"For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." John 1:16

A place for us to document and share the grace upon grace we have received.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Amazing - The Pine Cove Way!

I think this is old news for most people that know us...but John made it back from Afghanistan and surprised us at Pine Cove Family Camp!  It was amazing and since last Wednesday, our life has been a whirlwind in the best way.  We are so thankful for all the family and friends that have supported us over the past 6 months and now share in our joy.  The theme at Pine Cove  http://www.pinecove.com/ was to FIGHT - for your marriage, families, children, and neighbors.  It comes from the scripture in Nehemiah 4:14: 

 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

And so we do remember the Lord, who is GREAT and AWESOME and has provided for us in so many ways as we endured this trial.

We have traveled to Pine Cove for 8 summers now and every year there has been something really special for our family.  We are thankful to the staff that recorded our special event and provided the video and pictures.  If anyone is looking for a true vacation from cooking and chores, needs a place of purpose and refuge, wants to make some awesome friends, and your children will talk about it all year long, then we urge you to check out Pine Cove.

Here is the link to the video...just in case!

Our 2 oldest daughters, Emma and Lauren jumping into daddy's arms!  Preciousness!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mother's Day

I am just getting around to posting a few pictures from Mother's Day.  It seems that I have been battling allergies and now some sort of respiratory infection the past few weeks and of course that makes everything harder. Nevertheless, the children went out of their way to make Mother's Day special!  We went to church and on the way home, they said that Dad had called in Macaroni Grill and I was to drive there to pick it up! That was nice! They also had gifts of chocolate, bath salts,  and very thoughtful cards.  They cleaned up lunch and let me nap.  We all missed daddy but all in all it was a nice day.  I will have to try and top that for Father's Day??!!

Logan's special card for me.

The children before lunch.

Daddy had sent his signature to Emma to print off for my Mother's Day card.  The kids picked out the card that read, "There is nothing that can come between us...except the kids!" Funny!

My sweet gifts!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

B-Huts and Belly Laughs

I have enjoyed writing about my B-Hut accommodations, all the while still thankful that it was mostly warm at night, even during the coldest parts of winter. On the whole, it's not too bad a place and I am grateful for simply having anywhere to lay my head each night. Nonetheless, you have to enjoy some good laughs now and then at some of the irony regarding the emphasis around safety in Afghanistan.

This particular YouTube video gave me a good belly laugh because it describes the B-huts extremely well and does so in quite a funny way. Although slightly exaggerated, it's closer to true than not. B-Huts are definitely not the place you want to be during rocket attacks because if the projectile doesn't hurt you when it penetrates the plywood, the B-Hut will burn down in less than 30 seconds once it's on fire since it's a 100% plywood structure. Either way, not a good situation! We laugh about it because we have to wear these silly reflective belts at night to avoid getting run over by large tactical vehicles, yet somehow it's ok to sleep out in the open, completely undefended. How do you reconcile that?

60 days and counting! Home is getting closer.


Monday, May 7, 2012

April Catch Up

It has been a little over two weeks since I moved in to our home in Schertz (San Antonio).  The family is gone and people are back to their routines.  We too, are working on establishing our new routines, schedules, chore charts, selecting activities to plug into, and finding our new way of life...again.  The boxes are gone and the house is fairly normal.  There are still a few pictures to hang and a few curtains to be hung.  For the most part though we are settled.  After six weeks of being focused on the move, I am now back facing the reality that my husband is deployed.  We have a new bed that he will not sleep in for several more months.  I keep thinking I will just wait until John is home in a week or so and he can handle the mail that is piling up, the ladder that needs to be taken downstairs (ok I just moved it!), finish hanging the pictures on the walls and can help put the children to bed at night.  I have such a better appreciation for all that deployed families experience now that we are facing it personally.

I do have much more support here though, and for that I am thankful.  I have already met a couple new neighbors that have husbands deployed. I look forward to getting together with them.  I have had such good conversations at church!  We are having to juggle activities since there are so many opportunities!  So on the whole, it is much better to be here.  However, I still have a 2 year old and I still have a teenager!  And I have a few children in between that need lots!  In fact, if daddy doesn't get home soon....my five year old may need a counselor...or I might!  All in all, April will be another of those monumental months in the life of the Childs' family.  We continue to give God thanks for his protection of us during the travels (I was rear ended in John's car the day we were moving but all was ok), and the protection of John.  John had a semi- fun birthday Afghanistan style, but he certainly felt loved by so many!  I have felt that love too!  Thank you!

Here are a few fun random pictures from the last month.

Flat Daddy still travels with us!

Easter Cookies

Lily feeding daddy a crouton!

Emma went to Family Gala...a fun home school event!

Every time I turn around Lauren is upside down...I did get her into gymnastics here!

Logan doing a cartwheel on a last trip to the beach

I see a theme...my children are usually upside down!  Luke loved being in the house with no furniture!

Hiking the Moss Preserve in Birmingham...we spent some time with John's parents before we left.

At the Peach Park...a special place south of Birmingham where John took me when we were dating!  You get homemade ice cream and fresh fruit and sit on swings! 

Lily on the trampoline...thank you to so many who put up, took down, and then put up the trampoline!

At the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham.  

Thank you to so many people who continue to bless our family by helping with the driving, teaching my children at church, inviting me for coffee and just stopping for conversation!  

Monday, April 30, 2012

Getting Old in a War Zone

I turned the magic "40" a couple of days ago (Apr 28) so got to experience the momentous occasion in Afghanistan. Having just returned from Kuwait the day prior on an overnight flight (so no sleep for 24 hours), I actually slept through most of my actual birthday. However, thanks to a number of efforts from Amy, my Mom, and my JC2RT teammates (particularly Jennifer Hatzfeld), my birthday was a special one, despite being so far from home. I found out the office in San Antonio even had a full blown birthday party. I apparently even attended in the form of an anatomical skeleton dressed up as me! Watching the video of my actual birthday party was a bit surreal, and the caricature of me was quite funny (and I will confess too close for comfort)! Thanks to everyone who made the day special. Here are a few of the birthday photos from Afghanistan:


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Welcome Home!

The month of April has been a busy one for our family! It has been a long several weeks, emotionally and physically draining at times, but I am so thankful for many things!  We had some hard "good byes" in Ocean Springs and we had some sweet  "hellos" in Texas!  It never really gets easier moving even when we are going back to a situation we are familiar with and love. To pick up a family and move across states with 5 children and a husband overseas is still fairly crazy...but it is done!  Now just the re-adjusting, organizing and figuring out life here...I want to tell you all more, but after non stop days, I think I have hit my wall and am exhausted!   I am trying to catch up a bit, but did want to post a couple pictures!  We are so thankful for the meals stocked in our freezer, the milk in our fridge, the help unpacking, setting up the trampoline, the computers and internet, the childcare, and the list goes on.  I am amazed at how many people just knew what they needed to do to help...they said "there will be time to chat later, lets get unpacking!"  And we did!  I get tears just thinking about the love shown to our family in this journey.  It is not over yet...John is still in Afghanistan (actually right now I think he is in Kuwait for a project) and even after he gets back, we will have to be apart a bit...but for now God has brought us back to our home in Schertz....and we are thankful!  May we be faithful!
Lily rubbing mommy's feet with lotion...they hurt!

Lily feeding Daddy a crouton on Skype

Logan in a pair of John's overalls

Good Bye Ocean Springs

The neighbor's made a going away sign

Good bye dinner with the Crawfords (neighbors in MS)

Welcome Home to Texas!