Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wife to Wife Wednesdays: Military Worries

For those of you who know me, you know that I am not a worrier. Not too much anyway.  If I find myself worrying, I try my best to turn it over to God. 

However, with this lifestyle that we live, there are definite things that worry or bother me. 

The thing that comes to me immediately this week is the decision that is to be made by our family:

Do we go active duty?

Ten years ago, or like we say at home BK (before kids) or BC (before Colin), we would have jumped on it.  There probably wouldn't have been too much to hold us back. We were young(er). We had fewer responsibilities.  We really had nothing that tied us down except our jobs.

But now. 

Well, now,

I have 13 years teaching experience. I am almost halfway to my retirement (seriously, that just freaked me out). How will leaving my job, leaving the state affect my retirement?

There are the normal and friends....We live in our hometown. Our neighbors are Jeff' parents. My parents live a mile away. Our roots are here. As a reserve family, we have the blessing and convenience of living near our family and friends, those nearest to our hearts.

Then there is our church.  We love our church so much.  They are the people who shared the love of Christ with us and allowed themselves to be used by God to help mold us into the people we are right now. They have opened their hearts to us, encouraged us, loved us, and have supported us.

But the main thing, the main thing that is keeping us from jumping on this opportunity of a lifetime....well there are 3 actually
Our almost 11 year old (oohhh that hurt saying that!). He has so much going on for him here at home. Academic Team. STLP. Robotics. Family. Friends. Small town sports. Church. Starting middle school in the fall.

Our almost 7 year old. The homebody. He loves being home. He loves school. He is coming out of his shell. He is showing love in so many amazing ways.  He is looking forward to joining the same Robotics team Colin was on. He loves the opportunities Colin has had and wants to do those same things.

Our 3 year old. Buck Wild. He attends a wonderful Christian daycare. He loves his friends. He loves his church. He is becoming his own person. His personality is really showing.

I worry about my boys. 

As their mom, I mess up enough. I make mistakes with them every day.  So I find myself asking, "Should I even attempt to see how badly I can mess them up by uprooting them?" 


But hear me out. That is not the lifestyle we are used to. Like I said, BK, we would have jumped on this. We would have raised kids already living the active duty lifestyle.  But come on, we are used to one weekend a month, two weeks (ha!) out of the year, staying put where we are.  For us, it would be a major change.

My main worry is how will deciding to go active duty affect my children. 

Right now, that's where I am out. 

I fully trust God. I know that whatever we are supposed to do, He will guide us to that decision, and HE WILL PROVIDE FOR US. I know that. I believe that. But a mama can't help but worry about her babies. 

So, I would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts? Did you have to make this decision with children involved or were your children "born into it?"  Are you at this point in your military life that you have to make this decision? 

Join me and some other amazing women today and every Wednesday at Wives of Faith for Wife to Wife Wednesdays.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Look who's 3!

Friday night, Carter and I stayed up LATE working on his birthday cakes (yes, plural.) He wanted a "shark" party. However, he decided at the the last minute he wants a Mickey Mouse cake.  He got his Mickey cake and I created a shark cake because it became a quest!

 Carter finally crashed in the recliner about 1:30 AM!

Early Saturday, we had his party.


Tuesday was Carter's actual birthday. We had cake about 8:30 PM after Colin's academic team  and baseball practices.  

Happy Birthday, Cheeseburger!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wife to Wife Wednesday: First Year of Marriage

When Jeff and I got married, I was working as a full time nursery worker in a church.  By full time, I mean twice on Sunday, every Monday, and every Wednesday. Yeah, I was making big bucks!  I was also in the middle of my student teaching.  I think he was still working at a local outsourcing company sorting parts for local manufacturers.

The best.....

We had no home to call our own.

We were newlyweds living with his parents.  Trust me, it wasn't bad at all.  That was the first time we lived with his parents during a transition time.

A couple months after we were married, we got our first place, a duplex just outside the city limits.

During this first year of marriage, I interviewed for several teaching jobs. I had graduated in December and was blessed to interview for two jobs.  However, I didn't get either of those, but did get a position as a title 1 assistant in the school I did my student teaching in.  That summer I was hired at an elementary school in my hometown.

I'd have to say we had a lot of fun our first year of marriage.  We blew money we didn't have traveling to Gatlinburg and Florida, attending concerts, and buying things we did not need.

We were far from being a military family during out first year of marriage. We were far from being the people we are today.  However, I am thankful that God had better plans for us than we did!

Today, of course, is Wednesday. So I am joining my friends at Wives of Faith for their weekly link up called Wife to Wife Wednesdays. Would you like to join us?  You can link up with your own blog post over at Wives of Faith, or you can leave a comment there or here. 

Today's prompt:  What was your first year of marriage like?

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Book Review: God is My Refuge

We all go through difficult times. For many of us, scripture helps us get through those times. 

God is My Refuge is a 12 week devotional for those going through troubled times. 

Each week is dedicated to a specific topic such as Grief, Broken Relationships, Illness, and Fear and includes a scripture verse for the reader to memorize.  Each day's devotion ends with sections called Reflect and Apply, Prayer Prompt, and Memory Minute.  One thing I love is that in the introduction, author Kathy Howard gives a list of materials needed to complete the devotional in the way she intended it to be used.

I really like this devotional. It will definitely be one that I turn to again. Each daily devotion is short, but effective. 

I received a free copy of this book from Leafwood Publishers for the purpose of an honest review.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Home

Home is where the heart is.

Home Sweet Home.

Welcome Home.


It is different for everyone. For some, it is a place they long to be. For others, it is place that long to leave. For some it may feel empty and incomplete. For others it may be bursting at the seems.

A home for me is made of love. It is made of family. It is made of God.

Right now, home isn't what it normally is. It is a new normal. It is missing an essential piece.

I long for my home to be complete again.

I long for my heart to be home again.

I long for us to say, "Welcome Home!"

I long for him to say, "Home sweet home."

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Whether our home is complete or we await the return of our missing piece.  We will honor Him.

Five Minute Friday
Today, I am participating in Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo Baker.  Would you like to join in?  Just take 5 minutes and write. Don't over think it.  Just write it.

It Isn't Me

Today, I am writing at Wives of Faith.  Please join me for my first guest post.  See you there!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Wife to Wife Wednesday: What was Your Wedding Like?

October 2, 1999.

I dreamed about my wedding day for so long.  I wanted it to be perfect, so I purchased the Everything Wedding Book and another wedding planning book.  I requested invitation catalogs from every company I could locate.  I searched out wedding dresses.  My husband and I attended premarital counseling classes with our pastor. Oh, I was so looking forward to that day!

I have to say my wedding day was perfect.

It was a beautiful fall day: not hot, not cold, just a little breezy, but that was ok.  There was not a cloud in the sky. I  can still fill the chill in the air as the wind blew my veil during outdoor pictures with my parents and bridesmaids.

The day started early at Jeffrey's Aunt Mary's house for breakfast for me and my bridesmaids. She gave me a rolling pin to use if her nephew ever got out of line.

We finally gathered at the church and began our hair and makeup, eating some McDonald's, and finally putting on our wedding attire.

Our photographer, Amy, captured some wonderful pictures. Some sweet. Some Fun. Each Memorable.

I remember standing outside the sanctuary listening to my friend Holly play the piano, anxiously waiting to see Jeffrey.

 Then my daddy walked me down the aisle and gave me away.

I've heard tales that my flower girl, who had her pacifier, was a little loud. I never heard her. I was focused on my groom, our wedding vows.

I was amazingly calm. Jeffrey too. We both agree that it was like we were the only ones there.

No one else existed.

As Bro. Buddy (Yes, we are southern baptist. We called our pastor by his first name) pronounced us man and wife, I got really nervous about kissing my husband. We had never talked about what kind of kiss we would have, how long, tight lipped, how anything.  Now, I'm thinking back to The Wedding Singer when Drew Barrymore was describing the wedding kiss. Ours was sweet. We even had to hug each other.

I was surprised to see we actually had guests when the ceremony had ended!

Once we got to the reception in the fellowship hall, we noticed that my aunts had brought food.  We had planned on just cake and punch, but the food was nice....I think. We never got any.  We shared our cake and punch. No cake fight. We were civilized.

I remember my flower girl, Hannah, hanging out around the cake table. Her mom was worried to death about her.

I do regret that as we visited with our guests, our photographer rushed us along because she wanted to get pictures of us leaving before dark.  I crammed myself into my brother's Corvette.  I barely fit! We sped away, husband and wife, married. Finally!

That night, we went to spend the night at a nice hotel in Bowling Green.  We were starving.....we had Arby's!

My wedding day was very special.  I may be a little biased, but I think it was the best wedding ever!  I am very thankful for all of the people who helped make my wedding day perfect.  I am very thankful that God gave me the perfect man for me!

What about you? What was your wedding day like?  I would love to hear about it.  Join in here or at Wives of Faith!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

This is not what I had planned

My Saturday has been planned out for weeks:

1. Get Colin to school by 7:30 for his Academic Team competition.

2. Drop little boys off at Paw Paw's house.

3. Arrive at competition by 11:30 so I can cheer on my son and school kids. I was so excited to be riding with a group of my favorite moms.  Adult conversation is highly needed these days!

4. Celebrate a win or lose.

Well, my Saturday ended up like this:

1. Up from 2 - 4 am with a sick toddler.

2. Rushing Colin out the door to ride to school with Ben.

3. Dropping one kid off at Paw Paw's house.

4. Driving to Bowling Green in the snow to get to the doctor's office.

5. Sending Paw Paw and Carson to the Academic Team competition.

6.  Finding out Carter has croup and an ear infection.

7. Getting text messages all after noon from Leslie and Lesley about the competition. Thanks, girls!

8. Waiting for word about awards.

Needless to say, I was heartbroken to miss Colin's Academic Team competition.  He seemed OK with it, but Mama cried after he left with Ben this morning.  

I am excited to report that Colin won 2nd place in the district in social studies!  Wooohooo!  I am also excited to report that LES placed 1st overall!!!!!  Our church crew was well represented:  Brooke and Ben placed in arts and humanities.  All the winners advance to the regional competition! 

I told Carter he was not allowed to be sick for regionals. He laughed in my face!