Our Georgia Peach...

19 years ago today we were blessed with our second darling girl at Fort Benning, Georgia! My how time does fly ...

The Epitome of southern bell-ness (is that a word?) even though she only lived there til she was one -- gorgeous, gracious, genteel, kindhearted, funny, witty, talented, dramatic, smart as a whip and competitive,but steel under that magnolia exterior she won't hesitate to take you out in paintball, volleyball,etc or if you mess with those she loves.(and she'll hate me for this post but there you have it...)

What a blessing you are Jessica Grace and a joy to watch as you follow hard after Christ and His calling's for you...... Happy Birthday!
(2010 CKFF Queen Cand. Portrait by Keller Photography)

Amazing things about me...

well I don' t know if they're all that amazing but today's question at Wives of Faith for the blog carnival is/was to list 11 amazing things about yourself....

1. I know how to sew, quilt, knit and spin with a drop spindle and a spinning wheel.
2. I got an A in Land Nav in college and love orienteering
3. I've been rappelling  -- we used Swiss seats not the store bought kind
4. I play Piano, Flute and Sax and was in Marching Band from 4th grade - my Sophmore year in college (Drum Major Jr & Sr year of High School) and I'm a member of the Abilene Municipal Band
5. I hiked the Grand Canyon and met hubby while working there
6. I love to ride horses and have been told I'm a natural with them, helped show halter class demo's in College
7. I love to dance and would really like to take some ballroom lessons, have participated in worship dance with PWOC
8.I won a poetry contest in 5th grade
9. I had one of my babies at home with a midwife and would love to be a midwife myself
10. Love learning new languages - really enjoyed living in Europe! and I enjoy using sign language in worship
11. I've been paid to decorate for others

See not really amazing per se but maybe just fun facts? ..... and there's more where that came from! LOL ....

There's no place like Home....

Yes we live in the State of Dorothy, Toto and Wheat presently. And no it ISN'T flat -- just have car trouble and you'll find out quickly that there may not be mountains but those rolling areas will get ya! We've enjoyed every place we've been stationed and love to learn about our new "home", see things,etc -- truly we have (yes even Fort Irwin- we weren't ready to leave yet) my parents taught me to look for/see the beauty in the everyday and pay attention to what's around you and there is much here in KS that is beautiful. No it's not the Rockies, Bavaria, Alaska or the Beach but God has beauty everywhere if we look...... this is our 2nd time being stationed at Ft Riley so my list may include some things we've already done! :)

Kansas is smack dab in the middle of the contiguous USA, really - the center is located in Lebanon about 2.5 hours from us:

 It is a state that may seem unassuming and boring if all you're doing is driving through on I-70 but get off the main road and there is much to see and learn -- Kansas has been pivotal in US History beleive it or not, was the crossroads of the nation, and is rich in history, quirky little places to stop and some top notch museums.   If you're interested or headed our way check out The Kansas Guidebook for Explorers. it's the most comprehensive one for the whole State we've found.....   This year is Kansas' 150th birthday as well!

So on with the list:

1. I'd like to Paddle the Kaw (Kansas) river with hubby and kids, camp along it (when my father was here three of the kiddos and I canoed/kayaked with him, between Manhattan and Wamego hubby was of course gone at the time :) and I'd like to do it again....maybe a different section this time, or a group tour?

2. We need to revisit Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs as Noah hasn't been yet. Fun field trip it's "the only store in the country where you can buy toy marbles, handmade marbles and watch them being made."

3. Visit the Orphan Train Museum in Concordia .. ok so it may not sound exciting to you but I remember watching the movie on tv and find it fascinating. Apparently there's a You pick orchard near by as well as other museums in town so we could make a day of it....

4.The Kansas History Museum in Topeka is one of the top ranked historical museums in the country ... and hey apparently their newest rotating exhibit is 150 things to love about KS  so if you don't like my list.....

5. Hollenburg Station near Marysville is an original Pony Express stop on the Oregon-California trail and is a fun place to explore (there's another stop in Marysville as well), true it's a bit out of the way but it's worth it and military are free/discounted! There's not a lot out there but if you listen close you can still hear the hoof beats of approaching riders...... and if you have time you can jaunt north a bit to Rock Creek Station Park in NE and still see wagon ruts from pioneers on the Oregon Trail

6. I want to take the Underground Salt Mine Tour in Hutchinson ... ok so it's not Salzburg but I've still heard it's very cool!

7. Buffalo --- ok if you've never been to KS or someplace else that's wide open west you need to see the Buffalo check out Maxwell Refuge .. last time we were here they still had Buffalo Corrals on post (it's the dog park now) and "Misty" a white buffalo baby was born which was a really big deal! Tim's grandfather raises them so my kids aren't terribly impressed but still you should go! :)

8. Little House on the Prairie ....If you've ever been into Laura's books at all you must visit the homesite in KS ... we camped here when I was preggers with Noah so another one we need to revisit. I would love to visit the museum in DeSmet,SD and Rocky Ridge Farm in MO as well.... there's a State park in Elk City close by to camp if you want to stay.

9. I want to go to the Lavender Festival  this year! Prairie Lavendar Farm it's not far from us either and we'll see if hubby's home on R&R or not.

 10. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve ... one of the last places to see what the prairie looked like in Laura's time!  Beautiful and worth the drive, then have Lunch at  the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mighty Mississippi,Hays House in Council Grove  (and the food's pretty good too! There are several other historic sites in CG as well)

   11.  Would love to rent a boat/jet ski and spend a week out at Milford Lake State park... ok so we lived in a tent there for 3 months while looking for somewhere to live this go round but still we don't own a boat or a jet ski and I'd love to go back out just for FUN!  Fort Riley even has Marina now!

.......12. ok so I know it was 11 but I had to add this one for my dd ..... yikes! Storm Chasing sounds scary/crazy but maybe just once? Yes they do actually offer TOURSHow crazy is that but I know she'd be proud of me if I went with her..... Dorothy? (and my son was the Wicked Witch in the highs chool production of the Wizard of OZ?)

I'd also love to go run through a field of these ... but hey..... as you can see KS has more to offer than just a drive through and I've barely even started listing stuff! So it's not all mountain climbing, whale watching or things like that but there's a lot more to do here than meets the eye! I didn't even mention all the stuff to do ON POST or in Manhattan or Kansas City if you're looking for big city culture......  Check out this site as well...
8 wonders of KS for more ideas and if you're already here the exhibit is here in Abilene at the Eisenhower Center and it's free.

There truly is no place like Home, wherever that home may be at the moment! :)  Check out more 11 fun things ideas at  Wives of Faith...

11 Reasons...

I love being a Soldier's wife. Hmmm 11 reasons to love this Army Wife Life.... I haven't had a chance to read all the other posts yet today at Wives of Faith Blog Carnival so forgive me if I am redundant with anyone else but here goes:

1. Community -- we lived on post the first 18years of this military life and now have been off post for the last  three I miss the community on post, yes even the myriad number of times a day the doorbell would ring or a child would knock to ask if mine could come out to play. The sense of being in this together and knowing that others have your back if you need it. The ability on warm Georgia nights (and I do mean warm and muggy) to sit outside with the neighbors after the kiddos were tucked up into bed and chat about everything and nothing, making trains out of little tyke cars roped together at Fort Lewis, impromptu picnics on nice days in Germany, etc! I really do miss hearing the bugle calls everyday!

2. The Adventure --- where are we off to next? when? learning new things, seeing new places, new friends.

 3. PWOC -- Protestant Women of the Chapel, I love knowing everytime we move I can find a group of likeminded women who will accept me, laugh with me (and maybe at me?), encourage me and plain tell me to suck it up and drive on if necessary all the while pointing me towards God. They have truly been a lifeline and a blessing throughout our career!

4. Moving -- ok so I don't love ALL of moving but I do enjoy the process of getting things organized,getting rid of things I don't need, and the feeling of being unencumbered when the moving truck pulls away and the "vacation" begins!

5. Sense of Purpose -- that what we do matters and makes a difference somewhere in the world even if I may not see it in our house that particular day! I remember telling our children when the 1st Iraqi elections rolled around and the picture was shown of the woman holding up her purple finger -- Look! That lady never got to vote before and now she can, and WE helped!

6. Vision -- that wider sense of scope that you gain. The world is so much bigger.....

7. Friends -- that I treasure! People I never would have met staying in one place my whole life. I love that I can still call my very first Army Wife friend and pick up where we left off or close to it, even if that was over a year ago! And others who I might not have sought out had they not been in the same boat I was in.... yet who became dear to me all the same.

8.Camaraderie/Willingness to Help -- everywhere we've moved someone is always willing to help with the kiddos while the movers are there, bring a meal over, give you a ride somewhere,offer a shoulder to cry on or a glass of wine,  etc. The Military Wife Network is amazing and there truly isn't another group out there that's the same! That so quickly takes care of one another.

9. The ways God has shown me a little more of Him in the midst of the suffering (sleepless lonely nights, sick kiddos, another deployment, more month than money, feeling like you don't quite fit, etc......) and that He promises to make it something Beautiful....

 10. Red, White and Blue -- the fact the military community still waves Old Glory proudly, patriotism isn't something talked about it's something lived everyday, For God and Country really means something. That people aren't ashamed to show it.

 11 .... and of course the fact my honey still looks hot in his uniform! ;)

MIlitary Spouse Appreciation Day...

So, today is the day  for those of you who may not know .... here's a link to the "Official"  proclamation for the day Presidential Proclamation. I changed my header for today too (Thanks to The Patriotic Wife, I hope she doesn't mind my borrowing it til I can figure out how to make my own -- as you can probably tell I'm still learning all the picture goodies! Be sure to check out her site for fun stuff!) ....  and I will be blogging a little later for the Wives of Faith Carnival too! Whoo hoo....

 This is just a quick note to start the day.... but if you know someone who's a military spouse please let them know you appreciate them and all they do even if you don't understand it! Sometimes it may seem like the military gets a lot of recognition but the reality is 1% of our population right now is serving and that means -- they don't and the families usually get even less. Not that our troops or families are begging/asking for it mind you but everybody appreciates a thank you now and again and knowing what they do makes a difference!