Thursday, July 31, 2008


The sub-title of this blog states, "trying to live each day for our Lord." That pretty much sums up everything that has happened this week. Remembering that no matter what our God is sovereign and is never surprised by anything. That even if bad things happen, God can turn it into good.

I have been teaching on Joseph the last five weeks in youth group and a major theme is that even when things looked incredibly bleak for Joseph, he still had faith and the Lord was still with him. Even in prison, even in Egypt, even when sold into slavery.

It's been a week of ups and downs. Of craziness and different types of earth shaking events. Even literal earth shaking events (5.4 earthquake on Tuesday). We thought Sam was coming home Saturday, were told that he would be home yesterday, then were told he would be home eventually (but not sure when...) and then he actually got to come home yesterday. Up and down, up and down. Today was the ultimate down. Sam received this email:

If you are receiving this email you are on the Balkans mission and I hope your chain of command has inform you and this is not new to you. Please start preparing and working with your families so they are not the last ones to know.

This throws everything into a tizzy. Sam's graduation plans are put on hold (mine are still going to happen) and I am adjusting to the idea of bringing another child into the world without even having my husband's hand to hold on to. I get to be a single mom with a two and half year old and a newborn. Sam has to put his life on hold once again to do his military duty.

We don't know what the future holds. I am assured of this. I fix my eyes upon Jesus, trusting that no matter what happens this will not all be in vain. My faith will be strengthened even more and when it is all over I will be even more grateful for my amazing husband.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

God is good.

I should strike that title. God is always good, even when my circumstances are crappy. My situations don't dictate whether God is good or not.

Anyways, Sam called me back at 3:30. He fought his way up the chain and ended up talking to the Colonel. Turns out that he can't do the job they wanted him to do based on his rank. Plus, with school starting in a month, a family at home and a wife who works, it just isn't suited to Sam. Go figure!

So, crisis averted and Sam will once again be home for good tomorrow.

Sigh. It's been a long three weeks!


If I were the cursing type there would be a whole slew of them used adjectivally before the word 'Army'.

Sam called me today. I was excited because he is supposed to come home tomorrow and I thought he was just on break from his out processing stuff. Well, he was on break, but his reason for calling me was not for a happy, "Hi, how are you?" conversation.

Sam's boss' boss hand picked Sam to stay as the S-6 (whatever that means) indefinitely up in Northern California. That means while everyone else in Sam's unit gets to go home, he has to stay up there and perform the duties of a Major. He had no choice in the matter. Never mind you that Sam is still a 1st LT because the state hasn't bothered getting off of their butts to process his promotion packet which he put in 6 months ago (he's been slotted for a Captain since December). His boss is a Major, but they aren't making him stay. They are royally screwing over Sam and our family right now. Especially because I have to go up to camp in a week and a half with the kiddos (it's part of my job) and right now I am up the creek because I don't have childcare. They told Sam that they would provide childcare, but there is no way that I am leaving my 2 year old with a stranger for a week. It's bad enough that he feels abandoned by daddy, he doesn't need to feel that way about mommy too.

To top all of that off, not thirty minutes after that phone conversation I experienced my first earthquake. 5.4 on the scale and it freaked me out. Things crashed down around us, I heard glass breaking (my neighbors, I think) and my world literally was rocked. I grabbed Nathaniel and ran to the doorway. We're okay and nothing is damaged, it just freaked me out. Not very fun. It was weird. At first I thought that a truck had dropped something (you know when the garbage truck bangs loudly and your windows shake?) but then the boom happened again and everything started shaking and falling. By the time I got to the doorway everything was swaying. That part was nice, but still. I don't like that feeling in my house!

All in all, what a crappy day. I won't even get into the weirdo at the park who started to approach my son...blah!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Good-bye Weavers.

Yesterday we had the going away party for our good friends the Weavers. We will really miss this family. Our sons are almost the same age (and best buddies) and they are such great people.

The party was a lot of fun, and it was great to just sit and visit with people we haven't seen in such a long time. Randomly a lot of our friends who had moved away were able to be there since they were visiting. Our friends the Allans are visiting from Cambodia (they are in the area for a retreat or meeting or something) and our friends the Escobedos were visiting from Ohio. Nathaniel and I were out until 11:30 last night (Nathaniel finally fell asleep in my arms). It was nice just to sit and be with good friends and catch up on their lives. All we needed were the Kopps and we would have been comnplete...

Here are some photos from the day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Praise the Lord for Unions!

I'm not going to type much. A longer post will happen tomorrow with pictures from the Wacky Weaver's going away party. I just wanted to post that...


I guess the Fire Fighter's Union was upset because the military's presence was effecting how much pay the fire fighters got. Dumb, but great for us. Sam will have made enough money to pay off our bills (which we always pay, but I got ahead on things like insurance, I paid the 6 month premium up front instead of paying the monthly payments), take a nice get away and replenish our savings. Sam also gets to come home just as I am about at the end of my single parenting rope (not really, I adore my boy. I just need my husband home so I can adore watching my husband take care of my boy).

Although, I do have to say that God's people have been amazing. I have had so much help the past few weeks. Many people have been gracious enough to watch Nathaniel for me while I work, invite me over for dinner so I don't have to cook with a nauseous tummy, and have let me hang out at their homes so I can have adult conversation. My neighbors have been amazing and Lee has come over every day to scoop cat poop. As I looked around church today (and also later, at the going away party) I realized that these people truly are my family. But, that is for another post with lots of great pictures and fun stories.

So much for a short entry!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

2 posts in one day...

So, I realized I recapped our week, but I didn't share some of the really juicy stuff. Besides, I take part in a blogger's POW (Post of the Week) and I wanted some interesting stuff to share besides VBS news and a rant on those who judge my amazing students without knowing them.


I started showing my pregnancy this week. Sam is bummed that he missed the transition (again), and I'm bummed that it happened so early (12 weeks vs. 16 weeks). I guess it's true that my stomach will never be the same again (I was hoping that my tummy would be an exception to the rule...*sigh*). I have also started to prepare Nathaniel for his little brother or sister.

We started out with generalizations. Talking about how cool it was that he was big now. That he could do cool big kid stuff like look at books and color and slide. Then we started adding number 2 to our prayers. Praying that Nathaniel would be a good big brother and that number 2 would be a good little brother/sister and that they would be friends and love each other. Then, after I had my last ultra sound, I sat down with Nathaniel and pointed to the picture of the baby and told him that the baby was in my tummy and that he would have a little brother or sister like his friends Eli and Vivi do.

Today as I got Nathaniel into the car I asked him, "Nathaniel, where is your little brother or sister?" and he immediately patted my lower stomach (where the baby actually is, not just my fat!). I said, "Can you say hi to the baby?" and he leaned over and said, "Hi Baby!". How cute!

I've been careful to refer to number 2 as the little brother or sister because I know that Nathaniel is going to have a hard time giving up mommy. Especially with Sam gone he's been ultra clingy so I keep saying that now I will have 2 babies.

Here's hoping. I'm trying to lay the ground work for a happy, "get along" type of sibling stuff. It's got to be better than the love/hate relationship my brother and I had!

Recap of week

What a week we've had (and it's not yet over!). We've had a full week of VBS and some regular church activities, along with helping friends out with watching children and hanging out with friends the Grummons' household is exhausted!

Every morning we were at church by 8am so I could start to make sure all of our helpers were doing what they were supposed to (they were awesome!). We got to leave around noon, except for the days I had meetings and other activities. Those days I loaded Nathaniel up with a friend and stuck around church to plan calender stuff or throw water balloons at the teenagers. One day we had lunch with other VBS people and one day I actually got to go home and try to take a nap. It didn't work out so well.

Today I'm throwing Nathaniel in the tub after lunch, putting him down for a nap and putting my feet up. My apartment desperately needs a cleaning (dusting, vacuming, bathroom and floors type of cleaning) but that can wait, I suppose. What's one more day? The dishes are caught up and the garbage has gone out, so it's not filthy, just a little dusty.

Tonight we have our VBS celebration party. Tomorrow I'm walking a 5K with a friend (early morning), watching a student dance at the festival and hanging out with people for awhile at the Cypress festival (our band plays at 4pm).

Eesh! No wonder I'm so tired which also sets off the nausea. I need a nap!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I wonder if people around me know how fiercely devoted I am to my students? I mean, I am like a mother hen to these kids. I try to keep them in line and I expect them to act like real human beings (meaning I don't take crap from them and don't allow them to give crap to others). But, if someone speaks ill of my students generally, does that person really think I'm not going to jump to the defense of my students?

This week is the week our church is putting on Vacation Bible School. It's a huge deal. We have between 200-250 kids at our church learning about Jesus and doing fun things like walking on water (corn starch and water, try it, it's so cool!), making volcanoes, and singing crazy songs. In order for this to happen successfully we have over 100 volunteers taking the week to spend time loving these kids. Many of these volunteers are our high school and junior high students who are giving up a week of sleeping in and going to the beach to help out. These students are AMAZING! They willingly hold hands with the kids, allow themselves to be jumped on numerous times, and patiently teach the students what it means to follow Jesus. I'm so proud!

Today at lunch I was sitting with a group of teachers. Our students are not allowed to be teachers, they are only allowed to be crew leaders (lead small group discussions, and make sure no one gets lost). I asked them how their crew leaders were doing. I wanted to make sure that they were all doing their jobs and no one was slacking. They all said that there were no problems at all. But, then one person started saying that junior high and high school kids should not be allowed to help because they were too immature.

I immediately jumped to the defense of my students. Singing their praises and talking about how great the students were doing. Especially since this person just had no complaints at all! Today alone 5 of my kids (junior high aged) helped with the Bible story. They helped make sure the kids didn't make a mess, and then they spent 45 minutes cleaning up, including scrubbing corn starch out of the carpet! No one asked them to do that, they did it voluntarily!

These are amazing kids who I am so proud of. No one has any right to tell me that they aren't responsible enough. Back off! Gosh, I love these kids! (2.5 weeks until camp!!!!)

Monday, July 21, 2008 figures.

I missed a phone call from Sam tonight. That sucks. My phone rang while I was putting Nathaniel to bed and I didn't hear it ring. I don't know if he'll call back. He did leave a message though. The stupid Army extended his time so he won't be home until August 3rd. That means that we will get exactly 2 weeks together this summer without school.

I don't know how I will be able to do this for two more weeks. Nathaniel can't do this anymore either. He has started not going to bed when I put him down. I don't know if it's a '2 year old' thing or if it is a 'Sam being gone' thing. Regardless, I'm so sad.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sam Update.

Sam had the day off yesterday so we got to talk for quite awhile on the phone. It was really nice. He is sore and tired but really satisfied with what he's doing. He said that if he didn't have school and if it wasn't so rough on the family he would totally volunteer to go again. That's my hero :).

He will give a detailed update when he gets back, which should be next weekend sometime (crossing fingers that he is home in time for the Weaver going away party).

On some unfortunate news...Sam's unit is being dumb. They have 10 full time students in their unit and the commander just sent an order down stating that everybody had to go to the 2 week Annual Training in September and the 3 week training in November (since they don't know who will be going to Kosovo in January, everyone is getting ready to go, including Sam...eep!). Sam is trying to figure out what is going on with all of that. Are these students supposed to put everything on hold in the case that they might go to Kosovo? What really sucks for us is that Sam is supposed to graduate in December and that just won't happen if he misses another semester. Plus, if he does get deployed in January that puts off graduation for another year and a half! 7 units left and he can't get a break. Not to mention that I really need Sam around this semester while I finish up my schooling and work at church...sigh.

If you think of it, pray.

Nathaniel is doing well. We have reached an understanding. Anytime he hits anyone, or any animal, he gets a swat on the butt and time out. He needs to realize consequences, and time out is simply too pleasant for him because he will hit and then go to time out on his own accord. His talking has taken off. He is speaking in sentences now. "Mommy, I spill milk!" "Mommy, look!!" "Mommy, lunch!!" and "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" A billion times a day...
We went to the beach on Thursday and Nathaniel had a blast. He loved the water and I literally had to keep both hands on him at all times because he was diving head first into the waves. I swear, that kid has no fear! Looking forward to Sam coming back and going to the beach as a family. Sam will enjoy this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Doctor.

I had my first appt. with my new OB Dr. today. It was very reassuring and I know I'm going to be well taken care of. First of all, she shares her practice so she won't be burned out and ready to quit by the time I'm finished with this pregnancy! Secondly, I was given a full exam, which never happened with my other doctor at all. Plus, when I jumped on the scale there were no comments about my weight gain, in fact I was encouraged since I've only gained 5 pounds so far (not bad for nearly being through my first trimester) and that was comparing home weight with doctor scale (which is always different). I was very encouraged.

On a more concerning note, my new doctor actually remembered me from my delivery two years ago. She helped Dr. Kimber during my complications. That was interesting (how many babies are born a year and she remembered my complications exactly!) but what concerned me was that she isn't convinced that the complications were what I was told. I was told that my uterus turned inside out on it's own accord due to placenta accreta (where the placenta embeds itself so far in the uterus that it turns the uterus inside out and takes it with during delivery). That may be the case, but it also could be the case that my Dr. pulled on the umbilical cord to get the placenta out and that caused my (life threatening) complications. Sigh. I am going to fight a lot more this time around for my patient rights. Things like no pitocen and the ability to walk around during labor and natural delivery of the placenta...

I also got to have another ultra sound (so she could make sure my due date is accurate) and she also told me that she didn't want me to have another big baby like Nathaniel. I think that I am just going to have to tell her that A. Big babies run in Sam's family and B. My body handled carrying the big baby just fine. My pushing was minimal and all went well. I don't want to be induced and I don't want a preterm baby just so my baby is smaller.

The ultra sound was awesome. My baby looks like a baby now (as opposed to a lima bean) and was sucking its thumb and had the hiccups for a little bit.

That's about it here. No word from Sam since Saturday! I'm sure he's fine, just busy busy busy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nathaniel's 2nd Birthday.

My little boy is two years old. I can hardly believe how quickly time has flown by. It seems like only a few months ago that I was up half the night, praying for more than 45 minutes of sleep in a row and now I find myself up at 6am, praying for an hour more of sleep. I guess some things don't change much!

We had a really nice party. We invited some families from our small group Bible Study and some close friends and had a bbq at the park (okay, I heated hot dogs on the grill and threw bags of chips and watermelon at the kids...but it counts!). It was really nice because the kids could all play on the play equipment in between food, cake and the pinata and it was just really laid back.

Of course, Sam missed it, but one of my friends snapped a bunch of pictures with my camera (thank goodness! I was so busy with everything I just didn't have a free minute to do so!) so he will get to see those memories. Plus, we are going to have our own birthday celebration for Nathaniel when Sam gets back (since we haven't bought his present yet...eep!).

Here is a slide show of the day. I really enjoy some of these photos.

It seems like since turning 2 Nathaniel has blossomed. He is singing constantly and making up stories according to the pictures. He is also starting to really get his sentences down. Things like, "Mommy! I spill milk on chin!" What really cracks me up his how his inner-geek is already starting to show. The other day he woke up from his nap and was asking to watch Jeopardy. Ha!

That's about it here. Haven't talked to Sam since Saturday. But he said he thinks he will be home around the 26th. I hope so...I'm so ready for him to come back!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What a way to wake up.

Nathaniel is missing Sam in his own way. Namely, he is super clingy right now and melts down if I leave his presence. I am sad for him because he just doesn't understand why daddy is not here. Every morning he goes into the bedroom and starts moving pillows around calling, "Daddy!".

This morning my neighbors (not the ones who live in my building, the ones next door) were out blaring their car music early. I was already up, but I could imagine it sucked for others. As I was leaving for church I noticed as one of the guys out by the car peed by the dumpster! I was sickened and wished I had my phone with me so I could call the police. I did not need to see that, and we don't need our dumpster smelling like urine.


Thursday, July 10, 2008


I just got off of the phone with Sam. Ugh.

Here I was comforting myself (and others) thinking that Sam was doing normal National Guard type stuff. Whenever they call the guard in it is to do things like transport fire fighters and evacuate people, nothing dangerous. Well, for the first time a private company has hired the military to do actual fire fighting stuff. Like dig ditches and build fire breaks and actually work near the fire and be in danger.

Ugh. Do I watch the news? Do I just ignore t.v. and love on my kid even more? I think that this is just the way it has to be when expecting a child in our household. Sam must be gone in a dangerous area. Maybe it keeps my mind off of other things.

It also looks like Sam will be gone the entire 30 days. That sucks because it means that right after he gets back from fire fighting, I get to go to camp for a week. That means it will be 6 weeks separated with only a weekend of seeing each other. So much for summer being a chance to reconnect!

But, we are still planning our anniversary mini-vaca to San Diego. We're taking the kid to Sea World. I figured he would enjoy that better than the zoo (more interactive).

Sigh. It's only been 4 days...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's funny...

It's odd that even though it has been two years since Sam's deployment to Iraq I quickly fall into the routine of him being gone without even batting an eye. I wonder if it's problematic? I mean, shouldn't I at least have some problems functioning without my other half? Don't get me wrong. I miss him like crazy, and for more reasons than being the sole one on diaper duty! I miss adult conversation and the comfort of having the one person who really knows me (and who loves me in spite of knowing me) around.

Happily, the pregnancy is going well. Minimal morning sickness (hooray!!!), but a lot of fatigue. It doesn't help that Nathaniel boycotted the nap today. Doesn't he understand that mommy needed a nap!?

Birthday plans are starting to take shape. We are still having the party on Monday, even though daddy will miss it. This way he gets two birthdays. I suppose that's fair, considering last year he had three birthdays...I even let him open a present that came in the mail today. I figured a new toy would distract him for awhile. Hooray for Mr. Potato Head!

So, that's about it here. We are doing well. The apartment is clean (really, I actually cleaned the bathroom yesterday and have stayed on top of dishes and vacuuming!) and I'm caught up at work. Tomorrow I'm hoping to actually write my teaching for Sunday. That will put me way ahead of the game!

I hope the next 2 1/2 weeks go quickly so Sam can be home safe and sound.

I will close on this funny: Today Sam called me and told me he was issued boxers by the Army. They are getting flame retardant everything! I guess I found that amusing...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My poor type A personality just can't handle this...

For those people who know me well, you know that I don't handle changes in plans very well. Needless to say, this has been a rough weekend.

First of all, I forgot how hormonal I get when I'm pregnant. Even though the nausea has been minimal this time around I'm so stinkin' moody! I cry at the drop of a hat and I snap at Sam without meaning to. At least Sam is being very understanding...I hope. I try to apologize and at least I'm thinking before I speak in general public. No poor innocent bystanders struck by my raging pregnany hormones.

On top of that, Sam has been called up to go help with the fires here in Cali. I'm not upset about that, he's doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing, helping out with state emergencies. It's just frustrating because it's so last minute (hence the term emergency) and I have to scramble to find child care so I can be a responsible worker.

I guess having Sam leave, even for just a short amount of time, and being pregnant kind of brings everything back from the last time around. Not fun, especially since this time I'm chasing around a very rambunctious (and surprisingly whiney) 2 year old. And, Sam will probably miss Nathaniel's birthday.

Enough of the pity party. I don't need the cake anyways...

Washington was very cool. It was nice to see my family. We actually didn't do too much sight seeing stuff because my poor tummy wasn't up to a lot of windy driving, but we did go to some parks and one day all of the adults went for a long walk while my siblings watched the niece and nephews. That was great fun because when we were as far away as we could get it started pouring rain and thundering and lightening, so there we were running in the rain. It was great fun, although I wished I wasn't wearing jeans!

Here are some pictures (finally). I actually didn't get too many. I guess I was too busy living in the moment.

We definitely were sad to leave. Nathaniel is still wandering around the house calling, "Bryan!".

More later this week to let you know how we are surviving as a team.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Going without any outside pressure.

Well, I have returned from Washington and had a great trip. I will share those stories later once my head is on straight and I have finished all of my prep for teaching. For now, I have big news (not as big as "we're having another baby" but still, big).

Today Nathaniel went #2 on the potty without us asking him if he needed to go! He got down from his booster chair, walked over to the bathroom and plainly said, "potty! poop!". So, we went and he actually went!!!

I am so happy and relieved (no pun intended-ha). I've come across quite a few late blooming boys lately who are close to four and still not completely potty trained. Even though Nathaniel is not quite two, I was starting to have those nightmares that he would be one of those kids (which is fine, I just didn't want to deal with it myself!).

We'll see if this continues!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Anglican Benedictine Spirituality

I had the blessing to go up to Mt. Calvary Monastery and Retreat Center in Santa Barbara for an overnight, individual retreat. It was beautiful, relaxing, sublime and holy. They are Anglican (Episcopal) monks in the the tradition of St. Benedict. The Divine Offices were quite serene, singing chants and hearing scripture read. It was a chance to see and participate in a tradition of Christian spirituality that is deep and ancient yet new and alien to me. It was great.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On Vacation

Nathaniel and I are in Washington State right now visiting my brother's family and my mom and siblings (they drove in from Iowa). It is good to be here. Nathaniel is having an absolute blast running around with his cousins (Brian is 2 years older than him) and I'm having a good time just visiting family. Today we went to Scenic Beach (oh so different than a California beach. No swimming!) and Nathaniel threw rocks into the water for an hour. He was so content. Tired (no nap today), but content.

I'm feeling well. I have only gotten the pukes once this week and that was partially due to driving in the windy mountain roads so...yeah. I hope that this time around is much, much better.

I just wanted to check in and let people know we are alive and well. I will update later this weekend after I prep for Sunday's teaching. I haven't had much time to prep yet, but that's what Saturday is for (shhhh....don't tell!).