Saturday, November 15, 2008

He's Home!!!!

PFC Michael W. Huffman arrived safe and sound at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky about 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 13. We were blessed to be able to attend the welcome home ceremony and see him off the plane.

While we waited for the plane to arrive, families hung out in the hangar. They had cookies and drinks, and a playroom for the younger kids. It was very nice, even though we were all very anxious. Every fifteen minutes or so they would give an update on the plane's estimated arrival time.

Banner for Michael's brigade

When the plane was about fifteen minutes out, we were able to go outside and watch for it. That was a long fifteen minutes. Eleanor perched on her Dad's shoulders for a better view.

I tried to take a picture of the plane when we first were able to catch a glimpse of it, but my camera couldn't focus on it. I can tell you that once it was spotted, the cheer from the crowd could probably be heard all the way back here. I knew I would be emotional during this all, but I was unprepared for how the sight of that glint in the sky would bring my heart into my throat.

Finally on the ground!

You can see in this picture how many little ones were there, waiting for their daddies to get off that plane. Some were so small, I am sure this was the first time they were seeing each other. Every time I thought about that, I cried, too.

I was pretty weepy the whole time.

Now Elijah takes a turn on Dan's shoulders to watch the soldiers file off the plane.

It was harder to pick Michael out of the procession than I thought it might be. All those buzzed heads under helmets look a lot alike. Plus, he's a might bit thinner than the last time we saw him. Once he got right in front of us we thought we recognized him and shouted his name. When we saw that smirky smile cross his face, we knew we had the right soldier.

After all the soldiers were off the plane and dropped their gear, they got into formation behind the hanger. We all went back inside and sat in the bleachers. Then these huge doors opened and they marched in to music and cheers. I still get chills remembering it.

Heroes returning from war.

After a short ceremony, we got to spend about fifteen minutes hugging on him.
If the fifteen minutes waiting for the plane were long, then this was the shortest fifteen minutes ever.

I'm aggravated that I didn't take more pictures, but I guess I was so caught up in the moment that it kind of slipped my mind. It's just as well that we didn't get a family picture since I was a mess by this time!
Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for Michael while he was deployed, and I ask that you continue to pray for him as he readjusts to life in the states and prepares for his next great adventure...a wedding in April!
Michael, we are so grateful that you are home and so proud of all you have done.

November birthdays

Katie shares a birthday with Grandpa Jim, my dad, on November 8, and my birthday follows on November 9, so we always have a good time celebrating. This year we had cake and ice cream on Sunday afternoon, the 9th at our house. So I got to throw a birthday party for myself.

Dan got up very early and make me french toast for breakfast. How sweet is that.

The kids with Katie before she opens her gifts.

Katie and Grandpa Jim.

It is so hard to believe that Katie is 14!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A few years ago, I decided that it was just not any fun to get four kids dressed up and take them to a photo studio for pictures. Invariably, one would be cranky, sleepy or simply unable to sit still and in our fifteen minute session, there wouldn't be a single picture I wanted to buy. Not to mention, that for all this hassle, the sitting fees were outrageous!

So we decided to take advantage of the beautiful autumn scenery at Walnut Point and take the kids' pictures there. It was really nice. We could take our time and take as many pictures as we wanted. I will spare you all 190 I took, but here are a few of my favorites.

Yes, Mom, I will get copies made for you.

And, the picture that truly captures the Krabel kids...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thoughts on election day...

I have been particularly anxious this year about the presidential election, and the congressional elections as well. It probably hasn't helped that my dear hubby is watching Fox News hours each day, so I am constantly bombarded with voices talking about how dire the situation for our nation is and how much is at stake and on and on and on. I know it's all true, and at the same time, I feel very helpless and out of control.

However, last week, when I was again feeling a grip of fear in my chest about "what if?"the Lord brought to mind a verse. I know the Lord brought it to mind, because I didn't even know that I knew it.

He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
Daniel 2:21

This verse reminds me that while I am quite helpless and certainly have control over nothing, my God is sovereign, and He is completely and totally in control. He knew the outcome of these elections long before the candidates decided to run. He sets up kings, and he deposes them. Nothing happens outside his perfect will.

We as a nation have not been faithful. Israel demanded a king, and God let them have their way. America may be in for the same lesson. I do not know.

But I do know this: even if this election does not end the way I want it to -- and I don't think it's going to -- it's OK. God is still God, he is still on his throne. We may be in for hard times ahead, but he is always faithful to his people. If we cry out to him, he will hear us.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14

So I prayed, and I voted, and I plan to turn in early tonight. I will find out the results in the morning, and will not lose sleep worrying about what is happening as the votes come in. It is in the Lord's hands, as are all things.

Sorry to anyone who just wanted to see pictures of the kids. I'll get some up soon, I promise!