What a Crack Up!!

Sooo....Brayden has been so funny lately!! He is talking more and more all the time and it is so fun to hear the things that come out of his lil mouth!! And some of the things he does are just plain comical....I love it! One day I hear "dis my work mama" and I turn to find this......

Dat's his work!! He was wearing Daddy's uniform shirt and hat!! Too cute!! And another funny from Brayden.......he decided to "wide"(aka ride) his "motocycle" (aka motorcycle)!! And the funniest part for me is that this is a toy that was Colby's and he did the exact same thing with it!! I love that I can relive some of those stored away memories this way!!
So here is Brayden riding his motorcycle and then him holding the motorcycle.....too fun!

And what has Colby been up to?? Well.....he is staying busy with school, Awana, and soccer lessons!! Who knew a first grader could have soooo much homework?!? Thankfully for the most part he has a great attitude but there are times that it is tough to keep him focused! He is doing well in school though, and I am so incredibly proud of him! And he recently finished his Skipper book in Awana and is now working hard towards earning his Hiker patch!! He is almost there...we should probably be sewing on his new patch in 2 weeks!! He loves Awana and I love that he has a fun, energetic place where he is encouraged to learn and love God's word. I also cherish the time we spend learning verses together....does it get much better than cuddling and learning the Bible??? Here is a snapshot of him on our way out the door to Awana last week....it was Career Clothes day so he chose to be a sailor!!

No doubt this is where Brayden got the idea......the admiration that these two have for their Daddy melts my heart. It is such a priceless gift to have the relationship with John that they do! Even with John being on the other side of the world....he does whatever he can to make sure the boys know how much he loves them and misses them. What an incredible daddy they have.....I love these 3 men God has blessed me with more than words can begin to say.

And as for me.....God is so good and I am so blessed!! I have settled into this deployment now and the boys have as well which makes day to day life so much more bearable! I won't say easy.....but my prayers for patience and strength have been so graciously answered and we are doing well! I have found a little bit of time lately for my Stampin Up which has been lots of fun! I miss it when I don't have time to play! =)

And this afternoon I have been making berry applesauce!! YUMMY!! The boys love it and so do I and it is super cheap and easy! We have had so much fun picking berries while living here and our freezer is pretty well stocked so I figured I would pull some out! So today I used logan berries and raspberries. The house smells amazing and we are gonna have a GREAT after school snack!

Here is the recipe!

Berry Applesauce

2 cups berries
3 lbs tart apples (cored, peeled, and chopped)
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon (i use more cinnamon cause we like it!)

Place all ingredients in a lg. soup pot over moderately high heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, stir, cover and cook for 20 min. stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and puree in a blender or food processor. Serve hot or cold! Enjoy!!

So easy and it is soooo good!!! Now Brayden and I are gonna bundle up and head out for a walk to pick bubba up from school! Have a wonderful weekend!!


A lil of this & A lil of that

Well....the beautiful weather has continued and I cannot say enough prayers of thanks! It has been great to be able to be outside and enjoy this gorgeous place we are so blessed to live! So we have been to the park and taken lots of walks and kept the windows open all day.....so very refreshing!!

Please tell me that I am not the only one who has such a hard time letting go of "my baby"!?! Brayden started a class at a local kids fun and fitness center and this is his first lil thing that is all his ya know?? I mean he goes to child care while I'm at bible study and he calls it his school but this is different! It is called Terrific Two's and they paint, do crafts, play and have circle time. What a big boy he is getting to be! The teacher said he did great and had a lot of fun! My lil man is growing up sooo fast

And....this afternoon Colby had his 1st grade music program!! Its so cute to see them all up on the stage nervous and excited! Colby has been practicing for a couple weeks now and did fantastic! I didn't get any pictures.......it was hectic and they had the parents sitting in the back of the gym so I video taped it for John. But i did snap a quick shot of him when we got home....it was a Presidents Day theme so they sang songs about George Washington and Abe Lincoln. Too fun and oh so cute!

So.....that was alot of random things but that is what we have been up to! Tonight we are headed to the missions conference at our church where we will be privileged to hear from missionaries we sponsor from all over the world! I am looking forward to hearing about Gods work being done around the world! And they even have a children's program planned where the kiddos will get to hear from missionaries while on a pretend world tour via pretend airplane! FUN FUN!!


Could it be?!?

The sun?? On Whidbey Island??? In February?? We have been absolutely loving the last few days of sunshine here in our little corner of the great northwest!! It has been beautiful...I'm talkin windows open, takin walks, playin outside GORGEOUS weather!! I believe the forcast calls for the gloomy cloudy rainy days to return in the next couple of days but what a blessing it has been to soak up some sun! So here is a picture of a blue sky day in Feb on Whidbey Island!! (for those of you unfamiliar......this is so NOT typical for this time of year but so welcomed!)

And here is Brayden heading out for a walk to pick Bubba up from school! Notice the hat and gloves that were completely not needed.....but he insists on having them anytime we leave the house lately!! =)

Tonight we went to a command bowling night with John's command! We had a great time and got to catch up with friends we don't get to see very often!!

This deployment has forced me to take a look at my priorities and make some decisions that haven't been easy. However, I feel the Lord has shown me where my calling is for now and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am so blessed and very thankful that the Lord has made his plans for me clear at this time and things seem to be falling into place.


Reality Check!!

So....I finish writing the previous post......get up to grab and enjoy my cup o' joe and THIS is what I walk into........

"Back to life, Back to reality......" Brayden was having some fun of his own while Mommy was so distracted! Yes yes....those are little foam stickers all over the place! GREAT....so I am now off to clean up this mess with the help of one stinker of a 2 year old!

Thank you "Culka"!!!!

I guess I will start this one off with a quick explanation (for those of you who aren't sure) of who "Culka" is!! The first time that Colby and I went to meet John's parents we told Colby to call John's mom Mrs. Miculka. Well it came out "Culka" (he had just turned 2) and it has stuck. So John's parents are Culka and Papa Culka!!

And a BIG thank you to them......the boys recieved their Valentines Day package yesterday and it was full of color wonder, glitter glue, and paints! FUN! So the boys dug into their goods yesterday afternoon and had a ball!!

And now a random thought for the day.....I believe there is something truly therapeutic about the smell of coffee brewing in the morning! (or afternoon, evening or whenever!) =) SNIFF SNIFF...AAAHHHHH.....I'm off to enjoy a cup o' joe and get ready for bible study!


A breath of fresh air

Well....I don't have a whole lot to say today. I am exhausted. Both of the boys were up vomiting last night...NOT FUN but if they were both gonna get it I guess it works to get it over with all at once. The good news is so far so good and they are feeling ALOT better now. Here's hoping tonight is better!

On a more upbeat note.......John called!!!!!!! It is so incredibly re-energizing to be able to actually talk to him. To hear his voice and tell him how much I love him and miss him. To be able to just chat like we would if he were here. So....what a great ending to my day! Hope everyone had a great weekend!


What have we been up to??

The last couple of days passed in a blur!! Here is a quick summary of the fun we've been having....

We decorated cupcakes for dessert one night!

Brayden had his bestest lil friend over to play!

I had my daily heart attack (the having sons induced variety) when I walked around the corner and found this.......

Yes...that is Colby suspended in the air! Brayden thought it was G-R-E-A-T and Colby's reply to my immediate response of "What in the world are you doing??" was "Mom....its soooo cool". SIGH....such is life with boys!! Never a dull moment!

And as for me well....there has been alot of this.....

I haven't been feeling all that great.....=(. I've had a wicked sore throat and chest cold type of stuff. Not fun but it could be worse! So lots of cough drops and hot tea and I shall be on the mend soon! Hope ya'll have a wonderful weekend!!


Anger and the Alternative

The lesson in bible study this week was called Anger and the Alternative and how blessed I have been by this lesson. It never ceases to amaze me that the Lord reaches my heart at just the right time and the timing of this lesson was no exception.

I came to the realization that I have been harboring bitterness. And I have let this bitterness come between friendships and rob me of the joy I could have experianced in these friendships. It is so easy to get caught up in the hardships of the lifestyle I am faced with right now and to forget to turn to the Lord. Its nobody's "fault" and it is incredibly unfair to the Lord, to me, and to those around me to be so selfish. So again I am freshly amazed at how my God has opened my eyes and even more thankful that I can be forgiven. That I can grow from this and move on.

I am forever humbled and grateful to have Christ in my life. To have this bible study that I am sure is no accident and has truly blessed me in more ways than I can begin to list here. So I will leave you with the verse that brought such peace to me as I have worked through my anger and bitterness.

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

God is so very good.....may each of you feel his love today!


Paper Chain and a Boo Boo

It has become a tradition when John is deployed for me and Colby to make a paper chain with a link for each week that Daddy will be away. Then once a week Colby tears off a link.....it has been a great way for Colby to visualize how long Daddy will be away and to watch Daddy's homecoming get closer as the chain gets smaller! So last weekend while Brayden was down for a nap we went to work and made our chain. And today Colby got to tear off the first link!!

And as for Brayden...well....things are pretty tough this time around. He is really missing his Daddy and for the last few days has spent atleast an hour a day at the front door crying for daddy. He doesn't want me...won't let me hold him or try to comfort him. It is heartbreaking and I want to help him understand and make it better. I'm sure with time that this will pass but any and all prayers for peace and understanding for my lil man would be so very appreciated.

Speaking of my lil man.....he got quite a yucky boo boo today at the super bowl party we were at...=( It was a great game and a wonderful time with friends and food. All was well until big brother decided it would be fun to drag lil brother around the house on the carpet. And this is one of those times when the Mommy guilt has hit big time because had I been paying more attention to the boys and not the game I am pretty sure I could have stopped Colby in time to prevent the rug burn. Poor Brayden has a big nasty rug burn on his tummy and he was in so much pain. And lets just talk about how much fun it was to put him in a 5 point harness carseat...OUCH....to come home. But thank goodness for wonderful neighbors who come to the rescue with BIG "bambaids" when in need! Here is my lil man who is now sleeping peacefully thanks to his "bambaids"!

Have you ever had a rug burn??? It hurts like the dickens.....I feel soooooo bad for him. Anyway.......other than the boo boo, we had a great weekend! It was busy but oh so fun. And now I am off to bed for some much needed shut eye!!!