Saturday, January 18, 2014



Now I can add continent number 4 to my list of those visited.  North America, Europe, Asia and now Africa.  Additionally, I can confidently say that I've experienced Djibouti.  On a recent drive the bus ran parallel to a train - apparently a "rare treat" to see, as described by my co workers.  The train had no more than a dozen passenger cars behind a single diesel locomotive and it was moving about 35 miles per hour.  The train itself was interesting enough and looked like it had been resurrected from an ancient derailment off a Grand Canyon bridge - the just bent it back into shape and put it back into service!  Still, what interested me more were the passengers.  It was clear that the inside was completely packer.  Not only were locals hanging off the sides and out the doors, but there were several with "upper level" seats who decided to camp out on the top of the train and it rolled along.  Definitely a different world!

On another trip, we saw camels, antelope and friendly citizens who seemed happy to see us, but I couldn't really tell.

Regardless, we're here and I'm here.

The hardest part about being away from family is not being able to be there for Rachel.  She is a superhero, but the challenges she faces n our home are often out of this world!  I hate not being there for her when she needs me the most.  It makes me doubly appreciative of our friends and family and even moreso our Savior.

The best part about being away (if that's feasible) is being able to focus on personal growth, discipline and the job in a way that is otherwise difficult to accomplish when faced with the daily rhythm of walking the dog, filling up the gas tank or dropping off the Redbox movie.  I hope to take full advantage of this deployment to grow spiritually and physically and hopefully come home a better husband, father, son, friend, coworker, neighbor...etc.

Still, I'm here for 6 and a half months and I'll make the most of it.  Next update, I hope to have some pictures.


Thursday, July 18, 2013


Yesterday, I asked my small group to pray for me. I simply said, "I need a revelation in how to run my home right now." It's a very small thing in contrast to life-altering surgeries or having a home to live in. However , the Lord heard and answered prayer today.
Today, we lived. Yes, the dog pooped on the floor, twice, and yes, a child stepped in it. But, the daily requirements for living happened and happened happily. A child even said to me, "Mom, I'm beginning to appreciate lunch a lot more!"
The revelation was staying home. After all, I am a stay-at-HOME Mom.  And I do HOME school my kids. You'd think staying at home wouldn't be such a novel idea!
However, I think they just had a salad dressing fight....Lord, help! The kids are definitely going to need prayer now!  Hee, hee!!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Box Baby and a Bowler

Here you have a baby in a box, and a boy with a bowling ball.  Pretty precious kids.

Kids and friends

We had such a blessed Fourth of July weekend with our sweet friends, the Mullinax Family! Angie is such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom and such a kind friend. God blessed me with her when almost all of my other friends moved away in a quick six week succession. Here are a few pics together.

Drastic Pruning!

Late this afternoon, some very much overdue pruning took place in our front yard. It took some really big trucks and power tools! It was quite the show, too. Several neighbors came by to watch. The result? I could see the sky and sunlight from the front of my house! It was like a veil was lifted. I am a woman who needs plenty of sunshine. I wasn't getting enough! It's hard to appreciate the shade unless you'be been in the sun.
Many years ago I sat in the pew at the church of my childhood.  A story was told about a tree that needed to be pruned. After the pruning, it could be the tree it was meant to be, once again.  How many of us need to be pruned by the Master Gardener? Just as I did so many years ago, I lift my head and willingly endure the pruning pain, as I become who He means me to be.

Monday, July 1, 2013

"Still Life" of Noelle

Our newest addition is 6 months old now!!! It has gone by so quickly! She is a perfect baby, of course, and everyone loves her to pieces. She truly is super happy and very copasetic. See for yourself! The first one is on her first playground swing. The rest just around the house.

I hope you enjoy her little face a whole lot!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Birthdays, Poison Ivy, and the stuff of life

Well, Birthday season in the Sulhoff household has officially come to a close today, as of 7pm.  That was the time Elizabeth's birthday party was over.  I now have a ten year old, an eight year old, a five year old and a 3 month old.  Sigh.  I need to just contemplate that for a little while. I have such a wonderful life!  Maybe that's why I'm so tired...ha!
My wonderful, amazing grandmother came to visit last Sunday through Wednesday.  It wasn't long enough, but I am grateful for the time we got.  We sewed and I baked cookies, and we talked and we played games and did puzzles and took walks and looked at pictures and just hung out.  It was a great time.
My cousin-in-law is getting to come visit this weekend, too!  Her hubby, my cousin, is deployed, so she's taking a short little getaway to us.
We have joined a small group at our church and are enjoying that.  It is our turn to host this week.  We are talking about "Destinations"--how to avoid unpleasant ones and reach the ones we aspire.  Andy Stanley is teaching this study.  We are enjoying sitting under his teaching every Sunday in our attendance at Longleaf Church, a relatively new church here in Warner Robins.
It's rather amazing that Noelle has made two trips to Savannah in her short life thus far.  We went once to just go there when David was on paternity leave.  The second time, we went to visit with our longtime friends  who live in New Mexico who were having a little getaway there.  They said they didn't mind the intrusion!  It was a really sweet time.
We are really, really enjoying living close to our families!  It has been so nice to get back to our roots in Atlanta and the surrounding North Ga area.  It is our parents' close proximity that has allowed us to go, not only to Savannah, but also to some Christmas parties and to the hospital to have Noelle without the older three.  We are soaking up as much of this blessing as possible.
I mentioned Poison Ivy.  Elizabeth has it.  Poor, poor thing.  She is such a tough cooky, but she's in a lot of itchy pain.  Apparently, the first time you get it, it could take up to 15 days from the initial contact with the plant for the rash to come out!  Who can think back that far???  Anyway, it's just one thing after another with that sweet girl.  A couple of weeks ago, she was hanging from a tree limb and it broke!  She fell to the ground and injured her foot fairly seriously, but nothing was broken.  She told me just yesterday that she thought her foot was just about healed.  And then came the poison ivy that popped out over the course of the night.  I kept freaking out thinking there was something biting her in her bed, even though we'd just put brand new clean sheets on 10 minutes before she got into bed.  And then today, 5 minutes before her birthday party, her brother and some friends discovered a "lizard" running around the driveway that was at least 9 inches long.  Being the lizard lover she is, she caught the monster, but it got away.  She caught it again and it bit her.  It happened so fast and I saw it all through the front window, but couldn't get there in time to tell her to leave it alone.  So, it bled a bit and I drowned the wound in peroxide.  I'm thinking it's a salamander, not only because I couldn't find any lizards like it on the internet, but also because it wiggled/slithered into its hole at the bottom of our water drain in the driveway.  I'm pretty sure lizards don't usually live in wet holes in the ground.  Do salamanders have teeth?

Anyhoo, the first picture is of David, Noelle and me at Noelle's baby dedication.  There are so many I want to share, of freinds and family, too, but there isn't room for them all! The others need no explanation, except the one of Noelle in her car seat was taken on Easter, which also marked her three month birthday.  She is such a happy baby.  We are so thankful for her little sweet spirit.  This evening, the sun came out for the first time in several days. On a short walk, as I carried her in the baby carrier she would just lift her head and look up at the sky.  There are no words for the look on her little face as she gazed upon the tree-lined sky above her.  It was such a thing to behold--a person seeing the sky for the first time.  It's moments like that one that make you want to stop and capture it forever.  But, you can't.  It passes against your will.  You just have to do your darnedest to remember and be ever moved by the beauty and wonder of it.
Other than the Lord, who is always good and unchanging in this crazy world, David also continues to be a rock of steadiness and security for me and for our family.  Yes, he's spontaneous.  Yes, he has more thoughts and ideas in his brain at any given time than most people have go through their heads in a week.  Yes, he's always wanting us to go galavanting around on some new adventure, whether it be cross-country or just to the park.  Despite all that, he is consistent and steady, always loving, always putting first things first, always honest.  He's usually pretty funny, too!  He keeps us laughing.
Since this is the first time I've blogged in probably a year, I cannot promise anything for the future.  However,  I hope I provided somewhat of an enjoyable read for the last five minutes.  Till next time...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Catching Up

Hmmm...  I think the best way to begin is to mention that Yes, I did take an elk from Colorado this year as part of a successful hunt.  Here's the proof...

This cow was part of a very VERY large herd that passed my position and the experience of taking my first large game was pretty surreal and difficult to explain, so if you want to hear more just give me a call.

Similarly surreal and difficult to express was the selling of our Florida boat, The Irwin.  It took much longer that it should have and I accepted far less than I should have.  However, when the deal went through it was tremendously fast paced and brought with it a tremendous relief.  The initial call came on our family's way up to Atlanta.  Three hours later, the transaction was complete (with the help  from a friend in Panama City) with only a check to clear.  My relief was immediate (though somewhat reluctant as I still did not have the cleared funds yet) and my excitement about never having to drive to Florida again to solely tend to a boat that we can't use on a regular basis was unquestionable.

Next major event of note was Christmas.  The children (of course) love everything about Christmas and this year we added a few things to help them grow spiritually while also enjoying the season a little bit more.  As part of a nightly devotion, we lit the advent candles daily and shared in many stories, activities and lessons from God's Word.  It all culminated on Christ's birthday with a wonderful celebration at our home on base.  Here are the kids expressing their love for each other on the 25th.

Still, after plenty of prayer and soul searching, our family has decided to take a different tack with this year's Christmas celebration.  In short, Christmas will be a way to "gift" our Lord, Jesus, rather than ourselves.  He said that whatever we do for the "least of these," we do for Him.  So, instead of exchanging gifts and setting up stockings for Santa to fill, our family will channel our resources this coming Christmas to helping the least of these.  I don't know if we will do this every year, but we are committed to it for 2013 and the kids are slowly gaining an understanding that December 25th will look very different next winter.

Just as Christ's birthday will be celebrated serving Him via the "least of these," we have also committed to honoring our families' birthday is a much greater way this year.  The resources and time that would have been spent in the crowded malls or scouring Amazon during November and December looking for the "perfect gift" will instead be spend on a birthday-by-birthday basis to honor each family member appropriately on their special day.

Speaking of birthdays...months of anticipation and a very stressful week past the due date culminated at 5:55 A.M. on December 31, 2012 with the birth of Noelle Moriah Sulhoff.  Here is a photo of Noelle in the arms of my hero and lifetime best friend.  I am marveled with every birth how she does what she does!  God is truly so good.  She was 8 lbs, 7 ozs, and she has fitted into the home life with aplomb!  Already at seven weeks she is sleeping through the night and bringing constant joy to all of us.

Well, that's all I can muster up to update ya'll on for now.  I hope it has been informative!