Sunday, February 28, 2010

With the possibility....

With the possibility of snow tomorrow I thought I would share snow pictures from the last time. The first time it snowed here this year we were in Chicago, and NO SNOW! So I was SO EXCITED when the next snow came. Nobody loves to take pictures like me (well probably somebody) so I will share my pictures. I was so excited I didn't even wear a coat, surprisingly I didn't get cold. I was walking all over the place taking pictures, and living next to a graveyard has it's perks - its BEAUTIFUL in the snow.
Enjoy these pictures, just in case I don't get to take any on Wednesday.
Now I was having a very peaceful moment in the graveyard, looking at the deer tracks in the snow, enjoying the peacefulness of the moment when all of a sudden "MAMA" - here is Ethan, coming to find me. My heart hit the snow! So now it was time to go back inside (after I take pictures from every angle of the yard) to wake Crickette up and get outside with the kids so we can try and make a snowman.

Well the snow was to fluffy to make a snowman or to slide down the hill, so we just made snowballs to throw. I told them to throw them at me, but to the left or right so I could take pictures. Of course I was hit on the glasses. But we did have fun. Always have to make some scrapbook moments!

Sorry there were so many to look at, but they do get hard to choose from.
Oh, there were some rather large paw prints around the front of the house. Wonder if Jacob came to check on us?? HA HA
Ethan did come tell me that he was getting ready to go outside and I could come take pictures if I wanted to! He just really wanted to slide down the hill. It just didn't work!

Honoring Sgt. Jeremiah Wittman

Yesterday I experienced something that I pray you never have to. I attended the funeral of an Army soldier that was killed on Feb. 13 by a suicide bomber. Jeremiah one of three of our soldiers killed that day.

I was amazed to see a group of bikers called the Patriot Guard. Not only did they travel with the body from the funeral home to the church. They went to the airport and led the body to the funeral home. These are a group of men the take their time to honor the fallen for our country. Flags were lined the roads leading to the church. And as the family came to the church the Guard members lined the front of the church and with themselves holding flags. It was an incredible site and very emotional.

The service paid tribute to this young soldier who leaves behind a wife and two little girls. His wife Karyn has been living with her parents since he deployed with her daughter Mia who is 3 years old. My heart was deeply touched with BG Stephen Twitty carried Mia as he escorted Karyn to the front of the church. The music and words said about him were touching. Two of the men that served with him came to the funeral to speak about Jeremiah. It was so moving to see how much these men cared for each other and were so proud to serve with each other. When the Brigadier General spoke I was truly amazed to see how, not knowing Jeremiah, he spoke to his family in such a personal way. He was so kind and compassionate to them. In the closing of this service they presented Karyn with medals given to Jeremy, the part that got to me the most was when he placed the dog tags around each of the little girls necks and then they took his from his gun and gave to Karyn. Again he took Mia in his arms and escorted the family out of the building.

After taking the body out of the sanctuary we then went across the road to have the twenty one gun salute, the playing of taps and the folding of the flag. This was a ceremony that I will never forget! My mind could only go back to the time when my father passed away and I thought of how my mom must have felt when they gave her that flag that was placed on my father's coffin. The Patriot Guard circled stood at attention around the coffin holding their flags.

Yesterday we said goodbye to an American Hero. He joined the Army knowing that there could be a day that his life would end dying for his country. He served so that his children could live a free life. He loved his family and was looking forward to coming home this year. The good news is that Jeremiah was a Christian, and for those of us who are Christians, we will see him again.

If you see one of our military men, please say hello and let them know that you are thankful that they are defending our country. They are protecting us because they don't even know us but they want us to be free. Be proud to be an American!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Crazy Cycle

Going to copy my blog from Daily Gems from God's Jewelry Box. This is what I am experiencing for me now in my life. If it applies to you, I challenge you to get this book and read along with me, if we get enough we need to have discussions on it. I will be letting you in on my insights. Enjoy!

Gen. 32:26
And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh . And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

Wrestling with God, this is something that I don't think we really have considered doing with God, but after Sunday's sermon the thought crossed my mind. I realized that I have never had one of those moments with God, so I decided I would take hold of God and not let go till I am changed.
Monday I went to Christian Supply and stood face to face with God at the checkout. I saw the book Love & Respect. And God said - "Ready to be changed"? I bought the book and am now ready to hold on to Him through this book and I am looking forward to being changed.
After two chapters I am already seeing me in this book and how I have my shortfalls and how I am caught in this cycle of my marriage where I have hindered my relationship with my husband more than I have helped it. We have not had an awful marriage, in fact its been a good marriage, but I am looking forward to the best years being those that are coming up.
I challenge you to get this book and read it. Be ready to be changed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Random Dozen

Found a new site and thought I would share - she ask the questions, I answer. If you do the same, we get to know each other better!
2nd cup of coffee

1. Have you ever fired a gun or shot a bow and arrow?

Yes, fired a gun. Love shooting a pistol, even though I have not done it in a while! I don't think I have shot a bow and arrow. We tried archery in PE but that didn't work for me!

2. Do you know where your childhood best friends are?

I absolutely do. One is still my best friend and I am back in touch with others through Facebook. My best friend was my Maid of Honor at my wedding.

3. Do you usually arrive early, late, or on time?

I can be all three. Depends on what is going on at home most of the time.

4. Are you more of a New York or California type?

Well I have no clue, I am not much a person who really likes staying in the sun, so I guess I will have to say more New York, after all it is one of the places that I really want to visit!

5. Do you have a special ring tone?

Well for my husband it plays, "Let's Get it On", one daughter is "Sweet Home Alabama", my son "Anchor's Away". For my other daughter I don't have a special one yet, I did have "Barbie Girl" once for her. Guess I have to get another one downloaded!

6. What is your favorite type of chip?

Chocolate Chip - in cookies!!

7. Best comedy you've ever seen is ....

This is hard! I love You've Got Mail, 13 Going on 30, and Sweet Home Alabama! Really loving the Proposal too!

8. Have you ever cut your own hair? To quote Dr. Phil, "How'd that work for ya?"

Just your basic trimming, not trying anything new!

9. If you were going to have an extreme makeover, would you rather it be about your house or your personal self?

I would love to have the personal makeover done!

10. Are you allergic to anything?

Minocin - but they don't make it anymore, broke me out on my hips.

11. Why is it so hard to change?

Because we like being satisfied and not getting out of our comfort zone. But change is on the way!

12. One last question dedicated to February love: CS Lewis said, "To love is to be vulnerable." Please share one example of that assertion or share any thought you'd like to about this topic.

You have to be vulnerable, or you won't allow love to happen. You put your heart on the line when it comes to love and realize that it can be sliced into a thousand pieces or it can be made to feel whole. It's not that it won't ever hurt, but you will remember the fullness that you get from love that will help take the pain of the hurt away.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Getting it all together

That sounds like a plan doesn't it? Well now I just have to make it happen. I have so many things to finish blogging about; The time after Paxston graduated, the trip to Chicago, the day we had to leave Paxston, and then the next weekend which consisted of Chris and I going with 11 other couples to Pigeon Forge, TN for the weekend.

We came back, life happens as it always does and here I am getting ready to go back to Pigeon Forge for two nights, come back home for my first military funeral here at the church and then get ready for a Missions Celebration the next weekend at our church. I will have two couples staying in our house that weekend.

Now why I am a little stressed? Because I still have two Christmas trees with no decorations still waiting for me to put them away. I need to go down to Paxston's room and put it all in order so that one couple can stay there. Oh, I didn't mention that I am doing the Missions Celebration book with all the missionaries and organizations in it. There were problems with the data disc, then the new church computer came in, I hooked it up, got it running and then couldn't get some programs running and here I am needing to finish this book by Thursday. Hmmm.... oh yea, my father-in-law may have his knee replaced tomorrow, so we will be heading to GA. And we just had a church member's mom pass away and another family is waiting, Hospice gave them 48 hours 4 days ago...

I am just a wee bit overwhelmed, but I know, that right now I am getting ready to put clothes in the wash, think I will tackle one downstairs room to make room for the trees (this door can be locked) and then it will be a Kick and Sculpt class tonight, guess then it will be rest and then get back up in the morning at 5:00 AM to head to the gym....and then wait to see if we go to GA.

So if you have nobody to pray for, shoot one my way!! Until we meet again....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Well to me it doesn't mean the same as it does to everybody else. This is a day that my heart hurts, because I miss my mom so much! This was my mother's birthday. So I have to think back on the happy times and remember all the fun that she and I had. This year is 9 years since she passed away and went to be with the Lord! That is what gives me most comfort on today. So I want to share her with you today. Cancer not only gave us a chance for her to come live with us and share more time with us, but it was cancer that made her realize that she didn't have Christ in her life and she finally surrendered it all to Him! Her baptism was awesome with her bald head and all!

She was an incredible woman. My father (who ablsolutely adored her) passed away when I was only 13 months old. My mom was only 27 years old when she became a widow. They had only been married for four years.

It was always us! One Christmas she came to visit us in Memphis and I made her a journal of all the stories that I could remember of her and I doing. At one point I told her if she thought the story happened another way that she could write in the margins her version of the story. She said it was one of her treasured possessions, that along with an 11x14 collage of Rusty Wallace's racecar and pictures of each of her grandchildren in the drivers seat! She LOVED Nascar and got me hooked in it too. But I must add that after she passed away it's not quite the same. She would make me climb up in that hospital bed with her and watch the race.

Now I will have to dig out photos and scan them for you. I think I would like to share more of their story, after all that is where I got alot of my personality traits from. Before mom passed away I use to love hearing how much I was like my daddy, now I also like to hear I am like my mom.

I do pray that you all have a Happy Valentine's Day. Remember those who you love, treasure your times today and know that there is a story in the making. You make the best love story of all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Trip to Great Lakes...part two

Okay, remember me telling you about the GPS, well as we are nearing Chicago, she is tell us to make a few turns, now these turns are not considered major roadways in our books. We are now going under the main highways and realizing that there are no cars anywhere! Then to top it off they have the roads blocked for the entrances back to the major road. The sun is starting to set and we have given up on being at the hotel for the meet and greet.

As we are nearing Chicago we past a building that is about six stories high and has the Logo from the store Sears on it. As we past we hear the words, "Is that the Sears Tower?" come from the back seat. Yes, we all got a laugh out of that one. Now we are back on what seems to be a normal road, number one because again we have to pay a toll. We are seeing cars around us and the next thing you know, blue light special - yes we are being pulled over! Well to make the day more interesting we are 30 miles from the airport still and we realize that in 30 minutes Amber's plane is going to land. Hmm... the hotel is still 45 minutes on the other side of the airport...
Hello officer - no we're not sure of how fast we were going, we thought the speed limit was 65, oops it's not? Oh - well we are so confused by the GPS, we are trying to get to the hotel and drop some of us off and then get back to the airport to pick up our daughter, our son graduates tomorrow from Navy boot camp. Well thank you officer, for giving us a warning for not using our blinkers when changing lanes. We will be more mindful of this!

Back on the road again. Now we see that there can be a very big problems. There is no way that we can get to the hotel and then Chris come back to pick up Amber without her waiting for over an hour and a half. So, yes I suggest we just pick her up at the airport. We can put Ethan across their laps and I will just carry her suitcase. We change the course of the GPS to the airport and are on our way, which it technically was going past it anyway. So we park, get out and go inside to get Amber. Imagine her surprise when she sees the whole welcoming committee! If we had only had markers and a posterboard, we really would have made her a sign. Now you can see her mind is spinning about how we are all going to get back to the hotel. She has been making comments all week about us going on the Infinity!

The fun begins. Girls are in the back seat with Ethan across their laps. I have the suitcase in my lap and we are off. Ethan is covered by the blanket so he can't be seen. All of a sudden we smell the worst smell in the world! They want me to roll down the windows, but I am sure the smell has to be outside and it will get in the car even worse. Then Ethan starts laughing - guess what - that smell is coming from him! The windows are rolled down for fresh air! Headed down the road we hear this sound like something is hitting the car, well come to find out it is my coat, hanging out the door. Yes those inside are laughing at me like crazy - hey, try getting in the car, hoisting a suitcase in your lap and then try to close the door! So again we are headed back to the hotel, then our GPS is now telling us to turn around, hmm, I am wondering, why would we be going back to the airport instead of out of the city? Well I am sure that I hit the address to the hotel, but the airport address in where we are headed (do you know how much I hate this woman in the GPS?). So after pulling off in a parking lot, setting the GPS (AGAIN) to the hotel address, we are off! The sight of the city at night was beautiful. Gets us excited about coming back on Saturday. Amber and I both are thinking more of our blogs than anything else!

I have posted the Graduation ceremony so next will come our adventure after the ceremony! There is never a dull moment with the Gulledge family!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Trip to Great Lakes... part one

When it was mentioned to me that we would take the Infinity to Great Lakes, I was thinking only of how much money we would be saving in gas. The thought did cross my mind about luggage (remember two teenage girls going) and where exactly that would go. Well here is how the trunk looked after packing. My husband reminded me that I do a great job so I could just work my magic. There is a large suitcase, two large duffle bags, a suit bag, lots of shoes, a computer and twelve pack of drinks, along with our heavy coats in here! This is not a large trunk!

So packed in the car we begin the journey and it is 6:00 PM - just before we leave we decided to look up on Mapquest directions other than taking I-40 since the road is still closed. We do see it takes us through Charlotte, so I say - no problem, once we get on the road the GPS will recalculate and all will be well. May I add that built in GPS units have a mind of their own. 45 minutes north of home and the stupid thing is still trying to get us to turn around and go back the other way. We have to call up our son-in-law and ask them to look up directions for us.

All is well, the girls are listening to their music on ipod and phone and Ethan is listening to the Backyardigans - no headphones. A somewhat normal trip, but we are realizing that where Mapquest said 13 hours, this trip was going to take WAY MORE TIME! After 5 hours and several toll roads, and a few tunnels, we decided to stop for the night in Barboursville, West Virginia.

The morning begins and we realize that we have low tire pressure so off to a service station before we get on the road, finding the station was fine, finding an air machine that worked, was not. Two stations were out of air, finally we find one and then Chris want's to get the car washed. So yes, we go through a car wash, and not a very good one for $7 may I add. Okay, back on the road again and we are all enjoying the sights. We stopped in Ohio and ate GoldStar Chili - haven't had that in a while! Exciting going through Indianapolis and just past there where we see windmills! Rows and rows and rows of them! So awesome. Oh, I haven't mentioned that we left about 7:00 am, we realize by the GPS that it will now take another 10 hours to get there. We are thinking no problems, we check in the hotel at 5:00 (which is 4:00 their time) and we still have time for the meet and greet for parents and family of the sailors.... This story will take way to long to read if I finish today, so I will continue a little later, I promise the best is yet to come!

WOW - time flies!

I can't believe it has been almost a week since I have blogged, but it got crazy here. Last week was all about getting ready to leave for another trip and get the newsletter out before we left. We left on Thursday going to Pigeon Forge with 11 other couples for a Marriage Retreat. We had a blast and I have great stories and pictures to share, so stay tuned. Does life really return to normal? I think that Normal is only a setting on the dryer!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I am a Navy Mom!

Now there are many stories to be shared this week, but I had to post this now since Amber posted hers and it is killing me to read hers! Ha ha.

Waking up this morning was pretty neat, I knew that it would be an experience that I would never forget. I even took the advice of the Navy moms and went against wearing my new purple high heeled shoes. I opted to go with my more comfortable heels with my new outfit! I was pretty excited about getting all dressed up, down to the old pants girdle that I was wearing to help protect me from the cold.

Of course we are running behind schedule and stressing out about missing the shuttle bus to the Naval Station. We were in the lobby in time! It seemed like forever to get there. Once we were dropped off at the gate we were informed of no picture taking till inside and that we needed to get our ID's ready. Each group was processed and then told it was about a New York block to where we would be going, basically just follow the crowd. So we walked, and walked - how far is a New York block? I thought Amber and Crickette were going to take down an elderly lady, had to reassure them we would make it in time! We got to see the new recruits marching along the way. It was a neat walk. I really wanted to stop and take pictures, but was reminded by the kids - no cameras! You will leak Navy secrets, possibly. Then we arrived.

It was so neat going inside and finding our Division number to take a seat. What do you know - a whole row just for us. I was the first one in, then Jordan, Crickette, Ethan, Amber and Chris. I felt a little strange about not being beside my husband, but then realized he and Amber had Ethan, so my feelings went away. I got to sit behind the jolly "blue" giant. I was very worried about how I was going to tape around his rather large head. We sat here for an hour, just watching people. Of course with an hour to kill we decided it was now time to go to the bathroom. After going downstairs, I realize that the girdle that I have on to keep me warm is causing static like crazy. My pants legs are clinging to me and I have all kinds of lint and hair attached to the bottoms of my pants. If I had my purse with me I know I would have taken them off, despite how cold it was outside! After getting back to our seats I knew that this time would come... the entertainer in the family. Why is it that a six year old thinks everybody needs to know the family secrets? Ethan has the crowd laughing! I get to be entertained by the fifteen month old directly behind me. I promised the mom I would not blog about it, but that was at the beginning. I of course am busy taking pictures of everything and sending them to facebook to keep the friends and family updated, the next best thing to being with us!

As the time draws near they show us a video of what our sailors went through. It was an interesting video. Then what we had all been waiting for. The doors opened up and there were our sailors! The crowd goes crazy! Our guys come marching in, and yes, they all looked alike. It was hard to find anybody, you just looked for the guys in glasses and hoped it was your son. They marched passed us and down in front of the whole crowd and back to where we were. It was neat to hear them take orders and remove their outer coats and watch as Sailors quickly moved back and forth to get it all removed and put away. I enjoyed seeing how one reached over to straighten up his buddies flap. I am so glad that I had the video camera, I found Paxston. His lips were what gave him away. It was very emotional and some of the best moments were when the sailors repeated the Sailors Creed and when they sang "Anchors Away", and I didn't catch either on the video.

The best moment of the day was when they started talking about Hall of Fame and how this is the highest honor that a division can get and they only get it about every 6-8 weeks. They were proud to announce that one division took these honors and it was Division 067! We were screaming like crazy! That's my sailor and all the sailor's families around me! Talk about a proud moment! Wow, not only does my son graduate from boot camp, but he graduates Hall of Fame!

As the ceremony is concluding I am gathering up all my belonging so I can get to my sailor when I realize that my purse it gone, yes gone! I have my video camera and cell phone in hand but no purse. I look and look and as all the parents and family are reunited with their sailor, I am still looking frantically for my purse. Well I spot it, down below the bleachers, remember that fifteen month old, I am sure that she knocked it off! I am thinking about it still being here, so I take off to find my family. Then all of a sudden everybody looks alike, I literally had tears in my eyes thinking that I was missing hugs from my sailor! I finally see Amber (several women had the same hounds-tooth jacket like her) and got to see my Sailor! Got my picture made so I could send to Facebook and then it was off to rescue my purse.

I find the most important looking person in uniform and of course the wife just lets me know that they are only visiting. I am sure she read the look on my face, I told her I was sorry, but her husband just looked like he might be able to help. I see my family and tell them that we can probably send Ethan under and get it. Off again I go to the center of the arena where I see a young man in camos and RECRUIT on his hat. I figured this would do. He had the look on his face the whole time like "Please don't come here, oh no, she is coming over here..." then I ask him how we could get to my purse. After leaving his post, he came back so that we could go to the far end of the bleachers where my purse was. By this time I see that my family is there and they have shot Ethan under the bleachers to rescue my purse. Earlier Ethan had dropped his gloves also and this recruit climbed under to get the gloves out for us! At this time they started turning off the lights and ushering the families outside!

It was a great time. We went next to the Navy store to get us new shirts, Navy Mom, Navy Dad, Navy sister, Navy was a madhouse! After finding the perfect shirts and stickers for the windows, we go the cafeteria and visit with our sailor. He lets us know that he will have to check in and get released, so we could just hang out a while and then meet up at the visitors center.

The next story for that will have to come tomorrow~it will be a good one!