for the record

November is almost over and that means our countdown to end of tour is looking a little brighter. Tuesday marks a year that Kevin has been gone, which just seems crazy. An entire year. 82 days, give or take (it really is a rough estimate), until our family is together again! Since when does 82 days seem like a small number, you might ask? When you've been counting down from 402, that's when.


a pastor, a shepherd, a leader

Someone who isn't afraid to speak Truth to himself or to others.
Someone who genuinely cares for the people in his congregation.
Someone who listens intently, no matter how many people are waiting.
Someone who really talks to Jesus when he prays at the pulpit.
Someone who walks and talks like a real person.
Someone who loves his wife and sons deeply.
Someone who grapples with the deep truths of the Bible, and encourages me to do the same.

The responsibility of being a pastor is undoubtedly challenging: the tasks are numerous, the issues are eternal. I am thankful, grateful, and appreciative of our pastor, because while to many that list looks idealistic, those are traits of the man who gets up to preach nearly every Sunday at our church.

La'au's Taco Shop

If you live in the Springs, there is a place tucked away on Cache Le Poudre between Tejon and Cascade that you must try! It's called La'au's Taco Shop (it's Hawaiian). I ate there for the first time about three weeks ago and loved it! Today I got to share it with a friend, which made it even better. This morning I took advantage of the free childcare that the Army offers spouses of deployed soldiers, it was wonderful, a much needed four hours. Started with coffee at Rico's, then some shopping downtown, and topped off with two wonderful tacos from La'au's!


a self-haircut

This morning I worked in Ronin's room at church, so the Childcare Director picked Davis up for me and brought him to our room while we cleaned. She told me some FYI from the teacher, Davis had given himself a haircut with some safety scissors, just a little bit. I didn't really notice anything until he sat down for dinner, that's when I saw this:See that patch of white, that's where he cut his hair...to the scalp. I'm not quite sure how this is achieved with safety scissors, so I say "Kudos" to Davis.


certain about one thing

I was listening to Music Choice last night (the Adult Alternative channel). Michael Franti came on singing a song called, "Say Hey" it's got a good beat so the boys and I were grooving a little bit, but then I started to listen to the lyrics.

Part of the chorus says, "the more I see the less I know, but I know one thing, I love you." He intends it to be a love song, and so I obviously thought of my husband: there is so much truth in that single lyric. We have had an adventurous five years of marriage, many times not knowing what the next step of the journey would hold for us. Despite all the challenges and unknowns there was one thing I was certain of and still am: I love him.

I've found that often things in our relationship translate or parallel to my relationship with Jesus (because I am part of the Church and the Church is the Bride of Christ). Franti's lyrics were true even here: the more I see, it is truly the less I feel that I really know, but the sure thing for me, the constant is Love Himself. And it is His love in Kevin and me that enables our love to be consistent. Thank you Michael Franti, for a lesson in loving.


pushin' out turkeys

Last night there was a townhall meeting for 3 BCT (Brigade Combat Team) done Video Teleconference style. This means that the leadership in Iraq from our BCT was on video and all the spouses in the room were on video for them on the other side of the globe.

So the colonel briefed everyone on several issues at hand: the return dates of the Soldiers, reintegration training, block leave, etc. then opened it up for questions. Someone was really concerned that our Soldiers weren't going to get turkeys on Thanksgiving. He assured them that they have guaranteed every Soldier will get some real turkey on Thanksgiving. Still in concern, someone asked specifially about those on the smaller posts. He said the Dining Facilities of the larger bases (FOBs) will cook the turkey and push them out to the smaller posts.

Get ready Soldiers, turkeys will be pushed out soon!


the airport and communion

After picking up Davis from his Sunday School class, we wandered back into the sanctuary to meet up with some friends. He was checking out the set on stage for an upcoming presentation of Scrooge when something caught his eye: the gold container for the communion cups. He lifted the lid curiously and my two friends and myself harmoniously but gently told him to put it down.

"But what is it?"
"We can talk about it later, okay?"

Later was only ten minutes when we were in the car on our way home. Communion is incredibly symbolic and therefore difficult to explain to a four-year-old who understands things literally not symbolically. We have had to go to the airport a few times and each time Davis watches for the blue and white sign to know which way to go. This was my starting point: a symbol. After understanding this concept we moved to the very special dinner that Jesus had with his disciples before he died on the cross.

In the end, he actually understood that the bread and wine are symbols of Christ's body and blood. I explained that Jesus told us to eat that same special dinner often to remember all that he did on the cross. He asked when the special dinner was and when Jesus died. I gave him a rough number and he was amazed that the Church (which is God's people) has been eating that same special dinner for that many years.


snort like a pig

Ronin has learned the sound for a pig and I think it is pretty hilarious, so I thought I would share it. Also, we have a print of Starry Night in our dining room and recently Davis taught Ronin how to say Van Gogh, only it comes out "ee-oh." Both are captured on this short video. Enjoy!


slanted media coverage on the IA Soldier

If you watch TV or keep up with the news, you've heard about the recent shooting of the two American Soldiers by the Iraqi Army soldier. This incident actually took place in the city where Kevin is patrolling.

Some media sources are saying that there was a fight, or altercation with the IA soldier and one of our own prior to the incident, while this gives reason to believe in a tension between our Soldiers and the Iraqis, and supports the wave of negativity running through the news about the war in Iraq, it's just not true.

It was an isolated incident with a disgruntled IA soldier. Our Soldiers were on a dismounted (not in vehicles) patrol when the Iraqi approached and opened fire. Some people just don't like their jobs. How many times have we referenced the phrase, "disgruntled postal worker"? Too many. Yesterday at Target, Davis and I both were very friendly to our cashier yet she didn't crack a smile, she didn't even make eye contact.

The difference is, soldiers have weapons. Instead of pounding his fist, he pulled the trigger. Was he held responsible for his actions? Yes. Will our Soldiers be alert for other situations that may arise like this one? Yes. Is this something we should expect to happen on a regular basis? No.

lunch & a table full of four year olds

Yesterday the boys went to the "play place" (child care center) for a couple hours. I arrived to pick them up and they were all just sitting down for lunch. Davis is rarely a fan of any meal time so I didn't think there would be a problem leaving. He wanted to stay. It must have been some great lunch special, right? Nope, fish sticks, broccoli, canned plums, and rolls.

So, I pulled up a chair to the tiny table and had lunch with eight 3 and 4 year olds and one of the teachers. To my amazement I had a great time, and learned a few things too. Nothing profound, in fact, they were all really simple things. However, when you do this job called motherhood 24/7 sometimes you get caught up in behavior and forget about life, even for your four-year-old.

the things I learned:

  • less scolding and more laughing
  • if you're not eating, put your hands in your lap (brilliant!)
  • you've gotta eat either a fruit or a vegetable
  • no seconds until you've finished what you have
  • talk positively about food
  • treat mistakes as mistakes, not as grounds for discipline

Those are just a few. Thank you SW Childcare Center, and more specifically, Mister B for reminding me of the joys of meal time.


Davis wrote his name

Tonight we went to an FRG (Family Readiness Group) Meeting and the entire purpose was to sign Christmas cards for the Soldiers in our company. I thought maybe if I worked with Davis he would be able to sign his name. We practiced a lot this afternoon, and for the first time ever he wrote his name all by himself!!! I took a picture because I was so proud.It's in red because that is his favorite color, and I wrote his name at the top so he could look at the letters when he wrote them. Someone asked tonight what grade he was in after hearing of his accomplishment. He's not even in school, that's what makes it so impressive!


mister mommy

Occasionally Davis calls me, "Mister Mommy." And while I laugh and correct him assuring him that I am not a mister, I seem to fit the bill.

One of the challenges of being a spouse of a deployed soldier is you are responsible for two roles. For me that happens to be mom and dad; Disciplinarian and Nurturer. It was amazing to see the difference in Davis during the two weeks that his Daddy was home, and now that I'm taking over that role again, I'm seeing the decline in his "boyhood" and an increase in his shrill screams. Overall, he really does well, but some days are just harder than others. Today has been a hard day for Mister Mommy.


even Spiderman gets thirsty

Though Davis's time being sick wasn't pleasant, it did provide Ronin and me with a little quality time. I found this old Spiderman costume in a box and Ronin wanted it right away. For some reason, he calls Spiderman "Money" or at least that's what it sounds like he's saying. Anyhow, here are some pictures of the great Spidey:


my friend Sunny

Back in the day I had a great friend named Sunny. She moved away and we lost touch until she found me on Myspace and now we follow each other's blogs. She just posted a "Shout Out" entry that has some pictures of the two of us from our much younger days.

sick and singing about Jesus

About a week ago, Davis and I somehow started talking about when Jesus will come back. I ended up explaining that when He came the first time He came as a baby, but when He comes again, He'll come as King. Davis then told me what he thought Jesus would look like, and said that Jesus wouldn't be King of all. I obviously corrected him, telling him that Jesus would indeed be King of all and that everyone would bow to Him (even the people who didn't want to). Davis got really excited about the idea of everyone bowing to Jesus and the conversation soon turned to who (and what) all things would bow. I think we ended on, "Even the cars will bow!!"

This morning, Davis was awakened by having to throw up. He was screaming and finally came into my room with puke on his neck and part of his shirt. Consequently, he's spent a lot of time on the couch and in the bottom bunk sleeping. After a nice nap, he tried to come down and play, but he said, "I think I still need to be upstairs." And up he went. I thought I heard something so I started for the stairs, when I heard him singing, "And the grass is green and bow to Jesus, bow to Jesus, bow to Jesus." I stood quietly and listened to his song. Too often Davis is an example to me of the attitude I should have: singing about the greatness of God despite how I might feel.


the rotomill and repaving

We received a notice last week that our parking lot and street in our townhome complex were going to be repaved. Each section was scheduled a couple days and we were instructed to move our cars. Yesterday was day one for our section, but no work was done. So for today I was a little hesitant to move my car, but did it anyway.

This morning when we opened up our blinds, they were towing cars out of our parking lot. Davis and Ronin watched intently as all the big trucks moved in and out of our lot. Even though we've had breakfast and cartoon time, both the boys end up at the window watching the big trucks. I think it might be that way for most of the day.


i voted today

Well, today is the big day. I scheduled today for my four hours of free childcare for the boys just in case there was an extraordinarily long line to vote, but it turned out I didn't have to wait at all. However, am I the only one that was surprised by how many candidates there were for President? I'll be really honest, I almost voted for Ralph Nader.

If it's not enough that we have the freedom to vote, take yourself and your "I Voted" sticker to Krispy Kreme today and get a free doughnut or to Starbucks for a free tall coffee or to Ben and Jerry's tonight from 5-8 for a free scoop of ice cream! Happy voting!


will we be content with "change"

As I'm sure everyone knows, the election is tomorrow (don't forget to vote). This year's election has been more weighty for me than any other, it seems there are so many issues that are close to me either literally (the war in Iraq) or emotionally (abortion).

In America, everything is within reach: a new car, a promotion, a new house, a vacation, and because of it so many of us seem to be discontent with where we are. Nothing is ever enough.

It seems that we love to claim our nation has a democratic system until there's something we don't like, then we have a dictatorship and there's only one person to blame: the President.

Pride is a terrible thing, C.S.Lewis calls it the great sin. It is pride that feeds our discontent with the current status of our lives and at times our government because we feel entitled to something or someone better, when in fact we deserve nothing.

Change is inevitable and constant; so it will come, regardless of what candidate takes office. What kind of change are we prepared for? Is it possible to turn away from pride and put our emotional energy into supporting a nation which has given us freedom millions cannot even fathom?

a funny face?

Davis still hasn't mastered wiping his own rear after a poop, so after he's done he hollers and tells me he's finished. Today, I went to do my duty as a mom and he's singing what's on the counter: "Little clippers, toothpaste, soap," while I'm wiping his bottom. I was cracking up and I tell him, "Davis you are so funny."
"My face?" Which made me laugh even more.
"No, just you, I love your singing. It makes me laugh."
"Oh, yeah."

let's celebrate...putting on our socks

Lately, Ronin gets excited about lots of things. The best part is, he proclaims it with an excited, "Yay!!" everytime so you don't miss it. And so it goes, "Yay," we parked the car. "Yay," my diaper's changed. "Yay," my shoes are on. "Yay," we're eating. And really, the list goes on and on. I can't complain though, it's definitely made me appreciate the much smaller things in life.