Armed Forces Day!

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Mom-armed forces day1-001Many Americans celebrate Armed Forces Day annually on the third Saturday of May. It is a day to pay tribute to men and women who serve the United States’ armed forces. Armed Forces Day is also part of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May.

The Seattle Sounders are honoring the Armed Forces at their game on the 17th of May. It’s always a great event to be a part of. I’ll be missing that game since I’m still in Florida but my season ticket will be enjoyed by a friend.

cemetery-air show1I’m partial to celebrating the Marines and soon we’ll be hearing about a reunion like the one below when Andrew, our Marine, reaches U.S. soil and the arms of his faithful and supportive wife, our daughter Katie. We can hardly wait to hear of the reunion.

Thank you, thank you to all those who serve us and our country in the Armed Forces!

The Here and Now!

Katie and I have been very busy in Jacksonville these last few days. We arrived here Sunday night and checked into our hotel and had dinner at O’Charley’s. On Monday we hit the ground running…

ApartmentFirst order of business was to find an apartment for Katie and Andrew. The second complex we visited had a one bedroom apartment available to rent on the 3rd floor with immediate occupancy subject to credit and background checks. Katie filled out all the forms and by 4:00 on Monday she had the keys to the new apartment.

Apartment1The one bedroom is 824 square feet and has nice high ceilings. It is 100 square feet larger than Dear and my condo that we had in California.

Apartment2There are some nice closets and the washer/dryer and all kitchen appliances are included.

Apartment3Of course upon close inspection we found some flaws but this is the nature of the beast with apartment living. One big thing is that the complex is pet friendly.

Apartment5Even though the apartment was supposedly cleaned and carpets washed after the last tenant left we still found an amazing amount of cat hair from just a once over in the living room with the vacuum. Disgusting! I’m thinking the apartment cleaners need to upgrade their vacuums!

On the bright side, the views from the windows are of a lovely green space between this apartment complex and the next one over.

Apartment4It was not easy for Katie and me to trudge up and down the 3 floors of stairs with the minimal belongings that they are setting up home with. We had to break down some of the boxes of kitchen items that Katie had packed so well and that were stored here in Jacksonville for the last eight and a half months because they were just too heavy for us to get up the stairs.

Tuesday was the big long move the boxes and possessions in day. We worked for many hours and shopped for some needed items in between. At 9:30 PM we finally made it back to the hotel pretty much in a delirious state of mind.

On Wednesday we checked out of our hotel and headed to the apartment for the mattress delivery. We vacuumed some more, washed floors and put away all the kitchen items. We also started loads of laundry. The mattress delivery was made and we made up the bed. Katie called the cable company to set up internet and minimum cable and the technician said he was working 2 days out but he’d put Katie on his ASAP list and if anything opened up he’d give us a call. Well…by 4:00 today the internet was hooked up. We headed out to Wal-Mart again and bought a wireless modem. Katie with some difficulty figured out how to hook everything up and we are now connected to the W.W.W.!

Apartment6Sunrise to Sunset has been the theme the last few days. Tomorrow we are taking it slower and returning some items we bought and doing our grocery shopping. We need all the staples (flour, sugar, spices, salt) and extras.

Let’s talk about my hair and humidity. My hair takes on a life of it’s own here in the southeast! It gets some added curl and twists and turns when I’m working hard in the humidity. I think the humidity tires me out faster, too.

Some of Andrew’s company that are good friends of him and Katie will be arriving home sooner than Andrew in the Advon party and we plan to put them to work bribing them with food and company. We need some strong young men to help us get a T.V. into the apartment.

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to a nice strong cup of french press coffee here at K & A’s apartment. What are you looking forward to?

God Be With You Till We Meet Again ~ Hymn

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God Be With You Till We Meet Again

God be with you till we meet again;
By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you;
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain

Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
Neath His wings protecting hide you;
Daily manna still provide you;
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain

God be with you till we meet again;
With the oil of joy anoint you;
Sacred ministries appoint you;
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain

God be with you till we meet again;
When life’s perils thick confound you;
Put His arms unfailing round you;
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain

God be with you till we meet again;
Of His promises remind you;
For life’s upper garner bind you;
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain

God be with you till we meet again;
Sicknesses and sorrows taking,
Never leaving or forsaking;
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain

God be with you till we meet again;
Keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Strike death’s threatening wave before you;
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain

God be with you till we meet again;
Ended when for you earth’s story,
Israel’s chariot sweep to glory;
God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

Words: Jeremiah E. Rankin, 1880.

Katie and I are now on the road headed to North Carolina to get ready for Andrew’s homecoming.

Andrew and Katie

Today is our Katie and Andrew’s 3rd wedding anniversary. He is in Afghanistan and she is in the Seattle area. Quite far apart but close in heart.

BP03112012_194cKatie was trying to calculate how many days they’ve actually been together in these 3 short years. They’ve spent a lot of days apart because of Andrew’s service in the Marines. That’s the way it is and that’s what they signed up for. It’s good to understand that going in and then it’s good to have the support of God, family and friends to get you through.

Happy Anniversary you two. May God bring Andrew home safe and may he bless you with many years of growing together in love for each other and for God who is the architect of marriage.

HT: Jeremy Leffel Photography

I Will Never Forget…

I will never forget this day. Where I was, what I did, who I talked to. My TV was still in my living room in Washington in 2001. I sat on the edge of an ottoman in shock. I started dialing, first my husband, then my married son and his wife, (they were married 2 weeks before 9/11.  I woke my 2 kids that were still at home. That day seemed like it would never end. Called my SIL to find out if she’d heard anything from my niece who was working in Manhattan. My niece was in route to Manhattan, no one at work had seen her yet. She wasn’t a casualty that day. She made it. She had to turn around and try to get home again. It took her over 6 hours to get home. Small price to pay compared to so many…

Praying that God will continue to lead and direct our leaders in how best to protect the people they are called to serve. Praying that God will protect us from evil. Also praying that God will build us up to be able to persevere and endure whatever suffering comes our way.

And now all these years later we have our dear Son in Law who will be deployed very soon to Afghanistan for his second time. We pray that God will protect him and all of the Bravo Company.

Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV) and (The Message)

The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

and from the Message Version…

God bless you and keep you,

25 God smile on you and gift you,

26 God look you full in the face
    and make you prosper.

Photo credit: Jeremy Leffel Photography

Thank you to all who serve and protect including our Military, Border Patrol, Police, Firemen, Coast Guard!

The Season Begins…

Although we didn’t win it was nice to get rolling again. It was especially nice to enjoy the game with 3 of our 5!

For those of you who aren’t major league soccer fans this was the Seattle Sounders opener against Toronto. It was nice that Katie could join us while she is in town.

We’ve gotten to be friends with the season ticket holders around us. It comes in handy when you want them to take a photo, too!

I love that we always begin with National anthems and that the military in our area is so well represented. I’m a little partial to the Marines!

Since we were playing a Canadian team, their flag was represented, too. We listened to a beautiful rendition of “O Canada” in English with some French thrown in. They could have been better guests, though, and let us win. Aye!

Another fun season of “raising our scarves”…and wearing our rave green!

Our Emerald City Supporters really go the extra mile. The other Major League Soccer clubs have learned a lot from our Seattle Sounders supporters. This next photo does not represent most of the fans.

I don’t know how they were able to fall asleep but I’m glad I was able to catch them in the act! Speaking of sleep, I’m going to be sleeping at our son’s home in Eastern Washington for the next couple of nights so you probably won’t be hearing from me.

Have a great week!

Sunlit Sunday?

The fog has blocked out the sun in our part of the world for several days now so I decided to go to my photos from a year ago to show some sunlit offerings! We have also had a good stretch of days that start in the 20’s and just inch their way up, trying to reach the 40’s.

It’s hard to believe that just a year ago our daughter Katie and I were at a wedding show at the Seattle Center. Her and Andrew’s wedding ceremony was in March of last year. I decided to pick this photo for Sunlit Sunday because she just called yesterday letting us know she will be arriving in Seattle for a month long stay while our son-in-law Andrew has some cold weather training in Northern California. They currently live at Camp Lejeune Marine Base in North Carolina. There is always a bedroom ready for visits from our kids!

To cheer myself up and to remind myself that the sun is shining but I just can’t see it’s glory right now I searched for more January shots of sunshine from last year…

Not real bright but the sun is breaking through. These are floating houses on North Lake Union in Seattle. If you look closely you can see the Space Needle in the background.

A lovely shaft of sunshine lighting up my bouquet of tulips from January of last year, too.

Hope the sun is lighting up your part of the world today!

I’m joining My Little Home and Garden for her Sunlit Sunday Meme.

Yesterday was our firstborn’s birthday so we’ll be enjoying a meal together for him and our dear daughter in love this evening. We love to celebrate our family. Speaking of celebrating, it  looks like my blog will be having a big celebration real soon as my total blog visits are inching to 1,000,000 viewers!! I never imagined when I started blogging in March of 2007 that my blog would be visited by so many. I’m working on a giveaway for this landmark event to be announced this week!

Labor Day Monday Mosaics ~

We took a little road trip last week to the Oregon Coast and Bonneville Hot Springs in Washington. On our way from the coast for breakfast in McMinnville we took Highway 18 and spotted a sign for a covered bridge. The original bridge was built in 1914 but was damaged and was rebuilt. The new rebuilt bridge is on private property that is owned by a military family with a son in service with the Marines. We can relate to that.

We found a great little cafe in McMinnville that bakes their own bread and has homemade jam. We enjoyed a granola crusted french toast and an egg scramble that was really tasty at Wild Wood Cafe. After breakfast I had a little sit and chat with Ben Franklin in the historic section of old town.

I’m linking up with the fabulous photographer Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday, I guess it will be a special Labor Day Mosaic Monday.

I hope you all are enjoying your long weekend and you’ve fit in some time free from labor!!

K is for Katie!

K is for Katie

K is for our Katie. Katherine on her birth certificate. This photo was taken by Jamie Spiro. This is a repost from a few years back but I was stumped for the letter K and am always ready to share about our wonderful daughter Katie.

Our Katie has an amazing amount of knowledge stored in her brain and I will show you some photos that might explain where some of that knowledge comes from.

At a very young age if Katie went missing this is where you would find her.

She was most drawn to books with words, not picture books. We had a few old school reading books and these are the ones she’d pull off the shelf and carefully go through.

As you can see she did not have a shortage of toys but she always seemed to go for the books.

We didn’t realize how well she could read until a trip to Meadowdale Beach Park with our friends the Spiro’s. Jody was walking hand in hand with Katie when they came to the tunnel under the railroad tracks that took you to the beach side of the park. As they approached this tunnel with this sign Katie said quite clearly to my friend Jody, “Caution Low Head Clearance”

We realized then that we had an almost 4 year old who definitely knew how to read. Who knows how much she was reading without us knowing before this experience.

Here’s Katie in a Kilt that I bought in Scotland in 1973! Hard to believe it fit me once.

Here’s our Katie in 2010 on the night she got engaged to Andrew.

Katie and Andrew were married at the Magistrate’s office in North Carolina when she visited Andrew March 11, 2011. He is deployed at present and when he returns we will be having an official wedding. Right now it looks like that wedding could be on March 11, 2012. We have to wait on the Marines to know for sure. For those of you who pray, please pray for our Andrew in Afghanistan and for our Katie as she waits for his safe return. Semper Fi!

I’m linking to Alphabe-Thursday with our great teacher Jenny! Thank you Jenny for keeping us on track.