Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fishing Trip

So, I have been absent from the blog scene for a while...as the days are winding down, we are really just trying to spend as much family time together as possible. Therefore, I really have not even turned on the computer. I did want to do a quick post this morning and share a few pictures of a recent fishing trip that we took the kids on. Jason had been wanting to take the kids to fish for catfish and we are fortunate enough to leave near a dam where the catfish are plentiful. We had a great time. The kids caught several types of fish including catfish. All the fish were pretty small so we just threw them all back. We ended up staying a couple hours...it was all we (the kids and I) could take...it smelled really bad. At one point Jackson was reeling in a fish and I asked him what he thought he caught and his reply was "A stinky shoe" ha! (It smelled worse than a stinky shoe)
All in all we had a great time just the 4 of us...I am so thankful that we are getting this time together.
Below are a few pictures of our fishing trip:

Well, that is enough for today...off to soak up some more family time...we are in the single digits now (I can actually count on one hand how much time we have left)


Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Just Too Much

It's getting so close (so close that I don't need to use all my fingers and toes to count)...the day that Jason will leave...not actual "D" day, but the day he leaves for training...the day that will cause him to leave our home with a huge bag...the day that we will have to take him to the airport with pride in our hearts (while we hold back the tears in our eyes until he walks away down that long airport hallway). It's just too much...

I've had this nagging feeling for several months. It's a weird feeling...not a feeling of fear, but a feeling of I really need to get everything together. I have tried to ignore this feeling. I have tried to suppress this feeling, but like I said...it's nagging. It will not go away. Though I will spare you all the details of this nagging feeling, I will share that one thing I have felt very strongly about is getting all the paperwork in order. This is our 3rd deployment...I know the drill...I help others prepare for this I know it so well...I know what I need (as far as paperwork goes) I have always had these items readily available in the past, but this time I just have this feeling I need them all in order. And so my nagging feeling has caused me to nag Jason to get me these papers. I don't want to bother him with getting these papers for me, but like I said, I just had this nagging feeling that it had to be done. It's so much to deal with...it's just too much.

So my hubby, being the sweet man he is, spent hours last night getting all my requested paperwork together along with making copies. (thank you precious man!) As I was organizing all the papers last night and putting them in folders that I could easily access, I came across Jason's living will...like I've said, this is our 3rd deployment and I've seen these papers before, nothing new, but I've never read this before. I don't know why, I just have not read it. So I read through it last night...and immediately burst into tears. Poor Jason, I don't think he knew what to do...laugh at me (for putting myself through that), cry with me, or run-a-way (ha, lets hope he doesn't do that). Bless Jason's heart, there I was (ugly) crying and he was comforting me. I so do not want our last days together to be me crying and Jason comforting me...it just does not need to be that way...sorry... So anyway, I'm reading Jason's wishes and I'm saying over and over, "I just don't want to think about this" (yea, way to go me for being selfish...sorry just trying to be real about the reality of deployment for us) And Jason, still comforting me, never misses a beat and says "Sweetie, that's why you have this. So you don't have to think about it. I made the decisions for you." GAH...I hate being so emotional...it's just too much...

It is just too much for me to handle on my own. Thinking about "D" day brings a flood of emotions that I am NOT strong enough to handle on my own. So often, in my fleshly ways, I find myself asking why, why now, why again-BUT through much prayer I am reminded that following Christ is not easy. It's not always comfortable. BUT Christ is sufficient for me. He alone is sufficient for my thoughts, for my emotions, for my nagging feelings. For HIM none of this is too much.

So when days like this hit. When I am overwhelmed. When I can't stop those nagging feelings, there is only one thing for me to do and that is pray.

pray without ceasing 1Thess 5:17

Do you know what it is like to pray without ceasing??? Have you ever known such comfort as the comfort you receive after such prayer???

It's so comforting. It's so peaceful. It's such a relieving feeling.

...in Me you have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

So thankful that I serve a big God for whom none of this is too much...

And just to share the organizing I did thanks to my nagging feelings:


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Update to Having "The" Talk

You may remember my post not too long ago about having "the" talk with the kids. (Click HERE to read the post) The "talk" did not go so well at all...it left me sad and heartbroken for my children and it left the conversation to be continued since I did not tell them. So many of you left such encouraging comments and I thank you so much for those. I especially thank all of you who have been so faithful to pray for my babies hearts, to pray for their understanding, and to pray for God to give me the right words. Those prayers worked. I am a little behind posting this since we did tell them a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to share with you God's faithfulness even during these times.

We have been praying along with you and approached the situation differently this time. Jason and I both sat down with the kids to tell them (I am so thankful I did not have to do that alone) I tried to remain as calm as possible, but too often my emotions get the best of me (especially when it comes to the kids) We started off by reminding the kids how very much we loved them. Then we went on to tell them that we had something very important that we needed to talk with them about. At that moment, they both stopped what they were doing and just looked at us...it was as if at that moment when they looked at us that God confirmed to me that this was indeed the moment to tell them and that they were ready. Both kids climbed up on the couch between Jason and me. We wrapped our arms around them and gave them a big hug...at which time we both had tears and the kids were still looking at us so intently. Then the conversation began:

Jason: "Kids, you know that mommy and daddy love you very much"

Jack: "yes sir, we do"

Madi: "yes sir"

Jason: "Do you remember when daddy had to go away for army work?"

Jack: "yes daddy, when you were protecting our country"

Madi: "yes"

Jack: "like when we would see you on the computer and watch the movie you made?"

Jason: "yes, like that"

Jason: "Kids, daddy is going to have to go away again to protect our country"

Jack: "Are you going to the same place you were last time?"

Jason: "No, this time it will be a different country. Daddy will be going to Afghanistan this time"

Kids: both trying to say Afghanistan...laughing through my tears at this point

Jason went on tell the kids how long he would be gone. Jack replied "wow, that is a long time" and Madi repeated "yea, that's a long time"

Jason told the kids how very much he loved them. He assured them that he would call as often as he could, he would write letters to them, and he would see them on the computer as often as he could. Through this I am still not saying much...just trying to soak it all up (through my tears)

Then it happened...that moment when I knew (we knew) that our prayers had been heard...Jack started talking non-stop. Jack told Jason that he was going to be mommy's helper. He told Jason that he would talk to him all the time on the phone, that he would make him lots of crafts, and that we would send him stuff in the mail all the time. He also told Jason that we would send things to other soldiers that may not get crafts in the mail.(I love that child's heart!) At this point Jason and I are hugging Jack and looking at each other with tears just streaming down our faces...here was our little boy comforting us, assuring us, thinking of others, and confirming to us that God has indeed prepared his little heart to hear this news.

Through all of this Madi just repeated everything her brother said and added all the things she would send her daddy in the mail...you know chocolate and stickers ... could not help but laugh at her.

I am so thankful and grateful that the conversation went so much better this time. I am glad that they now know. It has been so hard to shield them from all this.

Well, I think this is probably long enough for now, but I can't end the post without a few pictures of my little sweeties


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Madi's 1st Dance/Tumble Class

Madeline has a lot of energy! So we decided to put that energy to good use and enrolled her in a dance/tumble class. It's one hour, once a week. She will take ballet, tap, and tumbling. We just had our 1st class and it was great! Madeline loved it soooo much and is still dancing around the house doing her dance moves, ha! Below are some pictures from her 1st class:

Lil miss priss dressed and ready for tap class. Her smile is contagious!

Checking everything out in the mirror.

In position and ready to learn some tap moves.

Shoe change, ballet shoes on and ready for class.

She is so happy!

Madeline and her best buddy Emma. These girls are so excited to take dance together!

Madeline waiting her turn on the tumble mat.

Getting in position

Ready to do the front roll...teacher wanted to make sure the girls knew how to do a front roll...little did she know that our miss priss has been doing front rolls since before she could walk, ha!

Jack was so glad that Joshua (Emma's brother) had to tag along to dance class too so he would have someone to play with. These boys miss each other this school year so they are happy to know they will see each other at least weekly ;)


Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Birthday Party

We had Jackson's 6th birthday party over the weekend. In the past I have spent weeks preparing and planning for a big blowout party. If your like me, you put so much time and energy into the party and every little detail that you forget to have fun, relax, and enjoy your child's party. I was determined to enjoy and relax at this party. We decided that a party at the arcade would be the way to go...no worrying about coming up with things to entertain everybody, no house cleaning, no worrying about the weather...just simple...fun...easy. This party was so easy. For a lot less than I would have spent on food and/or games we were able to reserve the arcade and got way more than enough tokens for all the children (both young and old) at the party.

A Super Hero cake

So did I mention that this party was sooo easy??? Yea, I just showed up with cake, ice cream, and drinks (the items seen on this table are all I brought)...easy

The kids had a bit too much fun with the party horns (sorry parents)

This picture cracks me up! Madi plugging her ears while she blows her party horn! HA!

aaahhhh...now everyone is quiet...nothing like some cake and ice cream to bring on the quietness.

A girl after my own heart...she loves some ice cream and is making sure she does not miss one bite =)

Love that messy chocolate face!

Jack got a great tackle box

and a (plastic) bow and arrow

and a fishing rod to go with that tackle box =)

I managed to gather up a few of the children for a semi-group shot before they took off to play in the arcade...did I mention how easy this party was???

Meme and Madeline

Jackson playing a racing game.

Of course Jason had to get in on the fun...such a big kid! =)

Jackson won quite a few tickets on the basketball game!

Jackson said he had so much fun at his party! We are all about having the next party here!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jackson Turns 6!

Yesterday, my little man turned 6! I just can't believe he is already 6 years old...
So many milestones have been hit in the last couple weeks. Learning to ride his bike without training wheels, loosing his 1st tooth, starting big school...yikes...just did not realize how quickly this would all go (even though people tell me all the time, you just don't realize)

I hung a birthday banner on his door to greet him when he woke up. =)

All smiles from the birthday boy!

Jack and his teacher both share the same birthday! How neat is that?!? I took cupcakes to his class so he could have a little party at school. He really liked getting to do that. Plus he got to wear the birthday hat all day. When he got home he proudly put his hat out on display in his bedroom...how sweet!

When Jackson got in from school I asked him what he wanted for his special birthday dinner. I thought he would ask for McD's or Chic-fil-A...nope...wanna guess what he asked for??? Red Lobster I guess he is acquiring new tastes in his "older" age ;)


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1st Day of School!

Yesterday, 08-09-10, was Jackson's first day at "big school"! The day started off pretty hard for me. I was quite tearful most of the morning before we left. At one point Jackson turned to me an said, "Mommy, can you please not cry in my class" ha! I told him I would not (and I didn't) I made it off of the school grounds then the tears fell hard. The tears were both tears of joy and tears of sadness. Sadness, because I just can't believe that my little boy is growing up and will be away from me all day. We have spent the last 5 years preparing and training Jackson for this day. It is just hard to believe that its already time. And joy because I am so excited for all that he is going to learn, the new friends he will make, and all the exciting memories that are to be made this year.

Below are some pictures of our first day:

I finally managed to organize Jackson's closet...it seriously took all day, but it's done (and I hope it will stay this neat for longer than a day) I got him an organizer and layed out all his clothes for the week. My goal is to keep mornings easy and simple by taking care of as much before hand that I can. That way we will all start our day off in good moods =)

Lunch box and snack bag packed and ready to go.

Book bag all ready!

My little sleepy head ready for his first day. He requested french toast and sausage for his breakfast. Jason and I also gave him cards at breakfast letting him know how very proud of him that we are and that we hope he has a wonderful first day.

Dressed and out the door on time! Daddy made it home from PT just in time to give Jack hugs and send us off (at 6:50am!!!)

Family picture...love how Madeline is barely awake and has this look of "why am I awake right now?" on her face ;)

Ready to go!

Jackson sitting at his desk. He walked right in class, put his book bag in his cubby, put his snack away, and sat right down at his desk to color.
The classroom was so quiet too. I have never been in a room full of 5 year olds and nobody was talking...they just all looked so lost. (this morning there was chatter and smiles so I think they are all past that intial fear)

Well,Jack and I survived the first day of big school. He said he had a great day and wanted to go back (so I think that is a good sign) He talked all about it and was still talking this morning on our way to school. He loved circle time and of course his favorite was the playground, ha! He did not know his friends names, but said he would try to remember them today. I was able to walk Jackson in again this morning, but starting tomorrow he will have to go in by himself. That will be a big step for both of us. Oh and this morning he asked if he could ride the bus...I am not ready for that...baby steps, Jack, baby steps.

So, how are you other mommies out there handling school starting back???