Sunday, May 31, 2009

PRAYER

So.

I've decided that I don't pray nearly as much as I need to.

That's about to change.

After my frustrating post on Friday, which came after a long week, after a long month, after a long 1/4 of a year, I just felt worn out. So worn out I can't even tell you. It seemed like this started probably a week BEFORE Mike left the stress, each day, gradually built on the one before. As you probably know from reading my blog, I've had good days and rough ones. Days where I have rejoiced over lessons learned and days where I just thought I was being punished for something.

Saturday, in a matter of 4 hours or so, it all left. Four months worth of (again) stress --for lack of a better word... gone!

Gone.

By Saturday afternoon I felt like myself: energized, motivated, happy, funny, ambitious, joyful, mischievous.

It was the best thing that's happened in a long time.

And

I'm

pretty

sure

it was because of you.

I am convinced that people were praying for me.

There is no other way to describe it.

If you could understand the before and after feelings you would believe it too.

I don't know a lot about depression, but I know that sometimes it is hormonal and you can't do much at all about it. I also think that you can allow yourself to wallow in self-pity and "become" depressed. I'm pretty sure I've been working hard to not fall into the latter category, I've been quite honest on here and so you can see from my posts where my heart has been over the last months.

Maybe I wasn't watching myself close enough and I was becoming self-reliant and letting enough discouragement seep into my soul that put me in that mood/mindset.

Probably. It's probably my fault.

Nevertheless, I've felt so so good yesterday and today.

I'd love to see who has been praying for me, so if you don't mind posting a comment saying who you are, I'd love it!

Thank you so much. Please continue. Give me three more weeks!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Getting near the breaking point.

******UPDATE:************

Sat. May 30

Today has been SO much better. I haven't felt this good in weeks or maybe months. Ashten (my friend) came over and had breakfast with us today and then she and I sat on the front porch for hours. We talked the whole time. I am so thankful for her. Maybe that is what I was needing.

OR....

maybe it was you praying for me that made the difference.

If it was you, PLEASE DON'T STOP!!!

If you can give me 3 more weeks of that prayer support I will be forever grateful.

Thank you.



_____________________________________________________
ORIGINAL POST


I am seriously wondering how much longer I will be able to hold out.

Really.

Not kidding.

I don't even know what it is that is driving me so crazy, but I feel like I'm about to break.

My insides are screaming while on the outside I look "a little tired."

I am working hard to appear to the boys as one in control and calm.

I feel far from it.

I think the best way to describe my emotions is like that of someone living alone on an island.

That's what I feel like I'm doing.

I don't think I should feel like this. I roll my eyes (inside) every time I hear someone say "Let me know if you need anything."

Sure.

Not really. I don't like asking for help unless I have no other option. So I don't.

I feel that if you want to help. You will pay attention to what is going on in my life and see what needs there are. Then just do 'em. I shouldn't have to ask. So I don't.

I'm sure it's some sort of pride issue that I have. But really I think it is the fact that rejection of any kind bothers me so much that I don't want to ask for anything just in case you are busy that day and can't help. I'd rather deal with my crap then risk rejection.

Looks like we are getting into way more serious issues than just pride.... But that's how I feel about it.

I don't know what is wrong with me. Am I just tired of everything or am I depressed? I'm feeling a few of the symptoms I had back when I had postpartum depression. I feel like I am absolutely no fun to be around right now. I have no appetite. I feel like I have nothing to offer the outside world. I want to be both isolated and included at the same time.

I don't know why I am writing this for everyone to see. That's probably really dumb.

Need to go now. Kids need me.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Been so long...

I know I just posted about an hour ago and on Monday I wrote about the kids eating the bread at church.

Really though, it had been days since you've heard anything thoughtful from me. Almost a week since I've written down what was on my heart. I've had some interesting emotions. It has been a different twist on an area I've been struggling in for 3-4 weeks now. One day maybe I'll share details. One day when this week will be no more familiar that any other week during a deployment.

I'm sitting here wondering where to go next with this post....

I don't want to tell everything to the entire world, but I want it all to come out so it will stop bothering me so much.

I will say this.

You never know how people feel in a situation unless you have been in that same situation. I'm realizing the benefit of trials. I see a little more clearly why God lets us go through hard things. Mike and I lost our first baby after 12 weeks of pregnancy. That started the hardest 8 months of my life --thus far. But through the grieving, the depression, the healing, the next pregnancy, I learned what loosing a baby looked like and all the emotions that go with it.

Now I know.

I know what to say to a friend who is going though it. I know what not to say. I know that they won't be over it in 3 months. I know lots and lots about it. Because I've done it.

The same is true with being a mom.

I never imagined it would be the job that it is. I didn't expect the fatigue. I didn't foresee the limits it would put on friendships. I never expected to put so much of myself aside and that taking care of my children would be --by far, my most important thought every moment I was awake. I never realized, even being around children all the time, how much a mother gives of herself. Even the mothers that aren't "supermom" --they give.

I wish younger people could understand, but I don't think they can.

I understand why a lot of moms listen to soft music. They like calmish music because they listen to so much racket all day long that their ears crave soothing noises. Am I right? It's not that they are just so uncool that they don't like rock. No. And being cool? If there was any time left over from serving their families, I'm sure they could keep up with the trends.

I like seeing the comments from moms that are past this stage. I like how they laugh at whatever horrible thing Jack has done and then they say "I remember those days!" It is a little bit relieving to see that someone else has been there.

Deployments? There aren't tons of people (that I know) who can say they've "been there, done that." There was a whole generation of the military that didn't really get deployed too often. Since 2001, lots of deployments have happened, but that has just been 8 years.

I wonder what else God is going to have me go through. What does he want to teach me about? I think trials serve two purposes, one, to refine you. Two, to teach you how to minister to others going though the same thing.

I wonder what else I will need to learn before God takes me off of deployment training.

Dang. I need a back rub. Should have enlisted Emily while she was here!

My sweet children are still awake. I need to go remind them that it's bed time.

Claire and Ava's visit

Emily, Claire and Ava just left.


We had gotten to spend three days with the girls. Jack and Ty love their cousins! With each child we have, our visits change. Almost every time they look different. This was a pretty easy one. With no children under 16 months, all were walking and could pretty much have fun without constant supervision.

Here are a few pictures from the last couple of days.









This new toy is none other than "Splash Blast Lagoon". Yes. It is an inflatable water slide. We are now cool. We own an inflatable. I'm very excited about the use it will get this summer. All our friends will have to come over and play.





Now a movie.


video

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sacriledgious

After church Sunday. You know how hungry kids are. They NEVER filled up a Boshart's tummy with those nursery snacks in Sunday school. Well. My little Ellis kids are no different. One of the girls at church (Hannah S.) offered the kids the left over communion bread.


So they ate it

by the handfulls.

Is that ok?

I stepped backward when I saw them eat it. I was afraid lightning was going to strike. It would have been Hannah's fault. She let 'em do it.

Before I knew it they had cleaned up 3 plates.


They were about to start in on the wine when I told them "enough".

Just kidding. Baptists don't do wine at communion.

It was grape juice.


But really. I know the bread just represents Christ's body, but somehow it just felt wrong to eat it. They offered me some and I refused.

Just too weird.









These last two are just picture I uploaded off my phone. Ty wanting to be like Jack and Jack being funny showing me his "new shoes".







Lime Ricki

The only reason I am writing on here is because I haven't posted in several days and I don't want Lawson to yell at me.

Memorial Day 2009.

It's been rainy and cloudy for a week. The rest of the week it supposed to be wet. Today it was beautiful. 90 degrees. Perfect weather.

I liked it.

I got to talk to Mike today, we talked for 45 minutes then 30 minutes this evening. His job working tactics (2nd half) has been so great when it comes to communicating. He can call one of the bases in San Antonio on a DSN line and then have them patch the call to my cell phone (an SA phone number). It works great. He just has to make sure the call is less than 15 minutes. We'll hang up and he can call back.

I went swim suit shopping yesterday. I quickly went though Sears, Dillards, Pennys, Old Navy, Academy and Kohls. It was sad. Nothing cute at all. I've actually already bought a swimsuit this year. It's a cute one. I wanted one that would be a little more "athletic" looking for the lake and that sort of thing. So I was a pretty picky shopper. I wasn't desperate like you normally are when swim suit shopping.

So. After seeing the HORRIBLE selection, I want to make sure to make all of you aware of this site:


That's where I bought my suit this year. They are cute and modest. Two words that have never been used before when describing swimsuits. It's true. If you are a girl and need something to swim in. Go look at these. This is a picture of the one I bought. If you live in Abilene, don't get this one. It's mine. Just go to their site, pick out some you like, then buy several and return the ones you don't want. I really like mine. It makes me look all "stylish mom." But I'm still a bit of a tomboy at heart so I wanted another one that didn't look so... cute.

Anyway. This is the dryest post every so I'll keep it short to spare you.

But really, go check out these swimsuits if you need one. Don't bother going to look at the mall. You won't find anything.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lounge chair




My new chair!!!


It will be awesome when one day I am able to lie down in it and relax.

That day will probably come the end of June... when Mike gets back!

The other day I decided I wanted a lounge chair for the backyard.

Self talked me into it.

But come on, it's not that bad of an idea, even if it was Self who came up with it.

So thanks to Home Depot and a gift card from Mema and Big Dad (yes, the one you gave me like a year and a half ago), I got a chaise lounge!!!
I'd put a picture of me sitting in it, but Jack's not been approved to use my camera yet.

I'm keeping the pillows put up in the closet when not in use. It won't take long for this Texas sun to fade them out.

We've gone green here at the Ellis house. We are trying to reduce the strain on our planet by reusing things like the box my chair came in.

It is now a hideout for the boys. Both were playing in it when I told them it was time to go (don't remember where) and to get into the van. Jack had already gotten out when I realized there was a cute photo op.







The boys even loaded up the box full of supplies.Their supply list must have included:
  • a hat
  • travel Cheerios
  • jello pudding
  • honey
  • shoes
  • a shovel
  • juice boxes


Good thinking boys, way to be prepared.




















Thursday, May 21, 2009

Self

Hello Self,

We need to talk. For the last couple of weeks I've been spending a lot of time thinking about you. What you like, what you want, what you wish you could be.... It's been important to me to make you happy. I've even put some other important things on the back burner while I looked into things that you want. I've gotten irritated at my children when they did something that upset you. I haven't even noticed any of the needs of my friends and if one fell into my lap and I helped them out, well, I tried to make you feel so proud of yourself. I've tried to fill my days off with things that you would enjoy. I've spent extra time making you look good and feel good. All this effort to try to please you.

And.

You know what? It made me miserable. I've been discontent, irritable, sad, lonely, mad, bored, and have felt "not good enough."

All that work to make you feel good ... and I felt terrible.

Last night as I was lying in bed, I realized how my focus had shifted. Instead of looking to Christ, I was looking at myself.

What?

Really?

Again?

I didn't even realize it. When did this happen? How did my heart change?

It wasn't a conscious decision. But it had happened, somehow, over a matter of a week or two. I had totally started looking inward.

Last night I realized it and decided that was enough of that.

Today I spend 8 hours serving.

My 8 hours.

my 6 hours without kids

all of 'em

and 2 more.

and know what? I've had the best day I've had in a long time.

Joy works. Work works. Joyful works work best.

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Ps. 100

Hopefully I can stay on track now. I'm trying not to be irritated at myself for AGAIN falling down. Why am I so weak?

Thank you so much to everyone who is constantly coming along beside me and encouraging me. Your comments on here mean more than you know and your calls to check on me are dear to my heart. Thanks especially to my parents and Mike's parents who are continually trying to figure out ways to make my life easier. You are such a blessing. I love you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Before 8

0500 Wake up and realize I'd left the sprinkler on all night.

Get up, shut it off.

Back to bed. Can't go to sleep again. Is this where it starts Mom? When did you start not being able to fall asleep again in the early morning hours?

6ish Jack and Ty wake up.

Change Jack's clothes (accident)

I make coffee, oatmeal pancakes and juice sippies

Feed the boys.

Reheat my coffee.

Jack needs to go potty.

Doesn't make it.

It's solid (ish)

All over the bathroom floor.

and him

and the toilet.

Clean it up.

Bathe Jack.

Let Ty out of his high chair.

Wash Jack's sheets.

Clean the kitchen.

Reheat my coffee.

play with the alphabet on the fridge with J & T.

Get my coffee out of the microwave.

Don't pay attention and spill it on my belly.

Scream without any sound.

1st degree burn.

Ice on my belly.

Walk to Mandy's across the road.

Borrow aloe gel.

Come up to the computer with gel all over my belly and write about the first 3 hours of the day.

Anyone have an interesting story for the day?

Share it.

I need to reapply.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whatever You're Doing Inside of Me

So did anyone notice my new music?

I have worn out the music in my library and have been searching for something new. This song by Sanctus Real, "Whatever You're Doing," is pretty much exactly where I am right now.

I know. Seems like I'm all over the place. Every day some different emotion or struggle. You are mostly correct. But the rotation could be as little as 3-4 days or as long as 3 weeks. Never know what kind of battle is going on in my mind. I don't know if it's just the fact that I'm female or if a lot of it is due to the struggles of a deployment.

Is life like this for single moms? Is it easier for them since there isn't a husband/daddy that they are all waiting on? Part of me thinks that it would be easier to adjust and cope and even thrive in life when circumstances don't change all the time. Another part of me can't imagine living like this FOREVER.

My heart's desire is to be able to do so well on deployments that my husband will have great confidence in me and won't worry about us back home. This is where God put us. I don't want Mike to consider leaving the AF because of me. If God wants us out, that's fine. Mike needs to see us doing well, he needs to know his family will not be permanently set back because of his career.

I listened to Butch (Living Hope Baptist Church, College Station) preach the other day while I was running. He spoke about our Salvation being a holy calling. He tried to drive home the point that we did nothing to merit our Salvation. Nothing good that we do will ever get us anywhere.

All believers have the capacity --because of his (God's) grace, to walk in crazy obedience --because of the crazy love of God.

Our salvation is a holy calling that flows from the gracious purposes of God in our lives.

We put way too much focus on us, that's why we get disappointed when we fail. Cause we are too full of us thinking it is our power, our strength, our capacity to walk in victory. No it's not that at all, it's God's.

It really got my attention. It made me start asking these questions:

  • Am I living in my own strength?
  • How can I surrender my control and start using this awesome gift of power and strength that God gives us?
  • What does it look like to give up control in a role that demands that someone be in control?

I don't even know how to begin to give up control. But I am sure that whatever God has to offer me will be a hundred times better than my best attempt at "holding it together."

But I can't keep living like this. It's exhausting. It's physically exhausting, yes, but I can do it. I am strong.
The part that is the hardest on me right now is the lack of personal contact. I see people. But I miss so much the rest I get just from having a friend around. In the evenings. Bath time. Dinner. After the kids are in bed. Someone to just sit there while I fold clothes. That is when I miss Mike the most. He is my friend.

I feel so helpless when it comes to being "pro-active" about being a friend to others. I'm stuck in a place where my children aren't consistently good enough to go to a friend's house w/o me feeling like I'm imposing on them. I don't want people to feel like they've really "been in the trenches for God" after a visit with me. No. I'm not going to do that to anyone --at least on purpose. So I'm here longing for people and yet not able to do much about it.

It's confusing. Maybe I'm looking to people to fill a void that needs to be filled with God.

So, fill it God! That's what I'm asking.

I don't even know what I'm asking.

That's why this song has spoken to me so much over the last few days.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and play the song while you read the lyrics.

And that's where I am.





Whatever You're Doing


It's time for healing
time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender


(Chorus)

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly


Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender...
To...


(Chorus)


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears


Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see

This is something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time breathe in and let everything out

Saturday, May 16, 2009

1937...

0614 -Waking up

0700 -Looking forward to nap time

1043 -Nap time

1245 -Wake up from naps

1330 -Trying to find an activity that will wear the boys out so they will sleep well tonight

1535 -Try to put Ty down for his nap

1600 -Give up

1700 -Fruit Smoothie Dinner

1730 -Read books to get the boys calmed down for bed time

1800 -Baths

1830 -Playing with the foam ABC's and getting the kids used to the idea that they were about to go to bed

1902 -Boys in bed

1903 -Downstairs to do laundry

1903 1/2 -Hear stomping and running from overhead

1903 3/4 -Pick up the rod and go up the stairs

1904 -


1905 -Can't post that online

1910 -Leave the room

1932 -Hear a bump, investigate

I find:

Ty -walking around on the floor

Jack -see above pictures -again.

1933 -Can't post that online

1936 -Leave room, shut door

this story's not over

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Check out my mother's day present!





This is what I did today.

I installed a ceiling fan --by myself.
The kids went to MDO and at 10:00ish, I went to Lowe's picked out a fan, brought it home and read the directions MANY TIMES. It was the poorest set of instructions I've ever seen. By 1:45 I had it pretty much done. The directions said it should take 45 minutes....
I even remembered to switch the lights off before I started messing with the wires. I used wire cutters (a tool) and the little caps that go on the end of the twisted up wires.
I was pretty impressed with myself.
I got it all assembled and then check to see if it worked.
It didn't.
I pulled some strings and got the light to come on.
Couldn't get the fan to work.
Great. So much for being Ms. Fix-it.
Had the neighbor, Jack, come down after he got off work. He has recently installed 3 or 4 in his nearly identical home. He came down and messed with it and decided that I had done everything right and the wall switch was somehow not connected. He wired the fan power with the light power (sorry if I'm getting too technical for all of you who have never installed a ceiling fan) so they now operate on the same switch.
Not as cool, but ok. I was proud to learn that I had installed it correctly. Good job me. Problem was I was so frustrated at the fan for not working that I was irritated for several hours after that.
So I went on a run. Mandy watched the boys so I didn't have to push them in the stroller. It was good run. I love endorphins. That's why I wanted to go run. It worked. I was MUCH better after the exercise.
Here are some pictures for Mema. She said she gets on to check for pictures so here they are.

These last two are of the foam toy I've talked about in a couple of posts. It's great. See how Jack is creatively using them with his trains? The idea is to make a maze for a ball to roll through, but trains is much more fun.






Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A lunch break?



Today was just an "X" on the calendar.

One more day down.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to describe the day. It had it's ups and downs (or maybe I had ups and downs). I did a couple of things that I would label "productive" watched a neighbor baby for a few hours and took Ty to get his blood drawn --remember the shot fiasco?

I am a little frustrated, irritated, fatigued (from the deployment), my body is worn out and I want someone to talk to. Actually, I want someone to rub my shoulders. They hurt. I've been exercising more than normal and I'm sore.

Wednesday night bedtime should never be tackled alone. Mike helped so much with that when he was here. It's not that it's that big of a deal, it's not. It is, however, just one more big chore to top off the day. On Wednesday, everyone is tired and cranky.

Want to know what is really bothering me?

Here goes.

Today Jared and Regina came by for lunch. They both work on the base here and so "in theory" it would be nice to come over and chill during the lunch break.

Theories never work.

Also the idea is for me to get to serve them by making lunch. That way they don't have to buy something or mess with packing a lunch.

It is supposed to be a "win / win" situation. They get free lunch and to rest in a home. I get the honor of their company.

Theories never work.

Regina calls and asks if today would be a good day to come by (I had invited and she had promised me that they would come over one day this week).

Today was great "in theory".

After keeping a clean house all morning, about 30 minutes prior the boys, who needed something to do, got out the trains. We also had that new foam toy set out. The one that highlighted the fact that it contained 167 pieces. Never buy a toy that brags about the number of parts it contains. The toys in the playpen area were also spread out on the floor.

I fed the boys before my company came because "in theory" that works better and I would have a chance to sit down and eat. The boys would play with the toys that were out and I would sit and have lunch with my friends.

Nope.

We sat down to eat and like a magnet both boys were at my side looking up at me like little baby birds. Ty wanted the chicken, Jack the mashed potatoes. This is why I'm so thin people!
After we had eaten most of my food, the boys went off to play and started agitating each other. I can ignore it up until the point that someone starts bleeding or I can go be a good mom and address the situation. I did the latter. After several conflicts I put Jack in the backyard and told him he had to play out there since he and Ty couldn't play nicely.

Jack stayed out for a while. Then he started coming in and out on his own. Regina, bless her heart, got up to try to entertain Jack. We migrated into the kid area next to the kitchen.

Want to know how the rest of their lunch break went? They played with self-centered little boys while flies swarmed all around. Remember Jack was coming in and out of the house a lot? Yep. The flies did the same, only they never went out.

I can't just let 10-15 flies make themselves at home when I have guests can I? As unattractive as it is to kill flies with company around, it's even worse to leave them be... right? So I killed flies. How gross is that? They tried to entertain the boys and I didn't even have any dessert to offer.

No sitting on the couch chilling. No relaxing lunch with music in the background. No sweet ice tea and fruit. No dessert and coffee. I didn't even make lunch for them. They picked something up before coming over.

Good grief.

Situations like this make me think that I shouldn't even try to have any friends. Why? What do I have to offer? It's like the only thing I can do to help people out is watch their kids. Then we (the parents of said kids and myself) never get to talk cause there are needy kids all around us! So friends without kids? Here's what that looks like:

"Hey, come over to my house, trip over toys, listen to kids whine, and eat your lunch while flies buzz overhead."

Sounds great huh? I don't want to put anyone else through this. I'm no idiot. That can't be enjoyable.

I am no longer me.

I am Jack and Ty's mom. It's what I do, every second of my life. I can't even go run around the neighborhood tonight because I have to stay at the house. I usually don't have any problems with my role. I'm not going to change it because of this.

I'm just frustrated.

I know this is often a thankless job (especially when hubby isn't home to thank you). But heck. Lunch? Can't I get a freakin lunch break?

A lunch break?

Everyone gets those.

No. I can't....

Well... might as well move on. Feels better to get that off my chest.

Thanks.

This is Ty getting entertained by Jared. You can see Regina in the background playing on the floor with Jack.

hair.



I need your help.

I am trying to decide whether or not to cut off most of Jack's hair.

Short summer cut or not?

What should I do?

Skate Park

video

I really love living on the base. So many fun things to do, right in the neighborhood. Here we are at the skate park. The boys like playing on the "slides". Check out Ty. He did this over and over and over.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To Jack

Dear Jack,

Yesterday you, Ty and I were at the fitness center jogging. Well, I was jogging and you two boys were riding in the stroller. We went by the softball fields where people were out practicing. You told me you wanted to go play softball.

"Do you want to go play softball Mommy?" You asked.

I told you "yes."

You don't understand right now why we can't just park the stroller and go play with everyone else. You don't realize that a two-year-old doesn't have quite the arm power of a grown-up. You are young. This is a prefect example of how children and even young adults don't know and understand everything.

I want to elaborate on my answer to your question.

Jack, I would LOVE to go play softball right now instead of jogging. Back before you were born, your daddy and I would go play softball 3 nights a week. We were on two different teams and then we'd go to the field and try to be extras on someone else's team. One year we even started our own team.

I love softball. It is by far my favorite way to be active. The reason I am not playing right now is not because I'm out of shape, or because I am lazy or because I'm just too old.

It's because of you.

I have two sweet little boys that are my sole responsibility while your daddy is away. It is my job to feed you, clean you, teach you, keep you safe(ish), and nurture you.

It's a big job.

It takes up almost every moment of my day.

I would love to go play softball, but I just have other responsibilities. That's what happens when you get big. It will happen to you one day. As you grow up, I want you to try to see deep into things. I want you to see motives behind actions. I want you to look at a man who does not do cool things like: drive motor cycles, play football, watch tons of TV, hang out with friends all the time, and figure out why.

Why?

Is he too old, too lame, out of touch, boring?

Or does he have responsibilities that are more important and that take up so much of his time that he values the "fun" activities less?

Jack, don't judge without all the facts.

Yes. I want to go play softball. Maybe one day soon I will get to play again. Maybe I won't. Either way, it is ok. You and Ty, you are more important to me than making sure I get my softball fix.

Also, don't forget that for the record, I am NOT too old. I am NOT too out of shape. I am NOT too lame. At least not yet. I'll update this in about 5 years and let you know my new status.

I just love you more than I love softball --and that's saying a lot.



P.S. You and Ty are also the sole reason I drive a minivan and not a Jeep Wrangler.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Commander's Corner

This was printed in our squadron newsletter that goes out every month. Maybe some of you are interested in hearing what kindof feedback we spouses get from the desert. Look near the bottom for Mike's name! :-)
Commander's Corner

Hello again from the desert! Our string of comfortable weather has ended and the heat is on! We’ve been hitting at or near 100-degrees for the past couple of weeks now. From what I hear, you all at home are also ‘enjoying’ some warmth!
We are still doing VERY well – happy to be past the half-way point in our deployment. The day we all get to come home and see you all is closer now than the day we left back in Feb. That’s a good thing! No word yet on our departure plans – it is still a bit early out to have any specifics. The squadron there will let you know when things are firmed up.
We continue to be the major mover of passengers and their stuff here in this part of the world – we’re keeping people safe by keeping them off of dangerous roads.
And, the hard work our folks are doing is being recognized out here - congrats to our 737th EAS
April monthly award winners:

Amn – A1C Alexander Alvarez
– also the Expeditionary Operations Group Winner!

NCO – SSgt Bill Moody

SNCO – MSgt Sean Cope
– also the Expeditionary Operations Group Winner!

CGO – 1Lt Kye Stepp

Copilot – Capt Geoff Guerra

Navigator – 1Lt Mike Ellis

Flight Engineer – TSgt Joe Holloway

Loadmaster – TSgt Chris Minnifield

Crew – Capt Jeff Brown’s Crew

Team – Capt Andy Gillis’ crew
– also the Expeditionary Operations Group Winner!

In the spirit of more good news, Lt James Mockalis was the Air Expeditionary Wing's Company Grade Officer of the month for April, having been nominated for his work in the Expeditionary OSS.
There is plenty to be proud of as we enter the home stretch on this deployment!
Take care and stay cool!

Respectfully,
Buff Burkel

Why waste time chewing?

My good Nebraskan photographer friend, Michaela, took these pictures of the boys eating. I guess she thought it was funny how they haven't been trained to eat small bites.

I guess it is funny.







Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day


I love it!
Who did it?
What a sweet surprise this morning.
Thank you!
Also thanks to Jack and Ty's helpers who set me up with several mother's day cards. You all really made me feel good yesterday and today. I'm so blessed with such wonderful people all around me. Family and friends.
Thank you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This is pretty random

You will never guess what I am doing right now.

Ever.

Try.

Go on.

You're wrong.

That's not right either.

I'll tell you now because you are way, way off.


Grant, my bro, was letting me use his computer earlier. He told me to help myself to it then set down this 4 lb. jar of jelly bellys in front of me.

He told me to have some and not to worry, he'd already picked out all the bad flavors. When you have a jar with 49 flavors, they can't all be good can they?

He thought not.

I thought surely he was wrong.

He brought over the lid which was full of the brownish and black and popcorn flavored beans. I told him I'd just eat those.

He told me not to eat the bad ones, cause they were nasty.

I didn't mind the coffee flavor and I kind of like the buttered popcorn.

He walked to the other side of the room and picked up his trash can and set it next to me.

"Feel free to use this if you get a bad flavor. I do."

I laughed, started eating the beans and about every fifth one I spit in the trash.



Now. I'm back at the computer, eating his jelly bellys (the one's Grant doesn't like) and typing. I've eaten all the good ones out of the lid and now I am spitting out into his trash 2/3. I feel like a guy who dips. Black gunk coming out of my mouth.

Eww.

See. I told you you would never guess.

I'm done with the jelly beans. My mouth is starting to feel weird.

Need to go now. Grant needs his computer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Dash

I love getting feedback from you.

This blog is a conversation I have with myself, yet publicized for all of you to read. I enjoy reading your comments on my thoughts or stories. I love when you encourage me and I love even more when you give me advice or share your stories. I am excited when I log on and see that someone has written something. It makes me want to share more with you, to see what you have to say about another topic.

Today (well actually, just about 30 minutes ago) Lawson, Caroline's boyfriend, called and told me to put up another post on my blog.

He sounded irritated that it had been 4 days since I'd said anything. I told him that I had just put one up and to chill. But, really, it made me feel good that he enjoyed reading my stuff.

I then asked Lawson for permission to post the following conversation we had via facebook. It was funny and I wanted to share it with you.

This is just an example of how I enjoy getting feedback even in the form of constructive criticism:



Lawson:

Hey.
Thought you might want to know about this. My english teacher this semester actually showed me dashes because I was not using them in my papers. Turns out they are great—perfectly acceptable in literature—and are used to emphasize something in the middle of a sentence or move the sentence along to the next thought or conclusion (at the end of a sentence they work almost exactly like a semicolon, but I like dashes better because they keep the reader moving.) The next paper, my teacher showed me not to use "-", but to use the longer "—" when I want to use a dash. I don't know what key combo for that is on your computer, but I just noticed on your blog you use "-", which is generally more for connected words like "super-duper," for lack of a better example. I love your blog. Your prose style is very interesting—you use dashes well to move your pieces along. Keep writing!p.s. I haven't forgotten about how I said I am looking into Sabbath for you...... Shouldn't be too long til I get back to you with some kind of comment.

Becca:

Lawson,
you are awesome --Caroline is lucky to have you. Thanks for the compliment on my prose style... I didn't know I had a style. I write like I would like to speak. I'm just not quick enough to speak like I write because whe I write I can go back and erase and make long sentences more concise. Stuff like that. I will start to use the dash more. I always forget and haven't really had a lot of training on the dash. I think the short one is called a hyphen. That's the problem with typing. When you write you can make a line and assume it is what you meant it to be. On the computer, you actually have to know those particular grammar rules.Keep me updated when you see me using incorrect grammar. One day when I'm famous I will have to know these things.
-Becca

Lawson:

Hyphen. True. That is what it is called. Haha. Everybody's got a style. A lot of people really stink at putting their talking style on paper. Hannah, actually, is someone who really writes things EXACTLY like she says them—it is amazing to me. Notice it some time. Have a good day!




So that was our conversation. For those of you who pay attention, I have started using the dash written as "--" instead of the way I was using it: "-".

Anyway.

This was just to show you how much I like getting comments from you. It's fun to have these conversations, even if they are short. So for those of you who read and never comment (Laura Beene, Jimmy Shelburne, Judy, Carolyn S.) I'd love to hear from you. Just be sure to leave your name so I can give you credit. :-)

You know you're in Greenville when...

...you are at the Boshart house and the only way to communicate with the outside world is if someone calls in to the house phone. You have have to run to cordless phone base, press the speakerphone button and talk like you are on an intercom system. They'd use the cordless phones but who knows where they are and if the batteries work.

The cell phones don't get reception unless you press your face next to the back window.

Internet? Let's me just say I'm up at my dad's office right this second using his computer. I had a video I was going to upload and there wasn't any point in even trying at Mom and Dad's. The video is one of me swinging a sledgehammer at my father-in-laws old house (here in Greenville.) Mike's dad is down south for a couple of weeks --unless he can convince Mema to move down here permanently-- to make repairs on the house he owns here. I was over helping him paint and mud and tear up the pantry.

The boys are running around my dad's office. Fussing. Gosh. I need to take them back to nap.

Wait. Dad just called. He wants to take them to play at Chick-fil-a.

Awesome.

Thanks Dad.

Now maybe I can think....

Right, so I'm in Greenville. If any of you Greenville people want to come help an Air Force Wife out you can babysit my kids on Friday so I can go shopping with Caroline in Dallas. Just let me know. Call Mom and Dad's house. We'll answer on the intercom thingy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Block party





Tonight we had an unofficial block party. Some of us with kids migrated over to Josh and Jamie's house --where the pool was, at about 4:00. We stayed till almost 8:00.



It was great. I love my neighbors! I love the street we live on. I love that it is so safe. We had Kenny Chesney blasting in the background, a kid pool, mini roller coaster, ride on toys, squirt guns and dirt.

(Katie, we tried to have better music than last night. Was it too loud?)


We got hungry so we ordered pizza. It was so much fun hanging out.



This is probably my favorite way to spend a summer evening. Welcome May! Here are some photos of the night.









































Let me tell you about this last one:





Josh came over to the adults and announced that he had a prize. "Who wants a prize?" He asked.

Now, we weren't all born yesterday and we knew that it probably wasn't going to be anything good. Even though he had no takers, Josh continued. "I've got a free bird to whoever wants it! I'll even throw in the cage."
Ahh. No.
We were right. It wasn't anything good. I told him I'd trade him two dogs for the bird. Another guy offered to take the bird along with $500. Everyone else just said a flat out "No."
Josh went on to explain that the bird was in the upstairs bathroom and wouldn't go back into it's cage. He said that birds freak him out and he didn't want to go get it. Sonya, another neighbor offered to go catch it. She did. They put the bird back in it's cage and on the front porch. I guess so it could have some fresh air. (I do the same thing with my dogs.) In fact, my dogs were out at the block party with us.
10 minutes later ...
Josh walks over to the door, looks in the cage and says, "Where's the bird?" About that same instance, Mamie (beloved dog of mine), trots between the cars on the driveway right by me and then parades through the yard, in front of all the kids and adults, with a bright yellow bird in her mouth.
Yes.
In front of the kids.
She then goes across the road to my house to enjoy the rest of her meal.
I've got my hand over my mouth in shock.
My dog just ate my neighbor's bird.
I didn't see any point in now rescuing the bird. I'm sure it was hurt badly. I didn't follow her over there, but Eric, another neighbor, did. He pulled the bird from her mouth, wrapped it up in the magazine he was holding and came back to the party.
Everyone thinks it is horrid and hilarious at the same time. No one wanted this to happen, but it did take care of the "unwanted bird" problem.
Eric now has rejoined the group, he points the rolled up bird toward Josh and says, "You want your bird back?"
I insisted that I would buy them a new bird to replace the one Mamie killed. They insisted that it wasn't necessary.
Really, what I think would be fair is that they have to keep one of my dogs since I took care of the bird problem for them.