Friday, March 27, 2009


I am feeling a memory. The memory is a vivid one. The feelings are intense.

My eyes keep welling with tears at random times. There are moments like tonight when I am overcome with emotion.

My heart aches.

I cannot stop thinking about the past. Thinking about the past is taxing. The feelings are heart-wrenching.

Empathy comes easily to me. It does not sit easily on me.

This week a neighbor of mine is deploying to the middle east. There is a going away party for him tomorrow. His wife's name is April. She has a 7 year-old son. He has a daughter from a previous marraige, as well. She's probably 6 or so.

I look at their newly displayed American flag and I remember.

A friend of mine from church is leaving toward the end of the week. His wife's name is Desiree. She has 4 children. Their ages are around 9, 7, 4, and 9 months.

I think of their children, and I remember.

When my husband went to Iraq, I had 3 children that were 4, 2, and 6 months.

That year about broke me.

I hurt for my friends. I hurt deeply for them.

All I know to do right now is to keep on expressing myself. I am being open with God. I am pouring my out my heart to Him. I plead for insight on how to be a good friend to these friends. I ask for their safety. I desire their comfort and strength.

I need to write this. I cannot keep from it. I want to ask you to bathe these friends in prayer. The whole year is difficult. There is no denying that.

This week, as for many other weeks to come, will be intense.


Seeing your husband hold your baby just one more time.

Answering questions from the kids that you just can't really explain well enough for them to understand.

That last look before your loved one leaves.

Feeling scared, alone and overwhelmed with responsibility.

Wanting to be left alone and be surrounded by friends and not knowing which would make you feel better.


You are leaving, setting out on a mission with tremendous responsibility.

You want to comfort and provide for your family.

You want to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the job ahead.

You are torn between two opposite and strong feelings.

I can't make a list long enough, or more accurately, powerful enough. Both the soldiers and the families are experiencing extreme emotions that are not always the same.

Please pray for these friends - as well as the many, many others in the same situation.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #80

It's about 10 p.m. on Thursday night. I had the best day! My husband took the day off. This week is Spring Break for the kids. We got up slow, had a pancake breakfast, hurried a bit to get stuff together for a day trip for a family of 6 and got out the door by 10 a.m. We drove to Portland and went to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). OMSI was recommended to me by two friends on two separate occasions this past week. So, when my husband decided to take a day off, it seemed like the perfect thing to do. We all had so much fun! I love watching my kids laugh and explore. They played, they learned, they got dirty and wet, and Elisabeth even smacked a few other little babies in the baby area. It was awesome (except for that baby smacking part)! We topped the day off with dinner out as a family. Everyone was well-behaved and we even got to see Red Robin in costume (as Thomas delightfully commented, "He's just dressed up!") We drove home as the sun was setting.

I have had a fine week and I am thankful for many things. Yet, all I could think about on the way home is how thankful I am for my family and for our fun family day. That's what's filling up my Thanks Tank today.

Here are some pictures from our trip to OMSI.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #79

On Tuesday, we were all about all things green. That afternoon, I began making a list of things that I love that are green. I enlisted the help of my 3 and 5 year-old. After my 7 year-old came home, he added a couple of items. Then, I just had to ask my husband, as well. I hope you enjoy what made the Owen family Green List. You will just have to wonder who came up with what.

We are thankful for:

Green Jello
Plant in the windowsill
Our couch
Starbucks symbol
Green Kool-aid
A green candle
Green dresses
Green Hulk Costume
Green pudding
Green straws
Green toys
Green Goo
Rain Kissed Shower Gel from BBW
Green Balloons
Green Ice Cream
Army Clothes
Daddo’s Flight Jacket
Green Paint
Elisabeth’s green room

We also made a short list of Green things that we are not thankful for:
Green Goo
Green Poop
Fly Trap Plants
Moldy Bread
Canned Asparagus

And just so you know, I am very thankful I don't have any of those right now!

Here's a few pictures from our list (on St. Patricks Day). I am planning on posting more on the family blog soon.

Green Paint

Green Pudding

Green Dresses

Green Pancakes

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blog Madness

Do me a favor and go to the Blog Madness Contest and vote for More than Cake. If you haven't stopped by More than Cake, you should. The posts are quite thought-provoking.

It doesn't take but just a minute to vote (and you don't have to make the 4 selection choices the contest suggests - just vote for More than Cake). Trust me, More than Cake is a great choice. My friend, Joe, could win a pretty nice prize (which he plans to use for books for school).

Now, Go Vote!
Thanks, friends!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #78

My cup of thankfulness is so full I just spilled it all over the floor.

Isn't that a great image? I have had a tremendous week. This post is going to be long because I want to share so much and include pictures.

1. Elsie's One Year Pictures: I picked them up yesterday. I have to share a couple. Here are two of my favorites.

2. Thomas is not allergic to Peanuts: We took my 3rd son into the allergist to be tested for a peanut allergy. He is not allergic. He is also very determined. Before the test he said, "It is not going to hurt me." He didn't cry - or even flinch! Later when Daddy asked if it hurt, he said, "It hurt but I was trying to be tough." (I wish I had half his determination sometimes!)

3. Good Doctor Visit for David: We got David's meds renewed. He is now set with his asthma medication and renewed Epipens. The doctor was very attentive. I asked a slew of questions. I feel equiped to talk to the Principal at David's school next year. He starts Kindergarten and his school does not have any provisions in place for someone with a peanut allergy. I am thankful for David's Allergy/Asthma doctor.

4. Getting Away with the Girls: This past Friday night I went to the Coast with some girlfriends. It was relaxing and fun. We had beautiful weather for the NW this time of year. We stayed at a beach house that was a path's walk away from the beach. We took a nighttime walk on the beach. The moon was bright and the beach and ocean was beautiful in the moonlight. It did not rain on Saturday and I took a long walk on the beach. It was peaceful.
Here's a goofy self-portrait I took. I promised the girls I wouldn't post their pictures on my blog.

5. Solitude: On Saturday I took a nice walk on the beach by myself. I sat on some rocks and soaked in the grandeur of the waves hitting the rocks. I appreciated the time to sit quietly and listen to the sounds around me. I stayed an extra night at the beach house. What a treat! This was time was precious. I built a fire and spent the night reading, reflecting and praying. I find solace and refreshment in solitude. I am thankful for my retreat and my husband who gave me the gift.

6. Good Results from the Cardiac Catheterization: My mom had a cardiac catheterization this past week. The results did not show any blockages. Although we don't know what is causing her trouble, I am thankful that the catheterization did not show poor results.

7. Cub Scouts: My oldest son really enjoys cub scouts. I am thankful for the experiences he has there. This week they prepared and cooked their own meal.

8. Lost Tooth: Jonathan finally lost his front tooth. That tooth would not give up. It was loose for a long time. It was hanging crooked. The permanent tooth was coming in behind it. And, yet, both my husband and I tried numerous times and couldn't get it out. I am thankful that tooth came out this week! Jonathan was able to yank it out himself.

9. Being Challenged: I am being stretched. I am taking on a new leadership position. It isn't official yet so I can't really share about it. I am thankful that I gave the position a lot (lot, lot, lot) of prayer and consideration. I am thankful that I was sensitive to the direction I needed to go, even when my selfish nature didn't want me to.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #77

My thankfulness starts in the little things in this list and abounds past the big things.

Birkenstocks - I love them. I am wearing them and longing for Spring.

A clean kitchen floor - My kitchen floor was clean a few days ago. I had a wonderful cleaning crew.

Having friends over last minute - I love last minute get-togethers. I love not stressing about preparations. Being real and together with friends is awesome.

Relaxed Sundays - There isn't a better day than a relaxed and refreshing Sunday.

My children playing together - I love seeing joy on my kids' faces as they play.

New Music - No Line on the Horizon is a simple pleasure for me this week.

Gracious offers of help from friends - We were beyond blessed by offers from friends and family last week. If you missed it, we were robbed online. We had so many people offer us help. We were blown away by God's provision.

Recovered Money - Our money was recovered. We were told by the bank investigator that it is rare to discover this type of situation before the money is gone. We were so fortunate. We are still trying to get the banking situation worked out.

Coffee - Coffee makes me smile in the morning. My husband makes me smile when he brings me a cup first thing.

Shelby - I am thankful for this sweet friend that had a birthday this week.

Psalm 63:1 - I have memorized this verse this week. Funny thing, when my hubby heard me recite it, he missed the first part of the verse and picked up on the middle ("my soul thirst for you, my body longs for you"). That selective hearing made for a wonderful laugh. And now, I will never forget the verse.

“Momma come here” and “Momma, watch this!” - I hear this constantly. I was reminded this morning (by that still sweet voice that nudges my heart) that the constant requests of my children mean that they desire my approval and appreciate my attention. I am thankful for their appreciation.

A planned retreat - I am getting away for a night this weekend (overnight!) with just the girls.

Asking for and receiving advice from others- I am thankful for the insight of others.

Prayer- I am praying over something. I think I want one path and I am being nudged in the other direction. I am thankful that I can depend on prayer.

My new nephew - I have a new nephew. Hank Owen Tate was born last week, weighing in at 8 lbs 1 ounce.

Reflecting on the past – Yesterday's list ( Favorite Gravity Moments) was fun to make. I came across an old post called New Love. It's about small town living. I need to read it weekly because sometimes I struggle with contentment. This post reminds me to be thankful.

A great dentist appointment - My 3 year-old had no problem at his dentist appointment today. In fact, he was showing the dentist his moves!

Dirt - My boys make me appreciate dirt. They have so much fun with it!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Favorite Gravity Moments

I had fun this afternoon thinking about my blog and why it is important to me.

I spent some time reviewing old posts. I'd like to say that I decided to revist old posts because I wanted to recognize my personal growth.
... dramatic pause ...
The honest truth is - I was spurred on by the chance to win a $250 Gift Card to Target.

Oh that would have been a wonderful surprise. I didn't win but I sure had fun trying. I loved this exercise and I hope you take some time to check out my older posts.

Here's a list of memorable Gravity posts. (I imagine on a different day I would choose a totally different list.)

10 Favorite Gravity of Motion Moments:

How I spend my time is incredibly important to me.
It’s Time

My son has a peanut allergy. I was honored to guest post about it on Rocks in My Dryer. My post contains the link to my allergy post on her site.
What I’d Like for You To Know

Important things are often simple but not easy.
Is it that Simple?

Being constantly busy is very demanding (an explanation of the title of my blog).
The Weight of Constant Activity

I am thankful for our military. My Army wife experiences continue to shape who I am today.
Thankful and Proud

You never know who is watching you.
Starbucks Moment

A brief testimony of my faith.
Refrigerator of Life

100 Things About Me. I am not sure these are all up-to-date. I have edited this post a couple of times but not recently.
100 Things About Me

Humor is my best medicine. I laugh a lot with my kids.
Googly Eyes

Every Thursday I take time to make a list of what I am thankful for. My very first Thursday Thanks Tank was on June 14, 2007
Thursday Thanks Tank #1