Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Very Long Day

Yesterday was a very long, very violent weather day for my Sweet Home Alabama.  Here in our little part of the country, tornadoes are pretty common...but yesterday was not common, not in the least little bit.

So far the report is 128 confirmed dead in our state...128...I can't look at that number without tears immediately filling my eyes.  I can't look at that number without my next response being prayer...begging God to please comfort those families.

"He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

Of that 128 number, 4 are from the county I live in.  I fear that the number is going to rise as now the sun is rising and the clean up effort continues...Lord, please help these families...please comfort them.
"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John 14:18

I just received word that our schools are closed again today....We are off to help those in our area who were not as fortunate as we were.  This is an opportunity for me to show Christ's love and to teach my children about loving others.

I will leave you with just a few pictures from yesterday.

This is Jack and Madeline with our neighbors little girl, Jaley.  My neighbors came and stayed in our basement with us.  It was so nice not to be alone yesterday.

This is a picture I took from my patio last night just as the tornado was being reported in our area. 

Below are some pictures of the tornadoes that crossed through our state yesterday.  The following photos were taken from ABC 33/40
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling
Psalm 46:1-3

"I will not leave you or forsake you." Joshua 1:5

"I went to the Lord for help.  He answered me and rescued me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4

These photos were also taken from ABC 33/40 and they show just a glimpse of the destruction:
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed; " 2Corinthians 4:8

"The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles."  Psalm 34:17

And the pictures below hit too close to home.  These pictures were shared by my friend, Jenny.  Jenny is a sweet friend and a fellow military spouse whose husband is deployed with my hubby and brother.  Jenny shared these pictures yesterday of her parents home after it was hit yesterday morning.  Her parents are fine, but as you can see the home and car are not.  Her dad was actually in the home when it was hit.  Amazing that he was not harmed.
"In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:37

"Do not be afriad because I am with you.  Do not be intimidated; I am your God.  I will strengthen you.  I will help you.  I will support you with my victorious right hand."  Isaiah 41:10

So, as I said, today school is closed. The kids and I are off to see how we can help...

"Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus" II Timothy 2:3


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Care Package

For Easter, the kids and I wanted to send daddy and uncle Jeremy fun care packages.  We decided to decorate the inside of the boxes with all kinds of Easter decorations so when they opened their care packages it would be full of fun and pretty decor all made by the kids.

Below are some pictures of the packages.

Jackson working hard on some decorations for the package.

Madeline working hard on some pretty crafts.  Her favorite part was the glue and glitter...can I say MESSY =)

Plain o' box ready to be decorated.

Jackson glueing some decorations in the box.

Madeline glueing some decorations in the box.

Daddy's care package completed and ready to be taped up and sent on its way.  We put a lot of candy in the box so he could share it with others...hope he shared ;)

Uncle Jeremy's box completed and ready to be taped up and sent on its way.

The kids loved decorating the inside of the boxes and I am sure the guys loved getting these boxes.  I already have some ideas for other boxes...I will share those after the guys get them (so they will be suprised) 

Do you decorate your boxes?  Any neat ideas anyone would like to share???


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What It Means

The month of April is "Month of the Military Child"
In honor of it being the "month of the military child", I decided to do a little interview with the kids and asked them what it means to be a military child.

Here's their responses:

Madeline - 4 years old

Me:  Madeline, what does it mean to have a daddy in the army? 
Madeline:  um, um, Afghanistan
Me: yes, that's where daddy is
Me: What else does it mean to you?
Madeline:  He protects our country and our people

and that was the end of the interview...she wanted a snack and there was no distracting her, ha

Jackson - 6 years old
Me:  Jackson, what does it mean to you have a daddy in the army?
Jackson: It means that I need to be good because daddy told me to behave while he was gone
Me: Yes, it helps mommy a lot when you obey
Me:  What else does it mean?
Jackson: Daddy also said to take care of mommy and sister while he is gone
Me: And your doing a great job at that buddy
Me: Does it mean anything else to you?
Jackson: It means that I miss him a lot and that when he is gone I wish he would come home.

Oh how I wish daddy could come home....

I think I will treat them to a milkshake today....I know they will like that! ;)

Below are some pictures of the kids a few days ago when we received J's footlocker.  The kids were so excited thinking that they received a great big box of goodies from daddy...they were disappointed it was only some of daddy's cold weather gear, ha!  Oh well, they had fun playing dress up in daddy's gear.


Monday, April 18, 2011

A Class Project

A few weeks ago, Jackson's teacher contacted me about doing a class craft project that they could send to J.  She pointed how how great it would be for the class to know a little about where Jackson's daddy is and what he is doing, it would let Jackson know that others are thankful for his daddy, and it would bring a smile to Jason's face (I mean how could it not??? Cute crafts from kindergarteners...yea, who wouldn't be able to smile at that???)

Of course when Abbie (Jackson's teacher) contacted me about this, I was moved to tears. (Which if you know me, you know that does not take much)  Sometimes it can be discouraging to be a military family not located near a it is so awesome to know that others think about what we are going through and want to help it through cards, emails, class craft projects sent to J, or like tonight when a homecooked meal has been delivered to us...I am so thankful for all of it.

So, Abbie invited Madeline and me to come to class one afternoon and help the class make a project for Jason.  I have waited till now to share this because I wanted Jason to get the package  and not read it on here first (just on the off chance that he has time to read the blog)  It was so wonderful to watch the kids participate in making things for Jason and to answer their questions.  The class also made a card for Jason in which the children asked Jason a variety of great questions.  Their questions were precious. 

Jason let me know that he received the package and loved it!  The package included the crafts, the card, and some pictures I took of the class.  He really enjoyed the card and has already wrote a letter back to the class answering all their questions.  I can not wait for them to get the letter! (hopefully the mail system will cooperate and it will arrive before the end of is taking nearly a month to get letters now so hopefully it will get there)

Below are a few of the pictures I captured of our afternoon spent in Jackson's class:
 Jackson's class...are they not adorable!  Jackson's teacher is the greatest!  I wish I could convince her to move up each year with Jackson ;)

Madeline working hard on her craft.  She had the best time going to Jackson's class!  She was so excited about it that I even had to paint her toenails because as she said, "it was a special day", ha!

 Jackson working hard on his craft.  I know he loved being able to do something for his daddy!

Lil Miss is all smiles!!

Jackson working hard on his project.

Here is a picture of the questions the class asked and Abbie wrote in the card to Jason.  Each child signed their name to the card.  How cute are those questions?!?

At the post office ready to mail the care package...they were soooo excited!!


Friday, April 15, 2011

A Walk To The Mailbox...

A walk to my mailbox this afternoon revealed I got a letter from my love...what a sweet suprise it was...nothing brings a smile to my face faster then knowing I got a handwritten letter in the mail. 

How blessed I am


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...sort of

This picture of Madeline just makes me smile.  We had lots of errands to run and I told her to get her an outfit...this is what she came out with. 

A headband worn on her forehead
A baby infant leg warmer for her arm (of course, right???)
Her tinkerbell shirt
A skirt (that is on backwards)

She loved it, I love it...She was smiling, I was (and still am) smiling...I hope that all the people in the store were as happy with her style as we were.  ;)


Friday, April 8, 2011

What A Day This Could Be

What a day this could be...
This could be just a typical Friday for most people.  The last work day of the week, with thoughts focused on looking forward to the weekend and all it has in store.
OR this could be the day our government shuts down and your thoughts are consumed with "what are we going to do?" "How can we survive financially if our pay check is cut in half?"

Well, my day started out with thoughts like the second one.  Worry about congress not passing a budget.  Thinking about being a one income family and worrying about what we will do.  This morning as I stood in the bathroom getting ready and feeling consumed by these thoughts of worry, I felt an overwhelming sense of reassurance - a strong sense of peace that this too is going to be ok.  A sense that me worrying over this will not do any good nor bring me any comfort.  BUT worrying over it would bring just the opposite and it will not resolve anything.  What can be gained from worry? (nothing)  Will it get us anywhere?  (no)
I do not think that there is anything wrong with acknowledging a real problem...and the government possibly shutting down is a real problem.  BUT the Bible does tell us that it is not healthy nor productive to worry.  How can I possibly understand all that God has planned?  I can't, but I can turn over these feelings to the one who can and does understand.  So what can I do in place of worrying?  PRAY.  Why is it that my immediate response to situations like this are responses of worry?  Or thoughts of "why is this happening?"  It is easy to let the worry take over.  But He assures us all through scripture that His plans are not to harm us. 

Knowing God does not want me to worry and knowing that He wants us to rest in His promises gives me peace.  Knowing that He is more than enough gives me peace.  Knowing that He is more than sufficient for all my needs gives me peace.

Scripture that I am finding comfort in right now:

(my life verse) Romans 8:28 - "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

1Peter 5:6-7 - "therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Philippians 4:6-7 - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard against your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

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

Life is not going as planned, BUT I am so thankful that even though I am caught off guard by this situation, He is not caught off guard.  

So I ponder....How are you handling this possible shut down?  Are you worrying?  Have you not even given it a second thought because it does not directly affect you or your family?  Are you turning it over to God?  Does your faith depend on Him answering it-just as you wish it answered???  Or are you resting in the complete trust that He will not leave you or forsake you???  Me, well I am resting now.  I have spent the day in prayer...I will continue to pray...Please direct my steps, Lord and please direct the steps of our leaders...please

We had another baseball game last night.  I made a couple videos of Jack hitting the ball so his daddy could watch them. 
First time up to bat, Jack hit the first pitch off the catapult.  If you listen closely, you can hear Madeline say "Goooooooo Jackson"  love it!  Makes me smile! 

This video is of Jack's second hit...please pardon my cheering on the video...I get a little excited :0


Monday, April 4, 2011

Military Life from Alpha to Zulu

Riding the Roller Coaster

This morning I am linking up toThe Military Life from Alpha to Zulu hosted by Wife on the Roller Coaster

Have you ever thought about military life and what it means to you? How is it different than civilian life? 

Wife on the Roller Coaster came up with a wonderful idea to describe military life using the military alaphabet.  So, How would I describe military life from Alpha to Zulu ... here is my take on it:

Alpha -
ACU’s, alone, “Ass-ghan-a-stan”(how my daughter pronounces it)
brave, blogs, blue star flags

care package, combat boots, chain of command

dog tags, deployment, drill weekend, daddy dolls


foot-locker, FRG, frustration

good-byes, gear

Homecoming, “hurry up and wait”

instant-message, I.D. card, Iraq

jet plane

kindness of strangers, Kuwait

Lonely, LES (Leave Earnings Statement)

meetings, meltdowns, missions, Murphy’s Law!

new clothes for homecoming

other army wives, orders, OPSEC (Operational Security)

PT, presents, PX, packing list, PERSEC (Personal Security), Promotions (as in my hubby is now promotable), pride

quiet time

R&R, rumors, reunion, retirement, redeployment, readjusting

skype, sleepless nights, surprises, single parenting, strength

Tears (as in I have shed quite a few), training, troops, Tricare

unanswered questions


web-cam, war

X (as in X number of days down in this deployment and X number of days left in this deployment )
Yellow Ribbon

Zoo (as in my house looks and sounds like a zoo when my hubby is gone)

Some of these I had to think a while on and even had to ask a friend, so I can not wait to see what others came up with!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Opening Day

This weekend was "Opening Day" for the baseball league that Jack plays in.  The rain finally held off and it was the perfect sunny day for playing t-ball!  (I have the tan lines to prove it,ha!) 

Jack's team did great and they won the game!  YAY!  I was very proud of them.  Due to all the rain, we have not had practice in nearly 2 weeks so I was very impressed with how well they did.

Below are some pictures and a few videos I made so that daddy could see his little buddy in action. 

Jack before the game:

Sweet brother and sister:

Madeline having a little meltdown (all because we would not let her play with a huge stick...I know what a mean mommy)

The 3 of us...Madeline still a little upset, but Jack and I just ignore and smile away ;)

Jack and mommy:

The team takes the field.  Jack is playing 3rd base.  He made an out during the game (he said he got one of his classmates out)

In position ready to stop the ball and get those runners coming to 3rd base.

Up to bat and ready to hit the ball off the catapult.  Jack did hit a few off the catapult, but they were foul balls.  He hit really great off the tee though.

Jack on the base and ready to run:

Game over!  We won!  Time to go shake hands with the other team.

This first video is from before the game.  The coach announced the players.

This video is Jack's first time up to bat. 

This was Jack's second time up to bat.  He brought a runner in and then the game was called.  We won!

I am loving this time of the year!  T-ball is so much fun to watch!! 
If life was not busy enough already though, its really about to be busy...if my posts seem to be few and far between, please bare with's cause I'm at my other home, the ball field.  =)

Hope that everyone has had a GREAT weekend!  I'm off to nurse a sunburn and kids with allergies.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Hello and Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere!

This is my first time participating in the 5MinutesforMom Ultimate Blog Party and I am so excited!

So a little about me:

My name is Jessica
I am a 30 - something Stay at Home Mommy who never stays at home ;)

I am married to my high-school sweetheart, Jason.  We will celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, unfortunately we will celebrate it via webcam because my hubby, who is in the Army Reserves, is currently in Afghanistan in the midst of his 3rd deployment since 2003.
My hubby and me:

Jason and I have 2 kids, Jack and Madeline.  These two keep me busy and teach me new things every day!
My kiddos:

I love blogging and reading blogs, I have become addicted to zumba, I enjoy being outdoors with the kids playing whatever new game their little imaginations have come up with, I love my family, and I love my Saviour.

Most of my blog posts are about my faith, military life (the good and the sometimes not-so-good), my kids, and just about whatever other random thing pops in my head. ;)

My family:

What taking a family picture is really like:

I am so glad you stopped by!  I would love for you to leave me a comment and let me know you visited and if you follow me, let me know so I can follow you back!