Who writes this stuff?

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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two little boys who infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy. I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Friday, April 11, 2014

Long long ago, in a galaxy not so far away...

When I started my senior year of college I really didn't know what I wanted to do with myself yet. I had "hurried", taken summer classes, and was going to graduate before I even turned 21. I had expected to have met my husband by then. I assumed God would have given me detailed directions about what the next step was. But when the fall semester started I was clueless. And worried.
 Just a few weeks in, I met Andy and only weeks after that he gave me a black leather journal. He bought it specifically for the mission trip I was taking to India in October, so I could record what I saw, felt, and experienced.
 And let me tell you, I recorded.
 Everything.
 Probably too much... no one ever needs to read it but me.

 But having stumbled upon it now 14 years later, I am so glad to have it.

 My senior year is recorded in detail. Lots of emotional ups and downs. Reading it now, looking back. I can recognize the reasons behind almost everything. But at the moment so many things seemed heartbreaking. Staggering.

 I certainly hope my emotions have calmed with age!

 I kept writing after I graduated. First full time job and apartment. The planning of the wedding. The terror of Andy's Basic Training - our first time apart. I vented through our first military move, and half way through my first pregnancy, then suddenly just stopped. One more entry, 2 1/2 years later while pregnant again.

 And that is it.

 Later, I spent years writing here in blogland.

 But now, where did the words go? Why won't they come out any more?

 I am seeking them.

 Until then, a poem I wrote just weeks after Andy and I started dating, at 3am, of course. I am highly amused that I felt the need to record not just the date, but the time also. A bit of my OCD coming out perhaps?


 Contained:
What an interesting word
A relationship cannot be 
   Contained
It frees itself
exposes itself

The elements: wind, rain, ice, sun
   they are harsh
 It doesn't care
 Un-contained

The people: supportive, accusing, condescending
   they are vocal
 It doesn't care
 Un-contained

The circumstances: time, place, responsibilities
  they are demanding. 
 It doesn't care
 Un-contained

It is new and amazing
yet frightening and stressful
It is beginning and end, light and dark, best and worst
  Everything
 Except contained


Lots of crazy emotions going on back then. :) It does not make me miss college! I am glad, though, that the "un-contained relationship" featured in this poem turned out so nicely.

 Anyone else want to share college memories?

 Blessings, 


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Welcome 2014

 Strange really, how easily that flows. 2014. It seems such a short time ago that we were concerned that changing from 1999 to 2000 would cause computer problems around the world. (Or perhaps bring the end of time?) Now we are more then a decade into this "new" century.

 I guess that is always how it goes. Time flies, and all that jazz.

 I must admit that I am wanting time to speed a little this year. Just a bit.
 I promise to enjoy the moments as they come, but until April I don't think I will be asking time to slow down!

December was definitely full, and fast, but also fabulous! It always is a crazy month, not just because of the usual Christmas stuff, but because there are LOTS of birthdays in Dec in our family.

 Speaking of which, let me tell you a story. Mom called to tell me about a cute old movie she had started watching on TV and didn't get to finish. Gave me a few details and asked if maybe I could find out what it was called (!) and get it for her birthday. She never asks for anything so I was very eager to look. The details she gave were plenty for me to find the title, and it was actually available several places, but when I saw the cover I was surprised.
 On Black Friday I had picked up a four pack of Christmas movies, planning to give them to mom. Turns out, one of the movies in the four pack was THE ONE she wanted. What are the chances? Neither of us had ever heard of it before, I grab it on a whim, she watches part of it on TV and Voila, a very Happy Birthday was accomplished.
 The movie was called "It happened on 5th Ave", from 1947, and was part of this 4 pack if you want to check it out. Adorable!

 I would love to post pictures, but since my internet dropped me three times while I was trying to Skype with Andy I am thinking that uploading isn't a good idea right now.
 Hope your first day of 2014 has been wonderful.

 Blessings, 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

One moment at a time

 I'm still here.
 I'm still alive.

Some days "alive" would be the strongest classification I would have given.

 Other days I remember to live to the fullest.

 I think that every time Andy deploys I have to learn, again, that I cannot let him be the center of my world. He is not just my husband- he is my best friend, the father of my children, my teammate for the nitty gritty and the plain and simple.

 But you know who I had before him?

 My actual best friend, who amazingly enough, loves me even more then Andy does.

 I have a tendency to take Jesus for granted. I have no memories that don't include him. He has been the central part of my life for as long as I can remember. I trust that He will continue to be there every step, every moment.
 But that doesn't mean I should stop trying to get to know him better!

 He has the amazing ability to remind me of his presence at the exact moment I need him the most.

 Somehow, that never ceases to amaze me.

 Those moments when He simply steps in, puts his arms around me and reminds me that He cares about Every Thing- those moments get me every time.

 I suppose that is the point?

 When I have gotten distracted by my loves, hates, fears and joys, He always nudges me, just enough to get my attention, and reminds me that He was here first.

 Andrew Ian was a gift to me. I continue to be thankful for him. But Jesus was a gift first, and was my best friend long before I ever met Andy.

 When missing Andy seems like more then I can stand (like in these moments before family gatherings and when every single person in the world seems to be playing "I'll be home for Christmas") I have confidence that before I reach the breaking point my best friend will shake me, like only a best friend can, and snap me out of it.

 My words have been lacking this deployment. This use to be where I found my peace but this time not so much. The words are there... they just aren't coming out. Maybe next year?

 Right now we are celebrating and remembering the birth of The Best Friend who was willing to give all. And every single moment of life is appreciated.

 May you have joy in all things and find peace in His presence my friends.

 Many blessings, 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Creativity calls

We planted bulbs today. Prepping for next spring, while the fabulous fall weather is in full swing.
 It was dirty, sweaty work, but so much fun!
 Canaan and Zion helped pick spots, dig holes, plant and cover the little bundles of potential. They actually both lasted almost the whole time. While I was putting away the tools and sweeping up the mess they both went inside to clean up. Cool down. Get a drink.
 Imagine my surprise when I walked in and was greeted with "Mom, we are ready to give you your massage."

 They had placed a towel on the couch, prepared steamy cloths, and were ready to serve. Canaan rubbed my head, Zion steamed my feet and they both helped "beat the stress away" on my back.

 All their idea.

 Completely their planning.

 What amazing boys I have!

 I, obviously, don't have any pictures. I was quite willing to just lay down and let them pamper me! However, I do have some pictures of what my boys have been up to recently.

 The Cardinal's men, fighting against The Musketeers.
 Super hero facepaint
 Fishing in the rain

 With our good friend Asher.

Lot's of art...
 Icecream art

 Crocheting: Headband (Zion helped!)
 Coaster (Canaan did most of this himself)
 And a sock puppet,
with a superhero's cape.

Good stuff, keeping us busy, and having some great learning moments! 

Blessings, 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A delayed update

 I'm back in GA again for a quick weekend trip. It was my niece's 3rd birthday yesterday. I am not allowed to post pictures of her, but I'll have to share that it was an adorable birthday party. Minnie Mouse everywhere! That little girl was very much prayed into existence and we celebrate every day of her, but birthday parties are extra special.
 After the rush of the party was over my boys claimed the couch, along with their (2nd) Uncle Josh. I couldn't resist this picture, with Canaan still in his Mouse ears. Those are some chillin' boys.

 I realized though, being back in GA again, that I never posted pictures of our last visit. Right after Andy left we spent a week visiting several places.
 Olympic Park, Atlanta
Braves Game with Uncle Kevin

 We stopped at Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, TN, to show the boys where my parent's lived when I was born. 
Married with children housing - 34 years later I think some of those same trailers were still there.  
Cool art in Berea, KY

 We took a break in Manchester, KY, where we lived when I turned 9 and Mary Faith was born. 
 This picture really isn't that great, but I can't find any others from Mary's first days. 

 We went a little farther north to "Binkley Caverns" in southern Indiana.
 Anyplace that shares our name has to be explored! 
You could "Pan for gold" after you explored the caves, and that was a blast!

Frisch's Big Boy - one of several in Indiana
The Patton museum at Ft Knox, KY
Really cool "motel" in KY. We drove by it and had to stop for pictures. I really want to stay there someday! 

 Louisville Slugger factory and museum in Louisville, KY
 They had a special display of baseball Legos. Very Very Cool! 
 This video is a little long, but shows some cool shots of the art. 

Next up, horseback riding. 



As I posted on Facebook, if you haven't ridden a horse in 20 years... don't. 
 My bum hurt for several days! 
I love this picture of my parents. 

 Bumper boats
 And the beautiful Opryland hotel

 A quick stop at a railroad museum

...then back to Nani and Papa's.

That was a great way to spend the first week 

The days are moving along. It has been a whole month now and we stay busy.
Andy does too. 
Life is good! 
Blessings, 

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The 2013-14 school year

 I'm feeling much better - I had the wives of the men Andy deployed with over for Labor Day. There are only 3 of us, but it was a nice common bond knowing that our husbands are together. Spending the "holiday" together made it seem less lonely.
 I do, however,  feel incredibly old after spending time with them - they are both younger, with tiny little children! My boys seemed like little giants.

 Speaking of my giants, they had their sport's physicals last week, with an official "school year" measurement. Canaan is 55.5 inches tall, getting very close to the 100 lb mark, and in desperate need of new glasses.

 Zion is 51.5 inches, 64lbs, and might be needing glasses too. I have an official appt for that tomorrow, but if the wall chart is any sign we are going to need some help seeing.

 Soccer season is off to a decent start, and the school year is going fabulously so far, with today already being our 22 day. I want to get as much done before Andy gets home so we can relax with him come May.

 They both lost a tooth, within 30 minutes of each other, last week. That was a first, for the tooth fairy to visit both beds in the same night.

 Canaan has recently started "Teaching Textbooks" math 5 and loves it. He was not a fan of Saxon, but so far finds it very exciting to be "in charge" while doing math on the computer.

 Zion seems to have finally had something click with reading. He still has to work through things, but his sight words tripled overnight recently. Don't know why, but I'm not complaining! I guess he was just ready. Or, "Explode the Code" this summer worked even more then I thought!
 I have had him doing some random workbooks for math and we are reading the "Life of Fred" books together. They fit my style of learning perfectly! Check them out.

 I have finally buckled down and started a spelling program - Sequential Spelling. I started on the first book and have Canaan doing several lessons at a time in hopes that he might start the second book this year also. I am not good at doing something "Every Day", which it asks. I like change entirely too much to do the same thing every day! As long as we do it twice a week I am satisfied.  Zion is on lesson 3, and we are good with that. One thing at a time.

 For history we are sticking with a literature based program. I have so many fabulous children's books - why in the world would I pick a text book? We have done Leif Ericson, Columbus, Jamestown and Pocahontas, and are in Plymouth now. My favorite subject is easy for me to teach. Drop me a line if you ever want to talk children's lit and history!

 Canaan is writing a story, expanding his vocabulary and working on sentence structure. Our co-op will have a creative writing class this fall also. I am sure he will enjoy that. Zion, on the other hand might hate it... but he is taking it anyway.

 I somehow got talked into teaching PE for the 5-6 year olds at our co-op. Still not sure how that happened! I will be assisting in art for that age also. Seriously, the two subjects I like the least? I guess God wants me to get out of my comfort zone! Never too old to learn, right?

 One last curriculum shout-out. My boys are upstairs on the computer right now with "dance mat" typing. Totally free and really fun set-up.

 Guess that sums up our first few weeks of school. We travelled to four different states, learned about their capitals, and enjoyed several episodes of "How the states got their shapes" on Amazon Prime. The flashcards that my father used to memorize the states and capitals, and then were used by my sisters and I, are doing a wonderful job for Canaan also. The population is "slightly" outdated, but neither the capitol or the shape of the states has changed in 50 years. I really need to write my grandmother a thank you note for saving everything! (and my mom too, since they survived multiple moves with her) My family rocks!

 Hope your school year is off to a good start.
Blessings, 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fresh clean socks

 I had a rough day today. Don't even really know why... although Andy says it is hormones and even from several 1000 miles away he tends to know me best.

 You see, I tried to be a "big girl" and do what I really didn't want to.
 I put away the laundry.

 Yes, literally.

 Big deal, right?

 But you see, having a stack of Andy's clean clothes sitting in the laundry room made it seem like he was still here. Putting them away and knowing that there won't be any more feels so final. And suddenly 8 months seems overwhelming.

 I had plenty to do today. Leaders meeting for homeschool co-op. School. Soccer practice. Feed the boys and clean up the kitchen.

 But even with a full schedule I was distracted.

 Because what I wanted to do was quit. Pack my bags and go "home". Cry for a nice long time, then live the alternate life I have when Andy is gone.

 I even talked to Mom, who reminded me that, although I am always welcome to come, my boys have a life here.

 That is very important. Their life is here.

 When I was reading to the boys before bed we were in the book of 2 Chron. An army is coming to attack that is much too big to stand against. More then the Israelites could even dream of defending against. But as they pray they are assured of God's deliverance. His presence in their lives. 20:12 says, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."

 Do not know what to do.... That sums up my feelings right now.

 Eyes on You.... because that is where deliverance (and truth) comes from.

  What form that deliverance will come in I cannot yet say. But for now I need to play the part of the tooth fairy and that is enough to get me through tonight.

 Tomorrow will come when it is ready and I will be ready for it when it comes.

 Thanks for letting me vent!

 Blessings, 

Monday, August 12, 2013

And he's off...

 I spent some time recently being stressed. I tried not to be. I put effort into it.
 But guess what? I was still stressed. It took me a few days to remember how to fix it.

 Philippians 4:6 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God."

 With Thanksgiving.

 Romans 8:28 says "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

 In all things.

 I have had both those verses memorized for years. But I needed to read them again so that God could point out something new. Even after 30 years of earnestly seeking Him, there is new peace and joy just waiting.

 I have so much to ask for. Protect my husband. Keep me healthy. Guide my children.

 But if I trust that "all things work for good" then I need to remember to present my requests with thanksgiving. And I have even more to be thankful for. Strong, healthy, obedient children. Doctors that take me seriously and are willing to listen. An amazing husband who is my best friend also.

 As I have spent this last week praying about his trip to Afghanistan I have remembered to take the time to thank God first. And it has been so much easier.

 He is officially gone now and the 8 months have begun. So I know to say "Thank you Lord for a great start and for a man who is worth missing".

 All things work for good.

 I believe that!

 Blessings, 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The reality of the countdown

 I'm still here.
 Still having a blast of a summer.
 But I try not to do much stopping. Because stopping leaves time for thinking.
 And right this minute, thinking is not cool.

 We still have about three weeks before Andy leaves.
 Or is it, We ONLY have about three weeks until Andy leaves?

 Depends on the moment.

 For now, I am working hard to stay busy. Play dates, the zoo, picnics in the park - and we are doing school two days a week! No time for thinking here!

 I think I will write more when he leaves. We'll see. For now, one day at a time.

'nuff said!

 Blessings my friends, 
                   

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A catch up post




 We had a blast in Helen GA: shopping, tubing, fishing, making s'mores, and most of all just relaxing and enjoying some family time.



Andy had already been off work for a whole week, so he had quite a beard going. 


Daisy and I got hot and bored pretty quickly and went exploring. I enjoyed seeing the crew from my secret spot... in the shade!

 
 Can you see the fish? Right there! But not a single bite all day long. 
(and by all day I mean we started before 9 and didn't quit til after 5)
 
We picked fresh blueberries and blackberries.



 We had an anniversary too. Last Sunday was twelve years! 
 Our engagement picture
 Rehearsal handshake - no kissing allowed!


12 years full of adventure. I can't wait to see what God sends next! Life is beautiful my friends. 
Blessings,
Bethany