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September 2006
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November 2006

Saturday Ramblings

I sure can ramble on sometimes. My thoughts run 90 miles an hour, never slowing down. Even as I write mine is off here and there and I can't even make sense of it.

I hate cleaning. Especially my bathroom. I need an 'Enter at your own risk' sign for my bathroom. But while I hate cleaning it sure is nice when the bathroom and the bedroom are clean at the same time.

Do you ever wonder where all those piles of stuff come from lying around your house? I hate them. I clean them up. Then I make more. And Jeff makes more. And the kids make more. Is this stuff I really need or is it just clutter. Probably clutter.

I have zillions of ideas for scrapbook layouts. Have I started any of them?

My scraproom still isn't finished.

So I'm wondering what Jeff and I will do for our birthdays. They're Nov 19th and 20th - and I have off the entire weekend. Hilton Head, Charleston, St Augustine - any ideas would be helpful.

I started my Christmas list. Every year my kids want me to make a Christmas list too. I think I'll put my VW Bug on it for grins.

Don't you love Books-A-Million? I sure can spend money there. Thank goodness I'm rewarded with such pleasure from the money spent.

I love my job!!!!!!!! I had know idea how much I missed it until I came back to it. Meteorology rocks!

Some how I need to get organized everywhere in my house - my closet, this extra chest of drawers, the kitchen cabinets, my closet, the hall closet, my scraproom, the attic, did I mention my closet. I've heard one at a time works...

I love wearing nice clothes to work. I love wearing nice clothes period.

So I saw this fabulous movie last night called Facing the Giants. I laughed, I cried, it was awesome. Thanks Jeff for choosing it.

Are you married to someone who considers his walk with the Lord and does something about it? I am!

Can't wait for Ella.

I love to read. I love to swim laps (wish I could be swimming now). I love to cook.

Ok - enough ramblings for today. Chao. Susan


So...it's been forever

...well, not technically forever but not posting to my blog - it has been a while. Today, yesterday, and many days previously I have stood in amazement it the outpouring of 'just plain love' that has been bestowed upon my daughter, for Ella, my grandbaby-to-be. I cannot describe it any other way. Love, in the bible, as God intended is an action word. And that is what Elizabeth has received. Ella will want for nothing, she will need nothing because she already has the greatest gift - just plain love. This outpouring is hard to put into words, and I am humbled. From the huge blessings from Mel and Mark Hurst (my like-other-kids) who gave Elizabeth sooooooo much, to Elizabeth's boyfriends' entire wonderful family who stepped up to throw the babyshower when I had to cancel the one I was going to throw because dad died, to ladies from church who just love me, love her, to my family who drove hours to love and support and give - I am in awe!

You know I am not pleased that Ella was conceived out of marriage BUT, it is so clear that God can do some amazing stuff in spite of our weaknesses and sins. Since I bought that first bag of diapers HE, my foregiving God, my Redeemer, my Savior, my soul-Provider, has been moving me towards foregiveness and openness and that love word that is active and alive for Elizabeth and Ella.

I should have titled this Bear my soul, In the Storm's of life, but I had no idea where this post was going to go....


Almost Midnight

Can I get my blog written before the clock strikes midnight and it's Tuesday. Didn't get anything done today that I wanted to get done. Oh, well tomorrow is another day. My scrap room still needs painted. Anyone want to have a paint party to come paint my scraproom and shelves for the same. I find I am not a lover of painting walls (and I'm not very good at it). I also need to scrap... shhhh I am making a baby book for Elizabeth and the baby shower is this Sunday...yes, I have some pages done. I should plan some pages and take them to work with me - I'm working at Wright Army Airfield today and that is just observing so my day is pretty slow (should I say evening) because I just got home from work. Oh no - one minute. Chao!


God Kisses, God Smacks

The title is not my own but wouldn't God just love it if we are reminded of His kisses and His smacks in everything. This story is not mine but the lady that wrote it is a friend of mine. The unit she is talking about was the unit my husband was in - and yes he knew those that died. If you don't want to cry don't read any further but if you want to hear something truly God-size amazing then read on. I'll never forget this story and I'll always rememer our fallen heros, especially those close to home. But more importantly I'll see God kisses and God smacks in my life. This just goes to show that God cares about us even in the little things. He wants us to know that He is with us even when we are pounding the pavement, or when we are doing dishes, or when we are reading to our kids - every day things but HE IS THERE and HE CARES. I hope it changes you too.

God Kiss – God SmackJ

On June 28, 2005 my husband’s unit suffered a great tragedy in the hills of

Afghanistan

.  We lost a Chinook helicopter that was carrying 8 of our men and 8 NAVY SEALS to enemy fire.  To this day we are still dealing with our emotions and grief and we do lots of activities to lift up both the memory of those fallen soldiers and the honor of the their families.  This particular unit is extremely close knit, so you can imagine how difficult this past year has been.

I tell you all this to set the stage for what happened this past weekend to a group of us. 

You see, we try to have different functions dedicated to our Fallen throughout the year.  Last year we ran the Enmark Bridge Run in memory of Flight 146 (the tail number of the downed helicopter.  Remember it, you will see it again.)  There’s also collaboration between the Navy SEALs and our unit to do a Bike Run (Harley’s and others) near the anniversary of the tragedy. 

This past weekend (October 8th) a group of about 15 of us decided to run in the Army Ten Miler in Washington, D.C., to honor the families of these fallen (also called Gold Star Families).  Included in our group were two of the Gold Star Wives, Lori Goodnature and Leslie Ponder. Now, we all came from various parts of the country:  Some from Kentucky/Tennessee and some from here and still more from the D. C. area.   Five of us were cheerleaders, with signs and shouts of encouragement as we trudged along the route.  I don’t have to tell you that running ten miles isn’t an easy task.  We’ve all been training for at least 4 months for this but we still needed all the help we could get. 

I don’t know if you have ever participated in a timed run or not, but just in case, I need to explain how the timing works.  We are each given a microchip to put on our shoes.  Our official time starts when we cross the “Start Line” threshold, which contains infrared beams to activate the clock.  Likewise, our time stops when we cross the “Finish Line” threshold.  This allows the time to be accurately calculated, no matter how many people are running. There were 24,011 people running in this race.  Our group was scattered throughout the masses.  Meaning, only a few of us actually saw one another when we ran. 

After the race, we all went to our perspective lodging places to change and met up again to tour

Arlington

Cemetery

.  That was, of course, very emotional.  We then proceeded to dinner at a nearby restaurant.  We were all anxiously awaiting our official race times, which would not be available until 7:00pm.  So, as we sat around the table, Leslie got a phone call from a friend, who wanted to tell her her official time. She got hers and then asked about Lori.  Lori’s time was 1 hour 46 minutes, (1:46), notice the number matches the tail number of her late husband’s helicopter.  That is what Lori refers to as a “God Kiss”.  Those little things in our lives that let us know that God is with us all the time no matter what.  And it’s an affirmation to what we were doing.

Here’s where it becomes a “God Smack”.  Lori wasn’t the only one who had the time of 1:46.  There was not one, not two or three, but SIX of us in our group with the same exact time of 1:46!  You can imagine that our dinner atmosphere was really emotional too. We just sat in awe as we contemplated what we had just heard.

You know, God answers our prayers.  The four of us that rode together talked about God, we prayed before the race.  We asked for blessing before each meal, even in public.  We just put God first.  I think that God wanted us to know that what we were doing was good and right and honorable.  And I daily thank Him for that.  He is an amazing God and I am so glad to be a child of His. 


Places_i_have_passed_through 1.  French Riviera: Spent 7 days in the lush city.

2. Monte Carlo: Spent $5 in a Monte Carlo slot machine.

3. Ali Al Saleem, Kuwait: Endured 128 degree temperatures daytime temperatures and 95 degree nightime temperatures for two months. An all expense paid 'vacation' by the United States Air Force.

4. Paris, France: From the top of the Eiffel Tower you can see for miles.

5. Camp Humphreys, Korea: One of the best assignments I had while in the Air Force. Spent a year without my girls, but met my husband there.

6. Walt Disney World, Florida: It's a grand place, especially when you have 4 kids. It makes for some great memories.

7. Zweibrucken, Germany: Lived in Germany for 1 1/2 years. Had my, now, 21 year old daughter at Landstuhl Army Hospital.

8. Belgium: Went to Belgium for a day to a gun club.

9. Norman, OK: Why might you ask did I include Norman, OK. In 1993, I went to Doppler Radar School with the National Severe Storms Laboratory for a month. I later became an expert at Doppler Radar Interregation and Interpretation. While my fiance was in Somalia, he sent me a dozen roses to the hotel I'd be staying at. When I checked in they handed me the roses.

10. Offutt AFB, NE: Hey, don't knock it - my first duty station.

11. Rantoul, IL (Chanute AFB): Attended Weather Observing School and Weather Forecasting School - best schools ever!!!

12. Homosassa, FL: LIved there from 1971 to 1982 when I left to join the military.

13. Roda, Spain: what a beautiful place!

Not very exciting places for some, but unusual. My hubby has been to even more unusual and somewhat more exciting than me. Not sure if I can share those (if I did then I might have to kill ya - military special ops ya know!)


My chaos

The list is endless and I don't seem to be able to make a dent. Can anyone tell me how to get organized - really and truly get organized and stay that way. I wish that lady from NEAT would come into my house, the attic, the kitchen, my bedroom closet, my scraproom and HELP ME!!! Just as fast as I clear one pile another is created. Help me, help me, I'm drowning in the chaos:

My chaos:  Attic cleaned and organized, scraproom painted, minor adjustments to scraproom organization, phone/addresses organized, checkbooks balanced, bedroom closet organized, bedroom dressers organized (cleared of junk), kitchen pantry organized, kitchen cleaned top to bottom, clean bathroom...and the hits just keep on comin'...and that is only a smidgen of my chaos!!!!!


The Farm

Amber fields. It's gorgeous in Indiana farming territory. Jeff took the boys and I to the farm that belonged to his grandparents, then his dad and brother, and now belongs to him and his brother. Acres and acres of soybeans are growing there today. Jeff dug down deep to show the boys the soil that was needed to grow healthy crops, that deep, rich, black soil. They pulled the long stems that Jeff used to keep between his teeth when he was a boy and then walked the land. He showed them the pond he used to play in nearby. They opened soybeans together. The sun was warm and the wind was cool and not a cloud in the sky - it was beautiful in western Indiana in October. It is a good memory now.

A_farm_shot_2Coming upon another farm Jeff knew the owners. The man was around Jeff's age and his name was Jeff too. They used to hang together, run together, and get into trouble together when they were John and Jarrod's age and up. He had a field of corn. He was about to get into his 'corn shucker' and gave the boys a taste of farming. The boys brought home some shucked corn and loose kernals that the very large farm machine emptied into an awaiting truck.

Just another good memory.

A_farm_shot They'll remember this day - and the farm. It won't just be a piece of land to them because their dad took the time to share his memories with them and to give them some in return.


Home from Indiana

It wasn't my intention to write so quickly after coming home from Indiana. We just pulled in the driveway a couple hours ago. My clothes still need to be put away (they are out of the bag); the mail has been sorted; we left in such a rush that the house is a disaster yet I have been driven to the computer and my blog. I've read emails and now felt the need to blog.

It has been a difficult week yet a good week also. Saying goodbye to Jeff's dad. It is still numbing. I ache for my mother-in-law (she's Mom btw); I ache for my husband! Dad was sick for a long time. He went so peacefully. I was determined to not show emotion, wanting to be strong for my sons. But my sons are there father's boys and he has never been afraid to show emotion (thank you Lord), and they are not afraid either. Having just seen their grandpa in June and having such great memories for them this week was tough on them so I broke as well.

I never expected their anguish, gut-wrenching heartache, wailing to come from them. Their honesty in their pain broke my stoic, 'I'm gonna be strong', demeanor and allowed me to let my pain at losing Dad be free.

I can smile - and have because I (we) will see Dad again - because he's with Jesus! That fact is what got us through - I saw it with Jeff and mom and the kids - we knew he was better off. We may not have wanted him to go but knowing he was sitting with Jesus, talking with Jesus, laughing with Jesus, walking with Jesus without any trouble, seeing Jesus clearly, hearing Jesus perfectly, holding Jesus' hand without his shaking - makes it ok. Yeah, just ok - but ok none the same.