One day closer to my hero being home…


Or… Here We Go Again

So.  Here we are again.  It’s the end of August, and My Hero is deployed again.  This time, though…. it’s for a year.  12 months.   52 weeks.  365 days.  Oh my.

I don’t expect this year to be easy, but I feel ready for it.  Not because I think I’m superwoman or anything.  I know I’m not.  But I feel like even though we only had a month’s notice for this deployment, we’ve been preparing for this since the beginning of summer, and like God is trying to teach his very dense pupils about HIS provision.

Ever since we moved here, I have coached gymnastics.  The gym has two locations.  One 15 minutes away from our house and one 45 minutes away.  At first, the agreement was that I would only work four days a week, and only at the close gym.  Well, as other coaches quit or moved on, more was asked of me.  Last fall, while My Hero was deployed, I was working SIX days a week, and twice a week, I was in the FAR location.  I had to figure out childcare for my kids, I didn’t get home until late at night, I would drag the kids with me if they were sick… It was rough.  We survived, though, and truly loved coaching the kids.  However, when the summer schedule came out this year, I was on it for more than twenty hours a week, and twice I week I wasn’t even scheduled at the same gym as my son.  This was not what I signed up for.  All the hours were running my health into the ground, and I wasn’t getting enough time with my family.  After much heartache, we made the decision to leave the gym.

We found another gym 45 minutes away that has an amazing boys’ program.  I talked with the owner, and found that not only was she a Christian, she homeschooled her children all the way through high school!  HUGE blessing!  We signed The Gymnast up, and the owner told me that if I decided to coach again, I had a job waiting for me.  After six weeks or so, I couldn’t stand not coaching.  The owners hired me to coach their optional girls (my favorite levels) on beam (my favorite event) three days a week – the three days that my kids were already there.  Three weeks into being hired, we all got sick.  Our attendance was spotty.  One day in particular, I remember calling and telling her that the kids were sick, but I would be there to work.  She replied that it sounded like I was needed at home, and she would see me when the kids were better.

When we found out My Hero was deploying, I went in and told the owner I would need time off.  She responded simply with tell me what you need.  This was like a breath of fresh air!  At the other gym, they almost didn’t let me take a vacation to Disney World with my family when The Hero came home.  Here, all I had to do was ask, and it was given.  God provided me with a job that I love and hours that are convenient for my family.  I don’t have to worry about childcare or scrambling to find somewhere for the kids to hang out.  I DON’T have to go in when the kids and I are sick.  Total peace about working!  God’s perfect provision, and we didn’t even know it when we decided to switch.

Also, last year, I tutored for Classical Conversations.  I LOVED it, but it was tough to find the time to prepare every week.  This year, I was asked to be the substitute and assistant to the director.  It’s perfect!  There is plenty for me to do while I’m there, but it requires very little prep work on my part.  Hooray!  Provision again before we needed it!

Apparently, we hadn’t truly learned the lesson that God would provide for us.  Or at least, we hadn’t learned it well enough.  My Hero left on Monday.  Hurricane Isaac was supposed to hit here Tuesday.  Thankfully, we only received a bit of wind and rain.  However, we still managed to have a mini-disaster.  Less than 24 hours after My Hero left, the kids ran into my room, frantically shouting at me to look out the window.

Our boat lift collapsed!  Need a better view?

Something broke….

I was stunned.  Not even 24 hours before our first catastrophe!  But God had something to teach us.  As soon as I saw it, I called our neighbor.  He was at work, and unable to help.  I called another neighbor.  He didn’t answer.  I sent the kids to his house just in case.  I tried somebody who lived a few blocks away.  No answer.  I called his wife, who called another friend to pick up her husband and bring him here.  In the meantime, the first neighbor was making calls of his own.  Within TWENTY MINUTES of discovering the boat lift’s collapse, we had four men – two of whom I had never met – over here, working on the situation.  Within an hour, the boat was trailered and the lift was secured to the dock.  The men I didn’t know promised to come back after the storm to repair the lift.  The other two promised to come back and flush out the motor after the storm.  The icing on the cake was that not thirty seconds after all was completed, the rain began.  None of us got wet while working on the boat!  When I shared this story with My Hero, he said that he felt like God was speaking directly to him, telling him not to worry.

God STILL wasn’t finished.  The hardest part of the deployment for My Hero is getting on the plane.  It’s a long ride.  To top it off, because of the check out time for the hotel, he had to sit at the airport for 8 hours.  No fun.  However, because he was there so early, he was the very first to check in.  The ticket agent told him that because he was the first to check in, he would get a seat in the BUSINESS CLASS!   So instead of having to sit in the crowded, cramped space of the regular seats, he had (has – he’s still on the plane) a seat where he couldn’t even touch the seat in front of him.

I know it may seem like a little thing, but it made a big difference to My Hero.  On top of all of that, he also saw a guy reading The Case for Christ while waiting for the plane.  He struck up a conversation, and found out that the guy will be working in the same building as him!  So right of the bat, My Hero has somebody to talk to once he gets there.

I believe that this is going to be an incredible year.  I can’t wait to see everything God is going to do!


One Day Closer Science in the Dark With Dad

I love night time.  For many reasons.  There is so much to learn about the world in the evening.  Not that there isn’t a ton to learn about during the day, but it just seems that the night is so much more intriguing.  Perhaps the simple absence of constant stimulation makes us pay closer attention to the world that comes alive after dark, I don’t know.  I do know that science after dark takes on a magical feel.

We (we meaning my children, not me personally) found this little guy in the doorway of our friend’s house.  He provided a full 10 minutes of squeals of delight and fascination, especially for The Gymnast (duh). I couldn’t believe how incredibly tiny he was!!

And, because The Gymnast asked, we made a video of him jumping.

We’re such geeks.  I know My Hero misses nights like this.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Love Letters from a Hero!




1 Comment »

I’m Tired.

I’ve now been home for a couple of hours.  The kids are in bed, the dogs are fed, and I am brain dead.  (Like that? It rhymed!) See how tired I am? I’m amused by my own inane jokes.

I am so thankful that tomorrow is a down day for us.  The kiddos  and I will join a couple of other military moms for Starbucks coffee and chatting.  Well, I will join the other moms… I have told The Minions that they will be sitting at another table.  Doing school work.  While I am socializing.

I know, I know… I’m a terrible home school mom.  But I really don’t feel that bad about it.  They are so lucky to be able to go to Starbucks in the middle of the day.  I told them that they may order a treat while they quietly do their seat work.  They have plenty to do… Most days they don’t need my help on Math or Latin, plus they have plenty of copy work from Essentials.  I think it’ll be kind of fun for them to act all grown up and on their own, and maybe we’ll have a day with no attitudes!  Gasp!  See? It’s not bad.  It’s really going to be good for them!  It’s for THEIR sake I’m doing this!

As my father-in-law says, I can rationalize anything.


Another Wednesday

Well, folks, tomorrow marks the third Wednesday since My Hero left.  Why does it matter that it’s Wednesday, you ask?  I’ll tell you.

Wednesdays are insane.


Wednesday Madness actually starts Tuesday evening with a mad dash to finish our English Essentials work for Classical Conversations.  Yes, we end up doing it on Tuesday nights. Don’t judge me. (Last week, my poor Ballerina was up until after 11 working on her poem. It turned out great, but boy, was she tired). Then I stay up another hour or two making sure I was ready to tutor.  (Did I mention that I volunteered to tutor Foundations for Classical Conversations?  And that I knew My Hero was deploying when I volunteered?  I also knew I was going to be coaching nearly 20 hours a week.  I’m not quite sure where my brain was when I decided this was all a good idea…)

Wednesday mornings, we all run around half in hysterics TRYING to get out the door by 7:45.  We’ve yet to make that cut-off. So we show up at the church for our Foundations class 15 minutes later than I want to be, which only gives me about 20 minutes to get all set up and ready for the day before we (the tutors) pray and start the day.

We finish the morning classes a little before noon, then we get about 30 minutes for lunch before we have to head out to another church for the afternoon classes.  We stay there until three, at which point, The Gymnast and I rush off to the gym for a three hour workout.  So far, I have failed every week to remember to bring our workout clothes, so in our mad dash to get to the gym, we have to make a detour to the house to get gym clothes and oh yeah, the Idiot Brigade needs out…  We have 45 minutes to get from point A to point B with a stop at C.  So far, we’ve managed to scoot in just under the wire every time.

Finally, we finish at the gym around 7:30, then zip on over to pick up The Ballerina from a friend’s house.  By the time we get home, all three of us are ready to collapse.

For all its craziness, I really do love it.  Sort of.  I don’t love how tired it makes me, and I don’t love how stressful it is to try to get everywhere on time. But I love what I do.

When I start to teach, it’s like everything else just fades away.  I love teaching the kids in my CC group.  I love how excited they are when they realize they really can memorize everything I’ve taught them.  I love knowing that I am assisting in helping them to grow in the knowledge of man and the knowledge of God. I love it when they encourage each other to keep going.

And I love coaching.  I do.  I can’t seem to walk away from it.  I’ve tried, really I have.  But I love it.  I love being in the gym.  I love the way every gym feels like a second home to me.  Most of all, I love impacting the kids.  I may not get to preach the Word of Christ to my gymnasts, but I am witnessing to them all the same.  Every time I encourage them to try harder, every time I show compassion for their fear of a new skill, every time I correct them, I am (I hope) reflecting the light of Christ.  Being a competitive gymnast takes up as much time as a part time job, and many of these kids are competing by the age of six.  That’s a lot of time with their coach.  Every day, I get to go in there, and pour a bit of myself into these kids, hopefully teaching them things beyond just gymnastics.  Like how to be kind to each other, and to encourage each other in all things.  And how to be disciplined and respectful.  I firmly believe that these lessons are just as important for me to teach (and more important in life) as the skills that I teach them on each of the events. I think these are lessons that keep me from being able to walk away.  Well, that and the chalk bucket.

So while I may whine from time to time about how crazy our schedule is, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I love home schooling.  I love tutoring.  And I love coaching. Which of those things could I possibly give up?  At least for now, I don’t have to give up any.  And, of course, I am one day closer to  having My Hero home to help me shoulder the load.

1 Comment »