Thursday, December 24, 2009


In 5 minutes it will be Christmas in Atlanta, GA. I am more than blessed in many ways and then in others, I have to wonder what I did wrong to deserve. I am partly kidding, but in some ways, not so much.

Having endured over 2 months of Greg being gone, I thought the separation would be easier than it is. I guess I didn't realize how much I do lean on him for strength. I guess that old adage, "you don't realize what you had til it's gone" is quite appropriate. I took him for granted in that area, I suppose.

Him being gone has been roughest on Zach. I think he is doing well given the circumstances, but he is definitely struggling at times. He has done a great job in taking care of things around the house (garbage, recycling, etc.) and is one to help out when asked. he will even ask voluntarily to assist with this or that. But, his daddy was the one that put him to bed and slept with him (he wasn't supposed to, but Greg can sleep anywhere, anytime). So, he misses that special contact. That is something I can't provide right now with schooling.

Sarah and Zach both enjoyed birthdays this month. Sarah celebrated 11 years on the 10th and enjoyed her new DS game. Zach on the other hand, enjoyed turning 7 and we were at Disney during his birthday. Thankfully he had gotten the stomach bug 24 hours before that and was feeling quite himself on his birthday. We went putt putt golfing in FL with gma and gpa. Upon returning to Atlanta, he was able to open his car track in which Dale Earnhardt Jr. is racing Jeff Gordon. this was huge since Zach loves Gordon and his friend David loves Earnhardt. Perfect gift!!

Rachel is trying to keep her head above water in school. 10th grade is sucking the life out of her. But, this too shall pass. She enjoys playing with her hair, trying new styles, doing nails, designing new outfits, etc. She is really very funny and very, very sweet. She is a lot of fun to be around and I am praying that she will stay at home and go to college instead of going away. I will miss her too much.

Bekah was picked up from school and then whisked off to Orlando for the week. The first semester of college was okay to her but she was chewed up a bit with a little spitting out to go with it. She survived and frankly, that is a good thing. I am believing that her 2nd semester, if she makes some changes, will be a far better semester for her. Bekah is more than capable but sometimes she fails at the easy stuff. If she can get that down, she will go far!

Greg is maintaining himself in Kuwait. He reported that being in Kuwait is like Groundhog day every single day. It is the same day in and day out. sometimes you can't even remember which day it is, as they all seem the same (except Sunday when you have 4 hours off in the morning). This has to be hard on everyone there. I think about those dads who have little babies at home, or pregnant wives. Then the moms who had to leave their kids behind. How rough that must be. Being away during a holiday has to be the hardest part. But, it will get better. October 2010 will come quickly. We will be together before long.

My schooling is coming along...I have this class coming up in January (week long intensive) that I have to do. Once that is finished, I have 2 courses and then my dissertation. It is happening! Halleluiah. I am so looking forward to this being over and finished. I wish I would have finished it 17 years ago, but that is is getting done now!

Well, I just pray that this Christmas is a blessing to my kids and my husband and we see God's hand even when we don't SEE it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

One month down and 11 to go!

Just realized that Monday, November 16, will mark the one month date of Greg being in country. He has managed to get a bit settled there but is not quite used to the schedule. They guys (and girls) work pretty much seven days a week from about 8 - 7pm. They do get about 4 hours off on Sunday for chapel. Greg hasn't quite gotten into the swing of things such that he is easing up in the evening so he can get to his room and wind down. In the states, you have the weekend to do the desert, you don't. So, giving it all 11 hours a day, 7 days a week can get pretty old quickly if you aren't careful to pace yourself. Hpefully Greg will learn some new words - pacing, wind down, go home! This would be great for him to learn so that when he returns he has some semblance of pacing, winding down, and coming home! :)


The kids have been doing quite well given this situation. However, Zach gets sad every few days and wants to see his daddy. He told me yesterday, "Mom, I never want you to go away for a year like daddy." He was very sweet and tender. He has been especially touchie feelie. He is constantly in my lap, holding my hand and running his fingers through my hair. He really needs that physical touch and he is just precious! He comes in bed each morning just to be with me.

Sarah seems to be doing fine. She gets very excited when she gets to skype with her dad. She will spend so much time just telling him what is going on, what she has made, what she did in school, what she is wearing, etc. Very girlie stuff. She does love her daddy but seems pretty resilient and confident he will be home before we know it.

Rachel is doing well. She does seem to have a need to talk to him or skype with him. She will say hello and talk to him, don't get me wrong, but she doesn't have that overwhelming need to share anything with him. She is just trying to make it through 10th grade right now!

Bekah is away at college and having more experiences (good and bad) than I care to elaborate. Suffice it to say, she has a lot more learning going on than just book learnin'! GOD is good and we see that through all that she has experienced! Looking forward to this semester being over and done with, I guarantee.

Other than that, I am making it. Each day seems to get easier. That makes it nice. Getting into a groove of picking up the slack makes the house run a bit smoother. Just wanting the next 11 months to fly by!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kuwait Awaits

Greg and I had the chance to participate in another Triathlon on Sept 6, 2009. I swam 1K, Greg rode 18K, and our friend, Sim Ripley, ran 8K. We earned 3rd place in the Mixed Teams group (there were 10 groups). We were very excited and proud of ourselves. We had no idea that we had placed and so we left before the ceremony...DUMB!

Greg finally gets the opportunity to go overseas to serve his country. You don't know how many times he has lamented over the fact that he has been passed over for the chance to go overseas. In some cases, we didn't want him to go and in others, there was no opportunity. But, within 12 hours of our most recent lament (complaint) to each other, Greg's boss pulled him in to say, "You are going to Kuwait!" We weren't certain if we should be happy or sad. We have since decided that we are glad that he gets to go and thrilled it is Kuwait and not Iraq or Afghanistan. (Although the first thing out of Greg was..."well, is it really serving if I am not serving in the hotspots?" - PUH LEEZE...)

So, 2 weeks from tomorrow, we will be saying good-bye to Greg for one year. He will most likely get a chance to come home for a short break at about the 6th month mark (Guessing March - Spring Break Party Time!) I am certain that will be a great two week break from school!

Unfortunately, after considering the great things he will get to experience in Kuwait (you know, all the hot, sandy land!) we started to realize what he is going to miss while being away. Thanksgiving, Sarah and Zach's birthdays in December, the previously scheduled Disney trip in December, Christmas, New Year, Valentine's Day, Bekah's 18th birthday, my birthday (46th if you wanted to know), Easter, Greg's birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Fourth of July, Summer vacation, Bekah's return from school, and our 20th Anniversary. Oh yea, Rachel's 16th birthday!

Those are many things we won't get to share with Greg. We are not complaining, but rather we are just making note. These things will be holidays we will want to remember the most so we can relive them for him when he returns. God is able to do more than we could ever want or imagine. I am grateful that he is going at a time when Skype is a possibility and it is free. Could you imagine saying good-bye to your spouse and only get a smattering of letters occasionally? That had to have been rough. I mean REALLY rough. We have it pretty easy these days. Our men are often not sitting in tents and in trenches. The war of today is very different and more civilized for the soldier (not necessarily easier!)

We are grateful and count our blessings each day. We fully expect him to return unscathed but we also know the dangers of war - anywhere - and have to rely on the Lord to get us through those "what ifs." So, pray with us as he prepares. We especially ask for prayers for Sarah and Zach who are the youngest. Missing their daddy may be especially difficult. Also for Bekah as she is away as he departs. Rachel will be learning to drive without her dad around for the whole time (yes, he is rejoicing that he won't have to do that training!) Pray for my patience as I prepare to be a single parent for a year. May the Lord keep me in His arms and may I continue to seek His guidance!

(As i was writing this Greg was home for the day playing with Zach. They were screaming as they wrestled, I was trying to talk on the phone to Bekah while Sarah was screeching as she was pulled into the wrestling! Needless to say, I need lots of prayers on the patience part - lost my cool in about 3 seconds! Yikes. He isn't even gone yet!!!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June is almost over!

We have already had a wonderful start to summer. This picture is Zach playing soccer. Both Rachel and Sarah played on their respective teams and all had a wonderful time of getting into shape and learning a great skill. We are almost through June and we have more in store.

Well this weekend is the big weekend. Not only will my father come to visit us for a few weeks, Bekah and I will be completing our very first ever Triathlon! We are more than excited with a lot of nervousness mixed in! We have been working out for weeks now. Running, swimming and biking have been the main focus of our days. We have also learned some great words like "Brick work." No, we aren't building anything - that is what you call it when you do two parts of your triathlon back to back. Most people do biking-running brick work as that seems to be the most difficult part of the triathlon and I completely agree. Getting out of the saddle and attempting to use my legs for anything besides holding myself up is a feat in itself. Now, try to go and run within 2 minutes (average time of transition). It is quite humorous.

Anyway, we are completely ready for what is in store for us. That does not mean we think we are going to kick butt by attempting to even be in the top 15 of our age group. Rather, we just want to make certain that we cross the finish line. Being 45, I am now in the low end of the 45-50 age group. I looked at times last year, and I am not even close in my run but my swim and bike aren't too bad. Bekah on the other hand, God love her. She isn't even close and fears being the last in the 15-19 year old group. We are hoping that in the heat of it all, we won't care. Our thoughts are just to finish and so I hope she can do it. She has a competitive side though!

I think this summer is going to be an OK time for our family. There is little pressure to do anything special. I do have a course I am going to go to at Liberty University. It is one of the final 5 I need to finish before I begin my dissertation. I am psyched and ready to get this doctorate finished. It will be just in time for Greg to retire and then for him to finish his dissertation and doctorate. We are really thinking that we will go ahead and retire to Tampa, FL since he is ABD (all but dissertation) at University of South Florida. That will be a great time for us as we both made sacrifices and had to quit our PhD programs before we were finished. I am grateful that we will be able to do this.

Well, I have pictures of the pollywog turned frog. We watched in amazement as that tadpole morphed into its current state. We did let it go back to the wild (which means it probably became snake food) but we enjoyed the mystery of it.
This picture is the release!

Enjoy your summer. Make life worth living for you and for those around you!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Were we really settled in Atlanta in my last post - More like wishful thinking

I am shocked and amazed that it has been over 4 months of living in Atlanta. It seems some days we have lived here for a week, and then at other times, when the tiny walls are closing in, I feel that we have lived here for years. The joys and sorrows appear to be more pronounced here in this tiny place. The walls, being hospital white, only add to the unfriendliness of the place we call home. But, on the brighter side, the recreation is fantastic. The bowling alley down the way is an on-post perk, the tennis courts with lights, and the free fully-loaded work out gyms can't be beat. One cannot escape the beauty of nature right here in the belly of downtown Atlanta. We have gorgeous miniature forests to explore along with rolling hills and an 18 hole golf course.

The other day the children and Greg went to find a tadpole. Sarah, in her science curriculum, is to watch metamorphosis in action. So, being the good homeschooling dad, Greg took them to the creek by the shooting range (yep, have one of those too). Lo and behold, they were met by a cottonmouth snake that struck at Greg's stick. Whew. Arms and legs were supposedly flying in all directions to high tail it out of that part of the creek. Anyway, down a bit they found, not just a little tadpole, but a gigantic pollywog. This thing has to be 6 inches long. It is going to be one huge toad/frog. Later, they found a crawfish that was getting ready to molt. The kids really enjoyed observing nature. They also caught a caterpillar. After its capture they placed him in a box, and thankfully, it spun its cocoon the next day. Science abounds at the Hutchinson abode. Can't get any better in homeschooling than that! (At least for the science portion anyway!)

The house is growing on us - or we are growing on it - probably more the latter than the former, but we are surviving our quarters. Greg is getting home a little earlier each night. Even though it might only be minutes earlier than the day before, we are rejoicing. Zach seems to be the most excited of the children of Greg's return each day, but that has to warm Greg's heart. Hearing the son yell, "Daddy's home" while bounding up the steps must instill joy unspeakable. That is the reason for living these days! Joy, joy, joy - unspeakable joy!

So, we live another week, another month in the bowels of Atlanta but have gratefully found the beauty within the ashes. One should only choose blessings to ponder. Thinking upon things that are depressing, wastes brain power!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Settled in Atlanta

We are so thankful to be so settled in our new home in Atlanta. It has had its bumps in the road but it is clearly much more organized and functional - done ? NO, but it is definitely workable.

God has really been doing a work in all of us. Each of the children have been learning so much more about their Savior. Bekah is learning so much about her own selfishness and her difficulty letting go. She is expressing herself with more clarity and has a handle on the "depression" part of the move. The other day we had a break through about her focus on self. She realized that she had made a mistake, which she hates to make, and instead of confessing to the mistake, she guarded against the feeling and tried to make light of it or minimalize it. In so doing, she did not receive the "support" of those around her. Instead, she got a lecture as she acted so nonchalant about the error. We were able to help her see that her response, in essence, didn't allow a place for people to support her in the mistake. It brought out anger and frustration to which she then responded with great defense. we were so happy to see this and we are going to pray about this need to defend against her own feelings she has toward mistakes. This is HUGE if you only knew!

Rachel has learned that God can assist her but sometimes that requires her to step out and ask for help. That is not easy for her as she feels "stupid" asking for assistance. Of course, the outcome of not asking kind of creates the same thing! So, she has been learning to ask.

Sarah has learned that she can finish that which she starts if she stays on course. This is a huge revelation for her. She is so intelligent but always overreacts to that which she perceives to be too difficult and by the way, everything is perceived as too difficult. We have been able to go over her accomplishments these last few weeks and she has been able to verbalize that she is capable of more than she ever thought.

Zach is blowing us all away with his mathematical skills and his reading/writing. As a left hander, it is evident that his teacher this last fall, was unable to teach him proper writing technique. I have been able to change some habits that could have become solidified without intervention!

I am learning that life isn't going to end over minor things. Making well thought out meals, getting to bed on time, and preparing for teaching etc are all things that I have to work on but if we sway a bit from these things, life doesn't end. I don't need to beat myself up. Things will work out and the kids are learning!

I am also learning to trust in the Lord more. As we learned that Greg is up for promotion that requires his paperwork but March. That means a decision by summer. This is good and bad news for us. If he gets promoted, we have to move. If he doesn't, he will feel horrible and we have to stay. Not certain which of those is good and which of those is bad! I am letting the Lord decide that one.

My dear friend reminded me of some great sciptures in Romans 8: 26-27 (26) In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do no know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (27) And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance to GOD'S WILL. So there I have it. I don't have to ask the Lord to do this or that, but instead, I submit to His will and trust that He knows what he is going to do in our lives. I am at peace because the Word of God is living and true. Halleluiah!

So, already I can "see" with God's eyes that he had a purpose for this move. I am thankful for all that I am seeing that I will be able to do to meet needs of those people I have just met and those I have become reaquainted with. God is so good and I have to keep remembering that!