Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Month that Flew By and A New Year

The Major has been gone for one month and that one month has surely flown by. We've still got eight more to go. The key is to stay busy, those that aren't familiar with military life and deployments do not understand that being busy helps with not missing your spouse as much because once you stop and sit, it gets lonely and you start to really miss the one that you love. We got an action packed month for the kids and I in January, we're starting the New Year with a BANG!! They both have Region Band Auditions, the Bookworm has another Wrestling Tournament and the Princess has her High School Pagent. Add regular School with their homework, tests, exams and studies, practices and lessons, the days fly quickly.

In a few hours, we'll be welcoming in another year......2012. Many will be making New Year's resolutions and as I have posted before, I do not believe in or make resolutions for new years. What I am doing is kicking habits that have worn me down for years out the front door of the Cottage! If it hits you when I throw them out, oh well, you should have ducked!

God has many things awaiting for us in the New Year. Things for us to explore, learn and wait for. Happy 2012 to you!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Lately I've been thinking, and I've been thinking about a lot of things. A lot of things that have been floating around in my head and heavy on my heart. There are many things in my life that are a habit. What is a habit? A habit is something that we do consistently all the time. It's something that we never take off and something that we never(rarely) change, the same old same old.

I have a habit of reading every night before I go to bed. I have a habit of taking my medicine every morning time I get up before I awaken the kids and my day begins. I have a habit of washing all dirty laundry on Mondays. I have a habit of having my devotional time with the Lord after I have taken the kids to School. I have a habit of having pizza on the menu in our home every Friday. I have a habit of tucking in my children and kissing them goodnight and telling them I love them every night.

A habit, something that we wear, it's worn.

Like clothes, a habit can become worn and wear out. If we never do anything different in our lives, how can our lives bloom. How can our lives be revived. Like bulbs need the earth in the winter and the sun during the spring so our lives need change and newness, a refreshing.

Do not get me wrong, not all habits are bad.

A heart can become heavy with the burdens of habits, but not all hearts are heavy because of our own.

We can have a habit of continually being in a place where we know we should not be but yet we continue to go. It could be a place where we cannot grow and our seed is stunned from growth and needs light to emerge and grow, but yet we continue in the habit of going.

Habits of not wanting to deal with the people in our lives that are stunning our growth or those that have a habit of wanting to be around when it is only convenient for them. Yet we have the habit of allowing them to have the habit of treating us however they want to.

Habits of eating foods that we know we shouldn't eat because we know they're not good for us.

Habits of not exercising because we're just too lazy to get up and go!

My heart is heavy and my heart says put on new habits, to throw away the worn. Cut the habits that are stunning my life, my growth, my light. If we change habits, we change our life, we are refreshed, we are renewed. Our hearts are lifted, our hearts are lighter, our hearts are joyful.

What habits do you wear? What habits are worn?
Blooming ...

Friday, December 23, 2011

What The Season is Really About

Nothing annoys me more than seeing people all wrapped up in shopping and gifts this time of year. Do we enjoy getting gifts, you bet, is it great to give gifts, yes, but it's not all about gifts and shopping. It's about Him. Yes, Him, Christ.

It amazes me that so many people like to decorate for Christmas, but yet is surprises me at how few of their decorations are Christ centered. What type of oranaments are on their tree, what is the outside of their homes decorated like, what about the inside of their homes? Our home is decorated both inside and out, and we have an artificial tree because the Princess is allergic to real Christmas trees. Even if you do or don't know our family personally, you'll know that we are Christians because we display our faith at Christmastime. Our front yard has the nativity scene with Jesus, Mary and Joseph with a wooden cross lit with red lights directly behind them. Inside our home our tree is not only decorated with ornaments from all over the world and ornaments that the kids made when they were little, but it is also decorated with ornaments of faith. Also in our home we have our Nativity displayed on our coffe table in our living room. The word JOY is displayed on our fireplace mantel to remind us and those that enter our home that we are to display and observe JOY all the time(Jesus, Others, Yourself). We also have a Jesse Tree displayed in our kitchen. Some of you may better recognize it better as an Advent Tree. We enjoy spending time together in the evenings after dinner around the Jesse Tree reading the days readings and remembering and recounting the numerous accounts in the Bible that led to the birth of Jesus our Savior. If you've never had a Jesse Tree in your home I encourage you to make one with your family, it's a great way to grow deeper in your walk with the Lord as well as a great way to come together as a family and lift eachother up.

If someone were to drive by your home or walk inside it, would your faith be displayed? I have many friends and family whom are not ashamed to display their faith. Yet, I also have many where their faith is not displayed. Isn't that the real reason why we are on this earth, to be a witness for Christ and to reach others for Him? How sad it is to go into homes and not see the real reason for the season displayed. And you know what, it shouldn't just be at Christmastime that we display our faith, it should be everyday, everyday of the year.

What have you done this season of your life for someone in need, for someone that is less fortunate than you, what have you done that was selflessness of you? For some all they want is a smile, for others a helping hand. Bless someone that needs a blessing in their life. You don't have to do anything that costs a lot of money, some things take no money at all. Yesteray the kids and I baked all day, after baking we made up 5 boxes of treats and took them to people that we knew that were sick or widowed. The smile on their faces when they received the treats from us were priceless. This morning I placed a small gift in our mailbox for our mailcarrier. How many times do our mailcarries go unnoticed. They are always there delivering our mail to us through storms, rain and snow. I wanted our mailcarrier to know that our home appreciated her. These examples didn't cost much, but to the ones on the receiving end, it was the world.

This season, meditate on what the season is really about and this season of your life will be one of the best seasons of your life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Listen to All the News, Not Just What You Want to Hear

That is my tip for today! If you watch the news or read the newspaper, how about watch and listen to all the news, and read the entire article in the newspaper! Why do I say this? One word: IRAQ

Yep, this has been my life for the past week! I can't begin to tell you how many times I've been asked if the Major is coming home now because the troops are coming home. I think if I'm asked this just one more time I think that I might seriously scream! It's IRAQ only, not everywhere else. The mission is complete there, not everywhere else. The Major isn't there, so it doesn't affect him and it doesn't affect troops that are deployed other places either because it's only IRAQ.

And while I'm on the subject, what about Afghanistan, seems to me that since all eyes have been on Iraq people have forgotten there is still a war going on in Afghanistan. We still have troops fighting. Troops are still defending our Country and there are still troops being deployed everyday. There are many countries in which troops are deployed to, it wasn't just all about Iraq.

This leads me to another problem. I love it when people ask me where the Major is deployed, because I know the response that I am going to get back from them. Here it is: "Oh, he's there, he's got it made." Yeah, my response, I just smile and walk away! Here's what I am thinking in my head as I walk away: "Really, you think he has it made? What about being away from your family for 9 months, what about working from sun up to sun down, what about missing your children's birthdays, Christmas and every other Holiday and special occassion that falls in between. What about all the everyday things such as sitting at the dinner table as a family and praying and talking about how your day was with eachother. What about flying into those places in which you know you're going to have to wear your combat gear and all you can do is pray that you're going to be ok and that you'll be able to call your wife and tell her you're fine." Yeah, that's what I feel like saying.

The Military life isn't for everyone. We've known many that have gotten out because they couldn't take it anymore, we've known many that have divorced, we know many that have marriage and family problems because of the constent moves and deployments. It's a hard life, but at the same time it can be very rewarding. It's a hard life to understand unless you've lived or are living a Military life. FAITH, this one word is what our family lives by. Faith in God. Faith that He will take care of us. Faith that He will provide for us. Why do we have FAITH, because we forsake all and we put our trust in Christ.

So what do I think would be nice, if people would really think about what they are going to say, especially to a Military Spouse, and especially a Military Spouse whose Husband is deployed, before they say it. Choose your words carefully, because unlike the old saying, words do hurt.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Birthday and The Nutcracker

Friday was the Bookworm's 13th Birthday. It's hard to believe that 13 years ago he was just a little guy weighing only 7 pounds and deciding to coming into the world a whole month early. He was born at 2:34 pm on December 16th. It just so happened that on Friday they only had a half day at School, so he was home at the time that he was born, I was able to run into his room at 2:34 pm and cover him with hugs and kisses! He has grown into a wonderful young man, he loves the Lord and has a huge heart. He has gone from playing with toys to playing video games, riding his bike and wrestling on the School Wrestling Team. His favorite food that he can't live without is peanut butter! This is consummed by him on a daily basis! So glad that he doesn't have a nut allergy or we would surely be up a creek without a paddle! We celebrated his birthday with going to eat at his favorite Restaurant. Poppy and Nana came up and spend the afternoon with us, it was nice. After dinner he wanted to open gifts. He got many things but his favorite was the new bike from the Major and I, second best was the money that he received from others. Give a teen money and they are happy, they would rather have money than anything else! Cake and icecream followed opening gifts. His request for his birthday cake was my Granny's chocolate cake recipe. This is the cake that he requests every year and I enjoy making it for him. It's not a hard cake to make and it turns out really well and is quite yummy. Hard to believe that we now have two teens. I must say that I am enjoying this season of life.

Saturday was a very early morning. The Bookworm had to be up at 5 am and at the School by 6 am to leave for an all day Wrestling Tournament. Then, the Princess had to be up at 6 am and out the house by 7:30 in order to be at her High School to work the High School Wrestling Tournament all day. She has to get so ten volunteer hours for her Sports Medicine Class, so the Wrestling Tournament was the perfect opportunity for her to get all of her hours. After she left the house, I left the house to drive 45 minutes to the Bookworm's Tournament. I was very anxious and nervous to see him wrestle, this would be his first match! He did very well both times that he wrestled at the Tournament. The first match he made it all the way through till only 1 second was left in the 3rd period! I was so proud of him, he did awesome! The second match he lasted all the way to the 3rd period as well. Needless to say he was very sore yesterday when he woke up to get ready for Church. I kept tylenol and motrin in him all day! I am so proud of him wanting to venture out and try a new sport this year, I never would have imagined that he would have been interested in wrestling.

Yesterday was Sunday and it was a day that I was looking forward to. Not only was it Church, but I officially deemed it the start of the kids' Christmas Break! We all three deserve a long break after the past two weeks that we have had. We have had something going on every night for the past two weeks and on some days and nights we have had two or three things going on! It's been crazy! We started the Break with going to the Nutcracker yesterday afternoon. The kids have never seen the Nutcracker so I was excited to be taking them. We had a most wonderful time and the kids really enjoyed it. Afterwards we swung by the Blockbuster kiosk and rented the last Harry Potter(the kids had seen it this Summer, but I hadn't seen it yet) and went home got in our pjs, wrapped in blankets and watched the movie. It was a nice way to end our day.

With all that's been going on here with us, the Major has been under the weather where he is. He has been sick all week. It all started with him getting a fever almost reaching 104. He went to the Doctor and he was severely dehydrated, so they gave him fluids, medicine and put him on quarters. He sounded terrible on the phone whenever I talked to him. With him not improving that much, he went back to the Doctor yesterday and they put him on an antibiotic. He said he is feeling alittle better. I know it's no fun being sick when you are away from home. Despite the Deployment, we are all four doing well and taking one day at a time. We miss having the Major at home with us, especially during this time of the year, but we carry on and keep the traditions going and whenever the cell phone rings we jump and we're eager to see if it's him calling.

So it's Monday morning here at the Cottage and as I sit here on my laptop typing this, the dogs are cuddled by me and the two teens in the Cottage are still in bed sleeping in, something they haven't been able to do in a long time!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Tonight, the kids willingly wanted to go to bed at 7:45. That just goes to show how busy our past two weeks have been! We haven't had a day to rest, tonight was the first night in two weeks where we haven't had something going on, tomorrow will be the same and I am looking forward to it. Saturday is gone before it starts and Sunday is Church, but Sunday afternoon will be enjoyable and relaxing when the kids and I go and see The Nutcraker! Oh, and tomorrow starts Christmas Break for the kids, sooo looking forward to sleeping in!

I finally heard from the Major today after not hearing from him for a few days. He has been really sick and has been on quarters. He said his fever was 103. He sounded really sick and tired when he called. Praying he is well soon! We sure do miss him around the Cottage.

Fun for me today was getting 11 viles of blood taken out of my arm! Yep, you read that right, 11 viles of blood! Last month I had a severe allergic reaction to something and it landed me in the ER. So now, I tote around in my purse by little pills to take when I start to itch. I've had allergy testing done and it showed that I wasn't allergic to anything. For the past week I have been off all of my medicine, along with not eating anything with red or orange dye, seafood, nuts and fruits. Didn't work because I had a reaction on Sunday and a small one on Monday. Today was my follow-up with my Doctor and while I was sitting waiting to see her I had another severe reaction. It was perfect timing because she was able to see it. So, next step was to take blood to see what in the world I can be allergic to and totally switching detergent in the house to a perfume free and dye free one! As for now, I'm praying that the blood tests reveal what I am allergic to.

For now it's bed and in 55 minutes the Bookworm will be 13 and I will officially have 2 teenagers in the Cottage :) This season of life is a blessing.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Enjoying the Unexpected

The kids and I just said good-bye to the Major again this morning. We enjoyed an unexpected week of having him home. He had to fly back for work, at least he got to sleep at the Cottage and we got to see him for an hour or so each night.

The Major got to attend one of the Bookworm's wrestling matches and the Bookworm's band concert. He also got to see the Princess and her Boyfriend go to the Winter Formal. I am glad that he was able to be a part of the kids' special nights.

Now, it's time to get back into the routine that we had for the week that he was gone. It's funny how the kids and I have managed to get into a routine that fast. This week has been so busy in our home. I've had a lot that I have had to do and most of it involved things that needed to be done for the kids. Although I did manage to sneak a trip into our busy calendar to see my Doctor. I've still been having a severe allergic reaction to something so I had to go see her so that we could figure out what is going on. So for the next week, I am off all of my medicine and I can not have any nuts, fruits, seafood or anything with red or orange dye in it. I don't know if I'll be able to make it without eating any fruit! We just got the Princess's Band fruit in and the tangelos are so good!

So today, what we thought was going to be a full day has turned into a day with just one evening event instead of the evening event along with an all day one! So, what are the kids and I doing, finally taking advantage of some long awaited down time. We are just hanging out, doing nothing. I'm sure that the Major will call when he lands at his destination and at his connecting flights. Other than that, I am sure our phone want ring, the doorbell want sound and our day will be restful.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's The Thought That Counts....Really

I know you've heard someone say it before, "It's the thought that counts". Really? I use to think that too until I started really thinking about it. Sure no one is perfect, but come on, it's more than the thought that counts!

Take gift buying for instance......sure time goes into buying that perfect special gift, you look and look finally finding something that you believe someone will like, then you give it to them. Yep, I can see where "It's the thought that counts" counts here. The other thing that counts is how you present your "thought"/ gift. Do you just leave it in the bag in which you bought it and give it. Most times that would be a negative. Do you just give it away not wrapped or with no ribbon, etc. In some cases you can, such as flowers, fruit, a car(I think you get the picture). Or do you wrap it in beautiful wrapping paper, or place it in a gift bag with tissue paper that matches. My vote is for the second of the two sentences. When we take the time to carefully package our "thought"/gift, we are telling the person that we are giving it to that we really care about you, we took the time to put care and love into how we wanted our gift to be presented to you. If we just throw a gift in a bag and cram tissue paper into it that doesn't even match the bag, what is that saying about our character? What is it really saying to the person that we are giving our gift to? Sure the "thought counts" but how you present it counts to and sometimes it counts more than the thought does.

God gave us the best gift of all and His name was Jesus. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Jesus is our gift and He is the BEST gift that we will ever receive. Give yourself the BEST gift this Christmas and accept Him, ask Him to be Lord of your life.

Living for One Purpose

I was in car line the other day waiting to pick up the Princess from School when something dawned on me. What is our sole purpose of being here on this Earth? I mean, look around you, we have homes, go to work day after day, have a car, buy the things that we think that we need to "survive" and get get get. What is the purpose of all of that. I mean seriously, think about it, what are we accomplishing. Then throw in the ignoring people and it gets crazier! But what is our day to day, everyday life accomplishing? NOTHING! We know when we die, we leave everything behind. We can't take anything to the grave with us. So why does so much material "stuff" matter! Why must we sleep, go to work or even go to School? For one accomplish our mission. Our mission, if you are a Christian, is simple, to share Christ with EVERYONE. That means, your neighbors that live in the house by your house, your coworkers at your job, your friends at school, the people that bug you to death, and even family. Even that person that bugs you to death needs to know what Christ did for them, and even that family member that is very distant needs to know that not by works are we saved, but through Christ Jesus. Will you share even though you face the risk of rejection by family, friends, neighbors or coworkers? Jesus was ridiculed and rejected, yet He died for our sins. He loved us so much that He gave His life for us.

So today, I want you to think about the REAL reason that you live and why you continue to wake up every morning day after day.......

Monday, December 5, 2011

One Week Down and Saying Thank You = Many More

We are one week into Deployment, wow did the first week fly by. I guess time really does fly by when you are busy! Today is our down day for this week, all the other days and nights of this week are booked! Booked with Wrestling matches for the Bookworm, marching in the Parade for the Princess, Band concert for the Bookworm, Winter Formal for the Princess, Church, Choir and so much more to even mention! My down day today is going to be used to run lots of errands that I must run for the kids. Things that they need for this week for the things that they are involved in. Somewhere along the way I need to find time to drop by the grocery store, and maybe somewhere along the way I'll also find time to breath!

So, I've been thinking alot lately and the one thing that has been a constant thought in my head is this: we are to thank God in every situation;the good and the bad. I know what you may be thinking, the bad? Yes, the bad too. We all know that it's easy to give God thanks in the good things in our lives, but give thanks in the bad? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says,"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."(KJV) A great example of this is the story of Job. Job lost everything and what did he do, he praised God and gave him thanks. If you've never read the story of Job, I encourage you to do so.

How are we suppose to give thanks for the bad that happens in our life? How can we give thanks for a death of a loved one in your family? We thank God for the time that we had with them, for knowing them, for special memories that we have, for the impact that they had on our life, for the things that we learned from them that we will be able to pass along to others. In a span of 6 years, I lost all four of my Grandparents. I lost my Dad's Dad, whom I called Papa, in October 2002. He died right before my family and I moved to Europe. He was in the Army, served under Patton and survived being blown up in a tank during wartime. My Papa had so many stories to share about his time in the Army, I am sure that he would have been thrilled knowing that we were moving to Germany. Three years later in November of 2005, when the Major was deployed, I lost my Grandma, my Dad's Mom. The kids and I flew to the States to stay with my parents for the Holidays, from Thanksgiving to the New Year, my Grandma was barely hanging on. Everyone in our family had seen her except my brother(whom lived in Chicago at the time) and I. Once we both got to my parents home from our flights, my Dad took us to see my Grandma. Even though she wasn't coherent, she could hear and she knew that we were there. About an hour after we had left from seeing her and got back to my parents' home, we received the call that she had passed away. Did she wait to finally let go until she knew that my brother and I had seen her? I can't say, but my heart feels that she did. December 2007 was probably the most shocking December in our family. Bright and early on the 14th of December I received a call from my Brother telling me that our Granny had died, my Mom's Mom, the night before, which just so happened to be on my Mom's birthday. What a shock this was to hear! I had just talked with her on the phone the day before and she was doing well. One of the most wonderful ladies in my life had now passed away, here I was in living in now Italy and now I was flying back to the States to attend a funeral and to say good-bye to woman that had blessed my life from the time that I was born. I was also flying back to knowing that my Mom had to be completely in shock and devastated knowing that her Mom had passed away not only on her birthday, but while she and my Dad were on a plane flying back to the States from visiting us in Italy. One year and one day later, my Grandaddy passed away, my Mom's Dad. We had just moved back to the States from Italy in early November, a week after we moved back my Grandaddy was hospitalized for his breathing and he stayed in the Hospital until he passed away in December. His dying was so unexpected, death knows no boundaries, no one is ever ready to deal with death. He was a great man, very shy, but if he had something to say, he would say it. In a time span of 6 years, four of the most important people in my life were now gone. Four of the most wisdom filled people that I knew were no longer here. Why do I share all of this with you, because I thanked God. I thanked God when they died. I thank God because he had given me so many beautiful and wonderful memories and years with these four amazing people. I thanked God because all four of these people were there when my children were babies and they got to see my children grow and my children know who they were. I thank God because my Grandparents knew the Lord and they each had a personal relationship with Him. I thank God because when I look at my Nativity set in my home every Christmas, I know that my Grandparents are seeing and living the real Nativity.

Would it have been easy for me to not have thanked God when they each passed away, you bet! Here were four precious people in my life that passed away, I could have been mad, I could have asked God why, I could have been mad because here I was living in Europe and I didn't get to see them and spend as much time with them as the rest of my family got to, but I didn't, I thanked God. It was His will.

What about other situations in which it may be hard to give thanks to God. What about people that hurt you(we can't change people), unanswered prayer(remember God will answer in His time), family situations(let go and give it to God, and sometimes you just have to step to the side and walk away), medical conditions(you may learn to lean more on God), moves especially Military moves(the blessing of new friends and a new place to live where you have never been before), Deployment(look forward to what God may want you to learn and teach you during this deployment), new job(you can share your faith in your workplace be a sunbeam for Him). There are so many things that go wrong in our lives, but one is always good and always remains the same......God! God is there for us all the time. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Many ask why bad things happen to good people. The fact is that bad things happen to everyone, good and bad. God doesn't give us anything that He knows that we can not handle. Did you hear me? God does not give us anything that we CAN NOT handle. God may let bad things happen in our life so that we can grow closer in our walk with Him, maybe it is to open our eyes, maybe it is to teach us a lesson, maybe it is to draw us closer to friends and family, maybe it is to draw us more into spending time in prayer and in His Word. Whatever the situation is that you are going through, God knows why. We must have FAITH-Forsaking All I Trust Him.

What are you thankful for: the good and the bad.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cleaning and Scrubbing and Trash "Oh My"

This is in tune to Dorothy's famous line..."lions and tigers and bears oh my." Yep, that's what I did today, day 3 of the Deployment! Funny saying that it is day 3, wow, it is Wednesday already? And I am a happy girl today, I got 2 phone calls from the Major today :) I am all smiles here, just hearing his voice made my day!

I decided that this Deployment I am keeping busy, very busy at the Cottage. I plan to reorganize everything in the house, everything in closets and cabinets, etc. I am even labeling things such as; drawers that tape, scissors, gift bags, ribbon and birthday decorations are in. That way there is no guessing from anyone in my household where anything is!

Not only do I plan on being organized, I also plan on being very very frugal! Yep, you heard me right, FRUGAL! We are doing Financial Peace and I must say that you, yes you, should google it and check it out! So go, go right now and check it out! Then come back to my Blog!

So, some people call being frugal cheap, others call it thrifty, some may call it stupid, others may call it canny, but here is what I call it: SMART! I plan on saving saving saving where ever I can. I am looking at any and all new ideas that I can adapt for our household that will save us on time, energy and money, yet be very efficient, good and a great deal! The first place to put a cap on saving is the grocery store. Yep, and I have been doing this for quit awhile, but I think that I can do a lot better than I am already doing. Three words coupons, sale papers and store cards(I could even add two more:freezer and stock-pile), if you are not using all three of these then you are not saving the most that you can be saving at the grocery store! Next is thermostat setting. If you do not have a digital thermostat, go and buy one now! This reduces your electric bill. Also, set your thermostat and leave it do not change it! Did you know that changing it when you are gone and then changing it again can actually increase your bill! Now lets talk about lights...if you are leaving lights on when you are not in a room, that's not good, turn them off, conserve electricity and save on your power bill! Open the blinds in your house when you first get up in the mornings and use the natural light that God provided for us...the sun! It's Christmas time and we have up the tree and lights outside, yes the power bill will go up, but you can minimize how much buy using a timer and only allowing your lights to be on for a few hours a night rather than all night. Who wants a high power bill? Not me, so timers it is!

With all of this being said I feel that I was very productive today in my cleaning and scrubbing. I cleaned that kids' bedrooms, their bathrooms, the fridge/freezer, and a huge upstairs closet! I did a lot of labeling and reorganizing and threw away a lot of stuff! I had 2 huge bags full of trash! Yikes!

So now I am off to helping the Princess with English 2 and then off to the Bookworm's wrestling match, and then it's off to Church and Choir!

Tomorrow is another day with more cleaning and more things to organize and yes, label!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Deployment, It's Begun

Deployment, if you're a Military Spouse that's the one word that you don't like to hear, but unfortunately, it's quit the norm these days. For our family, yesterday was "D" Day, in other words, Deployment Day. We all four new it was coming, but nothing can ever prepare you for that last hug, kiss, good-bye and wave. Nothing, no matter how many times you've done it before.

We've had a very good past week. We went on a small family vacation, celebrated Thanksgiving, put up the Christmas tree and lights, and spent alot of time just hanging out as a family acting goofy together! It's been great family time together.

So now, we start our ticker for the count down to the end of the Major's Deployment. He called a few hours ago to let me know that he had made it. I praise God for his safe arrival there. I miss him already, as do the Princess and the Bookworm. Night time is the time of day that I hate, when everyone is in bed and it's quiet, I don't like it, it's the only time that I feel lonely so I stay up and watch TV or read or get on the computer. We had rain last night, it was nice to hear the rain coming down, I love the rain.

What else do I not like? Thinking to myself, wow it feels really cold in the house....walk to the thermostat and realize that the air is on! Turn I heat is what I do and put on a jacket!

So on with my day. Today I plan to finish our Jesse Tree for Advent so that we can begin tonight, if you do not do this in your family I want to encourage you to do so. Here is a link that you may find helpful: .


Monday, November 14, 2011

2 Weeks and Counting

We're gearing up and getting ready in our house, if you're a Military Spouse you know what I mean, Deployment. This daunting one word has been hanging over our house for around 4 months and the time for it to appear and take it's affect starts soon, too soon. If you've been through a Deployment you know what I mean, it seems as if the things that need to be done and the things that you would like to do before your Spouse leaves is all of a sudden getting down to last straw or down to the wire! YIKES...where did the days go!

Lists have been made for me by the Major for bills, etc. Wills and Powers of Attorneys have been done, major things around the house that needed to be done are done with a few last appointments getting done this week.

Time together as a family during these last few days are priceless, you as a Spouse want to spend your every waken hour with your Spouse before he leaves while your two teens try not to talk or mention the word Deployment because they began to fill their eyes with tears. You find yourself eating at all of the Spouse's favortie Restaurants because you know that all he'll be eating for the next months will be the Dining Facility where he'll be deployed at. You suddenly find yourself liking to wash clothes because you know that you want be washing his for awhile and when you make the bed in the morning you realize that his side want be untucked for much longer. You sit by him whenever you can and hold his hand whenever possible because you know that in a few days you'll long to touch him, and you want to remember his touch for as long as you can. You look at the coffee pot when you are putting up the dishes out of the dishwasher and think that there will not be a lot of coffee making going on because unlike your spouse you don't have to have coffee in order to survive your day, but you also know that you'll miss that little bit of coffee that he leaves in the pot every morning just for you so that you can have a cup. You begin to think of all the things that he'll miss while he's away and you automatically begin to add them up and start charging up the video camera.

You've been down this road before and you remember what you've learned through the last Deployments: You've learned to be more independent, you've learned to have more grace, you've lost anxiety and gained patience, you've grown a much closer and special relationship with your children, you've gone through something that not everyone gets to experience, you've gained more self-esteem and you're not afraid or ashamed to ask for help if you know you can't do it on your own.

Deployment, who knew that one little word could be so big and mean so much.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Month of Giving: Day 14

Giving:Day 14
Monday, October 24, 2011

This morning I waited from 8-11 thinking that the Time Warner person was suppose to be here....not...I called and it's tomorrow morning! So I wasted a few hours this morning waiting :(

On another thought, I decided what I was having for dinner this morning after taking the Princess to school. I don't like figuring out the menu each day thinking of what to have for dinner! Tonight we had hot wings and rice-a-roni and broccoli, it was yummy!

Today was nice today being able to pick up the Princess right after school. There is no more Band Practices right now because Competitions are over, so she'll be home right after school from now on, which is huge because we want have to wait till 7 to eat dinner anymore!

So today I pick her up from school and she's telling me about her day, then she tells me that she needs a book,"Lord of the Flies"for English Class and that she needs it by Friday. Note: she did not ask me to go and get it today for her. So I tell her, get my phone and look up the number for Books A Million, she does and she calls to see if they have the book. They do, so I tell her that I will drive right now and get it for her. She looks at me and smiles, then says, but I don't need it till Friday you don't have to get it now. I drive and we get her book.

My gift today was driving the Princess straight from School to the Book Store to get her book for English Class. I didn't have to go and get the book today, but I did.

Have you started your giving challenge?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Month of Giving: Day 13

Giving:Day 13
Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today was a wonderful day in the House of the Lord! I love Sundays! The morning started off with my Sunday School Class, I love my Middle School Sunday School Class, they are a great group of Teens! After Sunday School we had a wonderful Worship Service! Then, after Church, it was FAIR time!

Our two kids have never been to the State Fair. And NO it isn't because we just would never take them, it's just because we lived in Europe for say, umm, 6 years!!!! So after Church, we came home and changed, ate lunch at McDonalds(more monopoly pieces....go ahead and laugh, when I hit it big I will NOT share with you!!), then we made it to the State Fair! And I must add that it was FREE admission for us Military people!!! So nice, it saved us $40.00!! We walked around, the kids rode some rides, they played some games, ate funnel cakes, bought a candied apple with nuts, etc. etc. etc.

So my giving today was to The Princess. We all four played the game were you roll the ball into the holes and your horse moves and if your horse makes it to the end first, you win! So, yes, we all four played, family time! And it was fun! And guess who won....yep, that's right, Mom did, I did!!! So they asked me what stuffed animal I wanted and I turned to the Princess and asked her which one she wanted. She of course picked the red angry bird :) And if you are thinking that it wasn't fair because I didn't win anything for The Bookworm, it's ok because he had already played another game and he won his own self something :) The Princess smiled when the game person gave her the angry bird. I have to admit, the angry bird it cute!

Today I gave to my Daughter.......what was your gift to someone today?

Month of Giving: Day 12

Giving:Day 12
Saturday, October 22, 2011

Today was Saturday and what a nice Saturday it was! The day was beautiful and the weather was awesome! It was a nice Fall day today and the perfect day for raking the pine straw that had fallen in the front and back yards of The Cottage.

Not only was raking done, but picking up of pine cones and sticks was also done along with mowing and planting a few plants. It's amazing how the yard takes on a whole different scene after you do yard work, it's like a different canvas! Beautiful and a sense of accomplishment!

Today my giving was not only picking up pine cones and sticks in my yard, but also in my neighbors' yards as well. I extended my pick-up in the yards of both of our side neighbors. I know that our one neighbor fosters children and as of right now they are foster parents to a special needs child, so I know that they do not have a lot of time to work in their yard, so I decided why not extended my pine cone and stick pick up into their yard, so I did. The neighbors on our right are a dual working couple with 3 kids ranging from 8, 6, to 2. They live a very busy family life, so I figured why not extend my pine cone and stick pick up into their yard too, so I did. What was really cool about extending my work into their yard was that neither neighbors were home, so it was a giving in disguise! I love giving secretly and in disguise!

Have you given to someone today?

Month of Giving: Day 11

Giving:Day 11
Friday, October 21, 2011

Today the kids had NO School, it was the end of the first quarter, so they had a day off. We started the day by being able to sleep in. We then got up got dressed and went and ran a lot of errands! First on our list was to drive to Post and get The Bookworm his flu shot and to pick up The Princess's medicine. Then we had lunch at McDonalds(we wanted Monopoly pieces :) ) Then we got pumpkins, got Halloween costumes, and got groceries. I would say that we had a pretty productive day, and we even ended it by going to the Princess's High School Football game.

Today I sent a get-well card to a Church friend. I hope it blessed her when she received it in her mailbox. Even though she didn't have a big procedure done, just a little one, I still felt the need to send her a card saying that I was praying for her and that I hope that she would be up and out soon.

It is the little things in life that counts. Our giving does not have to be BIG, the little things in life are the things that make more of an impact on our lifes than the BIG.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Month of Giving: Day 10

Giving:Day 10
Thursday, October 20,2011

Today was our Friday in our house...why?...because the kids do not have school tomorrow. Tomorrow morning = sleeping in!!! I am looking forward to sleeping in and so are my two teens!

I am realizing that the more that I give, the less I think about my own needs and problems. No matter how bad we may think that we have it at times, there is ALWAYS someone worse off than you!

Today I bought a mum and a sympathy card for a friend/neighbor of ours. Their family lost their Uncle, they were really close to their Uncle. I wanted to do something for them, so I decided to get them a mum. Mums are such a wonderful plant because you can plant them and they come back year after year after year. I thought that it would be an awesome idea to get them a mum because when they plant it year after year when it blooms it can remind them of their Uncle. I have a plant that I got from my Grandfather's funeral and it is still living. Every time I see it, it not only reminds me of my Grandfather, but also of my Grandmother. It makes me smile and remember.

Today my gift was a mum........what did you gift today......who's life have you touched........who have you made feel important..........who have you made smile?

Month of Giving: Day 9

Giving:Day 9
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Today was a nice day, the weather was a beautiful Fall day with lots of wind in the evening. What could be better than a day of grocery shopping, cooking, going out for yogurt as a family and Church. I can't think of anything better!

For the last couple of weeks I have been a really wonderful Non-fiction book called the Deacon's Wife. It was one of those books that I couldn't put down. It gave lots of wonderful information, tips and ideas. I thought that the book was so good that I wanted to give a copy of the book to a new Deacon's wife and friend at Church. She is also an avid reader so I new that she would be greatly for the book and appreciate the gift, I even wrote a little note to her in the front cover of the book. Last night after Church I walked up to her and gave her the book. She was very appreciative. I look forward to her reading it and getting her thoughts on the book.

So today my gift was giving a book that I enjoyed reading to a friend. Not only did it make me happy giving it to her, but it made her happy.

Have you started your giving challenge yet?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Month of Giving: Day 8

Giving:Day 8
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This morning was a usual morning in our household. The Major left for work at around 6:30 am, the Princess was up get dressed for school and I woke up the Bookworm at 6:30, with him finally getting up at 6:45. He is my hard one to get up in the mornings! I, as usual, pull up the lunch menu on the computer to see if I need to make the Bookworm's lunch or not, of course it's items that he want eat, so I'm off to the kitchen to make his lunch. Once I finish making his lunch, I remember that I saw a slip of paper in his room that said that he had an over due Library book at School. I reminded myself that when he came downstairs from taking a shower that I needed to tell him that he needed to get $1.20 of his money and pay his fine and turn in his book. I wasn't going to pay it because I didn't forget to turn it in.

I then got dressed and started know what, we have change, let me look in the Major's change jar and my wallet for coins. So I rounded up $1.45. When the Bookworm was getting ready for School I gave him the change and told him to pay is fine with it. He smiled and said thank you and then left for School. After I got home from taking the Princess to School, I noticed that the Bookworm had left some of the change on the bar. Oh well, guess he figured he had enough to pay the fine and he only needed $1.20 and didn't want to take the extra 25 cents.

When the Bookworm got home from School I asked him if he turned in his book and paid his fine. He said yes. He then told me that the Librarian told him that his fine was 5 cents more than what he had. He said he told her that he didn't have anymore change and she told him not to worry about it that he was fine.

My gift today was to my son, me paying his Library fee and through this small act of kindness, he also saw it multiply even more to him though his Librarian. Acts of giving can be a catchy thing ;)

Month of Giving: Day 7

Giving:Day 7
Monday, October 17, 2011

I went to bed last night thinking that I would have nothing to do tomorrow except washing clothes, I was wrong! At 5:00 am the Major and I awoke from our bed with the Princess standing in our room shouting MOMMY,MOMMY, MOMMY! She was having one of her dizzy, nausea, stomach pain, diarreha,etc. She hadn't had an episode in quit a long time, so this was unusual. I spent the next 30 minutes tending to her, finally getting her back into the bed. She slept for 4 hours and then awoke feeling better but feeling exhausted and weak from the episode. The rest of the day consisted of her staying home from school and the two of us heading on Post spending it at the Doctor. Not what I had planned for the day.

By the time we saw the Doctor, got flu shots, waited for ever at the Pharmacy(which if you are in the Military you know how long you have to wait sometimes, and to top if off, it was MONDAY!), and pulling through the drive-through at Chick-fi-la to get her something to eat....we finally arrived at home at around 2:30. The Princess went and got straight in her bed to take a nap. I threw in a load of laundry, checked my messages, did some dishes and then decided that my gift today would be to myself. My gift to myself was going to be for me to lay on the couch and take a nap! For those that know me, you know that I never take a nap, so this was def. a gift to myself. Do I feel guilty for giving a gift to myself? Def. not.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Month of Giving: Day 6

Giving:Day 6
Sunday, October 16, 2011

Today was an AWESOME day in the House of The Lord! Our Region's Awana Missionary came to our Church today and spoke during our morning worship service. I enjoyed hearing him speak. He spoke on the importance of Children's Ministries.

Tonight we had the pleasure of having him come to our Awana's Program. He didn't just come and watch, he came and jumped right in! He listened to kids say their verses, participated in my lesson with my T&Ts, sang praise songs with us and prayed with us. All of the kids loved him, and he spoke to every one of them, he took the time to get to know everyone. He is a very personal person and he loves being an Awana Missionary, you can tell.

I have a total of 14 kids in my T&T group. On the first night I asked all of them if they had their own personal Bible. One of them told me that he didn't have a Bible, so a couple of weeks ago I went out and bought a Bible for him. He hadn't been there in a few weeks and he was back tonight. So, when everyone else rotated to Music, I kept him and told him that I had something for him. I wrote his name in the Bible that I had bought him and told him that it was his. A huge smile came across his face, he told me that he had never had his own Bible before. I was happy that I was able to get one for him. I told him that now he had his own Bible that he could look up verses in and he would now be able to study and read God's Word any time that he wanted to. He smiled again and said thank-you. That was enough for me :)

My gift for today was the Bible that I gave to one of my T&T boys. I pray that through him, God will allow this boy to witness and minister to his family that they all may come to know Him.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Month of Giving: Day Five

Giving:Day 5
Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Today was The Major and I slept in! We then got up and got dressed in our shorts and tee shirts and we then went and got breakfast which was included with our stay at our Hotel. After a wonderful breakfast The Major wanted to go for a walk on the beach. We went back up to our room to change into our swimsuits and heading down to claim our spot(not that we needed to because it was off-season and there were many many lounge chairs to pick from)where we sat and sunned yesterday. Although I really did not want to walk on the beach and get all sandy, I agreed and we strolled the beach. We walked up and back down the opposite side that we walked last night(Last night the walk was nice, there was a full moon and it was beautiful!)we walked 20-30 minutes and then we headed back to our "spot" and then we headed to the hot tub. We soaked in the hot tub for awhile and then lounged in the sun talking. I was amazed at the number of butterflies flying around, they were everywhere and they would fly as high as the hotel!

At 12:00 we checked(we requested a late check-out) and we headed to find the Bass Pro Shop. We looked and shopped for about an hour then it was time to decide where we were gonna eat for lunch......California Dreaming it was! And it was good! We both got their famous Californina Dreaming salad and it was delicious! After lunch we filled up the van, and ran an errand for my Mom at a Shop called the Christmas Mouse. Then we headed home stopping at McDonald's for large carmel frappes on the way!

Today my gift was to my husband, The Major, the love of my life! My gift to him was walking on the beach this morning with him. Even though I really didn't want to walk on the beach because I didn't want to get all sandy, I knew that he did. I knew that walking on the beach would make him happy, so I put my own feelings aside and I thought of him. I am glad that I did.......the wet sand on the bottom of my feet with the cold water hitting my toes felt wonderful and The Major's hand holding my hand was priceless. We were just one couple lost at sea :)

Month of Giving: Day Four

Giving:Day Four
Friday, October 14th

It's 9:00 am and The Major and I are on our way to Myrtle Beach! We got the kids off to school, loaded up our luggage in the van and we're now on our way! We pull into McDonald's for breakfast, hit the drive-thru and ate in the van on our way. We shared great breakfast together and had great conversation too! We got into Myrtle Beach around 12:00 and we were both famished, bet you'll never guess where we decided to get lunch.....yep, McDonald's!! This time we went in and ate, afterwards we went to Hudson's Flea Market and walked around for awhile. Then we went to our Hotel. Check-in at the Hotel wasn't til 3:00pm, it was only a little after 2:00pm, so we were hoping that our room would be ready! To our surprise it was! What a nice room the Major found us, right on the beach, with a balcony over looking the ocean! So nice!! We put everything in the room and changed into our swim-suits and went to the pool. Yes, the pool! Believe it or not, it was 80 degrees at Myrtle Beach, it was very beautiful weather. This Hotel had 5 heated pools, 2 heated lazy rivers, 1 heated kiddie playground pool and 3 hot tubs! We got into the lazy river and we decided to be lazy in it for almost an hour! We both had floats/tubes and we just floated and talked and talked and talked! The we got into the hot tub for awhile and then we lounged on the lounge chairs suning, talking and drinking coffee! Around 4:30 we decided to go up to the room and get ready for the Show that we had booked to go see that night at 6. We were dressed and out the door by 5:20 and at the Show at 5:45.

Before we went in to see the Show, I texted my Brother to let him know that we were going to dinner afterwards and would he like to meet us for a late dinner. He said sure and after our Show we met him at the Restaurant. We had a wonderful time talking, laughing and eating all you can eat crab legs with my Brother. It's very rare to spend time together like that together, I enjoyed it very much. After we were done eating, I told my Brother that we would pay for his meal. He smiled and said thanks, that the food was really good and that he would definately have to come back and eat there again!

My gift for the day was paying for my Brother's meal. I know how it feels when somone says that they will pay for your meal. You're surprised, happy and grateful all at the same time! A few months ago some friends of ours from Church asked us to go to a Christian Concert with them, they said that the couple that was suppose to go with them couldn't so they had two free tickets to give to someone and they asked us to go. We said that we would love to go, so we did. We enjoyed the Concert. Afterwards all four of us were famished so we decided to go eat. When the bill came, the couple payed for us. We were not expecting them to pay. We were very grateful for their giving that evening with the tickets and the meal. It made me feel very pleased and happy to pay it forward to my Brother. I love you J!

One Month of Giving:Day Three

Giving:Day Three
Thursday, October 13th

Today was a great day, the Major took a day of leave!!! We went to lunch at Red Lobster, took his truck to the repair shop to get an estimate for the insurance(from the wreck that he was in, not his fault), got a caramel frappe at McDonalds(boy do I love caramel frappes!), and make a return and purchase at Lowe's.

The Bookworm got home from School at around 3:15 and I helped him get his clothes packed for Nana and Papa's for the weekend. I also helped the Princess get her things together when she got home from Band Practice. I also got Sandy and Daisey's(our two cockers) things together for Nana and Papa's too! I put all of the Bookworm's bags on the barstool and put a birthday gift for my Aunt on the bar, along with a piece of my homemade apple pie for my Dad to take for when he picked up the Bookworm tomorrow after School. My Dad loves my apple pie, so I new that he would appreciate that I saved a piece for him. The Major and I are going to Myrtle Beach for the weekend and The Bookworm is staying with my parents and The Princess is staying with a friend that's in Band with her. It was a busy day of making sure that everyone had everything that they needed for their sleepovers, not to mention the several loads of laundry that I also did and dinner that I made :) I was pooped by the time the kids went to bed!

Today my gift the piece of homemade apple pie that I saved for my Dad. Knowing that he would smile when he saw the piece on the bar for him when he picked up The Bookworm made me happy. Even though The Major and I wouldn't be home when he picked up The Bookworm, I knew that my Dad would have a smile on his face when he saw it sitting there and he would be grateful, and even happier when he got home and was able to consume it!

One Month of Giving: Day Two

Giving:Day Two
Wednesday, October 12th

Today was my second day of giving. My brother stayed with us last night on his way to Myrtle Beach for the Mini Gold Master's Tournament, he got in at around 11 pm and crashed on our couch. I made homemade waffles and sausage for breakfast this morning, everyone enjoyed! Own his way off to Myrtle Beach, my Brother quickly grabbed a sheet of paper out of his bag and asked if I could mail it for him. I asked him if he had an envelope already addressed with a stamp on it, he said no, so I told him that I would take care of it for him. He showed the address of where to mail it and I told him not to worry that I would get it in the mail for him today. He was then off to his Tournament....hope he wins!

The Princess had an orthodontist appt. today and we had Church and I had Choir Practice. I was elated when the love offering basket came around at Choir tonight because I finally had spare dollars in my purse to give! I eagerly grabbed the basket, reached in my purse and grabbed the only money I had, $3.00, and happily threw it in the basket. This money is used to to put towards fruit baskets, etc. for those in our Choir that may get sick, have surgeries, etc. We also had an awesome Choir practice tonight, we practice our anthem for Thanksgiving, and it sounded terrific on the first(and only) run through!!!!!

So today, I count addressing and mailing my brother's letter, and my $3.00 contribution to the Choir love offering as my gifts for the day.

One Month of Giving: Day One

Giving:Day One
Tuesday, October 12th, 2011

Today I decided to make a homemade apple pie for my family. We went to the mountains a week ago and today I finally had free time to make that apple pie that I had been promising to make them. I decided that this would be my gift for the day, a gift to my family. It made me feel so happy to see their happy, smiling faces when they walked in the door from School and Work and Band and noticed that Mom had made a homemade apple pie just for them!

One Month of Giving

I just finished an very wonderful book, "29 Gifts" by Cami Walker. I give this book 5 stars and I highly recommend that you read it!

The short of the book is this: Cami, at the age of 33,  was diagnoised with MS(multiple sclerosis) one month after her wedding day. She knew her life would never be the same. Always having negative thoughts about her condition and what her future would now hold, she was given a strange prescription from a friend: Give 29 gifts in 29 days. Her friend told her that by giving she wold be focusing on others and what she had to offer others. She told Cami that the gifts could be anything, but that the giving had to authentic and mindful and at least one gift had to be something she felt was very scarce in her life. During the 29 days, Cami was amazed at what unfolded in her life. Her health and happiness changed and so has her whole life.

I encourage you to either go out and buy the book, download it on your kindle, or go to the Library(like I did) and check it out!

For the next month, I will I am going take the GIVING challenge and I will Blog everyday about my days giving.

Are you up for the challenge?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Week Full of Happenings at The Cottage

This week has been a week full of happenings at the Cottage, despite our busy, normal week, it got a lot busier with Mom going down! And you know when Mom goes down, the whole house goes into chaos and overdrive! Surprisingly, things continued on the norm....

Sunday was busy as usual, Breakfast at Church, Sunday School, Church, lunch, Choir Practice and AWANA. Sunday night, I start to feel not well and start slowly getting what I know is a migraine. Monday, normal school day and starting to feel worse in my abdomen, plus the headache is actually a migraine. Tuesday, feeling much worse and still a migraine, but life continues at the Cottage. Tuesday night, I'm in so much pain that I can't move, the Major wants to take me to the ER, I say no, lights off and I try to sleep hoping that pain meds I took will knock me out! Wednesday, I am out not knowing that the Major has gotten the kids up and off to school and has made me an appointment to go to the Doctor and that he has called work and told them that he will not be in today. 10:00 and we are sitting at the Doctor, 11:00 and the Doctor thinks I may have a busted ovary. 11:10 I receive morpheine in the form of a shot, between the hours of 11:15 and 12:30 can't sleep even though I am tired because I have to drink so much water to have an ultrasound done at 12:45. 1:00 finally get two ultrasounds done and in so much pain while getting it done! 1:45 on way back to the Doctor to get results from the tests. 2:00 tests were fine, next step Doctore calls Hospital ER to tell them I am on my way and suspects diverticulitis and a possible burst. 2:15 arrive at ER. 2:30 blood is taken, another urine sample is taken, IV is put in and more morpheine is given into my IV. Pain is still there... Must drink white chalk "berry tasting" for CT scan. Hold my nose for 10 minutes while I drink two huge cups hurridley so I could just be done with it, mission accomplished and feel like throwing up! An hour later taken for CT scan, two or done one normal and one with ink injection in my IV. 6:00 and Doctor comes in says CT was normal, is sending my home and diagnosis is "abdominal pain". The Major and I look at eachother and then the Doctor and say, "we knew that when we got here!" Pain meds given, come back if still have pain or if it gets worse.

After 7:00 at night, we are finally home and I get in the bed and I am no better than I was when I left my bed 10 hours earlier! Bed rest on Thursday and a Doctor appt. for my plantar fasciatis(heels) yesterday morning where I got a shot of cortizone in each(fun!) and new meds. to try for pain, today is Saturday and equals staying off my feet as per orders of my Doctor. Tomorrow is Sunday which equals another busy, yet rewarding day in the Lord's House.

No pain in my abdomen today, the heels, that's a whole other story!

Thanking and praising God for a wonderful, loving and caring husband and for friends that prayed for me on Wednesday and for those few, that called, you know who you are and you are always so faithful in checking on me, I love you guys! God is good and He gives us nothing that we can not happen and when I thought I could handle the ultrasound no more due to such an increase of pain while it was being done I just kept quoting Philippians 4:13," I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Can't believe that it is September...a lot has happened in the weeks since my last post! Summer is over, the kids have started school, and we are in our new groove at the Cottage.

The Princess started 10th Grade and the Bookworm started 7th Grade. They are both doing well thus far and are very excited about the classes that they have. The Princess is still going strong in Marching Band and the Bookworm hopes to be on the Wrestling Team this Fall at his school. This marks the first year in 9 years that the Bookworm has not played Fall soccer! I don't know how to act not having to go to soccer practices at least twice a week! This is a Season of change for him this year I suppose, time to venture into the anew.

The Major is enjoying his new job at the AFB. My van has become his since the drive is 45 minutes long and the van doesn't use as much gas as his truck, thus with that being said, his truck is now mine during the day. I prefer my van, but oh well, at least I have something to drive. The deployment that was suppose to happen hasn't and even that has changed several times. We have our FAITH in God and whatever happens, happens, when and if it happens. The Major is still taking classes and pursuing his Seminary Degree, he is much closer to the end now than he was. God has great things planned for him!

As for me, I am still the wife, mom, taxi driver, dogkeeper, maid, errand runner and cook that I have always been, yet I wouldn't have it any other way. I enjoy doing for my family and the silence that is in my house during the day while the kids are at school and the Major is at work is broken with an array of giggles, doors shutting, fridge and cabinets banging, and dogs barking in excitement once they arrrive home in the afternoons. The silence is gone and it's a wonderful feeling to hear the busyness of our family rumbling through the Cottage.

Summer to now Fall brings an end to a wonderful garden that was in the back yard at the Cottage. Both front and back gardens in the back yard are now pulled. Leaves are beginning to fall off the fruit trees, the water in the pool is cool and the air is beginning to have that little bit of crisp in it. Soon it will be time to rake the leaves and decorate the yard with mums and pumpkins to add just that little bit of Fall pop to the Cottage.

So, good-bye Summer and white shoes, and hello to the memories and lessons that are to be made as Fall is beginning.

Friday, August 12, 2011

School Supplies = Feminism

Yesterday, the Bookworm and I went "back to school" shopping to get all of the "necessary" school supplies that he needs for the new school year. After shopping for his school supplies yesterday I am on my soapbox more than ever and I am on a roll with this Blog Post, so I hope you're sitting down and drinking your coffee while reading this!

I have to admit that before we even stepped into a Store yesterday to shop I was ready. I had my sale papers in hand and had everything circled that was on sale that he needed, and I was prepared that we may have to go to multiple stores to get all the supplies that he needed.

First stop.....Target. First thing on our list were 2 pencil pouches for his binders. The Bookworm immediately spotted the pencil pouches hanging on a rack and went to them to look for 2 that he wanted for his binders. Much to my dismay, there were none for him. Why you ask......they were all "femine". They were all aimed for girls. Pretty pink and purple and teal colors, flowers and circles and dots, cute little kittens and puppies and birds! You name it and it was all for girls! We looked at eachother and said, NEXT!

Next on our list was binders and he needed 2. So we went to the aisle with the binders, and by the way we are still in Target. He begins looking and automatically says I will get a black one, so of course we immediately find a black one. Then he's looking around and the only other color he saw that he could get was white, but unfortunately they didn't have the size binder that he needed. So we look at eachother and I tell him to just put the black binder back that we would go to Office Depot to look for binders. If any place is going to have binders, it's going to be Office Depot. Once again when looking for binders if you were shopping for a girl, you would have had it made! Binders in pretty pink and purple and yellow, with kittens and puppies and birds, and of course there were those with flowers and circles and dots! Yuck! Come on companies that make this stuff, GET REAL, there are boys in this world too! NEXT!

Next on the list was pencils. We automatically found the traditional woodend pencils and colored pencils and threw those in the buggy, what took us awhile to pick out and find were the mechanical pencils! We couldn't just grab a pack of mechanical pencils because most of the pencils were once again femine! Colors of pretty girly purple and pink and teal and yellow and mauve. Gee!! Finally and I do mean finally after much searching, we found a Target brand of mechanical pencils that had red, blue, green and yellow. Solution to the yellow pencils, give them to his sister The Princess! NEXT!

Next on the list was a new book bag. It didn't take him long to scan the aisle with the book bags and the Bookworm immediately say that he didn't see anything. Why didn't he see anything..........once again they were aimed for girls! Pretty colors of pink and purple and teal, kittens and puppies and birds, circles and dots and flowers! We looked at eachother and said lets get out of here! NEXT!

The second stop on our School Supply Marathon shopping trip was Office Depot. Immediately upon entering Office Depot we went to the binder aisle and mind you we needed not 1 but 2, so on the hunt we went for 2 masculine, not femine binders. Of course there were all the pretty femine colors! What colors was the Bookworm able to come out of Office Depot with: Navy and Black! Seriously companies start thinking of boys too! NEXT!

Another item was a hand held pencil sharpener. Now how hard do you think it is to find a masculine pencil sharpener? Answer: Obviously we found out it's pretty hard! After much looking we walked out of Office Depot with a green one. Seriously ready to get home by now! NEXT!

Remember those 2 pencil pouches that he needed, yeah, we found them at Office depot, the only 2 masculine colors that they had navy and dark green! Why is it that girls have so many other options?!? NEXT!

Another item on our list was 3 packs of 5 tab dividers for his binders. Let me just say that we always get these each year at Office Depot because all other stores are ALWAYS out of them! We found them, but of course most of the colors in the pack are once again femine. By this time I was really dismayed ay all the options that girls are offered and very disappointed at how boys are thrown to the back burner. And I must add that while in Office Depot we ran into a Mom and her Son and they were having the same problems as the Bookworm and I were! NEXT!

Last stop on our great adventure in looking for school supplies was Walmart, yep Wally World and if you know me Walmart isn't exactly my favorite store! On the agenda for Walmart was disposable gloves for his Science labs, tissues, paper towels, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer and notebook paper. (Sorry teachers, but all of the optional items on our list, you can get them yourself because after spending almost $100.00 on supplies for 1 of my children only, you can get your own dry erase board markers!) It was quick and easy to find all of the items that we needed, except for the hand sanitizer, they were all out. In fact the 2 previous stores that we had went to were out of it as well. My plan is to just get it this weekend at a Grocery Store. Oh yeah, and we had luck at Walmart with a bookbag. Not much of a variety of colors for boys like girls when it comes to bookbags. Gotta love that beautiful color of black and gray that the Bookworm picked out!! Wow he had so much variety and color to choose from he couldn't contain himself, so he got a black and gray one!

So, what's my point to this Blog? Companies need to wake-up and realize that there are not only girls in the world but boys also. Why do they make so much stuff for girls and aim their items toward them? Answer: Because they know that girls want cute and pretty and colorful things! And they know that Mom will buy it for them! So that makes money made for Companies. My take, companies need to add more masculine colors to their items. If you are a Mom of boys I know that you are right there with me! How many times have you gone school supply shopping and you've noticed how everything is femine? If you have never paid attention I encourage you to go to your local Target, Walmart, Kmart, etc. and just walk around in the School Supply will be amazed! I know that I am not alone! So wake up with me Moms of boys, it's time boys are heard and who is the best person to stand up for our boys than us Moms!

My plan, although it may not change the world, but my plan is to write or call the companies that are making these products and tell them to go masculine and cut the femine! Who knows, maybe I'll get some freebies out of it, but best of all I am taking a stand! And taking a stand for my BOY!

Moms of boys....unite with me!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You Had Them.....You Raise Them

It's amazing to me to see people that have children and they don't take care of them. I mean, they don't attend things at their children's schools, or go to their extra-curricular activities, or the parents don't cook and the family doesn't eat together, or they don't go to Church together or they don't watch their kids. Sad, just sad.

There is an old saying: You had them, you raise them! It really annoys me to see "parents" not doing for their children. Some want to be their children's "friend", let me say one thing, we are not our children's "friend" we are their parent! There is a difference between being a "friend", and being a good parent that has a close relationship with your child. God said that we(parents) are to train up a child and to train them up in the Lord.

Can you believe that sitting down to dinner at night is almost null and void! Yes, it's true! Why would anyone not want to sit down to dinner at night and eat as a family?! I cook every night and we sit down to dinner every night as a family and eat together and talk about how our day was and then we have a 5 minute devotion. Who wouldn't want to be apart of that with their children? It saddens me to see parents going through the drive-through every night and not eating together. Oh yeah, and lets not forget that they don't even stop before they eat and thank God(say the blessing)!

And talking about the blessing, lets talk about those parents that don't go to Church! Seriously people, how can you make it the whole week without going to Church and worshipping God! How can your children grow up and not know God! My heart breaks for those that do not go to Church and for those that don't walk with the Lord. It is not just to go to Church only at Easter and Christmas or for "special occasions". I have always wondered what goes through the minds of those that only attend Church at Easter and Christmas or those special occasions. I would be embarrassed, you know, that they know, that they should be in God's house every Sunday. This also makes me think of those that send their children to a Christian/Church School and they don't even go to Church........really......what is the point?

Then there are those that just don't want to watch their kids. Yes, there are those that work and have to put their kids in day care, that is understandable, but then you have those that don't work and they just throw their kids in day care or off on others at the drop of a hat! Oh, I need to go to Sears, can you watch my kids, oh, we want to have time by ourselves, can you watch my kids, oh, I need to take a nap, can you watch my kids. Or better yet, there are also those that put their kids in things and expect others to take them to what they put them in......really? I am not saying that there is something wrong in having someone watch your kids, but get a sitter, yes, everyone needs a break, but do they need a break everyday!?!

I have seen a lot of this from living all over the world, and right here on the East Coast.........I could go on and on, but to be blunt, You had them, you raise them! And raise them in the way in which they should go!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Surgery and Sickness at The Cottage

The most anticipated day finally arrived on Thursday, this being the day of my hand surgery. It started out with my surgery being at 12:30, then moved to 2:00, then the morning of with me getting a call to come as soon as I could to the Hospital. That being said, I called the Major on his cellphone and told him as soon as he got home from registering the Princess for her Sophomore year of High School that we needed to leave for my surgery.

We arrived and I was taken back and pre-oped for surgery, the Major was able to go back and stay with me which was nice. For me having to hurry and get there, it wasn't until alittle after 4 pm when I was finally taken back to have my surgery. The Major hadn't had anything to eat all day as well as myself. God provided in the form of an Angel named Erica. She was the head nurse in charge of surgery and she came in at 3:30 to meet us and to see how we where doing, she asked the Major if he had eaten anything and he said no, but that he would wait until they took me back to surgery. She left saying she would be right back and when she returned she called the hospital cafeteria to see what time they closed then she handed the Major two 5 dollar vouchers to the cafeteria and told him to go get something to eat and that he could bring it back up and that if they tried to take me while he was gone that she would make them wait. The Major later told me that he was worried about eating up until that point because earlier he said that God told him that he would provide food for him. What an awesome God!

Not longer than 20 minutes after the Major returned they came and took me to surgery. What do I remember........nothing! I remember being rolled into the operation room and seeing the light above me and asking the anesthiasologist if he had given me something and he said yes, and that was it! We were home at around 6-6:30. It was an all day event! I got home and was in the bed, and then the Major started not feeling well adn he was in the bed too! Friday found the Major going to the Doctor and then home and in the bed resting all day with me still in the bed as well sleeping and resting with my arm propped up. Saturday found the Major returning to the Doctor yet again, still very sick and back in the bed along side me! With ear infections, sinus infection and blisters all in his throat he was not able to eat anything and barely able to drink anything too. So life at the Cottage has been quite interesting since Thursday!

Thanking the Lord for my parents! They came up yesterday and checked on us. My Mom brought homemade chicken and vegetable soup and they took the kids to lunch. Thank you Mom for calling and checking on us during the day as well! Also the Princess has really been taking care of the Major and I too! It hard with only having one hand to use until the 9th! She has helped by opening up pill bottles and things for me. Saltine crackers and coke have been my friend for the past 4 days, finally yesterday I was able to eat without feeling nauseous. The Major started feeling somewhat better late last night and he was finally able to eat some of my Mom's soup even though he was very much in pain trying to swollow, Praise the Lord he was able to becuase he had to eat something besides jello and vanilla yogurt!

I thank my parents for constantly calling and checking on us and for the two people from our Church that called checking on us, and for the one friend that sent a card. It really doesn't take a lot of effort to pick up the phone and call someone and see how they are doing, or send a card. Sometimes people just need to know that others care about them and that they are being thought of and prayed for.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy 15th Birthday Princess

Happy 15th Birthday to the Princess in the family! It's hard to believe that 15 years ago today you were born at Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Alabama while we were stationed at Ft.Rucker. You were born on a Saturday at 1:49 a.m. and you weighed 8 lbs. 11ozs. and 21 1/2 inches long. You were the first child that Mom and Dad had and because of you, we were given the names Mama and Daddy(maybe I'll also mentioned that you said Mama first!).

God had His hands on you right from the start. You were diagnoised with having a VSD heart defect when you were released from the Hospital after being born. For one year we visited your Cardiologist and prayed that the hole in your heart would close. After one year of waiting, there was no closure of the hole and you had open heart surgery when you were 18 months old. With your strong will, you were only down for the time that you were in surgery and recovery, a day after, you were pointing to the wagon in the Hospital wanting to get in and go on a ride! God saw you through and He has continued to see you through. It's as if you never had a heart condition at all, no meds have ever been needed only yearly check-ups with your Cardiologist. Praise be to God! And lets not forget the scar on your chest that provides you with an amazing testimony to share. And although you do have a scar, it has never bothered you and you are not ashamed. Who would be ashamed of what God did for them!

Dad and Mom have been so blessed through-out your 15 years of being in our live and family. We have watched you from the time you were born to the first time you crawled to the first time you walked to the first tooth that you got to the first time you rode a bike to the first day of school. We've seen you when you're happy, we've seen you when you're sad, we've seen you through disappointments and we've seen you through the celebrations. You are a sweet and wonderful daughter and a blessing to us. You're not only a daughter but you are also a wonderful big sister to your little brother. Not only are you his sister but also his friend. Our lives wouldn't be the same without you and we cherish you and the memories that we have made and will make.

So on your special day today, your BIRTHday, may you remember that you are not only our daughter, but you are first and foremost a child of the King, our Lord, Jesus Christ! "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

15 Years Ago Today

Fifteen years ago today we were stationed at Ft.Rucker in Alabama and the Major and I were expecting our first child, the Princess. Fifteen years ago today I was at Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Alabama being induced because a certain Princess didn't want to be born on or around her due date, she wanted to be 2 weeks late! She was even late for her own birth, after being induced for 21 1/2 hours and 3 hours of pushing, she wasn't born til the following morning at 1:49 a.m.

She topped the scales at 8 lbs. 11 ozs and our lives have not been the same ever since, she is a blessing to us.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Yesterday was my usual 3 month check-up for my thyroid. It was time to see my Doctor and get my blood work done. I have to admit that I have been feeling pretty well lately. Not cold all the time or tired or anything, so I was praying that the news would be good. Plus in April she put me on the name brand thyroid medicine Synthroid, taking me off of the generic brand.

Sooooo, today I got the call and for the first time that I started the battle with my thyroid, for right now my levels are regulated! You can not even begin to imagine how wonderful and how awesome the news felt! I give God all the glory! Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!

The next challenge is my carpal tunnel. I saw the specialist/surgeon on Friday and he said that I def. need surgery. Sooooooo, on the 28th of this month I will be getting surgery on my right hand. This will put Mom out of commission for about 10 days the Doctor said. I will def. have to humble myself and ask for help because the Princess will be starting Band Camp that week and I will not be able to drive her to and from. Right now, I am just praying that the Major doesn't deploy before I am able to get my surgery. He reports to his new assignment on Friday, and we are praying that he finds out when he'll deploy or if he'll even have to deploy, once he gets there Friday.

Our house is happy today, and I thank God for his love and faithfulness!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


This past Sunday we got back home to the Cottage after being gone for a week. We were gone on vacation to the beach, Myrtle Beach. We had a very relaxing vacation. No agenda, just to sleep in, get up, go to the beach, and then do whatever else our family felt like doing for the afternoon/evenings. One word: VACATION

What is a vacation? Or leave? Or holiday(as called in Europe)? All are a time of rest, relaxation and pleasure. That is exactly what our vacation was too! The first time in awhile that we have been away on vacation as a family just the four of us away without going and visting family along the way. It was nice to just focus on the four of us.

I must say that if you want to have a really nice vacation, and a really inexspensive one as well, and you are an active military family, Myrtle Beach is the place to go! We received huge military discounts everywhere that we went. For example:

Ripley's Aquarium....the general price here is $21.99 for an adult(ages 12 and up). We paid only $21.00 plus tax for the 4 of us! Awesome deal! And to be truthful, it was not worth the regular price of $21.99 a person, thank you Lord for the huge military discount and thank you Ripley's!

Another place that we enjoyed was Mt.Atlanticus putt-putt. This is one of the coolest putt-putts in Myrtle Beach. It has high tiki huts and a high-rise tiki torch. The regular price at Mt.Atlanticus is $10.00 per adult and children up to age 12 are $6.00. We all four played for $24.00! Wow what another awesome military disount! We had a fun time playing at Mt. Atlanticus and I must say, if you're wondering who won, it was I....MOM!!

Another place where we enjoyed going was to Crabby Mikes to eat. We love going to Crabby Mikes! It's an all you can eat seafood restaurant with crab legs, along with over 200 other items! They gave us a 20 percent military discount. And we were stunned when the Bookworm tried fried shrimp and loved it! He ate two plates of fried shrimp!! Here's a pic of their infamous van!

Another place was Wild Water and Wheels. Wild Water and Wheels is a waterpark. We spent all day there, and had a great time! Once again we were given a nice military discount. Regular price per person is $29.95....our discount was $18.40 a piece! Awesome discount! Thank you Wild Water and Wheels! The Major and I enjoyed lazying in the lazy river for most of the day, although he did ride the slides with the Princess and the Bookworm too. Mom even rode some slides as well! It was a relaxing day. At the end the kids fed the turtles that were there, there were sooo many different sizes of them! They were all cute!

If you are ever in Myrtle Beach and you want to try something different than putt-putt then you must go to Maze Mania! Maze Mania is awesome, it's a maze, you must find the cheese and then find your way out. If you find the cheese and get out in 5 minutes or under, you win a free t-shirt! And if you're wondering if we won a shirt, no, but we did get out in under an hour, 40 minutes to be exact! We had a fun time!

The Major and the Princess enjoyed building a sand-castle. The Major and the Bookworm enjoyed playing football on the beach. The Bookworm also lived in the water enjoying his boogy board.

And of course we enjoyed going on the beach everyday. How can you not love the ocean. It's an awe to look at the ocean, and think that it is one of the most awesome and wonderful creations that God has made. There is nothing like sitting on the beach and reading a good book, and I must add that I read and finished two books on my kindle! It was also nice to get into the ocean water as well. I am usally one to not get into the ocean water, but it felt really nice.
The Major spending time with the kids. It's days like this that I'll miss when he's deployed.