Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflecting back on 2012

Here we are...the last day of 2012.  What a year it has been.  Its been full of ups, downs, highs, and lows.   We have seen huge milestones and setbacks.  It has been a really great year.  It has been a really hard year.  All in all though, we have learned a lot.  Learned about ourselves.  Learned about our abilities.  Learned about God's amazing grace, peace, strength, and love. I did not always enjoy the things I was learning, but I trust in the process. 

Here is my review of 2012

this was a pretty quiet month around our house.  Jack was playing basketball and Madeline was continuing in her dance class.  Jason had gone back to work and resumed taking college courses (he is so close to be finished, yay!)  I got to thinking about how both of the kids would be in school together come fall and decided that I wanted to be a substitute at their school.  I did all the paperwork needed and received my certification. 

This was one of those hard months for me.  This was the month that my aunt fell ill and eventually passed away.  It was very quick and took us all by surprise.  One day she was attending a Valentine's dance with her group home and the next thing she is being admitted to the hospital in septic shock.  We had a few days with her before she passed away.  Though she was not awake, I am glad we had those few days with her.  Her last day we were able to pray over her and played some of her favorite christian songs.  We did this until she took her last breath.  I am so thankful we were able to be there with her and hold her hand until that last moment. 

Life was busy again.  Jack started baseball and Madeline continued in dance classes.  Jason was busy with work and school and I was subbing on a pretty regular basis.  This month we also took the kids to Disney World.  We had decided during J's 3rd deployment that we wanted to treat all of us to a Disney vacation when he returned.  So, during spring break we went to Disney.  We had a blast!  We had made lots of memories, took lots of pictures, and came home exhausted. It was worth it though.  As soon as we got home the kids were asking when we were going back.  J and I chuckled in our exhaustion and I thought, if daddy ever deploys again we will go back when he returns....little did I know how soon that would be.

Continued on with the busy lives.  Baseball season was in full gear for Jack.  And Madeline was busy preparing for her dance recital.  We found ourselves in the constant shuffle of kids to their activity.  I would not change it for anything though.  I love watching my children have fun. 

This was the month of milestones.  Madeline had her dance recital.  She did so very good and we were so very proud of her.  Regular season baseball came to an end for Jack and he was asked to play all stars.  Madeline graduated from pre-school and was officially ready for kindergarten.  Jack completed first grade and was ready for 2nd grade. We were so proud of both of our babies! 

J received word that he was accepted into Warrant Officer Candidate school back in the spring.  He was busy, busy, busy preparing for WOCS school. This was the month he left for the basic course.   Jack was busy with all star baseball.  J and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.  Jack had a great report at the eye doctor and was free from wearing an eye patch, yay!  Madeline was loving being out of school and sleeping in late.  I decided that I was going to start a new chapter in my life.  I knew that both of the kids were going to be at school and I wanted to be there with them.  I decided to send out my resume and see if it was time for me to go back to work...after being a stay at home for 7 years.  I applied at the school the kids attended.  The wait began...I had no idea how long the wait would be....

All stars was over for Jack.  Madeline decided she no longer wanted to take dance class.  She wanted to try tumbling and cheer.  So we signed her up at a new cheer and tumble studio.  She was hooked after one class.  I think she has found her niche...for the time being anyway.  J was away at would be nearly a month before we heard his voice.  Let me tell ya, it was great to finally hear from him.  My brother got the kids an above the ground swimming pool.  We put it up at my mom's house cause we knew our puppy would have a grand ol time destroying it.  We spent most of our days at my mom's house in the pool.  It was a great time.  We did some of our back to school shopping and I still waited to hear if I was going to be working at the kids school.

This was a month of huge milestones.  J graduated from WOCS.  We were so very proud of him!  After his graduation we went on vacation.  It was so nice for us to be finally together and I know it was nice for J to have a little break.  Once we returned from vacation, it was time for the kids to go back to school.  I had a couple hard days leading up to the first day that I was really sad for my babies to be going to school.  I got all the tears out before the first day...I know, be proud of me.  As the day drew closer for the kids to go to school, I realized that it was not time for me to go back to work full time.  I was saddened, but just decided that it was not the right time for me, and I would stick with subbing.  Luckily, that has kept me very busy...not that I am not busy enough you know just being a stay at home mom... ;)   Jack turned 8 and we had a party at the arcade for him.  Jack was asked to play on a travel ball team and Madeline kept on with her tumbling and cheer class.  This month was not only full of huge milestones, we also faced some really difficult things.  I was in a pretty dark place for a little while....I still struggle with it some, but not to the extent that it had been. I shared with a few close friends what was going on and would trade nothing for their prayers, support, and encouragement during those days. 

I will be honest, I was still in a sad place.  I think most of the time, we were all just going through the motions.  I am glad we had things to keep us busy.  Jack was loving travel baseball.  We were having such a great time with it.  Madeline was learning so many new tricks at her tumbling and cheer class.  Both kids were doing great in school.  J was also doing great in school. Subbing was keeping me busy.  Life was keeping us busy, and busy is good. 

We celebrated J being home for a year from his 3rd deployment...stinks that we already knew he would be deployed a 4th time.  This month was just as busy as previous months: school, ball, tumbling, and subbing.  We traveled to some fun places for baseball.  We had such a great time!  This month the kids had a fall break.  We had family photos taken.  And we finished off the month with some trick or treating. 

Things slowed down just a little bit this month.  Baseball was over for the season.  Jack signed up to play basketball.  Madeline continued on in her tumbling and cheer class.  Everyone was doing good in school.  I was subbing a lot.  We celebrated our veteran on veteran's day.  We took the kids up to the mtn. and went hiking.  We celebrated Thanksgiving and Madeline's 6th birthday on the same day.  We also had Madeline a pottery painting party for her birthday.  Just a side note- this was the first time EVER that Jason had been to 2 of Madeline's birthdays back to back (he was home on 1st, deployed 2nd, home 3rd, deployed 4th, then home for 5th and 6th-pretty crazy huh?)  So thankful he was home :) 

Basketball is in full swing this month and Jack is doing GREAT!  We have loved watching him.  We love watching our children in all their activities.  It makes me so happy to see them enjoying themselves and learning new things.  Madeline continues to amaze me with the new tricks she is learning at cheer and tumbling.  Madeline lost her first tooth!  That was an ordeal, ha!  We celebrated Christmas and what a wonderful Christmas it was.  So thankful for the family and friends who helped make this Christmas so special.  We have so much to be thankful for.  So much to celebrate.  So much to reflect on and learn from.  This month we are also preparing to send our soldier off to his second phase of warrant officer school.  He will be gone for several months (insert sad face)  At least he will be in the states though about 10-12 hours away. I have no doubt I will have plenty to keep me busy's to being mom and dad 24/7  (insert smiley face, hehe)

So that is my reflections of 2012...these were just a few of the highlights.  As I said, I learned a lot in 2012.  I learned things I would not have chosen for myself to learn, but it is all part of the plan that God has for me and I will trust in Him and in His timing. 

So here's to new new trusting in His plan for my family.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! 


Monday, December 10, 2012

Someone Had A Visitor

Someone had a visitor at our house last night....

Madeline finally lost her first tooth!  YAY!  Oh me there was a lot of drama surrounding loosing that tooth too.  Wow.  I wonder if our neighbors heard any of the commotion, ha! 

Well, the tooth is finally out and Madeline put it in the tooth pillow that used to be her daddy's tooth fairy pillow.  She went right to sleep so excited about what the tooth fairy would bring.

She woke right up this morning ready to see what the tooth fairy left

This morning she wanted to wear a "pretty dress" to school to celebrate loosing her first tooth.

And one final picture of my sweeties before we left for school


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Christmas Mantel

I have finally finished decorating my mantel for Christmas...I am a little later than usual getting it put together.  I guess a little late is better than not at all, right? 

Here are some pictures of my mantel:

I decided to change up our stockings this year.  I have been wanting to for a while now, but was not sure what I wanted to do.  Then along came Pinterest and I saw an adorable mantel that used initials hanging over the I decided to give it a try.  I found some plain letters, spray painted them with glitter spray paint, and placed them over the new (dollar store) stockings.  I am pleased with how they turned out.

Close up of Madeline's stocking:

Close up of Jack's stocking:

I am linking up with the Holiday Home Linky Party.  Check it out and be inspired by some beautiful mantels.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

He's Back!

Dan the Elf is back!  Last night the kids asked us if Dan the Elf could come back and guess what....he did ;)

Here is where we left Dan when we went to bed.  On top of the mantle:

When we got up this morning we found Dan the Elf had been taking the princesses for a motorcycle ride.  Silly Elf:

Have a great day!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

For This I am Thankful & Happy Birthday!

On this Thanksgiving morning I am thankful for so much....
I am thankful for my husband, for he is my everything.  For my children, because before them I had no idea how much love I could have for another person.  For my family always being loving and supportive.  For my friends who have been with me in good times, but especially for my friends who walked with (and held) me during the storms.  I am thankful that my husband is home this year because he has missed way too many holidays with us.  I am thankful to all the men and women in uniform and their families who sacrifice so much for our freedom. There is so much more I am thankful for, but the words in picture below say it all:

Also today I want to wish my sweet, spunky Madeline a Happy 6th Birthday!  Six years ago today I thought I was going to enjoy a big 'ol Thanksgiving dinner, but my Madeline had much different plans for me by arriving a few weeks early.  (Nothing like going to the dentist and your water breaking right there in the office...)    She is such a joy and blessing in our lives!  I love her personality, her determination, her spunk, and her wit.  I love her watching her learn new things and can not wait to see what the Lord has in store for this little miracle.

 One day old:

With Mommy and Daddy at her 6th birthday party:

Mommy and Madeline:

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Cherish this time with your friends and family and say a prayer for our troops who are not able to be with their family this year.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Madeline made the drawing in the picture below at school.  Talk about precious!!!  I am so thankful to be a mom and even more thankful to receive little happy's like this:


Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Day Hiking

This past long weekend we took advantage of the lovely weather and the benefit of having some great hiking trails right in our own backyard.  So, we set off on a hike.  Below are some of my favorite pictures from the hike:



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Honoring our Vet

We had a great weekend honoring our Veteran.  We started Sunday off giving J a framed picture that "America calls you a soldier, We call you dad" and I put a picture of J with the kids in it.  Then we headed off to church for a great service.  After church we took advantage of a free meal for J.  I hope that each of you remembered to thank a Veteran this past Veteran's Day.

Here is a picture of J with the kids after they gave him the gift.

close up of the picture:


Monday, November 12, 2012

A Day At The Range

This past weekend my hubby took me out to the range - the shooting range that is.  He thought it would be a good idea to teach me how to shoot.  I decided to entertain his idea and go along with it.  It really was a lot of fun and I am glad I went.  My shoulder was not to happy about it though.  I told him the "big guns" probably are not suited for me...maybe I will try something smaller. 

Here is a picture of me at the range:

And the video of the 1st time I shot...go ahead and laugh with J:


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day!

Today, please take the time to thank those men and women who so selflessly give of themselves to protect this country. 

I know my family will be honoring our vets.  We will be attending church then a parade in our town.  If your in our area, please join us.  We would love it! 

I am honored to be the wife, sister, daughter, and granddaughter of Veterans.  These men in my life are outstanding examples of honor, dignity, and pride.  I am so thankful of the examples they are to me, to my children, and to our country.

Here are some pictures of my favorite veterans:

My hubby:
 My brother:

My granddaddy:

Remember this day is set aside to honor all those who served...

Please take them time today to honor our vets.  May God bless them and keep them,


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My thoughts...

This one picture sums up my thoughts on so many aspects of my life....

Thank you Lord for holding me on hard days....