Standing on the Street

Today, Daniel and I stood on the street. I realize that this phrase sounds funny, but it is exactly what we did. We were not alone, however, nor were we doing anything bad; in fact, we were showing support. See, a soldier from here on the Upper Cumberland died while in Afghanistan. They were bringing his body home and residents of his hometown were supporting his family and thanking him for his service. The entire street had flags stuck in the ground, near the sidewalks. Businesses on the processional route flew flags at half-mast; many also displayed posters of support. Kroger’s even blew up red, white, and blue Kroger balloons. Nearly every marquee on the road had the same saying:

Remembering Our Hometown Hero: Alex Van Aalten 

I did not know him, nor do I know his family. I heard that he went to our church, but with him serving his tour in Afghanistan and our church being so large, I did not have the privilege of meeting him; but something made me want to go and stand there on the road for support. I am not sure how this shows support, but it was all I knew to do. As the cop cars flashed their lights and people held out their own flags, the white hearse began to come into sight; you could hear a pin drop. As I fought back tears, I looked around and saw that others were not holding them back, they were letting them fall without shame. I wondered if they knew him or if they were just attempting to show support, like me. After the last emergency vehicle passed the bystanders, everyone began to make his or her way back to the daily routine. As I loaded Daniel into his carseat, I continued my prayers for the Van Aalten family, along with prayers for all those I know in military service, plus those that I don’t know. As I drove away, I saw an electronic billboard with a screen dedicated to this soldier. It showed his picture and I noticed that he look so young. The screen changed and it had his picture again, along with his birth and death years 1985-2007. He’s younger than me. He leaves behind a wife. My heart goes out to her. I could not imagine losing my husband, especially in such a tragic way.This experience really puts some things into perspective.

I Googled his name to get a bit more information and I read a few lines that struck me:

“He loved serving his country,” she said. “He just was a really good
person. He loved being in the Army. He believed in what he was doing.”

“He was a real soldier,” his mother recalled. “He believed in his country and he believed in God.”

June would have marked his third year in the Army, and two weeks ago,
Van Aalten signed up to serve for another six years, his mother said.

Praise God for amazing men and women like him. Praise God that Sgt. Van Aalten knows Him as Savior. May God continue to keep all the soldiers safe……but if another amazing soldier falls, may the community come out, stand on the streets, and cover the soldier’s family with prayers as they attempt to heal from their loss.


Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday was a cold Sunday. I did not buy anything special for the day this year, so I just pulled out a sweater for the occasion. I had bought Daniel a little coat at Goodwill before he was born. I just knew the poor thing would be too hot in it. However, the cold weather made the attire perfect.

We went to early service at our church for an Easter musical and headed to Gladeville after the service to spend some time with my mom’s family. Not everyone was there this year, so it was not the typical holiday. Daniel actually ended up being the only little one there, so we just had an egg hunt for him, complete with four plastic Easter eggs and a basket from my Nannie’s wall (yeah….she, for some reason, has baskets on her wall. and we’re not just talkin’ one, we talkin’ near a hundred).

Daniel is what baby people call a “supported sitter,” so he could not even sit up by himself, much less attempt to hunt any eggs! Regardless, we just had to let the little guy get a shot at his first Easter Egg Hunt. He was only slightly amused. It was sold

though, so perhaps he gets an excuse. I couldn’t help but find him cute! Next year he will really be able to go and hunt the eggs.

Altogether, it was nice to spend some time with my family, and especially nice to see my cousins. Sometimes there are so many family members at get-togethers that it almost becomes overwhelming, so this slightly smaller crowd was a good change of pace. I miss being able to see them all frequently.

Random PoutDamien's Dog, DarwinTell Us MoreMichaelNewly Engaged!

"Ahhhh Puppies"

Our neighbors, Lauren and Brandon, have a jack russell named Sadie. She had puppies about four weeks ago. I saw them hours after they were born and they were so tiny. Now, they are growing big and strong. Daniel has seen them before too, but today I took him, along with a friend’s little girl, to visit the pups. At Pat’s request, I took pictures. So, without further ado…….”Ahhh Puppies”

—–Pat, this post is for you :o)——-

Daniel and PuppyLauren & Pup3 PupsDaniel & Pup #2

This is Daniel after we left the puppies:

Were Did All the Warmth Go?

We’ve had amazing
weather lately. It has been so nice for the past few weeks, My friend Liz and I have been walking nearly every day. We take our boys, both named Daniel, and we push them in their strollers while we chat and get a work-out. With the sun being so bright, we’ve had them wear their sunglasses. The boys- often called “My Daniel” and “Your Daniel”- are good friends, despite their age difference

Another added bonus of the warmth has been the beautiful blooming flowers and trees. I decided the be all artsy-fartsy the other day and I took Daniel’s picture next to these flowers. (I had to hold him up with one hand and snap the photo with the other) To my advantage, he is a great subject :o)

And, after all this beautiful sunshine and enjoyable weather, it went away and “Old Man Winter” seems to have made his way back. It is going to be in the 20s tonight! Easter is just around the corner and it will be freezing. So much for cute sun dresses and sandals! I miss the warmth!!

Turning 2….

Ryan, my nephew -compliments of Thomas’s sister and brother-in-law-, turned two on Saturday. We made the trip to celebrate his special day at his sports theme party.

Birthday Boy Eats CakeHandsome & CuteCousins & Sisters

It was good to see spend quality time with family and to also see Daniel and Ryan spend some time

together, even though Ryan avoided Daniel (and us for that matter) like the plague the entire time. However, at the very end of our visit, Ryan did give Daniel a quick, tiny kiss (that moment was sweet). I guess Ryan got permission to be a bit fussy- it was his birthday after all.