Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day...thoughts.

On Friday I watched proudly as my cousin walked the stage at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland to accept his degree in Ocean Engineering and even more impressively, his commission into the United States Navy as a brand new Ensign. It has been 15 years since I watched my husband do the same thing. It was a walk down memory lane and a flood of memories encompassing 15 years worth of marriage, 12 of those years of military duty. I am proud of my cousin. It does not come as surprise to me that he chose this path. In our family, he is one of many. He takes his place in a long line of family members who have answered the call to protect our freedom. This does not make him a number, although he joins the now 76,000 who can call themselves USNA graduates. No, he is not a number, he is an Officer in the United States Navy. He wears his uniform proudly. He is not only an Officer, but a Believer in Jesus Christ and he will wear his duty well. His graduation stands in bright, colorful opposition to the Memorial Day that stands before us. In a video shown at church this morning, we saw a young girl, growing up without her Fallen Hero, her Daddy. The video, which I have now searched for too long, shows her at a young age learning to roller skate, celebrating her 14th birthday, graduating from High School, and getting married, while writing to her Daddy about each event, though he had died. Finally, she visits Arlington with her young daughter and explains the cost of freedom and that some things are worth the cost. I found myself unable to hold back the tears as names of fallen friends raced through my mind. My dear friend lost her husband three weeks before she gave birth to their first and only precious girl. My husband and I have lost many friends through the years and we do not forget them. Tomorrow is Memorial Day and they are forefront in my mind. They fought and died to protect our freedoms. After hearing the Blue Angels fly this past week, our local Librarian mentioned to me that she could not imagine hearing "that" and knowing that bombs were being dropped on her country. Almost all of our wars have been fought in places where we do not hear the pain or terror of bombs, gun fire, and fearful screams. They are fought far away, where you can ignore them. They are fought in places where you can call them not real, or unnecessary. They are fought in places where you can oppose them because the terror is not at your door. You do not have to call jet noise the sound of freedom. You get to call it entertainment. Men and women have died for you, for your freedom, and for your protection. You get to sleep well at night because they have your back. They choose to not let you down. They have died, not letting you down, keeping their promise, and hoping that you will continue to enjoy the freedoms for which their lives were given. On Memorial Day, remember them, thank their families for their sacrifice, and remember to thank a veteran while they are still alive to appreciate your words.

This is a picture of my husband leaving for what was
his final deployment.
I am so grateful to the Lord for His protection over Peter and that He has allowed us to live this life together, raising our kids for His glory,
and enjoying the freedoms which others continue to fight to maintain.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Let's go see some ponies!

"Kids, maybe when we wake up in the morning we will see some wild horses."
God blessed us with 3 in our camp site on our first morning at Assateague.
John was so excited to be the first one to spot them!

Our five mile bike ride landed us in a parking lot with 6 wild horses roaming and grazing.
Early morning fishing, just Daddy and Daniel.
"Daddy, I was dreaming that we got up and went fishing
and now we are up and fishing so it was just like my dream."

32 inch Striped Bass caught on Daniel's light weight line!
The fish were not nibbling on the surf rod.
It was a good joint effort. Daniel's pole and Daddy reeled it in.
What a sweet blessing from the Lord.
He provided the poles (thanks to Uncle David and Aunt Barbara), bait when the kids dug up sand crabs with Daddy, and the huge fish for us to study and then enjoy for breakfast.
God is so good--all the time!

We met another homeschooling family this morning when Peter was walking up from the beach holding the fish. They stopped us to ask about it and we invited them down for Monday morning fish anatomy. The stomach of the fish had a small crab, in tact. We watched the heart beating and tried to name all the fins.

This is the standard "look how big my fish is" photo, simply for your enjoyment!

Mmm, mmm, good.
Broiled fish for breakfast (and donuts).
13 minutes before we had to be off our site, lest we pay for another night.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So we are officially "campers"

The closest we had come to camping as a family was sleeping on the floor at the Holiday Inn. (They have free breakfast, ya know.) That is until our little trip to Texas. That hooked us. So we spent months searching out the perfect camper for our ever-growing brood. We searched eBay. We searched Craigslist. We even searched the RV show, willing to pay the exorbitant prices of the dealers and bringing home dozens of brochures to pour over. We realized that was not the best choice, so it was back to the midnight web surfing. It had to be under a certain weight because, although 15 passenger vans are huge and all (I actually have people ask me if my kids have to ride in car-seats in it but I disgress), they just can't pull a trailer big enough to house all the people that ride within their shell. We also desired a bunk house in the back as our children are still small, but they are growing and we didn't want to deal with putting down tables and sofas every night. And then, we found it. We made a deal with a guy on Craigslist and then drove it home. We took our first camping trip a few weeks ago and are packing up to leave again tomorrow.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's 11 PM, do you know where your kids are?

As a matter of fact I do. Abigail, John, Daniel and Isaiah are all sound asleep.

Peter and Ashley are pulling a long awaited all-nighter. One that was promised three years ago when Daddy came home from his final deployment. They have already eaten many snacks and played a few games.

But what are they doing right now???

Ashley is getting her first driving lesson in the Jeep.

Next up...Movies (her favorite!) and Mommy will go to bed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Confess and be healed.

I have a confession to make.

I micro manage baby wipes.

Weird I know.

But who wants all those baby wipes thrown all over the car after five children have eaten peanut butter and jelly with a side of lime tortilla chips?

You make a mess, you can ask for a wipe.

But I refuse to let you have free access to the wipes.

It's just a thing with me.

I have other things, but let's take this slow. One confession at a time.

What's your thing?