Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Service, Duty, and Honor

I hope it's no secret that I love this man.  He would never want me to write this post, but it's a part of our family story, and that is what I'm trying (sometimes harder than others!) to record on this blog, plus, he doesn't read my posts, so serves him right!!!  A few weeks ago, John took command of the 931st Maintenance Operations Flight in a ceremony steeped in Air Force tradition. 
"Taking" command

John loves what he does, but mainly who he serves with

Kate being presented with flowers toward the end of the ceremony
We were so happy to have Pops and Mimi here to celebrate with us!

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

One more pic with my Johnny after a celebratory lunch at McAlister's
 So, really this post isn't so much about the ceremony, but just an opportunity to say a few good things about the man I love.  John had to convince me (like over a 2 year period!) that it would be a good thing for him to join the Reserves.  In the end, his love for airplanes won out.  The more I get to see him in this role in uniform, I realize that it's really not about the airplanes (though he does love them!), it's about the people.  John really cares about the people he works with and for and they know it.  Many people (I used to be one of them) think that a reservist works one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year.  Actually, it's more like maintaining two full time jobs.  He has many of the same requirements he had while on active duty and a fraction of the time to complete them.  His reserve days and weekends are just as important to him as the time he spends at his "regular" job.  John works tirelessly for our family and our country, and I am grateful (though sometimes, I complain :o( ... just being honest!)  He is a true example of putting service before self, and quite simply, he is my hero.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Our Trip to the Aquarium By Will

Wow! I've never seen this many fish before . When I saw this whale shark I was amazed!
WOW! Look at this huge spider crab!
I took this picture . Did you know a jellyfish has a mouth?
 We went to a show called DOLPHIN  TALE. My  favorite part was when the dolphins did tricks!

We saw electric eels! P.s. my mom thought they were gross. Interesting fact eels only sting with their tails.

Fact did you know lion fish have venomous fins?
Did you know that sea horses are the slowest moving sea creature?

 This was a baby girl penguin.
 We were crawling through the penguin exhibit.
 Hello Kate.
 This picture was in the tropical reef.  Kate was looking for Nemo.
 We were waiting to touch manta rays and baby hammerhead sharks.  You could only use two fingers when you tried to touch them.

I love you Mimi and Pops! I love the aquarium. Thank you for taking us.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


One thing I love about about moving around is having friends in so many different places.  Because we've lived so far away from our parents for most of our marriage, our friends have become like family.  The Lord has blessed us richly - every where we've lived, we have had friends that have walked with us through good and bad, funny and sad, easy and difficult times.  We try to keep our connections strong ... but there is nothing like a face to face visit.  While we were visiting my parents this summer, we were able to see some friends from high school.  
Is there anything like old friends?  I think not.  These people loved us when we wore braces, glasses, and (I) had permed hair.  They must be special, right!?!  We met Kirk first, but Kelli not long after that.  We had the privilege of growing up in youth group together and it didn't take long for the 4 of us to become close friends.  Kirk and John were often in trouble ... nothing big, think talking in annoying accents for hours on long bus rides, and breaking into the pastor's private library - you know, mild stuff.  Kelli and I were perfect angels, of course, and we loved those crazy boys.  We had MANY double dates together.  Kirk and Kelli got married about a year and a half before we did and it was an honor to be a part of their special day.  They returned the favor a year and a half later for us.  We both lived in North Carolina for a while an we got to see them a few times, but after we moved to California and they returned to South Carolina, we only kept in touch through an occasional phone call or email.  Of course our time together this summer was too short, but it was definitely sweet.  We laughed until my cheeks ached ... and they had only been there for 30 minutes!  We told old stories and tried to keep our husbands from telling our kids too many details of their fun together.  It was so much fun to see our kids together and we promised NOT to let another 10 years go by before we see each other again.  Friendships like this are a true gift!!!

Look out world ... these boys are a LOT like their daddies!!!

There was lots of showing off!

Kelli and I just supervised (and prayed that no one would get hurt!)

This is oh so normal for these two!

After a LOT of threats from their wives ;o)
SO thankful for Kelli's life long friendship!

I'm pretty sure they were singing "Friends Forever"

We love your family!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Life at the lake

We love the lake!  Some of my favorite childhood memories are of the times my family spent at my grandparents house at the lake.  I remember
  • waking up early to get out on the boat so that the water skiiers in our family could take advantage of the smooth water
  • getting to drink fanta orange and crush grape drinks on the boat ... ahhh
  • looking for bathing suits that didn't have any white on them, because white would be a lovely shade of orange by the end of summer
  • not wanting to come inside until dinner time
  • pink cheeks and shoulders
  • jumping off of the boat house and the rope swing
  • our first jet ski - it topped out at 32mph if you laid real low across the handlebars and had the smoothest of water
  • swimming inside the boathouse when the rain came
  • snakes :o/
  • time with my cousins and sitting at the kids table
  • finally being old enough to sit and talk with my and aunts and not get sent to the kids table :o)
  • wonderful family meals
  • watching fire flies and fireworks
  • playing Careers or Monopoly on rainy days
  • waking up to find that our parents were still playing Canasta at 7:00 the next morning
Really, I could go on and on ... so many wonderful memories.  I remember the first time I got to bring John with us on a lake weekend (a pretty big deal if you know my Dad! :o)  I wondered if he'd love it as much as I do - turns out he does.  Now we're getting to make so many of these same memories with our kids.  A few pics (or maybe a lot!) from our days at the lake this summer ...

This is the first summer Kate would jump in :o)

And the first summer we let Will swim without a lifejacket ... he thought it was very freeing!
This little one is a lake baby FOR SURE ... he L-O-V-E-D the water!

Pops & Mimi are happiest when these 3 are around!
W - almost 8, K - 3 1/2, E - 1

These two had quite a shell/rock collection by the end of the week

Headed back to the water

Kate put a "hurtin" on Pop's boiled peanuts this summer!
Everybody loves riding the "Jeffrey"

And Eli loves waving to everyone on a "Jeffrey"
 ***In case you're still with me, just wanted to give a warning about these next pictures.  Your nephew might be cute, but mine is the cutest!!! See evidence below - 

I told you!  Cutest. Ever.

Watching the skiiers


Johnny B

Will took full advantage of Pops and Mimi's open fridge policy on Cokes :o)

Boat rides are so relaxing

Like REALLY relaxing!!!

We spend a "little" time indoors too

Back to the boat!
One more trip to the pool

Will loves his Mimi!

Kate was not too sure about the "green slide"

But she forgave Pops real quick!
Well, if you're still reading, you are a true friend!  I'll leave you with one last picture of how we all feel when it's time to leave the lake ...