Sunday, November 15, 2009

He made it home....

safe and sound!  DH made it home around 8 am Tuesday morning.  I had such plans to welcome him home after 11 months of Army food and desert air I thought I would do some special cooking.  I had planned brisket, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon, and double chocolate pumpkin cheesecake.  All favorites and why would they not be favorites?!

Well, 5 pm the night before DS 2 was running a fever, then DS 3 started running a fever by 7 pm.  So my friend coming over that evening to help me cook and prepare was cancelled.  She has 4 kids of her own and I couldn't bear the thought of getting others ill for my convenience.  My other friend coming over to spend the night so I could meet DH on base at 5 am without waking up kidlets when he got off the plane was cancelled too.  By 11 pm that evening DS 2 threw up his Tylenol and his dinner which meant waking up DS 3 to change all the bedding.  At this point DS 3 is running 101 as well as DS 2, and DS 3 is not sleeping well at all.  By 3 am I finally decided to force motrin down the 2 year old and he falls asleep finally at 4 am.  Now I am a wreck and my husband who I have not seen since August and is coming home to stay will be home in a few hours.

I did get a message via another wife to let him know that we couldn't meet him so at least he wasn't looking for me.  But the idea that he was so close and I couldn't see him instantly didn't help my already sleep deprived mind.  So I got up at 7:15 and took a shower and tried to look as presentable as possible even though I knew he didn't care.  I cared!

Well, he got home and that is all that matters.  More later on how deployments remind me of pregnancy.  I never liked being pregnant.  I was miserable and sick the entire time.  Deployments really remind me of being pregnant.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

What doesn't kill you...

makes you stronger?!  Who made this up?  This has got to be one of the most irritating statements you can make to someone in crisis.  This is one of the most irritating statements you can make to me.  What doesn't kill you makes you many things, and by default you grow stronger because you are not dead!

There are many things in the depraved sinful world that make you more mature, wise, with more highly developed defense mechanisms like sarcasm.  Is this what one would call stronger?  If that is the definition then I am a Super Hero because I am very sarcastic with a highly developed sense of distrust.  These are my instincts that have grow out of my tragedies and disappointments.  They leave me alone withy my criticism and dark nature to look at God's creation as something to be feared.

I think about this tonight as I wonder what all the military folks down at Ft. Hood are feeling and thinking.  What if that same thing happened on Post here?  How would I feel?  This event will not leave them stronger but simply traumatized.  Those who find themselves without God, without hope, without purpose, can see no greater glory in this event.  Some will see small blessings and second chances as they realize they had just been there or were running late because some fateful event stopped them.  Will they see God being glorified?  Will they praise Him in tribulation?  We are weak creatures and we are nothing without God.

Tragic events do not make us stronger.  They only illustrate our sinful foul nature.  I pray for those families tonight and for our soldiers still doing their work.  I pray they are comforted and for those who do not believe in Jesus I pray for their salvation.  Eternal hope is only found in Christ and we are no good without him, we are not strong.  Our strength is in Christ Jesus and in Him alone.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Practically Perfect in Every Way...

says Mary Poppins and the blissful state of happy childhood she projected over the screen.  I had an Effanbee Mary Poppins doll as a child but I was not allowed to play with her.  Mom bought us these dolls on our birthdays and Christmas then promptly put them behind glass to be adored from a far.  That doll cabinet was cleaned out a few years ago by my sisters and I was sent my dolls, or what we could all remember being my dolls.  I received 9 collector's dolls in perfect condition but most I could not remember being mine.  There were a few I could have sworn were my sister's but 9 there were, and now I had to do something with them.  For a few years they remained in the plastic containers they arrived in at my house at the top of my closet.  I have 3 boys who showed no interest in them other than target practice.  So I decided, finally to part with them as best I could.  They would fetch no money on eBay or Craigslist so they ultimately went to a sweet little girl at church who had a sister.  Of the nine, I decided to keep 2, one of those being Mary Poppins.

How far off was this image we all received as children of what our lives should have been, or at the very least how we were to be treated?  I am in a current state of confusion about my childhood which is for another post, but it was not happy and I was quite depressed as a child.  I have memories at the age of 5 wondering if anyone would notice if I lept off this bridge we were on while on vacation or if it would hurt to land next to the rusted out car smashed on the rocks below.  My mom grabbed me of course and I don't think I was very intent on actually doing it.  I was just checking to see if I fit between the bars when she noticed and we all left the bridge quickly after that.  She was already afraid of heights and my little stunt convinced her she was well founded in her fear.  There are more accounts of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts which I am certain are shocking for most to think a child so young had experienced.

I am now 34, not depressed and have the joy of Christ's love and forgiveness that sustains me.  I am constantly reminded that I am not sufficient to do anything good or glorifying on my own.  It is brutally obvious everyday that I require God's intervention on every aspect of my life to achieve any sort of life that can be measured as good.  I will never achieve "Practically Perfect" but if I could then I would not require the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, none of us would.  But we all do require redemption for our sins if we are to spend eternity in heaven and not in hell.

After many years, I am grateful for my Mary Poppins doll.  I keep her in the top of my closet (for safety right now) so I can see her everyday as a reminder that there was only one perfect person ever to walk this earth and that person is not me.  So I take refuge in my savior, Jesus, and rest on God's promises, knowing that I am such a weak and broken creature who does not deserve the blessings I have received.  I am indeed very blessed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hello Brain

Good Morning!

Well I finally got my brain back and my body, I hope.  This is the first day in MONTHS I have felt like I am worth a "hill of beans" much less like a functioning mommy.  But I have gotten chores done this morning that usually take me all day and still have energy left to finish the day.  The lesson I have learned, always get your sleep.

My weakness at night right now is online TV.  I know this is a weakness so I cutoff our cable 9 months ago or I would most definitely not get off the couch.  I also only allow myself to watch while sitting in an uncomfortable chair in front of the computer.  This keeps me from staying too long, at least I like to think so.  But my backside surprises me how long it can sit in an uncomfortable chair just to get a little peace and quiet.

This is the time of night that I should finish my chores and go to bed but I am reluctant.  That bed is so gosh darn bare without the DH around.  I don't like to get in unless I am passing out on the pillow so I wait until my tush can't take it and my eyes are closing on me.

My other distraction at night, I am ashamed to say, playing my son's computer game.  You know the kind where you build a colony and an army then attack the enemy colonies.  I am doing really well.  I have a Level 35 home city.  It took me months to get there.  Of course this started because DH wasn't around to help him learn his new game so I had to figure it out so I could teach him.  Then he wanted me to play for him to win his games.  Then he wanted to watch me play to learn.  Now we take turns.  The things a mom will do?!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A brief moment

Well a quick update - I may or may not have some virus that will not go away.  This could range from Mono to Epstein-Barr.  This also explains why I have not been blogging.  Apparently fighting a virus takes all my words away.  I pray for quick healing because everything has been put on hold and I am a little cabin feverish along with my boys.  I am going for bloodwork today so hopefully it will all be more clear what I am to do.

The boys are really anxious to watch the blood being drawn.  Boy 1 (6 yrs old) wants to know if they are going to use leeches to get it out.  The finer points of contamination and the more specific uses of leeches was then discussed.  He still wants to see the leeches though.  Well off to get partially dressed because I am too tired to take a shower.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

At least I am not Job (from the bible not a job)

...which you may have figured out but you never know.

This is what I tell myself when I have those "pity parties" I had in my last post.  At least I have not lost my entire family, property, and home and wish to wear sack cloth or whatever that was.  After all that I might feel the same way, abandoned by God, but I didn't come even close.  So why all the fits?  I will guess it is my greedy flesh thinking all things should be easy because afterall I am a Christian, right?  Okay, some of you can stop laughing hysterically.  I know the God does not promise an easy life, in fact He promises the opposite.  I lose site of those promises and the even better ones like nothing can separate us from Him no matter what happens.  Taking refuge in His infinite power, faithfulness, perfection soon sets everything back in order.  I just wish I could remember it before I look silly throwing my little tantrums, crying "this isn't fair!".

I was reminded of how much worse everything could be recently.  I have seen friends and family struggle with more difficult situations than mine.  Sickness and heartache top that list.  Some who deal with both, others who have more difficult times with one or the other than I.  Through it all they remain faithful and I pray I can too without too many stumbles.  I suppose the stumbling and coming back is what increases our maturity and faithfulness.  God allows it to happen for reasons I am unaware of but still it is to His glory, because all things are.

Well, now I am rambling but things are better.  It is getting better, again.  I don't know why God chose to put up with me, but He did.  Everyday I am reminded that I don't deserve His love and grace but I am delighted that nothing can take it away, not even my own sinful ways.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Sorry to yell online, but that is about all I have in me in this moment.  Why do I choose to blog then, you ask?  So I can feel like I accomplished something.  I don't know why, but today I have not felt at all like anything has been done.  When I list it all it sounds better but the feeling of accomplishment still evades me.  The kids are fed, clean, and generally happy. We practiced violin, delivered a TV to Raleigh that we sold on Craislist (2 hour roundtrip), did 2 loads of laundry, picked up the playroom that was destroyed this morning, and I will be putting together the quilt top for a class that starts tomorrow.  I still feel like NOTHING has been done today.

Does anyone else feel like this through their days?  I have 3 boys after all.  I would post pics of what they did this morning to their playroom but my photo programs for editing are all still messed up and I am new to the blogging thing.  DH always fixes stuff for me on the computer but being out of the country kills that option.  I would try to do it myself but I can see him cringing at that idea because almost always has to redo what I do or undo it.  He is picky so it is just easier to wait until he returns.  Of course leaving things undone adds to my general sense of out of control, nothing gets finished around here.

Perhaps it is because I feel like a traveling circus just moving from the house to the car.  Or like a clown car, as the insanity piles out when we stop.  While delivering the TV to the strange person I don't know, the kids get out of the car, baby falls down, crying, screaming...sigh.  I am trying to pay attention to the strange man, who by all accounts seems honest but still being careful regardless.  I have made all the appropriate calls, brought our big dog (90 lbs), and have told the kids to remain strapped in the van.  Well, the big dog freaks, as usual, at the site of the stranger and makes herself as small as possible on the floor of the van.  I don't even think he knew she was there.  Kids unbuckle while I try to help him inside with the very heavy TV, something I was trying to avoid.  Now I have to pickup the crying little one who is screaming by now, give a "you are in big trouble" look to the older two and try to finish this transaction.

Now I checked with the DH, who is by the way military police, with a lot of training.  I truly trust his judgement above anyone else when it comes to safety.  He is very suspicious of everyone and if it was legal to run background checks on everyone he encounters he would.  He said it was okay to do this.  Had he not I would have turned around, really.

Next time I get to Texas I am so getting my concealed carry and our next dog is going to be bigger than 90lbs.  I am thinking around 130lbs and completely black! Actually, we already picked out the breed.  I really want a Black Russian Terrier.  I wouldn't worry as much then.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A good pry bar needed

How often do you have those days where nothing, I mean nothing seems to make you move? You walk past toys on the floor, your cringe at the sight of kitchen but you sneak out again hoping no one saw you, and you question the practice of making your bed everyday.

Today I am doing just that.  I am hiding on the computer from my chores.  Now being a temporary single parent there are somethings I cannot ignore, like cries for help or hunger. I have to do laundry lest we be naked. I must sleep.

But for the other little things like piles of toys, those will wait for tomorrow or the next day. Whatever day I finally get off the computer and back to reality.

Friday, September 11, 2009

For everything there is a season....

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.  Ecclesiastes 3:1

I am reminded of this verse today as I recall our last year and the roller coaster it has been.  This time last year we were selling our home in TX and awaiting new orders from the Army.  We were hoping for Ft. Bragg but until those orders are printed there are no guarantees.  DH was still in school far away and I was home with the boys, dogs, and staging the house for showing.  I also had some surgery that could no longer wait.  We never did sell the house but leased it instead and had about a 10 day notice to get packed up.  Upon arriving in NC we learned that DH was assigned to the brigade that was deploying for a year and leaving in a month.

Here I was in a strange place, no church family, no friends, and soon no husband.  The pressure was intense.  At the time I would have told you I was fine and thought it was going to be fine, but looking back I see how hard that actually was for me.  I did crash initially, for about a month, but only God can pick you up and I was not in a praying place at all.  We weren't doing school, we were barely making it to church, and I wasn't sleeping.  God pulled me out of it enough to realize what was going on wasn't working.  We switched churches (something I do not take lightly), I made friends, and things got better.

Now this was an 8 month process.  I never questioned God's purpose for bringing us here.  I knew we were where He wanted us.  Many friends back in Texas questioned it but I never did.  My DH being in the middle of a war zone never bothered me. God can protect him just as well in combat as he can in North Carolina.  That nagging place in my heart reminding me of how much I missed him is what got me most everyday.  The constant thoughts of how much better things are when he is home is the thing that took part of the joy out of the day.

I say all this now because it started all over again.  He came home for his break after 8 months.  He was only able to stay for 15 days and part of me was thrilled to have him home.  The other part was dreading the inevitable crash which is where I find myself now.  I have been in an awful mood and it finally hit me why last night.  It was this mourning period that I went through the first time.  Another Army wife called it the mourning period which made so much sense to me.  You are experienceing a huge loss but we are caught in between.  Those of us that lose our spouses to deployment lose something big.  We have to exist day to day as if our spouse is gone, but emotionally they are not.  We are still married and have to now communicate electronically and via packages.  We know it will end but it is so very far away.

Please don't mistake this as a plea for pity.  I am in no way comparing this to someone actually losing their husband.  It is different in so many ways.  I think there are more people who can help when you actually lose your spouse or at least who are willing to help.  I get this blank stare and the most common phrase "that must be so hard for you" from most people.  They don't know and simply can't understand.  I know because I was that person 8 years ago before the deployments started.  Before the military took my husband away to schools, TDY, or simply out of the country.

I so appreciate that knowing look from other military wives who have been there.  Who know you have hit a wall, or need an activity, or simply don't ask that question.  It means you don't have to explain and you can relax.  You know she has been there too or worse.  I know several wives who are dealing with their 3rd 12 month deployment.  Those who had children while their husbands were away or major surgery.  We have been so blessed to have DH home for each birth.  I have moved 3 times without him, once while pregnant.  Our last move was his first.  Most wives don't ever have to imagine doing this without their husband.

But, seasons come and go.  Some day he will be on deployment and I will have teenage sons.  Soon he will be home from this deployment and we will pray he gets to stay for as long as possible.  Some day I may be sending a son on his first deployment and doing everything I can for his wife.  Whatever the season, I pray I bring glory to God in all I do.  I know He sustains me on nights when all I can do is cry while doing dishes.  I know He protects us while our Daddy is gone and Boy 1 is convinced there is a giant mouse in the attic.  Whatever the season we are never far away from God.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blogging outside

I am a notorious indoor person.  I think it has something to with me being allergic to grass.  No part of me can touch anything green and plant like without some fairly itchy result.  I have been like this since I can remember.  I am also not very tolerant of insects and North Carolina is FULL of insects.  We have a large number of trees on the rental property which only increases the insect population, at least I am told.  I think it has something to do with the ability to hide from the birds.

But, as providence would have it I have been blessed with boys.  Boys have a need to be outside and should be.  It is healthy and good for their development, motor skills, social skills, dirt skills. I love watching my boys outside.  Now that we have this other laptop I can blog and watch my boys play outside. 

I don't know why it brings such joy to watch them coast up and down the driveway happily, but it does.  Perhaps because I know they are content enough to play without intervention.  They need the occasional "good job" and a few requests for "mommy look at me" but for the most part they are happy.

Well, although they are happy that computer is about to not be.  The rain is coming as it often does in North Carolina.  So I better run inside!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kenna's "I Can't Take Ragu Anymore" sauce

I have been meaning to post this for awhile. It is an EASY homemade sauce the makes eating the pasta your 2 year old will only eat and nothing else bearable. It also makes everything else taste so much better.

This recipe is so easy and makes so much I put the rest in 2 quart freezer plastic bags to use later. Fill the bags and lay flat for freezing. Once frozen (usually overnight) move to a more convenient spot. The bag can defrost in a bowl of hot water within 10 minutes which means you don't have to remember to put it out the night before or that morning while you are running around crazy trying to find shoes, keys, purse, etc.

I call it Kenna's Tomato Sauce because I adapted a recipe from a crockpot cookbook enough that it looks completely different. Although I will suggest "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook" by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. It was adapted from the Marinara Sauce recipe on page 242.


Olive Oil for sweating onions and garlic in skillet
1 - cup finely chopped sweet or yellow onion (depends on your preference and what is in season)
2 - cloves garlic, minced
4 - 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (organic if possible, flavor seems better)
1 - 6 oz can of tomato paste
3 - Bell Peppers, diced
1 tbls sugar
Salt and pepper to taste (I don't use pepper because both my kids and husband don't like it so it isn't necessary)

1. Put garlic, onions, and olive oil (about 2 tbls in pan) on medium heat for about 5 minutes until translucent.

2. While that cooks chop the bell peppers (probably on the same cutting board you did the onions and garlic).

*Another tip, I buy a bag of onions and chop them in the food processor all at once. I then divide them up into 1/2 cup quantities and freeze them in plastic bags. It saves time and tears. I don't know how many recipes I have decided not to cook because I didn't want to mess with the onions or didn't have one, or forgot to get that one onion for that one recipe, or the one I had went bad. I then put the onions in a plastic container to contain the smell inside the freezer because.....well you know.

3. Now, put everything in the crockpot on low for 6 hours.

This will make about 5 - 2 quart servings which is just about right for 4 to 5 servings of pasta. So you will get 5 meals out this one batch for a family, or 15 lunch servings for you and the 2 year old or more. If you double the recipe you have to add an hour or so to the cooking time.

*I think you could add whatever you like to the recipe. It doesn't have to be bell peppers or you could add something else like mushrooms. I added fresh roma tomatoes from a friend's garden for a chunkier texture this last time around. Bell peppers are all my littlest one will let me get away with right now. He refuses to eat anything with unknown specks or chunks.

BTW - I will suggest the "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfield techniques for sneaking veggies into toddler food. He loves the butternut squash pizza we make. They get very excited about the "goo" we add to everything, but that is another note.


New blog name

Okay, in the interest of privacy and good taste my DH has asked that I change the name of the blog again.  I was trying to remove my first name but I suppose I can't do that since it is tied to the url of the actual blog.  I know most folks use their first name but mine is rather unique and I have only actually met one other person with my name.  It was called Kenna's adventure but the seemed rather, well lame.  Zappleliscious is starting to annoy me as well.  Thoughts, suggestions?

Kennazapple came about in an odd way.  Z is my initial for my last name and Kenna apple was what my grandmother always called me.  She still does when she can remember that I am there but it was a fond memory from childhood.  I was the only grandchild that had a nickname.  So I want to keep the "apple" part of the name because it makes me feel special and connected but what to do with the rest.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hiding in the playroom

Well, I am actually hiding in the playroom.  The older 2 are on the main computer and we recently got the laptop that is most often used for viewing netflix which is why it is in the playroom.  The baby (2 yo) watches Clues Clues and Calliou because I cut off cable over 6 months ago.  This is the laptop that has crashed twice since we got it a year ago and I consequently do not use it for anything but internet for fear of losing information, again.  The others are backed up with carbonite now that we learned our lesson, twice.

I am hiding because peace and quiet is a rare thing.  I try not to scare it away by moving things around or asking the children to get off my computer.  I know there are single women or mom's with one quiet sweet child or no children yet that think I am silly or wonder why I "allow" my children on my computer at all.  I know you are out there.  I used to be like you.  I have seen you give me that look at the grocery store when I have one boy whining in the cart and one hanging out the front while the other asks ridiculous questions I am trying to ignore.  It is in these moments I remember the phrase "choose your battles".  There are so many things in each day that require attention when your children are at home with you all the time.  I would be "battling" my children ALL DAY if I corrected everything.  I would be worthless and angry if I did that making me an unkind and unloving mom. 

So if I have to hide in the playroom for a moment of quiet or ignore my traveling circus in the grocery store just so I can get something done I will.  Because it means I still I have the energy left at the end of the day to read them books and say prayers with them.  It means I smile at dinner and laugh at their silly jokes even though I heard them 15 times already today.  Besides the playroom is not that bad if you like trucks, and I like trucks.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The need to write

I know there are those that feel the need to write.  A need to get their thoughts down on paper and look over them, rewrite, enhance, and complete a product to share.  This need does not strike me often which is probably why I am not a writer by profession.  I still have no clue why I even have a desire to do this silly blog thing.  I cannot believe that there would be someone wanting to read about my intrinsically boring life.  I love my boring life for what its worth.  More specifically, I feel blessed in my boring life.  My life previously was tumultuous with no clear direction.  I welcome the routine of watching children grow and a husband get wrinkles.  I love stepping over the same lazy dog everyday and watching the my little dog grow old. 

My littlest dog is also my oldest.  She was with me through most of the ups and downs.  She has been a wonderful dog, except for the time she bit my brother's friend.  In her defense, he deserved it and practically stuck his hand in her mouth.  I still cannot tell if she bit him or if his hand got in the way of her teeth.  It was that silly of a situation.

Well, now that I updated this I will try to post pictures the next time around.  Perhaps it will be interesting to watch this grow with blog after blog.  Most likely I am guessing it will be boring to most and not worth reading.  We shall find out.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Forgotten Things

Have you ever had something you thought was going to be great and then you forgot about it once you started? Usually it is forgotten because it wasn't what we thought it would be, or the work is not worth the reward. Well blogging is that for me, specifically this blog. I completely forgot about as evidenced by the 5 year gap in posts. Amazingly, I remembered after following some other blogs on the blogger site.

Well, updates seem necessary but I don't have that much time. I now have 3 little boys, live in North Carolina, not Texas and have been converted to an Army wife. Many things to talk about between now and then but we will try to stay with the present.

We will be traveling back to Texas next week for my baby sister's wedding. That will be a whirlwind of a time as my family is a force nature unlike any I have ever encountered. I am packing some blocks I pieced together to show my great grandmother (an avid quilter) so she can be so proud, I hope. I am also visiting quite a few other elderly relatives that we have not seen in many months, some even years. I should also print out some pictures of my DS's to pass around lest they forget what we all look like.

More later, now that I know where to post......
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...