Monday, March 25, 2013

A smattering of life

Finally, I am caving to my guilt to write something on here. Procrastinating is a talent of mine.

I'm going to try to be brief and fill ya'll in. Oh, and I don't plan on doing much proof-reading or editing (or else I won't write anything) so I apologize for my sloppy composition.

What has been happening? Well, the other week my mom came to visit. It was nice to have her here and show her around and let her catch up with the grandkids. Almost 40 years ago she was out in this area visiting her aunt and uncle for a summer... she says much has changed since then. We did some shopping, checked out the Air Force Museum, toured the base, saw some Wright Brother sites, and baked goodies.

William had his birthday party. Whew! That was a blur. We had about 15 kids and about 10 adults. We went with a light/glow theme with light up snail balls, the glow sticks, poppers, a box tunnel with Christmas lights, and balloons. It was a lot of fun and parents kept mentioning they felt like they were at a rave. I didn't really take any pictures, but my friend who was there (and a photographer) was snapping away throughout the party so I'll just get those photos from her later and post some to share.

Ryan and I also "celebrated" our 8th wedding anniversary on the 19th. My mom left that day but we went out to dinner and a movie a couple nights before. Then again this weekend, as a family, we went out again for dinner. Spoiled. We never go out to eat this often anymore.

Additionally, the past week brought AFIT's 2013 graduation. I have some very happy friends right now. Sadly, many of these friends are now moving away in the next few weeks. Some are sticking around though.

A couple days ago we had our first successful family movie night. We've tried to do it before but it never worked. On Saturday night Ryan and I got the kids all ready in their PJs, popped the popcorn, and watched the Wizard of Oz. It was a first for our kids. They were more concerned about Toto than Dorothy, but they seemed to like it. I asked Will what his favorite part was and he said he liked the fire (from the Wicked Witch) and he liked the bubbles (when Glenda arrives). Lana seemed to like Glenda and the munchkins. I'm partial to the Tinman myself.

We are currently dealing with yet another lie from the groundhog. Easter is less than a week away and we just received several inches of fresh snow... and it's still falling. My poor flowers are so confused. Earlier today we took some time to play outside but, honestly, I look forward to some warmer weather.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: Gods at War by Kyle Idleman

Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart by Kyle Idleman

When you think about the Ten Commandments there are the usual ones people declare they have not committed. Most can say they have never murdered. Many also claim they do not have any idols. According to author and pastor Kyle Idleman, this last assertion is not true. We may not have carved idols in our homes that we bow down to and worship, but we definitely have gods in our lives that battle for the top seat in our hearts.

Once I picked up this book I thought it would be a breeze. It didn't seem too long and I figured he probably might hit on one or two topics that stepped on my toes and make me think but overall it would just be an enjoyable read. Oh, how wrong I was. Idleman goes into specific examples of things people have as idols in their own lives: pleasure, power, love. I would read through one chapter thinking, 'well that doesn't really apply to me' and after turning the page to a new chapter finding myself convicted with pangs of remorse. And it happened often. Gods at War is a powerful read.

Idleman was not condemning. He was matter-of-fact in his approach to what idols are, how the take away from God, and how something that starts out good eventually becomes the all-consuming god we sacrifice everything for. Despite the emotional reaction to the subject matter, the author was entertaining. His little footnotes made me smile and I also enjoyed the QR codes included at the end of several chapters to learn more about the personal testimonies of people he was referencing.

For those who take on the challenge of truly learning from this book, their walk with Christ will be strengthened. What gods are in your life? You may not think that is an issue for you but I guarantee if you read this book it will become clear where your struggles lie.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday William

My adorable little boy turns 5 today.

Five years old.

Where has time gone? 
holding my son for the first time
He used to be so little. He loved to cuddle. He had an infectious laugh.

And really not TOO much has changed.

William is growing into his own person. He is incredibly clever. Friendly to everyone. Still has an amazing laugh... and thankfully still enjoys cuddling with his mama on the couch.

I love this little guy.

sledding in yesterday's snow

Dear William-
Happy Birthday buddy! What a blessing you are in our lives and I love you so much!
You are a sweet boy. Everybody tells me how wonderful you are and I'm so proud to call you my own. Your teachers and therapists say how hard you work and I know first hand because I'm right there with you. You are amazing. I have seen the progress you've been making and I'm so happy for you.
You have been a great big brother for Alanna. She is the epitome of a "little sister" but you handle her well. You are her friend, her teacher, her protector, and the one who loves to tattle on her. It is great to see the brother/sister dynamic between you guys. You two are the ones who crack me up daily.
You still adore your Daddy. It is a beautiful experience to see the joy the two of you have with each other. There's definitely something special you share.
Five years ago you were born and our lives haven't been the same. I can't imagine life without you. You are special. You are loved. And you are one of my greatest gifts.

Love Mommy

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."
(Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Surviving AFIT

I have had such awful writer's block that I've kind of been ignoring my blog. Everytime I log on the cursor blinks at me and I feel like wincing every time.

To make myself feel less guilty I am posting.

There are plenty of things going on, sort of. It's a lot of the same. Sometimes I feel like I'm just in survival mode because of the AFIT schedule. Ryan is increidbly swamped with his school work and studying that it's usually just me and the kids -- and we do what we have to do. Therapy, gym, school, church, play dates, clean the house, feed the family... that's life. I'm trying not to complain because, honestly, we're doing okay. In the evenings if the hubby is home he'll play with the kids and we'll hang out together before he hits the books again.

I guess you can say that's life at AFIT. Recently I met another woman who has a husband in the same program as Ryan. Her story is remarkably similar to mine. Apparently the Physics students are extremely heavy loaded in homework and their equations are so complex that there is no "fast" pace to it. All the work is very time consuming which means that husbands/fathers are unavailable.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel! I have several friends who will be leaving us soon because 2013 Graduation is only a couple weeks away. Witnessing the joy, relief, and collective exhaling of spouses who have gone through what I'm going through brings me hope. My time is coming. One more year. Just one more year.

And beginning in the fall Ryan should begin working on his thesis. That means his actual work load will (hopefully) be lighter and rumor is that life is easier when thesis work begins.

Sunday I attended a board meeting for the AFIT Spouses. I was voted in as the Masters 2014 Representative again. Anyway, the Chancellor's wife was in attendance and she said something that I'd like to hold on to. I'm paraphrasing, but essentially it was this: Our husbands are special. They were chosen for this opportunity because they are special. They are some of the brightest men (and women) the military has to offer. And as spouses of these special men, we are special as well. Not everyone would be able to handle what we have been given and therefore, we are special. Keep it up. Be supportive and loving. Our time here is short though it seems like eternity. It will be time to move on soon.