Monday, July 27, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LT.MILLER!!!

Happy 25th Birthday baby! Man, I wish I could jump into your arms right now and give you the biggest hug. I know your birthday is not nearly as important to you as it is to me, BUT, I also know that it will be lonely today as you spend it in the desert. The pictures are from the package I sent Eric which he opened today. He absolutely looooved it. I think it was such an encouragement to have over 40 cards from people from JMU, his home town, from Oklahoma and of course his family. I sent him a bag full of homemade granola, which is his favorite breakfast aside from the Honey Bunches of Oats.:) Thank you to all of you who participated. He was so blessed and felt so loved.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

She's home!

This is Lacey Click. She is a dear dear friend here in Oklahoma and this picture is from the very first night we met 2 years ago. She and her husband, Stephen, just spent 13 months in India, with the campus ministry they are on staff with, Student Mobilization, aka StuMo. Eric and I hit it off with them right when we joined Wildwood, and would spend hours talking about ministry, marriage and life. It was hard to see them leave last June, but we knew they would be back. And today was the first time I've gotten to see Lace since last year. It was such a sweet time of talking and catching up, even though it only lasted a little less then 2 hours. Eric and I had a lot of their stuff stored in our attic while they were gone and today they came to move it out.:( They are moving to Fort Worth, TX to start StuMo on TCU's campus. It's SO exciting, but again, I'm sad they won't be here in Norman with us. Lacey and I weren't able to talk too much while she was in India, but our friendship is still just as strong. She just seems to get me, even with as little time as we've known the Clicks, they are and will remain very very dear friends. Love you Lace.:) It was so much fun to see you today and hear what God is doing in your life. Thanks for being wonderful.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

OBX with the Miller fam

Every other year the Miller family goes on a vaca to the Outer Banks, NC. Its amazing. We have a blast just being together, playing games, eating lots of good food, soak up the sun and spend lots of time in the water. Today, the Millers left for that vacation and it just made me sad that Eric and I weren't there to join them. Eric's family is so fun. We always laugh a lot, eat a lot and make LOTS of noise (The Miller boys really have no concept of volume control, they just try to talk over eachother and its hilarious). This is Tom and Dawn... I love this picture of them. It shows them exactly as they are, happy, loving and full of life. They don't take life to seriously and have a serious committment to their family and to eachother. I have the best parents-in-law.
Settlers. And lots of it. Its amazingness - as you can tell Danielle is laughing her head off and Eric is probably smack talking.
Chris and Danielle - love them. At this point, their daughten Emily was no where in the picture. This year will be her first year at the beach. I'm sure she'll love it.
We do puzzles. Big ones. Attempting to see if you could tell the difference between the ketchups while closing your eyes. Anna, Steve's girlfriend, could totally tell the difference. I'm not a ketchup guru like that.
Always putt-putt. Can't do OBX without a night at the putting range.
Brothers Jimmy and Steve.
Dan and I got the same sweats at Walmart cause we got cold from the AC in our house. I know, pathetic.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Psalm 62:8

I want to tell you something that happened to me last week. It was truly incredible, in my opinion and a sweet reminder of the intimacy of my Savior.

I was told by other military families and by Eric's squadron, that as the time went on during Eric's deployment, that it would get easier, that I would adjust. Well, its been the opposite for me. I have felt the absence of Erics presence more and more intensely since he's left. Needless to say, its been hard. Last week, I had probably the hardest night yet. I was a mess. I was dealing with a hard situation here at home that would not have been present if Eric hadn't left. His absence was the direct cause of the problem I was encountering and there was no way to fix it, cause he wasn't coming home anytime soon. It was a late at night when I just lost it. I so badly wanted, needed a hug, someone with skin to just hold me and tell me that I was going to be alright, that I wasn't crazy for feeling the way I did, and that I wasn't alone. It was too late to call anyone and Eric had no way of knowing that it would be great if he just happened to be on Skype, so of course he wasn't. The dull ache that I feel all the time due to him being gone, had turned into the sharpest, most intense pain that I had ever felt in a long time. All I could do was cry. I'm telling you all of this because I want to communicate the beauty of Jesus' personal touch over me that night. I opened my Bible and flipped over to the Psalms, where I landed in Psalm 62. I started to read. The whole Psalm was about placing my trust in the Lord, that He would be my refuge and would guard and protect me. It was comforting, but didn't really hit me until I got to verse 8. It read, "Trust in Him at all times, O people, pour your heart before Him, God is a refuge to us." And thats when I let Him have it. All I was wanting was someone there to talk to, to pour my heart out to and in that moment, He told me, "Its me Anna. Pour your heart out to me." And so I did, allowing Him to be there with me, hearing my pain and confusion.

Well in the morning, I was still struggling. As I sat at the kitchen table with my Bible, I just cried out to Him for a word of comfort, very confused with the things I was dealing with, wondering if I was doing anything wrong, and just longing to know what He was thinking of me in that moment. I just sat and cried, singing, reading and praying.

About 11am I went out to check the mail. Once I got back inside the house I saw that I had gotten a homemade postcard from a dear friend of mine. She has been amazing at checking up on me and writing me little cards here and there to encourage me. But this postcard had nothing written personally from her, but was straight from the heart of Jesus to me. On the front, the card was addressed to me, and written on the back was one verse. Psalm 62:8. This friend had taken probably 10-15 minutes to make this little card for me, and choosen a verse that she thought might encourage me to remind that I can trust Him and that He is my refuge. But instead the Lord decided to use to show me that He is very very much thinking of me, that He had heard my cries from the night before and that He treasured my thoughts, prayers and fears as I obeyed Him by pouring out my heart to Him. It was incredible. I felt the love of Jesus just pour of me, comforted in the reminder that even when I wanted skin, a person to look at and feel, He is just as real, more attentive, and longs to hear my heart more then anyone else. I was so so blessed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Additions

Welp, got a tattoo. Didn't really plan on doing this while Eric was out and about saving the world. Just happened. But I love it! I asked his permission before I got it done, knowing that he wouldn't care, but very aware that this was a decision I was NOT going to make without consulting him. He and I have a tattoo we want, or should I say, I want, to get together, but this was my own thing. I got it done in Virginia, because Rachel had gotten both of hers at a salon that was totally great. Very clean with a very good reputation. This is me, trying to be all hardcore before I got on the table. He had just laid the print on my skin and I was feeling it out to make sure it was exactly where I wanted it. I mean, once its on... its not coming off.This is Joey, hard at work. It was so stinkin' painful. The ribs, or any place very close to the bone is way more painful then a fatty or more cushy part of the body. It HURT! Rachel went with me and she said, "Lets just say this. It hurts. But, it won't hurt bad enough that you won't want it to stop." Half way through the procedure, with gritted teeth, I just said, "You lie. I want it to stop." Haha... it really wasn't that horrible, she was right.
Not so hardcore anymore haha...
And the finished product, 1 Cor. 2:2 - "For I resolve to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified" That is my prayer and the only thing I long to be about.

Friday, July 10, 2009

ROOMIES!

This is is my roommate for the month. Everyone, meet Darby Kelly. She is pretty much the coolest girl ever, loads of fun and loves Jesus a lot. In the video, she was trying to win a bet with Arash, for $10 - didn't happen, but it just goes to show that Darby is up for anything. Anyway, I met her through our church college ministry this past fall. She graduated in December and has led a Biblestudy through College Life for the past 4 years. She is getting married to the guy that is sitting next to her in the video, Wes McFall, totally stellar dude. Her lease on her apartment ran up end of June and so she has moved in for a month or so until she gets married on August 8th. It is so great having her to live with and it cuts down on the amount of alone time I spend at home - something I really dislike. Really all we've done since she's moved in is plan wedding stuff. We'll wake up early, make coffee and sit at the table for a couple hours just running through things that need to get done, timelines, deadlines, and every other little detail that goes into a wedding. Its been such a blessing and joy to have her in our home.
video

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not a puppy anymore

Ellen will be 1 year in 5 days. Its crazy to think we got her at 8 weeks old and that she is close to being all grown up. She is so tall and is SO heavy! She weighs 73 lbs already... yeah, big girl. The picture below is no lie, 2.5 minutes after I handed her that soccer ball. Ripped to shreds and pulled out the inside lining. Thats my girl... there is no ball or object she can't destroy. It is literally her mission in life. She has gotten a lot better with digging in the backyard and no longer tears apart everything and anything. We are finally phasing out of that puppy teething stage. I love the top picture, she's such a pretty dog. She has been a great companion for me while Eric is gone. She is a joy and keeps me company. I feel a lot safer with her sleeping next to me under the bed. She is very protective and extremely loyal.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Motherland

Here are some pics from my visit to Virginia this past week. It was such an amazing time to just hang out with family for 6 days and not feel the pressure of trying to see a bunch of friends and cram it all it at once. It was so fun and I didn't want to leave.SISTERS! We were able to have a Kewley/Blanchard dinner, which is basically just like one big family dinner. We have celebrated Christmas, Thanksgiving and gone on family vacation together with the Blanchards for over 10 years now and they are just like family. It was so fun to have everyone together minus Eric, Levi and John.
This is Phoebe's birthday party in Harrisonburg. This girl is spoiled rotten when it comes to her birthday. She had a party in L.A., then one in Harrisonburg with all her friends, and then we had a family one at my parents house.=) She was a pro at blowing out candles by her 3rd cake.
Thanking her friends for her gifts.:)
Rachel and Steve - miss you!

Phoebe got some shiny lipgloss from me and would not put it down. It was hilarious watching her put it on!
Birthday gifts! Wearing a dress from Nay-Nay, cowgirl boots from Ray-Ray and playing the recorder from Na-Na.
Trying on the floaties Nana got her for the pool.
Happy Birthday #3
SO CUTE - just want to eat you up!
Swimming with Na-Na.
Brother.:)
Max-man. Such a cutie! He is such a happy baby!!
Affectionately known by Phoebe as: Nay-Nay, Ray-Ray, and Pee-bee.:)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Visit with the Gpops

When I was in Virginia, I took a day with Rachel and we drove up to Pennsylvania to visit my Grandpa for a day. He lives on the compound (50 acres of land that alllll my mom's family lives on. Her 4 siblings, 1 uncle and a cousin - yeah, thats why we call it the compound.) Growing up we spent practically all summer there, playing with cousins, going to the pond, having cookouts and playing make-believe somewhere on the property. My grandpa no longer lives in the farmhouse (above) but stays next door to my aunt in a duplex. The farmhouse is where I grew up visiting him and Grandma.
Here he is with Rachel, my cousin Briana, her week old son Carter and me. He is 91 one years old and still lives on his own!!!

Grandpa and me.
It was such a special day and I don't take it for granted. The last time I saw my grandma was 1 1/2 years ago, and then she passed away this past spring. It was really neat to have a whole day just to be with him and keep him company. I wish I lived closer. I got to hear more stories of Africa and Brazil and the ministry work he and Grandma did. All of their children were born overseas except for my mom, who was born in the States and then left for the Congo at 2 weeks old. My grandparents are amazing!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Makin' like hippies and tie-dyeing

This was a couple weeks ago, but I hadn't gotten around to putting them up so here they are! Madre, Sister and I decided it would be great fun to tie-dye. And it was! We got mustard and ketchup bottles from Walmart, along with clothes dye and off we went.

Mom's first time! The last time she came to Oklahoma, she experienced her first Easter egg hunt. She always planned and did one for us kids when we were growing up but had never actually participated in one before. It's fun being there for some of Mom's firsts. The finished product... but that was before washing. Below is what we got left with after washing them. Actually they were pretty much just all gray haha, so this picture is after 3 washes with bleach. Its not horrible but definitely not as rockin'. Oh well, it was fun to do it together.