The Caskey Family

It’s Always Harder For the Ones Left Behind
March 1, 2021, 2:05 am
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We got orders on Wednesday.

The Travel Management Office had assigned us a mover in a few hours and packers arrive tomorrow. We are hanging on for the ride!

The title of this blog is a saying we often hear in the military. Sometimes it’s harder for the family members to stay home missing the military member who is gone working hard, but having new adventures and a full schedule. The same goes for parents, grandparents and friends who stay in their home town while military families go off to a new assignment. Simple everyday activities are reminders of absence…activities the person who left maybe doesn’t even realize they are missing because they are so busy with the flurry of new things to do.

This knowledge of a future goodbye can sometimes shape (trim) friendships between us nomads and the more “normal” people.

This assignment has been unique in many ways, including having some close treasured friendships with non-military people. At other assignments our closest friends have often been other military people who “get” us and naturally understand some of the challenges of military life. But here, we have been uniquely blessed by a church family who have been committed to knowing us (as the crazy nomads we are) and loving us deeply and well.

Today I am extra grateful for these friends who have chosen to love us and invest in our family, even though they knew we would be leaving in a few years. I’m humbled at how happy they have been for us, and our upcoming adventure, selflessly pouring their hearts out for us up until our last hours here.

They show us Jesus. When everything in us wants to just pull away and be done so we don’t have to be sad about saying goodbye anymore, they give more.

God is good and kind, so though there were tears today, we rejoice in His provision of selfless friendships that we could never repay or replace.

I feel like my heart is breaking at times. It’s nothing new. Just the pain of temporary loss (the proximity of friends) that I have the balm of the hope of Heaven to heal. 

We WERE masked until the seconds before the photo…we are getting good at holding our breath and smiling, thanks to Covid!

Waiting in Comfort
February 17, 2021, 10:10 pm
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We struggle to wait. Like most people, yes, but we STRUGGLE! Jeremy was supposed to get orders today FOR SURE, so we could schedule movers, but the office that gives them is in TEXAS, and for their safety, nonessential personnel are staying home to try to keep their families safe and warm.

So we declutter more. Get another math, history and grammar lesson done, scrub toilets in our warm cozy house.

We don’t have ice and snow, and we have electricity, gas and water today. Way more than most Texans have right now. Praying for all of y’all down there!

California Sky
February 2, 2021, 1:41 am
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Still waiting for official paperwork before we can start making specific plans for our move. God is good and perfect in ALL His ways!

We went walking today and the sky declared the Creator’s handiwork:

Happy New Year, and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Here We Come!
December 27, 2020, 12:35 pm
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It’s a crazy story of God’s sovereign hand of provision, a story that keeps getting better. For many years I have prayed that our children would all get to graduate from the same location so we wouldn’t have have our kiddos spread all over the country or world as they started their adult lives. I prayed this prayer knowing that it was sort of a pipe dream for this Air Force mama. But I asked God anyway. We have all also wanted to live closer to grandparents and other family members on the eastern side of the US.

We are coming up on three years now in California and have been preparing to move this summer.

A few months ago, we filled out our desired assignment list for the upcoming assignment cycle, volunteering for remote assignments overseas in hopes that in 2022 we could get an assignment about 4 hours away from grandparents and family in Pittsburgh and Louisville.

Then, on Veteran’s Day, I had a casual call with a dear friend from seminary (another pastor’s/chaplain’s wife) who mentioned that her husband who is job hunting wasn’t applying for a job in Pittsburgh for a chaplain. Strange. Why would there be a job in Pittsburgh for a military chaplain? And why would she tell me about a job her husband didn’t apply for?

Long story short, two days later Jeremy submitted an application complete with recommendation letters for the open full-time Deputy Wing Chaplain position. After only a few weeks, he was interviewed by a panel of leaders there, offered the position and accepted it with joy!

As is customary with the military, there is lots of paperwork, but everyone’s HOPE is that we will move sometime this Spring if all goes quickly! We are excited about the potential this job has to fast-forward our retirement options a few years. We don’t know what the years ahead hold for us, but we are hopeful, and resting in the good hand of our Great God who has seen fit to gift us with some huge answers to many years of praying in this one opportunity.

We don’t have many answers yet about specific logistics when we get to Pittsburgh, as we hope to see where God would lead us to join a church before we decide where to live or make schooling decisions for the kiddos. But, we do plan to live on the West side of Pittsburgh close to the Reserve base.

Elijah will be a senior next school year (he’s taking dual enrollment classes with Boyce College and enjoying them immensely.) He hopes to get to play a sport, get a job, learn to drive (he turns 16 soon after we move) and join a youth group or church with young people his age to fellowship with. He has a goal of making at least one Christian friend who will go with him to Boyce College in 2022 or 2023. I hope he joins a band or continues to play piano.

Merry is going to be a 10th grader, ready to start taking some college classes, and hopes to play soccer and/or run track and play violin in a school or community orchestra. We are praying for God to give her one or two solid Christian friends who are interested in missions like she is.

Micah will be a 7th grader, hopes we can find a good school for him, as well as a good art/animation class or teacher. He wants to be a part of a youth group or church with kiddos his age, and is excited about the number of amusement park options in the area.

We are praying for Christian friends and community for all of us. We know this may take time, but are asking God to grant us wisdom and discernment in this and, if it is His will, quick rooting in a church family.

This young lady celebrated 14 years of life on Christmas Day, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the woman she is becoming!

Lots of hiking this year. We have been so very thankful to be living in a more temperate climate where we can get out on walks and hikes even though we have been isolated a lot of the year.
Moving isn’t all fun…I don’t know how we are going to leave the most beautiful gifts California has given us behind! So thankful for our church here and how they have loved us beyond what we deserve!
Church has looked different this year, but how thankful we have been that God is everywhere, and that we are free to worship safely, even if it looks different.

We look forward with great anticipation to living near grandparents (only 35 minutes from Jeremy’s parents and extended family), only six-hours’ drive from my brother, sister and the cousins, and within much more reasonable distance to all my other siblings.

I know many of you pray for us, and we are humbled and grateful for your ministry to us as we make this transition.

May God bless each of you with peace and joy in 2021. All our love to you and yours!

Christmas Sadness and Hope
December 18, 2020, 4:17 pm
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For those who sometimes (or always) struggle to find Christmas merry or happy or joyful, or any of those lovely things, this post is for us.

It’s an odd Christmas sentiment, but here it is anyways: we have permission to be sad, tired, lonely, or even angry during this season. This world is not all right, and for some of us, it feels so very far away from anything we could call good. We have personally felt the effects of sin and brokenness this year, or last year, or many years ago…and the joy around us is a reminder of how deep our grief is.

Many have lost loved ones, some without goodbyes
Many have seen the effects of despair take the lives of someone they love
Many have spent this year isolated and lonely
Many have lost jobs
Some of us have lost relationships and connections
Our losses vary. Each one is unique.
I don’t know each grief.
But I DO know they are many.
And I know the One who DOES know each grief.

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8

Thankfully, Christmas is not actually about everything being perfectly in place, and everyone being always happy (because God knows we aren’t!) Christmas is about the promise fulfilled that sin’s curse would be broken and that all would be made right…eternally.

Christmas is about waiting in the brokenness with a heart of faith. It is about searching in the darkness for light. Christmas is about turning my eyes to the Messiah, knowing that it is HE who IS making things right. And in seasons when things are so wrong, the contrast is bright.

In a strange way, perhaps we celebrate a more true Christmas this year. I see my need for a Savior, and I know that my need for rescue is great.

May the hope of Jesus and His eternal rescue of our souls bring true hope and joy.

And if you feel overwhelmed by sadness in this season, please message or call me. We are not alone. You are loved.

Christmas blessings and hope to you ❤️

I am THAT Blogger (who never updates their blog!)
August 18, 2015, 12:17 am
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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:

P1020781  This is the spot where we were married 16 years ago, and so it was fun to go back and show our kiddos!

IMG_1790These guys are really growing up!!

IMG_1713Merry girl at our wedding site overlooking Magellan’s Bay

P1020813Micah building a sand castle at the beach on Guam

IMG_1851  The children at the end of one of our flights (I never looked this good after a plane trip)

P1020743Elijah 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!!

IMG_1674 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  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!!

“We’ll be Responsible, Mommy” and Other Random Conversations of the Day
December 14, 2014, 12:31 am
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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.

School Photos 2014
November 14, 2014, 12:54 am
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Elijah 4th Grade:

Merry, 2nd Grade:

Micah, Kindergarten:

The goofballs all together (we’ve actually talked about naming our school that, which always gets us giggling more. . .if only their momma figured out how to behave herself!)

Our Christmas Visitors
November 8, 2014, 6:59 pm
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Jeremy writes,

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.

I Hope She Gets a Goal
November 1, 2014, 11:56 pm
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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!