Where I’ve been

By , August 31, 2014 10:40 pm

Two years.

That was fast. When I decided to “take a few weeks off from blogging,” I had no intention of taking a few years off. But here we are.

Where have I been? Well, we moved.

We sold our house on a whim in three days and then looked for a new house for months before purchasing a fixer upper that was a downer when it was so much fixing and is actually becoming quite an upper.

We completed our fourth year of homeschooling at the same time.

We lost a pet, we gained a pet.

We started our kids in sports, oh my goodness, the all time consuming children’s sporting events.

I completed ILE or CGSOC or whatever the Army is calling it these days. An Army “masters” program of sorts that drained my evenings and weekends.

I switched Army National Guard units, TWICE, and am loving my latest move.

Where have I been? Not blogging, obviously. But stay tuned. Lots to write about. Welcome back!

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Christmas Card 2012

By , December 17, 2012 11:21 pm

Here’s a quick recap of our year:

January- The beginning of the year marked the end of maternity leave.  Alyssa was sad to leave the kiddos for her first drill, but lucky that Mr. Mom, a.k.a. Haus is the best daddy ever!

February- We enjoyed lots of visits from old Army friends this month.

March- Traveling month.  Alyssa and the kiddos went to Idaho for a few days, Haus headed to San Jose for a project for a few days.

April- We decided to start hosting a Bible study through our church this month.  Three studies later we are immensely blessed by a generous, supportive group of friends that meet with us on a weekly basis.

May- Papa and Nana came to visit this month.

June- Haus and Alyssa celebrated their 11th Wedding Anniversary!

July- Camping without sleeping on the ground, HURRAH!!  Alyssa found an old 1980s style pop-up camper on Craigslist and Haus fixed it up for its inaugural trip to visit friends from college.  Can’t wait to take it out a ton next year.

August- Second year of homeschooling begins.  Turns out this homeschooling gig is pretty cool.

September- Vaca!  Took our first family vacation to southern California.  Disneyland, Legoland, Seaworld.  So much fun!

October- Baby Girl turned 1! We decided her nickname on the blog will be L.D.  Ask us in person and we’ll let you in on the meaning behind the initials.

November- First Colorado Thanksgiving.  Alyssa’s family came here for turkey and taters.

December- Our first 9-1-1 call and ambulance ride started out this month!  Thank goodness our sweet girl is doing great now.

Not as tumultuous as last year’s list.  We are definitely so thankful that this year we were able to spend more time together and less time traveling.  Big changes coming up next year which we will post about soon!

Merry Christmas and blessings to your family this new year!

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Easy Advent Calendar for Kids 2012

By , November 28, 2012 1:09 pm

This year’s Advent season I tried to select activities that all three kiddos ranging from age 7 to 1 would participate in without frazzling my Christmas spirit.  This year marks our third year intentionally celebrated Advent.

Each week’s theme changes on Sunday.  When we read from the Bible, we will use our Costco children’s nativity set (we LOVE this indestructible cute set) to act things out whenever possible.  No need to go to the store for the crafts as I chose things I already have in the house.  Most of the movies for Friday nights can be found for free online.  They are conveniently scheduled so that Mommy can complete some Christmas tasks too.  Check out my 2011 and 2010 Advent calendars for more ideas!

December

(Light the 1st purple candle this week.  This week’s theme is HOPE.)
2- Deliver our Christmas presents from our foster kiddo list
3- Introduce the Advent Candles and the meaning of Advent (Here’s a great website with Advent Information)
4- Make an Advent Chain (red and green paper chain) to count down to Christmas (mostly for baby girl to tear up)
5- Read Matthew 1:18-24 (Angel appears to Joseph)
6- Surprise the boys with their Lego Advent box to count down to Christmas (bought after Christmas last year)
7- String popcorn garland for our Christmas tree while watching “White Christmas”
8- Read Luke 1: 26-38 (Angel appears to Mary)

(Light the 1st and 2nd purple candles this week. This week’s theme is PEACE.)
9- Talk about other places in the world at war and show them on the map
10- Exchange gifts with our Bible study group at our family party
11- Make paper snowflakes and read “Snowflake Bentley”
12- Read Luke 1:57-66 (Introduce John the Baptist)
13- Make cards to send snowflakes to veterans and pray for deployed soldiers
14- Watch “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” and address our Christmas cards
15- Read Luke 2:1-7 (Discuss Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem)

(Light the 1st and 2nd purple candles and the pink candle.  This week’s theme is JOY.)
16- Take an evening drive to look at Christmas lights
17- Read Matthew 2:1-12 (Discuss the wise men’s joy)
18- Make Christmas tree handprint ornaments (see super-easy recipe below)
19- Paint our ornaments and hang them on the tree
20- Read Luke 2:8-20 (Introduction of the Shepherds and Angels)
21- Watch “The Polar Express” and wrap Christmas presents
22- Make Christmas goodies for our neighbors

(Light all three purple candles and the pink candle. This week’s theme is LOVE.)
23- Deliver Christmas goodies to our neighbors
24- Send our love through prayers for the families that sent us Christmas cards (Light ALL FIVE candles!)
25- Birthday cake celebration for Jesus’ Birthday!

Wishing you a joyful Advent season this year!

Salt Dough Ornament Recipe
Dissolve 1 cup salt in 1 1/2 cups hot water.
Add 4 cups flour.
Roll out to 1/4 inch thick on floured surface and use cookie cutters to make ornaments.
Use a toothpick to make the hole to hang them. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Easy-peasy!

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Adultery in the military

By , November 27, 2012 7:30 pm

As a Second Lieutenant and newlywed, I was shocked when my first commander tried to use a government credit card to run off to Germany with another officer’s wife.  My commander’s wife and small children were clueless until the charges came down.

It was only a few years later as a First Lieutenant, I found out that many of the female officers I worked with were messing around with their enlisted counterparts or the “co-pilot” of their crew team.  Before my first deployment, Haus and I invited my crew team Specialist and his wife over for dinner specifically to ease her anxiety.  Sadly we had to make it very clear that our marriage was just as important to us as theirs was to them.

At a mess hall in Qatar in 2003, I was cornered by a Navy pilot.  The guy wouldn’t leave me alone even following me towards my bunk area.  My stomach turned at one point when I realized he had a faint tan line from a wedding band.  I asked if he had any family and he eventually divulged the fact that his wife was pregnant with their first child.  Around this time, I ran into a group of my Soldiers that distracted the guy and I never saw him again.

As a young Captain, I roomed in a small trailer on a base in Baghdad with another married female officer.  A few weeks into the deployment, it became very clear that she was cheating on her husband with the Battalion Commander, a married man.  I switched to room with another female and tried to separate myself from the situation.

To keep away from her drama, I found myself hanging out with a single male officer and married senior enlisted guy.  The three of us did just about everything together in between duty.  I regularly ate meals and worked out with them.  As my enlisted buddy was called to other duties, I little by little spent more time with the male officer by myself.

My judgmental disgust for my former roommate almost blinded me from falling into the same trap. Alone with this man, I was consistently flattered by him. We’re just friends, I would tell myself, as he verbally praised me. Without realizing it then, I was on an adulterous path.  It wasn’t until one day I happened upon a book lying on the “Free Books” table in the phone center.  It was titled, “Every Woman’s Battle” by Shannon Ethridge. I have to point out that finding a book for women during a deployment is a miracle in itself as most books placed in care packages are for men.

I devoured the book in less than a day and realized that although I had never been physically unfaithful to my husband, I was allowing this other man to fill a void of affirmation that was only my husband’s to fill. I stopped hanging with the guy immediately.  I prayed that God would forgive me for my actions and guarded my heart throughout the rest of the deployment.

I’ll never forget the heartbreak on my husband’s face when I came home and confessed to him that I had allowed another man to emotionally meet my needs.  Sitting in our truck as the rain pelted our windshield, I cried and begged him to forgive me.  I told him I would never be so careless again.  Haus hugged me and told me how sorry he was that he hadn’t been affirming me more.  My incredible husband apologized to me!  He forgave me that day and has never chastised me for it since.

I tell you all of this in the wake of the General Petraeus’ scandal.  I’m not surprised by the news.  I’m empathetic.  I’m sure their path started a very long time ago with something as simple as being alone together.  I pray that their families can recover from the consequences of their choices.

I learned the hard way that no one is protected from unfaithful actions.  I am thankful that I was made aware of my choices before it was too late.  I’m  even more thankful for my faithful, forgiving husband.  Now I think I need to go hug my Haus.

 

 

 

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Happy Veterans Day!

By , November 11, 2012 10:23 am

Thinking of my grandpas, my dad, my friends, and military families today.

Happy Veterans Day!  Hug a vet… I promise, we’re super huggable!

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