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South America – Day 27

I think if it weren’t for all the extra things going on in my life right now, this time without Derick wouldn’t be nearly as hard.  I miss him terribly.  But I miss him more when I visit his parents, and when Christian has a school function, and when I need to find a babysitter to do something simple like get my hair done.  I miss him when I crawl in bed at night and I wake up in the morning alone.  I miss him when I have to clean up dinner and put the kids to bed by myself.  I miss him when I balance the checkbook because I don’t have anyone to talk to about how to spend our money.  I miss him everytime I gaze at the face of our new baby boy, and think about how much Brody will change by the time he gets back.  And I miss him because I can’t talk to him right now.  I have gotten a couple of text messages from him this week, but I think when he sends them he has about 5 minutes of free time.  So, I rarely get to answer back right away. 

The kids and I made cupcakes tonight.  The night seemed to go smoother having something for all of us to do together.  I should plan more activities like that but for some reason I just don’t.  Allyn kept taking the used beaters and dipping them into the cake batter and licking it, while I was trying to fill the cupcake papers.  He was dripping it everywhere!  Then after the papers were all full and I let the kids lick the bowl, Aida started smearing it on her face and telling me that it was face wash.  Needless to say, they took a bath while the cupcakes were in the oven.  I guess the white cake batter did sort of look like my moisturizer… a little.

Aida is such a girly girl.  She is fascinated with my makeup. I really don’t have very much, especially being a cosmetologist.  I would love to do formal hair and makeup for a living.  No color, no cuts, just formal styles and makeup, but the investment in the makeup is huge.  I don’t have enough clients for that.  Plus, all the business would come by referral.  There’s not a lot of repeat business there.  But, the little bit I do have seems to keep Aida occupied for any length of time.  She wears lipstick all the time.  She has even tried to put on mascara but she usually ends up looking like a football player instead of a fashion model.  She is much girlier than I have ever been. 

Tomorrow I am taking the kids to a friend’s house so I can cut hair, and Aida, Christian and I are going to Tanner’s Orchard.  I’m excited!  I get to have an outing with just my older kids!!  Aida told me today that we need more apples.  Christian says he wants to pick his own.  I told him we’ll see.  I don’t know if we will have enough time for that.  If I leave Brody with my friend, then I’ll have about 2 hours that I can be gone.  I don’t know if that’s enough time.  I am excited!  It sounds like a  relaxing day to me!

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South America – Day 21

Well, I didn’t write last night, for my faithful readers.  I talked to Derick on Skype for 2 hours, then I was too tired to write anything coherent.  The last couple of days have been pretty good.  Probably because I have been able to get out of the house  a couple of times.  Derick noticed on Skype that I did my hair yesterday.  I said that’s because I actually had to go somewhere.   

Yesterday morning I went to MOPS for the first time.  Rachel invited me and I’m so glad she did.  It made me feel sane and normal.  Its ok that my house is messy a lot of the time.  My kids are more important than a spotless house.  I was about to put all 3 little kids in the nursery and sit quietly and eat breakfast and listen to the speaker and talk to other moms, without little hands pulling on me constantly.  I told the nursery worker in the baby room, that Brody would be hungry at 10:30 so they would come and get me when it was time for him to eat.  When they came to get me, apparently he had pooped through his clothes and on the shirt of the nursery worker.  I felt terrible!  Plus, I didn’t bring any extra clothes because he has never done that before.  So, they hunted around til they found a onsie that he could wear home.  Thank goodness its still warm outside!

Last night was Isaac’s birthday party.  That was at Fondulac Park in East Peoria.  It was great til it got dark and there were no lights in the pavilion.  Rachel lit some birthday candles so we could see to eat our dessert and used brownies as candle holders.  Pretty ingenious! 

Today was just about as eventful.  I went to the Share Day at Northfield Christian Fellowship today.  It was like a huge garage sale, except everything was free.  We found some things that will be usefull, but it started yesterday and I forgot that detail.  So, everything was a little picked over.  Next year I’ll have to donate more and shop early.  Then my friend, Lauren, came to visit me.  Twice today, actually.  She held Brody and we visited for a while.  The kids like it when she comes over because they play with her and she gets them all wound up before bed. 🙂

Tonight I got to talk to Derick on Skype.  It was nice to get to chat with him face to face again.  But, he was really homesick tonight.  He thought he would be leaving on his field exercise on Tuesday and then we wouldn’t get to talk for about 10 days.  Today he found out that they may leave tomorrow.  So, he was feeling a little down about that.  I think he just wasn’t ready to give up talking on Skype yet (or any talking for that matter) .  I feel really bad for him.  I could tell that he didn’t want to hang up.  I wasn’t ready to either.  I love staying up late to talk to him.  The kids are in bed, the house is quiet and I get to talk to my husband face to face.  It is on a totally different level than talking on the phone.  I think if I had to pick forms of communication, I would have to say that Skype is my favorite followed in a close second by a hand-written letter.  I think a letter feels so special because you know the person actually took time out of their busy schedule to sit down and write a letter to you.  Emails can be quick and to the point.  And typing is faster than writing.  Talking on the phone is great but holding that paper that the other person penned themselves is like holding a piece of that person.  And talking on Skype is having a face to face conversation.  I think the things that we say are changed by the form with which we use to say them.  For example, it is much easier to tell someone that we are unhappy about them in a text message than to actually dial their number and tell them in a conversation.  Or, cyber bullying is much easier than being mean in person.  Is it easier because we don’t have to deal with the person.  We are telling a machine… not a real, live person.  Makes me think of that children’s song that Aida sings in church. 

“Oh, be careful little mouth what you say… for the Father up above is looking down in love.  So, be careful little mouth, what you say.”

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South America – Day 19

Today was a pretty productive day.  I gathered all of Jack’s things to give to his new owners and in the process I found where the flies were coming from (I think).  There was a box of stuff hidden in the basement.  I didn’t even know it was there, but it had gotten wet, apparently a long time ago, because the stuff in the box was unrecognizable.  It was really discusting!  But its out with the trash now, along with a lot of other trash I found lurking in the basement.  So, hopefully the flies will start to diminish soon.

Dinner is not cleaned up and I am not motivated to go clean it up.  All the parishables are put away, but the dishes will still be there in the morning.  They aren’t going anywhere (unfortunately).  As soon as dinner was over I cut my boys hair, then fed Brody.  While I was feeding Brody, my dad came over and we decided to go to Hoerr Nursery so I could use his fax machine.  I needed to print Derick’s orders from my email when we got there (I’m out of ink) and then fax them to the Department of Education and to CitiMortgage.  They need proof that Derick is really active duty military.  Then they give us a break on our interest rates.  But anyway, he was out of ink, too.  So, we decided to just go to Target and get the ink that I need and then go home and worry about the faxes tomorrow. 

When we got home we called Derick on Skype.  Sometimes my kids turn the funnest things into such chores!  They could not stop arguing about nothing, and flopping on the bed, and knocking off the webcam from the computer.  So it wasn’t as fun as we wanted it to be.  I was hoping I could ask Derick to pray with the kids tonight before I put them to bed but it just didn’t happen. 

Tomorrow is MOPS.  I’m a little nervous about it.  I’m afraid of the work that it will take to get all of us there and back again.  I’m always afraid of losing track of one of the kids.  But Rachel is riding with me so I’m sure I’ll be fine. 

I’m gonna pray with Derick now so I can go to bed. 

Good night, all!

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South America – Day 18

Wow!  The last couple of days have been really tough!  I have been fighting this cold for a week now, and it just doesn’t seem to be going away.  It is draining my energy, so that I am running on empty when it comes to taking care of my kids.  Some of the daily struggles that I have with my kids are:

– Everytime I sit down to nurse, Aida and Allyn find something to snack on or something to tear apart or some other way to get into trouble.

– Christian is constantly asking to play video games, as if there is NOTHING else in the world to do, no matter what I said 5 minutes ago when he asked the same question.

– Allyn probably shouldn’t take naps anymore or should at least sleep less in the afternoon, because he takes at least an hour to fall asleep at night now.  (But, I just enjoy the peace so much!) 

– Brody wants to be held at dinner time, or when it is time to make dinner.  And if I don’t, he cries… not as much as some babies do, but still.  I want to hold him when I hear him crying, but I have 3 other kids that demand my attention too.  So, there are times when we all just have to do what we need to do while we listen to him cry.

 

Today Aida scribbled, with a crayon, on the wall in the hallway.  I took her to the bathroom to give her and spanking and as soon as I told her it was time to go to the bathroom, she threw herself on the floor and started thrashing her arms and legs.  She did the same thing last night when I told her she was getting a spanking for wetting her pants and then lying to me about it.  She is a good girl most of the time, but when she is bad, she is really bad.  I think Derick’s absence and having a new baby all at once is affecting her more than the rest of the kids.  She doesn’t mope around like I would, it just comes out in occasional screaming fits. 

Allyn on the other hand, doesn’t even seem to realize that Derick is gone.  When he does something wrong its not intentional, like it is with Aida.  He is usually just trying to have fun or get close to me and Brody.  He loves throwing balls.  Today while I was in the bathroom with Aida, he got out a couple boxes of lightbulbs and started throwing the bulbs.  He threw one at Christian and it hit his shoulder and broke on the floor behind him.  And he threw one by the bathroom.  I had to make sure everyone stayed where they were so I could tiptoe to my room to put shoes on before I could go get the broom. 

Christian just wants so bad to spend time with me.  Its so hard to give him my undivided attention when I have 2 little kids acting like that, and a newborn baby that needs constant care.  I finally told him that next Friday night, I will get a babysitter for Aida and Allyn and he and I can go out by ourselves (well, with Brody, of course).  Kendra told me that weekend is the Pumpkin Festival, so I think we may go to that.  He was pretty excited when we made those plans. 

I think I haven’t been praying enough.  I haven’t been losing my temper really.  I just get really down about things.  I really miss Derick!  I haven’t gotten to talk to him much for the last couple of days, and his pay has been messed up.  Military pay confuses me sometimes!  But, I know if I pray, more than I have, anyway, I would definitely not have so many times when I get down on myself.  Having Derick gone, suprisingly, isn’t the hardest part.  Its having him gone with 3 very little kids, one of them being a newborn.  I think the next deployment will be easier, just because the kids will be older and a little more self sufficient.  But, back to the subject of prayer… I know I need to spend more time in prayer.  Pray for Derick, of course, and his safety.  Pray for healing for his mom.  Pray for the safety of my kids and for their relationship with Jesus.  If I don’t pray for my husband and my kids, at least, then who will? 

 

Philippians 4:6-8

“Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.  Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

 

Praise the Lord… for good days and bad. 

Psalm 118:24 

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

 

I do think the Lord hears my prayers as I write my blog.  It seems to help calm my spirit and clear my head.  I know that I have that peace that “passeth all understanding.”  The kind of peace that cannot be explained, the kind that seemingly comes out of nowhere.  I know that we are doing the right thing.  I know I am not crazy for agreeing with Derick about joining the Navy and going to South America.  I know I’m not crazy for wanting 4 kids, not just 2 or 3.  I am confident that this is the path that God has chosen for us and inspite of the next to impossible days, I can still rest in my Father’s arms, knowing that we are going in the right direction, doing what he has asked us to do.

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South America – Day 17

Today was Coffee Tuesday.  My sisters (and Chad) come to my house for coffee and to visit.  But, today was the last one for a while.  Next week I get to start going to Bible Study again.  I’m really excited!  I have been looking forward to this for months!  Even when I was teaching a study I was looking forward to the fall, when I could just sit and learn. 

My family came over today.  Everyone, in different stages.  Carrie and Rachel came this morning for coffee.  Kendra came at about noon.  I was just getting out of the (now working) shower in my master bathroom and I heard someone knocking on the bathroom door.  It was Kendra, and she came upstairs to tell me that someone was at my house and they had food so she assumed that this person was from my church.  She was right but it sounded funny, that she let them in my house not knowing who it was.  Katie (the girl from my church that came to my house with food) actually came to babysit my middle children while I took Brody to his one month checkup.  Everything looks good there.  Everything went well at home from what it sounded like. 

My parents came over this evening, but not before my kids had all tried my patience.  I was about to reach the end of my rope when they finally got there.  Aida got in trouble a couple of times and she actually cried herself to sleep at the dinner table.  Allyn laid in his bed at about 8:00 but he didn’t fall asleep for about an hour or more.  The day really was a good day.  The kids made some messes, nothing that can’t be managed.  Sometimes its hard to watch my house get messy when my friends spent so much time getting it clean. 

I am so exhausted.  I think I’m gonna have to write more of this in the morning.

9-9-09 – As I finish my post, Allyn is trying to brush my hair.  Its rather cute, really, although occasionally he brushes it into my face and I can’t see what I’m writing.  Nothing really extraordianry happened yesterday.  Its just hard raising kids.  Its hard doing it alone.  I wish Derick was here sometimes, but I don’t think that would change how hard it is.  Every child brings their own challenges.  Christian seems, quite often, to be rather scatter-brained (not unlike his mother), and Aida can be extremely defiant (not unlike her father’s side of the family).  Sometimes, I’m just at a loss when it comes to dealing with the two of them.  Allyn is still, fortunately, pretty compliant, and obedient.  It makes me wonder what Brody will be like.  He is, right now, such a good baby.  I don’t think I would survive this time without Derick if he wasn’t a good baby. 

Well, enough for now.  Derick is supposed to call me on Skype pretty soon.

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God, save us!

The birthday of our baby has officially been changed.  Unless I go into labor sooner, the new date is August 6.  My doctor had a family emergency and someone in her family has to have surgery on August 5 so baby Uhler’s birthday is changed to the 6th.  That’s ok.  One more day to get ready for him to make his enterance into the world.  I don’t really know what I should blog about, but after that depressing post the other day, I thought all 5 of my readers deserve an update of some kind. 

My kids are at Annie’s house today playing with cousins.  All but Allyn, he’s sleeping.  It actually worked out nicely that way.  Derick found out yesterday that his position at CAT has been eliminated.  (When it rains, it pours).  So, he really needed some down time today.  The up side to this is that our health insurance is through the military, not the contract company, and he has a full time job, with the Navy that starts in just 3 weeks.  The problem is, we’re gonna be kinda strapped for the next 3 weeks.  Not that we weren’t before, but now we really are. 

Derick’s mom started her medication… chemo, steroids, and the like.  Its made her weaker but she seems to be fairing ok.  The main thing that I worry about, is his parent’s relationship with Jesus.  Neither of them have a relationship with God that I know of.  I have always worried about his dad’s health but now its his mom that we are all worried about.  But I mostly pray that they will come to know Jesus through all of this. 

We are still undecided as far as what school Christian will go to.  My exmother-in-law called me last night to express her concern for him attending Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.  I think she is just afraid of him falling into the wrong crowd.  I understand that, but I already know that he’s not gonna go to a private school forever.  I can’t afford to send more than just him there.  And, it is possible to fall into the wrong crowd, even at a Christian school.  I understand her concern.  That doesn’t make my decision any easier though. 

So, I’m still weepy.  I cried all morning at church yesterday.  I cried a couple of times at my birthday party on Saturday night.  Once was because I ripped my favorite pair of pants and one was because we had a taco dinner at my house and by the time I went through the buffet line all the meat was gone.  My sister found her boys plates untouched and gave me their meat, and then my father-in-law scraped together all of the meat he could in the bottom of the pan and there was enough for me and my mom to eat.  (She had not had a taco yet either.)  What silly reasons to cry.  I couldn’t really tell you why I cried yesterday at church, but I couldn’t seem to help myself either day. 

I know that God is faithful.  I know that he will supply all of my needs.  I know that he has everything that I need already planned out for today.  Yet, I still have a terrible time consoling myself when I think about all of the things that are going on in my life right now.  I still don’t know how to pray, except to say, “God, save us!”  I think I have such a hard time with God supplying my needs because this is not the first time I have been in need.  And I don’t understand a God who loves me so much that he would just continue to provide for me, even though I seem to keep getting myself into hard times!  Yet, deep down, I know that he will.  His ways are higher than my ways.  How could I ever expect to comprehend all aspects of the the great God that I serve.  If I could then he would be no bigger than I, and then what would be the point of serving him!  So, for now, as I feel the tears coming on once again, I sit here and pray, “God, save us!” and just believe that he will, through whatever means he sees necessary.

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Discusting Filth

I just saw my very first roach ever this morning.  It crawled out from under my kleenex box to say good morning while I was making coffee.  I am repulsed!  I know that my house is messy but now I feel gross.  It was before 6am this morning.  I screamed and jumped back like 10 feet.  I’m suprised the kids are still sleeping!  Then brave Derick came in and killed it for me.  MY HERO! 

Does anyone know what to do?  If I saw one, does that mean I have thousands lurking around my cabinets?  Do I need to call an exterminator?  My stomach is still churning!  I grew up with mice and spiders all my life in the country, but this is a new experience for me!  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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