Love is a many splendored thing!

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The following post is published with permission by my oldest OS. When you have a son who is skilled in military stuff, you must be careful…

So my last post ended with my oldest OS journeying to El Salvador. He wanted an “epic” summer and by anyone’s estimations, he was successful. In the span of 10 days, Nate traveled to Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia (his fave), Estonia and Finland. 


Then he returned to West Point and oversaw a squad of new cadets during Beast. Being a new cadet the social equivalent of being lower than a plebe or an amoeba at West Point and I’m sure it was sweet relief for Nate is now a cow (a third year student) to be large and in charge.


Upon completing his detail, Nate boarded a plane bound for El Salvador. This is when our OS showed another side of leadership many people prefer to overlook. Submission – the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person and that is knowing when to submit to authority. Who were and are the superior forces to whom my OS submits, you might ask?


1. The Lord Jesus Christ
and
2. Lu’s dad…


(Enter dreamlike sequence…)

Nate eagerly passed through Customs and scanned the crowd in the airport. Suddenly his eyes fell upon the prettiest, smartest, most awesomest 😉 young woman a guy has ever seen. And it wasn’t just your everyday sultry Salvadoreña walking past him. 



No, this beautiful girl was looking eagerly for him too. She was there to see him in person, face to face for the very first time. Their eyes met, their arms hugged, apparently it was magic. It would have totally killed the moment, but I would have loved to have seen that!


They spent the day hanging out and if I know my boy, he was grinning from ear to ear. Who cares if he had barely any sleep the night before! Nate was feeling like the most blessed, luckiest guy in all of the Americas – North, South and Central! At last, he was near Lu.



My blonde-haired gringo gathered plenty of stares as he strutted around the streets of San Salvador with Lu. Yet if someone would have asked if she was his girlfriend, his answer at the time would have been “not yet.” That is because Nate still had something very important to do. He needed to first ask her father for permission to see his daughter.

And unlike most of us who faced with a similar situation would have bee-lined over to Lu’s house and hurriedly asked her dad just to get it over with, Nate chose the honorable and respectable option. He waited until the time was right.


I’ll tell you more in an upcoming post. I need to have them “approved” before posting! 🙂

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


Adventures – Vicarious in Nature

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Today seems like a good day to blog. I didn’t realize it had been nearly two months since my fingers had tapped out an entry. My health has been relatively good and my exercise regime is consistent. It seems to take longer to burn off the calories from a Heath bar than I can remember but I’m not complaining. This summer I am living vicariously. No big adventures planned for me but plenty for my family. Some adventures I am cleared to mention, others need “approval” but I hope to speak of them soon!

Adventure #1 

My orange-haired, freckle face OS Isaac had a visit to UNC Children’s Hospital, more specifically their operating room. He had an abdominal hernia repaired. An uneventful surgery, praise the Lord but still a big deal for a 13 year old guy. I had a proud parenting moment when the surgery was deemed worthwhile since we didn’t know going in if they were going to find a weakness in his abdominal wall. The Hubs was questioning the surgery, I was the one pushing for it. I love the moments in our marriage where we synch and rely on each other’s instincts. It was a necessary operation and I was happy that Ike hadn’t gone
through all that for nothing. He was exceptionally stoic aside from being worried someone might see his “privates” during the surgery. To Isaac’s chagrin, I mentioned his concern to the doctors who smiled and assured us they would do their best to avoid any sight of that “area” during the procedure. We left the hospital with our pain-ridden child and the skies opened up with sheets of rain pummeling our car. We called Aaron to meet us outside with an umbrella so we could get Ike into the house thus avoiding the rain. As the Hubs and I were gingerly walked our ginger upstairs to bed, I asked Aaron to get the mail. In hindsight, this was a really dumb idea considering what happened next. 


Aaron ran outside with the umbrella when suddenly a huge bolt of lightning pierced the sky. It sounded so close that I felt the bolt down in my feet. A horrible feeling entered my mind, “Did Aaron just get hit by lightning?” I mused. Nah, the idea was just too perposterous.  It was just too far-fetched to imagine that one son could have been struck by lightning just as we were taking another son upstairs following surgery. Since we’re such loving parents, we kept taking Ike upstairs but seconds later Aaron leapt into the house. His eyes wild with fear, his voice octaves higher. While outside retrieving the mail, umbrella in hand, Aaron saw a giant bolt of lightning strike two houses a street behind ours. Soon we heard sirens and fire trucks filling the area. He truly did almost get hit by lightning! Thankfully none of our neighbors were hurt but extensive damage occurred in both of the houses.
Adventure #2


Our oldest OS began his summer with travel. Nate begins his Cow year (third year) at West Point and following exams swiftly boarded a plane bound for  Eastern Europe. A group of 10 students some ROTC others WP cadets, visited the Baltic States and studied its economic conditions, its role in international relations along with its culture and history. He even found himself in the Latvian news. Click here to see pics! He’s the cutie patootie with the white shirt and headphones! Gaa! My OS looks so diplomatic with the headphones on listening to translators. Sometimes I chuckle when I think of how this young man is MY boy. Others see him as a leader and as an adult, yet I can still see his toe-headed face in Barney overalls and I still get to call him silly nicknames! I just close my eyes and can see him bravely wielding his plastic knife on a mountain in North Carolina despite the fact that he is growing up and building a life of his own. (That is a good thing I must keep telling myself.)


Here is the YouTube video documenting some of their time in Latvia. My OS is shown in :26, :39, :49, :57 and in 2:01 you will notice him playing with his pen. That’s from his father’s side of the family. 😉 Nate is the one who says, “How are you doing, Ma’am.” Gaa again! I was impressed when MP and former Foreign Minister of Latvia, Artis Pabriks stated that the United States and Lativa are “brothers in arms.” Thank you Saiema Chancellery for allowing me to use these images.




Nate saw the Hill of Crosses, the Museum of Genocide Victims which was set up in the former KGB headquarters and is the only one of its kind in the former Soviet Union.

He even got his picture taken with a “torturer” who was handing out brochures in Estonia and that’s some-
thing most of us have never done!

Other notable events included going to the General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, and attending a briefing at the US Embassy in Estonia. I found myself having to check the globe to figure out where my OS was since my knowledge of that part of the world is quite limited. It never occurred to me that other countries have military academies. I think we all can be very myopic in our worldview and travel expands our minds in many ways. My oldest OS brought me home a CD of Latvian folk music and although I don’t understand a single word, I love listening to it and transporting myself to that faraway place my son visited. In total, Nate went to four countries in less than two weeks. Yes, he is having an “epic” summer. More to follow on that note…


Adventure #3 

This will only seem an adventure if you are a bibliophile. I have read over 1,000 pages this summer! That’s a very big deal for me. One of my greatest passions is reading and sadly I don’t do enough of it. This summer, however; I am returning to my love of books and I want to share with you what I have read thus far…


River Town – a fascinating book about an American Peace Corps volunteer who taught American literature in the heart of China’s Sichuan province.


I Am Hutterite – This non-fiction book chronicles the life of a woman who spent her childhood in a Hutterite colony in southern Manitoba, Canada. I enjoyed hearing about how she transitioned living in popular culture while still treasuring the life she left behind.


The Good Earth – this is the second time I’ve read Pearl Buck’s classic about Wang Lung, a peasant. There are so many striking moments in this timeless book. The first time I read The Good Earth I wasn’t a Christian. Now I have found so many Biblical parallels, it gave me much to ponder. My family hears about Wang Lung, O-Lan and the poor fool all the time. You must read this if you haven’t!


The Good, Good Pig – Ike and I read this together. Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Christian Science Monitor, The Good, Good Pig was a charming true story about a 750 pound pet pig. Ike and I looked up new words and expanded our vocabulary while discussing this sweet novel. I cried a little bit at the end.


Belong to Me – a fiction book recommended to me by my mom. It was an intriguing story about women and friendships.

I’m now reading Isaac’s Storm for my personal pleasure and Fever 1793 with Ike as we work on his comprehension.


My adventures are being found in the lives of those I love and in the pages I turn. It might not sound like fun but I am loving this perspective.


More soon, I promise. It feels good to share!