Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Sleeping Darlings

I have a certain fascination with taking photos my children while they sleep. And I love to watch them sleep. I know that it has something to do with them being still and quiet, and experience seldom had while they are awake. It also provides me with a chance to pray for them, to remember all the beautiful things about being a mother to these three little ones. It is a beautiful show of trust. They have no fears, no worries, no cares that keep them from sleep.
Saoirse is a cuddler, she loves to be stroked and scratched, like a little kitten.

Carsten is my first child to sleep better with me holding him. Honestly, that was super comforting to me when Roman is gone. I would hold him until he fell asleep on me than lay him in his cradle.

Ethan talks in his sleep. When I have a chance to overhear him, it sounds like he has very exciting dreams, about fires, boats, and friends.

Sleep my child and peace attend thee, all through the night

Guardian angels God will send thee, all through the night.

Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and dale in slumber sleeping,

I my loved ones watch are keeping,
all through the night.
Merry Christmas my dears!
In the morning you will wake to lots of sweets
and gifts from those who love you.
Right now you are in deepest sleep
and you don't know how much I see
you are God's sweetest gifts to me.
Love, Mommy

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Path of the Stars

Down through spheres that chant the Name of One
Who is the Law of Beauty and of Light
He came, and as He came the waiting Night
Shook with gladness of a Day begun;
And as He came, He said: Thy Will be Done
On Earth; and all His vibrant Words were white
And glistering with silver, and their might
Was of the glory of a rising sun.
Unto the Stars sang out His living Words
White and with silver, and their rhythmic sound
Was a might symphony unfurled;
And back from out the Stars like homing birds
They fell in love upon the sleeping ground.
And were forever in a wakened world.
~Thomas S. Jones Jr.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I will praise you O Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of your wonders. Psalm 9:1
2014 has been a year of wonders for the Roman Mallery family. Those who know us well keep saying we are brave. Those who know us better say we are crazy, and they love us still. To all our parents and siblings, we thank you for your patience, love, and support. Without that we would be utterly overwhelmed.
At the beginning of the year, we knew it would be one of major change for our family. The process was set in motion for Roman to join the National Guard. We were expecting our third child. We were talking about a temporary move across the USA.
In March Roman was sworn into the United States Army, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream, as well as a deep sense of responsibility. Being a soldier is not for everyone. I firmly believe that he is called to this task, that the Lord gave him the special gift of helping others as a firefighter, EMT, and now soldier.
In May Ethan and Saoirse were joined by baby brother Carsten Raymond, and though the birth went well, he had trouble breathing, and so he needed to spend a day and a half with breathing assistance. He seems to have suffered not long term affects from his difficult start and daily I listen to his breath with thanksgiving in my heart.
In August Roman left for boot camp in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. The kids and I then settled into life without Daddy.
In November the children and I traveled by train and car across the country to attend Roman's graduation from boot camp, before settling down in Maryland for a few months.
Now it is the middle of December. Roman is in Virginia working on his Quartermasters training. I am have a little house in Maryland, where I am preparing for a quiet, but happy Christmas for our little family.
Everyday I reasons to be discouraged; whiny children, cars that don't always work, missing my husband, bank accounts and bills, and of course always being tired. When those moments threaten to overwhelm me, I am learning to look at how the Lord has led so far. He has given us gracious landlords in two states, and the rent has always been paid. I was able to settle near family in Maryland who have been super helpful with everything, especially the car problems. My children are growing strong and healthy; they are polite and even helpful at times. They do bring me joy each day. I just need to remember to see it. I am able to be close to my husband and see him from time to time, which makes all of us very happy. All the ways that the Lord has brought each detail together is truly something to wonder at.
This has been a year to wonder at, and one to look at whenever we are discouraged. Because the Lord has done wondrous things for us, and will continue to show Himself faithful everyday for the rest of our lives.
During the Christmas season we reflect on the wonder of God becoming man in the form of a baby. We hope that you all have seen the wonderful work of the Lord in your lives during 2014.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Mallerys
Roman and Caitlin
Ethan, Saoirse, & Carsten

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Mary Pondered All These Things"

Mother Mary's mind-
A repository-
Cherished every kind
Of event and story.
She remembered what
Joseph soon forgot.

Quite incredible
How she could recall
Word and miracle,
Pain and passion! All
Through the days she pondered
In her heart, and wondered.

Mother's still, it seems
Keep their hearts like Mary-
Full of words and dreams-
Like a reliquary.
Men like Joseph yet
Easily forget.

~Edwin McNeill Poteat

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Tale of Boats and Ships

Since our car finally seems to fixed (although I still drive it with much fear and trembling). We have managed to have a few outings. Much needed they were too. We were all getting a case of cabin fever. So when Mandy told us there was a boat parade not too far away we were all eager to go. So we went to Solomons Island where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay.
There were so many cute places to see there on the bay.
We stopped at the Locus café for coffee and some amazing key lime pie.

Uncle Roger and the girls.

The kids enjoyed dancing to Christmas songs by a live group of musicians.
A local church had a rummage/antique sale.
These are old oyster cans.

Ethan enjoyed examining the antique tools and other items.

More Christmas music in the church, a beautiful old Methodist building.
These two could be twins!

As it was St. Nicholas Day, it seem appropriate to meet the local Santa Claus. Although none of the kids have any idea how the whole Santa thing works. When asked what they wanted for Christmas they said to be home with Daddy.

The first glimpse of the boats.
It had been raining all day long, so there were lots of puddles, and there was a steady drizzle during the parade. But none of that could dampen the excitement of the children.

None of my pictures do it justice. There were about 10 boats all lit up. One had a dolphin with a red nose and seahorses pulling Santa. There was a dragon, as well as ones just lit from bow to stern.

They look faraway, but came quite close to where we were.

 On Sunday we had a chance to visit some historic ships at the Baltimore Harbor.
This Coast Guard vessel survived the Pearl Harbor bombing.
At one point there was a Bauer on board. I don't know when. The ship was active through the 1960's. It is hard to read all the information when you have toddlers to watch.
We also went on a lightship from the 1930's. They used lightships in places they could not put lighthouses.
In the officers quarters.


They keep the brass instruments shiny still.

Standing on the lightship deck, looking down at the WW2 submarine.

This submarine was commission 6 months before the end of WW2. It did destroy some Japanese ships, and was used as a training vessel for many years after the war.
Things would have been very cramped on the submarine, but the kids didn't mind.

A look around the harbor.


I like naval details, like compasses and flags.

Carsten patiently sat in the stroller most of the afternoon. Ethan was fascinated by all the knobs and levers, especially on the submarine. Saoirse loved chasing seagulls, but disliked all the ladders. It was fun to see some of these vessels and I certainly hope that Ethan at least will remember it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Graduation at Ft. Jackson

We spent two days at Ft. Jackson with Roman. The first day was Family Day, which was very relaxed. We spent time at the playground, the small lake, and just being together. It was glorious. It was also surprisingly hot. I think we all got just a bit sunburned.
After the long weeks of waiting, it was such a relief to see Roman.
The entrance to Ft. Jackson.

Despite arriving two hours early, we still had to face quite the crowd.

The kids patiently waiting in the stroller.
The bleachers were filled with anxious, excited family members. The noise was rather deafening when soldiers all came onto the field. Clapping, cheering, stomping, and whistling. It frightened the kids a little bit. Rather than cheering I was crying with relief. When they let the families go it was quite a rush to get onto the field. After maneuvering our large stroller onto the field, Rhonda stayed with the kids while I went to find Roman. All the soldiers had to stay in formation until a family member came to them. Roman said it was agony to watch me search for him. After all, it was a little hard to find him when everyone is in uniform, and there are large crowds. It was also one of the largest graduating classes of the year, over 1,000 privates.

Ethan cried when he saw Roman. I think he was shocked that we were finally seeing him again. When Saoirse's turn came she just rested her head on Roman's shoulder and stayed there, like she never wanted to leave. Carsten was his usual smiley self, just happy to be out of the stroller.
Children still need attention, even when parents just want to hug.

Her vocabulary shocked Roman, as it had grown during his absence. She loved talking to Daddy.

Ethan was so excited to see 'armies' (soldiers) everywhere.

Some target practice with Daddy.

I asked Ethan if I could take his picture by the tank. He told me to take it of him watching the tank.
Graduation Day was much cooler, and full of pomp and ceremony. There was a fine army band, and of course a field of men and women in dress blues.

Roman's cousin, Jeff Wagenius, is a lieutenant in the Air Force. It was lots of fun to have him attend the graduation. Roman has one other cousin in the Air Force and a cousin in the National Guard.

I hope to send a family picture around after New Years!