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A Firefighter's Wife

A Place of Encouragement

Updated: 2018-01-12T21:46:25.956-08:00


Greece Trip Part 2


We woke up the next day and decided to go visit the travel agency to get a plan for the week. We had specific things in mind that we wanted to experience while we were Greece. Who knows if I would ever be able to get back here again?We were delighted to meet our travel agent. Super sweet and helpful! She asked us to come back that evening and she would give us her ideas. So we had a whole day to go and see some sights.Vern and Ethel wanted to take us down to the southern tip of the mainland of Greece. We stopped on the way and had a not-so-o great lunch at a restaurant on the beach. The Aegean Sea was so blue and beautiful. I put my feet in it and laid on the "sand" which was big hunks of rock and granite and even terracotta. Jackie, not really enjoying her shrimp. Me, walking on the beach while lunch was being prepared. Our waiter was not very friendly, which was strange because we only had two that were not. The others were amazing! Vern and Ethel sitting in the sunshine. So beautiful! The biggest ice plant I have ever seen in my life! It was everywhere.I grabbed a few pieces of beach rocks so I could have some in my travel collection (you know, since I am a world traveler now. Ha, ha). Granite, marble and something else I couldn't identify.We ended up 70 KM south of Athens and visited our first ruins, which was the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion. It was crazy to think how old it was. Lots of naval battles were fought below us. The Aloe Vera plants were MASSIVE! Loved the vegetation. Again, lots of battles were fought down in this inlet. Graffiti from the 1800's. Jackie in front of the Temple of Poseidon.We all got pretty sunburned while touring the temple. There was a gift shop and Jackie and decided we were going to bring home souvenirs after all for our immediate family. Originally, we weren't going to, because we chose to have one bag apiece as just our carry on, so we knew we weren't going to have a lot of room. What we chose had to be very small. But it was fun shopping for them.On our way back we followed and eventually passed this guy in a van that was so stuffed with crud he could barely see out of it. It was the worse hoarding I had ever seen. It was very dangerous. As we passed him I managed to get a few pictures and a video.The traffic is so dangerous there, you have no idea how unsafe this is! The driver is in there somewhere!We went and met up with the travel agent and she gave us an amazing plan! Four days worth of tours for only $250 apiece. This was including a private tour guide for two days. One for the Acropolis and one for the day to show us around Corinth. Very cheap!Of course, I was hungry so we risked our lives to cross the highway to the marina. I can't tell you how scary that was! As I was standing on the tiny concrete medium strip in the middle of a six lanes of traffic (going very fast), I kept thinking to myself as I was waiting for the light, "I can't believe I am voluntarily standing here."  I will explain more in a bit...We ended up going to a very America place called TGIF. This is when we encountered our first taste of Grecian cats. See that cat right there laying in the planter?...We prayed for our food and boom, he was at our table trying to snatch our food!Weird cat! The Greeks really like their cats. They have strays everywhere. Yet the funny thing is, is we didn't seeing any roadkill. Not one dead cat on the road, did I see in all our travels. Not one dead anything. They even feed their strays. All along the streets of the neighborhoods you hear fighting cats and see little tin foil bowls with cut up hot dogs for their food. There was cat scat everywhere. You really needed to watch where you stepped.After having dinner at the marina, we went and looked at the HUGE yachts. We took our life in our own hands again as we crossed that highway back to our apartment. You have a red light that tells you to cross halfway. The problem is that "half way" is a thin narrow 2 foot by 10 feet long strip of concrete. There are c[...]

Greece Trip Part One


I never want to forget this trip to Greece, therefore, I decided to have a written record of it on my blog. Got up at 3:30 in the morning to make it to the airport three hours early for our international flight from Portland to Amsterdam (10.5 hours). I have always been told how awful they are and boy were they right! The upside was Jackie and I realized that we probably hadn't sat down and watched a movie from start to finish in months. That was kind of nice!  Vern, Ethel, Jackie and I's feet on the carpet of PDX. Vern thought we were nuts! Waiting anxiously to board the plane!On the airplane!!!Once we arrived the Amsterdam, I was in culture shock. People didn't wait for you or move for you. I line was a suggestion. I couldn't believe how "rude" people were in my American eyes. I was terrified that Vern and Ethel were going to step out in front of a people move and die! They were going so fast! We had a three hour layover, so we went to a bunch of shops. The "lines" into customs were crazy! Ended up buying some tulip bulbs from Holland. Thought this was the best way to bring a bit of Holland to my home! These painted cows were all the rage! (Jackie) Of course beautifully painted wooden shoes! Got 4 hour flight from Amersterdam to Athens, Greece. Here is my first glimpse of the beautiful white city!Flying inland to the airport.This is when all the scary drama started! After we picked our rental car (that was a story in itself), we got lost in rush hour traffic in a city of 5 million people. Vern was driving and thought he knew the way to the apartment because he had studied the route so much on Google Earth. So we no written directions. After stopping twice and getting thoroughly lost in the seedy side of Athens where we were confronted by beggar children in a grocery store parking lot ( a whole other story in itself). When we got back on the right road to the right Marina, Vern started seeing familiar landmarks. We all realized that one of us should have bought an international SIM card so we could have contacted the poor man who was waiting at our apartment for two hours to give us our keys. By some miracle, we found the apartment and then PRAISE THE LORD, Manos was still there. I was seriously thinking I was going to have to sleep upright in this tiny car we had rented. I probably could have, considering I had been up at 30-plus hours at this point.  The apartment was amazing. Everything was inlaid in Marble. Floor, stairway, walls in bathrooms. Counters, tables and fireplace. We decided to go to bed at 7:30 p.m (Athens time). But the beds were not what we thought. We ended up making a makeshift bed for Jackie and I to sleep on by taking the cushions off two couches and the "mattress" off the hide a bed. It worked and as we laid down, Jackie said, " I just feel like crying." I replied, "Jackie, I am so sorry I got you into this!" We were both traumatized after all of our "firsts". Crazy Motorcycles, being lost, aggressive beggars, Motorists not yielding to pedestrians (I almost got killed 5 times just getting from the airport, to the grocery store, to the apartment! The next day, I almost got hit by a Tram, because there were no warning lights or sounds. I stepped onto what I thought was an abandoned track, when I got across all of a sudden there was a tram coming. Yowza!!! That was scary! I started looking very carefully after that!The Acropolis is back there! Could see it from our balcony!A remnant monument dedicated to the last Olympics held in Athens. So the next day we got up and felt the warm climate. We looked out the balcony and were just stunned by the view. We all met in the kitchen and processed the horrible previous day. We cried and hugged and prayed over the rest of our trip. It was good! We had coffee on the balcony and decided if we just stayed in this apartment with this incredible view, it would have all been worth it.Never was brave enough to use this. They don't want you to put paper in their sewer system. Kind [...]

Storms Result in Blessings


"Have you ever asked the Lord to make you more like Him? Have you ever desired the fruit of the Spirit and prayed for sweetness, gentleness, and love? If so, then never fear the fierce storms that even now may be blowing through your life. Storms bring blessings, and rich fruit will be harvested later." -Henry Ward Beecher

Advice for When Your Firefighter Starts Slowing Down


I am going through a transition right now. It has been long, interesting and I think note-worthy. Maybe some of you are going through this as well? When I met my firefighter, Steve was 26 years old. He is now almost 50 and things have changed.When I first got involved with Steve, he would go on 3-4 (two hour) call backs a day if he was not working. After we got married a year and a half later, I remember him having his pager on all night. He would get up in the middle of the night over and over again to go to the station. It was great money, but the interrupted sleep for both of us took its toll. 22 years later, he doesn't even have his radio turned on. In fact, I am not even sure where his radio is! He gets texts of calls sent to his phone but he keeps it on silent. It has been almost 3 years since he has gone on a call in the middle of the night on his days off.Although my husband seems to never struggle with PTSD, (he puts on an extremely tough emotional front), yet I wonder if that will ever catch up with him. When we had children, he would come home and be very silent when he went on a bad call involving a child. He would usually open up to me by the afternoon and we would talk about it. I can't imagine the horror of seeing a dead child, let alone touch him, or work on him. This would be my worse nightmare. I don't know how he can not dwell on it and just move on. It scares me sometimes. What if all those images suddenly come back to haunt him and he may not be able to cope? I recently read an article about PTSD and firefighters. The article stated that a firefighter has a virtual Rolodex in his brain of all the bad calls he has been on. As he gets older, it gets bigger and bigger. I never thought of that. The only PTSD my husband has ever admitted to is when he is driving and someone is driving like a maniac around him. He gets extremely agitated. I finally asked him why he was so angry. He said "It is because I am the one that has to pick up the pieces when he wrecks." That made total sense to me. Crazy drivers take him back to his bad car wreck memories that are filed in his Rolodex.Another change that has affected our relationship is the fact that since he doesn't go on so many calls, we have more time together. I used to be pretty much parent the six kids on my own. He was gone for work, or for overtime much of the time. I learned to be very independent. When, Steve started slowing down on the call back, he was around way more. That took some adjusting. We had to learn a different routine. Different but good. I feel like we are more "man and wife" now. Maybe this is how normal people live! LOL!The last thing that has drastically changed is how tired he is after his shift. Even if he doesn't get up to go on a call (he is a Captain now, which means he stays at the station way more), his sleep is still interrupted by loud bells, lights coming on and radios blaring. This is so hard on people's bodies. Years and years of this has taken it's toll. Now when he comes home, he needs to take long naps. At first I used to get mad because it felt like he was just wasting the day away. Now, I realize how much his body needs that rest.I would love to hear your stories as well![...]



"We were under great pressure, that we despaired even of life...But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." -2 Corinthians 1:8-9Pressed beyond measure; yes, pressed to great length;Pressed so intensely, beyond my own strength;Pressed in my body and pressed in my soul,Pressed in my mind till the dark surges roll.Pressure from foes, and pressure from dear friends.Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.Pressed into knowing no helper but God;Pressed into loving His staff and His rod.Pressed into liberty where nothing clings,Pressed into faith for impossible things.Pressed into living my life for the Lord,Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.(Author Unknown)This poem resonated within my spirit. There is so much pressure from being "pressed". I once heard someone say, "When you are pressed what comes out of your heart? Is it hate, bitterness, or resentment? Or is it love, kindness, patience and gentleness? Oh, to be the latter!Right now, I am feeling squeezed. Six children all in school. One about to graduate. Everyone except one child are in multiple sports. It is just so busy. When I am gone for games and appointments, the housework builds up and then I feel pressed even more. I feel pressed when I know my husband needs attention when he gets home from the fire station. I feel pressed when I know my children need their individual attention and I am always trying to build and maintain relationships with the ones that are struggling the most in their teen years. I feel pressed when it comes to ministry at the church, because I want to help. I want to serve and I want to see people taught in the Scriptures and discipled, there is always so much to do and there is only so much time that I have to do it. This is when I must remember the term "seasons". Ahhh, God knows this. Jesus had seasons, the prophets of old had seasons, I only need to do what God asks me to do and do it well. I need to listen to him and see what He wants me to give up before I add something new. Being pressed isn't bad. It makes me dependent instead of independent. It makes me willing to ask my husband and children for their help. It even allows grandparents and friends to represent me at a game if I can't make it. Are you feeling pressed? I would love to hear your thoughts and your encouragement if you have come through this season of life victoriously![...]

Brown Family Christmas Letter 2016


(Most recent family picture, taken in Hermiston at the 1A State Championship game)My sister, Jackie, is always so good about sending out a Christmas letter, so I guess I got inspired after reading hers. The truth is, I have no idea how to wrap up our year without writing out a page for each kid. I guess I also don't want people to think I am bragging about my children. I am proud of them, but they struggle and so do we as parents. So yes, you are getting the "abridged" version.Steve is on the left.Usually, I start with the kids, but I thought I would switch it up. Steve has worked for Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue for 24 years I believe. He is still the Captain of A Shift. He loves this position. He is a natural commander and it works well with his personality ;) Marcus was able to do ride alongs with Steve this year and saw a different side of his father. I think he has a whole new level of respect for Steve as he realized what his father actually did on a typical 24 hour shift. Steve is highly involved in Tae Kwon Do and is slowly getting closer to his black belt. He has a couple more belts to go. He has found friendship in his little community (class). Steve has also made it a goal to get to more games for the kids. There are a lot of them, but he realized how much he enjoys watching the kids and asks for a lot of time off so he can be there to encourage them. He made every one of the older boys football play-off games this year! Steve serves as a deacon in our church and mows the lawn during the spring and summer.A tiny part of my garden! Love how it is filling out.Jackie and I in Surrey, B.C.My Miss Amanda!Swinging in a hammock in Mexico!I guess I'll go next. I am still a SAHM. I love being able to have this freedom. I watch a sweet disabled girl while the kids are at school. Her name is Amanda and she is an honorary Brown kid now (even though she is 26). She laughs as I make messes in the kitchen and drop things because I am in a hurry! I have recently become a world traveler! I was able to go with two dear friends to Barra De Potosi, Mexico in February. We had a wonderful time enjoying the sunshine and the relaxed pace of a tiny fishing village nestled on the Pacific by Ixtapa. Then in August, my sister and I took a trip up to B.C. and visited two blog friends. I can't believe I used my passport twice in one year! This year, I have been asked by my in-laws to go to Greece in May! My sister and I are both going, so my Christmas present to myself is a carry-on bag with swivel wheels. I never dreamed I would be able to stick my feet in the Mediterranean Sea and see the ancient city of Athens and Corinth. I am grateful to my husband who supports my dreams of travel even though he doesn't have an interest in traveling himself. I am still very involved in my church. I teach Junior High Sunday School, lead worship occasionally, am a deaconess. My friend, Kathi, and my Great Aunt and I have formed a "band". Kathi plays the drums, Aunt Esther plays the piano and sings back-up and I sing. It has been so much fun to discover new songs together and lead others in worship! My voice is stronger than ever and seems to be healed. It is exciting to be able to sing for longer periods of time without pain! It all started when we were asked to lead worship for a women's retreat at Camp Morrow in the fall. I could never have done that two years ago! My life is full. I love watching my children's games and helping out at the school when I can. Cooking, laundry and picking up after my family is a full time job, but somehow I am able to squeeze so much more in. Being an avid gardener I get so much satisfaction watching flower beds take shape!Joshua and Marcus after a home gameJoshua:Joshua turned 18 in September. He is a senior. Joshua continues to live with his grandparents about 7 minutes away from us. He is doing good there and they take wonderful care of him.  He had a ranch hand job this summer[...]

Rangers Win 1A Football State Championship (Two Years in a Row)!!!


Since August, our world has revolved around football. Josh and Marcus are playing on a team that takes it seriously and it has paid off because the Rangers have won a whopping total of EIGHT State Championships!Here is a pic of Josh #60 at Days Creek during the Quarter finals.I couldn't help but post this! Before the team left for the Championship game, the community organized a pretty amazing send off! They painted the bus, gave the boys food and drink and gave them a send off parade! Our new Ranger sticker! I love the star! Ready for the Championship game! Had to drive to Hermiston for it on Thanksgiving weekend. We were dressed for freezing weather, but it ended up not being that bad after all! Several family and friends from Pendleton came over to watch! This shirt says it all! We played Crane for the second year in a row. We were down by 10 points twice in the game. It was probably one of the most intense games I have ever watched. But the Rangers never quit and pulled some unique moves to prove why they are champions! So proud of them! The starters were exhausted at the end! Josh and Marcus weren't able to play one down of the game, but they can feel good knowing that they have been part of an excellent scout team and had LOTS of playing time the rest of the season. Steve and I are so proud of our boys! This was Josh's last high school football game since he is senior. What a way to go out! Marcus still has two more years. He is getting surgery on his knee. A complete ACL reconstruction. He will be able to start football in August if he gets it down during Christmas break. It won't be a great Christmas break for him, but at least he won't miss too much school this way. Our whole family was able to go this year to the championship! Steve and I look so short compared to Josh and Marcus!A pic of the whole team! I love this picture of Papa's proud smile! He is probably one of the Ranger's biggest fans! He missed last year's championship game because he was laid up last year with a broken leg so he was pretty happy to make this championship game! Russell (Josh and and Marcus's good friend). I love their numbers this year. They were easy to spot! 50, 60, 70!Award's assembly. Their trophy was presented to them. Such a big deal for our tiny school of about 350 kids total from K-12. What a celebration for our school and community. Football has been so good for this community. It allows the Dufur people to have something in common. It is a blessing to see everyone come together and support the kids.So that's a wrap! Congratulations, Rangers! Let's go for NINE!!![...]

Browned Butter Sugar Cookies


Browned Butter Sugar CookiesYield: 48 cookiesServing Size: 1 cookieSugar cookies meet snickerdoodles in these dark and chewy brown butter brown sugar won't be able to have just one! You can adjust the sugar if it is too sweet. I like to use raw sugar and S-sucanat, but this is what the recipe calls for. By browning the butter it gives this cookie and completely different flavor! Almost nutty!INGREDIENTS·         1 ¾ cup butter·         3 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar·         4 1/2 cups flour·         2  tsp baking soda·         1/2 tsp baking powder·         1 1/4 tsp salt·         2 eggs·          2 TBs vanilla·         1/2 cup sugar (to roll cookie in)INSTRUCTIONS1.     Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.2.     Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Allow to simmer until it starts to turn an amber color and smell nutty and fragrant. Remove from the heat to a separate bowl. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.3.     In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the browned butter and brown sugar until well-blended.4.     In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.5.     Add the eggs to the butter/sugar mixture one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.6.     Mix the flour mix into the cookie dough, stirring until just combined.7.     In a small bowl, combine the sugar and brown sugar.8.     Scoop the cookie dough into balls using a 1 1/2 tbsp cookie scoop (or just scoop it into rounded tbsps). Roll in the sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough, leaving 2 inches between each dough ball on the baking sheet.9.     Bake for 10-12 minutes or until starting to set around the edges. Allow to cool before serving.[...]

Fun Fall Memories, 2016


 I can't believe that this is the last year I can take a picture like this. Josh will be graduating this year! Every two years, I will be having a graduating senior for the next 10 years. That is a crazy thought! I am watching my sweet, amazing disabled young lady, Amanda while the kids are in school. This is my third year of getting to have this pleasure. She keeps me from being lonely when Steve is at work and all the kids are gone. She and I have so much fun together. Her highlight of the day is when Marcus runs home for lunch and he plays with her. It is pretty precious to watch!Jess played volleyball this year. It was fun to watch these girls grow! This isn't her favorite sport, but I am glad she does it because she gets so bored when she isn't playing sports. Time to start trimming and deadheading the dying flowers around the place. I let Jacob try this year. I don't think he was quite ready, but Andrew came and finished for him. I so appreciate kids that are willing to work! Saves my arm and my back! There was one Saturday in October where nothing was going on. I decided I needed a little time with just me and God. I drove up to the forest and took in all the beautiful fall colors. I was thankful I took the time to do this. It was such a blessing when I asked God to delight me and on the way back a herd of elk were beside the road. The trophy bull elk was breathtaking! Another example of how God knows what we need when we need it. I just needed to know that He loves me and He sees me.Some pictures of a quaint little creek I stopped and looked at. It is a shame that I live 45 minutes away from this area and I rarely get to get up there. I am determined to take the kids hiking next year! Jackie and her kids came up to watch my big boys play football. It was fun to watch a home game with her. Her kids ended up getting sick so she had to go home early. So it was a whirlwind visit. This is what we do in our hometown in the fall. We watch LOTS of football! Steve and Dad are in the background. It is a family thing! Here is a great picture of my boys! They have worked so hard this year. Both of them are on the line. At first they were really competitive and it was not so fun to listen to them after practice, but as the season has gone by they have developed a respect for each others strengths and differences. It has been cool to watch. ( Love Marcus's friend, Russell, photobombing them in the back. So him!) Marcus's last JV game. They did a great job and won every game they played this year!The Varsity team is going to semi-finals this Saturday to see if they will play in the Championship game. Our boys are defending their title of being the 1A State Champs last year! I know we can do it and can't wait to watch them go head to head with the best teams in Oregon!I was able to have my sister, Jackie and my mom come over last weekend and scrapbook. I got around 30-40 pages done. It was so fun to do something creative and have hard copies of some of my favorite memories. We were going to go into Portland but the anti-Trump riots were kind of scary sounding, so we opted to play it safe and stay and my house while Steve took the kids to go to the play off game.Right now life is good. We are not without struggle but we are certainly staying busy trying to keep up with all these kids and their activities. Steve has never tried harder to try to get to all their games this year. Not an easy task for someone who works 24 hours when he is on shift! He is probably the greatest Ranger fan out there right now. He loves to root and cheer (loudly) for our kids and everyone else's kids too!As we approach Thanksgiving, I just want to thank the Lord for the good times and the bad times. The good times are good of course because they are joyful and easy to walk through. But I am learning that [...]

This Promise is MINE!


 Dear Mothers,Lately, the enemy has just been harassing me. I thought I had cut the head off of fear years ago. Apparently, it has edged its way back into my life again. It frustrates me that I feel like I am back in this hole, mainly because I remember the work it took to get out of it. But at the same time, I am pressing in to the Lord, and when I do that with everything I have in me, good things always follows. What good things? Peace, and blessed JOY!It seems like everything I am reading is about the Promised Land. But before that promise was fulfilled to the Israelites, there was a time of wandering, waiting, wandering, and waiting.When you have teenagers, you really do have to learn to wait and it feels like you are wandering a LOT. Everything you taught them since they were knee-high to a grasshopper is not going to just suddenly manifest itself in your teen! They have a journey they are going on too. They have their own wandering to do until they realize that Jesus really is the Promised Land!I have stayed encouraged lately by reading about other Christian parents who are raising their hard teenagers. I am not alone. I like reading about how they got to their Promised Land. It is helping me be patient and helping me also to work on me, myself and I. Boy, do I have a lot of soul-searchng to do in that department!I have also learned to accept  just because we had a bad day, week or even month, does not mean I failed. There will be good days, that follow. Sometimes there are just several bad days in a row and you gotta grit your teeth and push through even when you see ZERO fruit and nothing but not-so-lovely conflict.I am going to stop worrying about being scared I am displeasing my kids. I WILL ask them to respect me and if they do not, I WILL apply consequences. For Heaven's sake, why do I think I should put up with that kind of talk for a minute? Either I am too tired to deal with it, lazy, or I just want to keep the peace. Those are no good reasons to tolerate disrespect.I read this in my devotions from "Streams in the Desert" by L.B. Cowman"You should get into the habit of looking for the silver lining of storm clouds. And once you have found it, continue to focus on it rather than the dark grey of the center. Do not yield to discouragement no matter how severely stressed or surrounded by problems you may be. A discouraged soul is in a helpless state being neither able to "stand against the devil's schemes" (Eph 6:11) himself nor able to prevail in prayer for others. Flee every symptom of the deadly foe of discouragement as you would run from a snake. Never be slow to turn your back on it, unless you desire to eat the dust of bitter defeat.Search for specific promises of God, saying aloud of each one "This promise is mine." then if you still experience feelings of doubt and discouragement, pour your heart out to God, asking Him to rebuke the Adversary who is so mercilessly harassing you."Can I get an, Amen? Boy, howdy, that is some good stuff right there!One promise I can always take to the bank is "Never will I leave you, nor forsake you." He is always there with me. He sees all, and yet He loves me anyway. I don't have to be a perfect mom! I just have to love the fact that I am forgiven and out of a grateful heart to my Savior I will try hard to please Him by teaching my children His ways and His Truth.[...]

Stacie's Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls (Bread machine)


(Here they are inverted)

Stacie's Bread Machine Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

In Bread machine pan:

Place 1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp salt
4 cups of bread flour
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1 TB sugar
1 TB active dry yeast

Select Dough cycle.

For filling:

In food processor add:
1/2 cup light brown sugar or sucanat
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBs of white flour
1 1/2 TB of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (cut up)

Mix till crumbly.

For the Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup salted better
1 cup light brown sugar or sucanat
1/4 cup light corn syrup

Heat till sugar dissolves and pour into a greased 10x16 inch glass pan. Or you can divide into two 9x9 pans.

When dough is done, roll out on large rectangler cutting board. Place filling on dough, then 2 cups of chopped apples.  Roll and seal. Cut the jelly-roll style dough in 1 to 2 inch sections. Place cut sections face cut-side down onto the caramel sauce.

Cover and let rise till doubled. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until light brown. While they are warm, invert onto a serving plate. YUMMY!!!

Like Wings of Eagles


I ran across this poem the other day and it completely made Isaiah 40:31 come alive for me.One day when walking down the street,On business bent, while thinking hardAbout the "hundred cares" which seemedLike thunderclouds about to breakIn torrents, Self-pity said to me:"You poor, poor thing, you have too muchTo do. Your life is far too hard.This heavy load will crush you soon."A swift response of sympathyWelled up within. The burning sunSeemed more intense. The dust and noiseOf puffing motors flying pastWith rasping blast of blowing hornIncensed still more the whining nerves,The fabled last back-breaking strawTo weary, troubled, fretting mind."Ah yes, it will break and crush my life;I cannot bear this constant strainOf endless agravating cares;They are too great for such as I."So thus my heart consoled itself,"Enjoying misery," when lo!A "still small voice" distincly said,"'Twas sent to lift you-not to crush."I saw at once my great mistake.My place was not beneath the loadBut on the top! God meant it notThat I should carry it. He sentIt here to carry me. Full wellHe knew my incapacityBefore the plan was made. He sawA child of His in need of graceAnd power to serve; a puny twigRequiring sun and rain to grow;An undeveloped chrysalis;A weak soul lacking faith in God.He could not help but see all thisAnd more. And then, with tender thoughtHe placed it where it had to grow-Or die. To lie and cringe beneathOne's load means death, but life and powerAwait all those who dare to rise above.Our burdens are our wings; on themWe soar to higher realms of grace;Without them we must ever roamOn plains of undeveloped faith,(For faith grows but by exerciseIn circumstance impossible).O paradox of Heaven. The loadWe think will crush was sent to lift usUp to God! Then, soul of mine,Climb up! Nothing can e'er be crushedSave what is underneath the weight.How may we climb! By what ascentWill we crest the critical caresOf life! Within His Word is foundThe key which opens His secret Stairs;alone with Christ, secluded there,We mount our loads, and rest in Him.-Mary ButterfieldMay you be blessed today as you learn to soar on "wings of eagles"![...]

My Firefighter


 I absolutely LOVE this picture of Steve and his "guys" (Kurt, and Hal). The tilted hats, immediately make me think of great humor and fun that these guys maintain on a daily basis while doing their job. They are on a grass fire in this picture. Steve has had his wild land gear for over 20 years! I guess the other guys just got new ones and need to break them in.

These images are of Steve fighting a house fire last month. The way the fire engine's lights were shining through the smoke was breathtaking. Another firefighter named Casey took these photos.

I am so proud of my firefighter. He works so hard for our family. Lots of overtime this summer has kept him at the station for long periods of time. I am so thankful that the Lord has kept him safe all these years...

Canadian Trip Part 2


Here is the rest of my trip... Camille took us around a beautiful park in the middle of the city called Stanley Park. It would be the equivalent to Central Park for New Yorkers. The park had many features and was HUGE! Jackie and Jenn are taking pictures of the ocean. This is right after Jackie dropped her cell phone down a small cliff in the bushes. I had a hold of her while she fished it out. It was pretty scary, but then we laughed hard when she found it. Whew!This was my favorite spot in the park. It was very tranquil here.This was a little lighthouse.The King's Cross bridge, I believe. The favorite activity for me was going to High Tea at the "White House". It was owned by a doctor in the 1800's. Very quaint! Camille, and Jenn getting ready to have High Tea... The presentation was beautiful, and the food was as amazing as it looked. Such different flavors and variety! It didn't look like a lot of food, but by the time you got to dessert you felt like you were ready to pop!We ate in the carriage room where the good doctor stored his carriage. Very cool! I loved the ladder resting on the rafters.Before we left Camille's we asked if we could see their son, Austin's grave. Austin died a few years back and was an integral part of their family. Camille was very honest in her grief and has used her pain to point people to the Lord and share her testimony over and over again. I have never met any couple so eternally-minded. The love Jesus so much and they can't wait to be reunited in Heaven with their son. The was the most well-tended grave I have ever seen. Thank you, Camille for sharing your hope with us. Here we are back in the States. Again, other than traffic, the border crossing was a cinch. There was this weird art right when you got into America. I think it was made out of metal. Fascinating!!!One more parting shot of my other half! So thankful that we took this journey together. This was the longest sister trip we have ever been able to take. We are already making plans to go on another one to visit far away friends. It cost so much less when you have someone you can lodge with and can take you around to see the sights! Traveling really can be affordable! Then you can spend your money on delicious food and experiences.Thank you, Lord, for giving us this gift and for bringing us back home refreshed so that we can pour into our families.[...]

My Trip to Canada! Part One


While I was in Mexico when some wonderful friends, I felt the Lord speaking to my heart about dreaming again. I have been very consumed with raising my family, being a good wife and mother and active in my church. But one thing I think I have lost is a discovering "me". I know that sounds a little self-centered, but I realized that I have one life to live. I have always been a very cautious person, taking as few risks as possible. I have anxiety when I feel out of control. That's why traveling is so hard for me. Getting on a plane and going some place unfamiliar was a HUGE step for me. I am so grateful for the patience of my traveling companions! The only way of overcoming this fear is to actually go and do something!After traveling to Mexico and spending all that money on a passport, I thought what a waste to only use it once. My sister and I concocted a plan to go visit our mutual blog friend, Camille from "Flowers in His Garden". Jackie from "Homestead Wannabees", contacted Camille and asked if we could come up to Canada and visit! She was thrilled and said yes. The next thing we know our other mutual blog friend, Jenn from "Wanting What I Have" said she could fly in from Georgia!!! Our hearts were amazed at what God was doing! We started saving every penny of our mad money and made this trip a reality this August. It still feels like a dream, that I, scaredy-cat, Stacie travelled to two countries in one year!Here are some memories of our amazing trip! Let's see if I can beat my other blog friends! LOL! I guarantee you their pictures will be better. They are gifted photographers while I am not.We stopped at the Aplets and Cotlets factory in Cashmere, Washington. Didn't get a tour because of a bus tour that was going on.  I LOVE these candies! This is what my step mom always gets me for Christmas! Jackie and I found genuine Turkish Delights! Can't wait to try them. The lady in the background looked really tired and grumpy! We drove to Canada in one straight shot. Took us about 8 hours total. Here we are at the Peace Arch Park waiting in line to get through the Border. We were so nervous that it would be a pain to get across. They aren't kidding, it is the "friendliest border in the world". They barely ask questions and didn't inspect a thing. Kind of scary to see how easy it would be for bad guys to get something through.Almost to the Canadian Border! At least they had beautiful gardens to look at while were were waiting in line.Camille's house was just a few minutes away from the Canadian Border so it was pretty easy to get too. We both didn't feel like upgrading our cell phone plans so we had no GPS or cell service. It was good for us!Here we are all together. from left to right: Me, Jackie, Jenn and Camille in front of Camille's lovely house! We were all so excited to meet one another! It was crazy to be seeing each other face to face and hear one another's accents. Jenn with her southern accent, Camille with her Canadian, and apparently we had accents to them! Jenn and I kept looking at each other and saying, "I can't believe this is happening!" We all started blogging around the same time which was in 2008 I believe. We have followed each other's lives via blog. We have all had many ups and downs in these past years and have loved, supported, and prayed for each other and their families. That evening after a delicious dinner, Camille took us to the waterfront as the sun was setting. It was such a gorgeous evening. Here is a view of the pier lit up in Surrey, Canada.  Loved this Bible verse etched into the pier. John 6:37. The sky just glowed that evening! Couldn't resist getting a picture [...]

Catch Up Post! (Sort of)


I am getting so far behind on updating my blog, I don't know if I can truly catch up. I used to post everything we did as a family as sort of a family record. But right now life is all about my kids and all their activities. The kids are 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, and 7 right now. You can only imagine how busy life is! But here is a shot at it... We were invited to go fishing and a BBQ with our church family up at Camp Baldwin. As you can see it was beautiful! The lake had been just stocked with trout so the little kids were catching them like crazy! Lily caught her first fish, then another and another. Here is Pastor Tim seeing if Lily wanted to touch her fish. Uhhh, it wasn't happening! She is just like her mama. I so hated touching fish that I would fish without bait because no one ever wanted to take it off the hook for me when I was a kid! I know, I am kind of strange. Tee hee! My dad just bought a small babysitter horse named Lancer. Lily was so excited to ride a big horse by herself for the first time! As you can see, it was an unexpected ride and she was really equipped for it. Just a few laps around the corral this time! Jessica loves doing Lily's hair. I thought it looked so pretty this day! Right out of the gate, this summer got busy FAST! Jessica was invited to do a summer basketball league. It was quite challenging as it was basically our eight graders and freshmen against several varsity and JV teams. We didn't win a game but we were challenged and these girls learned a lot. It was fun to watch even though it was kind of scary watching them go against such aggresive players. They sure weren't afraid though! Here Jessica is the point guard setting up the play. We took Steve out for Mexican food on Father's Day. I couldn't manage to get my whole brood in the photo, but we are all there!We were invited to a friend's birthday party early this summer. You know you live in a small town when you can't find a tree to hang a pinata from and your grandpa goes and gets his backhoe to hang it from. I LOVED this! So something my family would do! My flower beds are completely full now. This was the beginning of summer. My hollyhocks are beautiful and I love how they are growing out of my rock wall! The sunflowers went crazy this year too!Gets pretty hot on our backdeck so we bought this little pool from our tiny hardware store. The girls and I enjoy sitting around soaking our feet in it. It gets so hot here!  Squeezed in another visit to my sister's! Here I am with Little Rina, my precious niece. She thinks I am her mom half the time. Rina and Jessica playing in the splash park in the town my sister lives in. She looked so cute in her tutu swimsuit! Rina enjoying her cake! Grandma Kricket in the background at Jackie's little homestead. Rina came to visit us for about 9 days this summer. I watched her while Jackie went to visit her husband Michael in Virginia. He was at a training school for the military for about 2 and a half months. It was hard having a little one again and made me appreciate the freedom that I have with my older children. But I wouldn't have traded this time with Rina for anything. Here she is bonding with her Uncle Steve!I love this saying that my friend, Leona, has in her office. It says it all! [...]

One Crazy Spring!


 My mellow spring shattered into a million pieces when Steve got the little ones excited about Little League. So we are now having a new adventure! We have entered the world of baseball. Can I just say, I never knew there were so many pieces of a uniform to keep track of!?1Lily is in T-Ball and Jacob made the Minors team. They LOVE it!  I am not really a fan of baseball so I content learning how to do concessions and pitch count. Just give me something to do and I am happy.What blesses my heart most of all, is to see Steve out there working with them in our back lot or at the City park. They practice for hours! So good for them all.Lily's hat is huge on her!  We made a trip to go visit this little Cutie, Rina. Jessica is just in love with her newest cousin! We celebrated Lily's birthday at my sister's house. She looked so pretty in her new dress.Lily posing with a Lily in WalmartRina falling asleep swinging with Jackie and I on their homestead.Rina loves playing with Lily too!Jackie's friend made a doll cake for Lily. She did such a good job and it was yummy too!I still am watching my Miss Amanda during school days. Just love this little ray of sunshine God has put in my life! My tulips expanded this year and I also added Hyacinths to the tulip/daffodil mix. I LOVE my flower garden! We decided that our big splurge this year would be on a privacy fence. My brother, his wife and I tirelessly worked on it for about a week. So worth it! We will try to enclose the whole extra lot next year. Pretty spendy to do 210 feet of privacy fence. I made the whole family help the first day! Lots of digging to be done. It is starting to take shape!Here is the finished product!Now the kids don't have to chase their baseballs! Jessica took these beautiful pictures of my flowers! We have had some fun this spring, too. We took time to go play at the creek at my parent's ranch. It dries up the summer, so we take advantage of the good weather and go when we can. This time, the kids asked if they could have a mud fight. I actually let them! They had so much fun!My favorite time of the year is spring. Everything seems so fresh and new. Beauty is everywhere and it gives me such hope for new beginnings. God is so good and continually loves and restores us to Him. He will never let go and I will never let go of Him. Raising teens has been a challenge that I had not been prepared for. Every day presents drama but I am learning to rest in between and it is GOOD. It is good because He is a GOOD God.[...]

Trust God's Heart


(A driftwood cross at Zihuatanejo Christian Fellowship)I was looking at my journal this morning from three years ago. I was in a very dark place and I was astounded to see how close I was clinging to God. I wanted to share them with you because sometimes we have a hard time trusting God's heart and His intentions for us when we are facing giant losses and not seeing much gain.Here it goes..."I am trusting Your heart. the heart that loved rebellious Israelites. the heart that forgave David after he sinned with Bathsheba. The heart that kept Dave's line till the Messiah came. the heart that heard his people's cries and set them free. the heart that gave them a promised land of their very own. the heart who helped them to not be afraid to take over impossibly fortified cities. You are gracious, compassionate, merciful, mighty, forgiving, loving, kind, methodical, righteous, holy, gentle, DANGEROUS, UNPREDICTABLE, eternal, pure, lovely, FULL of HOPE. You faithfully keep your promises to me and my family. I love you so much. Help me to love you more." There were days I felt I would never laugh again. Now look at me. I am not fear-filled for the future of my children. I am not paralyzed with it. I am not trying to control the future. I am not comparing myself to other "super-moms". I am not relying on a formula that seems to work for someone else's family. Instead, I am trusting my GOOD God to work this all out. I am expecting great things from him. I am expecting that the seeds of love, and God's Truth will grow in my children and will effect the choices they make as they grow and mature.I ran into this verse after doing "Breaking Free" Bible study probably 13 years ago. It was powerful then, but now that I am on the other side of this trial, it means so much more."And provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations." Isaiah 61:3-4[...]

Barra De Potosi Part 2


Our balcony had a lovely view of the grounds, pool and beach.I loved the bed on the balcony you could lounge around on to take a nap or read a good book. I read a whole book in a week! I never get that luxury! Here is a nice view of the lap portion of the pool.Our bungalow. Our room was on the second story.  Our room was simple, but nice. Very large and perfect for three people! The shower took some getting used to for a modest girl like me. I felt a bit like Bathsheba bathing on the rooftop. It was an open air shower with palm trees strategically placed all our it. I have never showered within view or sound of the ocean. There are hammocks everywhere! Our room had one, our section of the beach and even the restaurants on the beach had them! I am not exactly a hammock girl, but I tried this one on the beach. Then I looked up and saw these huge coconuts that looked like they could crush my skull if they fell on me. I moved quickly! It was coconut season so they could have easily fallen on me. The caretaker of our place would daily climb up and cut down coconuts for us to drink and each. I have never had fresh coconut like that before. We were even treated to a young coconut. I did not like it! I was told it tasted like custard. To me it tasted like coconut slime. The grounds were well cared for. Hector, the caretaker, hand-watered every plant every day it seemed. More pictures of the pool and the grounds. The fountain is at the end of the pool. I asked them to turn the fountain on. I guess they don't run it all the time because electricity is one of their biggest expenses down here in Mexico. It was so pretty and I loved the sound of the water gently going back into the pool.Click here to see Part 1 of this trip.[...]

Barra De Potosi Part 1


 So a year ago, Margaret, Catherine and I decided we would go on a "Decades Birthday Trip". Catherine was going to turn 70, Margaret turned 50 last year and I turned 40. We saved our "mad money" and made it happen. This was truly the first miracle...That it actually happened. No one got sick, no one's loved ones got sick, and nothing else prevented this trip. Because of that, we knew God was in it and we relished in it. We kept looking at each other on the flight and said, "I can't believe this is actually happening!". We decided to go to a small fishing village called Barra De Potosi about 30 minutes south of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. The first leg of the trip found us flying from Portland, Oregon to LA. Then we flew from LA to Zihuatanejo. That leg was about a 3 1/2 hour plane ride. I was fascinated with the Sea of Cortez. So beautiful! We flew by an active volcano. I don't know the name, but could see the cloud of vapor coming out the top. Pretty cool! When we arrived, the air was hot and humid, but not as hot and humid as I had experienced in Puerto Vallarta. I was very happy about that. We took a taxi to Barra De Potosi and entered into our small "resort" called Playa De Potosi. It was ran by some lovely Canadians named Rolf and Maxine. The view of the beach was astounding. The waves were constantly in our ears. Beautiful and serene! Here is a view from the spot we would have our coffee each morning. My first walk on the beach! Oh my, I am so used to the Pacific Ocean in Oregon that is FREEZING! I couldn't stay out of the water here, it was so warm and mild. I lived in my bathing suit and sarong during my stay here. The pool design was unique. I loved the "beach" that gradually led you in the pool and my girls would have enjoyed the "mermaid rock". I spent so much time reading and relaxing by the pool. Just what this busy mom needed. That evening we walked down to the town of Barra by way of the beach. We ate while the sun set and watched local fishermen catch their fish by net or by pole. The restaurants are situated right on the sand! As we were headed back to our bungalow, we ran into this little guy. I think it was a sting ray. It looked like it had been speared.This is a picture of the beach from our tiny oasis. Barra De Potosi is at the end of it. I will do this trip in parts so as not to overwhelm you with pictures. [...]

Teach Me, O Lord!


My Prayer based on 2 Timothy 2:24-25

-God teach me to love my husband and children the way you love them.

-Teach me to not quarrel.

-Instead be kind to everyone.

-Able to teach.

-To not be resentful when serving.

-When I am opposed, help me to gently instruct in the hope that God will grant them repentance.

-Help me to lead them to the knowledge of your TRUTH, so that they can come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

I am printing this and hanging it up in my new "war room". It starts with me. My attitudes, my actions, my prideful spirit. 

Teach me to love the way You love.

Merry Christmas! (Tiny Catch Up)


 I love Christmas. It is a time I can be very intentional about teaching the kids the Bible. I made this advent 17 years ago and every day we read a Bible story counting up to Christmas. The kids know the stories so well now that I have them tell the story back to me instead of me reading to them. I am so thankful that God's Truth is in their hearts!

Christmas is a time of chaos for the Brown House. It seems like it is usually accompanied by some kind of surgery for me. This year I got my tendon released in my right elbow. Not fun! But I am getting by. Can't cook, clean, write and I am barely typing this. I need to be good. Lots of activities, family and friends. Lots of snow, ice and rain. This year has been full of  heartache and triumphs. Praying that God will use all of it for His glory. I am learning to trust and not be afraid. He truly has my family in His hands and His provision is unquestionably GOOD.

Love to all. Thanks for sharing the journey with me.

(Due to my arm, I will be taking a blogging break.)

Avocado Cranberry Quinoa Salad


Quinoa seems a little bitter to me, so I found a recipe on the back of the back of quinoa and put my own spin on it.

Avocado Cranberry Quinoa Salad

1 large avocado chopped
1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa 
1/2 cup of crumbled feta
1/3 of toasted slivered or chopped almonds
2 TBS of minced onion
1/4 dried cranberries  or 1/2 cup fresh grapes (halved)

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsps red wine vinegar
1 tsp of raw sugar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp prepared mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Mix salad ingredients, Mix dressing ingredients, then add dressing and mix. Refrigerate yields 6 servings.

You could add crumbled bacon for a little twist as well!

Catch Up Post for Fall of 2015


 We have had a very busy fall. I thought I lucked out and just had two kids in high school football, but Jessica decided to go out for Junior High Volleyball at the last minute, so my vision of an easy fall was smashed to smithereens! Homecoming week in a small town is CRAZY! Lots of fun but lots of activities. The kids dress up every day. Lily is dressed up as a "geezer" here. Halloween costume day, featured Lily as Elsa (along with 20 other girls!) We had to creative with Jacob's costume. We labeled him the "crazy San Francisco fan". Hey, it works! Career day, I was so proud of Lily who chose to be a "Stay at Home Mom". Of course, Jacob chose his career as a marine. No we did not let him take the gun to school! I love a school that fits in one gym. This is K-12! I think we have less than 300 students total. My mums lived! Well, half of them. The ones that did live got huge! I am so pleased to still have color this late in fall. Steve is still staying busy. Here is a car fire. He is the one in the middle. Proud of my firefighter! Got to go visit my sweet twin sis and her family a few weekends back. Here is Rina and her Auntie Stacie. Love getting my baby fixes in! Rina still fits in the dress that I got her when she was born. She is all dressed up for her baby dedication. This is my sis, Jackie with her sweet baby. Jackie, Michael and Rina at her dedication. I was privileged to be able to sing Serene and Pearl's song to her called "A Mother's Prayer." I love songs that make people cry. Here is Jess getting ready for the other team's serve. She is such a good volleyball player. The whole team has improved so much! Very exciting to watch! They won a lot of games this year. Here is Marcus playing in his first varsity game. His the one crouching on the line. Marcus is Number 2. I can't believe how big my 15 year old is getting!Here is a parting shot of Lily showing off her six year old gap! Oh my has time flown by. How it possible that she is this old. It is so precious. I want to take time to savor all this. Relish it. Love it.God, you have blessed me beyond belief. Is life perfect? Absolutely not! I am struggling with real problems. But God continues to put them into perspective. I have been through much, much worse. people around the world are going through much, much harder things than my measly problems.Right now, I am preparing to have surgery on my right elbow. This is going to be quite challenging since I am right-handed. I am crazily preparing meals and freezing them, trying to get caught up on housework and training my children to step it up and help out around here more. I would appreciate your prayers for patience, kindness and gentleness to permeate my soul through the Holy Spirit within me.Blessings to all![...]

Helping Your Children Understand and Adjust to Firefighter's Schedule


A great question was asked by Amanda on my last post Firefighter Wives Do's and Don'ts. This is what it said:"Thank you for your wisdom and transparency. I am new to this whole fire wife gig. My husband has been a wildland firefighter for 7 years and recently made the switch to structure fire. He is now working 48 on 4 days off with a local city department. I am so excited for him. I have watched him work so hard for his dream job. I am still adjusting to the new schedule. We have two young children (2 and a newborn). The most difficult part is that my 2 year old isn't understanding why her Daddy isn't home every night. She recently threw a pretty big tantrum, crying for no reason. When I finally got her settled down enough to talk she said "I never see my Daddy. I want my Daddy." My poor girl is too young to grasp the schedule or the fact that her Daddy has a very important job. I know she will adjust soon, but it is difficult watching my Daddy's girl get so upset every time he's on shift. Any tips for helping young children with the schedule?"I realized that I had never really addressed this on my blog. My children have always been "firefighter kids", so it is just part of who they are. I think it would be much more difficult if their dad had a different career with more "normal" hours and then switched to being gone for 24 hours at a time, or sometimes 48 hour shifts. For the sake of clarity my husband works a Modified Detroit schedule. It looks like this, 24 on, 24 off, 24 on, 24 off, 24 on and then 4 days off. He leaves at 7:00 a.m. and generally gets home the next day around 10:00. When the kids were little and I was homeschooling I used to get so mad that he would stay at the fire station in the morning just to "shoot the breeze" and not rush home to help me out. Now that my children are older and I am older AND wiser, I understand why he liked that time to decompress, catch up with his friends that were coming on shift and discuss the previous day's calls. When they would cry and ask why Daddy wasn't coming home I would explain to them that he will be back tomorrow and he would do something special with them. My husband was really good at taking them to the store, a park or take them for a special lunch or grab and ice cream cone. He loves his kids and misses them as much as they miss him. My children just get used to it. I see the disappointment sometimes when they know he will miss a game or some kind of event. But they accept and know that it is difficult to get time off or trades. I don't see resentment (usually). They know that mom stays home and dad works hard so they can have a nice house, clothes, food and transportation. When it is an OVERTIME situation, that is when I get resentment. They know that it is a choice. If he chooses to get overtime rather than staying home or going to their ballgame, I can get some nasty feedback. That's when I let them know that Dad is a good provider and would much rather be with his family, but he knows we have extra bills so he needs to go in as much as he can right now. Sometimes we won't see him but a few waking hours in a week when he hits the overtime hard. I try to let them know that it is temporary and he is doing what he has to do to meet the needs of the family.Now, my six year old (our youngest), she gets very whiny sometimes. She is her daddy's girl and she does not like it when he is gone. I hug h[...]