27 minutes ago
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tonight the kids participated in their aunt and uncle's church program for the "hanging of the greens" for the Christmas season. There were several songs sung, brief (if historically inaccurate) explanations of the Christian symbolisms found in common Christmas decorations and traditions, and the most beautiful part of all, finishing the decorating of the church sanctuary. This included hanging wreaths from the support beams, placing lit candles in the windows, placing a wooden nativity scene beside the tree, and hanging ornaments on and lighting the tree. It was a beautiful service, and a beautiful way for everyone there to begin the holiday season.
Monday, November 24, 2008
In August when my husband left we got some news about an addition to the family. No, thankfully, it was not another child on the way. As much as we love our two little monsters, they're a bit of a handful on a good day. Knowing that little fact might make someone wonder why we would want to add any other dependent to our little family during a deployment, but my husband has always wanted a horse. Not a literal equine, but a horse of a dog. When a friend of ours bred his bull mastiff, he promised the pick of the litter. August 10th was the day that the litter made its debut, and the first week of October we were able to pick out our [relatively] little bundle of wigglesome joy.
We named him Chudleigh after Jacquie Lawson's companion and artistic muse. For those not in the know, Jacquie is a British artist whose specialty is animated e-greetings. She began by making them on a lark to send to friends and family, but the joy of her work spread and she now has dozens of adorable greetings which the children and I enjoy.
Today was Chudleigh's final booster vaccination appointment. He has grown by leaps and bounds since we first brought him home, gaining six pounds in just three weeks. The veterinarian is happy with his progress, but still warns that Chudleigh will definitely be a "horse."
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Learning and stretching ourselves is nothing new around here. Both children were chomping at the bit to got school by the time they were two years old, and my first grader is still enjoying every day thus far. I myself have been in school for about as long as they can remember, and the collegiate adventure doesn't stop at the university doors. This fall I began a course titled "Introduction to Judaism" with my local rabbi and others who were interested in either a first look or a refresher on their faith. Of course there's some preparation involved, but I enjoy the class so much. We not only learn the basics of different points in the Jewish life cycle, we also have great discussions that touch on comparisons with other faiths, with the norms and extremes within Judaism, and with how these questions and topics affect our lives. I'm making friends and getting support to get through this deployment, just through my rabbi checking with me every week to make sure things are going ok. I can't help but leave each class with a smile, always a few minutes or more behind schedule because we couldn't bear to leave our discussions without one more point or question to ponder. Fellowship, openness, support, and learning...what more could a gal ask for?
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Yes, we still live in the stone age...well, perhaps more of the pre-Industrial Revolution age. Our house does have an oil furnace, but it is defunct right now, and we enjoy the scent and relative inexpensiveness of wood heat. Today is a perfect day for that kind of joy, because it is hovering around freezing outside. The kids decided to try their luck this morning while I was cleaning the floors, and they ended up with rosy cheeks and runny noses despite being bundled up from head to toes. With a nice warm blaze to huddle near, they thawed out nicely.
There's really nothing like a wood stove in the wintertime, and I have a feeling we'll be using ours quite a bit this winter. It's only mid-November, and already we've awakened to dustings of snow on the ground outside. We'd better stock up on quilts while we're at it, or we'll find ourselves living the literal meaning of "three-dog-night."
Friday, November 21, 2008
Good question! Military families are by nature (or maybe by practicality) patriotic and sacrificial...or are we? Sure, we love this country, and some of us may bleed red, white, and blue...but not everyone really wants to be a part of the establishment. My husband joined the National Guard for several reasons. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfathers who served during WWII and afterward. He wanted to give back to his country and community. He wanted to get training and give his family a secure future.
And he wanted to compromise with his wife who didn't want him to join at all, by enlisting in the National Guard rather than the active duty Army.
Yes, I am one of the few, the proud...the ones who love our serviceman or woman, but can't wait to see that piece of paper that says "discharged." My children and I are the homefront, but only reluctantly. We are proud as punch of our soldier. We stand tall and smile broadly when he receives certificates, a promotion, or recognition. In an abstract way, we're very thankful for his willingness to serve our country. But in the boots-on-the-ground way, we just want our hero home, safe and sound, forever. That's something I think any military family could agree on.