Who writes this stuff?

My photo
I try to keep my priorities in order: Jesus, my Andy, our children, everything else. I homeschool our boys, love to read almost all written words and have been challenged by the military life for 18 years. Right now my faulty human body is demanding a lot of attention. One day at a time, learning as much as possible every day and remembering to look for JOY when other things threaten to overwhelm.

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."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thank goodness for CFA WiFi

 It seems that as soon as I see my husband I forget the fact that I own a beautiful camera and become a blob of emotional mess, unable to do anything but gaze at him in wonder.
 Yes, I am serious - sort of.

 After 10 years, we are that couple. At least, after spending several months apart. I seriously just walk around, holding his hand and enjoying his presence.
 The frustrating part, at least for me, is that I never have any pictures of him.

 We have been running a little crazy down here waiting for OCS graduation. My phone signal is very weak at the cabin we rented for the week, so if I want to communicate with the outside world I have to drive into town. Sometimes that is important. Sometimes it isn't.
 I discovered a beautiful little Chick-fil-A this afternoon. After a snack of nuggets and icecream, the boys have played on the playground for about two hours, and I have finally been able to check my e-mail in peace and spend some time with a real phone signal. I had no idea how addicted to the world of technology I was until I didn't have it! Especially since Andy got me a new laptop for my birthday (coming up on Wednesday-agh!) and I haven't been able to use it at all.
 We were able to spend the weekend with Andy. He had to report in again this morning and we haven't seen him yet today, but we are hoping to have supper with him tonight. We'll see. As always, the military theme remains, wait and see.
 I changed the "quotes of the month." Change is in the air - it seemed fitting. This one was one of my favorites, even though it didn't make it on the list to the side.

 "There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is a comfort to shift one's position, and be bruised in a new place." Washington Irving

 For now, I try to find the good in every moment, and remember to love the change all around me. No more counting paperclips... but I still have several to-do lists going. A girl can only "play it by ear" to a certain level when she has been as OC as I have been in the past!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


 I had a bit of a panic attack these last few days. My time schedule, the perfect one I imagined in my mind... it wasn't the same one the U.S. Army had in it's mind.
 Nor the one my "niece" Ruby had in mind.

 Ruby was supposed to be born last week, so I could spend some time with her before I had to leave. Little booger is making me (and her Mommy too!) a little crazy taking her sweet time coming into the world.

 I'm on a deadline here!

 In case anyone here isn't my friend on Facebook, here's how the schedule looks.

 The boys and I get to spend the last week of Andy's officer training with him down at Ft. Benning. There are several "events" planned, and the "officers to be" should have some freedom during the week to spend with their families. That starts Thursday - um, tomorrow.

 He graduates the next Thursday, the 26th. We have 5 days to come back here to my parent's, pack up the bare essentials, (just what will fit in a small U-haul trailer) drive to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, find an apartment, move in and Andy report for duty. Sound like fun?

 After five months there, while he attends class, and I practice life as a minimalist, (which I am actually looking forward to) - then we move to ALASKA!

 That is the part we are excited about.

 Living in Missouri, where we technically are not invited, (thus the bare essentials, have to live off base, only have a few days to find an apartment) - well, Missouri is just a side trip.

 Alaska is the main event. More on that later.

 Anyway, I was having my usual pre-move meltdown. My sister came home the other day and I was counting paperclips. Yes, seriously. Trying to decide how many I might need in the five months we spend in MO. She almost laughed her head off, then, not so gently, reminded me that they have stores in MO. But you see, I already have plenty. Neatly organized in a container. But I don't want to take the entire desk container with paperclips, rubberbands, tape, stapler, etc. I wanted to take a smaller sampling. But I don't want to have to buy more when I already own them. Oh, the stress of choosing just the right amount!

 I told you. Meltdown.

 I was talking to Andy a bit later and he reminded me "Bethany, remember how you always panic that we're not going to find someplace to live. Then, right at the last minute God provides something perfect. Let's just skip the panic part and go right to the God provides something perfect."

 I'm trying people, really I am. I can't help it that I like to have a plan, and a list, and neatly organized paperclips.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

The 8th Birthday Preview

 Canaan will be 8 on Sunday, but he already received his big surprise.

 This was his face when we first pulled in - he was very curious? Why are we here?
 This was  his expression when he realized that he was really going to do what he thought he was going to do. 
 Any guesses? See behind him? 

 Need another hint?

Uncle Travis is a flight instructor at Tillman Aviation University.
He took us up for an incredible flight around town.

 Canaan got to help with the pre-flight inspection.
Checking the fuel tanks for contamination. 
Uncle Travis showed him what fuel contaminated by water would look like. 

 Zion was very excited too. I was afraid his fear of heights would keep him from going up, but apparently airplanes don't count. He was perfectly fine. He freaks out on top of Daddy's shoulders, but was thrilled to be in the plane! 
 The boys got to ride by themselves while the planes was towed out of the hanger.
Time for a last check of the instrument panel, a chat with the tower, and... we're off!
 We flew over Nani and Papaw's, 
 Allatoona Dam,
 and the mountain we climbed last December. 
 Then, it was time for Canaan to take the controls.
You can't tell me that's not cool.
At first Zion was content to sit in the back with me... 
 but then he wanted to get closer to the action up front.
 Eventually Uncle Travis took over the controls again and we flew over Grammy and Poppy's. 
It was really sad to see the trees knocked down from the big storm a few weeks ago. Thank goodness it was just trees though! 
 Later we buckled in tight and had a roller coaster ride, 
 then it was time for our final approach.
 Doesn't he look like he belongs in that pilot's seat?
We were blessed by both Mr. Tillman and Uncle Travis. 
This is a birthday Canaan will never forget! 
(and it's not even over yet!)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A quick weekend away.

I never did post pictures of when we went to visit Andy at Ft. Benning. He had to wear his "uniform" polo during his weekend off, but we had him to ourselves for almost 48 hours. 

Canaan thinks that kissing is gross.  
I almost forgot to take a picture of him in uniform. This was the first time I had ever seen him in the Army digital camo. The Army look is similar to the AF, I guess. Still, lots of changes to get use to. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Be careful with the power you wield

"May the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14 

There are so many ways to use words.

 Puzzles, like crosswords and searches. Acrostics - like one of my favorites: JOY= Jesus, Others, Yourself
Playing games like Scrabble or Boggle. Giving directions and explaining how things work.

 Words are in books, in song, in games, in more digital formats then I can think to describe, including this blog right here.

 But I think that perhaps the most important is still the spoken word.

 Our voice includes emotion. It rises and falls. It gives clues to what we are thinking, meaning, trying to communicate. It is so very full.

 I have struggled with words in the last few weeks.

 More appropriately, I have been disappointed by words.

Words have been spoken that hurt. Words have been written that discouraged.

 I must admit that when the hurtful words were spoken, about someone that I love, my first instinct was to strike back. For just a split second I could almost envision myself smacking someone.
 That is a huge admission for me to make, and explains how very upset I was, because I normally don't have a violent bone in my body.
 Instead, I simply carried on with the conversation. Because here is the kicker - the person who said the hurtful words didn't even know they were hurtful. They say them so often, without thinking, without considering the feelings of others, that they had no idea I was crying inside.

 Later, I got to cry on the outside, but it still left me discouraged. And wondering what to do.

 Words - such power.

 When Bin Laden was killed there was celebrating in the streets and many, many words about the situation. Within minutes Facebook was covered with comments.
 As a military wife, I couldn't help but feel relief that a military target had been found, that a goal of the armed forces had been accomplished. Some fear that fighting would be stronger in retaliation, but relief also.
 However, celebrating death, of anyone, is beyond my comprehension.

 But I watched the words flow. In one part of FB, among friends who don't know Jesus, there was lots of hate. In another realm, among my Christian friends, a round of bickering about who was right about celebrating the death of an enemy- quoting different scripture and arguing God's take on the death of a man that none of them had ever met. As if any of us know the mind of God.

 I only knew my own feelings. My disappointment, and discouragement, in words.

 So I have been stewing over my words, and praying about my words, and trying to spend some time in The Word.

 I can't say I have any answers. I just know that words have power. Power to lift up, or tear down. Power to encourage or to crush someone's last hope. Power to share unfailing, unending love, or to show hate that frightens to the core. Yes, words have power. I am taking that very, very seriously.

                                               As always, Blessings,

Monday, May 02, 2011

The good, the bad, and the ugly

 I realized that it had been over a week since I wrote, and that my last post had been very emotional. I figured it was time to take a moment to sit down and try a change of subject.
 First, a recap of the week.

 On Monday I realized that we had only 6 weeks left before we had to report to MO, and I didn't yet have a place to live, nor a single thing packed.

 On Wednesday the biggest storm in the last 40 years blew through the south, killing the most people in recorded history. (obviously, this doesn't include hurricanes - but most for tornados ever) My in-law's county was one of the worst hit in GA. My sister's town was completely obliterated. None of my family was hurt, but the damage around us has been so painful to witness.
 But the miraculous stories of survival have been beautiful to hear, so, as always, I try to focus on the positive.

 On Friday I finally went to the Neurologist and got a second opinion about my seizures. The new doctor disagreed with pretty much everything the old doctor had done/said/not done. He was very eager to see the results of the tests done so far, but thinks that I am having localized partial seizures, not absence seizures.

 I know, I know, boring, boring. It was just exciting for me to have a doctor that 1) Seemed to be interested in actually talking to me and 2) Seemed to be interested in actually making me well.  The last neurologist ignored me until I begged for attention, left it up to me to find and suggest possible solutions, and then wrote prescriptions for what I requested, which an occasional suggestion thrown in. I told mom I learned more from my 30 minutes with this new doctor then I had in the entire three years I have been dealing with this.
 The only downside to his aggressive, proactive take on treatment is that he shares all the options up front. For example, "if higher dosage or different kinds of medicine don't get this under control, we can always try brain surgery."

 Not quite ready to talk about cutting my head open - thanks anyway.

 Saturday I helped a military friend move into her new place. My lovely little country girl moved into the city. She is in a fairly quite neighborhood, and her hubby will only be 15 minutes from Dobbins ARB, but that also leaves her only 5 minutes from I-75 in one of the most crowded areas surrounding Atlanta. She will have some adjusting to do - but will have some lovely shopping near by!

 Now, let me skip back in time just a little.

 Easter Sunday -

 We really like to do the family thing around here. We managed to get all four sisters, the husbands that were available, and the parents of two of the husbands too. Plus, we added a grandmother, just for good luck! It was a blast.
 My handsome boys in their new Easter outfits. 
My adorable mommy and daddy.
 Emilee's mother in law, the wonderful Barbara
 Andy's parents Dane and Ellen and the adorable baskets they brought for the boys. 
 Skyping with a loved one who couldn't be there. 

 While we had all four sisters together, we couldn't resist "posing". The last time we managed to get all four together for a photo shoot was a week after my "big" seizure, and I really don't think I was looking my best- not that I can ever compete with my beautiful little sisters!

We know how to have fun! 

This is not really one of my favorites, but I had to laugh at it. 
We are in age order... and our skirts are in length order. Pretty funny! 

 Our wonderful photographer, Travis. (and sister number three, Kelsey)

 Sister number two, and her other half, Kevin. 

I am so very glad to have my little sisters as some of my best friends. 
I truly can't imagine life without them. 

I hope your Easter was filled with family, friends, and joy in the celebration of our Savior's resurrection!