Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pic Post

I try to keep a good mix between posts about what's happening, and picture posts. Lately, all I've really posted is pictures. I'm afraid today will be more of the same. We've had the most wonderful time here in NC with our families and dear friends! So enjoy the pics and know when I actually have time to sit and write about what's happening, I'll get around to that. They're from Crystal's visit to SA, Jonathan's graduation from nav school, and my visit to Charlotte last week. Love you all!

Crystal & I after an Air Force Christmas Party


Jonathan, Crystal, & me at the party


The beautiful RiverWalk with Christmas lights


Crystal & I on the Riverwalk


Jonathan & I after I pin his wings on - Finally an AirForce Aviator!


Joker Flight at Pre-Graduation Dinner - Newest Future Navs of the USAF


Lyric, Zoe, and Emma Freas - my favorite little girls in Charlotte!
We had such fun playing playdough, house, stories, and more!


Me with the Freas girls, before leaving. :(

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Moving!

Orders came in Monday.... Packers come Thursday... Moving Friday! Must clean empty house & professionally clean carpets Friday.... & get ride to airport. (We're flying home for Christmas, & flying back to outprocess here, then drive to GA.)
Jonathan graduates Navigator school Friday, and I get to pin his wings on! I'm so proud of him!
It all came so fast!
Crystal is here, but she got the flu and has been so sick today. I hate it, I feel so sorry for her! She flys out Thursday morning.
Won't be on much in the next few days! See you NC'ers soon!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thanksgiving

Here are a few Thanksgiving pictures. I didn't get as good or as many as I wished. Sorry no posts in a while. Crystal's here and I'm not spending a minute more on the computer than necessary!

Also, the move is approaching very quicky, one way or another. No orders yet, so nothing offically can be set up (packers,movers). Jonathan graduates from Navigator school next Friday and I pin his wings on! He'll officially be an Air Force flyer! That's our last day in San Antonio, unofficially.

This was Katrina asking Stuart, "Where's Haley?" They've been courting for a year now, so I guess she's gotten used to if you see one, you see the other! It was cute!


This was me with sweet little 5-month old Shiona. A beautiful baby, with the sweetest most gentle little temperment!


My wonderful Mom and Dad


This was suppose to be a picture of everybody, but Dad & Mom are missing, as are Uncle Lee & Dillon, Katrina, and of course, me, taking the picture. I've got to get more pushy about people being there for pictures, and taking multiple ones (as you see this one was bad)!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oxford

“Oxford had represented to us two things so intertwined that we did not clearly distinguish them. One was the apostolic faith in its fullness, as represented by C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams. The other was high civilisation, sweet reason, and the life of the mind, which was no less represented by Lewis and Williams as well as many others. Religiously, we longed for the lively life in Christ, but we did not fully see that we were equally longing for the lively life of the mind – the delights of conversation once serious and gay, which is, whatever its subject, Christ or poetry or history, the ultimately civilised thing. When we spoke of the lively life in Christ, we meant keenness, to be sure, but we also meant the subtle discourse on the meanings of Christ’s way that is, in fact, only possible among highly articulate and civilised Christians.” -ASM

This post is quite overdue, but I did not desire a hastily written, less than thoughtful response on my Oxford experience. In truth, I left the city with my mind desperately trying to grasp all of Oxford in its fulless, the entirety of the experience. I only wish I could have stayed longer, and had my dear husband there with me. Those are my only two real regrets. I hope one day I can live there for perhaps a year.

In attempting to complete my summary of Oxford, I am actually going to resort to a few quotes from Sheldon Vanauken's A Severe Mercy. He and his wife went, as agnostics in the 50's, to study at Oxford. There they encountered Christ and Christianity, and became followers. Van began a deep friendship with C.S. Lewis that continued to his death. Their experience has expressed much of mine, yet more poetically and articulately than I could. Later I will post fun and beautiful pictures, and some recounting of adventures, but I feel the Most Important thing I can do now is to express Oxford. It is not merely a city or a university, Oxford encompasses a way of life. The lively life in Christ.

“The sheer quality of the Christians we met at Oxford shattered our stereotype… Moreover the astonishing fact sank home: our own contemporaries could be at once highly intelligent, civilised, witty, fun to be with – and Christian.”
This couldn't express my own feelings any more. I attended a days worth of classes with Dad and heard each student (from their 20's to 60's) really thinking and producing ideas for creative apologetics, appealing to the unsaved through imagination (in the style of Lewis), graciousness in discussing faith, drawing people out for what they truly believe about eternity... Likewise, the Christians there so desire conversation, fellowship, and the discussing of ideas, that they meet each week, casually, at a pub to discuss whatever is on their minds. Each is free to come or go as they please, but honest and searching discourse is what follows. Hardly anyone agrees 100% with the other, but it's Truth (Biblically), that's sought. I did have to realize in America this wouldn't be quite the same. People in this program are coming from backgrounds in and out of the church, in the US, Canada, India, the UK, Iran, France, etc. They naturally have enormously different underlying ideas. Yet I loved the discussions! "…that’s what Oxford is, a place to talk about everything.” Even among my own family, each day's walks (for you walk everywhere) and each evening's gatherings were filled to the brim with earnest discussions. Not debates, and not everyone rousingly amening the other's opinion. No one is trying to "win" or "convert" the others, or to get a hearty clap on the back for a point well made. It's a chance to hear another Christian's thoughts and experiences, and to discuss what we know the Bible to say on a matter.

“For nearly two years… there was hardly a day or night that people did not come [to our home], both Christians and non-Christians; and there were literally hundreds of absorbing conversations. Oxford.”
“Although our Christian friends came often to the Studio, our non-Christian friends were, of course, equally welcome. Indeed, in some of the best discussions on Christian subjects, there would usually be a couple of non-Christians there, too, joining in with healthy skepticism. Our experience of Oxford was that everybody talked about everything.”


My heart yearns to take some of this back with me into my life here in the US. My mind ponders ways to incorporate it into our lives and those of other Christians here.... Thoughts are conceived, and perhaps shall give birth to a real outcome. Yet, I miss Oxford.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jonathan's Aircraft Assignment

Last week Jonathan got his aircraft assignment: E-8 Joint STARS (JSTARS)! They changed things around completely for how they gave out the aircraft, but we are trusting that's God's design, just like the mix-up and change of plans to get us here. We'll go to Robbins AFB in Georgia, only 460 miles from our families! They don't get sationed anywhere else, so for the next 3 years, we'll be there (Jonathan will be deployed, but no TDY to another base). That is good news!
More info on the plane, for those interested: The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) is a long-range, air-to-ground surveillance system designed to locate, classify and track ground targets in all weather conditions. While flying in friendly airspace, the joint Army-Air Force program can look deep behind hostile borders to detect and track ground movements in both forward and rear areas. It has a range of more than 150 miles (250 km). These capabilities make Joint STARS effective for dealing with any contingency, whether actual or impending military aggression, international treaty verification, or border violation. I think he said their deployment rate is right now reported as 45 days every 6 months, but that they are usually not gone 90 days out of a year. Not bad!
We're happy to know where we're going. And even though outsiders may look and think things like this are weird to be happy about: disappointments. But it's seeing the light in the disappointment and knowing God's faithfulness, because it's been there in the past, and it will be there for the future.
UPDATE: We just learned we have to move in mid-December!!!! Before we come home for Christmas! Yikes! Right now that just overwhelms me. I do not feel ready or willing to move that soon, so it's really a trust issue with me that the Lord is ordaining this time. Wow. Pray for us.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

ER Trip

Well... We had a great time with Jonathan's siblings. I'll post pictures later. I decided to tell of my weekend visit to the ER.
Suffice it to say the boys left Friday at noon for the ranch for their wild boar hunt. They called at 5 to say they were 30 minutes away and would be completely out of cell range while there. We would talk Sunday on their way back home.
I went to bed Friday with intense lower-abdominal pain. I awoke at 2:45 in excrutiating pain. I headed to the kitchen to get some medication, and I lost my vision briefly. I reached up into the cabinent.... and suddenly found myself waking up from the kicthen floor looking at the ceiling, wondering how I got there and how long I'd been there. I had passed out. :/ I thought, "I've got to get back to bed" and headed to my room... Again, only to find myself on the floor of the closet, staring at the ceiling wondering how I'd gotten there. I assume both times were only a few seconds, but I can't know. I did later discover I'd bruised my head a little.
I figured this was serious, and headed to wake Catherine up. She was very alert and calm (I was too). She brought me the computer and I looked up a hospital. They apparently can't give medical advice, so gave me a nurses' line. I called & explained my situation. The nurse said, "This is an emergency, you can't drive yourself, get to a hospital." All we had was the Mustang, and Catherine can't drive a stick. So not wanting to wake our friends at 3 am (and them not being close anyway), I called those infamous numbers - 911. In less than 5 minutes, 2 police cars, a firetruck, and an ambulance were at our house. They took vitals (all good) & asked questions. Then I went to the hospital.
The guys in the amblance were very nice (I guess that's what Josh does, right?) and actually diagnosed the cause of my problem correctly (I'd later find). I did not let them start an IV (they gave me a choice). At the hosptial I was given an IV for fluids, some Demerol (that make me loopy) and given an exam. The inital thought was this was a strong over-reaction to some medication I've been on for 2 months (meaning, my body is suppose to react to it, but it did more than it should have).
I did have to have a CAT scan to rule out appendicitis. I had to drink about 48 oz of this chalky, white, coconut-flavored contrast. ICK! Catherine so graciously poured it every 20 minutes and helped coach me to drink it all. She chased nurses down when we were forgotten (in 9 hours I think I was only seen by doctors/nurses about 7 times). I finally was sent home with some painkiller and an antibiotic in case of infection. I had a lot of fluid built up and a little blood, which were both the cause of the pain. This was from an oversized cyst. Catherine was such an angel, reading to me and just being there.
It ruined a lot of our fun plans, but she was so sweet. I took the next 2 days easy, the boys returned (without any kills, I'm afraid), and Jonathan and I went in yesterday to my normal doctors for follow-up ultrasound, review, etc. Everything appears ok, but they want to see the cysts shrink and disappear (which they should).
I can't explain how utterly helpless you feel when you experience something like that and your husband (your protection and head) are compeltely unavialable. But isn't the Lord absolutely sovereign? What unique timing - it could not be a mistake. I don't pretend to understand, but I do profess faith that what He does is Right. BTW, Jonathan made up for not being there by being there when my pain levels increased on Monday morning and he held me and prayed for me, and showed so much tender care. I got to feeling better and was really touched at how sensitive he was.
I do hope not to experience this again, and I won't soon forget this weekend.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Out in West Texas Hunting

Well.... no axis deer for me this week, although we saw many of them. We didn't really go hunt, just sort of drove around trying to "spot and stalk", but more just spending time with our friends. I think next time we'll actually go out in a stand and really hunt. It was very nice to be out in the country again!!! Although I got my share of experiencing what being poked by a cactus feels like! Still not seen a rattlesnake. I'm determined to see one before we move!
I was using a borrowed gun, so Jonathan took me out to the range. I had 3 bullets. I shot the 50 yd target on the bottom right bullseye, and the 100 twice on the bullseye. I was very happy (as was Jonathan)! And then I shot Jana's 40lb bow and got the bulleye 3 times in a row! The shock of it is, I believe I am a really bad shot! When we went skeet shooting (for me to practice on my new shotgun, not for fun, because I think skeet is booooring!), I only got 2 out of 50!!! That's how awful I was! So I was really shocked I did well, because I don't have stellar vision and I don't think I'm very calm about following through a shot.

Anyway.... One sad thing that happened was our friends' little 2 year old girl tripped and fell into the hot, hot charcoal grill. She burned her face and both hands/wrists. She had a big blistered spot on one wrist. She spend the evening in agony, just crying and writhing, because there wasn't much to do for the pain. Everyone felt really sorry for her, but by the next morning, praise the Lord, she was mostly better. :/

We had a couple and their 7 month old over for dinner last night (a new addition to our Life Group). It was such a great time and ended too soon! Even though they've been with the church since it's beginning, they were both military and their small group was, so everyone moved! They were left without a group, and ours was located close. From last night, we saw that the Lord had lead them to ours for very special reasons, with them having been through some things over the years that Jonathan and I are experiencing. It just turned into such an encouraging evening, seeing God's providential leading. So I'm encouraged in my spirit knowing our relationship with them is meant to grow, and thinking how much I can learn from Rebecca (the wife).

Anyway.... I close with a really cute picture of my first niece. I miss her so much!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fun News!

Monday night Jonathan and I headed out to go dove hunting. We had been out about 45 minutes. He'd shot some, so gave me the gun and we were on the lookout. We were walking side-by-side, the gun held by both my hands, him holding the bag of doves & water. He says to me, "Here, let me hold the gun, I want to hold your hand." Now, how many guys are that sweet and affectionate even while hunting???? I married the best and most thoughtful man in the world!!!
Speaking of, after some conversations, Jonathan told me he didn't want me to miss Oxford and he thought we should buy a ticket so I could be gone when he's gone! This allows me to be there when Crystal is in Oxford (she's spending October in France with good friends). So we bought a ticket for me at a good price (good for overseas)! I am super excited about going, and actually experiencing cold weather, too. Daddy told me he thinks I can go to a class or two with him!!!! Can you imagine??? A class at Oxford??? Me???? This might not seem a big deal to any of you, but it's absolutely a dream for me!
Other than that, we're heading out this weekend with some friends of ours in our church to their ranch. They work for Christian Outdoor Alliance (COA) and manage the ranch. Jonathan's going to help with deer-hunting related stuff, and he's also going to take me out so hopefully I can shoot an axis deer. If I do, I'll post pictures on Monday!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tagged!

Tagged by Melissa. :) This is fun, my first time!
10 Simple Pleasures:
1. A cosy couch with a book, a throw, a cup of hot tea, and time to spare....

2. Spontaneous heart-to-heart talks with my dearest sisters.
3. A midday thunderstorm
4. Homemade maple-walnut scones with a latte
5. Watching my little nieces Katrina or Shiona sleeping (so precious!)
6. A steamy hot shower and a comfy robe after a day of long, hard, dirty work.
7. Curling up in front of the fireplace with Jonathan.
8. Lunch with Mom at Gingerbread House
9. Our traditional Stargate SG-1 night, complete with Delivery Pizza & Cherry Coke
10. Making & eating breakfast or dinner together with Jonathan.
11. Travel! :) (just had to add one more!)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Goin to the Boat!

Heading down to the boat... We're going to Corpus this weekend. Should be fun! It looks like the seas will be a bit rough tomorrow, so we'll probably only go out on the boat a few hours and not too far from the marina. And I imagine we'll spend the remainder of time on the beach. Last Saturday doing that was wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable, as we played in the surf together, read, and fished! Jonathan even caught a large sting ray and I had to hold it down with a bucket while he got his rig off.
I'm mostly packed for that, I never know if we'll cook on the boat or go out. We usually end up going out, because there are so many great restaurant choices down there, just a walk away from the marina. There's even this quaint coffee shop called Aqua Java that's walking distance too. We got coffee for the early drive home to make it to church last time. We're not sure if we'll stay Saturday night or not. Life Group is at our house (we've started rotating houses & whoever's house it's at does the meal). That means I need a bit more time on Sunday to clean and cook. I know Jonathan will help, probably during halftime of the Carolina game. I sure hope they'll do better this game! They've performed so poorly the last two. :(
Not too much else to report. That's my update for this Friday. It does look like it won't work out for me to go to Oxford when I wanted (coinciding with Jonathan's 4 day Cross Country), so I won't go at all. It is a hard decision to make, both because I really want to go overe there and because I'm not excited about him being gone for 4 days. :(

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Scorpions!

Saturday morning we were heading out to put our boat back in the marina at Corpus Christi. Jonathan was out filling up and I was getting all the stuff ready. I had the laptop case out of the closet, and was packing up the computer. Just as I was putting away the power cable, my left arm was resting on the case, and I felt a stinging sensation. I looked down and saw..... a scorpion!!! (pictured below) I threw the case and ran outside, shaking and crying, "Ugh!" I called Jonathan and he rushed home.... When he tried to find the place I'd been stung, he couldn't. He told me I'd know it if I were. So I guess I was just "pinched" or something. I felt bad he was so worried, although he's been stung before and didn't react too horribly. Now I'm worried to sleep, Mrs. C!!!

Later that morning, while we were on the beach, Jonathan caught this! A sting ray! I had to use a bucket to hold it stilll while Jonathan got his rig off! I was pretty freaked out.

Then later, I got stung by a jelly-fish and saw a huge cockroach in the bathroom! It was not my day for animals! Still and all, we had such a marvelous time at the beach, sunning, fishing, reading, and playing in the surf with each other. We found a delicious seafood restaurant nearby, and then had a comfortable night on the boat with the music of the waves lapping against the boat's side.

Here's a picture of the sunrise before we left....

Now, good night to all!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Update

Beautiful Monday here... Had a nice weekend of relaxation and fun with Jonathan. Care Group last night was wonderful, such a time of building up. I'm joining a Ladies Bible Study our chuch is putting on every week. It's by Beth Moore and it's called The Patriarchs. I'm excited. I get to be in Carrie's small group, too (our CG leader's wife). It's Wednesday. We had visitors (a couple & their little baby) to our group, I hope they stay, we really liked them.
Last night Jonathan won a wild boar and javelina hunt for 4 on eBay. It's a weekend thing, dinners and shelter are included, but it's waaaaaaaaay out in the wilderness. Jonathan's brothers will be buying tickets and coming down for it!!! It's a once in a lifetime experience! Jonathan got such an awesome deal. Anyway, I'm so excited for them. It's for the end of October.
That's all for now. Oh! We went dove hunting for a short time Friday night and got caught in a rain storm! It was so fun tromping around outside getting poured on and splashing around in puddles! I love rainstorms! It could have only been better with lightening and thunder. :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Daddy's Birthday

Yesterday was my dear Daddy's 56th birthday. I wasn't present, because we live far away, but also because he happens to be in Oxford, England. He will be there until the end of November. He is studying at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He's in "an intensive 8 week programme is designed for those seeking to sharpen evangelistic and apologetic skills within the world of business, and includes input from renowned Christian business leaders." More information at http://www.theocea.org/ This is a program founded by the brilliant Ravi Zacharias.
Can you believe that? My own father studying at the college of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Sheldon Vanauken, T.S. Elliot, so many more!!! The college of great thinkers, intellectual giants! I am awed, amazed, and unutterably proud. We all knew he would be accepted (as he gained acceptance into MIT, University of Chicago, and Harvard, years before), yet he never expressed confidence in it. He humbly admitted he might be accepted, but that it was in the Lord's hands. And he seems so mild and humbled to even be there, while all I want to do is shout with glee. His attitude is right, of course. It's why he is there, I'm sure. Because the Lord resists pride.
I am proud of where my dad is, but I'm so much more proud of Who he is. He hungers after the Lord and seeks Him diligently. This is an understatement. I can't tell you how many times I would rise at 5 or 6 and see the little light on in the den, with Daddy on his knees in prayer, or with his Bible and notebook open before him, or with his eyes closed and lips moving as he memorized whole books of the Bible... Knowing he may have been up since the 4's. He did this while most of us slept. And then he would exercise, then have breakfast with everyone at the table, and then lead us in a study of the Bible and prayer. He shepherded our hearts carefully. He gave us goals and spiritual challenges to work toward. But he set the example himself. How could you argue with his challenge to memorize the Sermon on the Mount (3 chapters) when he had the whole book of Romans down?
Daddy is gentle and kind. From as early as I can remember, he would try to bring gifts home from his trips, no matter how short. But with 8 children and a wife, this could be expensive. So sometimes he only brought 1 or 2 of us presents. He carefully explained that our time would come, and he walked us through recognizing jealousy in ourselves and repenting of it. I'm so grateful for those lessons! He sought opportunities to take each one of us on "special times" and trips with just him. I remember looking for houses in Chicago when I was 8, and him letting me eat ice cream in the new van, because he knew I'd be careful. I remember our first missions trip together. All our business trips as we worked alongside one another. How revered he was in the business world. How smart.
I love how he has sweet traditions. Camping after Thanksgiving, New Year's eve at Wellspring, Jo Patti Seafood in Pensacola, Chocolate on Valentines to all the girls (the best & biggest to Mom, of course)... I love the notes he left me throughout my growing up.
Daddy and Mom have more people than I could name who have come to them for counsel or help. This is because they see the fruit of godliness and peace in their lives. Dad and Mom make themselves available at all times for helping others. And they speak truth in love. Biblical truth. They are compassionate. I have seen Daddy do things in secret to bless or help others, wanting them to praise God and not man.
This is long, and I haven't even scratched the surface. Daddy is the funniest man I know (except now Jonathan is tied, I laugh at him all the time!)... Daddy is innovative, clever, prudent with money (and taught us all this), generous, wise, consistently loving. He's shared the Gospel openly, but also lived it in front of everyone. Many clients have seen him pray or read his Bible, in spare moments. Some have asked. I'll always treasure how he gave ma away on our wedding day, no reserves, no regrets, joyfully (and tearfully) in the Lord.
I'm preparing a letter for my father, and this is only a sample of my thoughts. I don't talk deeply about people dear to me on here much, mainly because I feel I should tell them and not everyone else. But I know Daddy doesn't read this and I just would like to honor who he is, as he's in a small 3-bedroom, 1 bathroom flat in Oxford right now. With 7 people and 1.86 dollars/pound.
I love my father so much. And so here's thinking of him on his birthday.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Suzanne's Visit, Hunting, etc

Wow! What a wonderful weekend we had! Friday we went dove hunting and Jonathan got 4. I also saw a huge banana spider! :/ It looked Huge!!!! I'd say 4 inches worth of legspan at least! Saturday we spend the morning lazily and then went out in the early afternoon to a place for Jonathan to get a drill press and some cool tools, and then to the mall for me to spend some money. I got some kimono-style shirts at Wet Seal. I love that look! Especially with chopsticks in my hair, a necklace with a boldly-colored large-gem necklace, and some trim jeans or black pants, and of course red lipstick. Love that look! It just ties together. Got some things at Bath & Body Works, and used some of the Starbucks card my sweet sister Mary gave me!!!!! The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, and I'm so glad. I've had 3 since I found that out 2 weeks ago.

Then that evening we went out to the country to help a friend in Care Group for a Christian Outdoor Alliance dove hunt. We weren't paying $75 to hunt, but we wanted to help out. There were some newbies out there that shot pigeons or sparrows, and missed some really obvious doves, but it was a lot of fun. Especially to get clean and pick up a Papa John's pizza and snuggle through Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. :)

Sunday we had church and then again went out hunting that evening. This time I got 2 doves!!! My first ever! I got them two in a row! My average was much better than on the skeet range (thank goodness, I think skeet is boring!). Jonathan got 6. Well, 7, but we couldn't find one. It was so much fun to hunt together. I can now tell a swallow's flight from a doves's quite easily. :) When we headed home we cleaned up and then fixed a super-duper meal. Dove, sauteed in thyme, marjoram and butter, broccoli, rosemary bread, and rice. Getting clean after all that time out was so refreshing.

On Monday we headed to Government Canyon for our hike. We ended up hiking 6 miles, and drinking 3 liters of water between us. Exactly what we brought. We crossed the trailhead with a few swigs left. We had a great time hiking and exerting ourselves and sharing wonderful conversation, jokes, and everything in between! We kept a very good pace. Jonathan told me he never realized I'd be a outdoors girl... He thought (feared) I'd just want to spend vacation days like this at the mall!!!! I love that I'm not that way, and we can share the same loves! Ourdoors are such a great adventure together.

Here are some fun pics from this weekend. And some from my dear sister Suzanne's visit.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Loving Married Life!

So we've been having fun lately, so many good times with my bestest friend. :) I'm getting very excited about our Labor Day weekend get-away down to Corpus Christi on our newly-fixed boat. Don't know where we'll venture out to, but we're sure to get quality-time together and some delicious seafood. Perhaps we'll even catch something worthy of adorning our dinner plates. No matter what, it'll be an adventure. That's what we love best. Our Grand Adventure is what I sometimes refer to our marriage as, which seems fitting.

Jonathan had a test yesterday on top secret weapons and defenses the US military has... He did wonderfully! He was so diligent in his studying, going in early most mornings (6:30 when show-time was 9), and also going in on the weekend. He is such an example of a hard worker and serious student. I love watching him in that role... I guess that's something I've watched since before our marriage.

My sister Suzanne flys in later today! She used her hard-earned money to buy a ticket out here to visit me! I've planned many fun outings and two craft-like projects for us together. We of course plan on going to Starbucks every single day! Just like I did when Mary was here.... except she refused it one day. :( So we broke our record. BTW, if you reload a Starbucks card online from a Visa with $50 or set it up for (any amount) of automatic reload, you get $10 extra put on your card. 3 cards per household. That's $30. Our monthly Starbucks budget. You betcha I'll cash in!

Nothing more here, except I got a beautiful present from Seth & Karen in the mail, it's a dresser with these gorgrous coffee-pictures painted on it. I'll post a pic soon. I moved all my coffee stuff in there where it sits in my kitchen looking beautiful. More later! Here's a pic of us on our trip to Dallas.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Ponderings...

"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
...For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God."
II Cor 4:8-11,15
Can you attest to being given over to death for Jesus' sake? For His life being manifest in your mortal flesh? We're called to this, in more ways than I can name. I attest to this, and yet to His unfailing faithfulness. To quote something not-so-spiritual, but seemingly true, as Marilla Cuthbert says, "To despair is to turn your back on God." We may be in the utter throes of hardship, but there's no cause to despair with Christ's Words as our Promises, and the Holy Spirit as our Comforter, and God the Father as the One who Hears our prayers as has pity on us (Ps. 103).
So you who may be in a time of great trial, persecution, harship, or trouble.... Cling to Christ our Mediator, Christ our Friend, Christ our Great High Priest who is able to sympahtize with our weaknesses because He was tempted as we are, yet without sin....
Hallelujah. What a Savior. What a Lord.

Monday, July 24, 2006

SCUBA Certified!

This one's for Mrs. C..... That was after my last dive, after I was officially certified! We didn't really think to take pics while we had our gear on. In this pic Jonathan had surfaced about 5 minutes before I had, as he ran out of air faster. :)

When we got down to 60 feet it got COOOOLD! The lake was 82 degrees, but down there it felt like mid-60's! Jonathan said it may have been upper 60's. I was shivering (bad for a diver) and was a bit worried/scared about going further into that murky coldness! Other than that, SCUBA is a lot of fun and I'm excited about all my future dives!


Friday, July 21, 2006

Busy Friday.... Jonathan has a night flight, but he's home now! Gotta love that! 3 SCUBA dives tomorrow, 2 Sunday. I'm going to be exhausted! Exhausted, but certified. :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

SCUBA and Life

So, ever since getting back from NC for the Independence Day celebration, life has seemed extremely busy. Even now I feel tired... or is it sleepy? After getting into a routine of getting up at 6ish every morning, I learned I loved that and had plenty of energy and time to get things done in the day, if I ordered my day. However, I also learned that I really do not like getting up in the 5's! It leaves me lethargic/tired in the morning and I don't know that I catch up. Does anyone feel like that? It's very consistent.
This past Saturday we went with 7 Air Force friends (2 couples, a 3 year old, and a single guy) to Canyon Lake on our boat. Everything turned out different than planned, but suffice it to say we ended up caught in a huge downpour with our just-finished-cooking charcoal brats being gathered together into cups (in the rain) and eaten out of paper towels in our respective cars as we soakingly drove back! We all laughed a lot about it and had a jolly ride home.
Right now I'm taking 2.5 hours of SCUBA diving classes M-Th each night for 2 weeks. We alternate between classroom time and pool time. Since I've dove once, I've been very familiar with what's been taught so far. I'll be excited to get NAUI certified and be able to go out diving with Jonathan whenever we desire. With this completed, I can look to my next goal: my pilot's license. It won't be here, but perhaps our next station. :) Imaigne, being able to trod on earth, swim under the sea, and fly in the air! God's creation is amazing to behold!
I'll be glad for Friday and the weekend, since I don't have much evening time with Jonathan at the present, because of my classes. Fortunately he has early mornings every day this week, meaning he gets home early afternoon!
BTW, to everyone who made time to see us while we were back, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It was an amazing blessing and so much fun! Your friendships and love toward us are a treasure!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Headed to NC for the Weekend!

We are blessed to have tickets to go back to beautiful North Carolina for the 4th of July weekend! Our plane leaves at 3:06 (yes, that's in 2 hours) and we get in 9:16! We stay until Tuesday 6:30pm! Both Jonathan and I are extremely excited about it! He hasn't seen family (except mine) or friends since early January, so he's especially excited. He gets to meet his precious little new niece, Shiona. She's already a 6 weeks old!
My parents have planned a "Fiesta" themed party for us while we're there, with a few close friends. I get giddy thinking of how fun that'll be!
I've got us all packed and I'm just waiting for Jonathan to call and tell me he's done with his sim and he's headed home. Should be any minute now....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fun with the Blairs

Well things are going well at the Wilson household. We spent the weekend at the boat and the beach, and are both appropriately tan and a bit burned. It was very relaxing for us both. Everyone in our life group was out of town on Sunday except Colin (the lg leader) so we invited him over for Surf & Turf (steak and fresh shrimp from the coast). We then went on to have our study on the last week's message (Hebrews) and it was truly a great time. It's neat to see how sincere people in our church are in their lives. It's also great to see how fast friendships grow when God starts them. So... I spent Friday preparing for the beach and helping Carrie by watching her kids while she got her hair trimmed. We then went to a cool place called Willie's for lunch. We ate outside and they had a big sand box for the kids to play in. Little Emerson is so content, she just sat in the highchair, babbled and ate the whole time. Cute! Carrie had to be on the phone so I played Fight the Pirates in the sandbox with Adisyn and Parker. They were fun! Then we went to pick up their car from the shop. I was sorry to say good-bye. :( We'll have to do more things like that. I recently read on the GirlTalk blog that if I wanted to learn how to be a Godly mother like Titus 2 says I should "...look for women whose children are characterized by the fruit of self-control and obedience." Colin & Carrie's kids are. Plus Carrie & I have fun together. She reminds me of my dear friend Kristin. *sniff* I'm suppose to get my $1000 gift card in the mail this week or next. I can't wait! I'm going to buy a new comforter for the bunk beds at Target (already have one), and a $200 Starbucks card, and special big presents for friends that I've been holding off doing. :) It'll be fun. I can't wait to come visit my family for the July 4th weekend!!!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Back from NC!

Got back Friday from 5 days of staying with Seth & Karen & having a great time, meeting my new niece, spending loads of time with little Katrina, and seeing my two families! I miss everyone so much. Here are some really cute pictures of our time.

Much as I hate to go, I could not WAIT to get back home to my husband! We weren't meant to be apart for long, it's so terribly hard! The reunions are so sweet! He couldn't pick me up at the airport, so after a friend dropped me off at the house, I walked inside to find a vase full of a dozen white-tipped red roses and a note to me saying how glad he was that I was home! It's great to be loved.

Katrina was very happy to see Aunt Denise!!!


Little baby Shiona, such a content little baby!

Katrina eating her Happpy birthday cake. She turned two!

I took Katrina to the store shopping & to McDonalds to play. She got really hurt after this, but she was having a great time!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Shiona Marie Robinson

On Saturday evening, May 20, 2006, at 9:17pm, God brought forth a new life into our lives! My precious sister Karen gave birth to a little 8 lb, 8 oz girl, 20.4 inches long. Seth was with her the whole time and little Katrina was with grandma. The little girl will be called Shiona, which means "God is gracious", as that is something they saw evidenced throughout the birth and afterward. She resembles her big sister a lot now, and Katrina is especially excited to have a new baby in the house.

Rejoice with us and congratulate Seth & Karen on this wonderful event!!!


Monday, May 08, 2006

Air Force Jets!

"Wide sky big breaks; Michigan, Great Lakes;
Cattle rattle, snowflakes, Georgia beaches.
Louisiana harpoon, New York attitude, Florida beaches.
Tennessee whiskey; Diddy, are you with me?
Texas chili, Virginia pine.
It's hard to beat that California sunshine.
Baby, you're my favorite,
Favorite state of mind."
-from "Favorite State of Mind"


May already and I really didn't update in April, how bad I have been! At least I can say, I've been very busy "living" to not have a lot of time to "document" it. But enought is enough and it's finally time to give this my attention. So, here's the current scoop:
My sisterMary spent her hard-earned money and visited for a week in April. It was the highlight of my month, and I did not expect to grieve like I did when she left. It was seriously some sort of depression to b left all alone again (during the day) and not have my friend to be doing stuff with! However, I learned to be joyful and content again and God already worked out my family to come visit in May during my birthday too! So I only had a month to wait! That was a tremendous blessing!
Jonathan and I had a large group of friends at our home for Easter, all unsaved friends we were opening up our home to share God's love with. It was a great time, and we continue to be excited about all the opportunities God has given us to daily interact with those who need Jesus. We pray & attempt to meet their physical needs like Jesus did so tha topportunity will open up to meet their spiritual needs when they become apparent, by demonstrating true love. We love being in a church that emphasises so strongly personal ministering to those in your sphere of influence. :)
Life Group at church is still wonderful! Our church had baptisms yesterday and 17 people were baptised! It was special to watch those in their 30's all the way down to 9 year olds. We had a nice picnic and had lots of fun fellowshipping and playing with all the kids!
Jonathan and I had all Friday to hear briefs from crews of all the aircraft he can go to, as well as to actually walk on the aircraft and see exactly what it looks like (all but the B-52, since the runway's not big enough at Randolph). It was extremely enlightening, ang I got to sit in the cockpit of one of these (F-15E Eagle):


Makes me understand why Jonathan would want that more than an y other! However, it's not an option, they must have just had it there for fun. :) With all the wisdom we have, he's leaning toward B-52's (Bombers) or KC-135's (air refulers).
Heres's a B-52 Bomber



Here's a KC-135 refueling:


So maybe you don't think all these pics are cool, but they are to me!!!
Now, May should be a busy month, too. Jonathan's siblings (sans Emily) will be coming to visit for 6 days and then 4 days later my family comes for a week! So we'll have wonderful times and a full house in May! That is extremely exiciting!
Have I mentioned that I love the United States? I do. Just living different places makes me aware of how different God made even just one continent. He gave us beautiful mountains and the rolling hills of Virginia/NC with the kudzu and dogwoods and wonderful pines! He gave us the flat-straight land of Illinois with its acres of corn. He gave us the rugged, brown, full of live oaks and cactuses, mostly flat, dry area of Texas. I could name differences in every state, and that only covers one country! It's amaznig he's given Jonathan and me the opportunity to travel around and live all these different places! Just thinking about our next assignment stirs excitement in me for what it will be like.
And this will have to end my thought for today. Sorry there aren't any personal pictures. I have blackmail pictures of Mary, Jonathan, and me line-dancing in ridiculous clothes, but I'll resist posting those. :) Ok here's on of Jonathan & little Emerson (our CG leader's youngest girl).

Have a blessed May everyone, and keep seeking Christ! I close with this:
"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." Colossians 2:13,14

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mary's Gone :(

*sighs* We had such a lovely time, and now my beloved sisster is gone, gone, gone........

Monday, March 13, 2006

March Update

Happy Monday, Happy March, and Happy Birthday to all the people I know with March Birthdays!

Much to tell! Jonathan has started classes! Academics officially start tomorrow. Wow. All the waiting and here it is. Kind-of scary, definitely exciting. I admit that I have been (graciously, and wonderfully) spoiled all my marriage (which is 2 months shy of a 2 years!). This is the first time I've experienced a husband consistently having to be gone 8 hours a day! Certainly Jonathan had his days in college where he'd have to be gone that much or more, but they were the exception. Most days we've had lunch together, and had the opportunity to take mid-day jaunts wherever we liked. Our life is about to become much more scheduled: shall I say we'll experience a more "normal" life? But that sounds boring, as this hardly will be! I'll get to hear him come home and tell me about flight simulations (people getting sick, yay!), jamming radars and missiles, and of course all his flights up! I might share some of the really cool stuff on here.

There are so many opportunities here for things to do, and new stuff to learn. Case in point: we are looking seriously at buying a boat for cruising around, fishing and exploring on weekends or holidays. So we both need to take a boating safety course, and I need to learn about reefs and charting and navigation. Then we've looked into my getting Padi certified for SCUBA diving. We also want me to get my Pilot's License!!!! That makes me get chills of amazement and fear! So, many things are vying for my time and money. But what opportunities! I love having a husband that is so talented, adventurous, and knowledgable! *sighs happily* I don't know anyone else like him (did I mention he's a sharpshooter(he has the excellent marksman ribbon to prove it)?!!!

As many of you know, we found a church! By God's grace, we settled in at CrossBridge Community Church, and were invited that night to a Life Group (i.e. small group). Don't disbelieve that God doesn't even direct things like who you sit by! People welcomed us warmly and we have appreciated the emphasis on being an active part of the Body of Christ, and being in fellowship/discipleship at a small group. They have a weekly 4-page booklet they publish before the following message on Sunday, so you can be prepared about what the pastor is going to preach. It also contains questions for the Life Group that night. No church is perfect, but we're grateful to be in a place to walk the lively life in Christ with others!

Other than that we got sunburned from a day at Corpus Christi, have sold some things we didn't care about on eBay, I finally made my vaunted homemade enchiladas and Jonathan raved, are enjoying our first visitor (Jonathan's dad), my Kitty Marie is wild and happy, and I love how inexpensive the Commissary is for groceries (and its coupon policy)!

We think often of our family and friends back home, and around the country. You are loved and your friendship is treasured. Keep the emails and calls coming, as I have tried to do!


The RiverWalk


Kitty Marie


Beautiful Flowers Jonathan brought me!


Jonathan & Denise on Valentine's

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Finally an Update from TX

Well, believe it or not, I'm finally updating. Moving 1200+ miles away into an unfamiliar city has been quite The Adventure.
My first experience on a military base was one of awe: so this is how those who serve our country live and work. We lived in temporary housing for families for 3 weeks while we house hunted. Fro 3 weeks I did not have to clean (except dishes) and we frequently ate out, as there was minimal stuff which with to prepare meals. I got to see gruff old seargents and young airmen alike render salutes to Jonathan, with his 2nd Lientenant "butter bar" clearly showing. I got a thrill each time I witnessed this: here was a small example of the rank he had worked hard to attain. I am learning how to identify each rank, for it is an important sign of respect to use a person's title when addressing them. They have worked hard for it and it should be recognized. So when I enter the gate to go shopping at the Commissary (base grocery), I can say "Thank you, Airman" after showing my military ID. Although I have not had much personal interaction yet, I feel they are a close-knit group.
One reason we haven't met many people yet, or formed any sort of circle of friends, happens to be that Jonathan has not started his Navigator training. He orignially wasa slotted for a May 8th class, but, Praise the Lord, has been bumped up to March 5th. Each day the training jets fly over the house, and it's exhilirating to know that in short order, it will be Jonathan passing overhead!
We originally planned on buying a house, but ended up renting. The house was a newly-finished rental home. It's in a nice new neighborhood, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, and a little larger than our old house 'most everywhere. Texans have a strange custom of combining the laundry room with the kitchen pantry, which makes for a small space (they put the water heater in my pantry too!). But Jonathan being so handy has bought and hung more shelving, so I'm happy. Jonathan can't stand to live amidst boxes, so before 10 days had elapsed, he had our home completely devoid of boxes and every single picture, towel rack, or shelving hung! I am blessed with an industrious husband who can work around any problem, who does not procrastinate, and who loves to bless me! :) Our home didn't come with a fridge, so after painstakingly researching it online and locally, we purchased a 25 cu ft LG (Life's Good, Jenn I know you love that brand!) French Door, Bottom Mount Freezer. I love it and hope/plan to never outgrow it!
We haven't found a church home yet, which is the fore-front of our prayer life right now. We've tried 3 in 4 weeks (visiting one twice), but have not decided that is home. We dearly want to find a body of Christ with which to worship and grow, especially in a small group setting. We continue the search, eager for what God must have in store!
Our evenings and weekends are filled with reading, setting-up house, exploring San Antonio and thereabouts, movie watching, and long talks with the family back home. We miss them and our friends a great, great deal! Every email and phone call have been utterly precious to me! Please don't stop!
San Antonio's second largest tourist attraction (behind the Alamo) is
The Riverwalk. The San Antonio River runs through the city, and because of flooding dangers in the 20's the river was going to be paved over. But some forward-thinking women formed a conservation society and proposed the canals and toursm industry that thrives today. It's uniquely beautiful and lots of fun!
I'll post some pictures here so there's an idea of what things are like.

Riverwalk Hotels


J&D - Night Riverwalk


Riverwalk Restaurants


Riverwalk Waterfall


Botanical Garden


Botnaical Garden - Cactus


Monday, January 09, 2006

Times Together

Lovely week thus far. Last week Jonathan had 3 whole days off. I loved it! He's still working on his M-44 project, but almost all done. It looks wonderful, I'll have to post pics when it's 100% done. He's also writing an article on it in Maximum Outdoors (a local hunting magazine). Cool, isn't it? I'm so proud of his accomplishments, and the diligence he puts into what he does.
We had a quick visit to Dallas last week. Saw the old Texas Book Depository, which has been turned into a museum to the assasination of Kennedy. When you take the time to go through it and actually see how it happened (it all looks just like it did in the pictures), it's rather amazing the lack of security back then.
Jonathan's in his high-security phase of training. He's learning about the offensive and defensive weapons our military has. All his studying and training goes on in a place called "The Vault." He has a special badge, must classify information he writes down, and is not allowed to bring anything in there save himself. When he comes home from school, he can tell me in general how the day went, but nothing in particular. Very interesting.
This weekend I'm making a birthday cake for some friends of ours 4 year old. They'll be in the shape and decorated like cowboy boots. If it looks good, I may post a pic.... :)
The weather's still a blessed 100 degrees here, and I still enjoy every minute!