Friday, January 1, 2016

Here We Go, Ready or Not 2016 is Here!

I fell asleep before mid-night not feeling so great & woke up to a new year! I don't really believe in the whole " new year , new you " thing but I do believe you can try to accomplish some goals or dreams in each new year. They may or may not turn out the way you pictured them in your head but you won't know unless you try. My thinking is to use the One Word 365 goal to focus on one word that can help me feel better about my year. FAITH is my word because I really think I need a big dose of it to tackle this year ahead.

 I have some goals that aren't necessarily new goals for me to accomplish. Run at least one marathon with no aches or pains from injuries. Watch my second son graduate from high school successfully and move on to the next phase of his life. Continue to teach 3rd grade for another school year. Enjoy more time with my husband as we seem to be in our own worlds a lot of time. They say this happens after years of marriage, kids, work etc. It's time to find something we both enjoy again. Find a stronger connection with my God and learn to have a stronger FAITH in him. That he will uphold me when I feel weak mentally & physically if I just ask. As I grow older I realize I am never going to be perfect and that's okay . But man is it hard to swallow for this type A, organized perfectionist lady.

complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
synonyms:trust, belief, confidence, conviction; More
strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
religion, church, sect, denomination, (religious) persuasion, (religious) belief, ideology, creed, teaching, doctrine
"she gave her life for her faith"
Hopefully by not focusing on all that is "wrong" or "depressing" in my daily life but focusing on having FAITH that I can choose to make the most of each day with my family by choosing to have FAITH in what God has in store for me, I will have a happy, healthy, & blessed new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

FAITH, my One Word for 2016

FAITH , what does this word mean? It has several different meanings to me and others I am sure. I picked the word FAITH as my one word for 2016 to use in my life. As we move forward into 2016 I realize that I used Faith a little in 2015 but I didn't lean on it, listen to what  God wanted it to mean in my life. We have several big things coming up in 2016 and I really tend to worry a lot about everything. I want to release the worry and have FAITH that God knows exactly what is suppose to happen in my life on a daily basis. It says so in the Bible so why am I not opening my ears to listen to his gentle voice? I am not sure but I hope by joining the One Word 365 movement I will be more receptive, more accountable for spending daily time with God in his word. To listening to what he wants for my life even though I may not see the big picture.

I know I should have been doing this all along in my life. But as an adult this crazy world steps in with everyday things that take my focus off of him and his will for my life. I know he only wants good for me, but in the throws of arguing with my teenager, or a sick child, or my husband making me upset, or my job not going the way I want it all gets lost. But what I notice is the "I" in all these phrases . I need to stop, be still and remember, it's not suppose to be all about me but have FAITH in my God that it's all about him and his will for my life.
Hebrews 11:1King James Version (KJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
                           A Great song for me to listen to all year.......

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Time Sneaking Up On Me

I know you're shocked I'm posting since it's been so so long! I went to write a check out this morning for the older boys lunch and realized the date. It's funny to me how some dates just never leave your subconscious even if you think they have . A small thing like simply writing the full date out makes a memory come back. It's been 7 years since the crazy deployment to Iraq. If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know exactly what I am talking about. 2007-2008 when 4th Brigade, 2/23 TOMAHAWKS went to Iraq. The date that suddenly popped into my head I know is because we are into our big Memorial Day campaign for wear blue : run to remember. I love honoring the service & sacrifice of those heroes that gave all. But it also triggered my memory of that horrible 13 months that I thought would never end. This Saturday May 17th I will remember the start of the sacrifice of so many brave soldiers during that time starting with PFC Aaron Gautier & SPC Jonathan Ham . Some days it feels like that time in my life was just yesterday other days it does feel like it's been seven years. I know in my heart for the families that the pain doesn't ever go away, that their world stopped.

As we get closer to Memorial Day once again I ask you pause and take time to remember those who gave you the freedom you enjoy each day. It's not about the cookouts, the barbeque's, the four day weekends you are enjoying. It's about honoring those who are no longer with us that allow you to do all these things. Here are a few videos I ask you to watch to see who the Heroes left behind and why it's so important they aren't forgotten. This weekend Aaron & Jon won't be forgotten by their families, brothers in arms, & wear blue. Their names will be called this Saturday and steps will be taken so that their sacrifice does not go unnoticed.


Krista Simpson : Every Runner Counts
Mary Bradshaw: Every Runner Counts
Think about going to the this day and pledging your miles for Memorial Day and for those fallen heroes.

Page of Remembrance

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Yesterday I learned that our dog trainer from Island Grove Kennels of Limestone, TN had given Balto his Public Access Test on Sunday January 19th. We had no warning or knowledge that he was going to do the testing. We knew from prior conversations that he thought Balto was ready but we weren't sure when he would make the decision to test him. The wonderful CEO's from 1 Boy 4 Change  were in town dropping off some dogs for training so he decided this was the perfect opportunity to show off what Balto's strengths as well as weakness's were. A young eleven year old boy had stopped by to ask about training classes for his own lab so James the trainer asked if he would mind helping. The young man went along with the request and was handed Balto's leash. Balto is now over 80 pounds and 15 months old. The young man had never laid eyes on Balto before which is a HUGE deal. 

Not many kids I know would be okay just taking the leash of a German Shepherd who looks as big as Balto . Thankfully this young man did just that & listened to James. He ran Balto through all the required elements of the test so that Janet & Chris could see him at work. What we heard from them was he was "Fabulous", " passed with flying colors", & " Amazing Job!". I just can't even begin to tell you how relieved I was at this news. It's probably a great thing I had no idea ahead of time they were going to be doing this testing. I have been a wreck about Balto being okay around children that are small like Jeremy. Before he left he was not happy about them jumping around or approaching Jeremy. James had told me this was a stage that if corrected early would be resolved. But after losing one service dog in training I was just a nervous mom.
But now Mr. Handsome hear has proven us wrong & can now be called Service Dog Balto!!

 This DOES NOT mean that his training is over. He is still very young and has much more training to accomplish. What it does mean is that he has proven on Sunday as well as many other occasions that he can behave with manners out in public. No service dogs are required to pass the PAT or the CGC , but our organization as well as our family think this is extremly important. Not only does it speak well of service dogs who behave properly out in public it means I can have no fear or worry when Jeremy is in charge or left alone with Balto that he won't listen. We will travel to pick him up in February from TN and we can hardly wait! We have some training to do there so that Jeremy & I can learn any new commands he has learned. Also so that Balto can be reminded that Jeremy is his responsibility & who is in charge. Once we return home we will give them a week or so to adjust to their new schedules. Balto won't just jump into going to school with Jeremy full time. We will do drop off & pick up as well as see if we can sit in on classes some to get them both use to the routines. Balto & Jeremy will also go back to attending some form of obedience class to keep up with Balto's training . He also will take his Canine Good Citizens test with Jeremy as the handler. Once again this is not required but I think a good choice so if ever there comes a time we need to we can say that he has had a lot of training done the work & passed. 

We are just so thankful to everyone who has followed along on this crazy roller coaster ride for the past two & a half years. The heart ache of losing Banyan as well as the joy of receiving a second chance with Balto. We know in our hearts that Balto & Jeremy are meant to do great things together. We will continue to work and support them to make them a successful Service Dog team. We enjoy all our friends on Facebook we have made through this process and can't wait to continue to share Jeremy's Journey with everyone as they continue on into the future. Thanks for being a part of this, thanks for your kindness, love, & support. Now here are some fun pictures & videos to show just how far team Jeremy & Balto have come.

On the way home from Mi to WA first time in my SDiT Vest at 10 weeks
 Meeting Jeremy for the first time
Picking Jeremy up from School

Training can be FUN!

 Going to appointments with Jeremy

Taking walks in our cool superhero capes together
Going on our first sleepover 
Celebrating my 1st birthday, letting them make me look silly.....

These are just a few fun moments captured in time over the past 15 months of training. We can't wait to see how many more wonderful memories we can make.

Balto's first time at a beach, helping Jeremy dig

Jeremy missing me so he called, being away at training can make my boy lonely.

Celebrating a wonderful life!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tears, Coffee, & Baking

Since I last checked in on the blog I have sent my husband on his next adventure thanks to the Army. Off he went to Fort Bliss in El Paso to sit through countless classes. I mean seriously he sat through how to exit a roll over vehicle & an IED class. I'm sorry but if you've deployed 5 times in the past 11 years these seem like the dumbest classes EVER to make these guys endure. I think I am only mad because his time for this hardship tour doesn't start until his big size 11 1/2 combat boots hit the ground in Egypt. So thank you Army for wasting ten days of time away from our soldier to make him sit through silly classes that I sure hope he would know by now, most likely by heart!
I think saying goodbye caught us all off guard. We knew he was going but we didn't really expect the sudden tears that spilled down my eyes at the airline gate. My poor husband was shocked. He kept telling me how easy this time was & how different. But in my head all I could feel was sadness that he had another whole year apart from our family. I mean he isn't getting home until January 2015- to me that is just NUTS & I've done a 13 month deployment before. Not sure why this time it bugs me.....

I took the first three days in my usual stride. Thankfully the boys didn't have obligations so I was comfortably in my pjs by 3PM every day for 72 hours. Our 18 year wedding anniversary day came & went with me in my pj's.By Tuesday I headed to appointments with the boys & hit up the gym. Pouting time was over and we all just sort of fell right back into our routine. I told my friend today while at coffee how it just seems normal now when Paul is gone. How sad is that, that the house can just flip a switch and run smoothly, well so far smoothly. Coffee with a friend was a nice break today away from the house. Baking some brownies for the boys & new gluten free muffin recipe for me tonight was also nice. Now we just sit back & wait, wait for the Army to finally get him to Egypt so our year apart can really start.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Keeping My Promise

Making the first Blog entry of 2014- keeping my promise to Blog more.....

Happy 2014, I can hardly believe it's a start to a whole new year already. At times 2013 seemed to fly by and at other times just drag out. I know that is normal for every year , but hear lately it has flown by with lightning speed. The next 48 hours could really seriously slow down to a snail's pace for me & the family. We had a  lot of fun at our annual PJ New Year's Eve party staying in our neighborhood close to home. We had good food, drinks,laughter, & a seriously strange new board game to try last night. The kids loved running around blowing the party horns that once again all the adults questioned "why" we buy them every year, way to loud! I loved that Paul was home and able to spend the start of his year with us & his friends. Overall a wonderful night that was the perfect way to usher in 2014 & all the fantastic opportunities that lay ahead. We hope you all enjoyed your New Year's Eve whether it was spent at home quietly or even at a huge event with fireworks. Remember today is a new start to a new year. You can choose to make the year whatever you like. I plan on making it fun & exciting for our boys while Paul is in Egypt. Hopefully take a couple road trips , pick up Balto from TN, and just enjoy the life God has blessed me with. Blessings to you all in 2014!!

The silly flash got Paul, we had just arrived so it was still way to early for this look he is giving -haha