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Archive for the ‘Army Life’ Category

Been Gone a While…

Wow, I didn’t realize that it had been so long since I blogged last.  For that first week off, I didn’t seem to have too much to say.  Then DH switched work schedules so he’s on day shift now, plus he’s taking distance learning classes.  That means when he is home in the evening, he’s got the computer monopolized for school work.   I just plain haven’t had access to the computer during my evening free time.  And there have been plenty of things I could have blogged about: the recent school shootings, the new book I’m reading, Better Off, and the change we’ve experience in the past couple of months since we started Bud on ADHD medication.

 Right now, I am squeezing this little paragraph in while supper is cooking and the kids are doing some chores.  I will try to get in a blog about the change around here since the medication sometime this weekend, but I make no promises.  🙂 

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Dreaming

This weekend has been one for dreaming.  For a long time I have longed for a change in lifestyle that would lead us out of the “rat race” and into the “country life”.  A simpler lifestyle.  Kind of a “Little House on the Prairie” only with electricity way of life. 

Unfortunately, I am completely ill-equipped for such a lifestyle.  I am not at all “self-sufficient” or even all that pioneering.  But I’d like to learn.  I’d like to give it a try anyway. 

I’m not the only one that feels this way.  It seems to be a growing trend.  Perhaps God is calling us out of the industrialized wasteland of the “world” so that we can glorify Him through honoring His creation, working with our hands in honest labor, and supporting our families and others off the fruits of the earth.  I don’t know what it is, but there is a movement toward natural living…and I want to be a part of it.

So does my family.  This weekend was full of phone calls back and forth between my mom, brothers, sister, aunts and cousins as they discussed making this dream become a reality.  They are looking at land and developing a plan, and I am so excited for them. 

Meanwhile, DH and I are discussing what we can do to be a part of it.  We want to live close to our family and make a spot for ourselves in the country, but how best can we do that with the skills and knowledge that we have?  Honestly, we don’t know.  DH has one year left before his enlistment is finished in the Army and we know one thing for certain.  He wants out.  He does not plan to re-enlist.  But how can he provide for us in a way that will satisfy his love of music?  Music is his passion and I doubt he will be truly happy doing anything else.  So we don’t want to settle.  But we don’t want to starve, either.  🙂 

So, we are praying.  Our church is doing their annual “Forty Days…” campaign and this year is the Forty Days of Prayer.  I am glad.  I am not a natural prayer warrior, and I know that this decision we face is one of the most important ones we’ll make and needs to be led by God.  So I am eager to bring this to God over the next couple of months and see where He leads us. 

 In the meantime, I’m gonna keep dreaming.

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Why is it that when you miss a couple of hours of sleep one night, it seems to take a couple of days of extra sleep to catch up?  And when you’re pregnant, it may take a whole week to regain the lost sleep.  Well, it seems like I’ve been playing catch up all week, and I could still sleep for a whole day if I didn’t have any responsibilities.

We attended the marriage retreat last Friday night and Saturday, and Dh and I really enjoyed getting away and having all that time for uninterrupted conversation.  We had a beautiful ocean view room with a balcony.  The weather was beautiful, the tradewinds keeping it cool and fresh.  We stood out on the balcony and looked at the city lights all around us and enjoyed the Friday night fireworks on the beach.  Then we decided to go for a walk along the beach and through the shops in Waikiki.  It was beautiful.  It was relaxing.  We were alone.

Unfortunately, I had not packed good walking shoes.  I was thinking more of style than of comfort when I packed my one pair of cute-but-uncomfortable sandals, so we stopped frequently and didn’t walk as far as we had planned.  On our way back to the hotel, we stopped in at Planet Hollywood for a late night snack (the baby’s gotta eat…) and live music.  By the time we arrived back on the 29th floor, I realized that I had perhaps overdone it with all the walking.  I was so exhausted.  I guess I’m not as young as I once was, and being pregnant isn’t as easy the fifth time as it was the first.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to sleeping so I’d be ready for our 8 o’clock session in the morning.  Unfortunately, the bed was not as comfortable as it looked, and I tossed and dreamed and dozed until about four a.m. when I finally pushed Dh to the other side to make room for more pillows. 

The alarm at 7 a.m. was not welcome.  But we got down to the meeting room for breakfast and our morning sessions.  We enjoyed hearing all the stories and insights from the other couples who ranged in marriage length from 1 month 9 days to 38 years.

We got home around 3:30 in the afternoon to our very eager children, and we literally crashed on the couch.  And I’ve been trying to catch up on some sleep since then.  But it was so worth it.  Dh and I hadn’t “gotten away” in longer than we could remember.  Once our new baby boy arrives, it will be a long time before we do it again.  So I’m glad we went.  I just wish I could have had a day to sleep when I got back. 🙂

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One of my favorite names for God found in the Bible is Jehovah Jireh.  It means God Provides, and I have never found Him to be otherwise than a magnificent provider. 

When we found out we were expecting another child, I realized that by this point, some baby things are needing replacement.  Mainly we were in need of two “big ticket” items: a highchair and a double stroller.  Since our budget is pretty tight, with every dollar assigned and not much to spare for big baby items, I was wondering how we were going to pull it off.  Silly me for worrying.  When has God ever brought us a blessing without providing the means for it?  Within a week, we were doubly blessed. First, our good friends K and D, offered us an almost-new highchair that their little one doesn’t use,  and then after the ultrasound confirmed that we were having a boy, they brought us scads of like-new baby boy clothes!Wow!  We were feeling totally blessed (thanks K and D!), and I felt the tension over providing for this new little one lessen.  Then at church on Sunday, no joke, a lady from our Ohana group offered me a double stroller that she no longer needed.  I couldn’t believe the way things had worked out.  God had really stepped in and provided when I didn’t see a way. 

And yet God wasn’t done working things out.  For a while now, DH and I have been longing for a leisurely, “child-less” morning where there is nothing to wake us but our own desire.  I mentioned this to my friend, V, in a “wouldn’t it be nice but I don’t think we can make it happen” sort of way, and she immediately offered to take the kids for a night.  V and her husband are the most willing babysitters of our children that I have ever met, and we could not have been more appreciative, but unfortunately, with all the trouble we’ve had with Bud going to sleep and having a one-year-old who has never slept anywhere but here, I didn’t think a night over at their house would work very well.  So, they offered to come to our house and let us stay at their place, but that, too, had some logistical problems.  So, we just put the idea out of our heads. 

Then, this past week, DH mentioned that the chaplain was hosting a marriage retreat down in Waikiki on Labor Day weekend. The hotel room, dinner, and registration are all free.  We fairly jumped at the chance, with DH getting a pass and me on the phone to V to see if they were still willing to stay overnight at our place.  Once again, God had worked out everything better than we ever could.

What a couple of weeks of unexpected blessings.  I am so glad that God works like He does, through the willing service of His children as they meet each other’s needs and bear one another’s burdens.  Life in the Family is good.  And God does indeed provide for not only our needs, but the desires of our hearts as well.

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New Dish, Well Worth Trying

Dh and I have been with the Army for a few years now, and we have had the chance to live in a couple of very desirable locations, namely Monterey, CA and Hawaii.  We’ve met people from China, Germany, England, Korea, Japan, Louisianna, Rhode Island, and a whole slew of Texans.  It has been a lot of fun. 

Luckily, DH and I are adventurous in nature…especially when it comes to trying out different kinds of food.  We both love to eat, and have enjoyed Mexican and Italian food in addition to the traditional midwestern casseroles and salads and roasts, but I am always looking for something new, so this transient lifestyle has suited me well.  During our travels I’ve learned to make Indian food (naan, curry and lentils are favs), Thai (curry), actual Chinese spring rolls (so great compared to the restaurant version), homemade pico de gallo (thanks to all the Texans), as well as German rouladen, spaetzle, and fondue.  There are many other foods we enjoy, but as of yet, I leave the making of them to the experts.  For instance, Korean bulgoki and kimchee, Japanese sashimi and sushi, Egyptian food in general, and most Thai food are best made by someone more um, ethnic, than I. 

It has been such fun trying new things and experimenting at home with making them.  We really enjoy a variety.

Well, all of that leads me to say that when Dh accidentally picked up a veal roast instead of the lamb roast that I had listed, I wondered what I’d do with it.  I had planned on a couple of rather Meditterranean meals involving mint and yogurt and pitas from that lamb roast, and I was pretty sure veal wouldn’t make a terrific substitute, though it would probably do.  So I got online to find out how one goes about preparing a veal roast, since the only veal I had ever eaten was the veal parmigiana served in Italian restaurants.  What I found was a delightfully easy recipe that made an elegant and delicious meal for us.  So I thought I’d share….

Roast Veal with Mushrooms

  • 3lb boneless veal roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or Marsala wine)
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 8 oz. of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed or crumbled rosemary

Season meat with salt and pepper.  In a skillet, sear meat on all sides in butter until lightly browned.  Remove meat from skillet and brown onion.  Add wine and flour to skillet and stir until well blended.  Add mushrooms and rosemary.  Place roast on a rack in roasting pan.  Pour mushroom-onion mixture over roast.  Roast at 350 degrees for 1 3/4 hours or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

This recipe is from the SouthernFood.com

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TeethWell, when I wrote earlier about our trial of medication with Bud, I had no idea what we were in for today. I’ll share…. (more…)

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Homesick

This weekend my cousin got married.  He is the first of my cousins on my dad's side to get married, so it was a pretty exciting day.  My older brother and his wife from Maryland were there.  My younger brother and his wife from Ft. Worth were there.  And my parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins were there.  In fact, I think everyone in my family but my sister and her family from Houston and me and my family were together this weekend. 

That's one thing that stinks about being in the military.  We live so far away from family that it costs a small fortune to fly home, and therefore we miss out on the big events that mean so much.  Marriage covenants are made, babies are born, and loved ones go on to meet Jesus…and we are unable to be a part of it. 

But it isn't just the military that creates such distance within families.  The very "ease of mobility" which makes flying from coast to coast in a matter of hours possible has subsequently made distance seem "not so far" and so that job out in Oregon (or Maine or wherever "far from home" is) looks a lot more appealing.  But in reality, with cost and time considered, the gap is actually quite large.  You find that you weigh your decision to go home very carefully because the cost is dear.  You plan to go home for the wedding, but then you can't afford to go for Christmas.  You have to decide which events are most important, when in reality, you want to be there for all of them.

It makes me long for the days when families settled down near their parents' homestead.  Where your name (and your word) meant something because people knew it, and they knew your daddy, too.  Where a new mom had her own mama and aunts and sisters around her when she brought that new life into the world.  Where cousins grew up and played together and Sunday dinner was at Grandma's.  There was support and stability in that.  There was tradition and heritage, too.  How quickly we give that up for that raise or career move–that chance at the "American Dream". 

And we say to ourselves, "It isn't really that far.  I'm just a plane trip away."

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