Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Irene, Goodbyes & Baptisms

This week was crazy for us.  First of all, we were keeping on eye on Irene.  She was threatening to come straight for us for a while, and seeing that we are about a half mile from the coast, we didn't know whether we'd be given an evacuation order, if we needed to board up our windows, and whether or not my husband would be here for it or if I'd be running from this storm on my own with our kids, dog, and as many prized possessions and we could fit in our van.
My husband cuts out these paper hurricanes to track on our school map...so funny but the kids love keeping up with it.

Lucky for us, she decided to go a different route.  I'm so sorry to the Louisiana and Mississippi coast and anyone else who sustained damage, but it made life here a little less stressful, so I was happy.  We still boarded up some windows, staked our trampoline to the ground, and brought our 426 outside chairs/toys/pool floats in and away from wind danger.  We got some outer bands with a bunch of rain and wind, but nothing damaging.     

Which was nice, considering it was at the same time we were doing this...saying good-bye to Daddy for a while.

Thus, the reason I was a bit stressed.  Husband deploying...hurricane coming...kind of a lot to deal with in one weekend.

But, before he left, we were able to see our two older boys get baptized together.  They both gave their lives to Jesus as their savior a while ago, but showed our church family their decision this weekend.

Warms a momma's heart.

It you wouldn't mind, say a prayer or two for my husband's safety and the kids and I who are left missing him so much.

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

MFW EX1850: Week Two

Starting out the second week of school with getting wisdom teeth removed was not the best planning on my part.  I spent the day in bed sleeping off the anesthesia as well as the Vicodin.  I haven't had to take many pain killers in my lifetime, and I'm pretty sure the side effects of this one was worse than the pain it was masking.  I stopped taking it the next afternoon, when I realized that the pain wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be (I thought it would be really bad).  I think I was more nervous about getting my wisdom teeth out than I ever remember being about impending labor and childbirth.  (Of course, the memory of that pain fades so much anyways.  Plus, I was so uncomfortable leading up to it and that it seemed a relief.  And I got the bonus of a baby in my arms.)  Anyways, I figured it would be more painful than when I got my braces on as an adult, but the braces were much worse.  I really was pleasantly surprised with the level of pain I had this week.  I don't remember much from the first day, and I did take the Vicodin for about 36 hours and then kept a steady dose of Motrin in my body, so it really only hurt if I moved my mouth a lot, i.e. yawning or smiling.  I was even eating mostly regular food after a few days.

Meanwhile, my awesome husband took over schooling duties for the day so we didn't fall behind just six days into our school year.  While I was still a little loopy the next day, Chris had to go back to work and I resumed most of my teaching duties.

This week we mostly read about what was going on back in Europe at the time (early 1500s) and one of those things was King William of Orange coming to power in the Netherlands.  The kids decided to be silly and shorten it to King Orange when they drew on their notebook pages.

We also talked about Queen Mary of Scotland (who was later kicked out of Scotland and was then locked up for 18 years by her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England).  And since we were talking about Scotland, why not whip up a batch of a Scottish dessert, shortbread?

Not having gone to church all that often growing up, I don't know many traditional hymns.  I love that this school year we will be learning some.  Our first is "This Is My Father's World", one that we learned in the kindergarten curriculum from MFW.  My boys are not so enthusiastic about singing, but they still go along with it.

We started our memorization of the book of James this week also.  I'm memorizing it as well and we're all doing great.  I'm requiring it of my two older sons (nine and eleven), but Gabriel (six), who memorized his Awana book in just a few months last year, is picking up on it quite well also.

One of my favorite things that we do for school is our letter writing.  Every Friday the kids will write a letter to a different family member or friend and quite often they get a letter back.  I remember exchanging letters with my grandparents when I was their age, and I hope they will think this is special as they look back on it.  We are so far away from all of our family and I want them to feel like they have more of a connection with that other than visiting with them once or twice a year.

Everything is going pretty well other than that.  I hope you have a great week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Little Sandestin

I have to say that the family support at our base is pretty good.  Okay, really good.  For instance, we just got back from two nights at the Sandestin Hilton.  Courtesy of the base family support center.  Granted, we are about to go through a deployment and a long separation is not the best thing for a marriage so they want to help support that.

We went to a family retreat and they treated our whole family real good.  First of all, this view.

They put us in a room that slept eight.  Which is pretty hard to find in hotels that are in our price range (which this hotel was not).  Even so, two of our kids slept in the smaller-than-twin sized bottom bunk.  It was more exciting than in one of the comfy double beds where the rest of us were I guess.

Let me tell you how it has rained all but five days this month.  That's 12 out of 17 days with rain of some amount.  I know that other parts of the country need this rain and I'd happily send it your way if I could.  Anyways, we were going to the beach on a mini-vacation...I needed the rain to go away.

Friday morning it poured.  Friday evening we were surfing the waves.  Thank you rain, for taking a break.

Lest you think we had this perfect family mini-vacation, I will tell you why there are only three children in our Saturday beach pictures.  

Picture this in your mind...

We were in a beautiful hotel on a beautiful beach, and two of my children didn't feel like getting sandy.  Chris took Leah back to the room to go potty or something and for some reason Gabe didn't go with him.  (I think I may have made him stay because usually when he says he doesn't want to swim at the beach, he ends up quickly changing his mind once we are there). So I left him sitting by our stuff and went in the water with Anna, right in front of where he was sitting, so I could see him.  Only when I turned around after a moment or two, he was gone.  
I saw him pretty quickly, a few hundred feet away washing the sand off his feet at the hotel showers.  There was a packed beach between us so I didn't want to try screaming like a crazy lady or  take my eyes off of him to play with Anna, and she was getting upset that I was holding her. I sent Matthew up to tell Gabe to come back and he had to pull a bit on Gabe to get him to come.  Gabe came, crying the whole way.  And he wouldn't stop.  He stood there and cried and cried.  
He's six.  So I ignored him and went back to playing with Anna and the older boys in the water, keeping a better eye on him at the same time. 
Once I realized that Chris wasn't coming back down with Leah, I called him to come get Gabe.  Again, the beach was packed, and I figured I wouldn't want to sit on the beach on my vacation and listen to some whiny kid throwing a fit.  I let Gabe go wait up by the showers so he'd stop crying and could wash off the sand while he waited for Chris to come get him.  It worked as planned and the three kids left and I enjoyed the rest of our beach time, drama free.

Intermingled with free time, we attended some marriage workshops while the kids were in childcare.  There was about 20 couples there and the leaders kept it pretty entertaining while they talked and we did activities about relationships.  The kids were fed in the childcare and meals were provided for us.  We even got a date night and we went into Destin and watched The Bourne Legacy.  What a great mini-vacation!  

This little one has a flower picking habit we can't break.

Sunday morning we woke to this neat rainbow.  It was complete and this end here ended so close to us.  I guess I thought they just went to the horizon, but this is up in the shallow beach waters.  So pretty.

So, we tried the beach again on Sunday.  It went a lot better, but this kid walked so carefully through the sugar white sand that he didn't barely got any sand in his crocs.  Pretty impressive.  (Ughh, yes, it looks like these should be replaced soon....LOL)

And this is how he sat the whole time.

What a great way to end the first week of school, right?!!