Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One More Thing...

...about that little whisker faced 4 year old girl in the post below. She and Lily were playing out front, where I could see them through the kitchen window. I saw two little boys about her age approach them and they appeared to be shouting at them and just acting like little children sometimes do...mean, but not in a dangerous way, just a little boy way. Anjolie and Lily, after getting their "ear-full" turned on their heels and ran up the sidewalk to the door where I met them-smiling at what I would probably hear about those "mean boys" ;). Anjolie looked up into my expectant eyes and said, "Mommy, they are being mean, but they don't know better, they just don't know the Lord." (def. of mean=calling them "poopy heads")I told her how proud I was that she recognized that, kissed her little head and advised her to play out back...my heart swelled. Thank you Lord, for those little glimpses into her heart made new by You.

"ONO COW COW"



That little *ahem* ...kitty....
there (who found some MaryKay eyeliner and put it to good use early one morning...yes, those are supposed to be whiskers..lol), just keeps us smiling.
We love to eat at a restaurant here called ONO COW COW, and we have no idea what in the world that means. But, anyway, we see the words, Cow Cow, quite frequently here, as far as business names go. Brianna and Anjolie noticed it too, and they discussed it in the back of the van this past weekend, while we were running errands, with great interest...
Brianna: Well, there, *pointing* it says "COW COW", but there is no "ONO" with it.
Anjolie, in a very analytical and serious tone: Maybe they named it "ONO COW COW" because it means like "Oh No, there goes my Cow Cow"...
Brian and I started giggling, and they, of course, came up with all kind of crazy ideas just to keep us laughing..."Oh, No, I need to milk my Cow" etc... okay, I guess you had to be there to really be amused ;) Then again, it doesn't take much to amuse me! Good times.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Babysitting Kitty



Have you ever agreed to something without completely thinking it through? "SURE, I will watch a little kitten for a week so it can be a surprise for your son...of course, NO PROBLEM!", that was me, two days ago. I had forgotten how crazed my children get when it comes to animals. I have been refreshed overnight....ahhhhhh!!!!! Just kidding.

The morning the kitten arrived, my girls' kitty sonar must have detected an inbound target. Well, that is the only explanation I can come up with for all three of them pouring out of the house in pjs to welcome their furry house guest before she even got out of my friend's car early Saturday morning. I had forgotten all about it and was quite the morning beauty in my husbands PT sweats and bed head hair. The little squealing group ushered my friend and the kitten into the house and that is about all I remember. Now, we have a kitten...for a week ;) You would have thought I brought a new baby home what with all the squeals, ahhhs and ohhhs. Even Ayden is in love with the fuzzy little thing. The little thing is cute and is being spoiled to death. I guess you could say we are breaking it in for the family it will go to on Christmas morning...he he he...they have 5 children to love and smother it with kisses. :)

Delivered- From the Power of the Lions



Dan 6:26-27
"I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he [is] the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion [shall be even] unto the end.
He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions."

I am not in any physical danger...no one physically seeks to harm me, but at times, in the midst of spiritual warfare I sometimes feel as though I were in danger. My thoughts are anxious ones, my body tenses, my heart feels strained, and my emotions follow my undisciplined thoughts down steep and treacherous slopes.

We are a simple family just trying train our children up in the Lord, serve faithfully in our church and walk closer to the Lord every day. We struggle and we fail sometimes, but we, by the Grace of God are moving forward never satisfied to sit still in our walk. There are times when trials come and, if I am not where I should be, it feels as if the flames of hell lick at my very soul tempting me to throw up my hands in frustration. Then I further complicate the situation when I discard the my sword of Truth and lash out instead with angry thoughts, words and actions. My tears of anger bear witness to a defeated spirit after the dust settles. Then, ashamed, as I cry out to God, I remember that these trials, these ravenous lions, don't define who I am in Christ. I was tricked...again. My response was the key to what was going on in my heart and told where my real faith stood. Try as I might, I will be defeated- in myself and, if I don't repent I am left open and vulnerable to a continued attack. It is during these times that I know my walk with God, my testimony, my ability to be used is in danger. If I am not filled with His Spirit daily I will not be victorious in my walk with or without trial.
The Lions come when I am right where I should be in my walk as well. The end result is much different when the Lord fights...He's already won and His Holy Spirit keeps me close to His victorious path. Sometimes the attack seems relentless and I fret wondering if perhaps I have erred in some way. Before I despair, I must remember that I am 100% justified, so why wouldn't there be lions sent from the evil one? Their very presence should cause me to rejoice in the Redeemer that lives in me. He has already witnessed the final defeat of the evil one. It is never flesh and blood that I am wrestling against, but the principalities of darkness, the Bible says. That is a horrifying fact for those who are not Saved! To those of us in Christ, it means that we must choose to respond to the Lions in our life victoriously! We must respond IN CHRIST -filled with HIS Spirit.
Does my response to trial consistantly reflect a solid belief that God is indeed my Lord and Saviour capable of victory in all circumstances? More often than I would like to confess, my response reflects a sense of doubt and impatience with the ways of the Lord which leads to defeat. In light of this, I am meditating upon these verses from Daniel today, as I sit here home from church with two children, sick *again* *sigh*. I want to be frustrated and downcast-in my flesh...for various reasons other than the two little sicklings, BUT, He has shut the mouth of the Lions! They are present, yes, intimidating, yes, but they have no power over me-the believer -hidden in Christ.
"He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions." I love how this is worded...He DELIVERETH and RESCUETH...and in the Believers life...we, like Daniel have been DELIVERED and RESCUED from the jaws of the Lions. Past tense...my battles are all won in Christ..all of them, but I must choose to WALK in that TRUTH. I must walk in a way that gives testimony to this fact. Thank you God for delivering me from the power of the lions...may I ever rejoice in my trials because you have already delivered and rescued me from their grip. Hallelujah, God is so good!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

BORAX Snowfakes



The whole process takes about 2.5 hours-or you can let it sit over night as indicated in the directions.. I LOOVE THESE :)



Borax Crystal Snowflake
You will need:
-string
-wide mouth pint jar
-white pipe cleaners
-blue food coloring (optional)
-boiling water (with adult help)
-borax (available at grocery stores in the laundry soap section, as 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster - NOT Boraxo soap)
pencil Directions:
Cut a white pipe cleaner into 3 equal sections. Twist the sections together in the center so that you have a "six-sided" star shape.
Pipe cleaners and string form a snowflake base for the crystals to grow on.If your points are not even, trim the pipe-cleaner sections to the same length. Now attach string along the outer edges to form a snowflake pattern. Attach a piece of string to the top of one of the pipe cleaners and tie the other end to a pencil (this is to hang it from). Fill a widemouth jar with boiling water. Mix borax into the water one tablespoon at a time. Use 3 tablespoons of borax per cup of water. Stir until dissolved, (don't worry if there is powder settling on the bottom of the jar). If you want you can add a little blue food coloring now to give the snowflake a bluish hue. Insert your pipe cleaner snowflake into the jar so that the pencil is resting on the lip of the jar and the snowflake is freely suspended in the borax solution. Wait overnight and by morning the snowflake will be covered with shiny crystals. Hang in a window as a sun-catcher or use as a winter time decoration.

A Christmas Day Is Every Day

by Robert M Wilson

A Christmas day is every day, not one date in December,

A special birth, haloed in light, which some choose to remember.

Just once a year neglects the truth that birthing never ceases,

So seen by those who see, in which the living world increases.

As well, the birthdays we observe for family and friends
Should not suggest forgetting other times what life intends.


Each waking is a childbirth,
as sure as sleep is death,
A momentary passing
on the rhythmic wind of breath.


For presents-
only one cries out,
the one that's most ignored,
A gift unprized because it's free,
yet easiest to hoard,

Requiring neither ribbons nor a package for its worth--
The present of full presence
at our ever-present birth.
No days, no night, just flowing streams

and shades of constant light
Need constant celebration
just as long as there is sight.




Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tee Hee

I just had to share this pic my Dad sent me...it doesn't match the normal tone of my blog ...but as a Marine wife and anti-feminist...this little pic struck my funny bone and just *cracked* me up.


(Pam, will this get me kicked off your trusted blog- blog roll? ;) )

M.I.A. Mom FOUND Buried Under a Pile of Laundry ;)




Sorry!! We had revival last week, and THIS week is recovery from revival week ;) I just feel soooo busy right now with Brianna's schoolwork, Anjolie's schoolwork, piano lessons, visitation responsibilities, church, and the biggest reason I have had to stay away from the computer is....AYDEN, he really needs a whole crew of people to watch him...he is BUUUUsY. Just a few days ago my cordless phone and a pair of Lily's shoes fell prey to his antics and found themselves in a deadly toilet bath. He has figured out how to *pluck* the keys off our new laptop...because it's fun to watch mommy try to figure out where they go....and Lily only encourages the entertaining mischief. *sigh* Soon enough they will be grown. I know it will go quickly, but I must say, these past 9 months have been some of THE most challenging for me. I hate yelling at the kids, and I have found myself resorting to this more often than not when they fight or create a huge mess for me while I'm making lunch or dinner. So, my number one lesson, that I have learned when training up my 4 children- that the Lord saw fit to add to my life within 4 years and 10mo ;) (that should like, be a record or something)....is to get up EARLY- well before the kids and getup and get the bulk of the days prep done. This was not possible before with a nursing baby who got up at all hours of the night. Now, they all get up at a decent time to allow me to have at least a couple of hours to myself in the morning.
So, if I want to have a normal busy day instead of a chaotic day, my morning must consist of survival prep....getting myself ready, get the kid's clothes laid out, morning chores done, dinner prep(if crock pot meal), PRAYER and Bible reading ...there is just no way around it for me. So, ...I didn't intend to ramble on so with all that, but there you have it. In a very large nutshell ;) . Life for me is very very busy at the moment. I look forward to catching up with you!!....and you are never going to believe this....the phone rang and woke up 3 out of the 4...so, I'm hittin' the ground running !!!! Note to self...turn OFF the ringer.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Can You Smell It?


My darling husband got me a KitchenAid quite some time ago. Well, I have become quite dependant on my "just throw it all in and wait" bread machine and a little afraid of the KitchenAid method, which involves a smidgen more of my involvement, in making bread. So, this is my first attempt at French bread using the KitchenAid and I likes. I likes it alot. ;) I made a cool rise loaf as well. I am in love....ahhhhh... Yes, the one looks a bit deformed, but hey, it tasted wonderful :)
In case your wondering, I'm home with an ever so slightly sick little Ayden :( Sick enough to not want him in church nursery with the stomach bug he has...so I'm here- posting away...hope you all are having a wonderful weekend.

The Butterball Turkey

is defrosting in the refrigerator. Anjolie discovers the bird and runs excitedly to Brianna saying, "Brianna!! We have the Thanksgiving Turkey without a head or feet and it's in the fridge!!"

Wonderful Promise


Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.


I have been pleading with the Lord over an issue that was grieving my heart. The door was shut to me for a very long time. I was certain that the Lord wanted this issue resolved so I was trying to "wrench" the door open in my own strength...and failing. The constant "trying" left me tired, overwhelmed and frustrated. One day I just simply gave the closed door to God. I had to move out of the way and allow the Lord to open the door. Wow, when the door opened, my heart was ready to walk through....and I did.
The Lord can truly unstop the ears of the unhearing and can melt the heart of the hardened. I didn't realize that the Lord was working on the heart on the other-side...and mine ((!!)). Only when He had properly prepared the hearts, on both sides, did He open the door....and our hearts, to HIM and His will. God is so good.
Is there an issue you are certain the Lord has led you to be persistant about? Don't give up, dear one, kneel by that tear stained door that you have broken yourself on and dedicate it to God. The Lord burdens our hearts for a reason. The confusion and error comes in when we think that burden means we are to do everything in our strength and personal wisdom to solve the problem we have been burdened about. Many times, we are to be silent, pray, and LISTEN! Boy, do I forget about that last very necessary part. The Lord then works patience and perseverance in our hearts over these matters. He teaches me to be still and listen to the desires He has for *my* heart and life.
When it comes to relationships, we are powerless to open the doors in the hearts of those we love. Most times, all our physical effort only results in further barricading by the one on the other side, to prevent our entry. We find ourselves in the way of what God is working out in the other persons heart, and this only delays the opening of the door that remains stubbornly lockd against our aggressive advances. God MUST enter first-on both sides. Only God can open doors and allow ears to be unstopped-hearts to be tender and yielded. Plead with the Lord to prepare your heart and the heart of the one on the other side...be patient....that door will swing wide open, in His time and for HIS glory. Blessings!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Please...

take a moment and visit a treasure of a blog. I am reading Hope's first few blog posts at Watering Wells of Hope. Her exciting story of what the Lord has done in her life is unfolding...I am left hanging and excited for more after reading parts 1,2 and 3. Get your coffee and head over to read...I promise you will be blessed!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Family Is Worth It

Just warning you that this is a very long post about our Space-A trip. I will completely understand if you don't read it or choose to just skim through the pics :)

Space-A travel...what an adventure. For those of you that are not familiar with the Space Available travel that we use in the military, it is just like it sounds-space available. If there is air transportation willing to release space available seats, then those of us who wish to "compete" for them by getting on a list in order of category and time signed up, may choose this very cheap and many times free method of travel. We chose to fly this way because it would have cost an obscene amount of money for us to travel commercially from Japan to the US. We were hoping to catch the Patriot Express, which is a commercially owned plane with normal seating, but we did not get on that flight-it was full. So, we then entered into competing for flights with other SPATs (space a travellers) for the KC135s that would be heading out in the general direction of the States. I signed us up to depart from 15 different locations so that we would have better chances of arriving within the CONUS (continental US ). Upon arriving within CONUS, we were planning on purchasing tickets for a domestic flight into Columbus, Ohio, but, first things first, we needed to get off Okinawa.

The first flight we were able to get on was a KC135 headed to Hawaii. I had done lots of research and knew that in order to be accepted for this flight we all had to be wearing closed toe and heel shoes, yay, we all had on sneakers...I had also dressed everyone in layers because I had read that the flights could get extremely cold and hot. I learned that *layers* can have a wide range of meanings- we either did not have enough layers on because we froze or the heater kick on to hyper heat because we burned up at various intervals. You were either shivering or sweating...kinda nice that it was broken up like that ;) The flight was packed so there was not much room to lay around like we had hoped. The crew provided earplugs for us,but it was still incredibly loud. Lily's earplugs were too big for her ears, as were Ayden's...yep this was to be a long flight and we had not even taken off yet! It was about 2 am by the time we took off for Hickam AFB, HI and I was ready for the kids to just go to sleep....which they did. As we flew, I saw another mother, with her 4 children, sitting up and, like me, not wanting to chance waking the two little sleeping heads on our laps by moving into a more comfortable position. The other mother's husband was a pilot and helped out quite a bit with two other mothers travelling alone with their children. I was so glad Brian was with me. Before they fell asleep, Anjolie and Brianna were not happy about the strange seats and said tearfully that they wished they could be on a *normal* plane with normal seats. I couldn't blame them for being fearful and disappointed and I was thankful that the Lord helped me see a very positive thing to share with them. I explained to them how they were in very important seats, not everyone gets to ride in these seats. Those seats were "Hero" seats, I explained, these planes carried men who fight against terrorists in Iraq. Heroes sat, and would sit in those very seats that we were sitting in at that moment. Brianna smiled at the thought...the privilege of sitting in *Hero Seats*. As I thought over what I had just told them, I suddenly felt privileged as well. I prayed for the men that would soon occupy those web seats -their thoughts would be much weightier than just worrying about which flight to catch next.


Among all the other challenges, getting the kids to the bathroom was quite a challenge. The toilet was just a tin box thing with a seat on it, and Lily would have nothing to do with it. I had prepared for that by going ahead and sticking a diaper on her before we left Okinawa. She decided to "hold it" for the entire flight ((!!!))rather than chance the stinky tin box thing. Nine and a half hours or so later, we finally landed in HI ready to hit the beach...just kidding.
I had made reservations for lodging when we were pretty sure we would make the Hickam flight, so we caught a cab to our room and then grabbed a bite to eat. It was good to have a little breather before having to compete for flights again.
The other passengers on the plane were competing for flights as well, so I tried to get a feel for where everyone was headed. The family with the 4 children was giving up at HI. They had enough of the whole Space A drama stuff and decided to just spend the week in HI. I was thrilled as that would up our chances of catching a flight all around. The flight that was headed to Norfolk, VA would have been wonderful, but that was leaving in 3 days and had not released seats yet. We studied the flight monitor praying for something reliable to get us in to CONUS. If the flight was on a C5 there was a good chance of it breaking down somewhere and us having to try for another flight at an odd location-not to mention trying to find lodging. I felt like I was playing chess, one wrong move and we could be in a very hairy situation spending LOTS of money to get out of it. There was a flight with some tentative seating that would be heading to Travis AFB in CA, and, it even had normal seats, so, we went ahead and marked ourselves as present for the flight and processed our baggage. I started to breathe easy until I saw the flight was delayed..... groan...the plane was probably broken.
I saw that the KC135 (the one we had just taken the day before)was headed on to Grand Forks, ND and it had 30 seats available. Brian talked to a pilot at the terminal and asked if there was an airport there. The pilot assured him that there was an International Airport there. We quickly asked the Airmen at the desk if we could get manifested on the Grand Forks flight instead of the delayed one to Travis. They happily obliged and we had to get our baggage processed again and purchase meals etc. *WHEW* so, we got BACK on the KC135...much to every one's disappointment...but hey, it was a flight. Any Space A seat you can get, is a good one.
It turned out that we would be the ONLY crazy passengers on the plane! The crew who happened to be stationed in ND was so nice, they told Brian to bring the girls up to the cockpit to have a look around! They let the girls try on a headset and talk. The crew even asked if the girls wanted to have a seat up there in the cockpit! Now THAT was an experience of a lifetime for them. I so appreciated the crew and their efforts to make the flight as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. The crew informed us that they were soon headed to the sandy spot and were thrilled that they had a few hours in sunny HI. I smiled as I watched them don their Hawaiian shirts over their jumpsuits and happily take pictures to remember their brief Hawaiian visit. I still pray for them.

It was 7 hours or so from HI to North Dakota and we were not prepared for the frigid temps as we lugged our baggage down the stairs onto the flight line. The kids were shivering in their thin jackets, even with the layers underneath! I felt like such a bad mom for not being more prepared-aren't we supposed to know everything? We loaded onto a waiting bus and the local time was around midnight. We were prepared to call a cab to take us to the lodging facility, but we were informed that no cab could get into that area. We found ourselves and our luggage in a room inside a hangar type warehouse with some very hungry and tired children. Two wonderful Airmen (one woman) were a tremendous blessing for offering us a ride to the Temporary Lodging Facility. When we asked about the International Airport...they laughed. Sure, there was an International Airport, it was classified International because it sometimes had flights into Canada! My stomach turned when they told us the closest reasonable airport whose tickets were under $500 a piece was 5 and a half hours away in Minn/St Paul!

We checked into our *wonderful* room and the kids slept while Brian made a 1 mile trek in 30 degree temperature to the computer lounge to find a flight and a car rental facility. Brian found a good deal on a car rental that we could drive one way and leave at the Minn/St Paul airport without filling the tank with gas. We called the airline and made reservations for a flight leaving the next day which would give us a day in ND to rent a vehicle and buy some cold weather gear.
Brian took a cab to the car rental place and returned with a roomy SUV. We made a stop at the store for some much needed coats and hats and spent a day in North Dakota and drove into Minnesota for a bit. We found a wonderful playground and we all had a great time just enjoying some time outside a Flight Terminal :) We tried to get to bed early that night, but the time change had us all thrown off.
We needed to be on the road by 3:30 am to make it to the airport in time, but the Lord knew we would need more time,so we were all just *awake* at 2 am and we got about a 45 min head start. As we drove, I felt impressed to pray that we would not get a flat tire...God is so amazing. About an hour after I had prayed for safety and specifically no flat tires, there happened to be a large utility ladder that had fallen in middle of the highway. We had *just* changed lanes and saw 4 vehicles with busted tires pull over..including the car that was in front of us in the lane we just switched from and the tractor trailer that was directly behind us also hit the ladder. I got chills when I realized that we only had one spare tire and we would have most definitely missed our flight or worse if we had hit that ladder. God is *so* good. We made it to the airport on time and caught our flight to Chicago and then on to Columbus.


Throughout it all, the kids did pretty well. I am so proud of them. It was such a blessing to see my parents waiting for us.

The kids were so excited to finally see Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Ryan and Aunt Misty. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to be *home*. My mom had "done up" a beautiful room in a way only my mom can do, for the girls and for us and she and my dad even turned an office room into a play room for the kids complete with little table and chairs, books and toys...I just wanted to cry I was so grateful and felt so loved. Brian's Mom had done the same for the girls in their Arizona home...a special room so the girls could feel at home. I am ever so grateful for these gestures that go above and beyond. The kids felt right at home. My sister Misty put together a welcome basket for the girls with doll clothes and dress up goodies...so sweet and thoughtful. I owe 'em big time don't I ? ;) I wish I had more pictures to show...we were so busy doing and enjoying that we didn't take as much time as we should have for pics. I do have lots..but I wish there were more *sigh* anyway.


We spent about a week that went entirely too fast- going to the fair for 2 days to ride rides at the famous Pumpkin Show in Circleville, sitting around a bon-fire, twirling sparklers, making cookies,jumping in a pile of leaves that Grandma had raked after hearing one of the girls voice that she just wished she could jump in a pile of leaves one day, visiting a local farm with lots of animals and people working it like the days of old, listening to Grandma's stories, picking tomatoes in Grandma and Grandpa's garden, feeding the neighbor's cows,collecting leaves along the trails of a local park, playing badminton with Aunt Misty, making beaded necklaces, looking at Uncle Ryan's art work, picking out their own pumpkins and gourds to decorate Grandma's porch with, took a ride on Grandpa's "tractor", visiting my Dad's work to show off the kids, eating at Chick-fil-A!!, thrift store shoppin *yay*, ....oh, the list goes on, we had a wonderful time and would have loved to stay til Christmas. We got together with my Aunt Pam, who is battling cancer (pictured below left to right...Anjolie, my sister Misty and my Aunt Pam), my Uncle Steve, Aunt Betsy and my cousin Tristan. The reunion here at Pizza Crossing was bitter sweet because we met here with my Grandma before we left for Okinawa...it was the last time I saw her sweet face.
After about a week, we headed down to Pennsylvania where we would spend time with Brian's parents (who flew from Arizona)
and his Grandparents.
We were so excited that Brian would be able to attend his cousin's wedding! Brian's Grandparents reserved and paid for our hotel stay while in Reading-what a blessing. My dad provided the rental that we used for the trip as well. God is so good to give us such a loving family. The kids were so excited to see GiGi and Pappy, Grandmom and Pop-pop- as were we. The time went so quickly, but we did have a wonderful dinner with GiGi's famous BBQ sandwiches yuuuummy, we ate at D&Js, visited Reading's Pagoda, and made a trip to the Franklin Institute. Other than getting stuck in the 5pm Friday night rush-hour traffic while looking for a world famous philly cheese stake hot-spot in downtown Phila ;) we had a great time. Brian attended the fairy tale like wedding of his beautiful Cousin M.P. and then next day we headed back to Ohio with one brief stop in Hershey. We made the trip through the Chocolate Factory and hit the road.


I am surprised my mom let my brother take this pic as she hates having her pic taken, but I am ever so grateful. He took this just before we headed out to the airport. It was so hard to leave...there are no words to describe how much my heart ached to leave my family. It is so hard to be away, I miss them so much and can't wait til we can at least live in the same country :) I could barely see through my tears as we headed to the airport for our trip back...I didn't want to have to say goodbye...again. My dad waited at the security check point until he couldn't see us anymore...and I cried.

The trip to Seattle was smooth and uneventful. We decided to risk staying at a local hotel which was a huge mistake as it was in a VERY bad area of town. I broke down in the room...just overwhelmed. We were hoping and praying to get on the Patriot Express the next morning, but again, this is Space A travel and there are NO guarantees about anything. Before I left Ohio, my Dad reminded me that God doesn't want us to be anxious about anything..that we just had to give it to Him. So, I did. We piled our luggage and a heavy chair in front of the door and prayed that we would be safe until 3:30am when we would have to take the shuttle back to the airport in hopes of a flight. That night I just prayed for some encouragement...something...even if it was just little to prop my spirits on. Sure I trusted God, but I felt so sad, so empty and knew that if I asked Him, the Lord would give me just what I needed to persevere. 3am came too quickly and felt sorry for the sleeping little children that I tried to gently dress while allowing them to still sleep. We loaded the luggage and as we got seated in the warmed van, we were the only ones...then God honoring Christian music filled my ears...*tears* my worried heart filled with such warmth and reassurance as the tidy little driver climbed into his seat. I thanked and praised the Lord for the indescribable peace that He gave in this mysterious way. I can't even explain it except to say GOD was in it all. I didn't even care at that moment whether we would get on the flight or not. I knew God was completely in control. I thanked the little van driver, who probably was just trying to support his family with this job, for the blessing of the music in his van that early morning. If he only knew what a part he played in lifting a fellow Believer's Spirit-I continue to thank the Lord for that driver and ask the Lord bless him and his family.

We arrived at the SeaTac terminal, filled out our paperwork and ate breakfast provided by the USO-what a blessing. After about an hour, the official came down with "the list". The hundred or so of us SPATs sat breathless. "YOST"...called the official...YOST???!! They called us first?! I felt like a contestant on the Price Is Right, but held back from the display. My heart, however was leaping with joy!!! We were manifested all the way back to Okinawa on a commercial plane...hot meals and all!!! I wanted to cry.
The rest is history...sure it was long, the kids fought and fussed, Ayden threw up, we had to go through immigration and customs, you know...life stuff, but we had all our needs met. Every single need was met and then some. God is SO good and leaves HIS undeniable prints all over our lives. I will rejoice in HIM always. Thank you so much to my dear family...it is so worth it all just to spend the precious moments we did with you. Late night scrabble, Balderdash...priceless. You are precious to us...we love you so much. Can't wait to see you again...hopefully in 9 months!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Update in the Works :)

Well HI!! Whew...that was quite the adventure! I will update soon. Right now I am still trying to get unpacked, keep up with school and figure out this new laptop that Brian got for us since our computer crashed...very strange. I sure missed you all a ton! I so appreciate all the love and prayers for our trip. God is so good :)

As promised to Brian's Dad, I will post this one fun little mini adventure. :)

When we visited Brian's family in PA, we made a trip with his parents, to the Franklin Institute. Brian and his Dad were brave souls and decided to ride the jet simulator. Well, I thought the flt was a program and that you just went along for the ride and everything was automated. So, as I was watching this thing...I thought they got a pretty rough mission or something!! I heard all kinds of muffled noise in there and was quite amused by it. After the crazy ride was over...Brian and his Dad exited their "jet" looking a bit peaked but his dad also looked especially triumphant. From what I could gather, this thing was completely controlled by the rider. Brian's Dad gave Brian control after the take-off and Brian said that they got into a crazy spin that he could not get out of because his joy stick was not working-*AAAhhh*(guess that was what all the muffled noise was coming from the cockpit) If you listen closely at 00:43, you can hear Brian's muffled hollarin' ..lol. Brian said he finally just let go of the useless joy-stick and clung to the harness holding him in his seat and resisted the urge to reach for the panic button with its inviting glow which would stop the ride and end the nightmare ;) Brian's Dad came to the rescue and worked to get them out of the death spin which first took them up into the sky and then plunged them backward and forward...lol. You can clearly see when his Dad takes control...the ride was so still, I thought the ride was over and stopped filming! Anyway ;) It is amusing to watch. The kids say "Pop-pop to the rescue!" when they see this video, and yes, it was Pop-pop to the rescue indeed :)



video








Thursday, October 11, 2007

God is So Good




:o) Hi, I feel so much better now. A friend of mine, Lauren ;), whose husband is deployed mind you...brought me some beautiful sunny flowers to brighten my day...I can't TELL you what a blessing she is. She is *always* thinking of others. Then, the Lord did some much needed "house cleaning" in my heart after much prayer and a wonderful conversation with my good friend *P* :) My heart was so cluttered with trying to make things complex and her simple statement, "I guess all we really have to complain about our own sinfulness". I tell you, that simple statement just *opened* my eyes so I could see where I was at and I suddenly-I was again filled with joy. That *is* all I have to complain about...my own sinfulness. Yes, the simple truths are the best.




And, it looks as if we will probably get on this next flight in a couple of hours. But if we don't ...lol, God is indeed in control...at all times. So, I won't be on here for a while, but know that I appreciate each and every one of you dear readers. God is so good all the time...ALL the time :) Thank you for caring. Love-Heather

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fragile

Women are the weaker vessels...and I am probably on the weaker end of the weaker vessel line and having a very fragile day.

Do *you* ever feel misunderstood like you never quite *fit* with anyone? I do, lots. It is my fault, I am sure....I wear my heart on my sleeve..or blog rather. Where there are many words, there is much room for misunderstanding..criticism...sin. I look back over this blog that I have kept for the past 2 years and think about the kind of picture I have painted of myself. You definitely have seen some of the rougher sides as the bumps in the road serve to be inspiration to post ;) -sorry about that. And you know what, it really doesn't matter, because this is *my* reality, my current season-and this is an open book-in a sense. No, I don't share many of the circumstances (completely) that surround my posts about struggles or how the Lord is working, but I do share my heart. There are no frills, just me, typing my thoughts (poorly) or sharing what the Lord is doing in my life, and it is usually done with about 20 interruptions- to take care of more important things like helpling Lily in the bathroom *ahem*.

I am always humbled when I read your thoughts, my friends, my heart aches with you, I worry for you, I admire Christ in you, notice your personal convictions, wonder at your talents, and then, I head back to my thoughts, and can't help but feel forlorn. I briefly thought one time that perhaps I *should* change the "face" of my blog, but then you would only see one side, and I am not very good at that. I am definitely a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kinda gal.

When I am feeling a bit hurt and distant, as I am now, I probably should not post. I don't know, today, I felt lonely. When I get lonely, I curl up with my Lord and our time is so sweet. Just me, alone with Him. It's a shame that I wait until I get lonely to really *curl up* in His lap and let His words sooth my soul. It's so wonderful to spend time with the One who won't let me down, who never changes, who knows my heart through and through. Oh, how I love Him. He made this vessel to suit Himself...I can rest in that.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

He's Able To

...cause non-refundable tickets to be refunded :) My husband spent almost 2 hours of reasoning with the ticket agent (very polite middle-person of course) and surpervisor (who, by the way, sounded very foreign and could have *cared less* that we were military), we pulled what we thought would be a winning move....an Act of Congress.

The Vision 100 Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act section 427 states, "Declares the sense of Congress that each U.S. air carrier should: (1) establish for all members of the Armed Forces on active duty reduced air fares comparable to the lowest airfare for ticketed flights; and (2) offer flexible terms allowing them to purchase, modify, or cancel tickets without time restrictions, fees, and penalties." We thought an Act of Congress for sure would back us until they said..."Oh, we know about that"...and nothing else. They would not agree that we had indeed purchased refundable tickets even though we paid $100 more for them than a regular ticket-to this rebuttal they had no explanation. So it was an "Oh, so sorry our ticket agents were wrong, but YOU LOSE" type of attitude....*cough* whaaaa?? (This is a MAJOR airline..not some little discount one either)

FINALLY, Brian just said something along the lines of "I'm sorry that your ticket agents were wrong (yes, we confirmed them through 2 ticket agents!), I am not trying to make money or hurt your business, but the only reason you have my money is because I purchased refundable tickets..why would I pay an extra $100 for a regular ticket...???". So instead of being willing to just let us change our dates-which is what we really wanted to do- they just cancelled our tickets and gave us our money back. I'm sorry, but is that not A REFUND?! *laughing* Well, instead of breaking my brain by thinking to hard about it..I will just Praise the Lord...He is Able :0)

We are trying for a flight on Monday morning..(your Sunday)...if that doesn't work we will try again next Saturday. We were supposed to check in tonight at like midnight for a "big plane" mission, but it was cancelled as there is a very strong typhoon passing by. Thank you again for your prayers!!!

Airline NIGHTMARE

So, we didn't get on the flight...today...and, we knew that space-a (space available ) flying is very "iffy" and you have to be flexible...that is why we purchased refundable tickets...or we were TOLD we did.

Yes, we called the airline that sold us our tickets to try and change our flight date and they are trying to tell us that they are NOT refundable...there was an act of Congress as well that states that even if we had NOT purchased refundable tickets...they were to allow us to modify our tickets due to the constraints on military travel. Like not knowing if leave will be approved...space a travel etc. We have been on the phone with them for over an hour now trying to resolve this. They are now saying that the ticket agent that sold us the tickets "didn't know any better!!!" Can you believe this? I don't know what to think. I have been giving the whole situation to God over and over today. He knows. May we walk in His will and please pray for us...I am about in tears. What was really neat though is that Lily (2.5) asked me to sing "He's Able" to her before putting her down for her nap. Now I have that running through my head :) He's Able, He's Able, I KNOW He's Able, I know my Lord is able to carry me through....how can that NOT bring a smile to my face? :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

PLEASE PRAY FOR US!!!

Okay, we went to put our name on the list for our space available flight and it just "happens" to be full with people changing station...just last week there were 20 open seats. SO, if this is the Lord's way of keeping us safe then, okay, but if not PLEASE pray for 6 very possible cancellations!!! *sigh* just waiting on the Lord. If this flight is not available...we will have to fly on a military cargo plane (sob) a C-5 and go a very long route around on Sunday..through Guam, Hawaii, Ca and then finally TN and THEN book a flight to Ohio....ugh, but if that is what is God's will...I will praise Him. PLEASE PRAY for us. Thankyou

Learning Lately...



In Faith Bible class we were looking at the plagues that led up to the Exodus of the children of Israel. I *love* how I am always learning something new in a well read portion of scripture. God shows Pharaoh how powerless his gods are in a pretty ironic way...the account is in Ex 7:15-11:10; 12:29-30



The entire study is fascinating!

The first plague in which the water turned into blood was aimed at the gods of Egypt, yes as were all the other plagues, but this particular plague interested me (and for sake of time will just mention this one). I learned it was aimed at Osiris (another name for Tammuz), a fertility god of land and vegetation whose resurrection was pictured in the annual overflowing of the Nile. (*shaking head* Satan, always tricking people with imitation.) The Nile was considered the bloodstream of Osiris. How ironic.!!..it was like God was saying..you believe it is the bloodstream of a false god and put it before me...then you shall have your "god's" bloodstream- which in turn killed everything in it and smelled of putrid death. The other gods, Hapi, Isis, Khnum and other gods associated with the Nile were also shown to be powerless and non-existent. Notice also, how the magicians could do nothing to purify the water, but they could only use trickery to make the problem worse. I would love to go on, but this point in and of itself is remarkable all by itself for today...the whole study of Exodus in this course is amazing.
As I remembered and thought on this lesson, I thought of how it applies to us today. The Lord *continues* to allow us to see that our "god's" are powerless and an abomination before Him. No, I don't have any graven images, but when I trust in my own wisdom and strength and allow pride of life as a god set up before Him...He reveals to me the folly of my idolatry. He allows me to stumble when He sees me clinging or even resting on anything other than Him. His loving chastisement helps me to see that the very thing I was trusting in or trying to glean personal glory from will be the very thing that has no power and only serves to humiliate and repulse me. These "bloodied Nile" experiences send me to my knees before my One and Only Almighty God asking His forgiveness and asking for the grace to lean only on Him. Lord, please continue to show me the false gods that I allow to creep into my life with even one foolish thought-tear them down-allow *me* to be repulsed by my foolish idolatry as the Egyptians were repulsed by their blood filled Nile.
I continue to be in awe of our Almighty God and find all the time how He uses His Word to convict and guide me.

picture courtesy of allposters.com

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Treats On A Slippery Slope


1Thess 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Slippery slopes are all around us. I find I step dangerously close to many...and the Lord loving guides me away and shows me where I could be guiding my child toward a slippery slope. Would I allow my child to get a piece of candy if it meant she must work her way down a slippery slope in which she could suddenly, without warning, tumble all the way down and be dashed to bits on the rocks below? No, of course not, well what if the risk didn't look too great...so I let her step on the slope that *one time* to get a piece of candy, or a prize, or recognition...what message does that send to my child? It conveys a message that it is ok to take a risk of Biblical compromise if there is a "treat" that may be obtained by it. It also leaves to her the treacherous task of discerning which slope is safe and which is not-whether the risk is worth the prize. You see where I am going with this, I am sure. With every slope the child, then teen, young adult etc tests and challenges...the closer, in their confidence in themselves, they step to the slope that will ultimately send them to their destruction. When did the danger begin? When did they begin to drown in pornography, alcohol, drugs, the occult...etc? On that first step my friend..the one that looked so harmless. The Lord has shown us that allowing our children to take part in Trick or Treating is one of those slippery slopes.
When our 2 oldest were toddlers, we did what the rest of the neighborhood did...dressed them up and took them to some friend's houses for candy. Do you see how "harmless" it all seemed? Our justification? They were dressed as harmless princess like characters...they were going to get candy for looking cute. Again, even one step on a muddy slope is a step headed for disaster in which your feet could suddenly lose control and give way to the slickness of the mud and the next thing you know, you find yourself in over your head in the murky mire of consequence wondering how you got there. We were convicted about this seemingly harmless compromise very shortly after that Halloween night and have abstained from participating in the appearance of evil ever since. We should all be on the look out for those slippery slopes of compromise, I find them all around us. The Lord does not bless the appearance of evil so why allow a child to participate in something that not only appears evil but IS evil? The treat a child gets for Trick or Treating is not worth the destructive message of compromise they get from a Christian parent.
Theresa thoroughly covers the dangers of Halloween in her post here.
picture courtesy of allposters.com

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Remember Them

I am thinking too of my dear friends...who are missing their husbands and their husbands are missing them. I appreciate you and am praying for you. I am praying for those of you preparing for your deployment. You can count on our support and our smiling faces welcoming you home.

When the Marines were first coming back from Iraq we would listen to the radio and drive to where we knew the bus carrying them would be and wave flags and show our support. We then, when meeting a friend who was returning, went to the reception area where the Marines offloaded. It was a beautiful sight to see all the reunions, but it was also heartbreaking to see the single Marines, whose families lived too far away to meet them, standing to the side with no happy welcome...just watching and waiting to go back to their Brks. We walked over and shook their hands and welcomed them home. Remember them.

Prayer SPECIFIC


OKAY, so I need some specific praying, people, concerning our Space-A flight. It won't suffice to pray for just 6 available seats...they will ALL be available if this typhoon hits when expected and we sure don't want to fly in 50knot wind. I NEED prayer for 6 available SAFE seats that will carry us *safely* to our connecting flight on the West Coast of the States...preferably ON TIME. We *desire* this flight to be without incident -of any sort-but should it be with incident, I guess I can look on the bright side of Blog material and more importantly yet another testimony to God's Grace in the midst of storm (and there goes that twinge of fear again-though I *know* I am in His care). But should it be the Lord's will for us to fly on a different day, please pray that we not be too delayed or have to be rerouted through any other random country...boy, that would be an adventure, now wouldn't it? ;). Thank you so much! Oh my, I am *chuckling* at the idea of blogging "HELP" to you all from some stinky smoke filled internet cafe of some third-world country surrounded by my 4 children...can't you just picture it...at least my stroller (thank you Brian) is fixed and all 4 wheels now touch the ground ;).

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Terrorism And Cancer

Will it just go away?
The Definition for Malignancy: A tumor that is malignant, that is cancerous, that can invade and destroy nearby tissue, and that may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body

This post was inspired partly in response to readingthis article about the Dems slamming Rush Limbaugh about his using the phrase "phony soldiers" ...in a conversation concerning pulling troops out of Iraq. Apparently there are some liberals offended for the "anti-war soldiers"...

Let's begin with looking at those who are organized to fight the malignancy that is terrorism. The term, Anti-War Soldier, is just ridiculous in my opinion because of the Oath that the supposed Anti-War Soldier took when he/she enlisted.
Even the disgruntled enlisted are not anti-war...they are usually anti-ridiculous politics, anti-poor leadership or anti various other issues that you will have with any job, but they support their President and Country, even if it requires their very life. If they have a negative opinion about the war or some decision that they personally don't agree with, they don't run to the media with it. The media and the liberals have taken entirely too much *liberty* to speak supposedly in the name of the soldier whom they think does not support his/her Commander in Chief.

When a Marine enlists, he/she takes this oath-

"I (state your name) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

Does this OATH alone make one a Marine? NO, but it *is* a promise that regardless of whatever belief system the Marine has, regardless of personal opinion..he/she has ENLISTED into the ranks of a Fighting Force that defends...all that was stated above in the oath..with his/her life if so needed. This isn't the BoyScouts...it's the Marines-or Army or any other Govt funded, trained and equipped fighting force. It is in no way like some Hollywood Movie contract. It is my opinion that no active duty military person should be allowed to speak to the media in a way that would undermine their country, the President or the stance they took when uttering his/her oath.


Now, I *understand* that some enlist without knowing what they got themselves into (I was one, *many* years ago)...they may not agree with all of the calls our Govt makes, but it is still their (as it was my) responsibility to finish their agreed contract and uphold the oath they took to support and defend the constitution and this country even if it means they will lose their life in defense of it. All that said...the reality of this particular war is that the U.S. may not have what the *world* would consider a victory in the war against terrorism, but then again, we know the World gets only what the media shows it.

It helps to think of Terrorism like a Cancer because it behaves like one...please look again at the definition for Malignancy. Do we ever *give up* fighting Cancer? Should we? Should we pull back our efforts? Should we criticize those who have made mistakes along the way in their research and drug trials? Do we *ever* give up research or practicing medicine? No, of course not. We continue to fund research and any other necessary means in hopes that we might find a "better" treatment to combat the disease and possibly even a cure! Would Drs ever consider Cancer research an effort of futility that should be abandoned? No, they continue to try different angles of attack, they continue to *practice* medicine. Now, think of this- what if a few supposed Anti-Fight For A Cure Drs (see the ridiculous term?-kinda like Anti-war soldiers) spoke out and said that tax-payers and everyone else is wasting money on this fight against Cancer. How would this make the Drs who were "in the fight" feel? Would it not be discouraging and possibly affect their efforts in a negative way? How would it make the cancer patients feel? Would it go against the Drs Hippocratic Oath to go to the media with such a derogatory statement that undermined their duty while serving in the medical field? I am sure you get the point. Terrorism is the Cancer we are fighting in our World now. The situation is always better if we are fighting it...we should be willing to "go down" fighting it. Save your critical personal opinions. In the heat of the battle, there is no room for it, it is detrimental to those who are fighting and to those who are sacrificing and or suffering due to the horror of terrorism and the consequences of this war against terrorism.

Instead of criticizing, why not get to know what those who are fighting this "cancer" are like? Turn OFF the news...go *talk* to a Marine, a soldier, a Corpsman, etc...get the story straight from the front line. ASK and you can find out about the "good things" that are happening "over there". Choose to walk among the heroes by welcoming them home at the airport...or on the street, listen to their stories...you will find courage, strength, and I am positive you will hear more than a few testimonies to God's Saving Grace in the midst of them. You won't find Anti-war soldiers among these returning warriors. You will find young men and women who want to know they are appreciated for their efforts in fighting the "disease", you will see also the flag draped coffins who gave their ALL in the fight. You will see the families of the brave, just as patriotic as ever, clutching the hand of a husband who lost a limb in the fight. Do you see any signs of protest among these? No, there is no room for any criticism in this War against Terrorism. And Mr. Anti-Cure if you have that gumption in you to criticize, I guarantee, it would melt away in the presence of one of these brave souls who took an oath to support and defend- and stood by it.

So, my liberal friend, if one would even stumble into this neck of the blogosphere, you *can* choose to sit back, and complain about the money that goes into defending your way of life, maybe it will continue to distract you from the guilt you feel from taking your way of life and freedoms so lightly, or you can support a Nation blessed by God, though undeserving. You *can* continue to blame those that would stand for what is right, for the country's decline both morally and ethically or you can educate yourself and see that historically, your perverted and God-hating way of life is exactly what led to the ultimate destruction of even the most mighty kingdoms, dynasties, nations, tribes, communities, towns, families, people. It is *that* perverse wickedness, and yes, another "cancer" of sorts, which you seek to defend that will ultimately be burned up with the rest of this old sin cursed earth, in the end. The Bible tells of a remedy for this cancer, a miraculous healing if you will, and that is belief on the Lord Jesus Christ and trusting in His shed blood as payment for your sin. If you don't believe the Bible, well, this country was founded on BIBLE Principles...like it or not...the truth doesn't get more real than that. America has been blessed because GOD has not yet removed HIS hand. And, dear American, THAT is the Nation these soldiers stand for...a GOD Blessed Nation-though so undeserving. There are many different types of cancer...many different consequences of sin. Choose to stand and fight for what is right-go down fighting the cancer that is terrorism before it metastasizes...oh wait, 9/11, it already has.


For more pictures that you won't see in the news go HERE and then when you have time read " DEAR AMERICA,"by LT Brown USMC in which he states..."As a citizen of the United States and a U.S. Marine, I will be able to sleep at night with nothing on my conscience, for I know that I, and my country, have done as much as we could for these people. If we leave early, I will not be able to live with myself, and neither should you. The blood will be on our hands, the failure on our watch. " I added the bold to the text.