Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Caching Challenge

So Mark presented me with this challenge. To find at least 1 cache yesterday, so it could count toward our Christmas find. You see what had happened was...we went caching on Christmas (to torment our sweet kids who were dying to get home and play their new BOX!) We didn't realize you could change the time on the geocaching clock! Meaning, we found about 3 caches on December 25, but it registered as Christmas Eve. Our clock wasn't set right; who knew? Now Mark really wanted one on our file for Christmas day.
So being the obedient wife that I am (excuse me while I clear my throat), on my way to pick up Seth from swim team I thought I'd find at least one! Drove to the first one.. NOPE couldn't find the stupid thing. Went to another one... NOPE couldn't find that one either. Now I was late to pick up Seth. Frustrated I gave up!
Fast forward a few hours, Mark gets home from work early and we drag all the kids away from their Xbox out to find these caches! I drive straight to the first one, Mark found it in about 5 minutes! Drove to the second one from my wildly unsuccessful morning trip. Caleb got out of the car walked right up to it and put his hand on it. In less than 5 seconds that stinkin' kid found it. (He wasn't allowed to eat dinner last night!)
We were on a roll, so off we went. We found a total of 6 last night in less than 75 minutes. Each of us found 1, but I ...YES... I found 2! They were all fast find and it was a very successful fun evening. I didn't want to quit but someone, I won't mention any names (Mr. Sexy Pants) got hungry. And if you know him at all when he's hungry he's whiny. So home we went!
All in all a GREAT caching day, but apparently I'm only effective when my family is with me!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

This is a picture of my 3 beautiful children on Christmas Eve opening up their traditional pajamas. I love Christmas, I love the HOLYdays! I love family time and everything Christmas. The shopping, the decorating, the baking, the wrapping, the smells of Christmas, the friends, family, trips and shows... seriously I love it all. I won't lie. This Christmas season has been different. I don't ever recall in my life a year that I was baa humbug, until this year. I miss my mom, the states, and all sorts of Christmas traditions that we can't find or do here. It's just different. I'm 41 years old and I miss my family. I'm looking forward to holidays stateside. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, even the Marine Corps Birthday has a different feel in the states. This time next year I'll be in a different house, on a different continent, eating at a different table, with different friends and prayerfully our stateside family!

I've enjoyed my time here in Okinawa. We are blessed to have met some amazing families and developed life long friends here. We've experienced more here that I ever dreamt of, and will see and experience many more new and exciting things before we leave. There are many things I will miss about Okinawa... CoCo Curry (which was introduced to me by a favorite Buckeye Amy Krieg), Arashi (also introduced to us by amazing friends the Peters), Koza Baptist, Geo caching (something tells me it's totally different when you aren't driving on teeny tiny goat roads having to pull your mirrors in because you will knock them off as you turn the tight corners!). We will also miss curfews, crappy TV reception, so looking forward to high speed internet and cell phones that work everywhere! I will personally miss the schools within walking distance of the house and of course the kids friends.

So in my tiny rant, I just miss 'home' at Christmas. I wish I was rich and could fly my family home for the HOLYdays or even fly my family out to spend the time with us. Then I feel guilty, because this season isn't about me and my family. It's about Christ, it's HIS birthday. And as I reflect I realize I'm doing exactly what HE wants me to do, serve HIS Marines, love on the people of Okinawa, and spread HIS joy and love to others. I'm also doing it with a smile on my face and peace in my heart for I know the God I serve and I know the future I hold in him.
Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Alaska Mission Trip 2013

Alaska Mission Trip 2013

K80 & I will be going on a jet plane in March for our very first Mother/Daughter Mission Trip (March 11-23). Iditarod Outreach: Finish Line Nome Alaska. We both fell in love with Alaska in the summer of 2011. K80’s youth group leader, Gretchen, shared this trip with us, & of course we had to go! We will be ministering to the mushers of the Iditarod, caring for the race dogs, working the Bible-in-a-Bucket campaign & loving on village elders. We seriously cannot contain our excitement for this trip! K80 & I have been working very hard for the last couple of months raising money this trip. Junior has saved well over $325 from babysitting. I have almost $500 from working the Japanese students.  K80 and I have also started a Parent’s Night Out (PNO) event at our church, Koza Baptist. In November we watched over 65 kids with the help of 20+ volunteers earning approximately $980.    We have another PNO scheduled for December, January and tentatively for February. Our goal is to earn $6,000 to cover our airfare, mission fees, and a love offering to Alaska Missions.


We are almost a third of our way to our goal! We would like for you to join us by praying for a successful outreach in Alaska. K80 & I would also like for you to prayerfully consider supporting us financially.


Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter and considering being part of the work God is doing in our lives as we prepare for this experience. Please contact us if you have any questions. We are extremely excited to see what all God has planned for us on the “Adventure of a Lifetime!”


In His Grip,

Colleen & K80 Francis

Page 1 of The Francis 5 2012 Newsletter

2012 has proven yet again if you feed your kids vegetables
and 3 squares with approximately 5 snacks a day they will
grow and grow and grow. The boys are like bean stocks and
K80 is not far behind. I’m telling you I had to get a part
time job just to keep clothes on these teenagers! Yeppers,
I said teenagers, can you believe it? Mark and I are frightfully
proud parents of teenagers, typing this makes my heart weak!
I can’t even think about high school yet, I’m still enjoying 7th
& 8th grade right now. As of Thanksgiving the boys are taller
than Colleen but seem to be mere millimeters away from
surpassing Mark! (that’s over 6 foot!)
Seth & Junior learned to surf. Caleb digs golfing. Junior loves volleyball. Seth is definitely a back-stroker like his dad. Colleen is still cancer free. Caleb hates texting. K80 & Seth text in their sleep.  Mark misses shooting. The kids think their parents are weird. Caleb & Seth are now Life Scouts. K80 is in NJHS. Colleen lives with 4 gamers. We all miss the States. Mark never answers his cell phone. We are getting a dog when we get home & we shall name him Brutus. We believe we have the best kids in the world.

I certainly do not want to rehash the last year for you.
Most info is on my blog or Facebook. So you are well
aware of the wild crazy and amazing life we lead! We are
blissfully happy and blessed by God. We just want to say
thank you. Thank you for being part of our family; thru
photos, prayers, emails and Facebook updates.
We love sharing life with you!

Thank you very much!

Dōmo arigatōgozaimashita!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PNO... what is that?

I know many of you have been quietly wondering what PNO is all about. You've read about it, dreamt about it and still have questions. Like... why in the world would a woman so busy as Colleen take on such a project? Or what in the world is she gonna do with all these children? My favorite one... who loves Colleen enough to volunteer for such an event?

Here are just a few answers to those great questions...
Junior and I took on this project so that we can go on a mission trip to Nome Alaska in March of 2013!  I know right someone just fell out of their chair. Nome, Alaska in March. YES YES YES. We can't wait. It's the end of the Iditarod and how could we possibly pass up this opportunity. (I'll tell you more about the trip later!) When Jr and I first talked about it, Mark said we couldn't take any money out of the family budget to do this. Someone suggested PNO, so we ran with it! So happy we did. It's a blessing to us and to parents all over the island.

What to do w/ these kids? The kids have so much fun. We've got a HUGE screen movie night, tons of games, crafts and some yummy snacks! Last month I over planned, it's what I do. There wasn't a bored moment for anyone. Lots to do, lots of fun, no sad children! Makes for one successful PNO. BTW: we had over 93 children registered and only 1/3 showed up!

Who loves me?... lots of people. They actually love Jr more though! We had over 14 adult volunteers and 12 youth. It was AWESOME! I think (maybe I am imagining things!) everyone had a great time. Time flew by, it didn't feel like 4 hours. Junior and I are richly blessed by all the help!

So how can you help... volunteer today! Our next PNO is December 14th! (the time has changed slightly so parents can go to the movies on base!)

Can't wait to see everyone at the next PNO!

P.S. If you click the photo it will enlarge it for easier viewing!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Girl who gave up on the ball!

This is me, well I think I look like this!
I'm certain ya'll have heard my rant on FaceBook about this amazing dress that I ordered that came in so small Katie could wear it. I was too mad to think about being creative to alter the dress and I already spent money on that stupid perfect dress! I had told Mark that's it. I'm not going and if I am going I'm wearing the same stupid thing I've worn the past 5 years. He just rolled his eyes and said whatever. He don't care what I wear! (and Yes, I said it like that on purpose!)
So Saturday, right before the Super Typhoon was to appear I rushed to the Exchange along with the other 45,000 family members on a a payday weekend! I got what I went in there for... a few scrapbooking accessories! That's when I started seeing all these signs that talked about a 'Special Occasion Dress Sale' September 14-16! I told K80 I was scouting it out. I walked the women's section twice before I found this HUGE selection of dresses! It was 3 whomping racks of dresses! That was it, seriously a couple hundred to a thousand women will be attending a Birthday Ball within the next 90 days on the island and you only have 3 racks of dresses! What are these people thinking?
Then I saw it, it wasn't as beautiful as my dream dress, but it'll do!
 K80 hates the jacket! She says I look like an old lady in it. Mark said... "ummm she is old K80!" (Mark slept on the sofa that night!)
  Then I found these shoes today on Amazon for $14.99. w/ free shipping! I love a GREAT Bargain!
So everyone can now breathe easily... I've got a dress, shoes and possibly some jewelry to wear. (That I found at the Marine Gift Shop on island and paid next to nothing for!) I seriously scored this year! I wonder if I'll wear this outfit for another 5 Birthday Balls?
Yes, I would have loved to have worn the dream dress, but a bargain is hard to pass up! So thankful that God has bigger plans and ideas for me. Now only 73 days til the Ball!
(Yes I will practice walking in those shoes, especially since I only wear heals once per year. I wear them in to the ball, take my photo in them and kick them under the table the rest of the night! I will seriously try hard to impress my friend, Danielle, and wear them all night long!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blessings in everyday life!

Yesterday was a day of blessings, so many blessings and the first hand witness of the power of prayer. My beautiful friend, Hannah bailed me out of a pickle barrel I found myself in. You see our mutual friends just had a baby two weeks ago.'Baby Girl' was 6 weeks early. She's in the NICU. I had promised this family this week that I would bring them dinner and come visit with them and their tiny gift from God. When I offered my superior cooking skills I failed to evaluate my situation: working, golf camp, and meetings every night! Hannah swooped in cooked dinner, got dessert and showed up on time to pick me up. All I had to do was get home from work and change clothes! Have I mentioned I love Hannah?!

So that was one huge blessing yesterday! Here's the next...

So we arrive at the hospital, eat dinner with this beautiful family and head upstairs to see 'Baby Girl'. We soon discover only two can sit and visit with her at one time. So I go in first. I wanted to honestly cry. She's perfect in every way possible. Her color, her smile, 10 perfect toes and fingers. She held my finger and wiggled. I'm instantly in love. Her mom and I talk a bit and I'm just reminding her over and over that God has big plans for you little one and Mama you did a beautiful job. She's doing great... stand strong. I step out and in comes Hannah to love on this little one.

Mama was sharing that 'Baby Girl' has a tiny little hole in her heart (happens a lot in preemies and often times heals on it's own) and that she is struggling w/ constipation. Moments pass and Hannah says let me pray for her. She does our super cool chat time with God prayer and says "Lord, we know you even care about the little things. Father "Baby Girl" needs a bowel movement." In that moment, 'Baby Girl' passes gas (like every good and strong daughter of a Marine), opens her eyes looks and Hannah and Mama and smiles! A big ole smile, takes her hand and covers her nose as if it say 'ewe that was a stinky one!"

God answers our prayers, He hears our hearts and is concerned and has compassion and love for all things in our lives. Thank you Lord for bringing 'Baby A' into this world. She's a miracle baby and beautiful blessing to her Mama and Daddy.

(For the safety and concern of the family their personal information was not revealed in this posting! I would love to show you pictures of this sweet girl, and her amazing mom and dad, but I cannot. Please understand and continue to pray for this family. Hence the reason for no photos and the name "Baby Girl"... I promise she has a super sweet name, unique and special just like her!)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What have I done?

Yesterday you would have thought I just gave my kids a $1 million each! Nope, just cell phones. For a while I've bucked the system, I dug my feet in and I refused to give in to the idea my kids 'need' cell phones.  For those of you who think I caved, I didn't. I now have 3 very active and involved middle schoolers who are going in different directions all the time! I want to be able to check up on them. To easily let them know when plans change. Okay okay okay... I want a leash on them!

 So we jumped in feet first and got ... prepaid phones! We also were blessed with free phones. K80's BFF moved to Jacksonville NC and her family left us their phones. I also discovered that it only costs 300yen a month for unlimited texting. (for you Americans reading this that translates to $3.75 per month!...with no montly contract) Now, using the phone to actually talk to someone is entirely another story, that is 100yen a minute (or $1.25 per minute). However, they can receive calls for FREE. So, if my sweet baboos need mama to call they just text me and tell me to call them. If they call their friends, and they won't, I hope or they will be sent to the gallows! They have already been severely warned about that!

So here you go, TheFrancis5 are running full tilt into the modern digital age!

I think I failed to mention that we only get cell service in our laundry room with the phones sitting on the shelf. So they will not be sitting round the house texting 24/7, it's impossible. They can actually go outside in the 107 degree heat with mind blowing humidity to text their friends. That won't be happening, I'll bet on that. So if you need us, call, text or stop by...the kids will all be crammed in the laundry room playing on their cell phones!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Big Idea!

As I sit in my humble house on this day of intense sweltering heat I ponder...
I ponder Obamacare. I have a solution to this whole issue. Instead of requiring everyone to purchase health insurance we should require everyone to carry life insurance. If you aren't sickly and don't visit the doctor often you can leave an inheritance to your children, spouse or even your favorite charity. If you are sickly and have major health issues your life insurance will cover the cost of your healthcare after you die. Yes, your family will NOT have anything after your passing, but your health care bills will be paid!

Tell me what you think...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Coming Home

He's coming home, he's coming home! You'd think he was gone for a long deployment. Nope just a week. I just miss him like crazy. I was 'nesting' for the past two days, the house is pretty clean and ready for his arrival.


T-minus 63 minutes til Mr. Sexy Pants plane should land. OHHHH I guess we better head to the airport!



Monday, May 21, 2012

One Year Later!

It's the one year anniversary of hearing those horrible words... you've got "the c word". (I still don't like to say it or claim it!)
 Here is a brief photo calendar for my life since May/June 2011.
Sunset over Waikiki Beach Hawaii
Zip lining through Okinawa's wilderness! So beautiful, breath taking views of the East China Sea!
I kissed Santa Claus and I liked it! (aka he's Mr. Sexy Pants!)
I wore a funky bug contraption on an EPIC Geo caching adventure w/ Katie in Alaska's wilderness!
Junior and I along one of the braided rivers in Denali National Park. (BTW: It snowed that day too!)
Member of the 3% club of Alaska. We got to see Denali twice on our trip up there! God blessed us on that trip!
Mom and I at Diamond Head, we didn't hike it I was just a few days post surgery, but gotta see the beauty of Hawaii not just my stinkin' hotel room!
Mark and I at our first Luau. We danced, slowly but danced (again a couple days post surgery!)
My girl, Maureen Domery (great friend from 2nd grade) chaperoned me (my medical attendant) to Hawaii. She took me sea kayaking, my abs hurt so bad I couldn't sleep for two nights and I walked funny! (my abs hadn't recovered from my first surgery, but we didn't know that prior to our trek) Oh yeah, we also got 'yelled' at by the lifeguard for going out way to far past the 'safety zone'. Great times... Love this girl to pieces! (Thanks Maureen for memories, friendship and desserts!)
I got a job as a Transition Assistance Program Trainer (I help active duty transition their career into the civilian world).
Mark and our tall kids at Maeda Point (great scuba spot) on Okinawa, no Caleb is NOT taller than Mark he's standing on a rock!
I held a giant snake, it was creepy fun. Would I do it again, yep if it would make Katie smile like that again!
Hiked a waterfall w/ my beautiful family and great friends, the Mitchell's!!!
I was blessed with another year filled with breath taking moments, many tears and lots more laughter with three blessings from God.

I can go on and on and on... but I won't that just wouldn't be fair. Ya'll would be so jealous, but I need to ask this question.

How was the past year of your life? Did you make an impact on YOUR World? in THE World? Have you lived with significant passion that other's can see, feel and touch?

I think I have, but there is always room for improvement. 

You don't have to wait until January to make an impact, start today!

Daddy's Gone... what's for Dinner?

When the kids were littler I could get away with PB&J & Carrot sticks for dinner when Daddy was away on business (Yes that's what we call it, not war, not war games, nothing that would cause alarm or instill fear!).

This week Mark's in the stinkin' states (can you tell I'm slightly jealous! Thankfully there is NO Chipotles for 100 miles from where he is at... so I win on that account!). Mark gone meant I could get away with easy peasy dinners! Now that the kids are teenagers they require real food. See menu above! I hope Mark's jealous b/c tonight's dinner smells YUMMY!

We'll have leftovers... that means super delish lunches for me this week at work!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I may have to take a break from Facebook for a few days. Many of you have given up FB for lent and are just getting back on. Congrats to you but please see my heart and understand why I'll have a temporary hiatus.

There are posts, and I mean a lot of posts about "The Passion of the Christ". If you don't know it's a movie about the last days of Christ Jesus. It's extremely realistic and the truth as to the brutality of Christ's final days and hours. If you know me, my heart and my life you know that I have a very personal relationship with Christ and my heavenly Father. However, I personally cannot handle the movie or the photos from it. I've never sat and watched the entire movie. I've watched scenes from the movie and obviously screen shots of it. Once I sat in a church where they showed several clips of the movie. I cried and had nightmares for weeks.

My family has seen first hand the brutalities of war. Christ was at war for each and everyone one of us. I don't take that for granted but I can't watch it, I don't want to watch it. I know the sacrifices that Christ made for me, I thank Him daily for them.

I know the postings are to share what Christ has done, and there are many non-believers on Facebook. So go for it, but please know I've not deleted anyone. I'm not running away from my faith. I'm protecting myself and my family. Images like this have a profound effect our on daily lives. We don't live in a bubble, we don't turn a blind eye to Christ. It's really the opposite. We know that we know that we know ... the sacrifices of Christ, we know the hell He went through for us. He did so, so we don't have to live through it ourselves. Praise God.

I love you, and I'll see all of you on Facebook in about a week!

Potty Adventures!

I bet your thinking this is about my potty adventures! I'd never post such a private thing on my blog. However I will blog about Mark's potty adventures.

But first let me tell you about this photo! He's completely out of regs and doesn't care (vicoden was his BFF). He didn't shave or cut his hair for 10 days and this is what he looks like. He's ruggedly handsome! The best part, he's got a multicolored beard! He's got some reds, browns, and GREY hair in there! He's so stinkin' cute. The Apache hair on his head (a patch here a patch of hair there!) is also getting to look quite sexy with salt and pepper! (Thus the name fits... Mr. Sexy Pants!)

This is not what this blog post is supposed to be about!

Mark's got this great brace on! It's extremely functional when you go to the bathroom. Especially when you're in town. (notice he cut his hair, the above picture was taken yesterday, this was taken today!) He's still beautiful, cranky but beautiful!

So my love decided he need to go to the bathroom. He does his business and his arm with the lovely brace taps the buttons on the seat.

First, the seat warms up! Then he hears music, followed by a refreshing rinse of his hind end. He's scrambling to turn it off when suddenly he gets a free blow-dry.

The man may never go potty in public again! Or at least never sit down again...


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Seth my Hero!

Sunday morning we are rushing out the door before church like most people. The reason we rush is I think I can do a half an afternoon's worth of chores on our to do lists on Sunday morning before we leave. It's been almost 19 years and it hasn't worked yet, but each Sunday I do my best to try! I am not a QUITTER! But that is another tale... you're wondering about this photo... allow me to explain!

So Sunday morning arrives, we head out to the van. I'm driving as Mark's been on heavy duty painkillers for his shoulder (can't wait for surgery and we are on the road to recovery!) I open the driver's door to climb in... Seth shouts...

"Mom, there's a spider on you!"

I leaped out of the van, did the jig and slapped myself like crazy!

"MOM! The spider's still there, it's on your thigh!"

Mark graciously smacks my thigh and brushes it to the ground, and he steps on it. But NOT before I saw it... it was HUGE! I wanted to squeal like a girl, I opened my mouth and Mark gave me the don't you dare "Daddy Look!" It was a MMMOOONSTER SPIDER, not really but it was almost the size of a quarter! Which is big enough for me!

I kiss Mark, get back into the van, thank my sweet Seth for saving my life and begin to drive away. It was then when I noticed all of the spider webs on the steering wheel, on the gear shifter thingie and wiper stick thing... it was gross. I can't concentrate on driving under these conditions. I swerved all over the road until Mark helped me swipe them all away. He's such a gentleman and I truly appreciated him... until he laughed at me!

I couldn't concentrate in church. I felt like I had spider babies crawling all over me. It's a gross feeling. I have no idea what the sermon was about. (holding my head down in shame... "I'm sorry Pastor John.") I don't deal well with creepy crawling things! I love camping and the outdoors but not in my house and certain NOT in my car!

I now find myself praying before I get in the car, asking my Jesus to get the bugs for me. He'll do that. He loves me and unlike Mark he doesn't laugh at me! (well at least I can't hear Him if He does!)

Moral of the Day... check the car for spiders before entering the vehicle. It could save your life.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Every Life {is} BEAUTIFUL

Tooling around online I discovered this video.

It sums up so vividly the relationship our heavenly Father has with us!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Deacon, who us?

Tonight Mark was ordained as a Deacon at our church. It was (is) a very moving and humbling experience. I'm so blessed to be married to this amazing man of God. I love him!

... and you will probably not see him in a suit for another 4 years...

so enjoy the photos!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fighting Couple and Church

Yesterday in church I couldn't stop laughing. Seriously laughing. You see Mark and I have found ourselves sitting behind a local national couple every week for the past couple of months. They are such a sweet couple probably in their mid sixties or early seventies. They are truly the cute old couple that Mark and I want to grow old and be like. But yesterday, yesterday they were AWESOME!

Picture this, we are early in the service singing Praise and Worship songs. The couple is in front of us, singing. The wife is getting into the service, raising her hands and worshiping. It's pretty normal right. Suddenly she reaches over to her husbands hand grabs it and tries to force him to raise his hands while he sings. He revolted and yanked it back down. They shared 'a look' and she resumed to her singing. A minute or so later the same thing! She is aggressively trying to get him to join in on the praise. He's determined that he ain't doing it! The looks between them were hysterical. I couldn't help but laugh. This went on for a few minutes back and forth. I'm talking strong belly laugh at this point. Mark can't hold it in either. Tears are now streaming down my face from laughing so hard. I'm trying not to make a scene but I can't help it. They were so stinkin' cute fighting over putting their hands up singing.

Understand that the Okinawan people are very reserved and formal. So to watch this display of marital bliss, when it's the wife pushing the husband is funny enough but to see it in church over praise and worship was priceless. I've seen this couple many times before and they are usually very proper and respectful toward one another. But today, (well actually yesterday) they let their hair down so to speak and shared their lives with us.

I love it, it makes me smile that every family has moments. After the service they looked into each other's eyes and shared a small peck of a kiss. Mark and I did the same thing, laughing and smiling the rest of the afternoon knowing that we aren't the only couple that shares intense moments of fellowship, even during church!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I believe this is a FIRST!

I think this is a first for me... if not it's been sooooooo long ago I don't remember it.

I slept thru my alarm. I've always been petrified of sleeping through my alarm clock. I hate the snooze button and probably have only used it 10 times in my whole life. Today I woke up at 5:35am. I know this because I looked at my watch on my way to the bathroom. My alarm clock is my watch since our old clock that Mark had in high school died about 6 months ago! We are very high tech around here. I keep my watch beside my bed in a really cool bowl shaped coffee cup. (I don't really know why I just told you all that?)

So anyways, I wake up at 5:35. I return to bed, for some strange reason I put on my watch. I think I was sleep walking or something. Well my arm ended up under the covers and I never heard the alarm go off. Hence sleeping thru the alarm. I abruptly awoke and grabbed my bowl to get my watch out and subconsciously finding it odd that it's on my wrist. So I look at it. It reads 6:20. We get up promptly at 6:00 for school; 20 minutes late...Ughhh!

I scurry around getting my sweet cherubs up. "Mom why'd you wake us up late, you never wake us up late! We'll be late for school!" I calmly reply "You won't be late you just can't lallygag this morning."

Needless to say they weren't late...And I still made the clay for Katie's project this morning...And they had a healthy fruit filled breakfast of fresh grapes and Crunch Berries and apple juice! (Yep, I finally made it to the commissary yesterday!)

Moral of the story... even if you're late. Remain calm, stay focused, and you can still make it out the door on time!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Hey Mr. Tax Man... I filed our taxes. I'm looking forward to that deposit you're gonna make!

Every year I stress about our taxes. I dread doing them. I'm getting better though. My goal was to finish them this past week, and I did it. Every year for the past few years I file them sooner and sooner after the new year. It's such a relief to scratch that off my to do list and to get that refund quicker! Love me some refund!

Who's next to get your money back? Get paid sooner... file today!

(several people ask me how I do them... TurboTax all the way!

It's easy and I can do them in my jammies!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's Raining Blessings

Y'all already know that we won an iPad2 this weekend at the BX. We entered a drawing with Stars and Stripes. They pulled our name out for the Grand Prize! It was shocking to say the least. We've all played with it and reality still hasn't set in. It's so pretty, fun and well just plain exciting.

No fast forward to tonight's dinner. I drop the kids off at Youth Group. Mark and I head to the Rocker NCO Club for Member's Night dinner. (Translation free dinner with some door prizes!) We think free dinner, we are in. I pick up our door prize ticket and hit the buffet.

While in line for the buffet they ask for 5 volunteers. I run up there with my plate in hand. The short version is I won the game and got a FREE iPod Shuffle!

They draw another number, not ours. The next number they call was ours! YES OURS! I can't believe it. Mark calmly walks up front to collect his prize... a Nintendo 3DS (red)!

Holy Toledo Batman, we've won 3 great prizes in the last 5 days. God is raining so many blessings upon us, I can't help but laugh and cry. I am amazed!

We obviously don't need the prizes we won tonight, we are tucking them away. Praying about what to do with them, whom to bless with them or whatever God calls us to do with them.

Lesson of the Day... rain is good, Raining Blessings is VERY GOOD!

Thank you Lord for all the blessings in my life, big and little!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Valentine's Dance

I just had to post this photo of Caleb and Dana. This photo was taken at the Valentine's Day Dance a few weeks ago. I can't get over how grown up these two look. They are friends from Youth Group and decided to go to the dance together. (there is nothing more between them, they are just friends!)

Yes I know, Caleb is wearing a t-shirt. It is a new one, and it is a Christian one if that makes a difference. It was a normal middle school dance. Some girls showed up in prom dresses, others (like my K80) wore jeans and a cute top. Boys wore mostly jeans and t-shirts. I think Mark said one or two actually had ties on, but he said they looked as though their mother's dressed them and was thankful that I wasn't mean like that!

Sorry for that bunny trial, back to the photo. Caleb looks like a teenager now. Seth too. What happened to my babies? I'm happy and I'm sad. Long gone are the days where I'd snuggle on the sofa with my kiddos, kissing their boo boos and singing them songs. Now it's helping with homework (that's way over my head), asking them politely to turn that music down and I'm going to bed before them most nights. I love them, they are growing into handsome strong men of God. For that I'm very thankful.

I love this season in our lives, but some days I wish I could hold them on my lap one more time or kiss them on their forehead without hearing ... "Really mom, I'm too old for that!"

Monday, February 20, 2012

More Funnies on Okinawa!

Just a few things I've seen on Okinawa that make me smile!

Mark loves this car, every time he sees this he has the urge to run up to the window and yell "Kiss Me my name's Mark!" I have yet to see him do this but if he ever does I'll put sure to post photos about it!

Really Snow/Ice Scrappers for sale on Okinawa... at the base exchange!? Really? I'm sure the thought was to purchase them for gifts for people back home but who's gonna pay $5 for an ice scraper that will cost $15 to ship home to the states... Just sayin'!

Last but not least some poor local asked for an "I love Okinawa" sticker and got this! I felt sorry for them, but they did get what they asked for!

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more weird things from this side of the pond!


What does this sign tell us about the park... let's list them out!

  1. No Loud Music

  2. No Picking Flowers & No Littering

  3. Dogs Are NOT Allowed to Bite Kids Butts

  4. No Scooter Riding

  5. No Golfing or Hitting Birds with Golf Clubs

  6. No Breaking the Benches

  7. No Fireworks

  8. No Cook Outs...

  9. No Eating or Drinking

So Please tell me what can we do at the park? At least they didn't have the sign about guns and pooping dogs. I love the elegant humor of the sign makers here! You'd never see a sign like this in the states.

Tomorrow I'll show you some photos from the parks we found today!