Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Diaper cake

I wanted to show you all a craft/gift project that Joy and I did together. We had a family that had a baby just recently in our church and we wanted to do something a little different for them. I had seen others do diapers cakes and wanted to finally try one for myself. This is my first attempt at it. It was a fun project and one we will enjoy doing in the future.

Having had five children myself, this really makes one of those practical gifts, but allows it to be packaged so much prettier than just a wrapped box.

Joy liked it so much she wanted to know if we could make one to keep as a centerpiece around the house! Until next time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Christmas

Here are some more pictures of Christmas scenes at our house.

This is a basket from our den that I filled with ornaments, ribbon and berry picks.

Here is a garland on the top of our baker's rack in the dining room that I decorated with leftover ornaments, ribbon, lights and a few berry picks.

This is a console we have in the living room that has two lovely Lenox pieces that my Uncle Harry (my father's brother) bought. They are gorgeous. You may not be able to see it well, but the sleigh was one of the presents he got for us this year. He always gets the most wonderful presents for the family. He is great about getting educational toys for the kids, and Jonathan and I have appreciated them so much. He came down this year and spent Thanksgiving with us. It is always wonderful to see him. It was especially nice having a part of Dad's family for the holiday. I will try to post more about happenings with the family soon. God bless you all!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas at our house

Here are some scenes from our house this Christmas season. We wish all of you could visit us in person, but since you cannot, we thought we might bring a little of our home to you.

This is a Christmas scene from our buffet in our dining room with some of our Snow Village houses. I didn't get around to putting them all up this year. But, I enjoy looking at them and seeing all the fake snow. I miss being in the mountains of North Carolina where we were sure to get at least one good snow a winter. For now, this will have to do. :)

This is one of the ornaments that we have on our "Jesus Tree." I found a wonderful store owned by a Christian artist when we lived up in the mountains and her store carried these wonderful ornaments with the different names of Jesus found in the Bible. We have about 15 of them. We also put small nails, crosses, crowns, etc.,any ornament I can find that reminds us of our Lord. This is the first tree that traditionally goes up and the last one to go down.

This is a picture of the "Jesus Tree" from a distance in the living room.

This is a small tree we have in the corner of the dining room...mainly red and white ornaments. I move this tree around to a different place everytime we move. That's one thing about the always gives me new decorating ideas! I will post more later.

Goodbye Ms. Susie Hunter

Yesterday we got a call from a dear friend from our church in South Carolina...a dear elderly woman from our church had passed from this life to the next. We remember her for her sweet, gentle spirit. She exuded the love of Christ and was ready to meet her Maker. She was a dear widow who missed her husband and still would get misty-eyed just talking about him. When I told Joy she said, "Now she is happy, because she is with her husband and Jesus." The Bible says in Psalms 116:15, "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." We grieve because of the loss her death brings to our lives, but she is rejoicing in the presence of Christ. I just pray that I will leave a remembrance of as sweet a spirit as she did when God calls me home. She will be missed.

My Stair Steps

Here is a recent picture of the children. Julia will be three in February, Joel is four, Joanna is five, Josiah will be 8 in February and Joy turned 12 in August. She is now taller than her mother! Of course, those of you that know me, know that is not extremely tall. :) I did not get Christmas cards off this year, so our Christmas and New Year wishes will be done here on the blog. We value all our friends and family so very much. We have so very much to be thankful for...Christ being the greatest gift of all. Remember during this hectic season that although decorating and opening gifts are enjoyable, it is the memories we make with our loved ones that will last forever. I hardly remember a single gift I got when I was a child...but it is what we did as a family that remains forever etched in my mind. Make those precious memories with your loved ones while you can. Tell your children about God's greatest gift in sending His Son. Hold your children close...remember that they are God's gift to you. We love you all so very much!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fall Fun!

Aren't they cute?

Okay, Dad's outnumbered here, but he still has size on them!

That's a little too much action for me. I am going to play princess and collect my fall leaf bouquet.

Okay Dad...I'm getting bigger and faster...I'll give you a run for your money!

As most of you know, we are now in a rental home off post. There are of course, advantages and disadvantages to both. But, we are definitely enjoying our home here in a quiet neighborhood in Fayetteville. We have some wonderful neighbors and the children are enjoying their much bigger yard. We have LOTS of trees in our new yard...and with LOTS of trees, comes LOTS of fall leaves. So, we decided to have some fun with those fall leaves before raking them up and hauling them to the street. These pictures were taken out in the front yard. I did get in on the fun some too, but took some pictures to make a memory.

Finally back again!

It has been so long since I have blogged. I have taken a much needed respite since the death of my father to just do some thinking and trying to get caught up on the much needed routines of life. I hope to be back on a more regular basis now. There is so much to catch everyone up on! The family is currently all well and we have had a great holiday season. We will be telling you all more about that in the following posts. Jonathan is currently on leave until the fifth of January and we are all enjoying quality time with him. I did not get Christmas cards off this year, but instead will be posting some pictures of the family on upcoming posts for all of you to see. We hope all our family and friends had a wonderful holiday season. It was difficult for us, this being the first Christmas without Dad, but we are still rejoicing in the celebration of the birth of Christ. Let us hear from you all...feel free to leave a comment and let us know how all of you are doing too. We love hearing from you all!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Dad Part 2

Dad stayed in the Cardiac ICU unit for several days, getting test after test with no improvement. We continued to stay in the room, trying to communicate with him, talking with doctor after doctor who gave us pretty much the same prognosis. He was as good as he would ever be. We were faced with either taking him off the ventilator, or sending him to one of two nursing homes in the state that could even care for him. The nearest would be two hours away from us, and they would have to put in a trach and he would basically remain in this vegetative state for the remainder of his days. Within seven days of being put in the hospital, that decision would be made for us. If we chose not to take him off the ventilator, then they would trach him and transport him to a facility that would care for him. Regardless of the seeming hopelessness of the situation, it is never easy to face such harsh realities. It was nearing the weekend, and Mom looked at me and said, I will not make any decision until after the weekend. Go to Columbia and get your partial move done and then we will deal with this when you get back. So, we left for Columbia, and came back and had unloaded a good portion of our furniture and things in our rental home first thing Monday morning. We were exhausted and spent, both physically and emotionally. It was as if we were watching someone else go through the motions and not ourselves. Then Jonathan had to turn right around and go back to SC to meet the movers that would be loading up the rest of our things to move to Fayetteville. He took the boys with him, and I kept the girls with me. Then Mom and I took turns spending time at the hospital, and watching the children. Jonathan's parents were so kind to meet him in SC to help us out on that end. Even in the midst of tragedy, God still provides...and He provided greatly in our time of need through their help. We were both extremely thankful for their assistance. But, it was while Jonathan was gone that the decision about Dad finally was made. Mom was at peace with taking him off the ventilator. She knew in her heart that he would not want to live this way...and she had been told by every doctor that there was nothing more that could be done for him. It was sinking in that he wouldn't be with us much longer. We rarely slept and had difficulties eating. It was on a Thursday that the papers were signed to take Dad off the ventilator. Mom said her good-byes to Dad, and could not bear to see him pass. She came back home and told me if I wanted to say goodbye that I needed to get to the hospital. I don't know if Dad heard anything we said. Only God knows that. His medical doctor said we like to think so, but because he only had brain stem function, that it was extremely unlikely. Regardless, I knew I just had to be there with him when he passed. I just didn't want him to be alone. We all handle our grief in different ways. This has taught me never to judge someone else because of how they handle their grief. Mom had shown Dad her love and care for him his whole life. She had faithfully stuck by him through thick and thin. He knew that and she knew that. She was not emotionally ready to handle seeing him past. I am totally fine with that. But, for some reason, I just felt it was my duty to be there. So, for the next two days and nights, I spent them almost exclusively by Dad's side. When they took him off the ventilator, he was moved to a hospice unit in the hospital. He had a beautiful Christian nurse that came and checked on the both of us often. All the nurses were so kind and helpful. They were there to ease any discomfort Dad might have, and to help me in any way they could. We got him moved early evening on Thursday, but it wasn't until early Saturday morning about 1:25 am that Dad passed away. I remember hearing his breathing getting more and more labored. The color drained from his face. He was leaving us for good. I was so exhausted...after days and days of little if no sleep. But, I remember just thinking...don't fall asleep. He's not going to be with you much longer. There was a pull out type bed there and I tried to make myself as comfortable as possible. I laid down, rested my eyes and felt myself drifting off. I asked God to please let me be awake with him when he passed. I talked with him. I quoted scriptures to him. I cried. I remember wishing so very much that Jonathan could be there. But, God kept reminding me in that ever still small voice, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." I felt myself drifting off to sleep, and that's when Dad made a different sound. I looked up, went to his bed side...reminded him how much we all loved him. I told him to cling to Christ. Then, his breathing became more like gasps...the gasps became further apart. One last breath and I knew it was almost over. I watched his pulse from his neck get weaker and weaker, until it stopped altogether. I stood there, immobile for a while. The quiet finality of is so impossible to describe. I called the nurse. She confirmed what I already knew...that he indeed was dead. Then she hugged me and all the emotion that had laid bottled up inside me for the past two days came flooding like a torrent. I wept. The walk to the parking lot that evening was so surreal. I was leaving my father for good, and heading to my mother to tell her Dad was gone. She was up waiting...and of course knew as soon as I came home. She knew I would not have left otherwise. I am so glad that the last thing I told my father that Sunday was that I loved him. I am glad that I was there with him when he left this world. I am thankful that my God has conquered this last enemy death and that for a Christian, this is truly as bad as it gets. I hope I will always remember the lessons learned here...we are not promised is all we have...and as Stephen Olford's father summed it up so perfectly. "Only one live, so soon it will pass. Only what's done for Christ will last." Make it a point to live everyday as though it may be your last. Don't forget to tell those around you how much you love them. Don't put off tomorrow those acts of kindness you can do today. Live for eternity, because this life is so short compared to what eternity holds for us. May Christ bless you richly.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Dad Part 1

It has been a while since I wrote last on the family blog. So much has happened in our lives in just a short time. The greatest challenge by far lately, has been the death of my father. I remember so vividly leaving his home on a Sunday, telling him that in just two days we would be right back again, moving into our new home and starting our lives closer to him and Mom. He chuckled, and told me not to work too hard. I kissed him, told him I loved him, turned to leave...never dreaming that this would be the last time I would ever see him smile, or laugh, or talk to me about the Carolina Tarheels, or see him light up when his grandchildren walked in the room. So quickly, and all that was an instant, my life was changed forever. My father has been very sick for years. I had gotten honest, plain talk from his family doctor, his heart doctor, etc. I always knew Dad could leave this world at any minute. I was so keenly aware of it, that every time I told him good-bye, the thought that came into my mind was this may be the last time you see your father. That is, everytime except this particular Sunday. Strange, isn't it? We were in the process of moving. We had gone to my parents several times, bringing items to store in their home until we moved...getting the other house ready, etc. We had talked with my parents about them coming over to our new house and eating out on the deck...about being able to see the kids on a regular basis...about being there to help them when they needed it. I was so happy that we were coming here while Dad was we could be there when may parents needed us most. Hopefully his last years would be spend with his grandchildren that he loved so much. It was God's timing that we came here just now, and I knew it. Little however, did I know that is wasn't for my father I would be coming, but my mother instead.

We left their home on Sunday, and on Monday morning we had a Uhaul scheduled to pick up so we could move some of our things to Fayetteville. That morning Jonathan got up early, heard my cell phone and then picked up to hear a voicemail from Mom, crying, telling me to please call her. Jon woke me up and said I needed to call my mother. I knew something was wrong. I listened to her voicemail, but oddly enough...that one day, didn't even think it could be Dad. I just said goodbye to him yesterday, there on the couch, smiling at me. I thought it might be someone else she was close to...another family member. When I called her, the EMT's were there trying to revive him. She told me she thought he was gone. My heart sank into my stomach. I felt utter shock mingled with overwhelming helplessness. I told her we would be there as soon as we could. We finalized things at the house and packed as quickly as we could for the seven of us and headed from Columbia, SC to Fayetteville. I don't remember much about the drive except that it seemed twice as long. Jon kept the children at the house while I went to the hospital. Dad had been revived, but it had taken the EMT's at least four minutes to bring him back. They suspected he had been losing oxygen for some 50 minutes. The prognosis was not good. He was taken to a room on the Cardiac ICU unit. The next days seem a blur. We kept getting reports from the doctor's that there was no hope...he only had brain stem let him go. But neither Mom nor I were ready for that. I don't know that anyone really is. I know my God is in the miracle business...I just wanted to make sure this was not a miracle He was planning to perform. We both needed to feel okay about this. Dad had never said what he would want if he found himself hooked to machines. Those were things he never talked about. I knew what song he wanted sang at his funeral...but never talk such as this. Having lived with him though, both Mom and I knew he hated the thought of not being able to do things on his own. He was having such a problem coping with the idea that he may be reduced to a wheelchair soon because of his bad knee and weak legs. He had been active all his life. Playing ball and coaching ball was his love. He would not have wanted to be reduced to a vegetative state...we felt sure of that. With this looming decision staring us in the face, life still went on. People still laughed outside his room, plans were still made, my children still needed to be taken care of, the Army still said we had to move by a certain just seemed too overwhelming, just for a brief moment...couldn't life just stop? It is at times like this finding my foundation in Christ is so crucial. Although my emotions were so seared and numb, I knew He was there. He had conquered this last enemy called death, and He would somehow see those of us who would be left behind to mourn, the way out of this seeming darkness. I didn't understand His timing, but it is not always my place to understand. As His child, it is my place to believe, to trust, that although I do not always understand, His Word remains ever faithful and true. To believe that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28) These are the times of faith testing...and it is not an easy thing.
I will continue this thread on later posts...more for me than anyone reading it. But, if it used for good to help anyone else, praise God for it. God bless you dear friends and family.

Monday, May 5, 2008


It has been a while since my last post. Things have been busy here. The children and I just got over a cold, and we have steadily been trying to look at housing options for our move to Fayetteville. It is hard to believe that by the end of next month, we will be unpacking and trying to get things settled into our new place. We are excited about the prospects the Lord has for us there, but are also daunted by all the things that have to be done before that time. After searching homes and such, Jonathan and I have decided that unless the Lord brings a home across our path, we will be living on post. We are not quite ready for the stress of trying to find someplace to live, what with schooling, packing, Jonathan finishing up his projects, etc. Although the thought of once again buying our own home was very tempting, unless God gives us clear direction otherwise, we have decided that this is not the right time for us. The last few weeks have been stressful for me. The moving process is a tough time, even if you do know where you are going to live! But, trying to find God's direction in whether we are to rent, buy or live on post, along with all our other responsibilities proved overwhelming for a time. It is at moments like this that God sends refreshment in so many different ways. And He is so faithful to send encouragement from people at just those needed times. I cannot tell you the times friends have written emails, mailed letters, called on the phone at just those times needed most. I thank God for His refreshing waters of encouragement from others when I need it the most. Just a few days ago, I got the sweetest letter from Jonathan's aunt and uncle. (Jean and Edd Lowe) They did not know I was having a difficult day, but God did. Their letter was so sweet and uplifting. I thank God for them. Then, the other day, my friend Diane from church called and we spoke a while. She encouraged me in the Lord and helped me to get my focus back on the things that matter most. I praise God for sisters in the Lord like that! So, whenever God brings across your path to make that call, write that email, mail that it. And know that God just may use it to be a soothing balm to someone who needs it most. May Christ encourage you all in His love.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Staying Steady

It has been a little while since my last post, but we are continuing to stay steady in our daily tasks. Jonathan went out of town on a staff ride (kind of like an adult field trip) with the Chaplains at the schoolhouse to Charleston on Monday morning, spent the night and then came back on Tuesday around dinner time. That very Monday morning, we had scheduled dental appointments for four of the children for cleanings. So, it was up to me to get them all up, dressed, fed, and out the door and to the dentist's office by 8:00. I must admit, things went really, really well. Joel, who is usually a little scared about things like that, hopped right up in the chair and let them clean his teeth. I could tell he was uncomfortable with these strangers because he refused to laugh or even smile no matter how hard they tried. But, he was obedient and that was more important than his facial expressions. Julia and I sat in the room watching them. There were six chairs in the room for cleaning and my children took up four of them. And when Julia begins to go, there will only be one chair in the room vacant! The children are continuing to progress in school. Josiah has done really well with the second grade curriculum. Joanna is doing well with her reading. And Joy is showing great progress with all her subjects, even math, though at one time she vowed to dislike it forever! We were working on geometry terms today...and she got it...much better than I did when I was her age, that's for sure! We are continuing to prepare for our upcoming move. The dejunking process in well underway, but has quite a bit to go. In one respect it seems we have plenty of time, but in reality, I know these 2 and a half months will fly by! We are getting more and more excited about the move...and the closer we get, the more we desire to get settled once again. Jonathan graduates from the Advanced Chaplain's Course on June 4th. He is looking forward to that. This has been a challenging assignment, just in the volume of work and time it has taken. So, it will be nice for him to have this phase of his career behind him. But, no matter how challenging it gets, I can always take it easier when I remind myself that at least, for now, he is home with us. And seeing him some is certainly better than not seeing him at all. Well, I am going to close for now. Hope you all enjoy pictures of the family. The one today is of Josiah. He is famous for making his faces and being a knight, or frontiersman, or British soldier, or American soldier, or cowboy, etc. He takes on the characteristics of whatever time period we are studying in history. Right now, it is the Medieval, Reformation, Renaissance period. So, he is our young squire waiting to be knighted! May Christ shed His love abroad in your hearts our dear friends and family!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Joy of Family

Today has been a special day. Not that we have done anything out of the ordinary, but just because God has given me a special lens to see with today. Some days are so busy with all the tasks of life, that it is hard to appreciate those things most precious to us. I admit that there are days where I am running here and there, trying to check off all the things on my to-do list, without really stopping to enjoy those closest to me. But, today was different. Today I had a really good day...not because anything special happened, but because I was able to look at the "ordinary" things of my day and realize how special they truly are. Today I really looked at my children and thanked God for them. I took time to enjoy their smiles, laughs and hugs. I had a great time teaching Joanna to read, Josiah and Joy new math concepts, and I just relished in the fact that they clung to every word of a historical novel I am reading aloud to them. (The Red Keep by French) We took a walk...all five of them (which is a feat in itself) to the commissary to pick up two items. They had a great time walking in a line behind me like little ducklings after their Mama Duck. We got some stares from the passing cars, but we loved it. I hope people look at us and, it sure does look like a lot of fun to have a big family. You know what? It really is. There are more laughs, more playmates, more hugs, and more children to bring up for Christ. What an awesome thing! Today was a great day. And I think the children felt it too. Joy hugged me and said, "Mom, this has been a great day. Thanks for everything." When I was doing school with Josiah, I put my arm around him. He said, "Mom, I wish you were younger." I started tickling him and laughing saying, "Are you saying your Mom is old?" He said, "No, I just wish you were younger so you could stay with me longer." How sweet is that? Joanna and Joel both told me at different times that they loved me. And Julia periodically ran up to me and just gave me hugs. Today was absolutely priceless. And I thank my God in heaven for allowing me to live it to the fullest. When you pray, ask God to give you a special lens to look through. It may not change your circumstances, but I guarantee it will change your outlook! Have a God blessed day!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Celebrating God's Blessing to Me

Tomorrow marks a much celebrated day in the Fowler household. Our third child was born on that day. Joanna Grace will be five years old. My how the time really does fly. That day is also special in the Fowler household because it was the day God chose to providentially bless my life by creating the man that would one day win my dear husband Jonathan. So, for today I want to write a pre-birthday dedication to him.

Some reasons why I love my husband Jonathan:

My blog could not hold all the reasons why I love Jon, so I thought I would just give you a glimpse of a few of them:

I love him because he seeks to honor the Lord in his life.

I love him because he is my best friend...he always knows what to say when I need it most.

I love him because he is a wonderful father...his job provides us a living, but his family is his real ministry.

I love him because, after Christ, we are first in his life...he is constantly thinking of ways to make more time to be with us, even if it means late nights working just so he doesn't take time away from the children.

I love him because he makes me laugh...he helps me to see the humor in a situation. He is my stress releaser!

I love him because he is right there to change a diaper, brush little children's teeth, helping to clean up after meals, etc...not because he is asked, but just as a way to let me know he cares.

I love him because he guards himself in relationships with other women...not being alone with them...just because he wants to honor his relationship with me.

I love him because he still looks at me and tells me how beautiful I am...even though I know the years have taken their toll on me.

I cannot think of anyone I would rather be around than my husband. He is truly a blessing from the Lord and I thank God for him.

Don't forget to tell those you love what a blessing they are in your life! And don't forget to thank Christ for all He has given to you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Beautiful Days

Don't you just love these early days where spring is just around the corner? Even with the pollen coating our vehicle and outdoor items, it is a beautiful thing to behold. These days always make me feel more energetic! Although public schools around here are having spring break, we are still schooling, though on an abbreviated schedule. Due to our move coming up here in June, and all the things that lead up to that, we are pressing on with school, knowing that we will have to take a break to get things ready for moving here in a couple of months. It is hard to believe that in another three months, we will be settling in to a new home...and the same place I called home for years. There are so many things to get done before we leave. I always look forward to getting to a new place, but the process of getting there is one of my least favorite things! The moving process always seems to stress me out! So, pray up for me on that one! Jonathan and I have begun the enormous task of dejunking! That is one of the benefits of being in the sort of makes you reevaluate all your items to access whether you really need it or not. Extra weight becomes a burden in a move, as well as a possible expense. And then one never knows what size house you may be heading to. Here, we have had the privilege of having two units made into one, but we will not have that luxury at Fort Bragg. So, we will be giving up about 700 square feet. So, needless to say, we need to REALLY take inventory of the things we have. But, it has already been a freeing process and we are only just beginning. We have begun to ask ourselves, how much is too much? As a Christian, when is enough enough? Things can be nice, but when one has too much, they begin to drain you either financially, or just by maintaining them. It is so nice to open drawers and closets and see necessities nice and neat, rather than chaos and one more thing staring me in the face saying, "Come and organize!" So, we will continue probably up until the last minute...and of course, we will still have some left to do when we arrive. It always seems to happen that way. But, we look forward to the new opportunities the Lord has in store for us there. Here's wishing you all a God blessed day!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Healthier Days

Since my last post, we have almost gotten back to health here. Julia is on antibiotic because her virus lasted so long that she was beginning to develop an ear infection. The boys have not needed any antibiotic, and have done well with just a few breathing treatments. That is such a blessing for us, especially considering that Joel was on two puffs of Advair morning and evening for months. We just praise the Lord for that. Joy. Joanna and Jonathan managed to miss the viruses altogether, which is also wonderful! We are anticipating being able to make it back to church tomorrow once again as a family. How fitting that it should be on Easter. We hope that all of you have a wonderful Easter day, with a great sense of the presence of Christ, and the sacrifice He made for us. Happy Easter!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Restless Few Nights

We have had a restless few nights in the Fowler family this week. I came down with a strange virus on Monday night. I felt sick on my stomach and very if I had the flu. About 24 hours later, although I was extremely weak, I was feeling much better. I broke out in a rash and kept that for a good day, and then it was all over. Julia got sick on Tuesday night. She developed a stuffy nose and by the middle of the night, had a pretty bad case of crupe. I ended up taking her to the emergency room about 3 am because we tried all the interventions we could at home, but she still was not breathing well enough. They ended up giving her an oral steroid to open her passageway for breathing and then we got home around 5 am. She has maintained a pretty bad head cold and a dry cough now, but praise God, she is breathing well. Joel got the virus next, on Wednesday night. We have had such a wonderful bout of health since we have changed our eating habits and putting the children on some really good vitamins. Both Jonathan and I have been dreading this moment when Julia and Joel would get sick again. They both have had such difficulty healthwise and we have had such scares with them. Joel had a bad bout with breathing Thursday morning, around 5am. I got him up and gave him a breathing treatment. It didn't work as quickly as I would have liked and he was still having difficulty breathing. Jonathan was at PT and there was no way I could get in touch with him to bring back the van in case I needed to take him to the hospital. I put a blanket around Joel and we went outside to sit in the cool morning air. I sat there praying for him, that God would cause him to breathe well again. And within a minute, my son who was laboring so hard to breathe, just calmed down and began breathing normally again. Since then, he has done so very well. He is still sick and coughing some, and the crupe is always worst on the third night, so we are praying that he gets through this evening without anymore ER visits. Even though we have been sick this week, there is still great blessing. Joel has physically handled this sickness so much better than he has so many others in the past. I am so very grateful to God for that. It is so hard to see little ones sick and know how utterly helpless you are to correct the situation. Please continue to pray for our family as we try to get over this sickness. So far, the other children and Jonathan have remained well. Pray that they stay well. God bless and we love you all!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Happenings with the Fowler children

The children wanted me to write and let you all know what a typical school day is like in the Fowler home. So, here we go. Joy wakes up at 6:30 am and begins her devotional. By 7 am in the morning, we are working on math usually. Since that subject is the most challenging for her, we try to get that done early when we are both fresh and there is not much noise yet going on in the house. Believe me, that doesn't last long around here. We stop for breakfast, where we share in family devotions around the table. After that, it is morning chore time. Then it is back to school. Throughout the rest of the day, she completes Latin, music, writing, literature, Bible, grammar, science, art, geography, spelling and history. Every week, she also is assigned to extra reading that I give her, usually corresponding to her history unit for that week. I also try to complete a read aloud to the children by reading a book within a week, a little bit each day. Josiah is mainly focusing right now on phonics, reading and math. He is over half way through in his math book for first grade and will start the phonics and reading program for second grade on Tuesday. He is learning some history facts along with Joy and all the children, except Julia that is, are chanting Latin througout the day, even during bathroom breaks. It is odd to hear Joel using the restroom saying "laboro, laborare, laboravi, laboratum, I work, to work, I worked, worked!" But, it is great to know how easily they pick up things and what an asset that will be when their study begins. Joanna, who will be five the end of this month, can almost make all the letters of the alphabet herself. She is doing first grade work in phonics and reading. Joel desperately wants to do school, but Mommy is wondering how she will work that out. But, I have promised him that this next school year, he can work on a preschool program. I hope Julia holds off for a little bit, at least for my sake. Besides the schoolwork, there are chores throughout the day, altercations to squelch and redirect, fresh bread to bake daily, whole foods menus to prepare, and lots of love and funny sayings to enjoy. Some of those are as follows. Joel now has a habit of exaggerating his situation. Sometimes when he is misbehaving we will place him in a chair or on the couch for a quiet time. The other day he remarked, "Mommy, why do I ALWAYS have to sit in a chair or on a couch. I am tired of sitting in a chair or on a couch. Why do I have to go to bed and you all get to stay up? I don't like that." Joanna was outside the other day and she got three small ant bites on her arm. The second day, the swelling started to go down and she said, "Look Mommy it's swelling down!" And then there are the endearing things the little ones say. Jon and the children watched a movie about William Carey today and Josiah said, "Being a missionary in India must have been hard, but I would like to preach the gospel to them." And Joy, who will often out of the blue say to me, "Mom, thanks so much for all you do, how you take care of us and for homeschooling me." Those moments are the kind that take my breath away. How blessed I truly am! I wish for you all God's blessings too!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Assignment

Well, it is official. We are heading to Fort Bragg next. Jonathan got his Request for Orders yesterday and he is being assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This, of course, means a deployment. But, that comes as no surprise. He was basically told that wherever his assignment would be next time, he would be deployed. We do not have specifics yet. He does not know what unit with the 82nd he will be assigned to yet, and therefore does not know when he will be deploying. We will let you all know as soon as he finds out. Although we are terribly saddened to know that we will be apart again soon, we do thank God that He has placed the children and me near my parents and friends to be able to assist us while he is away. I cannot begin to tell you all the lengths my parents went during the last deployment to serve us...flying to Texas multiple times when we were so very ill on several occasions, my dear mother flying out to Texas just to drive back with me and the children twice so we would not have to spend Christmas in the house without Daddy and to give us a little vacation along the way by stopping in Pigeon Forge. And God blessed me with another dear friend, Heidi, who would drive an hour to pick up my mother from the airport when I was too sick to do so...who kept my children when they had the flu until my mother could come, and on and on. And as God would so graciously see fit...Heidi will also be there at Fort Bragg! I pray that this time, we will not deal with all the sickness and difficulties that we faced last time...and maybe our family might be there to serve those who served us for a change! Please begin now to pray for Jonathan's safety...that God would keep him well, both physically, mentally and spiritually. Pray for the children and myself who will have a hard time finding anything that will take the pain away from missing him...that God will keep us strong, healthy and bring us closer to Him during this time. We love you all!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Celebration of Joy

Last weekend, we were able to celebrate two birthdays! Julia turned two and Josiah, our oldest son, is now seven years old. We celebrated with just our family and had a great time. We have revamped our eating so dramatically that for the first time, the children had a "healthy" cake. It is not as flashy, nor as sweet as the traditional ones, but they enjoyed it anyway. The children are allowed to choose their own birthday meal...and since Julia cannot tell us yet, we went with Josiah's selection. So, we had homemade potato soup. Other big news...Josiah lost a tooth on top and is on the verge of losing another! It is so cute to hear him talk as if all words now contain a slight s. I am so very thankful God has allowed me to have these precious ones another year and to share in their lives! Our great and wonderful the God we serve!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The End of the Day

As I sit here typing, I have a lovely almost two year old daughter who has pulled up a chair beside me and is continually threatening to wipe out all I have just written by turning off the computer. From the lifting of the mouse, playing with the on/off switch and wanting to pull some very important cords out of the computer, she smilingly looks at me as though I know how cute she is! I however, continue to try and type while removing her hand, saying no a dozen times and kissing her forehead. I remember a day when that would have really bothered me. "I can't seem to get any time to myself," I would lament. Don't they know that Mommy needs a little time to do "her" things? I don't even remember the days when I actually went to the bathroom by myself. But now, thanks to God continuing to do a work in me, I realize that this time is so very short. One day I will blink and this little girl will be like her oldest sister, on the threshold of womanhood. And when that happens, how I will long once again for these cherish and hold dear. Just as the Bible says, life really is but a vapor. I hope I continue to know how preciuos it is. When I am older, and my house is quiet, how much I will miss children singing Latin songs, everyone trying to talk at one time, three or four asking me a question all at once, and all those reminders about "once you're in bed, it's time to sleep!" I will miss changing the diapers and making the meals and all the other things that go along with a houseful of blessings! So, as the night draws to a close...cuddle up to those little ones, tell those around you how much you love them, and thank God for giving you another day. I sure am!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Keeping in Touch

The Fowler clan is alive and well! We have begun the new year with great anticipation to see what the Lord has in store for us as a family. Jonathan is now immersed in his new role here as a student in the Advanced Chaplain's course. The children and I are still busying our days with school, chores, and all the other tasks that life demands. We are here in South Carolina until June, and then the Lord moves us to another position. Although we have "preliminary" orders, we are keeping things a little quiet until "official" orders come out in February sometime. With the military, one must always be open for change. So, we are waiting to tell everyone our new assignment until things are a little more "set in stone." (If that is even possible militarily speaking!)
This blog is meant to keep friends and family "in touch" with the some of the day to day events in our lives. We hope you all enjoy "visiting" with us from time to time. We would much rather have you here in person, but maybe this will make you feel more in tune with our family as we strive to raise sons and daughters to the glory of God.