I have finally discovered the main reason I have not been writing as often as I did in the past. My current set-up is quite uncomfortable. Before, in Germany, I had my computer in the living room where my family congregated. Here, it’s in my dining room (in the only place we could fit the desk). In Germany I was able to sit in my recliner while I wrote, so spending a lot of time at the computer wasn’t a problem. Here, I am sitting in a cheap office chair, and I can’t tolerate more than an hour at a time, and those hours are generally spent doing computer work I have/need to do.
So, I’m in the middle of trying to rearrange my house to fit my computer into that room, but it’s not going to be easy.
All excuses aside, I am going to write this post and give you a brief update on the past few months. Once I’ve gone back and blogged about each of these events, I’ll come back here and include links to those posts. For now, I’m just letting you know what’s been going on with the stateside portion of the Hamricks.
As you know, Matt left for Afghanistan in January and we count our ‘weeks’ differently. I count from Saturdays, because he left our house and I slept alone that Saturday night. He counts from Sundays since he left US soil on a Sunday!
Since we are at the 13 week mark, I have honored the occasion by titling this post “13 Weeks.”
Also in January I began facilitating two Financial Peace University classes. This is what I do “for me” during this deployment. I am absolutely loving these classes and I am working very hard to make sure I can teach it again in the summer or fall. My morning class has paid off (or saved up) a total of $95,812 and my night class has seen a financial turnaround of $182,503. Since the class started, people in the two classes combined have made their lives financially better to the tune of $278,315! All I had to do was press play on a DVD player! You KNOW I’m not the one teaching! I’m just making the DVDs available for people to watch and THEY are doing all the work!
The last Monday in January held a huge surprise for us: a flight to Germany! We were preparing for a Space-A adventure and had hoped a flight would pop up for us sometime that week, but hadn’t expected it to so suddenly. The night before I had checked the schedules and there were no flights in the 72-hour forecast. When I woke up and checked the update forecast, I noticed a flight and been added for THAT DAY. The boys and I took off on an adventure that allowed us to visit dear friends for three weeks. This trip healed my heart from its extended grieving over Germany. I just needed to see it again. It’s still there. I can always go back. That trip left my heart full of precious memories.
Half of February was spent in Germany, as I just mentioned. It also held my second son’s 11th birthday. I can’t wait to share the whole story with you about how we ended up where we were, but I’ll tease you a bit by saying we got to spend Carson’s entire birthday with my parents. It. Was. Perfect.
It was also during this month that Carson began attending Bob’s Diner (Fort Hood’s youth group) with Hayden! It blows my mind that I have two kids in youth!
During March we celebrated some fun birthdays.
While Carson was celebrated on his birthday with Nana and Papa, he still wanted a “friend” birthday here in Texas. We had such a great time at that party we pretty much repeated the entire event a few weeks later to celebrate two other Hamrick boys. Parker turned four, but don’t tell him. He insists that he’s three still. He hasn’t decided when he’ll turn four, but it won’t be until at least Christmas. Bailey turned 10… the third son to enter double digits! We had a great party celebrating both of them here at the house. I love that my boys want to be home and want to host here. They love having people in our home as much as I do!
I was asked to share a devotion with PWOC and I felt led to share our financial testimony. It was a great blessing to share my heart and I have heard from several ladies that they’re interested in taking the class if I’m able to offer it again. If one family becomes debt-free as a result of my sharing our story, it is worth the transparency! (Oh, and before I stood before the group of women, I talked with Matt to make sure he was okay with it! Of course he was! He and I both have a passion to show others how to avoid the mistakes we made and to help others in scary situations find their way out.)
March brought some crazy weather. While I was down in Austin for the day a huge store blew through and knocked our basketball goal over onto Matt’s Jeep. Fortunately the only metal to touch his Jeep was the rim of the hoop! Just a tiny spot of orange!
On the last day of the month I was honored to be able to take photos of a reunion. I saw a daddy reunited with his children and a husband reunited with his wife. Matt and I are still so early in our deployment that my heart wasn’t too tender to attend. I was glad to photograph the family, but more than that, I was honored to be at the event with them. I loved being a part of their special moment.
My husband was born on the first day of April, but he’s no fool! He was, however, “April Fooled” because the gift I ordered for him didn’t arrive in time for his birthday. Or a week after his birthday! In fact, it didn’t arrive until the 9th! But he was VERY impressed with my gift-selection, which I’m thrilled about. I haven’t been able to surprise him in YEARS!
I ordered for him a Lunchbox amp. It’s about the size of, well, a lunch box.
April has also brought me a great deal of sadness. I was home during the shooting that took place here at Fort Hood, and I was on lock-down for hours with my children. I watched the news live along with the rest of the United States. Honestly, I only felt fearful the first thirty minutes until I felt certain he was on the other side of post. After the fear dissipated, I was left with apprehension and heartbreak… for the victims, for the shooter, and for his family.
A different kind of sadness: One of my best friends is leaving Texas and moving to the east coast. I am not ready for her to leave and yet, she is in the middle of a PCS. Jessica, Owen, and Connor were able to spend a few nights with me on their way out of town, and for that I am incredibly thankful.
My mom’s dad, my precious “GramJack” passed away a week ago today, and I was grateful to be able to fly to North Carolina to be with my family as we honored the man he was. As you know, leaving four children behind is no easy task (emotionally or physically) as there is a great deal of effort in getting them squared away. However, my precious friend, Audrey, was more than willing to watch my boys for me while I went to NC. I drove to San Antonio on Tuesday (which was perfect, as Fort Hood was going to be on lock-down on Wednesday for the memorial services for the victims of the shooting). We arrived pretty late and went straight to bed. I flew out Wednesday morning and was picked up by my dad’s parents, Grannie and Grandaddy. I was able to see a few family members that evening. One of my favorite moments was when my niece came to me as if she knew who I was. At 18 months, Madison really hasn’t had a lot of time to get to know me, but she still came right to me. I rewarded her by taking her on a four-wheeler ride! Her big brother, Mason, is as loving and adorable as ever!
Thursday was the funeral and the emotions of seeing family I haven’t seen in 10 years mixed with the sadness of knowing that I’d never again hear GramJack ask my boys if they were married yet. (I was asked that question on a regular basis when I was a little girl. He loved to tease!)
Friday I flew back to my babies but arrived so late that I didn’t expect to see any of them… However, two of my stinkers were still awake at midnight when I got there. Bailey and Parker met me at the door, and then Parker proceeded to wake Hayden so HE could see me! I got my loves and then crashed!
We got home yesterday after I finally got to spend a little time visiting with Audrey. She told me some of the sweet things my boys had said or done and graciously left out the annoying things. Bless her!
I am looking forward to getting back on our routine tomorrow. OH!! About that routine! I have to share this tiny news with you, and I’ll write more about it later. (At least I intend to write more later…) We added a new curriculum to our schooling and I am so very excited about it. Last night as I was getting ready for bed when Bailey came in and asked me if I would read to them from our school book. It was a Saturday night. (That is a clue to those of you who have used this curriculum before. If you have used it, you’ll probably know which one it is by the fact that Bailey was asking me to read to him! If you don’t know, stay tuned! I’m excited to share it with you!)
I want to write more regularly but I haven’t managed to fit it in with our new schedules here in TX. Sitting in an uncomfortable chair, having a deployed husband, using a more challenging curriculum, and traveling quite a bit is keeping me away. These are my excuses. I know full well that we will make time for the things we really want to do, and so I assume that I just don’t want it badly enough to get up early like I did the past few years. Maybe I’ll work myself back toward that idea. Until then, at least I got you somewhat caught up!