Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boot Camp has begun

Well, Jathan called last night about 9 pm from the bus. He was not far from Ft Knox and when they were going to get off the bus they would have their cell phones and personal items taken. He asked for prayer since the plan was to keep the newbies up all night processing. He probably wouldn't get to go to sleep until tonight.

He probably won't get to contact us for at least a week or so. They apparently have "phone time" when they return cell phones for ten minutes or so, because they don't have enough pay phones for all the men to use. Then, Lord willing, he can provide an address.

Tom looked online and Ft Knox says that the only thing the men are allowed to received in the mail is letters, photos, or magazine articles (not magazines!). Anyway - please pray for Jathan today when you think of it. He will have a tough day today.

I thought of sending some scripture verses for encouragement. He might not have much time to read for the next two months.

Welcome to the military!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscar hides under the piano whenever someone is playing.  He seems to like the vibrations of the piano.

Lorien is getting into Facebook now.  She is enjoying it VERY much!

This is the very beautiful plant that Jathan gave me for my birthday, and also just because he was leaving for a long time.

These are the roses from Tom from Valentine's (red) and for my birthday from friends at work (yellow).  They are not quite as fresh as they were, but they are still lovely!

And they are Kayren's beautiful flowers.  This is our way of pretending that spring is here, even though it isn't and won't be for a while!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday fun!

Well, yesterday was my birthday, and today is Tom's. What fun! We both got all kinds of birthday wishes from friends and family, and had a wonderful day. We received phone calls (wow - every brother remembered!), and a card from Grandpapa and Grandmama Robinson. Mom and Dad sent a lovely hummingbird feeder that we will both enjoy (pictures later). The Deatsches also gave us a lovely card. Our girls that are home got us a "date" for Applebees (yea!). Jathan got a beautiful plant for me. Kyrie called from Grove City.

The wonderful thing about birthdays is the opportunity to see how all your friends and family are doing. What a sweet blessing to have a loving family and great friends! Tom and I are so grateful for you all!

Thank you for a wonderful day, and for all the love and care that you have shown us.

And - I am 45. It is Tom that is 46!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This is a picture of Lilly, taken by Kayren.  She is working on creating different photo images in art class.

This is our neighbor's house and just a bit of the snow that we have seen lately.

These are the beautiful roses that Tom got me for Valentine's day!

This is Lorien texting.  Hmmm.  Common scene for her - ahem!

And this is Sonya with Aleya having fun! Sonya and Jathan just left to check out Des Moines.  She hasn't ever been here.

Sonya Kuiper and Jathan on the couch.
She made it today!

Here they are playing Quiddler with all of us.

Sonya wondering if ax is spelled with an "e".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday - February 19

The cold has settled in, but we missed the ice, which was very nice.

Last night, I spent the evening with a lady in our church who has Pique's disease, which attacks the front part of the brain. She has become totally dependent at this point, and her faithful husband cares for her patiently and lovingly. He likes to go to pray with the deacons every Wednesday, so several ladies in the church offer to sit with Cindy while he is gone.

Each week that I spend with Cindy, I am struck by so many emotions all at once. There is the sorrow of knowing that I will not hear her voice tonight because she cannot talk to me. I deal with the questioning of whether she understands anything that I am saying to her. Does she hear me read to her? Can she understand the music? Is she comfortable? What does she need? How can I know? Where is she? There is the sweetness of her squeezing my hand - though it is never in response to anything particular. She just squeezes it. Her eyes seem to want to talk, but are too tired and she no longer shakes her head either in affirmation or negation. So, we sit, and I find that I am tired from the lack of knowing what to do. We usually end up watching a Rosemary & Thyme or Foyle's War. Soon she falls asleep and naps for a bit in her chair. Then I play Twirl or go on Facebook or blog. Last night when I left, I squeezed her hand and said, "Goodbye Cindy. I love you." She looked right into my eyes and her mouth quivered a bit. I wanted to call it a smile and think that she understood me. Then I go to the car and cry because I miss her, and because I feel so helpless to know how to be a good friend.

This morning, I still ache for Cindy - and for Don, her husband. He cares of her everyday and I am sure he struggles with the same things. I pray for her, and for him. I am so thankful that she is God's child, and He is caring for her soul and keeping her for Himself. She has the peace of belonging to Jesus. Whether she realizes it now or not, He keeps us all in His hand.

Mental illness is amazingly difficult. I cannot pretend to compare it to all the sufferings of this world, but it certainly ranks for me as one of the most difficult trials of life.

Please pray for Cindy and Don today if you have the time. The road is long and difficult, but the Lord is faithful. He is faithful to them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday - Feb 18th

Jathan is a mere 6 days away from shipping out. He is busy in the meantime however, as he is teaching today and Monday, and Sonya will be coming, Lord willing, for the weekend. We are looking forward to meeting her.

The weather report was predicting ice and snow for the morning commute, but we were blessed to have it pass by. The streets are just wet - for now. My Friday afternoon trip home was amazing, as it took about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get half-way home. I took a long break to get out of traffic, and finally headed home a couple of hours later. So, I was thankful to avoid such this morning.

Kayren is planning a trip to Grove City in March, which is very exciting for her and for Kyrie Jo. Everyone loves company at college!

Well - work is calling. Lord willing, I can post photos this weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday - February 12

We are having moderate temps today - mostly in the 40's, with a forecast of a large snow storm coming tomorrow at noon. We are expecting somewhere between 6 and 12 inches of snow. I was able to get the floor mats in the car this morning to prepare!

We are praying for Mary Kathryn and Adam as Adam looks for work since his contract was not renewed for the fall. I was asking about Faith in Atlanta, but the economy has effected private schools such that Faith is not needing any more teachers at the moment. We will see what the fall brings.

Tom and I are ever thankful for our jobs, and that the Lord has provided for us to keep working. I suppose that everyone needs water and Tom's job is probably pretty secure, however, most companies are tightening their belts in one way or another. We are thankful for each day that we continue to be employed.

I so enjoy watching Kayren work on her art projects. They begin with a thought and it is fascinating to watch as the idea becomes tangible. One project has been to take black and white pictures and to fill in subtle color with markers on the picture. While this sounds odd, the effect is very interesting and beautiful. She was showing me several pictures that she was working on last night. I really like her style. She has a black and white photo of Aleya and Lilly (Susan's granddaughter) walking hand in hand, with the footprints enhanced. I'll have to see if I can post them sometime.

Lorien still loves going to Grandview and she has some wonderful friends. I am thankful that she gets to go. Each year is a challenge. I understand Mary Kathryn's concern for sending her children to Statesville when they have to pay partial tuition. It's quite the bill.

Aleya is discovering the telephone and calling a good friend from church EVERY night and talking for about an hour. What do they talk about? We are going to need to limit her time, but we are thankful for the friends that she has as well.

Tom is working extra this week and next. It wears him out, but we are thankful for the overtime.

I still love working at Faith. And, Susan came back from Florida! Yea! I sure do miss her when she is gone. My exercise plan kind of evaporates when she is on vacation. Yikes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday in Iowa

Well, the 50 degree weather has turned around and the sleet is taking over. Back to winter in Iowa. Oh well. We weren't really expecting that it was over!

Well, the van is gone. We had to make a decision regarding the van since our mechanic didn't think that it was worth fixing. We got 175,000 miles out of it, and it was a great van. I was sorry to see it go. However, we were able to trade for a bargain Toyota that is much smaller, but will get great gas mileage. The girls really like it (which is good, because they are the ones that will be squished in the back!) We downsized about two years too soon, but in God's providence, we thought it was the wisest choice that we had. Lord willing, this car will last a long time.

Financial decisions are so "iffy" these days, and you wonder if you are doing the right thing. We are glad that the Lord is in control of the economy and not Obama. I could spend lots of time worrying about all the socialistic laws he is imposing, but am trying to rest in the knowledge that God is working out His will. I am glad that the government is not the answer to all our ills.

Jathan found that he is likely to deploy after his training, unless his unit deploys before he is finished. We'll see how that turns out.

We get to meet Jathan's girlfriend in a week and a half when she comes to visit. We are looking forward to meeting her. Jathan got to meet her parents last weekend and he really enjoyed her family.

Well, work is calling. In the face of all the world issues, we have the work of today, with the individual students that we will have come through our door. We pray that we might get to present the Gospel to them, and they would come to know Christ. It would be great if they understood math too!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday morning in Iowa

45 degrees! Can you believe it! The forecast includes RAIN today. Wow. I didn't wear a coat earlier - just a sweatshirt. It is beautiful outside.

Lorien doesn't have school today, and there is a birthday party at a sports facility for all the kids in the church, so no one is having school (except me, of course). They get to play instead. What fun! Jathan will take them over and have a great time, I'm sure.

Lorien's last game was great! The girls didn't win, but they were playing a very seasoned team that had done very well this year, and our girls just kept plugging along. Lorien drove 4 times (wow!). She was blocked once, fouled once, and made two of the shots! Bravo, Lorien! She's working out of her timidity and into a much more confident player. She gets lots of rebounds, but has been cautious on offense. I brought my camera to take pictures, and the battery was dead! Ahh! Lorien did end up with a couple of bloody lips at the end of the game. She was trying to save a ball from going out of bounds, and ending up kind of smashing into the wall. She was still smiling at the end of the game though, so the battle wounds are not substantial.

Well, it's almost time to get to work.

Kesse and Kyrie Jo - I've been so busy this week, but I will try to e-mail, or call this weekend.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pictures at last!

Here is Oscar, enjoying Aleya's coat!

Aleya and Kyrie Jo at Christmas!

Kyrie at home at Christmas.

Kayren studying over Christmas break - give me a break!

Lorien with her favorite toy!

Here are a few photos from Christmas. I couldn't find the ones that we took as a family. I will have to look for those. I think that I downloaded them onto the other computer. Anyway - there are some of Kesse and Jathan and Tom there.
Lorien's last game is today! She isn't feeling too well, so I hope things turn out okay.
Busy day today - and I need to get started on school.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

8 Degrees

Oh, Iowa can be cold. I never really get used to it. You would think that after Alaska, anything would be warm - and that is true for the most part. But when you go outside and it hurts to breath - well, that's just too cold for me.

The trial went to the jury yesterday. Unfortunately for the prosecution, all of the main witnesses lied at one point or another, and kept changing their stories. I think it would be very difficult to determine what really happened because these people told the police one thing, and then changed their story and told something else in court. Forensic evidence didn't seem overly conclusive either. We'll see what the jury thinks.

Lorien's last game is tomorrow. She has so enjoyed basketball! I'll try to get some pictures.

Mama Robinson's latest report was very positive, and we are so thankful for that. It seems that she has some more appointments and some treatments, but the spot on her lung wasn't going to be a problem. We are so grateful for that!

Please pray for Jathan as he gets ready to go to boot camp. It will be a rough couple of months!

The girls have piano today, and youth group tonight. Jathan is working here, and Tom is working late. Wednesdays are so busy.

We are so thankful to the Lord for His gracious goodness to us, as He gives us each day.

Monday, February 2, 2009


February began yesterday, and I can hardly believe that January is gone.

Kayren had a wreck on Saturday, but we were very thankful that it was minor, and it wasn't her fault. She was sitting at a stop light and someone rear-ended her. Unfortunately, that means that the back hatch of our van doesn't open now (sigh), but we are thankful that everything else is fine, and the van is still driveable. We do get a little tired of all our cars heading to the scrap heap with alarming speed. All of them have had little incidents. The blessings of teenage drivers are that you cannot become overly attached to any vehicle that you have - which of course, we shouldn't be anyway. I'm just partial to having vehicles that run, and don't make all the wretched noises that keep you from having a conversation while you are driving. Maybe those cars come after the children leave home :)!

We are starting a new, busy week, and ever thankful for a wonderful day of worship and fellowship yesterday at church!