May 25, 2011

Wrapping Up My Thoughts.

I started typing up a long, detailed post full of deep thoughts and nice sounding words. Things I’ve learned and things I’ve struggled with in these last few months. But the more I typed, the less I liked it. So here are the main points in their most simplistic form:

*Our current deployment is almost over. Praise the Lord. The thought of life returning to normal brings tears of joy to my eyes. (Although that's not saying much. My emotional and stress levels are at an all-time high and my mascara gets reapplied many times a day.)

*This deployment has been harder than the first one; partly because he was only home for 3 1/2 months between them; partly because of the waves of ALL. THE. THINGS. GOING. WRONG. AT. ONCE; but mostly because I miss my husband so, so much.

*There are some things that the Lord has shown me in these last months:

1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

2 Samuel 7:18 Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?

These verses spoke to me when I started to feel sorry for myself. God has brought me so far. He has done so many great things for me. And why? Because I’m good? I’m not. Because He made a mistake? He doesn’t. Because He wants me to be a really happy person? No. Because He loves me. Because He has set me apart. He has anointed me. He has called me to His purpose. Because He has brought me this far.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

So as it turns out, I don’t have to try to be strong all the time. And then wonder why I fail. In fact when I try to be strong all the time, and don’t acknowledge my weaknesses, I’m not letting God’s power be used and shown. I’m not great at asking for help. But this deployment I mastered the “Can you take the kids for me” text to my sister and father-in-law. Something I had done on occasion before, but always felt like a burden to do often. And I even let someone get me some milk at the store once. Something I never would have felt comfortable asking for before. But then I got to see God’s power. As if he was saying, “See? Just let me help. I can do it so much better than you can on your own!”

Deuteronomy 32:6 Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.

God hears my cries and He gives me comfort when I am sad. But when I start feeling sorry for myself, this verse reminds me that He has established me. Who am I to whine about the life he has given me? He has given me this life and put me in this place for His purpose and His reason; even if I don’t understand His purpose or reason, yet.

*I still stand by my 3 rules of deployment. When your husband deploys the following things WILL HAPPEN:

1. The kids will get sick. Each one of them. Multiple times. We had hand, foot and mouth disease, ruptured ear drum, a few stomach episodes, one allergic reaction to ant bites, one undiagnosed rash that I chose to ignore because I was OVER. IT.

2. Appliances/Vehicles will stop working the way they should. We were without air conditioning in our home for almost 2 weeks – in May – in West Texas, the roof of our home was completely totaled in a storm – not an appliance but falls under this heading, but at least the vehicle has been reliable – so far. And by reliable, I mean guzzling gas one $100-tank at a time.

3. Time will crawl. This deployment, I decided not to keep track of days or weeks or even months until he came home or since he had left. We had our Daddy Day chart with activities on it for each week – but we started with 20, and I didn’t count them or look at it much as we went, so as not to know how long until it was over. I’m not sure if this helped or hindered the waiting. It still feels like I haven’t seen my husband in forever. It still feels like every day gets longer and longer. I hear people say, “It’s already the end of May?!? Where did the time go?” and I think, “Oh my gosh, it’s only Tuesday! Why did time stop moving!?!”

*Today we are going on our very last Daddy Day. We will be hitting up Chuck-E-Cheese this afternoon for some good, family fun and to possibly pick up a case of who-knows-what as we touch everything we see and then put our fingers in our mouths and noses. It’s going to be great.

*This will probably be my last post for a few weeks. But I will be back later this summer to post pictures from our upcoming Most Awesome Koper Family Vacation Ever. So be preparing yourselves for some awesomeness.

May 18, 2011

Whew!

So far, May has been a busy and exciting month for the Koper Four. Thankfully the sooner May comes to a close, the closer we are to being the Koper Five once again! Here’s a recap of our month so far:

The kids and I drove up to Kansas, to see my BFF (cause, you know – we’re 7th grades), Michelle and her hubby Kenny. I was so excited to visit with them before they have their baby, even if it was just for a few days and even if it meant 16 hours in the car with my kids. It was totally worth it. I had a blast with my sweet, sweet friends. They loved on my kids and were gracious hosts and fed us well! I sure wish we could get together more often! Michelle and Kenny – love you guys!

While we were there we went to Tanganyika Wildlife Park. It was the coolest place! We may have paid $2 for a craisin but it was totally worth it when we got to feed it to a Lemur, and when Michelle was smart enough to tear the craisins into even smaller pieces and make the most of it!

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 DSCN4916 DSCN4917 DSCN4919 DSCN4922 DSCN4923 (If you know me well, you know this was a huge – to hold Gabby up and help her feed a bird – I am not a big fan of birds! In fact a second after this picture was taken, Michelle touched my leg and I screamed and nearly dropped Gabby. The bird feeding was then over! I will take my revenge on Michelle when she least expects it.)

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After the park, we went for a walk and Steven took his job of walking Brea VERY seriously. He was such a big boy!

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Our weekend was way to short. I hope to see Michelle and baby Carson later this summer, though!

This past week, my Aunt Sheila and my cousin, Alicia came out to visit us from Indiana. I may sound like a broken record but we enjoyed out time with them so, so much. The time they spent here just went by too fast! We didn’t do anything exciting, unless you consider the Abilene Zoo and Jason’s Deli to be exciting. I do. But we had great conversation, recalled wonderful memories and got a little motion sick watching home movies. We laughed until we cried. And it was such a sweet time as 4 Marsh’s spend a great week together.

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May has been a great month so far; full of wonderful friends, awesome family, a lot of laughter, new memories made, and now an air conditioner that has been broken for over a week with a forecast of mid-high 90s for the rest of the week. Guess I can’t have it all.

May 10, 2011

Haphazard Cogitations

In the last 5 days, I have spent about 20 hours in the car with my children.

I had to stop in the middle of the highway tonight to avoid hitting some goats. Yep, goats.

I have pictures, which I will upload and share soon, of my kids feeding crasins to a lemur. And riding a camel. I can feel your anticipation rising.

My sister and I took a trip down to San Angelo today. I said things like, "that's where Steve and I met" and "That's where Steve and I had our first date" and "that's where Steve and I had our first kiss" and "Steve and I used to eat there" ALL. DAY. LONG. It was very sweet, and I'm sure annoying after a while. I miss my husband. A lot.

My kids are great travelers. Praise the Lord for that!

I was drinking a coke today and Jack came up and asked, "Coke?" Wow. I must drink a lot of soda if my son who doesn't even say his brother's name, can recognise a soft drink and call it by name.

Steve and I have been talking about getting a new car, lately. It turns out the Ford Expedition - not so great on gas. We can't decide on one to start looking at because as it turns out, anything that can seat 3 kids comfortably - not so great on gas.

My sister, brother-in-law and nephew are moving away this month. And for whatever reason, I am now in time-to-move mode. Closets are being cleaned out, stuff is being sold, I caught myself going, "I should keep this big diaper box instead of putting in the recycling. It'll be good to pack stuff in."

My insurance adjuster (he's not really mine - he's ours...or just the...the insurance adjuster...) came to my house and informed me that we need a whole new roof. Cool! You mean people will be walking around and hammering up there for days on end and my children will not be able to nap?! I can't wait! He then asked me a bunch of weird questions about my house: "Are you walls painted?" Um, no sir. We just have bare drywall. Paint's over-rated.

Steven is going through a growth spurt. We stopped on the road at Cracker Barrel, where I ordered him a full-size meal, not a kids meal. He ate the entire thing and then began licking crumbs off his plate. Jack, on the other hand is disgusted by anything on a plate or in a bowl. He is living on little more than sunshine and milk right now.

I heard Gabby inform Steven the other day that if you draw something for your mommy and then you don't like it, you can just un-race it and draw something different.

The End.