Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Trip to San Antonio

So, I did promise a bit of a recap of our trip and I have thought and thought - where to begin!?! (I certainly do not want to create a post experience similar to watching all our family's home movies...beginning with Christmas 1977!!) Should I begin with the good news...or the bad news?? (don't you just hate that question??)


I'll go for the good......what a wonderful weekend! We were impressed with all the events and the ceremonies...we enjoyed some fun in a new city...and WE SPENT TIME WITH OUR SON!!! He is doing great and is so happy - which, indeed, makes us so happy. He did very well during those (very long) eight and a half weeks of training. We were so proud - and then with all the "pomp and ceremony" - and the patriotism - throughout the weekend...........it was great!


The first event was the Airman's Run that all graduates run with their flights, singing their cadence, to their last physical fitness requirement. The families line the street as they run by...it is a 2.5-mile run and they have a chance to run past you twice. Believe me, it takes two times in order to find your airman. Everyone looks the same!! We (like most of the parents) spent a lot of time saying, "Is that him?? Did you see him?...and when you finally do spot him.....WOO HOO!!!



See what I mean?? This is his flight later that afternoon marching in for the coin ceremony - a long Air Force tradition. (Jordan is the second one in the closest row outside!) The graduates are presented coins in a very special ceremony...similar to the turning of the tassel...and are "official" Airman. After this ceremony - was our first chance to hug Jordan's neck!! What a great day!


The following day is the graduation parade - where all the flights pass and review and recite their oath. Again - very patriotic and moving.....and HARD to find Jordan among all the blue! But we did - kinda glad he wears glasses now.


The first thing Jordan "wanted" when he got his freedom was a Cinnabon!?!? I brought him some peachy-rings which made him oh so happy but I was surprised with the cinnabons. I don't know that he is that obsessed with them but - funny thing - he had a memory of getting some while out with friends right before leaving...it got it in his mind and it just wouldn't let go!! We were happy to oblige :)


We had a good time checking out San Antonio. Not exactly sure what I thought of the city overall but we really did enjoy the RiverWalk. (My picture is not that great but the ones here are beautiful...and it really does look that pretty!) We had good food - we went for steaks - and did some shopping. Jordan really wanted to go to the mall...not my choice for shopping but it was his weekend. Must have been a general idea for lots of airman....the guys in blue are everywhere. Folks are often stopping to congratulate them and Jordan even got his (second) Cinnabon free!! woo hoo


My brother was able to meet up with us - he lives in Austin (only one more month before the move to Virginia!) - and we all had a great day together. He and Jordan are so much alike! I do appreciate everyone's kind words and prayers while we away.....certainly a weekend we will never forget. And, now...I guess the bad news - but I'll save that for tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Perfectly Wonderful Weekend!!

Finally, a few pictures from our weekend with Jordan!! I'll share some stories tomorrow...................

Jordan and his dad!!
The Airman's run!!

The coin ceremony





Graduation











Happy Graduates!!
Do they look sharp or what??
We love you, Bud!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday


Well, its actually Tuesday but I wanted to leave a Thankful Thursday post. How thrilled I am for the opportunity to travel (so easily) to see Jordan's graduation! I know when my hubbie completed his basic training - from the Army - WAY BACK WHEN....his mother did not have the luxury to make the trip to watch her boy. I'm sure she would have loved to be there. And shortly after finishing Basic, he was sent to Germany - by ship transport!! Not only was she not able to visit, there were very few phone calls even made between there and home. How grateful I am not only for all the advancements in technology but that God has personally allowed me to make my trip to Texas.
I can't wait to get home and tell anyone who will listen all about it. No post tomorrow - but I will be back on Monday. Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An (Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Remember that sweet little tow-head boy I mentioned last week (that's all grown up to be a man!)...isn't he just the sweetest?!? With a smile like that, I just want to ruffle his hair - actually, I looks like I already had!!

I'll be in Texas this afternoon!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A View of the Heart

I mentioned yesterday that our sweet pup got sick on Sunday evening. He started with a wheeze/gag/reverse cough combo symptom that was very pitiful to hear. Of course, it was the weekend and we went back and forth as to whether to take him to the all-night emergency clinic but finally decided we should. The doctor there informed us that Rascal has a heart murmur....news to us! This was so upsetting for Hubbie and I as our last dog had the very same coughing gag before he died from heart murmur complications.


As if he wasn't spoiled already, once we learned of the murmur...goodness, did we pamper our under-the-weather pooch!! He even slept in our bed with us last night - a first...and had chicken broth over his food this morning - definitely another first!! We had to visit our own veterinarian this morning and the medicine he gave him has made Rascal so lethargic. Poor little pup.


Anyways...as I was holding him this morning (quite sleepy myself after a long night), I had this thought. Funny how we treated him differently after we knew of his heart......and shouldn't that be my attitude toward those I meet each day....people whose hearts are not only sinfully in need of a Savior - but also hurting, broken, bitter and in despair. If I would really take the time to "notice the heart", surely it would affect they way I acted, reacted and treated people.
Later...in my Bible reading today, I came across Mark 6:34
And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
I pray God will help me be more quick to "see" people hearts...and to see with compassion.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Calling all Texas Gals!

What a crazy weekend...hopefully not an indicator of the week ahead! The weekend started off wonderful....with the fundraiser Saturday night! We had a great evening and raised money that certainly surpassed my expectations. Details - and hopefully pictures - will be coming up when I return from my trip.

The weekend ended on a much different note when Mr. Rascal suddenly got sick and we had to make an emergency room visit....why do pups - and children - always get sick at night...and on the weekend??? He seems to be "on the mend" but, goodness, there is much to do now to get ready for my trip of a lifetime!!

Texas...here I come! So, I'm looking for all my Texas friends.... We are going to San Antonio. I certainly want to see River Walk and Hubbie hopes to get to the Alamo...but we are always excited to try the "local's favorites" for meals, shopping :) or other fun ideas!! If you live that way or have been there before, PLEASE leave me your ideas. I don't know when I will ever get that way again - so we will surely make the most of our long weekend!

Forty-two hours and counting..........

Friday, April 17, 2009

Enjoying Sunny Weather...and a Winner, Too!

It is an absolutely gorgeous day outside today! I love waking up to these kind of mornings...I can most easily remember "Life is Good!!" There is much to do today in order to get ready for the fundraiser and I'm excited about it all! Yes, this is going to be a great weekend.

I remembered an online devotion that I read recently - from the Girlfriends in God - referring to those storms that come in our life and it said...


Anything -- any trial or pain -- that drives us to God can be counted as a blessing. Faith sees the storm as a chance for God to work in a new way. Faith sees the darkness as an opportunity for His light to shine brighter. Faith sees pain as an opportunity for God to comfort and encourage His precious child......


I want to write this down in my devotion journal because today is a beautiful day - weather-wise and even emotionally and spiritually - but I know another storm will come...they always do. But if I tuck these little nuggets of encouragement away on a sunny day - I'll be prepared. Sorta like remembering to put the umbrella back in the van!! I hope you have a really sunny weekend - in all ways!


Thanks to everyone who left me a caption idea....too cute! The Starbucks card goes to Tanya........

"Hmm..I think that sticky spot WAS ice cream!!"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Camp Friendship

Thankful Thursday...and I want to share just a bit about an amazing place - Camp Friendship! Now..I really have no memory and for some reason I am thinking that I've already posted about the camp and, if that is the case, please feel free to skip this....but be sure to check back tomorrow for the winner of the Starbucks card (if you didn't leave a suggestion for yesterday's photo..do that first!) Anyways.....

Camp Friendship is a camp for kids living with cancer. The kids can be at any stage - actively in treatment or even in remission - and have any type of cancer. It is located in the middle of beautiful horse country in Maryland and the grounds of fantastic. All of the programs are completely funded by donations and even the doctors and nurses (camp is medically staffed 24 hours and all types of treatments are provided) are all volunteers. They offer anything to do that a kid would love...but it is the atmosphere at camp that is the most amazing! The staff love the kids and the kids really accept, enjoy and love each other. You really would have to be there to appreciate it! (Luckily, I have had the privilege to work at camp for one week during the last two summers.)


The motto for the camp is "Where Kids Can Just Be Kids"...and that is exactly what they do!! Tyler was able to go to camp just two weeks before he died - and those two weeks were simply a miracle and blessing from the Lord! We will always cherish Tyler's memories from camp. And we have a special place in our hearts for Camp Friendship.

This weekend we are having a Send-a-Kid-to-Camp fundraiser to support the camp. What a wonderful time I have had planning and looking forward to this event. Hopefully, next week I will have some pictures to share and news to tell of a wonderful evening. If you think of it, please pray for the fundraiser....not only will we honor my buddy but hope to generously support the camp and the kids attending this year.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Some Wordless Wednesday Fun!

I was having such fun trying to decide on just the right caption for this photo...I got myself quite tickled!! I thought I should let you in on the fun.....and so I thought a contest would be fun!! Just submit your favorite caption idea in the comments...on Friday, I will let Hubbie (completely impartial) pick his favorite and I have a ten dollar Starbucks card for the winner!! Yippee! Have a beautiful day!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meet Lynette

I have a great desire to know Christ...to really know Him. To try and better understand His thoughts, His ways and His motives...recently I read a devotion by Charles Stanley that God wants that, too - for me to know Him. He said, "To know God is not purely an intellectual pursuit...we must allow God to unveil Himself in life experiences," and that "a truth about the Lord is not truly ours until He works it into our daily life." Oh, I so believe that - and I embrace it when life's experiences bring happiness and peace. But, oh how I can learn to know God when life brings difficulty and pain.

Grief allows us to know God...to learn His ways and to experience them...in a unique way. I recently "met" Lynette through blogging. She is also a grieving mother - three times! Her blog, Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground, is beautiful. She is using her experiences through grief and getting to know God intimately to encourage, instruct and uplift others...and it is a blessing. She recently started a new website, Growing Through Affliction, that is tremendous. It includes her story (so I won't give that away) as well as articles and resources that provide "Motivation to have courage. Motivation to find purpose. Motivation to finish strong."

I encourage you to visit both the blog and the website. I'm sure you will come away saying, "Wow...." and inspired. By the way, her daughter has a blog and her momma even has a blog (with the most beautiful poetry)..how cool is that! Lynette, thanks for all your hard work on the website. I know God can use this in a powerful way.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Birthday Boy

Remember my buddy?? Here we are at the recruiter's office (located in the mall) just before he left for Basic Training!! Goodness, has it been seven weeks already?!

Yesterday....was his birthday! How very different not to give him a huge hug - or to jump him while he was still sleeping....and not to sing Happy Birthday terribly off-key as a family...and then we could have hid his gifts "Easter egg hunt" style! But we couldn't even send him gifts...wow.

My sweet, little tow-head boy has surely become a man - one, I might add, that makes his momma so very proud! I pray that whatever he is doing this week (just one more work, Bud!)..the Lord will continue to protect and encourage him..and will give him an extra blessing for his birthday!

And, did I mention....only NINE more days 'til we leave for Texas for his graduation (not that anyone is counting!) I'll be sure to "jump him" then!! Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter....


And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead: and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
And the departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
Matthew 28:5-8 (emphasis mine)
Happpy Resurrection Day, my friends!!

For Jordan

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUDDY!!!
I SURE DO MISS YOU.......
My boy is 19 today!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Song I'm Singing

Still thinking about yesterday's post.....and I've had this song on my heart (and in my head)!! Hum along as you read the words - it might stick with you today!! Looking forward to a wonderful weekend!


Because He Lives
Words and music by William J. Gaither© 1971
Matthew 28:6"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.Come, see the place where the Lord lay."


God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive; He lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!


How sweet to hold a newborn baby, And feel the pride and joy he gives; But greater still the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living,Just because He lives!


And then one day, I'll cross the river, I'll fight life's final war with pain; And then, as death gives way to vict'ry, I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Tomb was Empty!

Thankful Thursday...last night during my weekly class with the littlest ones at church, we had an Easter egg hunt. Goodness, were they wound up - I mean, excited! After they found an egg, they would open it and...the eggs were empty! I did exchange their egg for candy from my basket but not until we talked about those empty eggs....just like the empty tomb!

As a born-again Christian, there is nothing more wonderful than knowing the tomb was empty. How grateful I am that Christ would die on the cross as payment for my sins; however, if He had not risen from the dead three days later..it would have been in vain. This Thursday, I am so thankful for an empty tomb. Knowing that my Savior rose again gives me.....

VICTORY....Death was not the end of Jesus. Christ had victory over sin and death. As a Christian, I can also know victory - over sin and its weight of guilt and over eternal death/dying. I will live forever one day with Him. And, yes - Tyler was a Christian and has this same victory so I will be reunited with Him!! and many other loved ones.

CONFIDENCE....The Savior I love so much is alive! He is available to help me, comfort me, guide me, plead my case, love me, hear my prayers - and I don't fumble through this life without purpose and protection. I serve a risen Savior!! Everything about my life is different because He lives!

Have a beautiful Thankful Thursday!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday..Matching Easter Outfits

My Three Sweeties!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter Memories

I suppose yesterday's post of reflecting on things "way back when" has got me reminiscing....and especially about Easter celebrations when the kids were little ones. Some of the fun (or silly) things we did every year...or just the little things we always looked forward to at Easter.

Our Easters were spent at my parents home in North Carolina - that, by itself, was something to look forward to....Mimi and G-Daddy's house! My mom always bought the kids matching outfits. This wasn't too terribly difficult with just the first two - brother/sister outfits - but when there were three..that was a bit more of a challenge but she was always up to the challenge. They were, of course, adorable!

Something else that we always looked forward to at the grandparent's house was an Easter pinata! Yes, we had baskets and even egg hunts but the pinata stole the show!! We had whatever pinata we could find that was remotely spring-like..but just yesterday I saw an actual Easter-themed pinata (no doubt, Mimi was just way ahead of her time!)

Once the kids were just old enough, our Easter baskets were hidden and you had to solve a riddle of clues to find your basket. Trust me, writing up individual riddles for each of the three kids was almost too much of a challenge! Believe it or not, one thing we never did at our house was dye eggs...not once! Go figure.

Yes, believe it or not, we did focus on the resurrection...and we had some fun, too. I just thought I'd share a few of my favorite Easter memories from the past. What are some of your traditions??? I'd love to hear about them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Empathy in Order to Teach

Today's question At the Well.....share with us what your starting point is in being an older woman who is well equipped to teach the younger ...was a good one to get me thinking. I do want to be a helper, an encourager, and even a teacher to the younger women. To do so, I need more empathy - the understanding which comes from "having been there done that"...but how quickly I forget.

I've mentioned before that I can often not remember what I had for breakfast yesterday; yet, I want to remember how I felt - how I struggled with the little details of life "way back when" as a new wife and young mother. For instance, when I leave for Bible study on Tuesday mornings, I fuss over the dog as I stroll out the door - leaving a few minutes early in order to stop by Starbucks - and then enjoy a chat with friend on my cell phone on the drive to the church. (Maybe that's another "perk" of my empty-nest life?!?!) However, when I ask Miss Roo's mommy about getting to Bible study, it is more like....making sure the dog got out to do his business, get the baby in the van while her clothes are still clean and her hair is in that cute barrette, remember the diaper bag (after fully stocking it), purse, Bible...let the dog in.....hopefully grab two shoes that actually match from the ever-growing pile next to the garage door and spend the drive to church trying to quiet her growling stomach because she forgot to eat breakfast!

How easy it is for me to think - or even say - things like "we've all been there - you'll survive" or "this too shall pass" or, perhaps, "its not that big of a deal"!! There may be some (or even alot) of truth to those statements but they are of little value to encourage and teach younger women. Those day-to-day details and struggles were a "big deal" to me many years ago just as they are to the younger women facing them today. I need the Lord's help to remember not only how I felt but how He met my needs...often by sending an "older woman" along side to encourage me. Empathy gives understanding which allows for more compassion, and hopefully will better equip me as an older Titus Two woman.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday - Have a Beautiful Sunday


Friday, April 3, 2009

I have to admit....I am beginning to realize there really are some perks to this empty-nest situation. For instance - the other day I was on my way home when I passed this young teenager obviously walking home from the bus stop. She was carrying her (...start horror scene music here..) science project (woman screams "Ahhhhh!" here) - she had the solar system, the board...the works! I immediately thought WOO HOO!! (...begin happy feet music here!) I never again have to assist in any way with another school science project! Can I just say again - YIPPEE!!

To all those science teachers who were involved in my children's lives over the years (and I do love you all), I mean this in the nicest way...but WOO HOO - no more science projects!! Around our house...math and sciences were not exactly the favorite subjects. In fact, they were often downright torturous!! (Now, give any of us, a grammar test...or even a written essay - and we were good to go.) But there was never anything worse than the dreaded science project to push the academic stress level straight over the top.

So, please excuse me while I do just a tiny happy dance as I remind myself I will never have to be involved with a science project again - WOOTY HOO!!

Oh, and if anyone thinks I am forgetting my most beautiful Miss Roo.....of course, I'd be willing to sacrifice a kidney for her but as for any far-off science projects - her daddy is a rocket scientist (literally) and so, she's got it covered!! (Not to mention, she is brilliant!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cherry Blossoms

Thankful Thursday....I have a small confession to make - it kinda catches even me by surprise...but I'm truly a city girl at heart! I've always thought it was somehow more "romantic", I suppose, to be a (fresh from the farm) country girl...and to be speak with one of those adorable accents. But, truth be told..it is the city that truly stirs my soul! (And if you weren't born with one of those super sweet accents...well, its just not the same!) The reality is that I'm stuck in suburbia - not exactly city and not really country.

But every week when I do my volunteer work, I get to go downtown - and I LOVE it!! This week was especially exciting. Let me explain. Last Saturday, I spent the day at a one-day woman's retreat. During one of the sessions, the speaker remarked, "How long has it been since God took your breath away?" Good question - you know those moments that so leave you speechless and you know for certain.....We have an amazing God!!

These moments can occur in lots of ways but so often it is God's handiwork that so clearly speaks of his magnifi
cence. When she asked the question, I was disappointed to realize that I couldn't really recall the last time my breath was taken away. Until this week.....

Our nation's capital really is beautiful and I always enjoy crossing the bridge into the District and taking in the sight - and this week, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom! Breath-taking, I promise you. Hundreds of trees literally exploding with fat pink blossoms like big tufts of candy cotton......beautiful by themselves. However, line them along the river and put some monuments as a backdrop and it was one of those moments. I don't know how to describe it adequately - and I'd love to say I took some amazing pictures (sorry..I found the one above on line but you get the idea). But I knew God had given me a gift - a take your breath away moment - and, today, for that I thank Him.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

One Cool Baby...and her Mommy


Wordless Wednesday...I know, enough already! I just can't help myself!