Apr 24, 2009

1 Ziplock Bag of Cat food
+
1 Six Year Old Boy
-
1 Mother's Supervision
=
1 HUGE mess of cat food all over my closet.

As Eli's luck would have it, the vacuum bag was full so I tossed it today, and I don't have any more. This kiddo is picking up cat food pebble by pebble until is is all clean.

Just another reason why I love Army life

This morning I received an email from a lady that Matt and I met at church in Clarksville, Tn.
I haven't spoken to her since we left over 4 years ago. We didn't have a close relationship, but her and her husband were our Sunday School teachers for about a year.
For some reason God put me on her heart a few weeks ago and she just can't get me out of her head. =) She happen to mention this in front of my boys' old babysitter, Heidi, who for some reason memorized my email address and was able to write it down for her.
She didn't have anything profound to tell me, she just wanted me to know she had been thinking about me. Her email served as an excellent reminder to me of the way God blessed us during our time in Clarksville. We never really felt great about our church there, but we somehow found our place in an older couples' (40's and 50's) Sunday School class let by a really fabulous couple.
I love that there are people all over the country, and soon to be WORLD, from all different walks of life, ages, and geographical quirks (Alabamans) that we have had the chance to get to know and to bless or be blessed by.
I may not run into many people that I know at the grocery store, but I have friends all over the world.

Bye Bye Baggy

Matt and Gabriel dropped Baggy off at the airport today to catch his flight to California. I felt bad for sending Matt to do the deed since Matt really wanted to bring the cat to Germany. I couldn't take him because I had a doctor appointment and our time to ship is quickly dwindling, so Matt had to do the airport goodbye.
The airlines won't ship animals if the temperature outside is more than 85 degrees. Since the cat is traveling from Northern Virginia (forecast for the weekend 85) to Texas (HOT) and on to California - if we don't get him out of here now, we'll be in trouble.
I would like to throw out a little plug for American Airlines for all my fellow military family readers OK, "all" my be an exaggeration, I should say "for my three active duty readers". American Airlines offers a 50% discount when shipping a pet via cargo within the US. This is fabulous! Tell all your active duty pals who are pet owners and getting ready to PCS!
Alright, so back to the cat. The poor guy must have known something was up. He weaved in and out of my legs all morning, spent some extra time snuggling with Matt, and looked like he was taking a "walk-thru" of the house late last night to say "adios".
He is such a funny guy. He can be so lovable and cute, and yet he can also drive you insane with his messy eating and refusal to cover the poo in the litter box. Everyone will miss him, even me.
Eli and Matt are definitely more fond of the cat than Gabriel and I so I thought it would be a good thing that Gabriel and Matt were the ones taking him to the airport. Eli would have cried and broke Matt's heart even more, but I expected Gabriel to step on his tail or pull out a whisker as he said his "goodbyes" forcing Matt to focus on Gabriel not being mean instead of the cat leaving. As it turns out, Matt did fine, but Gabriel had a change of heart and required some encouragement and Taco Bell bribery in order to maintain mental stability.
I'm hoping that the cat makes it to California with a few of his lives still left, and that he settles in well with my parents and . . . their DOG! I'm also thankful that my parents were willing to accept him as a foster kitty.

Apr 20, 2009

Fact vs Truth

I attended a PWOC conference this past weekend and was overwhelmingly blessed. PWOC stands for Protestant Women of the Chapel, you know those military folks, they like to give things a really long name and then make up an acronym for them.
My friend Becki invited me to join her for the conference weeks ago, but I put off making the decision to go until about 8am the morning of the conference. I needed to go. I'm so glad she invited me, and that I decided to go despite the van battery being dead, missing Eli's first t-ball practice, having 1 hour to get from the conference to church, and chosing to be inside on the first fabulously sunny weekend of the year.
There were many ways that I was blessed by the day, and most likely I'm going to tell you about a few of them, for now I'll share about our facts vs our truth.
Matthew 8:24-25 "Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
The facts: there were seriously big waves that threatened the safety of the disciples.
Verse 26 "He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm"
The truth: God has power over the wind and the waves. Oh, those waves were rocking that boat that is a fact, but the truth was that they would not sink the ship.

My facts: In just over 2 months I am leaving this home, church, and friends that I have grown to love so dearly over the past 4 years. I will cry, to the point of this ship looking like it is going down, I will be sad, my heart will break, and I will miss this life I have here.
My truth: God will be there through my own personal storm and He will bring this ship into port. He will be there through my lonliness, sadness, and bind up my broken heart. There will be great things for me to come.

The facts of this day, this week, this year are not the truth, Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 "I am the truth".

Apr 19, 2009

Not a soccer mom.

The boys started sports this weekend. Eli plays t-ball on Saturdays and Gabriel plays soccer on Sundays. I received the schedules a few weeks ago and immediately entered all the games and practices into my ipod. My ipod serves as the master calendar for the household - it has everything from the usual appointments and activities to my workout schedule and what day I plan to clean what part of the house. When in doubt, consult the ipod.
So what happened with soccer? After receiving the mailed scheduled for soccer, I also received an email from the soccer coach a few weeks later and a phone call from him early this week. Everything was a "go" for soccer and for Gabriel's first team sports experience until today's first soccer practice. We arrived at the soccer field at 2pm only to find out that Gabriel's team, the stars, had practice at 1pm.
All the 2pm practice teams were on the field in their very fabulous uniforms, and I looked at Gabe ready to play, and had to explain that I messed up. The printed schedule said "1pm" therefore my ipod said 1pm, but the email said "2pm" and I think the coach told me "1pm" when he called but I was only slightly paying attention. I don't know why I didn't call or email him to double check.
So, we brought our slightly sad soccer player home, set up our own net, grabbed the soccer ball and planned to run some drills. Eli was ready to play, Matt and I were set to teach Gabe some of the skills that the coach most likely went over at practice, and Matt had the camera ready for some action shots but Gabe had a meltdown.
Instead of practicing passes, dribling, kicks, and shooting - we got tears, fits, pouting and stomping. I'm furious, Eli is irritated, and Matt calmly looked on at the scene that was unfolding. After about 10 minutes I brought Gabe in for a nap and Eli and Matt went for a bike ride.
If this is a preview of the next 8 weeks, someone pray now!

Apr 17, 2009

Sacrifice

The topic of Eli's devotions this week is sacrifice. At the beginning of the week, the study asked what you were giving up to show God that you love him. We talked about it a bit, then continued with the second part of the question, which was challenging you to give up something for the week. The boys talked it over and decided to give up TV. We initially said that they could still watch their one morning cartoon, but as it turns out they haven't. The TV has been off, to include Wii and movies.
Today, I was in the car talking on the phone to Rachael, and I was explaining to her the whole sacrifice scenario. Gabriel kept calling my name, and I finally said "Gabriel, do you see this phone next to my head? I am talking. Please wait". And without missing a beat, Gabriel responded "I'm going to sacrifice your phone".
It was hilarious. OK, maybe no hilarious but darn funny.

Apr 16, 2009

Running it out.

Yesterday was "the perfect storm" in my house. The winds, tides, planet alignment, gravity, el Nino, everything was aligned just perfectly for an explosion of ginormous proportions.
I was teetering on an emotional breakdown at the same time that my kids were decorating the house with that darn Easter basket grass, slamming doors, whining about dinner choices and a whole bunch of other crazy business. There was yelling, crying, silent treatments, and finally everyone passed out.

This morning I woke up, tired, still emotionally ragged from last night's storm, and dreading the day. That is when I decided to run it out. I was going to go to the gym after dropping the kids off at school, but changed my mind and headed to Burke Lake Park instead. The park is just a few miles from our house and has a beautiful 4.7 mile trail around the lake. Most of the trail is nestled in the woods with peek-a-boo views of the lake. It was a cool 55 degrees outside this morning, perfect weather for me to run in.
So, I ran it out. I selected some good tunes on the ipod and ran all the stress, frustration, regret and tears out. I admired the quiet of the trail, the lone red bird in the green trees, the size of goose poop (seriously that stuff is huge), and the calm water. When I finished, I was awake and everything that was in my head at the beginning of the run was gone. I felt refreshed and ready to continue with this day.

Apr 12, 2009

Closed

The Hernandez family Bed & Breakfast and 24 hour diner is closed for business: effective immediately.

36 times we have welcomed out of town guests into our home over the past 4 years. Some guests stopped by for a few hours, others a couple of days, and few guests stayed for two weeks. Mika gets the prize for the longest stay at just over a month and it is a four-way tie for the shortest visit - those who stopped in for lunch!
We have been the airport shuttle to and from all the DC area airports, to include Dulles, National and Baltimore.
People have slept on couches, the futon, extra beds, sleeping bags, an aero bed, and of course the floor.
We have taken guests to New York city, a few different places in Pennsylvania, Williamsburg, Charlottesville, Baltimore, and countless, seriously countless, trips into DC.
We have taken people to the White House, the Capital, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, the Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, monuments, museums, landmarks, historic buildings, the National Tree, the Cherry Blossom Festival, Old Town, Georgetown, baseball games, hockey games, and so much more.
We have celebrated birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and New Years. I can honestly say, we have truly enjoyed opening our home to friends and family and sharing so many great experiences with them.
Today, I dropped our last guests off at the airport and closed our official guestbook.
Thanks to all who came to visit!