Chris's Change of Command

Chris's Change of Command

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Party Time

It wouldn't be Christmas without a party!! 
Our dear friends came over to celebrate Jesus's birthday this past week.  We made crafts, played games, exchanged gifts (books), decorated and ate Christmas trees, ate some yummy treats and played some more.
My creative beauty

Baby bear is so happy to be included in on the fun.  I love the age of 3 (most days).

Love him!!!! 

Playing find the pickle ornament. 

Tongue out = Focused

I am so thankful for these sweet friends and a chance to gather and have a wonderful time.  Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We Got Annie!!

Kelly and I took the older kiddos to see a local production of Annie. 
It was such a fun treat and one that I will not forget.  The excitement was at an all time high. 
Here are the girls and Joshy

The little men

Outside the theatre

Can't wait for the show to start.  We had such great seats and the production was awesome.  

Hope to take them to a show again real soon.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Preparing Our Hearts

Preparing our hearts to celebrate our Savior's birth.  Isn't that what it is all about?  I love Christmas time and all that goes with the holiday.  I am so very thankful that Jesus came.  Emmanuel.  God with us.  Without Him we would be so lost.

  I found the nativity set just like this last night.  Such a great reminder to focus on what this season is truly about.  The greatest gift that our loving Heavenly Father gave to us, Jesus.

I had the kids draw their favorite part of the Christmas Story as one of our advent calendar activities. 
Hayley said this about her picture, " Mom there are only two wise men here because one of them went on vacation."  Such a silly girl.

We made cookies to take to some friends who had us over for dinner while Chris was away.  We may have snuck a few just to make sure they tasted ok before we gave them to the Welchs.  Quality control.

This is the second year for our Jesse Tree.  My favorite part of Christmas by far.  Each night we read our devotion and scripture tracing the lineage of Jesus and look at how God had it all planned out from the beginning.  How He loves us.  How He came to save us.

Getting ready to decorate the tree
The finished product

Our nativity

I love sitting by the tree with a cup of coffee, a dark room, tree lights on and just looking over the ornaments.  Each one has a story as to where is came from or who gave it to us. 
 Each year, I buy the children a new ornament that has something to do with their interest or likes over the past year.  I will pass them on to them when they are grown and have their own families so they can share the stories behind their ornaments and pass the tradition down to their children. 
Here are some of my favorites...
Hannah's first Christmas

USMC ornament that my mom bought for us at Mike's Farm in NC

Hayley's first Christmas

Luke's first Christmas

Our UGA ornament!  Go DAWGS!

No fireplace in SoCal (although it has been in the 30's the past 3 nights) so we improvise with where to place the stockings.  I think it turned out cute!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dear Life with an Infantry Battalion...

So it has been about 4 years since we crossed paths, and I had almost forgotten how our relationship works.  It is a love/ hate dislike relationship.  I love that my husband loves his job, his Marines, his country, but I do dislike the long hours, days, and soon to be months away from him.  I miss him so much, but I know that he is doing exactly what God created him to do here on Earth.
Our children are learning what this life means for them.  They vaguely remember their time with you between 2006-2008.  They are discovering what it means for Daddy to be away and some days I am so in awe of their strength and awesome attitudes that I am speechless.  Then other days my heart breaks as I see the tears and the sadness knowing it is because they long for a hug from their Daddy.  I do too.  They miss their Daddy terribly some days but they also understand how important Chris's job is and how our job is to love and support him so he can go and protect and defend our freedoms.
Life continues on when he is away.  There are still birthdays, holidays, firsts, and all kinds of changes.  But while we celebrate those occasions sometimes on the actual day other times we celebrate just because we are together. 
I am so thankful that he will be home in time for Christmas this year.  We will all cherish every moment because we know that deployment is looming in the future.  Deployment...  I haven't had to utter those words for 4 years and for that I am thankful.  But it is coming.  A different beast this time.  3 little ones and 3,600 miles away from family.  There are days when I feel overwhelmed at thinking of doing this thing alone for almost a year.  Then I remember that I am never alone.  God is here with me every step, every moment.  He brought Chris and I together and He will equip us for the path He has paved for us.  Again thankful.
So while we wait for Daddy to get home from his time with you training in the desert, we prepare for Christmas.  We decorate, watch Christmas movies, go to parties, sing carols, hang lights,  go to church and prepare our hearts to celebrate the One who came to save us. 

In closing, this life is one that I would not ever change.  Of course, it has its challenges, but the good times far out weigh the bad. 
Thanks for the wild ride,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Traditions or Lack There Of

Military life is a funny thing.  Your traditions are only traditions for 2 to 3 years (sometimes less).  And then you move somewhere new and different and even though you still have traditions, they are altered a bit.  We never see the same 4th of July parade.  Our kids don't know what an annual trip to wherever is because in a few years that trip is to some place they have never been before. 
But what we do have is an amazing since of closeness in our little family of 5 because really we are the only thing that is the same each time we move.  Being away from family is not easy.  We miss our parents, siblings, and nieces and nephew terribly.  We Facetime and Skype often and can't wait for the days when they come for a visit.  But I have to say that some of our military friends have become apart of our "family" over the years and I feel so blessed to have all of them be apart of our lives.
So I guess our tradition for each holiday is making the best of our new places and friends and hopefully, God willing, to cross paths with old ones.
We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving with some of our oldest military friends.  We knew each other when we were just newly married young couples starting out at our first duty station in Hawaii.
And now...
there are 13 of us when we get together.
We started out this month with a thankful tree and added leaves each day of things that we are thankful for this year.
Family and friends top the list...

Our Thanksgiving morning was spent watching the Macy's Parade in our jammies.  My idea of perfection.
Our sweet girls. 
Luke coming up with his strategy for a game of Stratego with Chris.

The Smiths

The Steeles

Double trouble!!  Love these boys.  They are anything but trouble.


Now these two have trouble written all over them.

It had been over 10 years since we had Thanksgiving together and I loved that our tradition could be  repeated again this year.  A tad different from our couples trip to the Big Island in Hawaii, but just as much fun. 
Here is to new and old traditions. 

Jules Goes to CA

One of my BFFs from college came for a visit this month.  We had such a good time.  We played and played and played some more. 
First stop was Ruby's, a local diner that is to die for!! 

Day 2 we made our way to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. 

Ummm. Yeah. That's a cheetah.  So cool.


Day 3 of course, the beach!  Beautiful November morning.

Thanks for coming to see us, Jules!!  We hope that you will come again real soon.