Who writes this stuff?

My photo

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 amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  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, July 31, 2009

Welcome home

Andy is home. The homecoming was beautiful.
I saw the news people wondering aimlessly last night, and thought the got a really good shot of Zion and Andy, but I guess the didn't use it. However, I thought the video they did use was pretty well presented.

During the course of the day today we have discovered that I left several important things at Mom's house when I moved away.
A few of those important things include Andy's wallet, which held his driver's license: Andy's Sim card for his phone: And, since all the pictures I took last night for the homecoming are on my phone, I of course left the cord for downloading pics at her house too.

I did take a few today, so here is one of my three boys sitting under the homecoming banner we made.
Sorry it is crooked. I was distracted by my handsome (and cheesy) men...
We are enjoying every second.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dancing in the rain

There is something really beautiful about a late afternoon summer storm. It cools the air, relieves the pressure, washes away some dirt. A few flashes of lightening, rumbles of thunder, but nothing too serious. Traffic stays mild.

I was enjoying it calmly while running errands, not even minding dragging the kids in and out of stores through a few puddles and sprinkles, then IT HIT ME...

I left my clothes on the line!

What could I do at that point but pray that perhaps the storm had skipped our house? Lo and behold, when we got home, the driveway was slightly damp, but not soaked like everywhere else, and most of the clothes were mostly dry. I think the fact that the line is under trees helped. I put a few things that were the least protected back in the wash, but the things that were still mostly dry went into the dryer for a final round of fluffing and a song of praise. God is good!

Running through the rain, as well as cleaning out those boxes of memories over the last few weeks, has reminded me of when Andy and I first started dating. We literally stood outside in the pouring rain until we were soaked to the skin, spinning in circles, skipping around the fountain in front of the student center. Dancing in the rain.
I am not sure we were even dating yet at that point, just "hanging out", but I think I knew that I loved him already. Now, almost 10 years later, I have no doubt that he would still stand in the rain and dance with me if I asked him too. We may not be as young and foolish, but some things are still worth the mess.

We are down to less then 24 hours until his return.
I am overjoyed. Ecstatic. Terrified.
It is the same every time. Those fears return always. What if he has changed? What if I have changed? What if we can't slip back into the routine of being together? What if we have forgotten how to do this thing called marriage?
I can't wait to see him, hold him, show him our boys, and the house ..... but, that niggling fear always hangs on.
I will beat it. I always do. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Change of subject: What have I been doing to keep myself busy?
Well, beside unpacking, starting 1st grade with Canaan, buying groceries, settling into a new house, changing doctors and pharmacy back to local... we spent Monday at Wild Adventures.
It was "Bring a friend day" for everyone who had a season pass, and our wonderful friends the Enderle's have season passes. They graciously invited us to take a day off from stress and just have fun.
It was very needed, and loads of fun!

The greeted us with a bird, which I let sit on my shoulder. Since I am NOT fond of birds, this was a huge feat.

Eager boys waiting in line.

Zion's first roller coaster ride.


And backward view.

Emily and I discovered that the three older boys all matched. Blonde hair in military regs (or close to). Grey shirts. Blue shorts. Poor little Zion was the odd man out. I don't think he cared, or even noticed.

He did, however, love the slide, especially since I enthusiastically went down with him. (look at my face... aren't a good mommy, getting all into it with him? hahaha)
I did get to ride a couple of real roller coasters - we didn't spend the whole day in kiddie land. Sadly, I think that I am starting to feel my age. They really aren't as much fun as they use to be!

There was a train around the park, so you could see the animals.

Look at Z's face. That is the classic "driving" face that I think all little boys make. Cracks me up!

This was after our first water ride. As you can see, I already had water on the lens. The camera was put away after this. We then spent about three hours in the water, fully coated in sunscreen, and have a wonderful time.

Thank goodness for friends who come and rescue us from our self-imposed insanity, right?

Back to the countdown...
(which has changed, once again!!! but only by a couple of hours, so, oh well. At least he is still coming home)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Slightly less then moral

What can wake you from a "comfortable" sleep, when spending your first night ALONE with your children in a new house - no other adults? Husband still in Afghanistan. Parents and siblings returned to their proper abodes - alone. Well, I suppose pretty much anything could wake you. But nothing will wake you more completely then an alarm that you have never heard before.
I went from dead asleep to sitting straight up in the bed, ready to run and grab my children. My first thought was fire, then tornado, then I started thinking clearly enough to realize the alarm was coming from my very own bed. It seems I had managed to roll over on my insulin pump in just the wrong way, for just the wrong amount of time, to set off an alarm.
Never done that before. Good to know... Wish it hadn't happened at 6am, my first night alone in my new house! However, since I was up I decided to check my kids, make sure they were breathing. Check the locks. And, as I was taught by my mother, who was taught by her mother, and I assume it goes back generations from there, "If you are awake in the night, God has a reason for it. So, start praying. When you have prayed for the person you are supposed to, you will be able to fall back asleep"
Always works for me!

I have had some very "I am woman, hear me roar" moments in the last couple of days. I used some tools. Climbed in and out of the attic with some fairly heavy boxes. Hooked up the DVD player, some of the surround sound system (need more speaker wire to finish), and one of the game systems, then watched an old black and white Cary Grant movie while sorting through old paperwork and receipts. Loaded the lawnmower into the back of the truck ALL BY MYSELF, then unloaded it too. Then, to top it off, a big nasty roach dared to show it's face in my domain... and I killed it. I didn't scream and run. I didn't let it get away. I killed that sucker. Tomorrow, I will have to call the exterminator, but for tonight I can sleep knowing that I conquered.

I have pictures to post, and more stories to tell, but I am still "borrowing" the internet. I guess I should send a shout out to whomever of my neighbors is considerate enough to have 1.) A strong enough wireless signal that I can pick it up, 2.) Not have a security password setting!
I am trying to be considerate and not use their internet too often, but the cable company cannot get out here to hook mine up until Tuesday, and I would have some serious withdrawal between now and then!
When mine is up and running, (and hopefully faster then this tail end of a signal I am stealing) I will post some pictures. Until then, I am thinking happy thoughts, something along the lines of "soon, Andy comes home soon"!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Our first meal in the new place!

Mom and I decided to head to Valdosta immediately after the T-ball game last night. We got in just a little before midnight, unloaded the truck, and crashed our exhausted selves into bed.
I had carried the sleeping boys in from the truck, so this morning when they woke up, they were in a brand new world.

A wonderworld.

Toys that they hadn't seen in months surrounded them on all sides.

Cars and trucks. Puzzles and games. Dress-up costumes. Playdough. Mr. Potato Head.
Trust me, they played with it ALL at some point in time today!

In fact, it was almost 10am before Zion emerged far enough from his bedroom to realize that the house extended into a kitchen, and better yet, a back yard.

We still have a long way to go on the organizing, unpacking and decorating, but tonight we had our first home cooked meal in our new house.

Homemade Veggie Pizza!

Yum, Yum!

(well, the pictures don't want to load... but since I am using a "borrowed internet" I won't complain. I need to go get my own internet turned on tomorrow!) Until then...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Under the Stairs

Before leaving my parents and heading back to my own home again, I decided to clean out "under the stairs".
It must first be pointed out that "under the stairs" cannot just be said in a normal, conversational tone of voice. "Under the stairs" requires a "doom and gloom", slightly forbidding, "certain destruction is in store" sort of voice. Thus the quote marks.
My parents moved into this house the same week I found out I was pregnant with Canaan. Andy and I were stationed at Beale AFB, way out in California, but came home for the house warming party. I think I may have claimed "under the stairs" starting that very weekend... No one else wanted it - truthfully! Dust rains down onto everything stored there every time anyone uses the stairs (which is every single day). But my stuff was safe, and out of the way, so I was happy. Over the past seven years, the stash "under the stairs" has been growing. First it was just a couple boxes of my childhood toys - the really special ones that I didn't want mom to get rid of - and my grandma's depression glass dishes that I was saving for later. Then a couple boxes of college memories were discovered, and stuffed under there.
Soon after, Andy's parents declared that he had to clear out all his junk from their basement. So, one weekend when we were home on leave from CA, we just boxed it up and transferred it from their basement to my parent's basement.
When Andy deployed the first time my parents finished one room in the basement for me to stay in. When I went back to CA, more stuff stayed "under the stairs".
When he went to Korea for a year, a bathroom, second bedroom and living room were added to the basement. Zion was born, baby clothes were used, and once again, items were stuffed "under the stairs".
Iraq - home again. Older kids. More toys, outgrown clothes....
So, here we are, now.
Man, I wish I had taken a picture of it BEFORE I started cleaning.
But, here it is all straightened and finished. You couldn't even move back here before I started.
Back to the story though.
First, I will just remind you that my children are 6 and 3 1/2. With that said, I found "under the stairs" a highchair, bouncy seat, entire crib bedding set, about 2 dozen bottles (which my children never used, since they nursed exclusively) a breastmilk pump (which was also pretty much never used, since they seemed to think that breast milk was only good when it came straight from the source), a ziploc baggie of pacifiers, and an entire rubbermaid container of 12 and 18 month clothes - but only 12 and 18 month clothes, no other sizes.
There were also lots of baby toys, etc., all of which have been sent to the yard sale pile which is currently taking up an entire third of the garage.
Next I conquered the box titled "college memories". That was an emotional roller coaster rider there! Mostly I was reminded of really good times - I had some really great friends, many of whom I have kept in touch with.
Even the bad memory, the one letter that I had kept that was full of anger and hurt and accusations - truthfully I can't even say that I can call it completely a bad memory. I made the right choice.
And oh, the things in that box that made me LAUGH!!!

However, lots of them ended up here....

I decided that I really didn't need every single note written to me during class. Nor every single paper I wrote during my entire college career.
Nor, once I kept digging into rubbermaid containers did I need the 24 "welcome new baby" cards that my mother had kept from the time of my birth.

Nor every single birthday card I had ever received EVER for my entire life. Or Christmas card, Thanksgiving card, Valentine, Easter card and even St. Patty's Day card.
If it was just a card, with a name and no note, I threw it away.
If it had a note, (or was from one of my grandparents) I kept it.
Simple as that.

Remember me talking about how my grandmother sends coupons in her cards? She has been doing that for years, and I have proof.

Expired May 31, 1995 - found in a card in a box... what a pity! Never got used.

I ended up emptying out four rubbermaids and several cardboard boxes. I filled that entire trashbag with old cards and letters.
More importantly, I spent several hours going through and looking at the things that actually are important.
I reread several letters from two of my best friends from childhood. Naomi, Lara, You two could each fill a shoebox by yourselves! Lara, Melissa, the pooh box still had marshmellows in it - however, I did finally throw them away, because they were disgusting. I took a huge bite of "sugar free", in fond memory.
I got filthy digging around in dust and cobwebs, and I found some really random stuff (cheap boxed valentines packed in a box with cheesy Christmas decorations and a really nice stained glass nativity set) (why?) but I had a blast.
Now I will just have to get Andy to go through his half....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

French Toast

This morning we had French Toast, with cinnamon and sugar.

I took pictures, just because I could...

I so enjoy these little spurts of self-sufficiency.

Especially when they come with an adorable smile like that!

Standing up on his stool, thinking he is "big stuff".

Zion woke up much later, and I had already put the camera away, but I found some cute shots of him from just a few days ago.

After all, it wouldn't do to have cuteness without even more cuteness to join in, now would it?

These are "just because"...

I hadn't posted cute pictures of my kids in way too long - Enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

I found a link today on my blogger friend Autumn's page - Thankful Thursday. It seemed like a good time to focus on things to be thankful for.
I am thankful for Skype, and the fact that I got to talk to my husband for several hours yesterday via the internet.

Afghanistan may be a long way away, but it feels much closer when I can see him on the computer screen, and hear him over my speakers.

I am thankful for Freon, or whatever the stuff is called that you put in your truck and suddenly that cab is filled with a blissful cold breeze, rather then the sweltering humid oppression that you are supposed to try to breath here in Georgia. I am also thankful that the truck only needed Freon, and not a new compressor.

I am thankful for coupons, and special deals, and the "rush" I get from buying food.

(like .99 frosted mini wheats!)
I could need caffeine, or expensive clothes, or illegal drugs to get that rush. I just need a Sunday paper and a grocery store. How cool is that?

I am thankful for my boys, and strangely enough, for their messes. They keep me busy, and I need to be busy so I don't have time to think negative thoughts.

I am SO very thankful for my amazing family. I have read several facebook status' lately from military wives with deployed husbands who are simply miserable - truly and honestly, I have never been miserable. I miss him dreadfully, and stress more then I should about his safety, but my family makes sure that I never have a chance to be miserable. AND, they love my Andy just because he is who is he.
That is something to be thankful for.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just for a moment

I realize that I disappeared from here for awhile. If you are my friend on Facebook, (or in real life for that matter) you know that I spent this last weekend moving into our new house. I meant to leave an "away" message here, but time was in a bigger hurry then I realized... Facebook didn't get an update until it was all over with, and even my E-mail didn't get checked for three days straight. That is how focused I was.
I got a lot accomplished. Everything was moved out of storage and into my new place. All the big pieces are in their proper room, a lot of cleaning was done, since the lady who rented this house before me was not exactly fanatical about details, and even some boxes were unpacked and put away. My sisters helped me start a pile of stuff to get rid of - yard sale, here I come!

However, in all this time of being busy, I have neglected something very important.

God time.

I have been crashing into bed late at night, and picking up my Bible while barely able to keep my eyes open. My reading has been unfocused and my prayers have been selfish. I have still talked to Him all through the day, because that is habit, but I have noticed that our conversations have become very one sided.

I am doing most of the talking - I have not been doing a lot of listening lately.

This morning I finally had a little extra time again. I am back at my parents for a few days once more, so I sat at the breakfast table and picked up my very neglected copy of "Streams in the Desert" and I was fed, SO much more then eggs this morning!

The first thing I read was "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." (Isa. 48:10) Let me tell you, I have been dealing with some "affliction" lately. Just one thing after another. The death of Frank Kaleb, and then Seth Sharp. Wondering about our adoption. Multiple car problems. Moving stress. Mildew on my furniture in storage. Worry about Andy, and exactly when he is coming home.... "affliction".
The answer is, "Does not the Word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Let the affliction come - God has chosen me!"
I love that "Soft shower", calming the fury of the flame - however, I do need The Word in order to have that soft shower.

I am going to make sure I spend some time seeking my flame "extinguisher" in the next weeks. There are still afflictions to be overcome - there always will be. But I have a promise that my God will never leave me nor forsake me. That is promise enough for me!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Another birthday update for Emilee

We had a small surprise party for Emilee today. It was mostly people from her work, and it was hilarious.
There is a small Karaoke place just down the street from their office, where you can rent a room for your own private party. The funny part is that most of it is in Japanese! The song selection, the remote control, the background videos... HILARIOUS!
There was an English selection, and we took full advantage of it.
Dad, and David. Emilee's two bosses... breaking it down to "YMCA"
Kelsey and Emilee, with dance moves added in with the singing...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Happy Birthday Emilee

Today is a very special person's birthday.

My first little sister, my Emilee.

My little sister is amazingly creative. She has such a talent to make art out of anything.
Any medium - but especially fabric.

She makes things for my boys ALL the time. She made this quilt for Canaan.

And this one for Zion.

Both my boys have a Christmas quilt.

And we all have matching aprons.

I am sure if I had the energy to go look, then scan them in, I could find pictures of her through the years, creating beautiful things... but I am too tired to go digging tonight, so we will have to settle for what I can find already on the computer.

She plays with my boys, is not afraid to get dirty....

Yet she is one of the most beautiful, polished, "girly girls" I know.

And of course, as anyone who knows her can confirm, she is an absolute riot!

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people in the whole wide world!
(and I know people all over the world)