Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rough Night

Mckenna had another gymnastics meet on Saturday night. On Friday morning she woke up sick and by noon we were at the doctor with a diagnosis of strep throat. Her fever broke around 2:00pm so by meet time she was 24 hours fever free and on antibiotics.

Warming up with stretching...

Singing the National Anthem...Baileigh was trying to teach Morgan to put her hand over her heart...this was the result, too cute!

Mckenna started off on the vault and did okay...something like an 8.95. Not great, not bad. But she kind of fell apart after that...nothing obvious happened (like falling off the beam or the bars), but she scored really low on the remaining events.

Needless to say she didn't medal in anything. She was very upset and started crying during the awards. While I hated to see her hurting, I was also really pleased that her coach was patient and compassionate yet firm with her. She reminded her that she was part of a team and they won first place all around. Then she encouraged her that everyone has good nights and bad nights and she won't always win medals.

Our Saturday evening meet ended up being a bigger lesson in life...failure is never fun but it makes success even sweeter. Hopefully Mckenna will have a good meet next time and appreciate the feeling of winning...and be sensitive to those who had a rough night.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

This poster was initially produced by the Ministry of Information in 1939 during the beginning of World War II. It was intended to be distributed in order to strengthen morale in the event of a wartime disaster. Planning for the posters started in April 1939; by June designs were prepared, and by August 1939, they were on their way to the printers, to be placed up within 24 hours of the outbreak of war.

The posters were designed to have a uniform device, be a design associated with the Ministry of Information, and have a unique and recognisable lettering, with a message from the King to his people. Two-and-a-half million copies were printed, although the poster was distributed only in limited numbers.

It taps directly into the country's mythic image of itself: unshowily brave and just a little stiff, brewing tea as the bombs fall.

It is our deployment is on my t-shirt. It is on the wooden plaque in the kitchen. It is on the kids bookmarks in their Bible. It is on my blog header.

I'll be unshowily brave, brewing tea (or coffee) as the bombs fall. As the tree branches break. As the toilet clogs. As the car battery dies. As the mailbox door hinge rusts out. As the dog is sick. As the babysitter cancels. As the fish dies. As the kids fight. As the fever spikes. As the bills arrive. As I grow weary.

Daily it is said around our house. Daily I remind myself to relax. To not get worked up. To choose my battles. To focus on the bigger issues, the task at hand. To keep swimming. To take baby steps. To do my best, and let God take care of the rest.

To Keep Calm and Carry On.

Swim Meet

Baileigh had another swim meet this weekend...she has become quite the fish and loves being in the water.

Her 3 events...
Getting ready to warm up...
Swimming the butterfly for warm ups...
And now its time to wait...
She swam a great freestyle and finished second in her heat...even better was she discovered that Daddy was on the phone and she was able to tell him personally about her great swim!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Through the eyes of a 9 year old...

Recently someone had the great idea of suggesting that I let my daughters write on this blog occassionally. It instantly brought to mind a "book" that Baileigh began to write as Brad's deployment approached. She gave me her blessing to share this with you...I'm typing it as it, no editing.

"A Book for Christian Kids with Deployed Parents." by Baileigh M. Hall

Are you going to have a parent deploy? Or do you already have a parent that is deployed? Well I know how you feel. I am only nine years old right now but I bet I could understand you and your feelings. You see my dad has gone away before for four months, and in a few days he will go away for six months. This is a great book for Christian kids with deployed parents. So read and enjoy!

The day after your mom or dad left did you feel like a chunk of your heart fell off, or you have a huge hole in your heart? Well that is how I felt when my dad left. And even before my dad left. Because, to me my dad is my hero. I want to be just like him when I grow up. He is determined and he always tells me you can do anything. He runs marathons just to prove to me and my sisters you can do anything as long as you keep to it and don't give up. I didn't relize then that God gave us a free contrey. And since he gave us a free contrey we sacerfice for that. And our sacerfice is letting our parents deploy so they an keep our contrey free and safe.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Our New Normal...

Nearly 5 years ago this blog was created as a means to keep Brad connected to his family despite being deployed to Kyrgyzstan. Since then the family has grown, the assignment has changed, the location is new, technology has evolved...however, this blog still exists and is being used once again as a way to document our journey as we're faced with the challenges of another deployment.

My consistency with this blog has waned throughout the years. Facebook, although phenomenal for keeping in touch, has been detrimental to the blogging world, myself included. My personal intent for ever starting a blog was as a means to document our journey for our children. At times it has served as an outlet for my thoughts. More often it has recently documented the various milestones my girls achieve. But in its infancy it was a source of comfort to me as it enabled me to have conversations that may have never occurred in any other forum.

I decided that as I figure out our new normal in Brad's absence it was time for a new look and a renewed commitment to this blog. Thank you so much to my friend Heather for her design work! I used to be motivated to write as I knew there was an audience reading. I now have no idea how many still follow or read but I'm now motivated by my girls. They are old enough to read and we have spent hours on the couch reading portions of my blog that I have already published. They love it and have asked me to write more...and so the journey continues.

Friday, February 04, 2011

My Sisters

I found myself in MI for a few days unexpectedly as I wanted to support a wonderful friend whose mother had passed away. The silver lining to this trip was the chance to spend a little time with Tricia and Shelly...the two sisters I've never had. Here is our crew...
Our second playdate found us at Nana II's house...Tricia's mom hosted all the kids and we had a blast as always.
Special snowman cookies to make the occasion even more special.
The girls...
Aunt Tricia and tired Morgan...