January 29, 2008

Lesson Learned from Snowman's Demise

I really believe something good comes from everything bad. that "all things shall be for our good", even the hard things. I also wonder at the things God uses to teach us our lessons. How amazing is it that he caters to each and every one of us, in ways only we can learn and provides lessons meant only for us. We truly are His children. This is about Bug's lesson today.

Bug had a goal this "snow season". He wanted to build a Snow Family. Since we rarely get enough snow in our yard to do more than one snowperson at a time, he was building our family bit by bit. First was Snow Sister. She was short and cute. A few days later was Snow Brother. Taller and with longer arms and a bigger head. A few weeks later, Snow Mom. She ended up being a 4 humped snowperson, because on that day he learned that if he was going to do it all himself, he needed lighter snowballs. Today was Snow Dad's turn to be built.

School was 2 hours late and so after eating a leisurely breakfast, Bug suits up and heads out to build a Snow Dad. The snow is really wet and it's warming up quickly outside. We only had about 1 1/2 inches to begin with. His first attempt fell quickly. That's okay, he decided he would recycle some of that snow and start again. He spends a lot of time rolling and shaping the snowballs so they would fit together. Finally, he has all of the pieces together, but it's leaning drastically to one side. It's almost time to get ready for school, so he hurries to find arms, eyes and other materials to put Snow Dad together. As he is sticking in the second arm, tragedy strikes again. The Snow Dad topples over and crumbles into a heap on the ground.

Oh, the sorrow, the upset, the pain the frustration. He really wants to get this done and frantically tries putting it back together. But the get-ready-for-school timer has gone off and he can't finish today. "I wasted all of that time!", he cries. "I could have been playing or sledding or something funner!"

Here's where the lessons start, son:
1. Time is never wasted in pursuit of a goal. You are always learning and trying and growing. If one way doesn't work, try something else. Failure is a big part of success.
2. Weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth do not help you accomplish your goal, nor do they make you feel any better. Pick yourself up, dust off the snow and make a better plan for next time around.

3. Be prepared. Have all of your materials ready, have things handy and your process goes a lot faster.

4. Goals are wonderful and we become better people for accomplishing them. Don't give up just because of one setback. There's always a way. Perseverance is a good thing.

5. When you need help, ask for it. Don't expect someone to do your work for you, but you can ask for a little assist now and then to get you back on your way.

6. A good cup of hot chocolate makes a lot of things better.

January 21, 2008

Oh Happy Day

After a long deployment, when everyone is at the end of their nerves, it's always nice to look forward to homecoming. Meg was thrilled to see Dad again and followed him around the entire night as fast as her little knees would carry her. It was so sweet. Adam had to tell dad everything that happened while he was gone in about 3 minutes, then go on to repeat it over and over throughout the night. Even though homecoming is never "perfect", it's always just what everyone needs. Happy Day, he's home again!

January 13, 2008

Help, I'm up and I can't get down!

Yep, She's cute. Adorable even. And pretty tricky. She crawls everywhere now, gets into things, loves books and the cat food and opening cabinets. She can pull herself up now and I have heard (although I haven't seen it yet) that she even lets go and stand for a few seconds at a time. She is Superbaby.
So, what can't she do? Sit back down. She gets up, but the down part doesn't make sense in her little head yet. I figured the crib was the safest place to practice this new skill, so we tried playing a game. She stood up, I helped her sit down. Let's just say we're still working on it.
All things in good time. No rush here for anything like ballet lessons, ear piercings, make-up, bicycle rides, kindergarten or anything else. I am happy to watch her be my baby. Time stands still for no baby, so enjoy it while you can.

January 9, 2008

Be safe

Hurry Home. Be safe. See you soon. All our love.
Allicia, Adam and Megan

January 8, 2008

Does God care about my printer?

Does God care about my printer? Probably not so much, but I know he cares about me. I have seen it over and over the past few weeks and I am so grateful for it.

Here's the story. A good friend of mine lost her Mother-in-law last week. I wanted to reach out and help and finally found my niche. The computer. I can do programs, cards, picture stuff. Whatever could be done on a computer, I can do. I am printing programs last night for the service today and it's taking a long long time. Way longer than normal. All of the sudden, it just stops printing. I try the troubleshooting stuff, look on the website, even call a friend at 10:00 at night looking for some way to fix this. I go to bed discouraged and frustrated I can't get the job finished.

I went to bed and prayed. Not that my printer would miraculously fix itself while I slept, but that I would find the answer to the problem and find a way to get the programs finished in time for the memorial service. That I don't have to burden my friend whose been burned enough the past week and that I can truly show the family my love and friendship. I got up the next morning and in my inbox was an e-mail from tech support. They never answer that fast, they are usually a week or so in response. I followed the directions and it worked. I was back to printing my little heart out. How amazing is that?

So I had to ask, does God care about my printer? Nope. But he cares about my intentions, about my heart being in the right place, and about my friends. I am so glad for the power of prayer and for understanding friends. What blessings we have.

No Business like Snow Business

Yahoooo!!! School is 2 hours late!!! What's the world's greatest 7 year old going to do with his extra time? He was planning on sleeping (sleep is big in our house) until he realized it snowed last night. He's up with lightening speed and dressed before I had to nag him 5 times. He even brushes his teeth. Before I barely realize he's up, he's outside. His goal this winter is to build a snow family, but we don't get much snow and so he's doing it one snowman at a time, with each batch of snow we get. He told me to take pictures of them so I can put them all together when he's done. Smart kid.

One more thing about that snow family. He's decided he's going to do it himself, with no help from mom, dad or anyone else. The first two were pretty easy, they were the kid snowpeople. Short, small, easy to handle snowballs. Today was Mom's turn. A little harder with the bigger snowballs. I asked him several times if he wanted help. He kept telling me he could do it himself. He said "I want to build this snow family myself with no help from anyone. Then I want you to take pictures so I can show them to dad when he comes home. Then he will say 'That's freakin' Awesome, Bug.'" I wasn't sure he could do it, but he did. Going to be an engineer someday. Look for upcoming photos of the snow Cat.

On another note, Meg was not thrilled with the snow today. Could have been because she wasn't quite awake yet or that she hates her snowsuit and cries every time I put her in it. It also could have been that brother kept pelting her with snowballs. I am not sure he's realized that she's going to be big enough to fight back one day soon. Whatever the reason, she wasn't happy with the white stuff and wanted to go back in the house and eat cheerios.

January 4, 2008

Marshmallow Madness

This made me laugh and laugh. I had to share, although I think maybe it's kind of one of those "you had to be there" things.

So, picture this. My 7 year old received a Marshmallow shooter for Christmas. It's an air gun you load with mini marshmallows and terrorize the cat with. After all your ammo is fired you have to scramble to pick up all of the poor marshmallows before your baby sister eats them and chokes. Great fun.

Tonight he breaks out the toy to chase the cat around again. Only this time it's taking him a really long time to load it. I was giving the baby a bath and started wondering what's going on. I come out and he's one gooey mess all the way up to his elbows. The only problem is the gun wouldn't shoot. Quickly figuring out the problem, I start to giggle. Then laugh. This only serves to make him even more upset. So then I had to ask what happened.

You have probably already guessed by now, but I am going to tell you anyway. In all of his 7 year old infinite wisdom he decided the marshmallows would shoot out even faster if they were wet. The best way to get them wet was to lick them all and then shove them in the barrel of the gun. The only problem is that marshmallows are sticky, not slippery, when wet. What a mess, but boy did I get a good laugh.
If you want one for your own house, you can get one here: http://www.marshmallowville.com/mmv_products.htm

January 3, 2008

The best things happen

Half way through a deployment, no matter how long it is, two things happen at the same time that make you think you are a little on the crazy side. One is that you finally hit your stride. You feel like you have picked yourself up, quit your whining and taken control of life. You hit stabilization. The paradox is that at the exact same time you look ahead and think you have as far to go as you have come and get discouraged. We have done over 13 deployments and this always happens to me. On one hand I am pulling it together, on the other hand I don't know how much longer I can hold it together. Ah, the joys of being a military family.

About this time though things start to happen to renew your faith in yourself and God. Friends step in to help out, people from your command start getting together more, and if you are really lucky, your baby starts sleeping through the night again. Sometimes something better happens. Not always, and you can't ever plan on it, but just sometimes the phone rings about this time during deployment and you hear a far away voice you had almost forgotten. He tells you he's fine, things are good and he misses adn loves you. He only has a minute but you replay the call over and over in your head for days to come. You remember why you do all of this. Just sometimes, in the midst of all of it, the best things happen.