Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another Loss

Justin lost another friend in Thursday's attack. Dustin was only 19. As you can imagine, Justin is having a difficult time right now. Soldiers who have returned home often feel guilty for their safety when comrades are being killed. While I haven't talked to him, I'm sure Justin is experiencing this right now.

We are assuming that Michael Martinez and Dustin are two of five soldiers killed in an IED explosion reported in the news. As of right now, there is no news of more losses in Justin's unit. We are afraid that perhaps more bad news will come in the next day or so.

Please be praying for Dustin's family and the Martinez family as well. Please also remember the guys who have lost these dear friends.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Sgt. Michael Martinez

One of Justin's best friends was one of the five killed yesterday after an IED explosion. Please pray for the family of Sgt. Michael Martinez. He leaves behind a young wife and child. Pray also for Justin and the other guys who have lost a dear friend.

I believe this picture is of Justin with Michael and three of the four guys wounded with Justin. Mike is the second soldier on the left.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lunch with Dear Friends

Some good friends from Harding were in town this past weekend for a wedding. Since we were out of town, we only got to see Kevin and Jenelle yesterday afternoon. We left my parents house at 9 a.m. to make it to Searcy in time for lunch. It was so good to see Jenelle and Kevin, and meet their precious 19 month-old son Daniel. Jenelle is expecting their second, a daughter, who should arrive in August. Jenelle's mom and two of her brothers made the trip from Illinois as well. What a blessing it was to see these dear friends!

Jenelle and me at Dairy Queen

Jenelle, Daniel, and Kevin

Here we are!

Jenelle, I loved seeing you again. It's been way too long! The three of us are going to have to come up for a visit next year!! Be sure you comment on this blog from time to time. Love you!


We got to see Justin while we were at Nunda's on Saturday. He is doing okay. There is still a lot of fluid in his knee. Both legs have scars from the shrapnel. He has a pretty big scar above his eye from an earlier Humvee accident. Justin showed us his Purple Heart. Soldiers and their families certainly don't want to get a Purple Heart while over there, because it obviously means they got injured. But, I couldn't help but feel proud of Justin as I was holding the Purple Heart. I am so thankful for Justin and the other soldiers who are making the sacrifice to serve our country.

Justin is home for a total of 30 days for convalescent leave. I am not certain what will happen after that. He wants to return to Iraq, because of all his buddies that are still there. That will certainly depend on his recovery and evaluations.

We appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers.

Birthday Party #2

Here are some pictures from the party this past Saturday. Thanks so much to Nunda's family for having it at their house, and for my brother, sister-in-law, and my parents for coming! Thanks to everybody for the great presents too!

Birthday Girl

Shelby loved her Dora birthday cake!

Aunt Nunda and her family got Shelby dishes and a small kitchen appliance set.

Shelby got a Cabbage Patch Newborn from Uncle David's family. Nona and Papa got her this stroller and a Little People circus playset.

Shelby and Aunt Nunda before opening presents.

Weekend in Tennesee and Mississippi

We spent this past weekend with family in Collierville, Hernando, and Southaven. Friday night after supper the three of us and my parents went to a nearby park. Shelby loved going down the slides and swinging with Mommy and Daddy. After we got back, Channing and I went on a little date for dessert, while Shelby played with Nona and Papa. Thanks to my parents for the O'Charley's gift certificate and for babysitting!

On Saturday the five of us headed down to Mississippi to visit my aunt Pat, several cousins, my uncle Don, and my aunt Celeste. Aunt Celeste and her husband were in town visiting from Colorado. We had a good time catching up and watching the kids play. Before heading back to Collierville, we went to my sister's house. Nunda and her family threw a birthday party for Shelby. My brother and his wife came too. Shelby got a lot of presents from her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Nunda's neighbor also gave Shelby a couple of toys that had belonged to her daughter. Our car sure was packed on the way home!

Birthday Party

Shelby had a birthday party on Saturday, June 16. Memaw, Uncle Kelly, and Aunt Angela came in town for it. Aunt Kim also surprised us along with Uncle Ed and Garrett, Kim's grandson. Thanks to Sean and Sarah Tappe, Lauren Orbison, and Heather and Briley Kemper for coming to the party too. Shelby got a lot of great presents, including several outfits, a Dora folding chair, books, a Little People house, a Dora trike, and a table and chairs set. Thanks to everyone that came and made Shelby's birthday so special.

The Birthday Girl

Garrett watching Shelby open a present with Mommy's help

Waiting for cake with Uncle Kelly and Aunt Angela

Birthday hug from Briley

Aunt Angela helped serve cake while Shelby was chowing down

Friday, June 22, 2007

Another Visit from Memaw

Shelby's memaw came to visit again last weekend, June 15-17. This time, Channing's sister and brother-in-law (Angela and Kelly) joined her. We really enjoyed the weekend.

As you can see from this picture, Shelby loves to bring all of her stuffed animals to Memaw and pile them in her lap. She likes to do this with Papa do. We haven't figured out why it's with just those two yet!

The Perfect Book for Shelby

Shelby loves going to the zoo. Apparently this is a well-known fact, because three different people got her the Little People book, Let's Go to the Zoo, for her birthday. Below are pictures taken when she opened the copy we gave her.

Kitchen Renovations

Last week, our friend Jody put in new kitchen counter tops for us. He also installed a new sink and faucet. I love the new look! Here are before and after pictures.



Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Shelby!

Today is Shelby's 2nd birthday. Wow! I can't believe how fast time has flown. She is such a wonderful blessing to our lives and we are so thankful to God for giving her to us.

Just a week or two old

June 14, 2006

This was taken about a month ago.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I have only put Shelby's hair in pigtails once or twice. Her hair has only recently been long enough to get all the hair back, using two barrettes and two ponytail holders. Channing did her hair tonight before Bible class. She was so excited about her pigtails, that she's hardly sit still for me to take her picture.

Taco Salad

The other night we had taco salad for supper. Shelby made a huge mess! She hates getting dirty, so it is always very funny when I fix something that is even the slightest bit messy. I'm sure you can imagine what Shelby thinks of sloppy joes! (Click on the picture to get a good look!)


Justin is still in Fort Carson. He will have a check-up on Friday. Hopefully he will have a good report, and will be sent home over the weekend. We are all looking forward to seeing him again before too long.

Last week we went to the Little Rock Zoo. Maggie Hendrix, Rachel Miller, and their children joined us. We had a good time. Thanks to Downtown for organizing the trip.

Here we are with Maggie, her two girls, Rachel, and her two kiddos.

Of course Shelby loved the gorillas! She even got to see a baby gorilla. This big guy was just lounging in the hot sun, sticking his tongue way out.

Lily and Shelby in their matching outfits. The tops say "Best Bunnies" on them. Super cute!


Shelby went swimming twice last week. We first went to the Stewarts' house to check out Madeline's new pool. Shelby didn't venture out too far away from the side, and slipped several times. Hopefully she'll get more practice and become as brave as her little friend! Later in the week, Shelby and I went swimming with Lauren. Shelby did not like her water wings! I guess they better for someone a little older, even though they were for ages 2 and up. Thankfully, Lauren and Silas have a children's life jacket for their boat. Shelby enjoyed wearing the "coat" and hanging out on Lauren's raft.

We look forward to more fun times in the pool this summer. Thanks to my friend Torrey for the adorable two-piece for Shelby. Gotta love hand-me-downs!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pray today...

...for Justin.

He'll be having surgery sometime today on his knee. They've been draining fluid and hope to solve that problem, as well as get some more shrapnel out.

No word for sure on when he'll be home.

Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for Justin and our family.

Monday, June 04, 2007

How great is our God!

I just have to testify to God's goodness and faithfulness!

Jan Jones, wife of Craig Jones (Harding Academy of Searcy's chorus director), was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April. She recently had a test run, to determine the level of the cancer right now. I don't know what the exact name of the test is. Anyway, a normal reading for this test would be in the single digits up to the 20s. In April, when she was diagnosed, Jan's level was 6000. The test results Jan and Craig received on Wednesday was 23. WOW!! The doctor is baffled and has sent the test back for another reading.

You are all already aware of Justin's accident in Iraq last week. We have been told that if the bomb was even the slightest bit more powerful, Justin and the other soldiers with him would have been killed. The injuries Justin received will require quite a bit of time to heal. Rehab will more than likely be necessary. BUT...Justin is alive and in the United States right now!

These are just two things that show how great Jehovah God is! God heard the prayers of his children and moved.

God is able to more than we could ever ask or imagine!

Per Nunda's Request

It's time for a smile!

Rock 'n Roll! Gene Simmons!!

(I am not a fan of KISS or Gene Simmons; however, this is super cute!)


I realize that it's been a couple of days since my last report on Justin. There really wasn't any new information over the weekend. Justin is in the States now. He should arrive in Colorado later today. I will get updates out when I have them.

Thank God for Justin's safe arrival to the States. Please pray for him as his wounds heal.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday's Report

Justin called Nunda this morning. She said he sounded more like himself and much less groggy. He said he is doing fine, but will always have shrapnel in his body, which should be fun going through airport security!

One of the executives at Nunda's work is originally from Germany. As it turns out, she has a cousin in Germany that works for the hospital Justin's at, so she sent her cousin to check on Justin. He was quite surprised when a German woman came into his room and said she was checking on him for his mother!

Justin should be flying to the states around Sunday. He doesn’t really know where he'll go from there. We are just waiting to see. They had him up walking with crutches and a cane. Progress! He is still in a lot of pain, but heading in the right direction.

Nunda wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. God is the reason Justin and his friends are alive. It is truly a miracle they survived.