Friday, December 2, 2011


When our son died, so many people poured out their heart to us, sharing in our sorrow and grief. We were completely engulfed by love and support from our family and friends near and far. Also during this time, we met some couples who had gone through similar loss and the ladies and I became very good friends. The below song was shared with the group by one of the women. It is on the Dixie Chick's "Home" cd and I loved it the moment I heard it and often play it or sing it, remembering my son.

Although Omari was only with us for a few hours, my heart and soul cry out in thanksgiving to the Father who allowed us to love on, hold, sing and pray with our son before taking him home. So many things remind me of him and I often wonder how our lives would be different if he were with us still. Yet, as God has promised, and so many of His promises have been made manifest out of Omari's short life, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." (Ecclesiastes 3:11) I have so much joy when I am able to see past the present into eternity and the beauty that has been wrought even now in my life and the glory that is to come in eternity.

Below are the lyrics to Godspeed, but if you get a chance, Google or YouTube it to hear the Dixie Chicks sing is beautiful.

Godspeed (Sweet Dreams) by Radney Foster

Dragon Tales and the "water is wide"
Pirates sail and Lost Boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams every night
and I Love You...
Godspeed, Little Man
Sweet Dreams, Little Man
Oh, my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet Dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight Moon will find the mouse
and I Love You...
Godspeed Little Man
Sweet Dreams, Little Man
Oh, my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet Dreams

God bless Mommy and match box cars
God bless Dad, and Thanks for the stars
God hears, "Amen" wherever we are
and I Love You...
Sweet Dreams

Omari Jurae Aaron, December 5, 2002 - December 6, 2002

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cinderella Ball 2011

One of the many things I love about the Rota base is all of the activities they have for families. As a military base they are well aware of the issues that effect military families...separation is one of them.

This is a shore duty for a lot of the sailors here, and a time where family time is of utmost importance because sea duty, when the active duty member will likely have to deploy and be away for long periods of time, is right around the corner...

So, it is with that in mind, that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of the annual Cinderella Ball hosted by the base which allows a night for daughters to get all dressed up and have a fairy tale night with their dad.

My daughters especially look forward to this night! And I know that in the coming years, when Johann's job takes him out to sea, the girls will have these amazing memories that we have made together here in Spain...

Here are some pictures of this year's ball!

At the house, getting ready..

And at the ball!!!

Complete with a horse carriage ride, cupcakes, photo ops, and R&R dancing w/ Daddy!!!

A date with Dad!

I was hosting a book club meeting at our house and sent Johann and the girls away (wish I could have sent Zeke too...oh well.. :-)

And while I had a wonderful time with the ladies, Johann and the girls went to beautiful Puerto Sherry and had delicious crepes on the Bay of Cadiz! I think I'm a little jealous of THEIR afternoon!

Here are some pix Johann took of the girls that I hope they will look back at one day and remember their time in Spain fondly!

Halloween 2011

Since Spain doesn't celebrate Halloween, we ordered our costumes online at! I was a bit nervous that it wouldn't arrive in time, but, everything came in a week and we were all set for the festivities!

Here are Reese and Rayna as Princess Jasmine and Jessie the Cowgirl, respectively!

Waiting at home to go...and out on the town!

Here is Reese at her Halloween Parade of Stars at school (she's 3rd back, behind Harry Potter)...all of the children had to bring a book featuring their character! Luckily, we have tons of princess storybooks so finding a Jasmine story was easy as pie!

And here is Rayna Trick-or-Treating on base ...

Later, we went to a family Halloween party hosted by Johann's command! I dressed as a Pirate and Johann was Jimi Hendrix! No pictures to post of us! :-) Thankfully!

Summertime and the Cotton is Easy...

So, it's not really summer time anymore, but southern Spain is home to some really beautiful landscapes...

Some of which are seasonal, like when the rolling hills are covered in 5 foot tall Sunflowers for as far as the eye can see...or when the vibrant green grasses are divided into flowing olive and grape's positively stunning...

September is the time for cotton...and it's equally looks as if it has snowed.

Here are some pictures...

Go Admirals!

Reese attended an all-day cheer clinic on her birthday and learned a dance routine and some cheers to perform during Rota's high school football game pre-show, half-time show and during the Homecoming game!

Here come the homecoming floats!!!

There's Boogie!!!

We had a lot of fun watching Reese on the field cheering...

and even more fun cheering as a family from the stands watching the football team in their undefeated season!

Go Admirals!

Bumble's 5th Birthday!

So, turning 5 is a big deal! And when I asked Rayna what she wanted for her birthday, she said, without skipping a beat, "To stay up LATE, eat popcorn, and watch Phineas and Ferb!"

My girl, is easy to please!

In addition to our late movie night, we also celebrated a few times more!

I took a cake to her school to celebrate with her class!

I was also invited to come to their recess prior to sharing lunch with them! What fun!

Rayna was all over that playground! On the bikes, on the slides, on her purple dinosaur with her friends! Racing around, having the time of her life!

I also got to speak with her teachers who had so many stories to tell me about Rayna and how incredibly smart she is (she reads with amazing fluency), how funny she is (and has perfect comic timing), and how kind she is (and she loves to share and give hugs).

And then it was time to go in for lunch! The children eat family style and serve themselves! They practice sharing and passing the bowls of food to each other and ask for 2nds if they want. Really impressive 5 year olds!

After they finished lunch, they sang to Rayna and she blew her (imaginary) candles out (with some help from her friend).


And they brushed their teeth before singing their goodbye song...

Then they say goodbye to the well wisher who stands at the door while the children, one by one, choose if they want a "smile", "hi-five", or "hug" goodbye. Rayna was the well wisher the previous week! Here she is choosing a "hi-five" from her friend, Travis!

That evening, Ray opened her presents and we had dinner at our family's favorite restaurant in Puerto, Venta la Rufana (aka - Chicken in the Dirt).

On the phone with Granny and Grampy while opening presents from them...

Her favorite gift was the guitar from Johann and I. She plays it everyday!

The next morning, we were back up for churros and chocolate at La Ponderosa in Vista Hermosa before church...

and after church...ANOTHER surprise celebration!

What a weekend!!!
Happy Birthday Bumblebee!