Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm such a good wife ;-)

And I'm NOT #1 in my hubby's heart.  That's okay, he's NOT #1 in mine either.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is!!!

Last weekend,  Randy & I got to "get away" together--just the two of us.  It's kind of strange that we didn't have to make any arrangements on who was going to stay with the girls, take care of the critters, etc.  We were just able to let the girls know our plans, give them some instructions, then pack and get up and go. 

We went camping and to an archery shoot in Chulitna that Andrew had "put together"-- Bowhunter's Classic Archery Shoot (I think that's the official name....I think....I think....). This was the 2nd annual Bowhunter's Classic Archery Shoot that he did and I have to say that Andrew did a fantastic job with putting it together.  I was just planning on going to just spend the weekend with Randy, just to go, because I didn't feel like I was ready since I hadn't been practicing as much as I should have been but... he packed my bow and talked me into participating.  hmmmmmm, must be why he had me practice shooting longer distances..... Some of it was tough but I have to admit that I enjoyed it. The shoot was for two days and there were two different courses (shooting both courses each of the two days)...the second course was tough, as far as the "trails" to walk on to get to the targets. Well, okay, some of the shots were tough too--at least for me. I had debated whether to do the second course when Andrew warned me about it but Randy talked me into it. Both Randy and Kyle helped me (I was thankful that Kyle decided to tag along the first day on the second course as without his help I'm not sure I would have been able to make it) with going up and down the steep paths on the second course the first day (one pulling, the other pushing, I'm sure it was quite comical).  With doing only part of the course the second day (it was decide upon to do only part--many complained about the difficulty of the trails), it seem most of the harder, steeper trails were eliminated. Including myself, there were 4 shooters in our group the first day and 5 the second day.

Because of the challenge of the course, I have to admit that even though those trails were tough for me, I was actually disappointed that it was decided to do only part of the "harder course" the second day. I improved tremendously the second day when we figured out that my bow wasn't "sighted" in correctly so not only because of the challenge, the other reason I was disappointed for not doing the second course completely the next day was that I couldn't compare my overall score with the first day's. Oh well, it was getting late into the day anyways by the time we all finished shooting what we did the second day.  The guys were so nice and understanding about me having difficulty with my footing; well some was family so does that count? But all of them were so encouraging and praised when I did shoot, no matter whether or not I hit where I was suppose to.  They were also encouraging when I missed.

Kyle and Connie had gone to cook for everyone--lunches both days and breakfast for everyone on the second day.  It was so nice to not have to plan meals and prepare them.  Although when I do go on these kinds of trips with Randy, he does all the meal planning and cooking.  hmmmmmm, he had it easy on this trip.

I know most women wouldn't be impressed on what we did/went for our get-a-way but it's what Randy likes to do and I have come to enjoy doing so with him, as long as it isn't too frequently.  Hey, Randy does things he doesn't like with me whenever we go out of town to the "city" (Anchorage) or lower!  For example, when we went to Florida, he diligently went shopping with me.  He doesn't go into all the stores with me (which I am glad) but he did carry the pink Victoria's Secrets bag with the others through the mall while we went to other stores and did so patiently.  He's the man and he's mine.

It was a nice drive there and back.  We got to talk and had laughs.  We kept joking that this was our get-a-way for our anniversary (our 27th was yesterday, June 16); and in the busyness in today's world, how many couples actually get a chance to get away on an "odd" anniversary.  The last time we "got-a-way" was on our 25th.  Camping AND hunting that time.  We did go to the Bahamas on our 20th so I was okay with not doing anything extravagant on our 25th. Well, when our anniversary is in the middle of the week, we usually wait until the weekend to go out to dinner but it's June and well, it's bear baiting and hunting time.....  Randy felt bad, because of all the joking of the weekend being our getting away for our anniversary and it be doing something he wanted, when he asked if I minded if he went to the bear bait this weekend and we could go out for anniversary next week.  Hunting from bear baits is such a short season (just May and June--at least that's when he goes and we were in Florida for the beginning of May) and with having to work during the week and such a long drive, weekends were the only time he was able to go.  The season is soon over and he nor James hadn't gotten any bears.  The bears had been coming to their baits but not when Randy and James been out hunting at their bait sites (from tree stands). 

I'm such a good wife ;-)  Only because God blessed me with a good man that loves our Lord with his whole heart..

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Goodbyes are never easy

I said goodbye to by dear friend Terry last night. We knew this day would be here but with all the delays ("closed doors") It seem like it wouldn't ever arrive; so yes, I was in denial. Through the years as friends have been lead in different directions, we never thought that it would happen to us. I'm not one that gets "close" to people very easily, that I feel comfortable in calling upon any time day or night or/and talk to about anything. This has been hard on me as Terry was the "last friend" (if I could say it that way) in Alaska that I felt I could do so. I have other friends here but none as close as she after the others had moved. She has helped me, kept my accountable for staying close to God. We may not have agreed in everything--we had many debates--but it had helped me stop and think of what/why I believe the way I do and to search out the proof. (yes, she is a born-again Christian and her faith is firm or we wouldn't have been as close as we are).  We weren't able to get together as much as we had wanted/planned when they moved to North Pole but we chatted alot on the computer and we are looking forward to doing that again when they get settled in Iowa.

No, goodbyes are never easy but at least I know that I'll be able to pick up the phone and hear her voice again. I just won't be able to get together and actually see her with my eyes. It's like having to say goodbye to a love one that has passed on but at least I'll be able to pick up the phone and hear Terry's voice again but can't do so with my love ones that has passed on. I think those are the hardest goodbyes, when our loved ones has passed on, knowing that not only we won't see them but we won't actually hear their voices again. As I think back, it was harder for when my brother passed on than my dad because my dad had dementia (sp?) and didn't talk the last few times I was "home" before he died; but with my brother I was still able to talk with, both when I was "home" and on the phone. What makes some goodbyes a little easier as even though I won't see these loved ones or possibly these friends I'm thinking about again in this world, I know that one day I will see them again as they have all accepted Christ as their personal saviour as I, so I will see them again in heaven for sure. They are missed very much but I know I can always count on God for his comfort.

Having a close friend is a rare gift and having one nearby to see, to talk with, and spend time with, is even more of a blessing. A true friend knows all about you and loves you the same. A true friend is not afraid to tell you "how it is" when they know you need to hear it, even if it might hurt your feelings or make you mad at them. Terry is such a friend. I hope that everyone that was given such a rare gift that they won't take ever take advantage nor take it for granted of that rare gift that were given them from God because it is truly a blessing to have such a close friend that one can depend upon in both the good times as well as the bad times.

Cherish the friends that God has/have brought into your life and never take advantage of their friendship, no matter how long they are/have been in you life but thank God for them and their friendship.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Family Vacation

We had an excellent family vacation in the beginning of May in Florida.  Why Florida?  Because my oldest daughter was graduating from Pensacola Christian College and since all of us (Randy and all the kids, including Connie and Nevaeh) were going, we decided to make it into a family vacation!  Besides, going to Florida sure was a long way from Alaska as well as expensive so we wanted to make the most of it.  What made it even more memorable was the fact that not only my mom and oldest sister went, but also Randy's mom and sister.  Now if only my younger sister and Randy's brother could have made it....but maybe, just maybe there will be another time....I can hope, can't I?

I can't remember all the day to day details of when we did what but I can tell you what we did/went, just don't ask me exact days and times!

We were able to rent a house in Orlando so we had our own home away from home!  It was much less than staying at a hotel--that's for sure--and much more homey and comfortable for all; but the most important was that there were enough beds and bathrooms for everyone.  Well, Andrew did have to sleep on the couch for a few nights because I wasn't expecting him to stay as long as he did--still not the full time we were there but longer than he had planned.  He had just started a business (Precision Archery) and was only planning on staying for 3 days (and that included one night in Pensacola and travel time) but after arriving, he made some phone calls and was able to stay another 3 days.  I'm not sure who that meant the most to:  Randy, myself, Christine, the grandmas and aunts, or even Kyle, Connie and Nevaeh(!) but nevertheless, it touched our hearts.

Most of us arrived in Orlando on "Day 1", got settled into the house, spent the night then drove to Pensacola (all but Kyle, Connie & Nevaeh; because of her age, Nevaeh wasn't able to go into the auditorium).  We rented two vans and Andrew rented a silver convertible Mustang.  He asked for a yellow one because Amy keeps saying that's what she wants--a yellow convertible Mustang.  Poor Amy though; she rode with Andrew when we went to Pensacola and got sunburned very badly--she fell asleep on the drive down and it was so hot.

Meant Randy's mom, Don (a family friend), and sister in Pensacola (they flew into Pensacola but flew back home from Orlando).  Spent the night in Pensacola and then graduation was the next day. Yes, I cried.  I was fine until Christine gave a short speech and then I actually realized what a wonderful young woman she had become.  I mean, I know she had and is, but it was like I actually really saw it then.  Afterwards we went to lunch then helped Christine get her things together for her friend to take to North Carolina--where Christine will be working.  Then we all, except Don ((he had gone home from Pensacola) headed onward back to our home away from home in Orlando.  We just hung out at the house the next day; did do some shopping as we needed some groceries...too.

Randy's Mom and sister was leaving Saturday so before they left, we went to Red Lobster for his mom's 70th Birthday.  When we got back, we had cake and ice cream.  Yes, we did put all 70 candles on the cake.  I had thought about telling someone at the restaurant that it was her birthday but didn't know how she would react so I didn't.  She was surprised with the cake and couldn't believe that we actually put all 70 candles on it but I think that I can say she was pleased and happy that we took time to do something for her birthday--especially since this was "Christine's time".  We were also able to go to Cocoa Beach before they had to go home.  My mom, Randy's mom and I walked down the beach along the shoreline.  It felt so good to feel the sun shining on me and the water on my feet.  After we got back from our walk, Randy talked me into going into the ocean all the way to do some wave hopping.  I thought I was nuts to let him talk me into it but I have to admit that it was fun.  Me, who does not swim or like water because of it, actually did it AND enjoyed it!  Mind you, I told him I wouldn't go unless he kept a hold of my hand and sure enough, he was a gentleman and didn't let go.

On Monday, the rest of us were also able to go to Disney World for the day.  Have to admit that we were somewhat disappointed.  We picked the one park that we thought would satisfy everyone but what it advertised wasn't what it appeared to be, or maybe it wasn't what we had expected.  We wonder if the other park we had considered would have been better.  Because of our time, and what we wanted to do in Florida, we only had time to spend one day there.  If anyone asks us about going I would say, definitely do so for more than one day.  The kids said that they enjoyed Six Flags/Marine World better than Disney World, and we only went for one day there too on the three times we were able to go when "home".  When I asked why, they said it was the same things they saw and did from the time(s) before but it was just more fun compared to Disney World.  I have to admit that I agreed and all I did was walk around at Six Flags too; except the first time we did go to a few of  the "shows".

We did fit in some shopping too.  The first time we went to a Mall and I have to say that I think it was one for the rich.  Connie and the girls went shopping elsewhere one evening and Amanda and Amy were in "7th Heaven"....LOL  They did find a lot of good deals in their price range.  We did go to another Mall that was for us "normal folks price range" and I was able to get a couple of things I had wanted.  To satisfy the guys (mainly Randy), we went to a Bass Pro Shop.  That stop was scheduled in because Amanda and I had gotten him Bass Pro Shop gift cards for his birthday. We also went to an outlet mall but only went to a couple of stores as by that time we were tired
The restaurants we ate at:  Besides Red Lobster, we went to (do I dare say) two other places for dinner and the food was good but they were "bar type" restaurants, like the one Chili's have (the closet I can come to explaining it).  Amy kept saying how can she explain that we took her to two bars???  She was joking and I have to admit that it was kind of humorous when I realized that we had--but not on purpose!  We went to IHOP at least three times for breakfast.  Randy and I took Kyle and Connie out on a double date to Olive Garden.  We ate at the Food Court at the Mall.  I missed out on DQ ice cream because I choose Chinese but was too full to have DQ for dessert afterward as I planned.  We ate at Sonic for a meal too.  Oh yeah, when we had lunch at Pensacola it was a Pizza Hut but I guess that doesn't count because we can eat at a Pizza Hut here in Alaska.  I think that's all the places we ate but at every place we ate, we had such excellent and friendly service.  We couldn't believe how well mannered and how each waiter/waitress was "right there" constantly tending to our needs and was always asking if we needed anything.  You don't find that kind of service everywhere.  We were truly impressed and it wasn't just one certain restaurant but at each and every one we went to.

Did I mention that we had our own pool at the house!  We all took time out by or even in the pool.  Mostly at the end of the day for most.  Even the girls (including Connie) and I took a night after Nevaeh went to bed to go into the pool.  We opt out to paying extra in having the pool heated since the sun heated up the water during the day but we found out that it definitely cooled off in the evenings/night!  Randy even stayed up with us; he said someone needed to be around that actually knew how to swim while we were goofing around.  We were already in the pool and decided when he came out we were going to say how warm and nice the pool was to convince him to get in.  He believed us and jumped in!!!

It was a wonderful time to be together.  I was so glad that it worked out for the whole family (mainly Randy, my children-- and I) to be together.  I was thinking that with everyone grown up that no telling when this would happen again.  It was a special time for me.  More so that both our moms and sisters were able to come too.  We sure did miss Randy's brother and my younger sister though; it would have been nice to have all of our siblings together with our moms.  It was still a great reunion though.

In closing....Mornings were my favorite time to sit out by the pool (screened in), drinking coffee and enjoying the sunshine before the busyness of the day started.  It was so peaceful and a great time of reflection and spending time with my Lord.  I think it's important to take the time first thing in the morning devoted to God.  No matter how one thinks that they'd be able to find time later to do so, before you know it, it's the end of the day and "later" didn't come around.  It says in the Bible to give our "first fruits" to God.  I think it can be said that this includes our day--to start our day, first with God, before getting started with the rest of what is planned/needed to be done each day.