Saturday, September 29, 2007

My Day

Whew! What a day!

First of all, if you haven't read my husband's blog in a few days, you really need to go over there and check it out. We have news. Big news. Well, bigger to me than to you, but nonetheless... I wrote a whole entry about it, but wasn't really happy with it, and he really summed the whole thing up well. Hint: It tells of a MAJOR happening in our future, which affects him going to Iraq...


It's been a long day. Jon made breakfast, as is typical on Saturday. Blueberry pancakes. Does life get any better?

We then trekked to Savannah, stopping on the way at the Korean Presbyterian church for a yard sale- got some really cute baby outfits and an infant bathtub (plus some yummy... um... Korean snack of some kind...)

Then- the moment I have been waiting for- we registered! There's nothing better than "shopping" at Target and not spending a dime... We didn't get to register together for our wedding (being 900 miles apart makes it difficult), so it was a lot of fun to be able to do that with him today. (And for all of you thinking, "Yeah, I'm sure it was great for you, but I bet he hated it!"- not so much... He's actually more of a shopper than I.)

Add to that a stop at a craft store, Barnes & Noble, Bargain Books, a Milka (if you don't know what that is, get in the car and go to the chocolate aisle at World Market right'll never want Hershey's again..) and Pad Thai, and it was a fabulous day.

Though a tiring one... but again, go read Jon's blog! It's a lot more interesting than this one, let me tell you...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Coffee, Anyone?

Yesterday I experienced another "first" in my Army life- I hosted a Coffee.

A "Coffee" is basically any get-together with a specific group of people. Unit FRGs (Family Readiness Groups) will have them typically once a month- they can be at someone's home, a restaurant, an outing or event, and can range from formal to a backyard barbeque. Someone even told me yesterday that she hosted an FRG coffee, and the theme was a slumber party- everyone came in their PJs! It is entirely up to the hostess what it will be like. Things like FRG Coffees tend to be less formal (and official etiquette followed less strictly), but there are other occasions where they are much more traditional. Because of the oddity of Jon's unit, the FRG isn't very active- I don't think they've actually done anything since I got here! But, more on FRGs later, as the time comes...

The Coffee I hosted yesterday was for the Chaplain Spouses group. We meet once a month as well, and they're pretty laid-back. There are actually 43 Chaplain Spouses here (most with deployed husbands), but at any given Coffee we'll have 10-15. It has been a great way to get to know these women, most of whom I would never have occasion to meet. It's a unique group, too, because our experiences range from those whose husbands just went to Chaplain School earlier this year, all the way up to the Installation Chaplain's wife- he's a full-bird Colonel who has been in the Army for 24 years.

At a Coffee, there is "official business" we do- introducing the new ladies, giving gifts to those on their way out, updating on who's having babies, who's husband is leaving, etc. There is also this thing called "Opportunities"- which I have realized is just the Army word for raffle! Instead of our group collecting dues, we do opportunities- everyone pays a buck for the chance to win the prize (and the honor of bringing the prize next month!). We talk about the next Coffee, and, well, that's about it. Last month the business led into a fantastic conversation about dealing with deployment in the context of being a chaplain's wife.

So, the house was cleaned, the lunch was made, the guests came, and two hours later, it was all over. I'm really glad I did it- with every Army experience I have, I realize more and more how much I enjoy this lifestyle. Even writing this, I had to think through how to explain things that have become second nature to me. When I started this entry, I had planned on telling all about the event, but it became more of an explanation of what exactly this ambiguous "Coffee" is.

I think one of the things I enjoy is the tradition that goes along with it. Yes, Coffees now tend to be informal get-togethers... but they date WAY back. They even have their own chapter in The Army Wife Handbook:
The tradition of military wives getting together for coffee dates back to the establishment of the first military posts. Wives of the frontier Army had to endure many hardships, and an hour or two spent sharing a cup of coffee with a friend must have been a welcome respite. Like so many of the social customs of the nineteenth-century military, this social tradition survived and evolved.

They have seen many different forms over the past two centuries; like everything, they have changed with the cultures and trends of the day.

Yesterday afternoon I mostly started blankly at the TV screen. Such activities have a way of taking it out of you... but, it was a great time, and now I have one more checked box on my list of things to do as a spouse!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Crayon Box

I have started about three posts, only to realize none of them were interesting enough to publish. So, instead, I have decided to grace you with several of my here-and-there thoughts, a "crayon box" of sorts...


The last few nights, Jon and I have sat out on the deck... and I could wear SOCKS! Yes, and long pants, and - get this - long sleeve shirts! Ah, bliss.

On that note, I purchased a homemade pumpkin spice candle from a PWOC friend, and she delivered it to me today- can't wait to try it out! (Every fall, I spend like $3 on the Walmart version, which kinda smells a little for about 10 minutes, then it just burns. Glad I went with quality this year.)


If you read my husband's blog, you remember him posting a couple weeks ago about a Derek Webb song. Yes, to calm any family grumblings, it was in fact my brother-in-law, Dave, who introduced me to this favorite of mine a couple years ago (by the way, Dave, I don't think it was KFC- I think it was a mom&pop diner that took about an hour and a half for us to eat at...) Derek Webb used to be in Caedmon's Call (and is married to Sandra McCracken of the same fame), then went solo. His album "She Must and Shall Go Free" is all about the church and has incredible lyrics. Both Derek and his bride are also a part of the Indelible Grace project- if you've never heard them, look them up on iTunes!!


There is another brigade out of Ft. Stewart getting ready to deploy next month, so the train behind our house has once again been busy transporting various fighting vehicles. It has been a long road for this brigade, as they were "supposed to" deploy in July, then it kept getting delayed... the only thing worse than a deployment is an incessantly delayed deployment... the more time they spend here now, the longer it will be before they come home...


The pregnancy is going well. I'll have to take a picture so y'all can see! It's funny, I now weigh what I did on my wedding day. Today someone told me my nose is getting bigger. Has anyone else heard of "pregnant nose"? Apparently I'm out of the loop on this one. I am pretty sure, though, that the wee one has changed her sport of choice from soccer to gymnastics- sorry, Dad!!


Kids Church is going well, too. After starting to plan the Fall Fest, I was made aware that MWR (Morale, Welfare, & Recreation- they're in charge of the "fun" stuff of the Army) is doing one as well, so I'm just going to set up a booth at theirs. Easier for me. We're also doing a Kids Church Christmas program that will be a part of the Installation Chapel's Christmas Music Festival. It should be pretty cool!


And, in closing, courtesy of MASH, "Be brave, be loyal, be true... and keep your white flags handy, just in case..."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

When "God's Will" isn't God's will

"The Lord is leading me to..."

"The Spirit is guiding me..."

We've all heard it. Many of us have probably even said it. God is directing us to fill-in-the-blank.

I think my personal favorite was when it was commonly used at Bible school in reference to dating. "The Lord is leading me to date you"... and subsequently, "The Lord is leading me to break up with you." Since when did God impart divine wisdom through fickle 19-year-old hormones?

My brother has a friend who had a similar situation. Wanting to marry his girlfriend, he approached her father. The father said that God told him it was not His will for her to marry him. The boyfriend responded, "Well, God told me that it is."

I do not doubt that there are times that God really does direct and lead people to do things.

I also do not doubt that such words have been uttered not at the Spirit's prompting, but instead as a manipulation tactic.

You don't like your daughter's boyfriend? Say it's not God's will.

You don't like the decision leadership has made? Claim God's leading otherwise.

You aren't happy in any given situation in life? Attribute your feelings to God, and no one will have a leg to stand on.

I mean, come on, when someone tells you that God told them to do something, what do you say to that?

I strongly believe that God is not impressed at all when people use His name to further their own agenda, and I believe that it happens more than most of us would like to admit. Not only do the church's "troublemakers" do it, volunteers do it, deacons do it, pastors do it...

And no one questions it.

It is a matter of the heart that is not only personal, but deeply spiritual.

This thought came to me this morning, as there is a small... ahem... "issue" surrounding a decision I (and others) made last spring.

This is incredibly frustrating to me. How do you know when it's God and when it's not? More so, how do I know when it's God telling you to do something?

I mean, unless asked, I do not make any attempts to tell you what God is saying to you. However, when what you claim God tells you directly impacts my life, I feel like I should have a say.

You know, there are very few people who I would without question (or at least with few questions) accept what they told me from God. Very.few.people.

But can I tell you how difficult it is to even allude to someone that I wholeheartedly believe they are hiding behind alleged spirituality to get their way?

There is, as you can probably tell, much more to this situation, as well as to my thoughts and feelings on it.

Suffice it to say that it's at times like this that I'm thankful I have the thick skin which comes with the experience of being a pastor's kid.

By the way, you'll be happy to know that the boyfriend and his young love mentioned earlier have been happily married for several years.

Guess God decided to bless after all...

Friday, September 07, 2007


Here are the answers from last post's game.

By the way, for those of you who commented- yes, this was my original blog layout two years ago... I was looking for something more "fall-ish" than "mac-ish," as my last template was. I'm currently trying to figure out how to import an outside template in to blogger... I know it's possible, I just haven't had the patience yet to actually do it.

Anyway, here are the answers to the 4th graders' attempts at spelling:


Monday, September 03, 2007

Are you smarter than a 4th grader?

Alright, folks, ready for a little game?

I just read Diesel's blog about a diagnostic spelling test his wife just gave her new 4th grade class. Again, in the students' defense, they did not have time to study (nor was it actually graded)- it was just so she could see the proficiency level at the beginning of the school year.

In the left column is the list of actual words... in the right, the students' attempts at spelling the words. Can you match them up? Feel free to leave your guess in the comments section. If you want one answer to get you started, click the link to Diesel's blog.

He notes that most of the kids did fine; obviously, not all... And by the way, no, I don't actually know this person- it's a blog I sometimes randomly read...

I'll post the answers in a few days.

Spelling Words...... Attempts at Spelling
nurse........................... kufshanr
battle.......................... penerd
pennies ...................... rebet
confusion.................... chraped
discovery................... feful
resident..................... craep
visible ........................ nresce
trapped...................... batfall
distance..................... vizetfall
fever.......................... phoesph
phone........................ bufen
charge....................... freken
drawing.................... bistis
fraction..................... braing
scrape....................... jrash

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Curse you, Gary Paulsen!

When I was in elementary school, I loved to read. I read every book in the church library (which was quite well-stocked, by the way) for my age group, and then some. The school and public libraries served to supplement any literary need that was not being met by the volumes I borrowed from the church. I pored through the Scholastic Reader flyer, longing for more books for my personal collection. I would sit outside under the shade tree in the front yard, on my bed in the privacy of my room, and in various places waiting for my parents to end their dull adult conversations.

Then, 7th grade hit.

What happened?, you may ask...

One word: Hatchet.

Have any of you ever read this book? I'm sure that it is a fine read in other contexts, but Mrs. Blauw's Language Arts class was NOT an amusing one. We read, studied, analyzed to death this book... for an entire semester.

Spelling and Vocab words came from Hatchet.

Daily journal entries were inspired by Hatchet.

We had to do a Hatchet panorama.

Act out scenes.

Write incessantly.

Again, let me emphasize: An ENTIRE SEMESTER: January through June.

When we finally finished the book, we spent two days watching the movie.

In 8th grade, our teacher told us we were going to read The River, Hatchet's sequel. We cried out in agony. The next day, he told us we could individually choose a book to read and report on. We sang his praises.

Hatchet single-handedly ingrained into me a hatred for the written word, specifically in the realm of fiction. I have since tried to read, I really really have. I am sorry to say that in the 11 years that have passed, not counting required reading for other English classes (which were, oddly enough, always my favorites...), I have read a whopping three novels: Alas, Babylon, The Giver, and Cry, the Beloved Country (all fantastic reads, by the way). I have worked in various John Piper (though I have not cracked a Piper book in several years... but that's another story...) and a couple other non-fiction writings, but nary a novel.

My husband, on the other hand, is an avid reader. One of the (many) reasons he was delighted to complete his seminary was so he would have more time to read books of his choosing. He has inspired me.

Let me back up a bit to say, too, that I have never read any of the classic "girl books" (nor have I seen the movies...) Anne of Green Gables, anything by Jane Austin, Little Women, etc...

So, with this newfound inspiration (and the fact that it has been rainy the last few days, making me want to curl up with a good book... only to realize I don't really read...) and the idealistic notion that, before introducing my daughter into the world, I should have more "girly" literary experiences, I removed Jane Eyre from its place on one of our five bookshelves. Well, I removed it about three weeks ago. It has since been sitting on the floor in a pile with my textbooks from last term...

But tonight, I cracked it open. I have to say, I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would... I found myself interested by the time I turned the first page, and read 40 more without even realizing it.

Maybe... hopefully... my old friend will not disappoint, and it will be a sweet reunion... and if not, well hey, at least I tried!