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!