Thursday, July 27, 2006

The "It" Factor

I was thinking of a time that I experienced with Georgia a few months back during our maiden voyage of "girl time" while Pat was TDY. She was struggling with pain in her tummy that I felt helpless and quite honestly inept as I struggled to soothe her. Tired, overwhelmed and discouraged, I held her in my arms and asked God for the patience and strength to love her like He would want me to. It was at that very moment, (you're thinking, really, that exact moment, and the answer is unequivocally, yes, at that exact moment) I got "it". "It" would be the profound realization and understanding that throughout my own life, both in the infantile stages of my faith as well as now in the story of my everdays, I have required an extreme, albeit excessive amount of patience, grace and unconditional love by my heavenly Father. How many times must He have been tired of my fussing, crying, or struggling (often times over the same issues) and yet, He never put me down. Never walked away and left me to cry it out, get over it, or reconcile it first. Rather, during these countless moments, He held me close in His arms, close to His heart and poured out unconditional love, waves of mercy and grace and boundless patience. How great is He to draw me closest when I am the most difficult to be near. Knowing that Georgia has been created by this amazing God, in His image no less, and always remembering that she is first and foremost His precious child, I promise to love her with all that I have, with all that He gives me. When she cries, struggles and fails and I am weak, tired and feeling inept, I will let go and let God and overwhelm her with the same grace, patience and love that have never failed to overwhelm me. That is my hope. It is my prayer and I know that while I am still incapable and inept at times, with His love and grace, we will both be sustained.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bunnies & Baths

We have discovered (okay, we've known it since her first bath) that Georgia loves the water. There have been times that when she was fussy, we would simply put her in the tub and she would immediately calm down and start playing. We thought we should snap a few pics of her enjoying one of her favorite times. What girl wouldn't love a great bath followed by a relaxing lavender massage before slipping into your favorite bathrobe with matching slippers??

The Sweet Peach Tries Some Sweet Peas

So six months have flown by and georgia is ready for something other than the tasty rice cereal cuisine. We started off with sweet peas last night, fully prepared for her to spit them out (similar to her first month with rice cereal) and were suprised when she inhaled the entire container. Hmm, makes you think the rice cereal really must be terrible. It was like she, too, had been counting the weeks until she was finally offered something better. I resisted every urge to give her sweet potatoes as her first vegetable. A girl has got to love her carbs and is there a healthier carb than the sweet potato?? I mean other than fruit, etc?? Anyway, those will come sooner than later, but today is another day of peas. Yummy.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Outstanding ORI Party

For those of you that are unfamiliar with what an ORI is in the military, I'll give you the civilian version (its the only one i know). In a nutshell its an extremely stressful inspection done very infrequently that will cost the active duty person countless hours of sleep and months of stress leading up to it. (Pat may add more to this later). Anyway, Ellsworth has practiced for this ORI 6 times over the last year. It has been a long year for Pat and everyone else preparing for this monumental week. With every passing day into the inspection, Pat's load grew lighter and lighter as he saw his flight not just endure the long hours of hard work, but thrive and excel at it. They accomplished a great achievement, the highest possible rating a flight can be given, an Outstanding, the first for any intel flight in the past 3 years. The hard work, the countless hours of preparation have paid off. I am so happy for and proud of Pat. He not only works hard, but sincerely cares for the people he works with and wants to see each of them excel individually and as a team. To celebrate the achievement, we hosted a huge party at our place with over 70 people attending. We bashed Kim Chong Il's head in and watched him spit out liquor and candy. We ate a record amount of mexican food (I got smart and had it catered) and we all enjoyed an abundance of margaritas. It was a really great time and we were happy to be able to host the night.

Here is one of the lieutenants taking a swing at the Chonger. (the rope broke at this point and we were simply pitching it)
Here is one view of the friendly dictator. Here is one shot of the folks watching the pinata bashing.

Monday, July 17, 2006

More Hills Alive...

We were able to take a picnic and go hear Third Day on Saturday night. We met up with friends, but once the band started, we gave up our prime spot and headed to the back of the park. We thought it was a little too loud that close to the stage for our little peach. Anyway, our friend, Paul, took the band around to see the sites for the day and confirmed they really are genuinely nice and apparently really really smart. They are actively funding and participating in some great relief work in Africa. Speaking of Africa, if you have not already signed up at, get smart on it and consider getting involved. We heard a great message in church yesterday studying the question, Does God Care? The obvious answer is of course, yes He cares. But the reality is, while He cares very deeply about the hardships we individually face on a personal level as well as global atrocities and suffering, He desires to help us help one another. Similar to when He came to Moses and offered to help him rescue His people out of slavery, He is eagerly waiting to partner with each of us to make a difference, an impact, a positive change in the creation He loves. I could blog about this for awhile, but I won't. Just suffice it to say, Paul did a great job encouraging us to continue to look for opportunities to partner with the Almighty and share with everyone just how much our God, who by His very nature is love, does in fact care.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hills Alive 2006

There is an amazing free 3 day concert series here in Rapid City every year and we were able to check out some of it last night. We had heard really great things about it last year, but were unable to attend as I was one with the couch and Pat was new and swamped at work. Now he's just swamped at work and not new. :) We figured it is exactly what we needed the night before thier huge ORI kicks off and a great way to spend some family time together. After grabbing some sandwiches, we met some friends and had dinner in the park where we heard a great band, a comedian and Coach McCartney, former head coach of Colorado and founder of Promise Keepers. We are hoping to go tonight to see Third Day, Mark Shulz and Newsboys.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Blessed Be

So, it is Sunday evening and the weekend has slipped by in record time. However, in spite of it flying by, Thursday seems like an eternity ago. I'll cut to it, Pat and I had our first incident with Georgia being sick. Initially, I would follow that up with "really" sick, but after a brief minute of thought, I realize just how ridiculous that sounds. On Thursday evening after putting her down for the night, she awoke with a scream followed by 45 minutes of inconsolable crying. A traumatic first for both of us. She fell asleep again and slept for just 2 hours before awaking this time with a fever and severe vomitting. After calling the doctor, we decided to take her to the ER to make sure she wasn't dehydrated. After a couple of hours there, with encouraging news, (she was simply fighting some respiratory issues), we headed home and continued the sleepless night. On Friday, I just felt like it would be best for her pediatrician to check her out. After looking at her, her doctor ordered an x-ray to rule out pneumonia, a blood draw to test the white blood cell count and two shots of antibiotics to help her fight whatever was going on. After wrapping her in a straight jacket type sheet with only her little arm left out, they asked me to hold her face still in my hands while they attempted to find her vein. We both wept together as they tried in vain and ultimately drained the blood from her big toe. This is something I know she will never remember and I will never forget. As the nurses left the exam room and I held her close, my prayer as we both cried was not for healing, but for thanks. Thank you, God, that she is over 5 months old and has never had a blood draw before. Thank you, God, for her health and her joy. Thank you for blessing us with such extraordinary health that 2 hours in a doctor's office is all we've spent. How my heart aches for the parents all over in hospitals and Ronald McDonald houses dealing with real illness. In the 20 minutes I waited for test results, I thought of our amazing friends, the Harasimowisz family and wondered how many hundreds of times they have waited and wondered, prayerfully anticipating God's miraculous works in their son, Joshua. Yes, we have had a long weekend, one of utter joy and thanksgiving that it is simply a weekend and that we are blessed with health.

Whoa Es Me

I couldn't help but snap this photo of our little peach and her dad. She would be able to hold her own bottle by now if she didn't strike this pose everytime she ate. Regardless of how tired or hungry she actually is, her hands are always up over her eyes when she eats. It must just be exhausting to be her. :)

Happy 4th and What Not

So we had a fantastic 4th of July wishing America a happy birthday. We ended up hanging out at a bbq with some friends from the office and learned that you should not use a duraflame log to roast marshmallows. Of course we read the package complete with all warnings after putting down a record number of smores off the firepit and dangerous log. oops.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New Baby for the Spencer's!

Nick, Nikki and Emily Spencer now have a new, long awaited, much anticipated addition to their family. Noah Spencer has now arrived and we could not be any happier for their newest blessing. Nikki and i have known each other since high school and have spent many days praying for a little one. now he has arrived. how thankful are we!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Badlands Not So Bad

In an attempt to create some 4th of July family traditions, we decided to visit a national park and check out some of the diverse landscape this country has to offer. Pat has been wanting to visit the Badlands for quite awhile and I was admittedly reluctant...the name doesn't exactly conjer up warm fuzzies within me, nor does the fact it was in Starship Troopers, (a fact Pat proudly revealed on the way)entice me. However, it's family weekend and the planner for Sunday was Pat and he had Badlands on the brain, so off we went. Wow. Was I ever weak sauce. What a cool place! Once I moved beyond the memory of my geology professor raving about it, I really loved it. We have been truly fortunate to see so much of this country and its breathtaking diversity. God is truly a God of wonders! How great is He to create so much beauty for us to see. So, Badlands, not so bad. Actually, really really good.

Walking the Dog

Georgia is already practicing how she will walk her brother, Abraham. We have been amazed, although not suprised at just how gentle and wonderful he is with her. She can't seem to take her eyes off of him and is constantly reaching for him and laughing. I think Georgia thinks he's a pony. We have been teaching her that he's more of a "dony"

Daddy and Georgia

are they not the cutest? I could watch the two of them for hours. How thankful am I that he is here for these special moments with his little girl while so many are away from theirs. we are truly blessed.

Canyon Lake Park

So, with 4 days of family time at hand, we thought we had better make the best of it. We kicked off our Happy Birthday, America weekend with a picnic lunch at Canyon Lake Park.