeter that he has the same teacher and mostly the same classmates as last year. He teased me about it a little as we walked down the hall to his class. I tried to blame it on Mrs. T. but he called me out and said, "You did it even before we left the house!"

He wasn't nervous at all to get to class. he gave Mrs. Z a hug while I grabbed a tissue! Mrs. Z. even graciously offered to let me volunteer once a week after seeing my swollen-crying eyes.

I knew it would be harder letting Walker go to K. Mainly because the house is now empty besides me and that big dog. To complicate matters, I sort of anticipated our new baby-child being home by now. Which leaves me in a place of unexpected empty hands. I've hesitated to commit to anything, because I was certain our new baby-child would be home by now. Through my tears this morning, God reminded me that He is not the least bit surprised by these circumstances. And in that reassurance, I do find peace. Sure, there are tears. And I am OK with that.

To clarify, the tears weren't really out of concern about whether or not Walker would do well at school. They weren't because I'm afraid. The tears fell because time has passed. And quite honestly, whether we had a new baby-child here or not, I most likely would've still been a bawl-baby this morning. Because my boys are growing up. They are getting bigger and this letting-go is hard. And so my tears are the way that I process it. I wish I were a little better at controlling when they would pour out; or at the very least, wish I had one of those faces that didn't get all blotchy-red immediately. But alas, this is who I am and how God made me. So I post pics to tell you that we are where we are supposed to be today. Each one of us. And God has gone before us to prepare the way. He has good plans, and we are blessed to be a part of them.

this morning God gave me two verses to center me and remind me He is faithful...

"In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have refuge." Proverbs 14:26

"Jesus said to him, "Go your son lives." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off." John 4:50

04 August 2011


Ten years of walking beside each other.

Ten years of your powerful hand grasping mine and leading me to the new places God calls us.

Ten years of joy and also some sorrow.

Ten years of blessings too numerous to count.

Ten years of growing, learning, failing and forgiving.

Ten years! Sometimes people say, "it just keeps getting better." And I didn't really know how it could get better than what I felt on that hot, August day. And yet God has crafted our hearts together so intricately that I look back on that first day and think, that was just a smidgen of the love and respect that I feel now.

I always feel like I got the better end of this deal. Brad, you are a man of excellence. You seek Him first. You love me deeply. You are a wonderful daddy. You do your work with integrity. I could not ask for more.

Praying God gives us at least another 60 anniversaries to celebrate!

03 August 2011

c'mon get happy...

So, I know that last post was heavy. The upside to heavy things is that it reinforces the truth that this world is not our home. There's a song by Caedmon's Call called "This World" and for some reason, its my go-to song when there's a lot of heavy going on in the world around me. So, I've been listening to it a lot recently... But even in the midst of the heavy, and the knowledge that this world isn't home, God blesses with joy. I decided to snap some pre-back-to-school pictures of the boys today. I thought this here blog could use some happy today....

Here they are in their fort...cuties!
and here's big brother reading "Oh The Places You'll Go," I adore that book...
Walker showing Wilson his favorite part... "Kid, you'll move mountains!"
One more of Wilson reading - the quote on the side says "Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero." I saw it on pinterest this morning and typed it up ;)
oh, and I love their faces in this one... I said "Pretend like you just got busted!"
Sure do love these two cuties.

They are both pretty excited for school to start. Tomorrow is the "Peek-In" at school. Thankfully, Wilson already knows his teacher! Looking forward to meeting Walker's teacher, been praying a lot for her! ;)