Friday, January 28, 2011

Things That Make Me Smile

Guess what we got yesterday???  We got a much needed, much anticipated care package from daddy.  YAY!  (I say anticipated because we have been waiting nearly a month for this package to arrive) 

Yesterday after running all our errands we returned home to see a package on the front porch (insert squeals of excitement)  The kids could not get out of the car fast enough.  They ran to get the box and rushed inside to open it.

Waiting patiently for me to get the scissors to open the box.


Opened it up and found an assortment of goodies.  =)  There were hats for the kids, table runner, movies, comic books, a purse, and a throw/pillow case set. 
Just me modeling the hat...I had no idea how to fix it...guess I need to brush up on the lastest fashion trends from the mountain region, ha.



Madeline got an adorable little purse.  It is just the perfect size for her.  She loves it because it is so "sprakly"



The beautiful new table runner.  I already have it out on the dining room table.  =)






Ok, when I first opened this up, I was unsure exactly what it was.  I thought it was a throw because it came with 2 smaller pieces that looked like they could be a pillow case but I was unsure.  I could not find any openings in the "pillow cases" so then I thought, well maybe its a table cloth and they were place mats...but then I was confused why it would only have 2 place mats.  I decided just to use the "throw" as a decorative piece since I was unsure what it was.  Turns out, it is a throw and those were pillow cases.  HA!  Or so the person who sold it to my hubby says...I must ask, Jason, do you believe everything your told??? (I kid)  Now that I know what it is, I am tossing my ideas around in my head...I have been thinking about redoing our bedroom...so this may be the direction I go in.  (I will keep you posted on that idea)



Here are the kids in the hats.  I am telling ya, I have no clue how these are suppose to be fixed.  I have since received a lesson...roll them up and flatten them on the top...ok, got it. 

As we were rummaging through all our goodies, the door bells rings.  The kids excitedly run to the door (they love to have visitors)  No visitors this time, BUT there was another package!  A box of flowers!!!  With my name on it!! 
I was completely suprised!  Completely!  Was not expecting this at all!  I check the bank account daily, so I knew that they were not from my sweet hubby...so then I start checking to make sure it was not delievered to the wrong house...nope...my name was clearly on the box.  hmmm....I find the card and read that it is from Jason's very sweet and thoughtful cousin, Dana.  When I see that, I of course start tearing up...it meant so much to me! 

I opened the box to find this beautiful orchid. 



I found the perfect place for it!  I love it ;) 

These goodies not only made me smile, it comforted me just when I needed it and it was just the encouragement I needed to keep going! 

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Conversations With Kids and Some Other Stuff

There are days during deployment when I do not know if I am coming or going.  Days when my list of things to do grows by the second.  You know, mark one thing off and five more things are added.  Days when I just feel like I am getting no where.  (anyone feel me on this???)  It never fails that on these days, my children come up with some of the most funny, off the wall things to say or do. 

For instance:
Yesterday, getting the kids dressed for church, I gave Madeline her outfit to put on.  She took one look at her outfit and started crying.  Here is the conversation:
Madeline:  (through tears)  "Mommy, I can not wear this.  I just can not wear this."

Me:  (looking puzzled) "Madeline, why can you not wear this?"

Madeline: (still crying) "Mommy, please you do not understand"

Me: (still puzzled)  "Madeline, please tell me so I will understand, Why can you not wear this?"

Madeline:  (tears drying up, completely serious)  "Mommy, my friends will make fun of me if I show up in this"

Me: (trying very hard to hold in the laughter)  "Madeline, honey, no one will make fun of you.  You will look so pretty in this, plus you can play more since it is not a dress."

Madeline:  "Ok mommy, I will wear this, just this one time" (holding up 1 finger, being very serious)

Are you kidding me???  Where does this come from???  She is 4!  I do not say things like this.  Oh my, what is it going to be like when she is 14?  oh wow.


Another conversation:

I was driving the other day.  The kids were in the back seat carrying on one of their many random conversations...you know the endless knock knock jokes and that sort of thing.  In the midst of the off the wall knock knock jokes I hear Jack talking about what he wants to be when he grows up.  Here is how the conversation went:

Jack:  "Hey sissy, I know what I want to be when I grow up"

Madeline: "oh yea, you want to be a soldier"

Jack:  "No, not a soldier.  They never get to be home"  (I took a big gulp and a deep breath at that statement...please know that later on he and I had a long talk about this to which I explained to him what amazing, selfless people soldiers are and that they do not want to be away from their families, but they want to protect them so they must do their jobs)   the conversation continues:  "When I grow up I am going to be a cop"

Mommy:  "That is a great profession Jack.  Do you want to do that so you can protect people?"

Jack:  "Uh, no...I just want to carry a pistol"  (of course, I should have known...the mind of a 6 yr old)

Jack:  "Madeline, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Madeline:  "I want to drive the ice cream truck"

I seriously Laughed Out Loud at that one.  Where does she come up with this stuff???  We have not seen an ice cream truck in our neighborhead in over a year.  We have not talked about ice cream.  This one just blew me away. 

I was sharing this conversation with my in-laws the other day and my mother in law shared that when Jason was a little boy, he applied to clown college.  Now for those of you who know my husband, I am sure you are getting a good chuckle out of that one.  He is a very quiet man and the last thing I would picture him as is a clown.  (hehehe)  I love it though because Jason is always remarking that Madeline is just like him (and noone believes me when I say that...maybe this will help them understand that)  My mother in law also said she stills has the application somewhere....I can not wait till she finds that.  (I might just share it on here) 

And another conversation (sort of)
I still see Jack as about 4 yrs old...but he is not...he has grown up so much especially over this past year in school.   He has also formed quite the opinion.  It started off with not wanting to give me a kiss when I dropped him off at school (just had to settle for a hug), then I could not give hugs (just had to settle for knucks).  Now he will let me hug and kiss him bye, but it must be done before we get to the drop off door (he says "Mom, lets do this before my friends see)  I thought this kind of stuff did not happen till about 12.
Not only can I not kiss/hug him in front of his friends, he also made the comment when I was dragging the kids with me to my fave craft store, that it was "boring"  What???  now he is really sounding like his daddy.  ha!
Oh my goodness kids have a way of making you feel old.  Speaking of making you feel old, Jack also felt the need to share with complete strangers the other night at dinner how old his parents were...it would have been ok had the parents of the other child been older than us (or at least in their 30s as well) but they were not.  Gee, thanks son....I will remember this ;)

Oh these kids, they have a way of making me laugh when I do not feel like laughing.  They are exactly what I need just when I need it.  =)
Below are some pictures I took of the kids before we left for church yesterday.  My goodness these 2 keep me laughing. 




Little Miss in her outfit that caused so much drama. 



My big guy, wonder what he thinks about being the only guy in the house right now. 



And I had Jack take a picture of me before we left.  My hubby says he would like to see some pictures of me.  Kind of hard to make that happen, but after about 20 tries we got one that the top my head was not cut off, ha. 


So, the other stuff...

In this deployment (and the months leading up to it beginning) I have really felt God grow me and stretch me.  That has been my specific prayer since last January when we received word that Jason would be deploying again.  Deployment is not my plan.  It was not on my list.  Not even close.  Now, this prayer was not my intial response.  Its hard to re-live the thought of how I reacted.  It was not a reaction of a woman completely trusting a sovereign God.  It was not the reaction of a woman who had complete faith in the journey that He was placing me on. I recall asking why (a lot).  I know that God knew me and knew how I was hurting.  I knew He understood my questions, even though He wanted my complete trust in Him and not my questions.  And I slowly began to realize that it was not for me to question.  That I just needed to have complete faith in the One who determines that this was my journey.    And so I started praying for God to grow me and stretch me.  And He has, oh he has.  He is taken me out of my comfort zone of complacent.  (how thankful I am for that)  He has opened a door for me through my position as Member Care Director for Wives of Faith.  Something I would not have ever been able to do on my own, but I know that it happened because I asked Him to grow me.  And He did.  What a blessing it has been to me.  I kept praying though.  Kept asking Him to grow me...to take me where He wanted me to go.  And He did.  Faithful provider, He did.  I felt an urging to start a bible study with military spouses. I have never led a study before.  I always relied on others to do that.   I had no idea what to study.  No idea where to begin. I thought, are you sure you have the right person for this?  So I just prayed about that, not knowing that my friend Sara was already in the process of writing a bible study aimed specifically at military spouses.  (You see where I am going with this...He is in every single detail!)  Then Sara contacted me asking me to proof the study before it was sent to the publishers...I knew just a couple pages into it that this was the study I needed to do.   As soon as Sara let me know the book was published I purchased my book and put the word out (via email, facebook, blog) that I would be doing a study for military spouses facing deployment if anyone was interested in joining me. (I was nervous that no one would contact me.  Its hard connecting with military spouses when your not active duty)  But they did.  There are about 8 of us in the study.  It has been wonderful and we are only 2 sessions into it.  I can not wait to see what is revealed to us.  Can not wait to hear what the other ladies are learning.  We met this past Friday night.  Our study lasted 4 hours! (we had no idea it was 11 pm...and probably would not have noticed if someone would not have called wondering where their mom was)   It was amazing. It was 4 hours of reading and researching God's word (I know, a bunch of women get together and your probably thinking...mmhhhmmm sure, the whole 4 hours?  but yes, it really was)  I look forward to sharing what I am learning.  Maybe I can even convince a couple of the ladies to do a guest post type of thing and get them to share. 
In deployment, it is typical for me to have goals....loose weight, get things organized, pay off all debts except house (whoo-hoo did that one in deployment #2, maybe re-do a room or 2 or 3, save for a big vacation, etc...Those are a few of my goals.  I am working on a blog post to share those with you.  And while those things are all well and good, are they really what I want to accomplish?  When I look back at this deployment, do I want to just see a checklist of completed goals???  Or do I want to see something more?  What do I really want to accomplish?  The answer is simple (though the means to reach it may not always be easy)  The answer is I want to accomplish His work.  The work that He gave me to do so that in the end it is all for His glory and not about me.  So, let me take this time to encourage you.  No matter what your journey is, ask God to grow you in it.  You know that He is with you in the journey, now trust Him to take you somewhere you would never go on your own.  Trust Him to equip you to do His work.


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Friday, January 14, 2011

We Got A Care Package

Last week we got a care package from daddy ;)
We were outside enjoying the beautiful afternoon riding bikes and such when the mail lady stopped out our house and said she had a package for us.  The kids could not get to her fast enough.  They were so excited to see what was in the box and who it was from.   

SO we get the box (a bit damaged) and see that it is from daddy!  YAY!  The kids get even more excited.  I could not open it fast enough for them.  ha!
Jackson holding his "happy's"  He got some comic books, a neat piece from another country (not sure if I can say which country or not?) But the soldiers from that country gave some things to Jason so he sent it to the kids.  And he also sent Jack a soccer uniform.



Madeline also got a soccer uniform and an unquie piece that Jason got from the other soldiers.



I got a t-shirt...I covered up the name of the camp just in case =) 



I also got a disc of pictures!  Yay!  I had been asking begging for pictures so I was so happy to get this disc.  I enjoyed looking at all the pictures (even though some of them I had no clue about, I will have to wait till this deployment is over to get the details)


There is just nothing like a box of "happy's" to make our day brighter!  YAY!





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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fun In The Snow

The kids had a lot of fun in the snow. Well, one of them did. Jack stayed out in it for a while, Madeline had enough of it after about 10 minutes.
Below are some pictures of our fun in the snow:
Madi and Jack all bundled up and ready to play in the snow.



I LOVE the face Madi is making in this picture.  I wonder what she is thinking as she looks at her brother eating some snow.



Jack giving me a wave as he tromps around in the snow.



Madeline is ready to take off down the hill.



My in-laws house.  We stayed with them in case we lost power.  The kids enjoyed getting to spend time with Granna and Pops.



Jack with Granna and Pops.


My little man and me.



Jack getting ready to sled down the big hill.
Had to leave a message in the snow for Jason.  =)


We are on day 3 of no school.  We are really hoping that school resumes tomorrow.  Although, as I am typing this snow is falling, again.  And just heard that roads will only be open today from 12-6.  Fingers crossed, hoping we return to routine soon. 


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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We Are The Champions

Last night was the championship game....



My team finally got their turn to play for the title...(it really pains my hubby that it was my team this year and not his)




The game was INTENSE...I seriously was holding my breath at the end, but WE WON!!!!  The kids were asleep last night by the time the game was over so I had to silent scream.  ;)


How much fun would it have been to be at Toomer's last night =)


So proud of the Auburn Tigers!  It was a great game with a great outcome =)  Even better was that my hubby called this morning and told me "War Eagle"   ahhh I love it...though he reminded me that my team only has 2 titles and his has 13...sheesh.    We are glad that our state has back to back Heisman winners and back to back National titles...not to mention we are proud of the SEC-5 years in a row of winning the title.

It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!  =)

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

We are enjoying a beautiful snow day today! The roads are closed, the schools are closed, and the ground is covered in beautiful white snow and ice. I layered the kids up and we headed outside for some sledding...well sledding would require a sled I guess. BUT when you live in the south, you do not have much of a need for a sled....so we used a boogie board. It worked ;) The kids had so much fun! I am posting a few videos for you to enjoy. Please be sure to scroll to be bottom of the blog and pause the music player so you can enjoy the videos. We just found out that tomorrow is another snow day for us! Whoo-hoo! No school, so its more sledding for us.

Follow up from last post:  I got my new lap top..yay!  loving it so far and trying to catch up on blogging and uploading pictures.  I am determined to get caught up...

One last thing:
I am happy that we did not loose power...we have a VERY important game to watch tonight! WAR EAGLE!!!!

Here are the videos:
This is a video of Madeline.  It cracks me up...she gets going a little too fast and Pops takes off after her.  She does not even care that she is about to take off down a big hill.

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This is a video of Jack.  He uses his hands to stop himself (just before hitting the tree)  no worries...he did not get injured.
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This last video really cracks me up.  It's my father in law (aka Pops)

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So, anyone else get a snow day today?
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Have A Question

I do need to pose a question/pick your brains just a little, but before I get to that I want to apologize for my lack of blogging...I am blaming Murphy again for this...you know Murphy right?  Shows up when the hubby leaves.  For us it started with sickness (the kids then me) then it has just been little things here and there that are really not that big of a deal unless they are all rolled together (which is my luck)  So, a few days ago I sat down to do my 2010 in review...got it all ready just needed to find some pictures and type it up.  Simple right?  Uh yea, simple if your computer worked.  Yea.. my laptop crashed.  It started off with not letting me use the internet.  So I tried everything I could to fix that.  Did not work.  Ok fine.  I thought maybe it was just my internet because we have been experiencing problems with our provider.  So I started to type up my post just to have it saved...and then the computer would just go blank.  Several times after restarting it.  My heart was sinking...I knew my problem was much bigger than internet problems.  I frantically (along with help) begin to save all my pictures (don't ask how many...thousands...seriously..thousands)  I got those saved (thank goodness) and all of my important files saved.  So whew.  They are safe for now.  The laptop...well...its a gonner.  So I had to resort to the dinosaur of a desktop we have.  It is working so I should not complain, but none of my pictures are on it and I am afraid to put any on it because it has its own issues.  So I am just posting with no pictures.  Maybe I will still do my 2010 review...there is so much I wanted to write for my own memory sake (not that anyone would really care, ha)  Hopefully the new laptop will be here soon.  Sheesh.

Ok, so enough about that...

I need some help...so please allow me to pick your brains =)
I am going to be filming a short video about deployment that will be shared on an online bible study.  In the realm of deployments, what would you like to hear me discuss???  Please toss out any ideas that come to your mind when you think about deployment.  Do you want to hear about coping?  Fear?  Telling the kids?  What would you like to hear me talk about?  I really would like your feedback here.  This is open to anyone, not just military spouses.  So please, if you don't mind, share with me what you would like to hear discussed.

Thank you!

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Congrats to Megan at "On Your Mark, Get Set, Wait" !  You are the winner of the free copy of the book "Tour Of Duty, Preparing Our Hearts for Deployment" by Sara Horn


**Megan, please send me an email with your address at jessicacrow at bellsouth dot net so I can get the book to you =)



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