Thursday, November 20, 2014

How God used a discharged Navy Seaman to change my life forever and I don't even know his name

The 18 year old me had a lot of big dreams, really big dreams. She had this plan all worked out in her head that she was going to join the Navy as a cook and some day rule the world. This naive young woman boarded a bus heading for Peach Tree City, Georgia from Baltimore, Maryland and by the Grace of God after sitting next to a real creep was rescued by an upstanding young man who had just been discharged from the Navy. She told him of her lofty dream, the one about being a Navy cook not the one about ruling the world, and he told her the facts about being in the Navy. The short story was that it sucked being a woman in the Navy and he encouraged her to look into the Air Force instead.

Fast forward a few months and that is just what the 18 year old me did. However being a cook in the Air Force instead of in the Navy was not how my adventure went. I was home schooled which meant I enlisted Open General and was given whatever job the Air Force saw fit. I was too smart to go into Security Forces haha (seriously that is where most OG, brains or not, get slotted ) so I got Medical Technician. The rest is history as you know I married one of those Security Forces (his choice, not OG)  guys and started a family leaving my military dreams behind me, at least in the active duty sense and fully embraced the active (in)dependent stance I am in now. I still plan to rule the world.

If I had never met that young man on his way home to mama how different would my life be? Looking back at just how life lined up to get me to where I am now it is very clear God used this guy to change my course of history. It was that conversation that not only changed my branch interest but really got me to take the plunge and enlist. Once enlisted I was told it would be months before I would head to basic. I went back to my old job and two weeks later I quit again, had a going away party and was off, I guess someone was not able to go and I took their place. I sprained my knee in basic training and was still able to graduate thanks to a high pain tolerance and good old stubbornness. I made it to tech school where I excelled in a class that over 50% of my classmates recycled, that means they had to retake a section and did not graduate with the class. My grades afforded me the opportunity to change my orders from a base on the East Coast very close to my family, to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. It was a huge decision, I was pulled out of my class and told that this was being offered to me and I had to let them know by the end of the school day what I was going to do. A Staff Sargent who was cross training told me it was the best thing I could do for my career and that I needed to do it. So I did. I can't say it was the best career move I ever made but I can say that God was moving my future spouses orders around at the same time so that we would ultimately end up in the same place at the same time.   

Two days after arriving in Colorado Springs while standing in the common room at the dorms in walked the cutest guy I had ever laid eyes on! That was October 2000 we were married April 2001.

Things happen for a reason. Not all things are good, that path was not all peaches and cream trust me, but in the end God knew what He was doing and got me through it. I was saved at a very young age, and while my relationship with my Savior has been constant (meaning He is always with me) my faith in Him has not. It wavers, it wains. It is often down right pitiful. I don't take the time to look at the big picture and the landscape He has painted for me. If I did my faith probably wouldn't plummet the way the thermometer does here in North Dakota. If I knew the end result was this even with the pain and the hurt that went beyond physical then I would start the journey with more faith. Instead I always seem to end the journey with more faith then I started with. I think that is human, it is human to approach life's journeys with fear and trepidation instead of faith. If the Israelite people knew what the Promised Land was like and that winning it was already done in Gods hands they wouldn't have been so fearful to just go in and take it.

I will just leave you with this from Jeremiah 29
10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.b I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hmm

This morning I heard something that made me want to reach into the car radio and slap the girl talking through the speaker. The hot topic being discused had to do with the individuals of Seal Team Six speaking out about their mission. I tuned in somewhere in the middle but from what I gathered at that moment they were talking about the hardships endured by maybe Navy Seals or just deployed military in general. The young woman chimed in that "these guys" don't really have it as bad as we think and that many of them are deployed with roll out posture pedic beds. She suggested that since they are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in training they get hooked up out in the field and the military wouldn't just let them go on the way side ( be neglected). I may have snorted at that point. I later found out she is a military spouse, that really shocked me.

I know everyone's deployment experience is different so maybe her husband is deployed with a nice bed to sleep on but that is not the norm... The norm for many, no make that most is a dirt floor, maybe a cot, shipping crates creatively put together with a thin mat on top, a towel for their head. Food sucks! Forget special diets and food aversions, if you're in the field I hope you like SODIUM oh I mean MREs. The stress these individuals face changes their lives forever. As a spouse I can assure you my husband is not the same man he was before his first deployment.

I get why people are upset about these men speaking out. I also get why these men are speaking out. On the one hand their safety is a concern on the other the truth needs to be told. Deployments are no joke, there is no cushy hook up once you get to your final destination. I've never heard of posturepedic roll out beds being mission essential equipment, even if they were I doubt anyone would be sleeping easy on them with mortar shells in coming.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day to all who serve and all who served before them! Everybody knows my husband serves, but few know that I too once served this great country as a Med Tech in the US Air Force. It was a short stint as motherhood proved to be a more appropriate calling for my life. Regardless of how many years I was in, it was certainly a life changing choice and I am very glad I did it.

I am very thankful that my husband is actually home this Veterans Day! Usually he is gone or working, this year though he is recovering from a pretty intense ankle surgery. Not the greatest reason to be home but I will take whatever I can get.

Most years in the past I have bundled the kids into the car and found all the local restaurants giving a free meal to veterans. This year we bundled up the kids to drive into town during the first real snow fall of the year for Brent's first follow up appointment after his surgery. The surgery went well but there was far more damage then originally thought and recovery will not be quite what we had in mind.

Driving on icy roads is not my cup of tea, it is one of those I can do it but I won't like it things. I had to drop off my husband and oldest daughter at the front of the hospital and drive around for a good bit on icy back roads waiting for a parking spot to open up. Pretty sure I added a few gray hairs to my collection doing that. The good thing was the snow cover made parking spot lines impossible to see and two cars parked in such a way that I got a great big spot all to myself. Score! No door dings for that trip.

After his appointment was over we left the clinic armed with stronger pain meds, antibiotics, bandages and iodine.... Sounds like a party tonight at my house. I made a bee line for the one restaurant I know of in town that was giving away a free meal to veterans on Veterans Day... And it was packed! The hazards of remote city living I guess. I had an SUV with five hungry kids cheering as we pulled into the parking lot, drove thru it, made our exit... Cue up disappointed frowning faces! You know how it is when your not hungry until you pull up to the restaurant and all of a sudden your mouth is watering and your stomach is rumbling and you could eat the person sitting next to you? Well to save my children from turning into cannibals I had to think fast. Right across the street was this nice little Japanese restaurant and we love Japanese cuisine! I drove up, hopped out, ran in and asked about a military discount, then brought the entire crew in. I was offered the typical 10% off and we had the time of our lives, well for a lunch experience anyways. Fire balls, sake shots squirted right into ( age appropriate) mouths, lemon juice shots for the kids, broccoli being tossed in the air right into our mouths once again or laps, chairs, the floor, who cares; our waiter was the best and we had a great time. The manager gave us a VIP card for our future visits giving us 20% off, we all left with full tummies and happy faces!

After all that excitement we stopped at Starbucks for free coffee and not free but super yummy pumpkin spice lattes then headed home. Our day was pretty typical, just the normal family day in our book. I think that most veterans could say the same Veterans Day is just another day. We appreciate the discounts and the day off (maybe), we love that America recognizes the sacrifice we've made. We will never forget the ones who served before us and the legacy they have left for us to follow, the path they cleared for freedom to reign that the veterans of today are left to maintain. A big thank you to those who have served, and to those who are currently serving you are doing a great job please keep it up! Happy Veterans Day!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Let's play catch up

Hi! It's been awhile, a long while actually, over a full year has passed since I had the chance to catch my breath and write a blog. Let's see, I tapered off writing when I started my college journey...

It was great! Honestly, I really enjoyed the challenge that going to college full time presented me with. No, I did not graduate and at the moment I have no plans to do so. I started college and then I started homeschooling and then we got orders. While I was enjoying the challenge I really struggled finding the balance between my school work and my kids. When we got orders to move I really had to double up on my college work to finish all of my classes by the end of February instead of the traditional mid to end of May. I did it, I did it well I held a 4.0 with no problem but I was burnt out and felt like I was failing at my biggest challenge being the MOM. I know plenty of moms who can do it all and they do it great I just couldn't. So while college was great and great for me I let that chapter of my life close to allow another chapter to begin.

We got ORDERS! As my husbands time with K9 was coming to a close he put in for a couple different special duty assignments. They were all long shots but he knew if he didn't apply he  definitely wouldn't get the job so there was no harm in applying. I was rooting for a job that would land us in Texas, I mean I was praying hard and already had my mind made up we were going there. The conversation the day he got orders went something like this. " Well I didn't get that job in Texas." " Ok I guess that just wasn't in the Plans for us" said in my most disappointed but trying to be supportive voice, " so now what?" " I got the job in Minot! We are moving to North Dakota!".... Crickets, yes in my head I heard crickets, in hind sight it was probably the blood rushing from my brain to my toes but I couldn't tell at that moment. Why not Minot was not my mantra, I hate the cold, why was my husband so excited about moving anyways, ok God is just playing a joke and the orders will get canceled also went through my head as I jointedly croaked out, " That's great honey." My husband floated through the next couple of months as I drowned in my school work, prepared the kids to move from NC to ND and tried to wrap my head around the whole renting out my house thing that we decided to do instead of selling it. March came, the orders did not get canceled, God was not joking, TMO showed up to pack up everything we owned and as if on cue my kids all started vomiting. We made it to Minot with another great puking PCS story under our belts and I immediately fell in love with North Dakota. Perhaps I was delirious at that moment but the infatuation has not worn off and I am so glad we came.

We started attending the little Protestant chapel on base at Easter and by the end of June I was hired on as part of the staff. I couldn't completely give up being challenged I guess. I am the Hospitality Coordinator which in my personal translation means I cook and serve dinner every Wednesday night for anywhere from sixty to one hundred people who attend Religious Education classes or just need a free dinner and fellowship. I have a few other responsibilities too but that is the big one and I love it.

I still homeschool the fantastic five, I still adore my husband who loves his new job here at Minot and I still think about tons of great things to blog about on a regular basis. So I am hoping to get back into the habit of writing my thoughts, menu plans, convictions and inspirations again! I've missed it, I've missed all of you. Hope to write again soon and in between times please know I am keeping the adventure real!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Greatest Party of All Time

 I know it has been a long time since you all have heard from me, well no fear all is well in my world and I hope all is well in yours! I admit it has been crazy with recovering from Lyme disease, going to college full time online, breast reduction surgery and then we started homeschooling all five of our littles so you can see why I have not been posting. That does not mean I have not wanted to because I have just way to much going on to unclog the writers block or perhaps not enough to inspire it free. 

 The reason I am writing a post today is to share something big, really big, that we are getting ready to do. This month despite all of our normal chaos we have been led to host a huge fundraiser for a friend of ours who just happens to be as crazy as me right down to the house full of kids, hubby in the military and homeschooling to boot! What is the fund raiser for? Why to add to their family tree of course! You see she and her husband both felt the call to adopt a deaf child and so they started their journey. You can read more about that here https://www.facebook.com/operationmegatron

 On August 1st my friend started a fast ,you see they have to raise $30,000 to see this adoption through and they believe God is going to lead them through this whole adoption process with zero debt so that is a pretty big thing right there and a fast seemed appropriate. In the mean time here I am helping my daughters sort through all their stuff and facing the birthday dilemma, you know what I mean, the big party, the piles of presents and the having no where to put it all when the party is over and knowing most of it will never get played with or will end up broken dilemma. The Loo family had been heavy on my heart and I knew whatever we cleared out of the girls room was going to them for a yard sale they are planning, but they still really just sat there kinda lodged in my heart. That is when an idea popped into my head "Why not give them the party instead!". Cue giant Grinch smile and I poured my heart out to my two soon to be celebrating birthdays daughters. They liked the idea in fact they liked it a lot, so I presented it to my husband who eh lets just say it took a couple days to fully sink in and leave it at that LOL. I do have his full support now though just so you know and he is the mastermind behind us holding a silent auction during the party which so far is looking pretty sweet. Our daughters are also fully on board and are really looking forward to this event, I could not be more proud of them to be so willing to give up birthday presents from friends to bring home this little boy, they could have said no and I would have respected that completely but they didn't instead they are helping brain storm ideas and asking what more they can do.

So I got a hold of Kathy my crazy friend and told her we needed to get together because I had this great idea. We met up at a local chicken joint and while our kids played I talked, she listened and there you go I was planning my first ever fund raiser because of course she loved the idea, and of course it came right at the end of a month long fast, and of course it was just gonna be awesome! After all of that I had to figure a few things out like the invite, just how do you present something like this to the public. So this is what I came up with granted it has had a few revisions but you get the idea.

 
" Let’s get this party started right!!! Please join us on September 28th at 6pm for a “Despicable” good time and a “Gru”vy costume party boos ya! Everyone is invited to wear their favorite “not scary” character costume, moms and dads this goes for you too! There will be games and plenty of food too.
This year our girls Liberty and Skylar have decided to not have just any old party for their 8th and 10th birthday celebrations, instead they are giving their party away to help bring a little boy in China closer to his forever family right here in Goldsboro, NC. Kathy Loo the adoptive mom will be in the house to talk a little bit about their adoption journey, to help you get a closer understanding of what you are helping us support.
So here is the dealio instead of gifts we are asking that you kindly and generously give a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation to the Loo Family at https://www.adopttogether.org/operationmegatronhttps://www.adopttogether.org/operationmegatron
Bring your dollars daddy’s and mommy’s as we will also be doing a raffle for only the hottest toy on the market!!!! One I am sure your minions will LOVE!! There will also be a silent auction for your bidding pleasure on site so come prepared to shop!
To all of our out of state friends and family we are inviting you to help us celebrate the true meaning of family and consider giving toward this awesome cause “Operation Megatron”."


Sounds fun doesn't it?  Here is where it gets even better!! When asking my daughter Liberty,the one who is turning 8 very soon, just how much she thought each person would give she quickly said $30. Now she had no idea that the Loo's needed to raise $30,000, but so far not much of what has been going on behind the scenes has made sense so it fits! Now this is what we are doing we are asking everyone we know to share https://www.adopttogether.org/operationmegatron   and help us get 1000 people to pledge $30 each between now and September 28th which is the day of the party. If you think about it 1000 people really are not that many I bet you have close to that many friends on Facebook right now so go ahead and share the link and ask them to pledge just $30 to help this family bring home their son. Every cent made from this event goes toward the adoption and every cent donated online is tax deductible. So if you see this blog and you've read this far please share it, share the link, pledge $30 and help us build the Loo family tree. Thank you
 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lady Love Thy Ta-Ta's

It is breast cancer awareness month. We are commanded to love not only others but ourselves and part of loving ourselves is to take care of our bodies. Schedule your mammograms, do self breast exams, eat well, think positive, laugh a lot, and pray often. If you are called to give this month please research before doing so, this will ensure your money is going where it is most needed.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I did it!!

My brain is killing me but I could not leave all of my faithful readers hanging so here is a quick update:

I PASSED!!!!!!
WOOHOO!!!!!!!
I AM GOING TO COLLEGE!!!!!
FOR FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I passed my placement test. I stomped reading and writing, then did well (not my best, but well) in computer and pre-Algebra. Algebra I did not do so well in and will be taking a review class in that this semester. Honestly I was expecting that I was screaming at my computer and banging my head on the desk while studying. Algebra is not my friend!
Enough about that stinky subject though the important thing is I passed, I am going to college!!
I applied for a bunch of grants after I filled out my FAFSA and got my award letter today too.
I will not have to pay anything praise the Lord!
I feel so blessed, I just can not believe it!
Ok I am gonna go now I feel like mush that test is killer.
Thank you all so much for praying and believing!