That Holy Feeling 13 (Can You Give Us Directions?)

So everyone who reads my blog probably knows that we are a military family. James is in the National Guard, currently deployed to Iraq, and so on. Some of you may know that in the 5.75 years we've been married James has had five careers and a couple I talked him out of. In order, they have been:

Correctional Officer: didn't like working nights out of town.
Sheet Metal Operator Person: don't really know on this one. Came home with a new job one day.
City Water Repair Dude: didn't pay enough, insurance sucked.
Re-Enlist in Marines: didn't go through. Too much red tape.
Firefighter: volunteered; guess that got it out of his system.
National Guard: still doing this, though I figure it's because he HAS to.
Electrician: same as the water dept. Plus, I had to do our own taxes.

We have been discussing our options when he gets back from Iraq, since his contract in the NG will be expired. We weighed the pros and cons of staying in the military:

might get to see the world
good, dependable pay
great insurance
retire in his 40's
the uniform
(c'mon, you know I had to put that in there!)

probable deployments

We also surveyed the pros and cons of civilian life:

no chance of deployment
staying close to the family
um.... no deployments

lower paychecks
questionable insurance
retire in his 60's
no uniform :(

I've always kind of been the leader in our relationship, unless James goes off and spontaneously joins the military or some such shenanigans. For a while there I really thought we were supposed to stay in the military. If we had faith, I reasoned, even another deployment would end up being beneficial to us. We'd done it twice already. This would also be an opportune time to strengthen our faith in believing God would keep James at home.

At the same time, I've been working on handing James the proverbial reigns because for one, the Bible says the husband should drive. It's also exhausting making most of the big decisions. So I encouraged both of us to keep our minds open to God's voice and instruction.
Well, I kept running across the Proverb that says "Man makes his plans, but the LORD guides his footsteps." I mean everywhere. Bible study, group study, daily Bible verse emails, normal conversations, you name it. I was like, Okay God, what are you trying to say?

Then, after watching all the goodbyes on James' last day of leave, I decided that no amount of money, insurance, or sight-seeing could compensate for having to tell your children goodbye for a year. Maybe three or four times in their lifetime. So I said something to James about it, and he said, "Yeah, I've been thinking about that too."
"Why didn't you SAY anything?!"
"Well, you just seemed so stuck on me doing the military thing."

Note to men: it helps if you TAKE the reigns when your wife OFFERS them to you.
So I went on ranting that if he had never said anything, we might have gone off on the wrong path and that he needed to speak up often. Then I had promise I wouldn't get mad every time he spoke up. Which kind of makes me wonder....
Then the powers that be signed a new Post 9/11 GI Bill that is completely better than the old one. So I think when James gets back he is going to start school to become who knows what. But God will decide that.
Unless he watches a documentary about astronauts.
Oy vie.

Dieting: Not For The Faint Of Heart

So James has been on this supplement kick for a while now, and while his results do look nice, I don't think supplements are right for me.
Case in point: Arson. Now, before I start taking any sort of supplement, I wanted to check it out to make sure it was safe. No harsh side effects or anything. On the website it flashes:

Okay, first, are we burning fat or cutting meat? Shredded? Peeled? Wave pulse? Whatever. Now for the ingredient list:

Green Tea Extract
White Willow Bark Extract
5 ingredients that start with Gamma

So... it's a cup of coffee with a special stick in it with some eighteen letter ingredients for flavor?
Now for the directions:

Take three caplets twice a day. Start off taking one caplet once a day, to assess individual tolerance (WTH??). Do not take within five hours of bedtime. Stay hydrated.

And the warnings:

Don't use if you: are under 18, have had a heart attack, are pregnant or nursing, are sensitive to stimulants, are taking antidepressants or an MAOI, or if you have ANY medical condition or have a family history of ANY medical condition. Don't exceed recommended dosage or combine with any other sort of caffeine.

RIGHT. That pretty much eliminates... everyone.
What the heck, you had me at fat burner. So I take one pill and... nothing. James advises me to keep taking them because "they're still doing something, even if you can't feel it." Okay. Three days later I decide to up the dosage and take two. Big mistake. We were at a restaurant.

"Hmm. This place is like really popular. Like, really busy and stuff. Did you know they have a Betta fish IN THE BATHROOM? Seriously! It's all floating around and looking at you while you try to do your business and hey! Look at those lemons! Aren't they pretty? It sure is hot in here. Are you hot? No? Okay. The food here is like so awesome, I'm glad we came here. Maybe we should come back tomorrow too. And the next day! If it's not too busy. This is a pretty busy place. I need more tea. You're not hot? Good grief it's hot in here. I could sure use more tea. Do you know how they make Splenda? It's really quite interesting..."

Yeah. No more of that stuff. James was weirded out and my mother-in-law didn't know what to think. That, and the "crash" was something out of a bad drug movie. Blah.
So I sent it with James. It keeps him "focused." I bet so.

Home Sweet Home

So James just had his two week leave. Now he's back in the sandbox, and not the fun kind either. We had so much fun! The kids had him on the trampoline at least two hours of each day, we ate at every restaurant within a fifty mile radius, visited several family members, went to the IMAX theater in Fort Worth, and chilled out on the couch watching movies most nights. Heaven.
Oh yeah, and the sex part. That was nice too.
The only problem with him taking his leave early was that I and the kids were in school the whole time.

"So... we should take the kids out of school a little early today."
"Um, why?"
"You know, so we can go do stuff."
"Like what?"
"I dunno. We could take them to play putt-putt golf or something."
"You gonna write that on the sign-out sheet?"
"I think they will understand, with their dad being home and all."
"So... I'll go sign them out real quick."
"It's 9:30!!"
"Yeah. Maybe I should wait until eleven."

Now what James couldn't understand was why I didn't want to get them out early every single day he was home. First, I see them all day, every day. Their school hours are my "me" hours. Secondly, there are state laws that require kids being in school most hours of most school days. Sadly, this is true for children of deployed soldiers as well.

"Well they should understand, you know, with me just getting home and all."
"Yes, I know. But state and school laws are a little like military law. Only the brainwashed understand it."
"Well, they should make an exception for our kids."
"I know and you know and everyone else knows, but that isn't going to change the laws by itself."
"Well.... they should just do it. The principal will understand."
"So you want him to risk his job and lie for us to be able to get the kids out of school?"
"I'm pretty sure he would do it."
"You're insane."
"Um, excuse me. I'm reading my History textbook."
(poke poke)
"WAS reading."
"I need to read this for my test."
"I'VE got something you can study..."
"Oh please. You sound like a teenager."
"I FEEL like a teenager..."
(poke poke)
"Seriously, this is due today."
"Can I read WHILE you do that?"
"Works for me!!!"
James also came home some twenty pounds lighter. Sigh.

"Hey, um, we need to go by Wal-Mart before we go home."
"I, uh, didn't bring any clothes with me."
"What? Why?"
"Because they, uh, don't fit."
"You didn't bring ANYTHING with you?"
"Not even SOCKS?"
"You would be surprised."

Sometimes I really hate men.

Love Potion Number (6)9

My husband's train of thought throughout his ENTIRE two week leave:

REAL food.
--scarf, binge, yum yum yum--
--roams around house--
--spies me napping in the bedroom--
--nudge nudge--
--snore... ignore...--
--poke, poke--
Grrr. Not AGAIN.
--push away--
--poke, prod, pry--
Grrr. FINE.

Weekly Weigh-In 7

You know what's sad?
This is titled "Weekly Weigh-In 7" and I've been "dieting" for almost 16 weeks.
Oh well. Oh, and Melissa is currently beating me by 15 pounds. Grrr.

Weigh-In: 218

Lost: 12

To Go: 38



I know I haven't blogged in like, 18 days, but James has been home for 16 of those so don't hold me entirely accountable, m'kay?

More posts coming soon. Pinky swear.