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.