Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The New Year 2013

I've been working on my Devotional for our Ladies' Meeting tomorrow night at Church. I'm never quit sure what I'm going to share but this month one word kept popping in my head, "NEW". So, I went with it and after praying over it and writing over the past week, this afternoon I finally finished my Devotion for tomorrow night. I'm not sharing the whole thing, just some thoughts from writing it.

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions. I find that many that make resolutions break them and never hold themselves accountable to what they resolve to do. Instead, what matters in a New Year besides resolutions is the fact that a New Year is stretching out in front of us with so many new possibilities and new challenges.

In 2013 I challenge you to number your days. Psalm 90:12 says, "Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Oh dear friend, are you numbering you days, are you examining and recognizing the value of each and every day. Are you sowing with a servant's heart?

Many are just trying to survive from month to month, year to year, some have no time to pursue their passions or simply learn a lesson from valuable teachable moments that happen every day in our life.

I encourage you to live a life of impact this year and to glorify God as you do it, seeking him in every moment and every hour.

So instead of thinking about those resolutions that you made and that you fell flat on your face on, think about the New Year and the new possibilities that await you! No one said that life is a bed of roses, but when you step out in faith and grab Jesus's hand and have His strenth running through you, how can you go wrong friend!

Life as we know it is a race. We have to have the mindset to run it. We have to have the mindset to win.

Hebrews 12:1," Let us run with patience the race that is set before us".

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas At The Cottage


It's Christmas at The Cottage. From our family to yours we wish you a Merry Christmas! Remember that Christ is the reason for Christmas. May you put Him first in all that you do and if you have never asked Him into your heart to be your personal Savior we pray that you would. Christ in you is the best Christmas present that you could ever receive.

Happy 14th Birthday

Teen Two turned 14 on the 16th. It is hard to believe that he is 14. He had a wonderful Birthday. He got a riftle for his Birthday and he absolutely loved it. His request for his Birthday cake was for me to make his favorite cake, Granny Granny's Chocolate Cake. He chose for lunch on his Birthday was his favoirte Mexican Restaurant and of course for dinner we ordered him his favoirte pizza. This young man is my favorite boy on earth and God has truly blessed me by placing him in mine and the Major's life. Happy 14th Birthday Teen Two(The Bookworm)!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Getting Back to Normal....What is Normal

It's has been almost 4 months since I have blogged, that's a long time! A lot, and I do mean A LOT has been going on at The Cottage during the past 4 months.

The Major ReDeployed. It was such a wonderful feeling when he Redeployed and he was finally back home with The Two Teens and I.  He took a month's worth of Leave and we just hung out around the house. We did make a trip to the Mountains(just The Major and I). We got apples and we did some hiking and Letterboxing. With the kids' school and band schedule they were not able to go with us, but that was ok since we had our family Cruise coming up the week of Thanksgiving.
September came and went, The Major went back to work the first week of October and then before we knew it, it was Halloween. We love Halloween, and our Neighborhood gets swamped with over 500 kids every year! This year The Major and I dressed up as Pigs in a Blanket.

Not but a few days after Halloween, 3 days to be exact, The Major woke up on Saturday morning in excruciating pain down his right leg. With seeing how much pain he was in, I took him to the ER. We spent all day there and we were sent home with pain meds. The next morning he woke up to numbness in his right foot and right foot toes, this ended up being another day spent at the ER. With the conclusion of the 2nd day in the ER it was found by MRI that The Major had a problem with his L5S1 disk in his back. Although he was not having any pain in his back this is what was causing his pain throughout his entire right leg. So the following week included lots of phone calls and waiting. We were seen by his Doctor on Post, then we were seen by the Neurologist. The Neurologist referred The Major to a pain management Doctor and the following week we were seen on one day and then the next day The Major received 2 shots in his back. Results from the 2 shots could take anywhere from the moment he got them to up to a few days, with that being said, the shots did not work. A follow up trip back to his Neurologist left us with a plan for Surgery and waiting, a few weeks of waiting for the day of Surgery, a month already out of work and our Family Crusie canceled(take out the travel insurance when you book a cruise, so glad that I did!).

I must also put in a side note that Teen Two broke his right foot as all of this with The Major was going on. He broke his foot at Wrestling Practice which resulted in a nice, pretty, red cast on his right foot for 4 weeks! Cast is still on and Teen Two hopes and prays that he will have it off in a few weeks and be able to Wrestle again :) You can see his pretty red cast in our funny family picture below that my Awesome Sister-in-Love took of us at Thanksgiving !

Yesterday was the big day and The Major had surgery. He was very nervous about having the surgery, but knew that he had to have it and give it a try since the shots didn't work. All went well with the surgery and immediatley when he was in Recovery his Doctor let me know that reflexes in his right foot were back! This was a major praise because The Major had had no reflexes in his foot at all. When I finally got to see The Major he immediatley told me that he had no pain in his calf on his right leg. This was so wonderful to hear! Today, he is resting. His face is still alittle swollen from being put completely out during the surgery and having to have laid on his stomach during the surgery with his face down. He has pain today where the incision is on his back, but as far as significant pain in his right leg and foot, there is none! He keeps saying that he is so glad that he had the surgery. As for me, I continue to be his nurse and keep him well fed, taken care of and up on all of his pain meds. He hopes that by the end of next week he can go back to work, because to him, the walls of The Cottage have passed starting to cave in on him, they have already caved in on him! If you know him you know that he is not one to sit around, he likes to stay busy! On another note, he has said that he will never complain about work again.....I think I will be constantly reminding him about that quote in the weeks and months ahead! I think we're getting back to "normal" but these days I don't even know what normal is anymore, I just know that we're together and that's all that matters!

Must also put in a another side note about Teern One. Yesterday morning, the same time that The Major was getting his Surgery, she got her braces off! If was hard for Mommy(as the Princess calls me) not to be with her. Her appointment to get her braces off was scheduled way before all of this happened to The Major, I am praising God that she can drive and she was able to drive herself to get them off :) I must also add that she received her class ring in November too!

Although we've had a lot of things going on in our Family, we continue to give God the glory and the praise. We know that God gives us nothing in our lives that He knows that we are not able to handle and we know that He is continually there for us every second, every minute, every hour and every day of our life.

I also have to add that The Major and I celebrated 18 years of Marriage on the 26th of November(we were High School Sweethearts, so if we get all technical about it we've been together 20 years) Another picture of us looking for all the time that flew by  :) I love this Man and coulnd't imagine my life without him!


Friday, August 10, 2012

The Princess is Sweet Sixteen

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Psalm 139:14

Seems just like yesterday that God blessed the Major and I with our first child, the Princess. Due to be born on July 3rd, I ended up having to be induced with her. After 21 1/2 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing, the Princess had finally arrived weighing in at a whopping 8 pounds 11 1/2 ounces and 21 1/2 inches long. It was one of the happiest days in my life, she made me a Mom and the Major a Dad, we were parents.

The Princess was such a good and happy baby despite the heart problem that she was born with. She was born with a VSD; ventrical septic defect(a whole in her heart) and after 1 year of the Doctors hoping that her heart would fix itself, it was time for surgery. So at 18 months old, turning 19 months in the University of Alabama's Children's Hospital, our Princess underwent Open Heart Surgery. It was one of the longest days of our lives. Praising God and giving Him all the glory, the surgery was a sucess and the Princess has been excellent with no heart problems ever since. Truly a miracle!

It has been such a blessing watching our Princess grow up into the beautiful and sweet young lady that she has. She has such a caring heart and finds joy in all. She is a very talented flute and picollo player and when she was younger she enjoyed dance, soccer and fast pitch softball. In everything that she has been involved in she has always given her best. She never meets a stranger and is always ready to help.

I know that God has great plans for her and that He is leading her and calling her into His work, spreading His love to those around the world. It's obvious that God wants to use her and I pray that she will continue to always put God first, others second and herself last, because there is no other way to live except the JOY way.

This year she enjoyed not one but three birthday get-togethers. One in Virginia with the Major's family, the only one missing was the Major. It was a beautiful cake and the Princess was very surprised by everyone coming over to Granpa and Granma's and celebrating with her.

Her second cake was enjoyed at my parent's home, her Poppy and Nana. Another very beautiful cake, in which she gladly wore a birthday hat too :) She was surprised when her gift from her Poppy and Nana were real, beautiful diamond earrings.

Her third celebration was at our home with the Bookworm and her Boyfriend. I cooked dinner and we had a cookie cake an icecream along with cupcakes too. Her gift from Dad and Mom was a trip to New York(more on that trip in my next Blog Post) along with a real ruby ring, her birthstone.

July 20th, the Princess's 16th Birthday, was celebrated by a Daughter/Mother trip to New York. Her dayed started with being on the Today show and seeing the music group Hot Chelle Rae. It was a very early morning, 4:30 am, but an awesome time an a awesome day! A phone call from Dad my her Birthday even better, I've included a picture of her walking past New York City's Library while talking on the cellphone with Dad. Even though he is Deployed, it's so wonderful that he was able to call her! Birthday dinner was at New York City's Hard Rock Cafe where the entire Hard Rock sang and wished her a Happy 16th Birthday.


Sixteen years.....where has the time gone? Children really do grow up fast, enjoy everyday with your children for we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Be an example for your children, for what they see you do, they will do. The most important thing that you can do for your child is to teach them about the Lord and how much He loves you and them. The most important decision that a person can make on this earth is that of accepting Christ as your personal Savior. The Princess accepted Christ at the age of 5 years old and was baptized when we lived in Vicenza, Italy. It was truly a blessing when my daughter became a sister in Christ.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Deployment Vacation:Virginia

It's been a CrAzY Summer, the kids and I have tried to stay extremely busy since The Major is Deployed. And with Deployments come Vacations that Dad misses. It doesn't feel right being on Vacation and The Major isn't with us, but we went anyway. So, off to Virginia it was!

Our first stop was a quick, less than a 5 minute, pull in and out of South of The Border to take a picture! Yep, and that's what we did, jump out the van take two pictures, back in and back on the interstate!

Next stop was Williamsburg, Virginia.
We were going to The Great Wolf Lodge.

 We've been to the one in North Carolina 3 times before, but we have never been to the one in Williamsburg, I have to say that we prefer the one in Williamsburg. It had more water rides and was not as crowded which I found odd since it's right in the middle of a tourist vacation spot! Oh well...
Our fun started time we checked in and went upstairs to put our luggage in our room, the fire alarm went off and the WHOLE Lodge was evacuated! Yep, fun times! It didn't last too long, about 30 minutes, then it was back inside to change into swim suits and to go have some fun!

First stop was the Howler. If you don't know what this is it's suppose to resemble a big wave and you get on a board and ride it. Teen Two really wanted to do this, of course Teen One wasn't sure about it, so good ole' Mom stepped up and I did it with him. At first I was thinking what was I getting myself into, but afterwards it was the most fun that I had had in awhile! It was so much fun that I did it again and I have proof, check out the pictures, and yes, I'm in my bathing suit. Never would I ever post a picture of me in my bathing suit, its amazing what losing 100 pounds does for your self esteem :)

Here we are waiting for our turn on the Howler!

Here's the proof!
If you've never been to The Great Wolf Lodge I encourage you to go. It's all indoors and there is something to do for all ages. If you are Military they offer an awesome Military Discount. They have Magi Quest too and an Arcade, a Teen Center, outdoor pool, putt-putt, indoor wave pool, lazy river, and tons of other water slides that are so fun. Great food too! They have a Starbucks, and a Pizza Hut inside. A fun time to go is in the Winter, like around January or Febraury when your family has those Winter Blues because it's too cold to go outside.                                                                                     


Our next stop after The Lodge was Virginia Beach to visit and stay with The Major's parents for a few days. It had been a whole year since they have seen us, you can imagine how shocked they were to see how much the Two Teens had grown and how much weight that I had lost. First thing that Teen Two and Granpa did was to have an icee throw down! They had a race to see who could drink and finish an icee the fastest. Needless to say that Granpa won because Teen Two was laughing at Granpa! It was fun to watch. They also had a 20 count chicken nugget throw down and a mountain dew throw down in which Teen Two won them both. The Teens also enjoyed getting in the pool with their cousin too, I'll call her First Cousin, because after all, she was the Teens and is the Teens First Cousin.

On that Friday the Teens and I headed to Busch Gardens. So we went back to Williamsburg. If you are Military and you don't know of the Military Salute that they offer I encourage you to look it up. You can get into either Busch Gardens or SeaWorld or Sesame Place for free. A very awesome deal, so the Teens and I didn't have to pay one penny to get into Busch Gardens, all I paid for was lunch and whatever else the Teens wanted. We had an awesome day and the new rollercoaster, the Verbolten, was AwEsOmE!!

The next day was Saturday and I had planned a few months back along with The Major's Parents to take Teen One Rock Climbing for her Birthday. She kept talking about how much fun Rock Climbing was the last time they went, so I thought that it would be an awesome surprise for her, and it was! I even got in on the fun! Yes, me, Rock Climbing!! Never in a million years did I imagine myself Rock Climbing. I can assure you that if I had not lost all of the weight that I have lost, there is NO way that I could have Rock Climbed either! It was absolutely the most fun that I have had in a long time. It was an awesome morning!!! And it was great memories made with my Two Teens, they couldn't believe that Mom was able to Rock Climb with them :)
Our trip to Virginia ended fast, at least it seemed that it did, and before we knew it we were back home. Despite The Major being Deployed, the Teens and I had a grand vacation. It was nice to get away from our Cottage and out of our State for a few days, but it's always nice to be back home too.