So….

So….

Here I am, it’s the middle of the night and I’m here in Chandler, AZ.  I’ve been neglecting this blog for so long it’s almost as if it doesn’t exist anymore.  I know I’ve said before that I’d try to do better and post more stuff and then I suppose life happened and I didn’t make it back on here until now.

Just a quick update, I got kicked out of the Navy.  Ok, not kicked out, let’s say I ended up getting involuntarily separated due to force manning restrictions.  Well basically, I got fired, laid off, or downsized however you want to slice it I don’t work for the Navy anymore.  It has affected my life so much, I still get up in the morning to go to work and as soon as I step out the front door remember that I am missing my hat/cover.

Anyway…short version, I got  a job in Chandler Arizona at the Intel manufacturing plant.  We are living here now, we’ve moved into a furnished apartment and our stuff is still in storage in San Diego.  I like it…ok, ya it is a serious pay cut but I get to be home EVERY night with my family and I NEVER have to leave them for time that is counted in months.  Pretty sweet.

Couple of things I’ve been thinking about, I’m still/back in school and I’d like to share with family and friends how I am doing and show off some of my work and I am going to do that here.  I was also going to try and add some ERB(that’s me getting fired) stuff here as it comes up, 14½ years is a long time and I still get emotional about it.  My walk with God has also taken some GIGANTIC steps…toward Him and I’d like to share that journey here with you as well.  That should give me plenty of stuff to write about.

Also, please, if you have any questions or comments, you want to get in touch with me or you just have an idea about photography, being laid off, life or God e-mail me or leave me a comment.

Hopefully I’ll be able to bring some really great pictures here and some “art” projects I’ve had to work on from school.  In parting let me leave you with this….

Camping in AZ with the Fritzs(?)

 

Love ya,

Brent

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What’s Next?

So,

I have been in the Navy for 13 ½ years, and last week I found out that my last day on active duty is the first of September 2012.

The Navy has decided that certain rates, STG…me, are over manned and they need to get rid of some of those that are overmanning those rates.  They said they were going to kick out the people who had been to Captain’s Mast, or have failed their PRT(Physical Readiness Test).  I haven’t done any of those and I still am getting the axe.  They were given a quota of 2,888 to kick out and in the end cut 2,947.

It’s been a good run though, I’ve lived in Hawaii(a tropical island paradise), even got married there.  I’ve lived in England, although it was Cornwall way down south it was still another country and we did do a lot of traveling and site seeing, and they speak English.  I’ve also lived in Japan, although that was Okinawa…again, way down south, and they don’t speak English.  Still, we’ve lived in some pretty fantastic places and have seen and done some pretty amazing things.

I was planning on going into photography, starting my own business and trying to earn a living at something that I actually enjoyed rather than doing something that wasn’t my favorite.  I’m a bit short on that and have a ton to learn still…I thought I had time.

So now what am I going to do?

I do have a secret clearance, that’s gotta help, right?  I will have 14½ years of experience in the world of sonar.  I do have leadership experience.  All that has to count for something, right?  Jo reminded me that we will be debt free when tax time finally gets here, we can go anywhere and do anything and be anything…what do I want to be?  MAN, this is a more difficult decision than deciding Canon or Nikon.

I’m a Worrier….

So…

One of the things I got, if you believe things like this get passed on, from my mother is that I’m a worrier.  When I was growing up, the bus my brother and I were riding on broke down and we got home late.  Since my mom was a teacher she also got home late but that day she beat us home.  We walked in to her crying and worried sick something had happened to us.  We were fine and really thought is was silly for her to be so worried that the bus broke down and she beat us home.  I mean how crazy is that, buses break down all the time, right?

Today, I was cleaning up some of Moka’s poop in the boys room.  Ya, she doesn’t whine at us when she needs to go out like wonderful Nala did.  Anyway, my phone rang.  Now on my phone I had an alarm sound for the ringtone, I just changed it and gave that one to my wife so I’d know when it rang it was her.  I answered the phone and said hello, a little bit disgusted because I was cleaning up poop. (Mad might be a better word)  Jo was crying and said she was just in a pretty bad accident but she was ok.  Now, I’m typically a slow thinker, sometimes it takes me days to come up with a good response to an argument I had 2 days ago, but when I get calls like this my mind starts  racing super fast.

I mean so fast that by the time she says she’s had the accident I’ve already thought about both the good and the bad.  After she says she’s ok, she starts saying “I killed them all, they’re all dead”.  Ok, bad accident, calling me so she’s ok but everyone else is…what…dead?!?  I try to get out of her  if the kids are ok and it’s like pulling teeth.  I’m about to freak out.  I mean get in my car and drive way to fast up there, calling my mom and having her drive way to fast to get down there, meanwhile I’ve got to call the in-laws and tell them…what?  And while I’m driving.

She, I think, finally heard the panic in my voice and told me they are all ok and the police just got there and she’d call me back when she knew more.

At this point I still didn’t know about the people in the other car, and to be completely honest it’d suck if they had been killed but my concern right then was my family.  I start calling people and when they answered the phone I gave all the pertinent details before I said hello, “Jo was in an accident and is ok, the kids are ok, they’re all ok.”

I made it through about 2 phone calls before I lost it, unfortunately I lost it at Pop’s secretary.  She took it in stride and when I called back I apologized and understood.

They’re all ok, the car is dented pretty good in the back driver’s side by the trunk and the other car ended up getting pretty smashed up.

I’ve been going around the house crying because I could totally have lost my entire family today.  Some things just never get thought of and now I know why…they’re just too horrible to have to think about.  As I’ve been walking through the house I’ve been thinking about being alone again.  And you know what?  I am absolutately terrified of the prospect.  That woman makes this house run, my credit score is 750, or something like that, because of her, we are almost out of debt because of her, I eat good food because of her, I’m back in college because of her, I love photography because of her, I have three wonderful children living with me because of her, she is why I have a relationship with God, she makes my world go ’round and I have no idea what life would be like without her.  Hopefully, and God willing, I will never have to find that out.

Dear Jesus, thank-you for my wife and my family.

How Has My Life Been That….

So…

I’m on Facebook these days.  It’s been nice to re-connect with some folks I normally wouldn’t have ever spoken to again for the rest of my life.  I’ve got friends now, again, in my list, I was friends with but have lost touch over the years.  Now I can “talk” to them through the ol’ FB…you know how it is.

At this point I feel like I need to send out a pre-emptive sorry to “L” for not asking if you mind if I write about our short conversation on “The World of Brent”.

So…Facebook.  I’m checking my e-mail and I open another tab and put FB in that tab just so I can see what people are doing in their lives, or if I can pick a fight with someone about Japanese whaling, or just in case I see something that peaks my interest.  So…I check my e-mail, of which I get so few it only takes a minute…if that…I click on the FB tab and low and behold I have a message.  How exciting!!!!  Ohhhh, a FB message, I wonder who could be messaging me????  I’ve been hearing about these people going to Whidbey Island and I’m wondering if this woman I know from Japan is writing me to tell me she has told everyone I want to come out there and they are going to fight for me…they are going to get the detailer to change my orders…they WANT me…they NEED me…YEAH, WHIDBEY ISLAND HERE COME THE YAMADA’S AND THEIR HIPPY…Oh, it’s from someone else.

I open the thing up and when it comes up this girl…again, sorry “L”, I know you are a woman now but I’ve got this problem…I’m still remembering when you guys first got to Hanford and you used to come over and watch the A-Team….  She says she reads my blog.  Now I am not really one to need people to read my stuff…it’s mostly for family…who know I am a horrible caller and an even worse e-mailer, in general I’m just not as communicative with “home” as I should be…right Mom and Hannah?  Anyway, “L” reads my blog once in a while, sweet, but…she tells me…as she remembers it, I am an athiest.  I’ve written a few things, here, and here, but also here, here, and here, about God.  Not a prolific writer but enough to let it be known I’m listening and trying, really trying….

Since then, I’ve been wondering…what have I done in my past…during my life, that would make someone think I am an atheist?  I’ve been wracking my brain…I’ve replayed countless events…I’ve thought and thought and thought…an atheist?  Really?  Dictionary. com defines atheism as 1.the doctrine or belief that there is no God.  2.disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.  (noun)  How much of a wishy-washy Christian have I been in my life that I could have inadvertently given someone the impression that I don’t believe in God?  An atheist chooses to not believe in God, or a god(s).  Ok, ok, yes, it is true I AM going to church on Sundays now…but it’s a Nazarene church…Joelle says it’s the closest to SDA…it’s fun, I enjoy the people, I listen to the sermon(not just because I’m running the slides), OH…I RUN THE SLIDES…but I’m still going to give one or several SDA churches a chance to tickle my fancy when I get back to Sandy Eggo…SD…San Dawg.  I went to PUC out of High School…I went to Armona Union Academy, for like 14 years(no, not because I was held back, my mom taught there)  I’ve brought donuts to my moms 7th and 8th grade classes, many times.  I used to go to Armona SDA church, then Hanford SDA church…I got into a car accident and probably should have at least been hurt…virtually unscathed…except a little scar on my toe.  Our guardian angels were watching over us that day for sure…otherwise at least one of the three of us would be dead.  Atheist?

Hmmmmm.  I’ve not really been able to come up with any reason or any time in my life when I’ve even come close to NOT BELIEVING that God just didn’t exist.  There have been times when I’ve not walked with the Lord…I’ve left Him outside the bar waiting for me to return, so he could help me back to the ship…drunk.   He’s helped me not died from getting my head kicked in because I was to drunk to run.  He has shown me the “green flash” as the sun goes down below the horizon, and countless other things…I rode an elephant, a real live elephant…fed them bananas.  So many things He has shown me….

“L”, Please accept my most humble apology for leading you to believe that I didn’t believe.  I’m sorry if I have ever influenced you to consider He doesn’t exist.  Please know that my walk with God has only gotten stronger, it has wavered, but I’ve always known He was there with me, waiting for me.  I do believe in God, He does exist and is with us to this day.

I’ve Narrowed It Down

So…

I know I keep writing about what God’s voice sounds like to me, I’ve done it here and also here.  Ok, so the title is a bit off, I’m not actually getting anything narrowed down I just wanted to have different title.  I didn’t want it to be the boring 3rd part in a trilogy, the ever so boring title “God’s Voice, part III”.  I mean, really?  Who’d want to read that?  The new one is much more mysterious, more exciting.  Don’t you think it’s like “ohhhhhhh, what did Brent do now?”  Maybe?

Anyway, let’s get to it.  So just to recap, God’s voice sounds like the TV or TV shows…ummmm…detailer…and just as an added emphasis possibly a website.

Wow that was quick, whatever who cares it’s a recap, it’s supposed to be quick.  Now for the real story.  So, the other day…I was putting the boys to bed and I usually get a request from one or both of “Dad will you lay down with me for  a couple of minutes”, or “Dat, nay doun me”, I think there may be more words in that last one but Quinn’s enunciation is not quite up to Jake’s level, but then again, I don’t think I’m at Jakes level either.  So I lay down with Quinn first, it’s part of a strategy, if I start out with Quinn, when I lay down with Jake I will still be in the room with Quinn and maybe he won’t need me to lay down some more with him when I get up to go down stairs, does that make any sense?  So, this night, by the time I get to lay down with Jake, it’s more than a few minutes later, I MIGHT, have dozed off.  Jake is pretty much asleep and stirs a bit when I get into bed with him, he rolls over, gives me a big hug and says…”It’s ok dad, Sandy Eggo is better than Whidbey Island anyway.”

I said “Thanks buddy” and gave him a big hug and a kiss lay there for 30 seconds and ran downstairs to tell Jo what had just happened.  Of course she is amazed and we were both like…well…WOW (which of course should not be confused with WoW or World of Warcraft)  How amazing is that?  …Ok, but that’s not all…

So the other night we’re watching the Olympics on the TV.  Of course we were since we can’t actually be THERE watching them it has to be on TV.   Duh.  Anyway, this commercial comes on…Ok, we need a little bit of back ground…Jo and I have been thinking about buying a house.  We want someplace close to base but not that close, we want some place safe, we want someplace where there are things to do for the kids but not so far away that it makes a trip into town an impossibility.  We’ve fou…ok, ok, Jo has found a couple of places that fit the bill.  One such place is called Jamul, and it is almost directly east of Sandy Eggo, 8 acres, nice house.  The other one, and Jo’s favorite is in a place called Santee, the house is cheaper, it is near a chain of stocked lakes with trout and something else for fishing, there are some kids nature classes and more all within an easy walk from the house.  We’ve prayed about what to do because it is such a huge step and we don’t know what the plan is.  With Whidbey Island we knew we were going to stay there, with Sandy Eggo we are sure we aren’t but aren’t that sure.  Back to the story…I…we, were doing our usual watching of TV during the commercial, not paying any attention because it’s AFN(Armed Forces Network), not the best commercials.  So you can understand, I either skip the Superbowl all together or I watch the Superbowl not for the commercials but because I am hoping to see an amazing game.  All of a sudden I look up and I am watching all these people scroll across the TV from left to right…I can see their name tapes…Smith…Jones…Fredrickson…Santee…Phil…wait a minute…I look over at Jo and just simply ask “did you see that” she actually missed all the other name and just looked up in time to see Santee.

At this point there has not been any more discussion about Sandy Eggo, I think at this point we are both shocked and amazed.

I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SANTEE WAS A REAL PERSONS NAME.

I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SANTEE WAS POPULAR ENOUGH TO PUT IN A COMMERCIAL.

I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SANTEE WAS A REAL THING.

Until a week or so ago I didn’t even know Santee was a place, never heard of it before.  Now it’s on a guys uniform?  And I’m sure it’s not just because we are thinking about buying a house there, that I am “tuned” into the word.  I tend to see people names on their uniforms in the military just because it’s their name and I want to see if they are out of uniform.

At this point, I think we’ve surrendered to God’s will.  We are waiting for orders, we are waiting to find out for sure where we are going and what we are doing, where He want’s to send us, to do what He want’s us to do.  We’ve stopped looking on the internet for houses, we’ve only been preparing for a move.  Selling some stuff, straightening up some rooms for easy packing.  And what a great feeling, to know that we are in such loving hands, such powerful hands.

My Wife….

So…

My wife…is about the most amazing person I know.  She is truly a SUPERHERO to my boys, the girls and me.  Here is what makes her super….

This weekend she had her dreams crushed, I mean destroyed.  She has a picture of our lives and what she wants out of life and how we should be living.  She wants to raise her own chickens, if we could find the land to do it, she’d raise her own cows both for eating and milking.  There would definitely be some sort of garden and probably it would be significant.  We would go to farmers markets and personally know a fishmonger, a butcher and a baker.  We would not have HFCS in our diet, nor would we have Xantham Gum, Monosodium Glutimate(MSG), or maltodextrin.  We would like to eat “Hippie” and with all the other stuff be “Hippie”, to include live in a veritable “Hippie” place.  That was Whidbey Island for Jo.  She has more websites from her research of the place in her bookmarks than I’ve ever had in my life.  She has been researching for months and within the space of one day had it all taken away….

She called her parents, cried, was sad and hasn’t done the dishes.  This is since Friday night…LATE.  Today is Tuesday.  So this is, like, 3 days later.  Now for the new place, she has a website list that rivals (possibly beats) the Whidbey Island list.  She’s already found a place for us to get grass finished beef, she’s found a place for us to live…while we are looking for a house to buy.  She has found schools for the kids to go (Japanese) which are probably to expensive to enroll them into.  She has met with several people, sent e-mails and chatted…did I forget to mention I got sick today, I was going to be a good husband and do the dishes for her.  I got sick, and SHE did the dishes for ME.

She is my friend and the mother to my kids.  She is the keeper and caretaker of my family, she pushes me to new levels, new limits.  I’m back in college, Jake will have an easier time learning Japanese in the future, Quinn is the strongest most coordinated kid in his gymnastics class, and Kira is BE-E -A-U-TIFUL.

She is MY WIFE…MY HERO….

God’s Voice Also Sounds Like….

Well…

My schedule lets me have 24 hours off in the middle of my string.  That means I have 2 days on, then I’m off for 24 hours, then I have 2 nights, then I’m off for 4 days(a.k.a. my 96)  I used to stay up really late and then try to sleep all day before my nights, but I’ve been having a hard time staying up late enough, and my sleep gets all messed up.  The new strategy I’ve been using the last several months is, I come home from my 2nd day and go to bed, then I wake up(usually) at like 2 am, then I try to go to sleep at 9 or 10 later that morning.  Clear as tapioca pudding, right?

Anyway,  Friday was my 24 (the night I come home and go to bed and wake up really early).  The day before, I had gotten an e-mail from my detailer (guy who gets me my orders) saying that I would not be able to have Whidbey Island and I would have to go to school in San Diego first.  Joelle wrote about it here already.  We had written out a list of questions to ask but because it’s me and I don’t work well under that kind of pressure I just started rolling with the punches and I didn’t think I asked all the questions.

As it turns out, my family is too big….  Hang on, the oldest child is only 4, how can that be too big?  I mean I can fit everything the kids have into their closet, including the crib and the beds, their toys, and…EVERYTHING.  How can this be?  Well, the Navy doesn’t consider how old the kids are, they are just a number.  They hear 4 dependents and that means X dollars, they plug the stuff into the computer and it spits out a number, not a care in the world for my actual situation.

I wrote a while back about the sound of God’s voice, and now I evidently have an addition to that, it also sounds like the detailer telling me where I HAVE to go.

It’s ok though.  We are heart-broken, we have friends in the Seattle area and moving there soon that we will not see, that we will miss.  When we prayed about where we should go, it seemed like Washington was where He was telling us.  But now it’s San Diego and I know He has a plan for us there.  I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s because someone needs us there.  Maybe there is something we need to do there or that He wants us to do.  Or Maybe, just MAYBE, He wants us to….