Monday, October 24, 2011

Savannah, GA

Pictured above: Tyson Hacienda

I was replying to a friend's email and realized, I could just as easily write on here. Copy. Paste. So, in trying to not stay gone for another year, I will try to catch everyone up with where we are and what's going on:

Questions posed to me: How is Dave? What is new with you guys?

Dave? Who's Dave? Oh! You mean my husband. Ha! Funny. Oh wait, you mean I'm supposed to see him on a regular basis? ;) I'll see him in 2 years when we PCS again...or ETS. With his training schedule and the different operations they perform, we see him sleeping and occasionally a day off once a month and in between deployments. ;)

We live in a great neighborhood where there are 7 or 8 battalion families in our neighborhood
. We literally live two houses down from one, five from another, six from another (opposite direction), and across the street and down from two more. Three have kids around Victoria's age, I hope we can have play dates on a regular basis. I have gone walking with two ladies a few times.

Victoria is doing wonderfully well. I am so amazed and blessed in and through her. The Lord has truly made my cup overflow through this two foot hobbit. Who'da thunk? She started walking at 9 months and running at 9 months two weeks. ;) She and Ruth are BFF, constantly cuddling and playing tag. We have this crinkle/rattle ball we tie to Victoria's wrist that Ruth thinks is HER toy. Needless to say, Victoria has figured it out and will taunt Ruth swinging it in her face then proceeding to run throughout the house waving her arms like a cheerleader. Ruth eventually caves. Next thing we hear is this low, deep, deep, bubbling laughter/giggle as Ruth pulls Victoria around the house, ball in mouth. Victoria thinks it is the neatest thing ever. Ruth thinks it's the greatest game ever.

Living arrangements. The Lord allowed us to buy this house and what a beautiful home it has proven to be. It has two levels with two living areas, which is perfect since we are living with Charlie and Dad (Bapa Joe Joe). Dad and Charlie have their own space upstairs: living room, computer area, bathrooms, bedrooms, and laundry room. Victoria's room is also upstairs, but for the most part we stay downstairs. I'll take pictures of the house and try to post them later. I promise I'll try to follow through on this one.

It's been a year since my last post. How fitting that we are about to go back to the same city which was the subject of my last post: Las Vegas. My brother Adam better hide now, I'll be using tracking systems to find him.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Care Package Ideas...

Hi guys! Everyone keeps asking me what Dave (or our brothers) need/want in a care package, so here are a few ideas of what I've sent him or am thinking about doing. If you are interested in sending him (or our brothers) one and do not have his mailing address, please email me and I'll be delighted to give it to you.

With Halloween coming up, you could always send a Halloween Themed Care Package:
Bite Sized Assortment of any candy (Dave has a sweet mouth, not a sweet tooth)
Spider Webs, decorations in orange and black.

Next is Thanksgiving:
You could send him a cornucopia of goodies and decorations. I know that may sound corny to some people, but when you are stuck in the sand box for a year, the decorations we find in elementary schools do an amazing job of cheering these grown men up. Maybe even have your child's Sunday school make turkeys out of their hands and write what they are thankful for - soldier related. For example: Thankful for: freedoms, choose my own breakfasts, choose what to wear each day, be able to speak freely, not have to worry about attacks, freedom to live where I want, work where I want, live how I want, freedom to praise God any time I want, however I want, where ever I want, freedom to read my Bible without fear of being punished, etc. Maybe include a mini pecan pie, or pumpkin pie filling, can of cranberry, instant potatoes (he LOVES these) etc. anything Thanksgiving related that you could send.

Then comes Christmas:
Dad you could send him one of your fiber optic trees that rotates. ;) Maybe ask one of the children's Sunday school classes to make homemade ornaments for his tree, or make them yourself. I was thinking about buying those clear plastic ornaments and stuffing them with different scripture verses. You could always make an advent calendar with pictures from home behind each calendar date. Sugar cookies with green and red icing, maybe apple cider, cranberry juice, whatever makes you think of Christmas. Maybe even some Christmas music on a CD so he could burn it to his iTunes, or an iTunes gift card so he could download Christmas music. A Santa hat would be cute and a stocking.

On his list right now of things he has asked me for are the following:
peppermint gum
tropical trident gum
beef jerky
trail mix
miracle whip free (mayo)
tuna packs
Sour skittles
york peppermint patties
gold fish
mint melano cookies
peanut butter
propel drink packets
snickers marathon protein bars
braided pretzels
rice krispie treats
Almonds in a can (he likes the habanero bbq flavor)
Mixed nuts
oatmeal pies
oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies
instant coffee single serve packets (like the ones from starbucks)
kettle corn pop corn
hot chocolate

irish springs body wash
zip lock bags (quart size) with zipper on top
air fresheners
baby wipes
hand sanitizer
toothbrush spin heads for electric toothbrushes
dryer sheets (smells good)
yummy smelling candles
pocket warmers (it's about to start getting cold over there)
fleece blanket
smartwool socks (black or hunter green)

He'll be tickled pink with just about anything you send him, it's the thought that counts. He loves getting mail. Even if it is just a post card with your favorite Bible verse on it, he'd love it. He is really hungry right now for encouraging scripture, so please send him note cards with your favorite scripture on it.
Get creative, use these ideas as a spring board. And if you have any suggestions, I am ALL EARS!!! I know there are so many wonderful things we could do for our soldiers, and this isn't even the tip of the ice burg.

Aside from all of the above, the most important thing he needs/wants is our prayers. They've been hit pretty hard in the short time they've been there. I think we lost 2 guys the first week, 2 more guys the first month and then an additional 2 less than 2 weeks ago, plus countless wounded. We are trusting in the Lord and covet your prayers. If there is anything else you can think of, please send me a message or post one on here and I'll get back to you shortly.
Thank you for stopping by and for praying for Dave and our two brothers who are also deployed.

Here are some recent pics:

Baby Girl Tyson is getting closer to making her grand appearance. 6 weeks left. ;) We are so excited!!!

Bo Bo, the squishiest pup ever. Or as Joe Joe likes to call him, the cheese log. I prefer Bobo Beggins b/c he is always ready for your scraps.

My little princess, aka: Ruth, Ruth Ann, Ruthanator, or the "In Shape Shoat".
I am blessed beyond measure. I pray you and your loved ones are doing well in our Lord, Jesus. Thanks again for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

7.5 months down...

Maybe another 1.5 to 2.5 to go? :)

That's a crazy thought. I'm sitting here watching my belly move on its own, it's freaky and cool all at the same time. This little girl is stretching, kicking, punching, and becoming a very good tap dancer/rockette and my bladder is paying the price. :)

Ruth Ann just laid her head on top of my belly and I silently laughed knowing she was in for a rude awakening. Sure enough, not even 1 minute goes by and the baby girl is literally kicking Ruth's chin as if to say, "I'm cramped in here and need more room, MOVE OVER!!!" The look on her face is priceless. It makes me wonder how much Ruth knows or understands about what's going on inside my belly. Does she have any idea that in less than 3 months she will be playing 2nd fiddle to a new member of the family?

Until then, I'm enjoying watching my belly roll, swirl, shift, bounce, and jump as if pop corn is exploding inside. :D The Lord is truly amazing and continues to humble me with every kick.

In the mean time, here are some pictures from my recent trip to visit my older brother, Adam in Las Vegas. Cindy, Adam and I had a wonderful time. The Lord blessed us with wonderful, dry, hot weather. ;)

The three of us before heading to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. Adam was a FABULOUS tour guide. I don't think he got paid enough for the torture he endured. :) You can't tell, but I'm 7 months pregnant in this picture.

Cindy hugging her grand-baby in the belly while simultaneously being in two states and two time zones at one time. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself.

If you look you can see an eagle with his wings spread out as if he's about to land or snatch up a fish.

Baby Tyson (7 months) and me on the edge of the Grand Canyon. The Lord's glory was awe inspiring. How anyone can visit here and not clearly see His craftsmanship is beyond me.

More pictures to follow; I need to download them first. :) Good night. God bless you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Deployment Stinks!!!!

Picture of the Na'Pali Coast from our recent island hop to Kauai.

I'm not really much into talking right now. I think I am all talked out. 11 Days into deployment and the Lord has really kept my mind preoccupied. I'm meeting all kinds of new and wonderful people, volunteering more at church, and am meeting one on one with a fabulous woman named Winter who loves the Lord. I still make my obligatory trips to the beach every other day. :) Someone's gotta do it. And of course the pregnancy hormones are in full swing, so you never know what you're going to get (or who). I've definitely been crying way more easily...not sure if that is b/c of the hormones or Dave.

Of course when Dave leaves, I have NO VISITORS lined up at all! But, the Lord gently reminds me of a fabulous verse in Hosea 5 where He says, "I will allure her into the dessert and there I will speak tenderly to her." I'm glad I have nothing or no one to run to, He is stretching me and guiding me into a deeper relationship with Him. I only wished it didn't take deployment to teach me these lessons. I'm embarrassed to admit that.

Baby Tyson (no we still cannot agree on a name, please pray the Lord gives Dave wisdom and discernment b/c he has not taste ;) j/k), is doing well. I call her my little Mexican jumping bean. I can't find my ultra sound pictures, but as soon as I find them I'll post them. Here is the most recent belly shot.

Ruth Ann, ever so vigilant.

Dave and me on a boat ride down the Na'Pali Coast.
Na'Pali Coast
Waimea meets Na'Pali Coast...I think.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jesus Calling

Talk about a good wake up call/slap in the face?! I was reading through scripture this morning and had several toes stepped on. Then I started reading today's entry in "Jesus Calling" which said:

"Thank Me for the very things that are troubling you. You are on the brink of rebellion, precariously close to shaking your fist in My Face. You are tempted to indulge in just a little complaining about My treatment of you. But once you step over that line, torrents of rage and self-pity can sweep you away. The best protection against this indulgence is thanksgiving. It is impossible to thank Me and curse Me at the same time.

Thanking Me for trials will feel awkward and contrived at first. But if you persist, your thankful words, prayed in faith, will eventually make a difference in your heart. Thankfulness awakens you to My Presence, which overshadows all your problems."
-Psalm 116:17 and Philippians 4:4-6

The last two days I have been having the best little pity party EVER! Yesterday I was having an "ugly day". It didn't matter how many times Dave told me I was beautiful, I would laugh at him and cry at my reflection in the mirror at the same time. I think I even asked him to stop lying to me at one point. Add on top of that, my bulging belly is growing so quickly I cannot wear any of my pants/shorts or skirts. A wonderfully talented/artistic friend offered to take pictures of Dave and me before he deploys and yesterday was our date. I rummaged through my closet thinking there had to be something I could wear. Much to my dismay, I could not wear one skirt or pair of shorts. How do you take pictures on the beach without a pretty skirt?!

So, let's review: Dave is about to deploy (2nd underlying cause of all emotions right now), hormones are raging out of control from baby Tyson growing (main cause of all emotions), we have an awesome opportunity to have pictures made by a fabulous photographer (for free!!!), I'm having an ugly day, I'm gaining weight, none of my clothes fit, not one pair of my skirts or shorts will button or zip , my eyes are puffy and swollen from crying, and I have one hour left before we are to meet said friend. Dave is trying his best to encourage me and comfort me, gently reminding me of how the weight gain is a blessing for which we are EXTREMELY thankful...but you couldn't tell me that at the time.

I finally throw on a dress/swimsuit cover up and make sure no part of me is falling or spilling out before we run out the door. We had a fabulous time and really enjoyed our afternoon with Jeff and Jenn. I'll post pictures later.

Then this morning I am awakened to a phone call from back home updating me on a friend's medical status: the cancer is back and is extremely aggressive. David Nelson's doctors are saying there is nothing more they can do but make him comfortable. He has two beautiful boys and a loving wife. My heart started breaking for them. Dave and I immediately started praying for them, asking the Father to heal David and if not, then to grant peace, comfort and His joy. So, after yesterday and with the upcoming deployment, coupled with today, I realize a few things:
1) I am extremely selfish
2) I am extremely blessed and fortunate...I have NO problems.
3) What I think is ugly and fat is beautiful baby weight I've gained from our blessing from the Lord, and is necessary for the baby's health and growth.
4) God is in control. He has our best interest in mind and is working out ALL THINGS for our good.
5) I need to spend more time thanking Him and praising Him, then I would not have enough time for pity parties.

I'm so glad the Lord is still working on me and refuses to leave me where I am and as I am. He is so merciful and graceful while I am so unworthy and in desperate need of His saving grace, loving-kindness of which He freely gives.
Please join me on our knees before our Father's Throne in prayer over the Nelson and Earley Families.
I also ask you pray for our soldiers as they leave their families to continue protecting our freedoms so selflessly.

Picture updates:

Baby Tyson

The Na Pali Coast in Kauai: Pope Family Vacation

The Pope Family in Princeville, Kauai

Sunday, February 21, 2010

No excuses!

I am a slacker! I know it and I apologize. We have had so much going on. I will do my best to give you a synopsis of this past year. Needless to say, the Lord has been faithful, He has provided for all our needs, and has made our cup to overflow with His abundant blessings. Hawaii is truly paradise. We love it and never want to leave, except you are not here. We do miss our family and close friends. Thankfully a lot of you have visited. Your visits have kept me from getting homesick, THANK YOU!!!!

-Dave was promoted to 1St Lieutenant
-He has completed several classes and the Lord has allowed him to graduate in the top of all his classes, sometimes with honors. I know Dave would never tell you that, so I will brag on what the Lord has and is doing through him.
-He swam with sharks while spear fishing along the reefs near Ko'Olina Lagoons and Resorts.
- He has taken up spear fishing and has become quite the little fisherman bringing me barracuda and trigger fish....yummy!
- He is currently in the desserts of California training for his upcoming deployment this summer.
- He will deploy for a year.

I got my state of Hawaii Department of Education Substitute Teaching Certification (much like a regular teaching certificate on the mainland) and have taught at Mililani High School. I'm really enjoying it, but will soon be looking for full time work (deployment).
- I've also been volunteering with the Army in different capacities and really enjoying it.
- I'm loving paddle boarding, snorkeling, surfing (although I need lots of practice), hiking through the rain forest, geocaching with Jen, discovering new waterfalls and trails I've yet to see, as well as whale watching and powered hang gliding. I am spoiled rotten out here!!!
- Today I finished a 5 mile obstacle course in Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Annual Swamp Romp through miles of mud 3-4 feet deep. It was a blast!!!
-Oh, and Dave pushed me off a 50 foot cliff into a pool below a waterfall. Ok, well he didn't push me, but he did bribe me. I don't think he thought I would follow through. I just needed incentive. :)

-We have enjoyed visits from our beloved family: both sets of parents on my side, Casey and Stephanie Allums, our friends Terri and Mychal Smith, and Jeff Matthews.
-Thanks to Jono, we were able to go to Minnesota to be with the entire Tyson family for Christmas and for Alex and Jess's wedding! It's the first time since the brothers were all in Basic and OCS they have been in one place at one time, not to mention Krissy and Shane and the kids. It was a wonderful trip and much needed time together.

-Ruth and Boaz (ruth-a-nator and bobo beggins) are doing wonderfully well. They are quite the companions and thanks to Bapa Joe Joe, quite the beggars. Bo has morphed into a cheese log, even his ankles have fat rolls. Ruth has won the favor of every kid within a 2 mile radius. They are currently lying on either side of me having a snoring competition. The Lord provides so much companionship through them.

I know there is so much more, but I'm starting to see double and think it's time to go to sleep. I will try to do more later.
Alooooooooo-ha! from Hawaii! God bless you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mom and Mike Visiting

Below are a few pictures from my cell phone from the past week. I promise to post more later...I still need to post pix from Dad and Cindy's visit...I'm a slacker. Things are going well. Dave is on the Big Island doing PTA with work until Nov.18. This will be his third year in a row to skip out on my birthday and keeps using the Army as his lame excuse. :) j/k

Past week: trip to the ER for Mike's neck/disc problems, car broke down on top of a mountain...the first picture is the view from where we were stranded for 3 hours...not a bad place to break down if I do say so myself, phone was dropped in water, and the main part needed for the vehicle has to be specially ordered off island (mail is SLOW here). All in all it has been a fabulous week. Today we watched a surfing competition live at Sunset Beach on the North was AWESOME!!! The waves were about 20 feet high! Amazing. God is so good and faithful to provide.

Hope you enjoy these pictures.Location of the car breaking down: Pu'u Ulaka'a State Park over looking Diamond Head, Waikiki, Honolulu, and Hickam AFB.
Manoa Falls...beautiful hike through the Garden of Eden ends here at these falls. :)