Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reese Has NOT Left The Building

Update: Reese was all checked in and ready for her flight when she learned it had been canceled. So, she's back at home with us with no immediate flight available. Next time I won't post that she's gone until we know for sure she is. Please be praying. At this point she is unsure how she is going to get home without spending a lot of money for a flight back to England.

I have been debating this post all day. There are emotions and thoughts swirling around my head and because of that, it could end up being a jumbled mess. I was hoping to mainly post pictures, thinking that my desk computer might take a camera card so I could actually post pics, but it doesn't so that will have to wait until tomorrow when I'm at work and can download some photos.

Reese left today. At least we think she's leaving. She flies Space A with the Air Force and there's a flight that leaves tomorrow so we are praying she gets on it and is finally able to head home. We had such a good time. I am sure there will be many, many post in the weeks to come as we look through our pics and post about the awesome times.

Today was very hard. Usually she is here for two weeks staying with Tim's parents. This time she was here five weeks, staying with us. We always try to have a no-crying pact when she leaves because it just makes it too hard, and we are getting good at it too. This time, there was no hope for that. We held it together fairly well, pretending it was a normal day and not a day of separation. When the time came and we went our separate ways, I was a bawling mess. In fact, Dan decided that today was not a good day to stay home so we headed to Portland. I realized that both McKenna and I finally stopped weeping at milepost 51, 36 miles from home. Even as I put my girls to bed this evening and prayed for Reese and Ian, there were still many tears.

I am so thankful for Reese. I love her more than words can even say, that's why this post is so hard to articulate, there just are no words.

After I went to Germany, Reese put a quote on our old blog. It said "Do not cry because it is over, smile because it happened". That's what I keep thinking about. What a blessing! Never in a million years did I think we would have this opportunity.

We have a lot of posts spinning in our minds. I can't tell you how many times during her stay something quirky would happen and we would run and grab our cameras yelling "There's a post!" Yes, I think after weeks of somewhat silence, there will be a lot of action on the blog.

Safe travels Reese. Love you!

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Friday, March 27, 2009


It's the end of spring break here and I haven't been shopping in awhile. Yesterday my kids said "when are you ever going shopping, there is no food in this house". Luckily Reese came home with bananas yesterday and they were appeased for awhile.

This morning found my son pacing around the house saying "I'm so hungry, I'm so hungry". Poor guy. I offered toast, no he didn't want that. Finally he went for some cereal which he then proclaimed was STALE! Being the good mom that I am and loving to cook so much (notice the sarcasm) and since I did get up early today and had a little extra time I offered to cook my three STARVING children fried eggs.

Well, I learned an important lesson this morning. You leave six eggs on high to cook themselves, it just doesn't work well. I had to go do my hair you know. When I arrived back in the kitchen I found burning, rubbery eggs. Thank goodness the smoke detectors didn't go off and I had just enough time to hurry to McDs for our favorite sausage McMuffins!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Johnny Depp Appreciation Day

We've noticed a bunch of new views from foreign countries, all looking for pictures of Johnny Depp. We appreciate this unexpected traffic so much that we're posting two more pictures.

If you're grateful, leave comment - in whatever language you speak.

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The Pictures Heather Forgot To Post

These are a little blurry, but worth seeing.

What are friends for, right?

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Monday, March 23, 2009

This Post Is a Day Late

March 22, 2003 was one of the happiest days of my life.

When Tim and I separated in August 1998 the baby bug had already bitten me. Then, facing a prolonged separation and devastating divorce, I felt I was destined to have only two kids. I struggled in the following years with trying to come to terms with the fact that God may not have more children in mind for me.

In 2000 Tim and I began the process of reconciliation, and renewed our marriage vows in May 2001. It was a joyous time, as we set off tentatively back on the path of marriage. People began dropping hints that we should have more kids, but we weren't ready yet.

In 2001, in the week following the terrorist attacks, Tim began mulling over the idea of joining the US Military. By October 2001 he had visited the Air Force recruiter and in January 2002 he left for Basic Training. He spent the rest of the year in training for his chosen career. We lived with him that year for only 3 1/2 months, in Biloxi, MS.

February 2003: we arrive at our first duty station, Spangdahlem AB, Germany. For the first time in years circumstances were right for having a baby. After a long year of physical separation, we were ready in more ways than one to start "trying"!

It started March 17th. I saw the kids off to school from my front door (they rode an American school bus), then Tim off to work. By 9am I was back in bed sleeping, and up again a little after noon. I got pretty good at doing a whirlwind cleaning job that looked liked I'd been working for most of the day. This continued all week. I was so embarrassed by my apparent laziness that I didn't mention it to Tim.

I expected my period on Friday, and when the day was over I still couldn't imagine that I might be pregnant. We went to a local Italian restaurant and I felt sick from the cigarette smoke. After dinner, we went to base to rent a movie. I was so tired I couldn't stand up. I sat on a low shelf and waited for Tim and the kids to choose the movie so we could go.

Saturday, March 22: I'm in the kitchen making breakfast and I'm nauseated and sweating, wondering what on earth might be wrong with me. I actually had a pregnancy test in my dresser drawer but didn't want to use it. It had been so long since I'd been pregnant that it was almost like the first time when I thought it couldn't really happen to me. I remember the moment well when I thought, "I guess I could be pregnant. I might as well do the test and see. I could always buy another one later if I need to."

I left the biscuits in the oven, grabbed the test and sneaked into the bathroom. I peed on the stick and put it on the side of the bath tub. "Jesus, show me something good!" I whispered.

I had been planning all the cool and creative ways I could tell Tim and the kids for years. But seeing the second line appear swept all my good ideas away. I began to shake and my heart was beating quickly. All I could do was grab the test and bolt up the stairs, where I was crying and yelling to Tim about how I was pregnant. Tim cried, I cried, Kristine cried, Sean smiled like his face was gonna break. Later, on November 26 of the same year, Sean said, "Zach came just to make us happy." He was right, and the happiness began on March 22.

Having Zach was a physical sign of a new era for our family. God has been good to us, and it's never as obvious and when you look at the 2 little miracles He added to our family in 2003 and in 2005. They are proof that God can do anything.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Missing So Much About Home

I’ve been in my hometown for a month now. It’s a nice time to be here, as the hills around the town turn emerald green before finally fading to brown in the semi-arid summertime. The trees and bushes are still bare, but the buds are popping out as quickly as the crocuses, violets and daffodils while the weather slowly and stubbornly becomes warmer. Spring is definitely here.

I’m not still here with some weird project of observing the weather and landscape changes, though. I just can’t get home yet. I travelled here on a military “Space Available” flight, and plan to get home the same way. Traveling without my military sponsor (AKA: Tim) means limited travel opportunities for me. I’m only allowed to travel from an in-States location to an overseas one, which means I have to wait around for a flight from the West Coast to Germany or the UK. Those don’t show up very often.

So I’m here looking at trees and hills. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t getting a tad-bit bored and much more homesick. I wake up every day with thoughts of what I’d bake if I was home. That’s the thing bugging me most: not being able to bake. Heather doesn’t bake so she doesn’t have many of the necessary supplies, and even if she did bake, she and her family are still recovering from losing most of their processions in the fire.

Oddly enough, I actually miss my apron. How strange is that? My apron, my bowl scraper, my silicone baking mats… Heaven for me might just be a bakery.

It turns out that baking has become a ritual much like drinking tea: the process is as important as the end result. I love waking with an urge to make something specific, the smells and the dusty flour, burying my hands in the dough… everything. Microwaving water for tea is missing as much meaning as buying a pack of scones/cookies/bread at the store.

So, please pray that my baking supplies and I are united again soon. If Heaven is a bakery, then hell might be anywhere that I can’t bake! LOL!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Did It!

Fifteen months ago, when Reese came for her annual visit, we took a little trip into Portland where we were both supposed to get our noses pierced. Let me just say that Reese was brave and I wasn't. I backed out on her, but she went ahead with it. I have regretted it ever since. She knows that and frequently has given me little pushes to go for it.

One day last week we were sitting at the kitchen table when she blurts out "I've had a terrible day and would love to watch someone shove a hole through your nose!". Now, that's true friendship! LOL! I wasn't about to jump out of my seat and run down to the piercer because knowing Reese, she would have asked to do the piercing herself to get her aggressions out :) We did have several discussions about it through the week though and I knew I wanted her with me and that time was running short (or so I thought, lucky for me she's still here!). So, Friday I made the fateful decision to go for it. Once I made that decision I was all nerves the rest of the day.

Here I am at home, getting ready to leave.

Walking in for my torture. Dan's comment was "I can't miss this!" Apparently he thinks I'll back out, but I have two tattoos and my upper ear pierced. Although, I must admit, backing out sounded good at the time.
Getting my nose cleaned.
There are pictures of me having it done, but really they are terrible so I think I will save you the bloody details. Let me just add that apparently the piercer said "oops, we've got a bleeder". Yeah, not pleasant.

Here I am admiring my piercing, sorry you can't see it :) Let me tell you, I love it!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Closing Doors

Yesterday I finished helping my sister pack up the remnants of her old life. We packed and tossed and cleaned for two days and then shut the door of her apartment, as well as the door to the past. What a momentous moment for her, closing that door. She's very guarded with her emotions and even if she wasn't she's taken such a beating in the past six weeks so I'm sure she had mixed feelings.

Had someone told me two months ago Jonas could make me do anything at all, I'd have laughed at them. Yet I found myself cleaning out his fridge and vacuuming his bedroom, working alongside my sister- his wife- in the way he should have been. So many things left undone and unsaid and unaccounted for, so many lives hanging on, stopped as if in midsentence and grappling with how to say what they had hoped to say- needed to say.

I've learned that suicide is truly a selfish act. Did I tell you Jonas committed suicide? Well, he did. He chose to leave a life that so many struggle to hold on to, a life that some endure such hardships as chemotherapy and open-heart surgery to continue. In the aftermath is so much anguish, such pain and anger and grief and turmoil. Eveyone tries to make sense of it while keeping their tidy little world views.

And what can I do? Nothing big, just the little acts of love and sacrifice. My sister doesn't need me to swoop in with big intentions and lofty goals. Instead, I babysit for her, drive her to appointments, help her clean the apartment where her life ended and the next began. Love her. Love her kids. What else is there?

What can you do? Pass on The Father's love to those around you. You never know who has thoughts so dark they can't think through them. You never know when you won't have another chance.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

If You Didn't See It, Would You Believe It?

December, 2008. Tim and I are sitting in church with Dan and Heather. It's one of those progressive churches that wakes its congregants up with coffee, tea and hot chocolate served at the back of the sanctuary. (My church does this too, only it's served at the end of the service, waking people up after the fact.) I glance over at Heather and see that she's HOLDING A PEPSI!!!


A book I saw calls soda "liquid Satan". Could it be that Heather needs deliverance and this was a silent plea for help? Could she be experiencing deep hurt that she needs deliverance from?!

At any rate, I took a picture for posterity.

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Monday, March 2, 2009


In September 2007 Heather and our friend Holly visited me in Germany. It was just turning cooler- the time of year when the weather is great in the daytime and really cold as soon as the sun sets.

Tim had been deployed to Kuwait since May (he returned the day before Holly and Heather left for America), so some of the household To-Do list was left undone. Such as refilling the oil tank. It was bone dry, which meant we didn't have any heat, aside from rather ineffective space heaters.

Heather is one of those perpetually cold people, the kind that shivers under blankets in an 80 degree room. You can imagine what she endured those two weeks (with the exception of a quick jaunt down to Rome where I'm sure she found the weather more agreeable). Poor girl. She was so gracious though, and kept a happy smile on her face, even as she tucked the blanket more tightly around herself as she read on the couch.

Now I'm staying with her.

Do you think I'm cold?


At first I thought she was paying me back for her cold German stay by leading me to a sweltering room on the top floor, but now I think she's showing me what she would have appreciated on her visit to me. Maybe it's just kindness... maybe she's seeking revenge!

But, of course, I'm kidding. I'm so gratfeul that Dan and Heather have allowed me to stay with them and I've been as comfy as can be. Sure, it gets a little toasty in my corner of the house, but I'm truly not complaining. I think there are some temperature control issues in the house, so while I'm sweating it out at night, she's actually shivering in her room. I'd offer to trade her rooms, but I'm thinking she wouldn't be willing to give up her beautiful new bedroom, and I doubt Dan would appreciate sleeping on Ian's cot.

Heather and I have made two "meals" together: chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies on Saturday night, and granola yesterday. I just love eating with Heather's family: they aren't exactly vegetable fans, and as a newly converted vegan, our ideas of meals clash and harmonize in interesting ways. I have some pictures to post later of her family's reactions to avacado and coconut milk. I'm sorry to say I missed getting a picture of Heather scraping her spinach into the garbage. That would have been one to enlarge and hang on the kitchen wall!

Love you, Heather! Thanks for everything. It's been fun!

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