Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy birthday to me... from the LORD

So today is my and my twin sister's 35th birthday. My husband, so politely, reminded me that I am halfway to 40. His 35th birthday is a few months behind mine, hence the taunting. I believe that in all his joking, he was saying that he loves being married to an older (and wiser) woman. I am looking at the situation as my glass is half full!

In waking up today, I wanted to tell the LORD "THANK YOU" for all the wonderful blessings I have received from Him all these years. So many times I get down in the dumps thinking of my trials. And yet, I want to turn them into thank yous. So, Mike's work takes him away sometimes for weeks at a time - thank you, LORD, that my husband has a job, loves it, it provides us with experiences we could never afford (living in foreign countries for years at a time), and gives us financial security. My kids are constantly in need of discipline - thank you, LORD, for the blessing of being a parent to five beautiful children who needed a mother and father to take care of them, they are one of the biggest joys in my life. My home is in a constant state of repair (it seems) - thank you, LORD, for a our house that is more than big enough to accomadate a family of seven, is used to host Biblestudies, and have friends over for parties, holidays, and dinners. The list could go on and on.

Though a lot of women dread their annual reminder that they are growing older, I look forward to it. I am excited to see how each birthday marks a tremendous growth pattern in my dependence on the LORD. I falter and fail at times and sometimes cannot see past my selfishness and stubborness. Yet, He is always there to pick me up and guide me to the next blessing in my life though I do not deserve it. This year, I celebrate being 35 as a wife and mother, living in Germany with a wonderful church family and military friends who support and love me every day. Happy birthday to me... from the LORD.

In Him,

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Anniversary... from afar

Mike and I have been blessed to celebrate our 12th anniversary... apart. He was TDY in Souda Bay, Crete helping with the refugee evacuations from Libya. I was humbled by his attempt to help me catch a space available flight for one night to see him. He got all the military stuff taken care and then told me the "surprise". Thankfully, a friend volunteered to stay the night with the kids so I could go. The evening before, I got a call that the flight was cancelled. I was crushed! But I also thought, "If God allowed the fight to cancel, then there must be a better plan." The morning I was supposed to leave, Mike called to check in with me. He was sad that I couldn't go either. Then a few hours later, he told me they got the call to come home immediately - all of them! My plan would have seen me passing my husband in the air. I am thankful for God's bigger plan and that he brought my hubby home safely.

So Mike is now home. Yeah! And hopefully, he'll be able to stay home for my birthday in a couple of days.

Another parenting tip:
So here is another quick parenting tip we started using a couple of months ago - Stair Practice.
The thought behind it is that if you have enough energy to whine (that's why we started using it), be mean, argue, use rude manners, etc. then you have enough energy to do laps on the stairs. With whining, we asked our son to do laps on the stairs until he could do one whole lap without whining. This lasted a little while, but once he figured out how much work it is to whine, he has started doing it much less. We give a certain amount of laps for arguing, rudeness, and any other thing that deems appropriate of laps on the stairs. Being slow means they get more. And getting more means they might miss out on something fun like snack or tv. Give it a try! And then let me know what happens.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Email Address

Mike's tdy has brought to life that we have some issues with our email provider. I was trying to check my emails, but was getting sent into a pattern that avoided my inbox. Then when I could access my email, it would take what seemed like forever to open a document. Then ultimately, it would freeze up our internet like it couldn't keep up with our email provider's advertisements. This is very frustrating when you are anticipating a love letter or even a call through skype.

Needless to say, I got a new email address. It has been a headache trying to establish our new account, but I already love the ease and flexibility of using it. My favorite thing so far is that I can now check email from my iTouch. I haven't been able to do that before because our old internet provider wanted me to pay for a Pop3 account. It is also much quicker to check. I am still trying to figure out little tricks, like adding new contacts, but I am getting there. I have to retrain myself to a new and much better format.

So if you need to get a hold of us, send me a message through the blog and I can email you our address. In the meantime, facebook always does the trick too.

I pray you are having a blessed day!

In Him,

Monday, March 7, 2011

Februrary and early March update

Time flies so quickly these days. I think we tend to have a light schedule compared to most families theses days. And yet, I still feel like we are so busy with things that weeks pass into one another without notice. Whew!

Mid-February gave us the opportunity to visit an old neighbor of mine. It's been fifteen years since he lived next to my parents and now he and his wife are stationed here in Germany. We visited them in their beautiful town of Esslingen where they had a house warming party. We also spent most of Sunday with them taking a walk and watching our first Fashching parade (it's like a Mardi Gras parade). The kids had a lot of fun seeing all the different, elaborate costumes, and catching the candy being thrown out. Plus, they liked seeing the pranks being played on some of the crowd members. I was fortunate enough to get squirted in the face by a mask with a fish on the nose. Dasha was on the recieving end of a confetti fight. She enjoyed it though. We all had a great time there and hope to make it back again before we move.

February 25th, we celebrated Adoption Day #1. It's humbling to see how six years ago God answered mine and Mike's prayers to be parents. Dasha and Stasia are such beautiful young women now! We celebrated by going to Baskin Robbins again. The kids were so excited to pick out their own sundae to have all to themselves. I stuck with my favorite - peanut butter chocolate. Yummy!

We are now in early March with the Springtime upon us. The days are getting longer. We are anticipating the time change. The kids are pushing for Spring Break come April. I enjoy this time of the year where the sun starts to shine a little more and the flowers begin to bloom with the temperature's slow rise.

We are still not sure what the summer holds for us, but we'll definately spill the news if/when it comes.

In the meantime, I ask for your prayers for Mike. He got a call Thursday night and left the next morning on an indefinate TDY. He is with several crews in Souda Bay helping the Egyptians that are fleeing Libya into Tunisia. We are not sure how long he and the others will be gone. But please pray for Libya and everything else that is affected by what this country is going through.

Thanks for being a part of our lives!

In Him,