Monthly Archives: October 2009

South America – Day 68

Tonight is the first official night that my sister is living with me.  I really hope this works out.  She put my kids in bed for me tonight.  I didn’t mean for her to, but Derick called just as I was putting Allyn’s jammies on and I couldn’t miss his call.  They were being so noisy that I finally went upstairs to my room, into the bathroom and shut the door.  If she hadn’t been here I probably would have just let them scream and beat each other up until I was done, but she put them in bed for me.  Then I came downstairs, let them say goodbye to Derick and prayed for them all.  I really appreciated her doing that for me!  She brought her dog with her, too, a one-year-old Syberian Husky name Haley.  She is a much calmer dog than Jack was.  And the best part is… I am NOT  the responsible party.  I don’t mind helping if she needs me too, but Haley is not my dog.  I think its a good trade off.  The kids still get the fun of living with a pet, and I don’t have to care for it! 

It was so great to talk to Derick!  I am so in love with my Sailor! 😉  There is just something about a man in uniform!  Every woman knows what I am talking about! 

Anyway, he is not working in the prison like he thought he was going to.  His little group of 14 has been absorbed into the larger group.  I think the total in his detachment is 89.  But, he heard today that there is a chance that some of them will be sent to the Dominican Republic.  Part of that rumor is that he would be in that group.  But at this point it is still just a rumor.  He gave me his address in Cuba.  If anyone is interested it is:

 

BU3 DERICK A UHLER

NMCB TWOFIVE

SEABEE DET

PSC 1005 BOX 37

FPO AE  09593

 

Like I said, there are rumors that he will be going on to his next destination, but that is still a rumor.  And he will get the mail eventually even if he gets reassigned.  It really boosts morale to get mail from home.  If you want to send him an email, his address is derickuhler@gmail.com.  He would like that, too.

Christian’s class is putting together a package to send to him.  And everyone in the class is writing letters to send with it.  I think Christian and Derick are really excited about that one.  The class is going to send him a disposable camera so that he can take pictures and send them back for the kids to see.  He said he wished he had a camera today because there was a ship that he watched come into port.  He told me the name of it, but I don’t remember what he said.  I think he’s also gonna see if he can go visit the class in uniform, when he gets home.  That sounds so exciting!  Maybe, I’ll take the kids and invite myself along.

In other news, I should be getting a brand new phone soon.  I talked to Verizon today, and apparently Derick has our account set up so that he gets a new free phone every year.  Plus he gets a military discount.  His phone is currently disabled so guess who gets the free phone instead… ME!!  I’m excited!  There is a new phone coming out that is supposed to be comparabe to the iPhone.  Its called the Droid.  It would be nice to be able to get that one but I’m afraid its gonna be too expensive.  We’ll see.  I’m just excited to get a new phone! 

Time to sign off now.  Time for bed.  Aida is sleeping in my bed again.  When I started writing my post tonight, she was hovered over my shoulder as if she was hanging on every word that I was writing.  Lol!  Fortunately, she is asleep now and hopefully I will be soon!

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South America – Day 66

Today was a really hard day for some reason.  Lately its been the days that someone has helped me out that seem to have been the hardest.  Today an Angel named Melanie did my grocery shopping for me.  I have had sick kids for the last 4 days.  I feel like I have been under house arrest.  I usually look forward to getting out of the house on Tuesdays for Bible Study but today I couldn’t go on account of my kids.  I hope they are better by Friday so that I can go to my MOPS group.

I am sitting here writing my blog, listening to Brody cry, and feeling a sore throat coming on.  I feel so wiped out tonight.  I can’t even tell you why.  My kids have been sick, yes.  But they are seemingly on the mend.  Allyn acted so much better today.  And the others appear to be avoiding the worst of it. 

I got to talk to Derick for 13 big minutes today.  I have been waiting for all of 4 days for those precious 13 minutes.  Now that he is down there he’s not sure if skype will be an option or not.  It may just be 13-minute calls every week. He’s hoping to get a phone hooked up in his own room so that we would be able to talk more than that, but right now he is working 12 hours a day and he has a Navy Seabee class that he has to take after that.  Right now he has to go to someone else’s room to call me and I guess there are usually people waiting to use the phone so he has to keep it short.  The time also makes a difference.  It is one hour ahead of us, in Cuba, which doesn’t seem like a big deal.  But, he has to get up at about 4am every morning.  In a way, I suppose its good that he is that busy.  When he was at Port Hueneme he had a lot of down time, too much, in fact.  He had a lot of time to think about what he was missing out on at home.  Now he doesn’t.  I don’t have much time to think about him being gone, except maybe at night.  Bedtime is hard.  I just don’t have enough hands to get it all done without making someone cry.  I try not to let it be me.  Usually its Brody.  I have to put him down so that I can get the others in bed and then take care of him, uninterrupted. 

I thought for a little while that Brody was finally asleep, but he just openned his eyes and started wiggling and fussing again.  Oh, wait, his eyes are closed again.  *great sigh of relief* 

I miss Derick so much.  I miss the bed being warm.  I get so cold at night.  More than once since he left I have woken up in the night, freezing.  And I have to get up and put sweats on, sometimes even socks.  I hate sleeping in socks!  I miss cooking for someone that cares what I make.  (or doesn’t care, I guess.)  He never complains about anything I make.  I always make whatever I want and he always appreciates it.  And if I don’t know what I can make, he gladly comes into the kitchen and whips something up… something that I would never have thought of.  I miss loading up in the van and going to Target as a family because we need one thing and I just need to get out of the house.  I miss getting up in the morning and offending him because I tried to make my own coffee.  And every morning he asks me if the coffee tastes ok.  For a non-coffee-drinker, he makes an excellent pot of coffee!  I miss the presence of a man in the house…  actually, I just miss the presence of another adult in the house. 

People tell me all the time that they want to help.  I want to let them help.  The thing is, when I really need help is on the weekends and in the evenings.  I’d love someone to just play with my kids on a sunny Saturday afternoon or to hold Brody so he won’t cry while I put the other kids in bed.  I’d love someone to talk to while I fold laundry.  Its always at the last minute, and at a really inconvenient time that I realize that I could really use some help right about now.  The next thought is usually something about wonering how people survive when their spouse dies?  At least I’m getting 13 minutes a week.

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South America – Day 65

If life is full of peaks and valleys, I think today would be a valley.  Maybe its because of the weather.  Maybe its just that I miss Derick.  I wish I knew.  Things really are going pretty well.  And the things that get me down are so superficial.  When I think about it then I feel ashamed that I let it get to me.  Things like my kids messing up my house as soon as I get it picked up, or whether or not I will be able to lose the baby weight. 

Sometimes I get down just because I don’t get to text Derick anymore.  I have talked with him in some form almost every day since he has been gone, even during his 2 week field exercise, he still sent me text messages.  Some people would be quick to point out how “strong” I am.  “I don’t know how you make it,” they would say, “I know I couldn’t!”  I know that God always gives you the strength to complete the task that he assigns to you. 

I could give legitimate reasons why I should not get upset about the afore mentioned scenarios.  But, I could not tell you why, inspite of those perfectly good reasons, they still get me down.  I shouldn’t be upset about my house because I know that every mom deals with that, when they are raising small children.  And I shouldn’t get upset about the weight thing because I know that it will eventually come off like it always has before, especially this spring when I start biking with Derick.  I think that the reason it gets me down is that those two things just seem to scream to me that I am alone right now.  No one is here that would care about the house being clean like Derick would.  Not that I was very good at keeping it very clean when he was here.  But, at least I had motivation to try.  And Derick always has a way of making me feel beautiful no matter what I looked like.  He doesn’t just say it, he believes it.  That made all the difference.  Aida tells me I’m pretty sometimes, but only like a 3 year old could.  Its just not the same as your man telling you. 

The problem also stems from knowing what I need to change, but not having the motivation to do it.  I know if I quit snacking and quit eating so many sweets and drank water instead of caffinated drinks I would start losing a little faster.  And if I would start exercising, even just a little, it would come off even faster. I know that if I just planned on picking up all the rooms before bed, the mess wouldn’t get so overwhelming.  And in the process I would be teaching my kids how to clean up after themselves.  Where does the discipline and motivation to do these things come from?  I have learned that if I don’t get myself out of bed significantly before my kids wake up so that I can read my Bible and spend a little time alone with God, I am not a very nice mom, and my day goes south pretty quickly.  So, while Derick was gone the first time, I got in the habit of doing that.  Now, even when everything in me is telling me to stay in bed, I still get up, just because I know that the day will go so much better.  Will it be true for the other things?  If I stop drinking so much caffeine and stop eating so many sweets will I not have such highs and lows emotionally, and then start really losing weight.  If I made an effort to get a babysitter at my house just twice a week to watch my kids for 45 minutes so I could go for a walk, would it make me feel that much better?

Here is another vice.  I feel better when I look better. (Everyone does.)  But, to look better I know that I should get myself some clothes that fit better.  But, I don’t want to spend money on clothes that fit better because I don’t want to be this size long enough for it to matter.  I have other things that I’d rather spend my money on. 

This is what happens when I take my eyes off Jesus and start looking at me and the things around me.  This is what happens when I stop waiting on the Lord and I start waiting on the event.  It totally drains me!  I have no energy and no motivation to do anything!  “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall soar on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31.  I have heard that verse so many times that it sounds cliche’ to me.  I think, “yeah, yeah, I know what it says.”  But do I really understand and apply it.  I obviously don’t have renewed strength.  I’m not soaring and I definitely feel like fainting everyday.  Maybe I should post it on my bathroom mirror so that I can read it every morning while I brush my teeth.  Maybe I should start by praying this verse everyday.

Lord, give me patience and understanding to wait on YOU not a circumstance or event.  Let me soar on wings like eagles, help me not to be weary as I run this race called Life.  Help me not to feel faint even in doing just the mundain everyday tasks.  Help me to do all things to glorify you, not to gratify me.  I love you, and I want to display that even in how I take care of the earthly treasures that you have entrusted to me.  Help me to treat my home as your home and my body as your temple.  Thank you for the strength that you have already given to me.  Help me to take it everyday!  In Jesus name, Amen

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South America – Day 62

I should label this post “South America – Day 1″ because toay is Derick’s first day in Cuba.  Yesterday morning he left California, for Cuba.  I don’t know anything beyond that.  I wasn’t able to talk to him for the rest of the day, and today his phone is being put on hold while he is gone.  I think I might have Skype on all day today, waiting for his call. 

This week hasn’t been too bad.  Wednesday I actually motivated my kids to do a little picking up around the house.  You can’t really tell anymore, but it was nice to enjoy on Wednesday night.  I don’t even remember what we did on Wednesay.  My parents came over for dinner and brought pizza.  The kids always love seeing ‘mama and baba”.  I’m not sure where they came up with “baba'”. 

Yesterday, I went to my friend Tami’s house.  She helped me with my first scrapbooking attempt.  Actually, I just watched.  That’s ok.  Until now I have never had a desire to scrapbook.  It looks fun, but it looks like an investment of time and money, and I just haven’t been willing to make that investment yet.  The pages turned out really nice.  It was 2 pages of my family to go in a big scrapbook for some friends of ours.  I picked out the pictures on Wednesday night and sent them to Walgreens (I love the internet!).  Then we picked them up on our way to her house yesterday morning.  After we did the pages, I colored her hair.  I still love doing hair.  I love the company of an adult and the guaranteed exclusive conversation that I get when I have someone in my chair.  I would get a chair and do it at home but I think my daughter wouldn’t leave me alone long enough.  Anyway, when it was time to go, I packed up my stuff and got ready to walk out the door, and realized my keys were gone.  I left them on the table and then they were gone.  I did get Aida to admit that she took them but she never did tell me what she did with them.  I think she was playing with them, got distracted, layed them down and then forgot about them.  We searched the entire house and the front yard in the rain for 2 solid hours.  She finally loaded us all in her van and took us home.  By this time it was approaching 6:00, so she also bought us dinner at McDonald’s.  When we got home (we had to make a couple of other stops) it was 6:30.  I made the kids all put their pajamas on and go to bed.  I think it was about 7:10 when I shut the light off and said goodnight.  I was so mentally exhausted!  I thought maybe I could just get the spare key when I got home and ride back with her to get my van.  But, the spare key was not where it was supposed to be.  It has been hanging in the same place for 3 years and now that I need it, I couldn’t find it.  Wow!  What a day!

My phone is on the fritz too.  It used to be that I just never got a good signal in my house.  Lately it has been getting worse.  I would have to go to the second floor if I wanted to get any signal at all.  Then in the last few days I haven’t been able to get any signal and sometimes not even a good enough signal to send a text message.  So, last night I sent a message to my exhusband, apologizing because he hasn’t been able to talk to Christian with all of these phone issues.  I can’t get another one through Verizon til December.  (Merry Christmas to me! Maybe I’ll splurge and get myself a Droid!)  Well, of all things, he found me another phone to use.  I have no idea what kind it is, but honestly, I’m kinda cheap when it comes to my phones.  I don’t need all those extra features.  So, I’m really not picky!  He and his friend Josh are bringing it over this morning.  I’m excited to get another phone!  I’m kinda bummed that I can’t tell Derick about it and that Joe is bringing it over. 

If I had a car today, I would load up my kids and drive to Copper River just to get a good cup of coffee.  I’ve decided that I really am an addict.  So, do I try to break the addiction or just embrace it.  I love coffee.  Too much makes me crazy, but I love a few cups in the morning!  

Well, maybe I’ll get some things done today since I’m stuck here.  Right now I need to start by getting my kids breakfast.

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South America – Day 59

Wow!  I can’t believe its been over a week since the last time I posted anything!  I’ve been spending every evening that I have free talking to Derick on Skype.  And if I can’t do that I’ve been vegging out in front of the TV after the kids are in bed.  I’ve just been too tired to try to write anything coherent.

Derick and I have been trying to talk on the phone for the last 15 minute but I think our total talk time has been about 3 minutes.   Neither one of us has a good signal and the call keeps dropping.  I need a new phone so bad.  I think I can get a new one for a discounted rate in December.  I’m such a tight-wad though, when it comes to phones.  I want the free one that has no features.  And the only things I do with it is call and text.  No internet, no fancy ring tones, nothing extra.  I hate paying $100 for our two phones, anything more than that would make my stomach hurt!  I am kind of excited to see the new phone that Verizon is coming out with.  Its their answer to the iPhone.

I’ve been thinking about my mother-in-law a lot lately.  I miss seeing Bill and Bonnie.  I miss them for the kids.  My kids have had continuous colds for the last month.  I can’t take them to see her with runny noses and coughs.  I feel bad for not seeing her.  I need to at least call her.  She has made it through 2 chemo treatments, and after 4 treatments she can have the stem cell replacement surgery.  So, that is scheduled for around Thanksgiving.

What’s really been weighing on my mind is how to pray for her.  I was praying for healing.  I really do think that if she is going to recover from this, it is going to take an act of God.  But, God has been showing me that I need to be more concerned about her relationship with Jesus than her physical healing.  If she is following Jesus, then when she gets to heaven she will have a perfect body with no sickness or disease.  But, if she isn’t, then physical healing isn’t going to matter much when she leaves this earth.  So, I have been praying, instead, for Bill and for Bonnie to pave a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. 

Derick is flying from California to Cuba on Thursday.  Of all the things that I could worry about, he is not one of them.  He will be working inside the prison, where the inmates are, but I don’t worry at all about him.  I have no doubt in my mind that we are exactly where God wants us to be right now and God will take care of my husband.  Hopefully after Thursday, I will be able to write more.  We will only be able to talk on Skype.  His cell phone will be shut off. 

It appears that I have a lot on my mind.  Honestly, God has been taking care of things for me.

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South America – Day 51

According to my calculations, if Derick really does come home on February 15, then I have 126 more days to be seperated from him.  18 weeks exactly.  I miss him terribly!  But, for some reason, its easier to stay in God’s Word while he’s not here.  My interests aren’t divided.  Its also easier to give Brody all the time and attention that I want.  On the other hand.  I need to just be disciplined enough to read my Bible and pray even if Derick is here, and if he was here (or when he gets here) he can just share the responsiblity of doting on Brody. 

Yesterday was a relatively uneventful day.  Brody went to the doctor for his 2 month check up.  Its time to start his vaccinations.  Derick and I are just unsure about what to do.  I hear so many strong arguements for and against having kids vaccinated.  I have done some research and I think it comes down to weighing the information for ourselves.  Honestly though, some of the things that are said to be linked to the vaccines are kind of scary.  At the same time, I would never want my children to have any of those diseases.  In the state of Illinois we have to have a religious exemption signed and filed with the school in order to not have vaccinations.  When I registered Christian for school his information gave a deadline to have the vaccine records or letter of exemption filed with the office.  For them to accually mention a letter of exemption makes me think that there must be a growing number of parents opting out of vaccinating their kids.  So, I didn’t do it yesterday.  It isn’t as if Derick and I have had much of a chance to sit down and talk about this in the last few months.  That just makes it hard to make a joint decision.  In the back of my mind I know that the main issue with me is that I need to trust God with the health and safety of my kids.  I need to totally relenquish control.  But, what parent wants to do that.  And if they do, is it ever easy.  Whether my kids get their shots or not, I need to trust God to keep them health and safe.

I haven’t heard from Derick’s parents in a couple of weeks.  My kids seem to always have colds.  I want to go to Bill and Bonnie’s house and do what I can for them, but sometimes I think the best thing I can do for them is stay away.  I told them from the beginning that I wanted to make meals for them and come visit them, and I think I’ve done it once.  Well, I visited twice, but the second time was only for a few minutes and I had to leave the kids in the car because they were starting to sniffle.  And, they haven’t stopped yet.  They just keep passing it back and forth.  I believe God is asking me to pray for healing for Bonnie.  The more I read and study the Bible, the more I am convinced that God is as much of a healer now as he was then.  My problem is a lack of faith that he will do it when I ask him to.  My kids have colds and I can’t go to my in-law’s house.  But, shouldn’t I have enough faith for God to heal my kids colds.  If I can’t do that, then what makes me think that I have the faith for God to heal cancer.  I think its easier to have faith in impossible situations, because there is no other option.  LIke believing God for a financial breakthrough… God provided money for me to visit Derick.  I believed that he would because I had no choice.  If I didn’t believe that God would provide, then I had nothing to believe in and no means to go to California.  For illness its different, we have faith in drugs and in doctors and surgeons, and procedures.  And it kind of numbs our faith in the Almighty God.  If I give my kids Tylenol and wait it out, their colds will eventually go away.  But, where does that leave Bonnie.  There are treatments for her cancer but even then the prognosis isn’t very good.  So, I want to have faith in a new breakthrough drug or treatment, but wouldn’t it be better to just believe God for full and complete healing.  Doesn’t the Bible say to lay hands on the sick, and pray for healing.  I really believe that this is what God is asking me to do, but I can’t do that if I can’t go see her, not to mention the issue of having enough faith.  If anyone reading this, still believes that we serve an Almighty Healing God, please pray for Bonnie.  And, please pray for me, for healing for my kids and for faith that God will heal my mother in law.

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South America – Day 50

Wow!  I can’t believe its been 50 days since Derick left.  He still has 11 more til he gets to Cuba.  I was just talking to him tonight about the base at Guantanemo Bay.  He said its one of the largest US military bases in the world.  He said it has to be because the people that are stationed there, can’t leave the base.  Everything is there on base.  All the shopping, all the entertainment is right there.  That would be cool if I could visit him there… a nice tropical location.  He said the weather is supposed to be in the 90s while he is there.  Must be rough!

Last night was my sister, Katie’s annual birthday bonfire.  To which she invites everyone she knows.  It was too cold for me though.  I didn’t leave the house once I got to my parent’s house.  I just looked out the window at the fire.  My kids, on the other hand, couldn’t stand being inside.  They also couldn’t stand keeping their coats on.  Aida finally was confined to the house when I discovered that she was outside without a coat or shoes.  Allyn was confined to the house too, but that was because I don’t trust him to stay out of the driveway, and I don’t trust 45 teenage kids not to accidentally hit him with their cars.  They hated it, but like my sister, Carrie, said, “I’d rather have you mad than dead!” 

Today was a really good day.  My house is still a wreck but I have help coming tomorrow to help me with that.  I think Allyn has a doctor appointment tomorrow too.  So that’s good that she’s coming, so I won’t have to take the other kids with me.  Today was the first day that I really felt fully able to function since I came home from California.  I was afraid to take Aida to see Derick because I didn’t know what her reaction would be to coming home again.  I should have been more worried about myself.  I had a really hard week.  I don’t know what it was.  I think I just felt very acutely alone.  I feel it everyday, but last week was harder than normal.   Anyway, today I felt like a real person.  I wasn’t just floating through the day.  It also helped that my children weren’t out of control today.  I got up and showered before any of them got up.  They got up one at a time.  So, I fed and bathed them as they got up.  And we made it to church on time today.  Brody slept during church and lunch.  I had good conversation with several people.  And someone sent me home with a meal for my freezer.  Then we all took naps this afternoon.  We went to a friend’s house for dinner tonight.  I had to stop at the store on my way there and I did it with all 4 of my kids in tow.  And no one had a melt down in the store.  We had a great time at my friend’s house.  And the babysitter put my kids in their pajamas for me, so they all went right to bed when we got home.  Just an easy day.  I need one of those sometimes.  I think the Lord just blessed me with a low stress day.  Thank you, God!  Now its time for me to go to bed.  Good night, world!

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