Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Faith, trust and little pixie dust

When we moved to Central Texas earlier this year, the intent was for Husband to train to be a police officer here. The training was supposed to start in March, but it got delayed until June, which then got delayed until September. During this time, Husband and I have had the opportunity to reevaluate the course our lives should be taking. Husband is currently working on his Masters of Divinity, but only taking classes part-time. We both feel strongly that he needs to pursue his degree more aggressively by taking classes full-time. As a result, we have decide to defer his acceptance to the police academy for one year. This will allow Husband enough time pretty much complete his degree, but without completely cutting off the possibility of him becoming of a police officer. What is he going to do with a Masters of Divinity you ask? Well, right now we feel that Husband should prepare to go back to the Army as a Chaplain, and this degree prepares him to do just that. The next police training is slated to start in the fall of 2010. There is a spot for him in that class, and if after a year, we feel that we should stay here in Central Texas, and Husband should be a police officer, then he will attend that training. If not, then it will be back to the Army for us. Either way, it won't all be sorted out anytime soon. For now, we feel that God's plan is for Husband to go to school. We will take it one step at a time, praying for God's guidance every day and trusting Him to move us in the right direction.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A day in San Antonio

My Uncle from Tennessee has been in San Antonio this past week for some business. He brought his wife and granddaughter with him. Husband and I spent Saturday with them. We went to Natural Bridge Cavern and spent sometime wandering through the massive cave! It was by far the warmest cave any of us had ever been in. It was about 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) with 99% humidity!

After the cave, either because we loved being hot or we were delusional because of the heat, we decided to head to the Zoo. (I should probably point out that it has been over 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) everyday for the past 10 days here in Central Texas and yesterday was no exception.) The Zoo was so much fun! I haven't been to a zoo in a few years, and I forgot how fun it was to see all the animals. One of the monkey's had a baby that was a week old. I was lucky enough to snap a picture of it. So cute! Here are some of our favourite pictures:

Can you see the baby monkey?

We finished the day with dinner along the Riverwalk. Big, fat Texas steaks and pink lemonade for everyone as we watched the sunset over the river.

The Riverwalk follows the river through downtown San Antonio. It is lined with shops, hotels and restaurants.

It was bound to happen eventually...

My cucumber plant has succumbed to the oppressive heat of central Texas. Either that or my plant-killing streak is still alive and well. Side note, husband wanted me to title this post "Death in the family" but I thought that would be taking it a bit too far!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Deep, dark secret revealed

Last night, Michael Jackson died. If you haven't heard this news yet, you are probably living in a cave somewhere in New Mexico! Why am I writing about this? Well, my dear readers, you are about to become privy to one of my deepest, darkest secrets: Michael Jackson was my first crush. I was 8 years old, and I was sitting in a friend's bedroom. She had a poster of a young Michael Jackson on her wall. I had no idea who he was (No I hadn't been living in a cave in New Mexico, but we had just moved from Utah. Infer what you will from that statement!). I remember thinking he was one of the most handsome guys I had ever seen and I knew I was in love. In the years that followed that moment (It's none of your business as to how many years it has been!) whenever I heard a Michael Jackson song, saw him on TV, or on a tabloid in the supermarket check-out, my mind would travel back to that poster and the memory of my very first crush. I have to wonder what will happen to this memory once all this media hoopla calms down. He will no longer be on TV or in the tabloids, so there will be fewer opportunities to draw this memory to the surface. Thank goodness they will still play his music, and the memory of my first crush will survive.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another good-bye....

I know. I know. Two posts in less then 24 hours. Calm down everyone! Don't get used to this! This is just a quick post anyway. My little brother, Jon (well, I guess he's not so little anymore!) just went to the Missionary Training Centre in Provo, Utah, where he will spend 3 weeks preparing for his mission to Houston, Texas. I am sad because I didn't get a chance to go up to Canada to visit him before he left. I won't be able to see or talk to him for 2 years. The last time I saw him was over a year ago. I guess that will have to do. We were able to spend a week together traveling across the country, and for a 19 year old boy, that is probably enough bonding time with his oldest sister to last him a lifetime!

I titled this "another good-bye" because this is the third missionary my mother has sent out since March 2008, when another brother left for a mission to Peru. My sister, Mandy, left in January for a mission to Arizona. And now this one. I don't know if my mother is going to stop crying!

Jon, I know you won't read this (you never read my blog), but good luck! I'll see you in 2 years!

At the Boston Harbour, April 2008

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When we are quick to judge, we must be quick to apologize

I have started to listen to the Dr. Laura show on my drive home from work. Most of the time I think that this woman is too harsh and blunt with her callers, but I guess that's what she feels she needs to do. It's her show, she can do what she wants. And I still listen...Anyway. At the beginning of her show today she shared something that moved me to tears. I have verified this on snopes.com and it is true. The following letter appeared in the Arizona Republic on June 23 2005:

Dear Editor
Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird special? Any response would be appreciated.

A few days later, this letter appeared in the same newspaper:

Regarding "A wake-up call from Luke's jets" (Letters, Thursday): On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship flyby of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques.
Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May30, Memorial Day. At 9 a.m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend. Based on the letter writer's recount of the flyby, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured. A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects. The letter writer asks, "Whom do we thank for the morning air show?" The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Lt. Col. Scott Pleus CO 63rd Fighter Squadron
Luke AFB

WOW eh? By the time Dr. Laura was finished reading this letter, I was crying. While the first part of this story is humbling and a realization that we don't always know the full story, I think the lesson comes in what Dr. Laura did not share. The writer of the first letter wrote another letter to the editor in response to Lt. Col. Pleus' letter. I found it on snopes.com:

I read with increasing embarrassment and humility the response to my unfortunate letter to The Republic concerning an Air Force flyby ("Awake-up call from Luke's jets," Letters, June 23).I had no idea of the significance of the flyby, and would never have insulted such a fine and respectful display had I known.I have received many calls from the fine airmen who are serving or have served at Luke, and I have attempted to explain my side and apologized for any discomfort my letter has caused. This was simply an uninformed citizen complaining about noise.I have been made aware in both written and verbal communications of the four-ship flyby, and my heart goes out to each and every lost serviceman and woman in this war in which we are engaged. I have been called un-American by an unknown caller and I feel that I must address that. I served in the U.S. Navy and am a Vietnam veteran. I love my country and respect the jobs that the service organizations are doing. Please accept my heartfelt apologies.

This man, obviously humiliated, had the courage and the humility to publicly admit that he was at fault and to tried to make things right. If it was me, I probably would have moved to Vermont and changed my name! I commend and admire this man for his courage and hope that I can apply this lesson in my life.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Service Auction

Last night for Relief Society Enrichment, we had a service auction. I had never heard of a service auction before, and I had my doubts as to how it would turn out, but I went anyway. Boy am I glad I went! What a great activity! It was so much fun and the services that people offered were amazing! Women offered everything imaginable: babysitting, baked bread, house cleaning, haircuts, dinners, quilts, wreath making lessons, jewelery making lessons, photo shoots, tutoring and the list goes on and on. I was amazed at what was offered. The women at my church are extremely talented! The best part was no money changed hands! We were awarded points based on our answers to a questionnaire. We received points for things such as how many things we donated to the auction, how often we exercised (I didn't get points for that one!), service we had given over the past month and even whether or not we brushed our teeth that morning! One woman offered eyebrow waxing, which I desperately wanted! Since moving here to Central Texas, I have tried 4 different waxing places and have not found one I like. Take, for example, my latest attempt to find a great waxing place: I have one eyebrow shorter than the other! Anyway. When this service can up for bidding, I was ready. I had a lot of points and was willing to use all of them. The bidding was intense between me and my friend Sam. Unfortunately for me, she got a ton of points because she has kids, so she was able to out bid me! But it's okay. There are no hard feelings...really...I think. I haven't removed her from my facebook friends yet! At the end of the night, I did end up "winning" a loaf of banana bread, a Christmas wreath making lesson and a super cute child's apron (which I think the girl I nanny will love). This is one of the best Relief Society activities I have been to! It was so fun to hear the good-natured competition during the bidding, and it was great to see what the women had to offer. I cannot wait for the next one...and maybe I will brush my teeth that day so I can get a few extra points!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Talk about bad timing!

I have been playing phone tag for a couple of weeks with a dear friend. Somehow, we keep missing each other (you know how life is!). Anyway. Today I found myself with some time and so I decided to give her a call on her cell phone. The phone rang and rang. I was getting ready to leave a message when a male voice answered. I was confused at first, but asked for my friend anyway. The male voice (I think it was her husband) said that she couldn't talk because she was busy having a baby right then, but that she would call me back! Oops! Talk about bad timing! I am pretty sure she won't be calling me back for a couple of weeks, but I am okay with that!