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Our neighbors across the street from us said the other night, “so who has a blog they haven’t updated in even a year??” I guess they got nosy and googled us. . .this isn’t strange behavior, really, it isn’t, military people do this, I guess. Google their neighbors and don’t update blogs, I mean.
So here’s an update:
Life is beautiful. Some days are hard, just like everyone else’s days. But God is faithful and we are blessed to have the family and life we have. It is a privilege to serve our Master Jesus Christ and we find so much joy in the work He has given us to do (for some of us it’s not really that glamorous, it means cleaning our rooms, making an effort to be a good friend or sibling, washing dishes and teaching basic reading and math!)
Homeschooling was more of a success than we could have hoped, and we have decided to continue with a second year.
Our children are growing and healthy, and becoming more uniquely themselves every day.
We love our neighborhood and living on base so very much, several homeschooling families around us, and friends galore for the kiddos. . .what an amazing community we are blessed with here!
We got to visit Guam this Spring (yay for space-available!!) so of course here’s a few pictures:
Elijah getting to talk to the pilot from the co-pilot’s seat (it was a training evaluation flight, so there were four pilots. . .it wasn’t flying unmanned!) This was probably the smoothest flights I’ve ever taken in my life. We landed and the only way we knew we were on the ground was because something shifted in the plane and we could tell we were slowing down! AMAZING!! We’ll just say that our children don’t want to fly commercial any more!!
The biggest blessing in our travel was getting to put flowers on my mom’s grave again, this time with Jeremy and our children. It was wonderful, and beautiful, and healing somehow, to share a little more of her with them. Jeremy took this picture of us while I answered all their questions about her. Somehow this just made her more real to them. That was good. Micah asked me, “was she as kind as you, mommy?” “Oh Micah, I don’t know if I’m as kind as her. She was probaby the kindest person I’ve ever known.”
There’s so much going on, but I’m learning the ropes of military life and there’s so much real life stuff I can’t share online. The important stuff. So I’m toying with the idea of starting an anonymous blog that those of you who know who we are can follow and know it’s us.
I don’t want to close this blog because it has archived so many of our days, and wonderful memories, but I have done some things with this blog that do not work in our current social/political/military/religious/whatever climate. Like the names of our family members, details about our lives that would make us an easy target if I added current information.
So. . .future posts may be on another blog, and if you would like a link to that blog, please email me and remind me of who you are (sometimes the email address doesn’t give it away). Our email is still adina seven seven (numbers not spelled out) at hotmail.com We also love updates from you all as well!! You may comment on the blog, but please do not leave identifying information that would link you to us, including relative titles with last names (like grandma, or uncle, etc)
Grace and Peace, and please follow us wherever we go!!
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Today as I make more preparations to go pick up our Christmas guests, Jeremy comes down with a terrible version of the Winter bugs going around. We’ll just say his body is getting rid of everything it can in any way it can. It’s not pretty.
The children ask me, “what are we going to do when you leave if Daddy is still sick?” I reassure them that life will go on and instead of him taking care of them, they will have to take care of him. Micah says, “I’m a big guy now, and I can take care of him like a Doctor.”
“We’ll be responsible, Mommy. . .but how are we going to eat?” That’s where Elijah comes in. Just yesterday I heard the sweetest words a mommy could hear from a 9-year-old boy, “no mommy, I’m not going to play video games quietly when I wake up, I’m going to cook breakfast burritos for everyone.” And he did this morning. I made sure he got some “electronics time” anyways.
This afternoon as we rode home from an outing, Merry (like a typical girl) started talking about how she wants to be married someday. Elijah states, “I’m NEVER going to be married, and don’t talk to me about it!”
“Oh, Elijah, that’s what your daddy said before he met me. . .then it all changed,” I tell him.
Merry chimes in agreeably: “you’ll change your mind when you get older.”
“I want to get married someday,” says little soft-hearted Micah.
“NEVER! Not me!” Comes the firm response from Elijah.
Somehow I find a way to smother my giggle. I love this, “girls are icky” stage. I hope it lasts a while.
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From the title perhaps you’re thinking Santa Claus, Buddy the Elf, or even God forbid: Marley’s ghost. I assure you it is none of those things. We have the opportunity to host two orphans (a brother and sister) for 4 weeks. They will arrive in mid-December and depart in mid-January. From the hosting website here is a description as to the scope of this opportunity:
“A life changing 4 week winter event where you welcome an orphaned child into your family’s home. Some of these children have never had, or were too little to remember a normal family life. You can help change that! You show them what a loving family is all about, to be loved and cared for without conditions. You help them learn English, introduce them to our culture, immerse them into an atmosphere of happiness. You might be surprised at whose life is changed the most at the end of the 4 weeks.”
While this is not an adoption, it is a tangible way to take care of orphans. I am personally excited to have the opportunity to commend this program, instill hope in the lives of 2 children, and encourage my children (and us of course) to live just a tiny bit sacrificially in a different way. Please pray for us and for them. Many of them have never been to church and probably do not know Jesus. Pray for their hearts and our time together. If you have questions as to what all this is about, please check out this link.
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This morning Elijah (fully dressed for his soccer game) crawled into bed with me to snuggle and said, “I just hope Merry gets a goal today.” It is the last game of the soccer season, and probably the last time they will get to play on a team together, at least for a while since he will be moving up next season. I talked with him about how thankful I was that he always tries his hardest, but also is learning to put the team first, which means he may pass the ball sometimes even though he could get a goal, just so someone else has a chance to try for a goal. He tends to be very competitive and I am so thankful that he is learning this lesson so young. He also has had (and currently has) some amazing coaches that really stress the importance of teamwork.
Partway through the last half, the coach put them both on offense together and Merry tapped the ball into the goal as it passed her on its’ way to Elijah from another teammate. She was so proud of herself, and Elijah was doubly proud! It was her first goal and Elijah had gotten his wish!
For those who enjoy soccer or have children who do, Elijah would likely recommend a book he has been reading recently called Pele: Why Soccer Matters, and I think it has had a huge influence on his attitude toward the game and people he plays with.
Thankful today for the sanctifying grace of God that causes us to walk in ways contrary to our human nature. What a beautiful thing it is!
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(A note to the mom who feels like she doesn’t measure up.)
It seem like the moment I became pregnant with my first child a seed of doubt was planted and forever grew in my mind.
Should I let my baby sleep next to us in our bedroom or over on the other side of the house in their own bedroom? Should I feed them vegetables first or just fruit? Should I hold them when they cried, or let them cry it out? I read books about parenting, talked endlessly with my husband, friends and older women about the right way to parent.
I watched other parents and their children, and no matter what the situation was, I always wondered. Was I doing the right thing for my child? Maybe I should change what I was doing. Was the way I was parenting going to ruin my child forever? Then I felt guilty for questioning myself. Now I was a bad mother for questioning and worrying!
Nine years later, I think I realize that this is the heart of a good mama. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself.
I have felt guilty for years because my children often wake up and find me still resting in my bed. Even now, with older children, they still wake up to me in my bed, still in my pajamas. So many great mothers I know post on their Facebook, or their blog, about how the early-morning is the time they get to prepare for their day. They show beautiful pictures and tell sweet wonderful stories that I envy of how wonderful the morning hours are for them, and how they couldn’t survive their day unless they got up early.
And every time I read a post like that, I question, whether I should adjust my schedule again and try, yet again to do the early-morning mama thing.
This morning, Jeremy’s alarm went off very loudly and very early. I woke up, made my bed and got a few things done. Here’s a picture just for the proof!
As I made my bed, however, I felt some regret. This morning I would not get the giggles and snuggles and hugs of three adorable children in my bed. I would miss out on relaxed sleepy conversations this morning when they woke up. I would very proactively and efficiently set them to task on their morning routine, and the possibly most important connections of our day would be missed. We would finish homeschool early, we would get more done, but still we will have missed out.
So to you momma, the momma like me, who always wonders if she’s doing it right, take a rest, make sure you leave time in your day to accomplish the most important things.
A wise mother once told me that one of the most important lessons we can teach our children is how to rest. And now, as a mother of children who love relaxed time with me, I can say wholeheartedly that I agree with her! You see, it is in those times when we are relaxed, that we are emotionally present enough to give our children some of the things they desperately need the most! They need us to pay attention to them, and not anything else, to sit quietly with them, and let the thoughts of their little hearts pour out to us in a way that they only can when things are restful and quiet.
They need us to pray for them, they need to find us reading God’s word, not in a rush, but in a way that teaches them that God’s word is something to feast on and delight in and “waste our day away in.”
And since we’re on the subject, I don’t usually read my Bible in the morning. Usually it’s later in the day, when my mind is sharp later. One benefit of that as a mother, is that sometimes my children get to see me read God’s word during the day.
Now for those of you amazing mothers who wake up early in the morning as the proverbs 31 woman does and prepares bread for her household and is busy at work, enjoy the place and routine that God has called you to as well!
I will be the proverbs 31 woman who stays up just a little later preparing for the next day.
Either way you go (or if you are something completely different, or in between), remember that God gave you the children you needed and gave your children the mother they needed. He ordained every day for them before there was yet one of them (Psalm 139) including today.
Relish today in the fact that your family has been called to care for and love each other in different ways than other families – different ways that are beautiful and sweet. . .in ways that no one else can completely know or really understand, except of course the very Creator God who ordained your days together before the beginning of time.
Such a boring title, however, somehow it just doesn’t seem fair to give any one of the events of the past few months the honor of the title of a blog over another. As if homeschooling, or traveling or life back in the military, or any recent event deserves the title more than the other.
Our God has been faithful to confirm the call that Jeremy felt starting last year to return to the Air Force over and over since we began our journey out West here to Utah.
Here is some of the beautiful country we drove through on our way here:
Within hours of arriving on base, after a sweet long trip across country visiting friends and family (after a hectic DITY – Do-it-yourself move, AKA “the best way to find out how much you really can do in 48 hours”) we were assigned a perfect house on base, next to neighbors with children our kids’ ages, and even a few homeschooling families. Within minutes of getting keys, the children had all assigned rooms. Elijah got the smallest room with a view of the Great Salt Lake and the mountains in the West, so he can watch the sun set from his bedroom window – AMAZING!! (Yes that is his screen. . .another story and another blog about that sometime soon.)
We prayed hard (it wasn’t long, we really didn’t have long before school started) about what to do about school for our children, we decided to homeschool again. In another blog I will share more about that for those who wish to be tortured with all the fun details! Simply put, we are LOVING it to no end!
Jeremy has been able to stay busy and is adjusting well to life back in active duty. He preaches most Sundays at the Chapel, which he has been most thankful for, and has met some godly men who he can learn from and grow with.
We are learning a lot about the culture here, as it is predominately and historically Mormon. We are so thankful that we serve a God who does not live in temples built by human hands, and who is not limited in His work by our ideas or understanding! My heart has grown more thankful in the recent months for the grace and mercy of God . . .
Until next time, grace and peace.